Daan Stevens / UNSPLASH.COM

Is it time for you to buy long-term care insurance?

I think the first question anyone needs to ask when considering the purchase of any kind of insurance is, “What am I trying to protect myself against?”

Let me see if I can give you a few parameters to get your thinking started. But before the process is over, you’ll need to find an experienced, qualified insurance agent that can guide you through your choices.

Mike Cohen /

I get a lot of questions about annuities – what are they? Do I need one?

So, let’ see if we can unpack this topic a bit and de-mystify the whole topic.

First, an annuity is a fixed sum of money paid to someone each year, typically for the rest of their life. If you want such a fixed sum of income guaranteed for life, you typically have to buy it from a life insurance company. For example, a 65-year old man might pay $200,000 in exchange for $1,000 paid to him each month for the rest of his life.

A.D. Modlin /

James Joyce called mistakes “the portals of discovery.”

So, don’t fear making mistakes. Fear not learning from them and repeating the same few endlessly.

When it comes to financial matters, here are a few of the most harmful mistakes that, if made and repeated over and over, can do irreparable damage to your the financial security.

However, if these same mistakes are recognized, admitted, learned from and then run from, they might just do some good.

Fouquier ॐ /

We need to talk about the retirement smile.

I’m not talking about that silly grin you daydream about having the day you walk out of your office for the last time. More on that in a moment.

You want to plan for an enjoyable period of retirement, and we all instinctively know that we’ll be in the best physical (and perhaps mental) condition to enjoy those years earlier in our retirement. 

GotCredit /

“Barn, lemmie tell ya. I don’t want to make my kids rich.” 

I’ve had countless men (it’s usually men) say those very words to me. So much so I can almost see it coming and mouth the words as they are being spoken. 

But before just accepting that statement on face value, I like to ask a few clarifying questions.

“So if you had $100 million or more than you could ever spend, you’re saying you would not want to leave any of that to your kids?”

Retirement Readiness

May 8, 2019
Joonas Tikkanen / FLICKR.COM

According to Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

That’s the gist of my first suggestion to folks with their eyes set on retirement: take a close look at your life now. What aspects of your life do you want to keep, what do you want to change and what do you want to do away with altogether?

Start with the first big question: “what is my current lifestyle?”

401(K) 2012 / FLICKR.COM

Last week I talked about the benefits and limitations of taking your Social Security benefits early…before the so-called “normal retirement age (NRA).”

So now, let’s see what happens if you take your Social Security benefits “on time” or on a delayed basis.

401(K) 2012 / FLICKR.COM

When should you begin taking your Social Security benefits?

Should you opt to begin your benefits as early as possible, usually age 62? Or should you wait until your normal retirement age (NRA), which may vary from age 66 to 67 these days. Or you may want to wait until the last possible minute, age 70.  

The first thing to do … is get your facts straight.

401(K) 2012 / FLICKR.COM

Have you gotten to the age where your investment company is sending you the required minimum distribution amount from your IRA each year?


If you’re like a lot of folks I know, you don’t really need the money, so it’s just sitting in the bank, earning nothing.

If that’s you, you may be wondering if you have other options.

Kat Grigg /

I talk to a lot of parents who want to actually see their adult children enjoy the wealth they will one day pass on to them.


But these same parents don’t want to give themselves broke so that those same children will one day have to take care of them financially. And they also don’t want to create dependency of their adult children on financial gifts they might give them.

The secret to finding balance is having a plan.