Boosting your Social Security Beyond Age 70

SHJ061416_Sharkey_Howes_Javer_Working_Beyond_70Did you know that you can increase your Social Security benefits beyond age 70? Many are now familiar with the delayed retirement credits that individuals earn by delaying collecting their Social Security benefit until age 70. A delayed retirement credit is an 8% increase in your monthly benefit for each year you delay collecting benefits after your “normal retirement age”. Although delayed retirement credits do not continue to accrue beyond age 70, there actually is a way that you can continue to increase your benefits. While many people may not find it feasible to work beyond age 70, those who enjoy their job and continue to work could see an increase to their monthly benefits. Continue reading

Family Dynamics: Financially Assisting Adult Family Members

Sharkey Howes & Javer Financially Assisting Adult Family MembersProviding financial assistance to adult family members, while sometimes very helpful, may also create conflicts. As Certified Financial Planners ®, our clients often ask us to help them work through such issues. When working with clients who find themselves in the midst of a difficult family dynamic involving money, our process is to help our clients understand the impact of providing financial assistance to adult family members. Below we share a few of the conflicts we have found (Please note: identifying information has been changed for privacy purposes). Continue reading

5 Questions to Ask Before Taking on More Debt

The term ‘debt’ generally has a negative connotation. While being in too much debt or the wrong kind of debt can be risky, sometimes debt makes sense. If you are considering taking on more debt, sit down and answer the questions below first to make sure the new debt won’t get in the way of your long-term goals.

How much debt do I currently have?
When thinking about debt, it’s important to first analyze your current financial landscape. Be sure to review everything: credit cards, lines of credit, mortgages, loans and possibly IOU’s to family or friends. Once you have totaled all monthly recurring debt payments, divide that number by your gross monthly income to find your debt to income ratio (DTI). The lower the number, the better. Talk with your financial planner about your ratio and ask for his/her recommendation on whether you should consider taking on more debt. Continue reading

Retirement Savings 101: What’s the Difference between a Roth 401(k) and a Traditional 401(k)?

Retirement golden eggs on dollars, IRA in focus, 401k blurryDid you know many employers offer a traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k)? Learn the difference between the two to see what’s right for you.

Last week we covered the difference between Roth and Traditional IRAs. This week we look at the differences between Roth and Traditional 401(k)s.

Let’s start by defining the 401(k)…

401(k)s are retirement savings plans sponsored by an employer. Employees can defer all or part of their paycheck to the plan, as long as you are within the IRS limits. You can think of it as a deferred salary. Many companies will also match contributions to the plan. Continue reading

How much should I save for retirement?

We are asked ‘how much I should save for retirement’ all the time. It’s an important question! While we’d love to have a canned answer for everyone who asks, it’s just not that simple. We’ve found that answering a few questions really helps our clients hone in on their retirement savings goals.

Ask Yourself…

  • What age would you like to retire?
  • What kind of lifestyle would you like to live?
  • Are you going to sell your home, stay put, buy a second home?
  • Will you be traveling more often?
  • Will you still work part time or start a new business?

Those questions are a great place to start when planning your retirement. As Julie says in the video, “Get down to the nitty gritty of your desired lifestyle,” when answering the questions about your retirement. Being specific helps you (and your planner) set realistic goals and expectations.

In general we find SH&J clients need to start retirement with 100% of their current living expenses. It is rare for expenses to go down after retirement.

Whether you are close to retirement or decades away, we’d be happy to help you answer some of the questions above and make a retirement plan that makes sense for you. Give us a call at 303.639.5100 to set up a time to come in and chat.