In The Media: Print

Wall Street Journal

How to Unwind a Roth Conversion

May 13, 2014

Now that we are in the midst horse racing season and California Chrome’s hopeful endeavor for a Triple Crown, there’s been a lot of discussion about how to pick a “winning” horse — a topic that sounds a lot like the conversations I have with clients about their IRA investment strategies.

But, when we “bet” on a stock or portfolio plan, it isn’t just fun and games; our futures (and those of our loved ones) are at stake. So, if I told you there’s a way to “hedge your bets” and ensure you put your money on the best horse, you’d want to know more, right?

Imagine this: An opportunity with Roth IRA planning where you can put your money on both the odds-on favorite and the long-shot option, and position yourself to “undo” one or both of these decisions, if necessary.

Let’s run with this horse racing analogy to discuss a savvy strategy for ensuring that your retirement dollars stretch as far as they can, grow as quickly as possible, and incur the least amount of tax liability.

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Wall Street Journal

Timing Is Everything When It Comes to Benefits

May 19, 2013

Let your decision on when to retire be a monetary one that will give you the best bang from your Social Security benefits.

“Most people still take their Social Security benefits as soon as they possibly can, and many of them are leaving money on the table,” says Joe Lucey, president of Secured Retirement Advisors in St. Louis Park, Minn.

And a lot of it. If you retire when you turn 62, the earliest time possible, with an average annual income of $75,000 you will see monthly checks of about $1,628, according to the Social Security Administration’s estimated calculations.

Bump that retirement age up to 70 and your monthly income jumps to $2,939, roughly 8% annually.

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Wall Street Journal

Does Long-Term Care Mix With Life Insurance?

September 28, 2012

With long-term-care insurance premiums climbing by double digits and several insurers exiting the business in the past two years, many families are turning to an alternative: using life insurance with long-term-care benefits.

But buyers of life-combo products are facing sharp premium increases—or trimmed benefits—in the coming months, thanks to a new accounting rule that affects the type of life insurance often used with long-term-care riders. People who already hold such policies might see their premiums rise as well.

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Spend now, save later

The financial mind of the modern single

August 30, 2012

Today’s young singles are spending more and saving less than their married counterparts. Are they digging themselves a hole with no bottom or can a shift in the notion of how they spend, not why they spend, keep them in good financial health for the future?

A paper published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2011 Consumer Expenditure Survey Anthology highlights the gap between singles and marrieds when it comes to live-now spending. According to the paper, singles ages 21 to 29 years old, without children, spend an average of $2,057 a year on restaurant meals (compared to $1,423 for marrieds of the same criteria), $660 a year on alcoholic beverages ($227 for marrieds) and $896 on clothing ($650 for marrieds).

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Investment News

Retirement planning’s tough choices

Retirees unwilling to trade risk for yield are cutting back their lifestyle

March 25, 2012

Whenever his broker called him with hot stock tips, Mr. Hoaglund firmly told him that he wanted only conservative investments.

When they were working, the Bloomington, Minn., couple saved regularly for their retirement. Mr. Hoaglund, now 75, retired in 1997 when he sold his small manufacturing business. A year later, Mrs. Hoaglund, now 74, retired from her job as an administrative assistant at a local church.

The couple did many things right but made one mistake that has haunted them, Mr. Hoaglund said. They used their broker’s too-optimistic estimate that they could count on annual market returns of between 6% and 8%, and they overspent in the crucial early years of their retirement.

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Investment News
When it comes to client benefits, it’s forms over function

Spouses, children lacking designation papers could be out of luck; problem magnified by bank mergers

February 3, 2012

One lesson of the 2008 financial crisis was that banks didn’t do a very good job hanging on to mortgage loan paperwork. One financial adviser thinks that may not be the only papers they misfiled.

“With all the bank mergers since 2008, a lot of beneficiary forms won’t be found,” said Joseph S. Lucey, president of Secured Retirement Advisors LLC, who deals with the issue frequently. “If you think about it, some of those beneficiary designations may have been made 30 years ago.”

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Baltimore Sun

Eight things you might not know about Social Security

Ways to maximize benefits for you and your spouse

March 11, 2012

Most of us know some basics about Social Security.

We understand retirees can start taking retirement benefits at age 62. We realize we’ll get a bigger monthly check if we wait a few years more until our normal retirement age to tap benefits. And who hasn’t heard that Social Security has a long-term financial problem that Congress needs to address?

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How to shape up your finances in 12 months

Month-by-month plan will get credit buffed, budget under control

January 20, 2012

The 12 months in a fresh new year give you 12 opportunities to get your credit shaped up and your budgeting under control. Here, experts offer one seasonally relevant idea for each month of 2012 to do exactly that.

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