Financial Planning $tuff

Keeping some green in gray divorce Image result for gray divorce images

by Sarah Skidmore Sell, Associated Press

September 7, 2016

“Divorce can be painful–emotionally and financially–for anyone.  But when the split happens later in life, the less time you have to recover from the economic hit. And, the more is at stake.

A growing number of older adults are facing this problem:  the divorce rate among U.S. adults ages 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010, according to a study out of Bowling Green State University.  About one in four divorces includes someone over 50.  Susan Brown, who led the research, says a review of the data through 2014 found the rates have stayed about the same in subsequent years.

Reasons for the rise include longer lifespans, more women in the workforce, the changing notion about marriage and higher rates of remarriage, which boost your odds of splitting.

We asked a few experts to weight in on what to do when divorce suddenly becomes part of your retirement plan.”

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From the Center of Retirement Research…

Housing, Health Are 1/2 of Elderly’s Costs


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A few important excerpts from the book The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement: How to Save for Your Future Today by Mary Hunt:

Pages 162-164

“Here are six steps you can take to become more financially independent.

  1. Maintain good records.  Be sure you have copies of all current assets, bank account numbers, safe deposit information, insurance beneficiary information, IRAs and other retirement account records, tax returns going back seven years, mutual funds statements, stocks and bonds, health insurance policies, homeowner’s and auto insurance policies, the lease or mortgage information for your home, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and birth and marriage certificates.  It is also a good idea to keep receipts of major appliances with information on warranties.

  1. Have your name on all bank accounts.
  1. Manage your own credit. Good credit is essential to any sort of financial independence.  …Without good credit, it will be nearly impossible for you to borrow money to purchase a home or car, or even get a credit card, without assistance.  …Good credit means more than just paying your bills on time.  While that is a critical part of maintaining a good credit rating, you must also check your credit reports every year to make sure there are no inaccuracies.  …The first step in managing your credit is to find out what’s in your three major credit reports.  You have a legal right to review all of the information the three big credit bureaus have collected in your name.   …Start by ordering your three free reports at   …You may also receive your annual complimentary copies of your three credit reports by calling 877-322-8228 or by sending your request to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.  …Once you have a credit report in hand, look at this as you would a rap sheet.  …Your job is to make sure the information is accurate.  You will receive instructions with each credit report for how to dispute any inaccurate information.
  1. Assess your insurance needs and buy enough to protect yourself.
  1. Create wills…. Make sure you have a notarized original copy, a lawyer has a copy, and there is a copy in a safe deposit box.  Review and update your will every five years or when you acquire significant new assets.  …It is very important to state clearly whom you want to receive your property and possessions.
  1. Save, save, save! One reason for the high rate of poverty among older women is the lack of personal savings.”

Pages 178-179, 183financial planning

“There is no doubt that accumulating an appropriate amount of money for your retirement years is inescapably important.  But growing a big nest egg should not be your only retirement goal.  There really is more to retirement than just money.

These factors are equally important for a happy and satisfying life at any age but especially in retirement:

-good health


-meaningful activities

…You can’t afford to wait until you turn seventy to begin making your retirement a time of joy and fulfillment.  You can start living to your maximum potential right now, developing many areas in your life….

…As cliché as it may sound, retirement is not a destination; it’s a journey.”

Pages 186-187

“…three things you can do this week to get started.

  1. Have the talk.  Set a time this week to have a conversation with your spouse (close friend or relative) about planning for retirement.
  2. Make a list. Think of all the things you would like to learn and do once you have more free time….  Pick one or two that you can start doing now….
  3. Create a plan. Review the six strategies…and make a simple plan for how and when you will implement them.  Start with your money management system.”

Hunt, Mary.  The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2013.  Used by permission.

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Getting ready for the inevitable financial independence day

By Wendi Strom

July 31, 2016

“Earlier this month, our great nation celebrated its 240th year of independence. On this beautiful day, we most certainly had an Independence Day worthy of celebrating.

But looking around at those celebrations lead me to the realization that not every independence day is cause for joy financial planningand celebration. In fact, two of the synonyms of independence are most telling of this: separation and self-sufficiency. What if we add financial to the mix? Financial independence, financial self-sufficiency, financial separation.

After being part of a financial partnership, through marriage for example, becoming financially independent, especially unexpectedly through death or illness, is typically anything but a celebration. It can be crippling, potentially both financially and emotionally. Because of this, regardless of your age, it’s important to take steps like these outlined below, to put you and your loved ones on a track of financial preparedness for the day that something happens to you or your financial partner.

Working with many couples and widows over the years, here’s a list that I’ve compiled and use with my own clients to help them protect each other….”

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Wendi Strom, Certified Financial Planner, LOTUS Financial Partners, Denver, CO and president-elect of the Financial Planning Association of Colorado.

financial planning


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Women more likely than men to face poverty during retirement

by Adam Allington, Associated Press

July 10, 2016

CHICAGO — “During their working years, women tend to earn less than men, and when they retire, they’re more likely to live in poverty.

These are women who raised children and cared for sick and elderly family members, often taking what savings and income they do have and spending it on things besides their own retirement security.

The National Institute on Retirement Security, a nonprofit research center, reports that women are 80 percent more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older. Women age 75 to 79 are three times more likely.”

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