More Consumer Information Around Retirement Products

Last April, the Department of Labor (DOL) re-proposed a regulation for comment that redefines the role of a fiduciary as it pertains to retirement investments.  A fiduciary is responsible for managing the assets of another person, or of a group of people.  A fiduciary’s responsibilities are both ethical and legal. When a party knowingly accepts a fiduciary duty on behalf of another party, they are required to act in the best interest of the party whose assets they are managing. The fiduciary is expected to manage the assets for the benefit of the other person rather than for his or her own profit, and cannot benefit personally from their management of assets. Continue reading

What is financial well-being?

In my last post I talked about the circumstances that have made you ultimately responsible for your financial well-being in retirement. It’s important to define what I mean when talking about financial well-being.

First and most important, financial well-being is not a number! “I’d be all set if I had a million dollars” is a great example of what financial well-being is not. Okay, you may be able to make it work on a million dollars, however the gap between what you have set aside for retirement today and a million dollars may seem unachievable, leading to despair. On the other hand, a million dollars equally divided over 20 years is $50,000 a year. You may think you need more than this to live on each year, or you may expect to live another 30 years or more, making the annual draw on your million dollars as little as $30,000 a year. The problem with this way of thinking is there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding retirement and no thought to the quality of retirement we’re looking to finance. Continue reading

The Financial Responsibility Facing 55+ Year Olds

Making good decisions – it’s something we’ve done with greater frequency as we’ve gained wisdom and experience.   Yes, we may regret a few decisions we’ve made however the consequences are in the past and we’ve learned our lessons well.  If you are like me, we are joining the more than 50 million Americans who will reach retirement age in the next 15 years. Continue reading