A lot of people are asking this very question.

Q: We just sold our house but have not found a new one yet. While we are shopping, what should we do with the proceeds from our sale?

A: My rule of thumb is: if you have cash that you will need to use within 18- 24 months, it has to stay in cash. Use a savings or money markets account. You cannot afford to invest the proceeds and subject those dollars to the whims of the markets.

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Here is some sage advice from one of my retired clients.

As I have my regular review appointments the conversations often turn to more than just how their portfolios are doing right now. Recently, one of my retired clients brought up a few points that are worth sharing.

First, he said he would have taken smaller (less expensive) family vacations so he would have been able to save more over a longer period of time. He now shares my advice with his Grandkids, save at least 10% form your very first paycheck for your retirement.

Second, realize that everything will cost more. Sure, there are times when prices go down, but inflation takes a big bite out of your purchasing power.

Third, taxes are forever and will constantly change. There have been a few times during his life that taxes have gone down, but mostly have gone up. Not being prepared for taxes in retirement can take a big bite out of your spendable funds.

Like I said, sage advice.

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What are your numbers?

Numbers are very important to my practice. Annualized rate of return, how much you have to invest, how long will you live? These all figure into my planning done for my clients. Here are a few key numbers I would like you to think about:

How much will inflation impact your investment to and through retirement? Here are a few famous quotes regarding inflation:
“Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for a ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.” –Sam Ewing
“Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” –Ronald Reagan
“Inflation is the crabgrass in your savings.” –Robert Orben

Right now we are seeing some of the highest inflation we have seen in years. When going out to purchase anything, think about whether the item is a need or a want, then shop for the best prices.

What is the average rate of return you are earning? Please keep in mind that we take a long term look at the investments we manage. Let’s look at the S&P 500, in my opinion this is the broadest index used as a measure today.
Historic benchmarks for the S&P: For the previous 10-year time period (2010-2020) the annualized (nominal) return was 13.9%.The average annualized return since its inception in 1926 is 10.49%
The highest annual returns in that time period were 29.6% in 2013.
The lowest annual returns were -6.24% in 2018.*

Health care cost can put the biggest dent in the best planned retirement. According to Fidelity’s Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2022 can expect to spend $315,000 in health care and medical expenses throughout retirement. And, this does not include any money that may need to be spent on long-term care needs.

*Historical returns from Fidelity Institutional.com

These are just a few numbers to think about as you plan your retirement. If you want help with these, please contact me at nancy@financialgroup.com or (407)-869-9800.

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Why do we like to buy everything on sale except investments?

This is the first Bear Market we have seen in a long time. Investors are starting to panic, wanting to sell their holdings, and that is the exact opposite that investors should be doing. Anyone who is taking advantage of a 401k or 403b is buying more shares of their mutual funds per deposit then they have been able to since 2008. More share = probability of more income in retirement.

The people who panic and sell the stocks in their retirement portfolios right now will most likely end up kicking themselves. Maybe not this week, this month, or this year. Maybe not even for a couple of years. But eventually, and big-time if history repeat itself.

The people who take advantage of this crash by investing more long-term money will most likely up patting themselves on the back. They might feel like chumps at first, for weeks, months or even years. But eventually they will be thankful if history prevails.

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This is why we rebalance your accounts.

Rebalancing is an important part of portfolio management. If you’re decades away from retirement, there’s no need to panic over a down market. Stocks have a long history of losing value only to rally afterward. But if you’re within a year or two of retirement, a stock market dip or, worse yet, a full-fledged crash could really spoil your plans.
That’s why it’s so important to check on your asset allocation as retirement nears. While it’s certainly not advisable to dump your stocks before retirement, as you’ll need some in your portfolio to continue generating strong returns, you’ll also want more access to safer investments, like bonds, which tend to be far less volatile.
Not only that, but if you’re getting close to retirement, it’s important to keep a chunk of your savings in plain old cash. That way, if stocks tank, you won’t get stuck in a position where you need to liquidate investments at a loss to cover your living costs.
This is exactly why we look at our client’s portfolios each quarter to see if their allocation has changed. By regularly rebalancing we keep our clients within their risk profiles. Often, this allows me to buy quality funds for my clients on sale as well as any fund that pays regular dividends or capital gains buying more shares while the prices are low. Keep in mind, the more shares you have going into retirement, means more income for you once you have reached that milestone.

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Please remember this on Memorial Day.

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check payable to
“The United States of America” for an amount “up to and including his life.”
That is honor. There are too many people in this country who no longer understand this.
God Bless Our Veterans.

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It’s time to go shopping!

During certain times of the year specific things are on sale. Here is what is good to buy in May:

Mattresses
There will be a lot of Memorial Day sales on mattresses from all of the big box retailers.

Large appliances
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day there will be a lot of big appliances on sale. Do your homework for exactly the features you want and do not want in your appliances before you order. Keep in mind, with the supply chain issues, deliveries may be slow.

Jewelry
Did you get Mom something shiny for Mother’s Day? Jewelry stores stock up but if sales were not what was expected for Mother’s Day, there will be big sales for the rest of the month. After all, June is wedding month and that brings a whole different set of jewelry sales.

Do your homework and shop smart!

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Cash is king, and I mean actual cash.

I know, you are tired of hearing me harp on about cash reserves. You have heard me say a million times it is more important to cover income vs. expenses when building your cash reserves. I am not talking about that. What I am concerned about is actual paper money in your house.

Hurricane season is a mere 5 weeks away, now is the time to start planning. Many people focus on having enough emergency food, batteries, and water, but what about cash? Here is something to think about; let’s say the power is knocked out, the local gas station is running on a generator and you need something. There is a good chance the internet is also down so paying with an app is not a choice. Neither is using a credit card due to the lack of power. If you have paper money, you can get what you want from that store.

Put your paper crown on and have some paper money stashed in a safe place in your home.

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I have the best clients!

Here is another great acronym submitted by a client!
P.E.B.L list
P:
Update your Password list
Update Photos of items of value

E:
Emergency list current and in your wallet?
Sufficient Emergency funds on hand?
Emergency supplies still usable?

B:
Backup phone, ipad, computer.
Update Budget & savings.

L:
Location of “cloud” items; One Drive, Apple, Google, Dropbox
Location of keys for safe, storage unit.
Location of important papers; will, living will, POA.

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