[{"ID":14240,"post_title":"Maryland Fee-Only Financial Advisor","post_date":"2017-05-16T22:03:35","post_content":"As the President of an independent wealth management and investment advisory firm, I am honored that Investopedia has chosen to partner with Wealthcare Financial Group, Inc. to bring quality personal finance education to their millions of readers throughout the United States and abroad.\n\n"},{"ID":14091,"post_title":"Don’t Spend Your Retirement Money Frivolously","post_date":"2017-04-12T23:19:46","post_content":"If you are retired, or preparing for retirement take my advice and don\u2019t spend your retirement money frivolously. Why? Because like the saying goes, \u201cold habits are hard to break.\u201d\n\nPart 4 in our series: 5 Ways Retirees Should Protect Their Money During Retirement\nOne habit that I have witnessed with retirees around the country is the unbridled tendency to spend money on worthless \u201cchachkies\u201d that eventually ends up being passed along from yard sale to yard sale, like an annoying endless chain letter.\u00a0If this is you, for the LOVE of your children who will have to clean out your garage, basement or attic some day, please stop it and heed my advice, don\u2019t spend your retirement money frivolously!\nYou could gift that money to your grandchildren, or give it to a worthwhile charity, but for goodness sake, let someone else buy the stuff that is being sold at garage sales.\nDon\u2019t become that weekend shopper of other peoples worthless stuff. Sorry if my words seems a bit harsh, but people hire me tell them the truth and to provide them with information, including services which adds value to their lives.\n\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nDon\u2019t Fall For The Timeshare Trap\nIf you are retired, or preparing for retirement, I trust that you have probably experienced one or two timeshare sales presentations by now. I understand how enticing the thought of being able to vacation at the same beautiful resort every year can be.\u00a0My wife and I visited a beautiful timeshare presentation in the Bahamas, at Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island. Let\u2019s carefully consider the cost of buying a timeshare in 2017. The average cost of a timeshare in the United States is $15,700.\nIf you saved the amount spent on a time share by investing in equities (stocks), you would have approximately 185,000 in 20 years, assuming that your portfolio averages approximately 12% per year over $357,338.00, for the cost of being able to vacation to every continent of over the same period of time. And I didn\u2019t even mention those annoying timeshare maintenance fees!\nDon\u2019t Buy A RV Unless You Love Driving and Buying A LOT of Gasoline\nDon\u2019t buy a Recreational Vehicle (RV) unless you are actually going to use it on a frequent basis. Who doesn\u2019t love the idea of traveling the country in a RV?\u00a0I have done it a couple of times and it is a lot of fun, but traveling by RV also costs an arm and two legs worth of gasoline. Then there is the depreciation factor.\nAfter you drive any vehicle off of a car lot it has depreciated in value by approximately 15% to 25%. However, the potential depreciation factor of a RV is potentially worse, especially in an inflationary economy, with rising gas prices.\n\nI once saw a brand spanking new Bus RV on the lot of a dealer and it was listed for $428,000. About 4 months later that same RV was selling for $215,000! The price declined by $213,000.\n\nRV\u2019s are a lot of fun, a very relaxing way to travel and see the great American countryside, but they do not hold their value that well. Therefore, if you are going to purchase a RV, you should use it frequently and if not, consider renting it out for use by others on a site such as www.rvshare.com.\nJust don\u2019t be that person who purchased a RV and later realized that driving requires a lot of stamina and you end up with a fancy RV that remains parked on your driveway, beside\u00a0your house.\n<\u2014\u2014 Yes, that is a Mercedes Coup that can be stored and transported inside of a RV!!! Sweet isn\u2019t it?\n\n    medianet_width = \"728\";\n    medianet_height = \"90\";\n    medianet_crid = \"782621537\";\n    medianet_versionId = \"3111299\";\n  \n\n"},{"ID":13252,"post_title":"Buying Long Term Care Insurance Could Protect Your Retirement Savings","post_date":"2017-03-08T20:46:47","post_content":"When I think about Part 3 in our series:\u00a05 Ways Retirees Can Protect Their Money During Retirement, Long Term Care insurance (LTCi) is often overlooked by retirees which can pose a serious threat to a retired persons financial well being.\nLet\u2019s discuss how buying long term care insurance could protect your retirement savings. Long Term Care Insurance (LTCi) is more necessary today than ever because people are living longer, thanks to our health conscience society and of course, the innovations of medical sciences and biotechnology. While the \u2018pros\u2019 of living longer are obvious, the \u2018con\u2019 is often ignored.\nFrom a personal finance point of view, the living longer means that you will continue to pay taxes, stretch a dollar even further because of inflation and possibly have to pay out of pocket for long term care expenses. Women tend to outlive men, therefore as a group women -especially single or divorced women- should consider obtaining long term care insurance.\nAccording to a Global Health and Aging report entitled, \u201cLiving Longer\u201c, published by the National Institute on Aging, \u201cThe dramatic increase in average life expectancy during the 20th century ranks as one of society\u2019s greatest achievements. Although most babies born in 1900 did not live past age 50, life expectancy at birth now exceeds 83 years in Japan\u2014the current leader\u2014and is at least 81 years in several other countries.\u201d\nDiscuss LTCi With Your Retirement Planning Financial Advisor\nImaging working for 30 years, you are now age 62, retired and sitting living on a retirement savings of $700,000 in an IRA. While you are enjoying retirement you later discover that you or your spouse will need some form of nursing care, either in home care or administered at a full time nursing facility. What you didn\u2019t realize is that the average cost to stay in a nursing home in the U.S. is $76,680 per year, which you might have know if you did not take financial advice from a former co-worker who convinced you not to hire an independent financial advisor.\n\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nYou were told that \u201cfinancial advisors charge hefty fees for their advice and service\u201d, including something about \u2018how much better off you would be in the long run by working out a retirement financial plan with the 401(K) provider that sold your former employer its retirement plan\u2019 which you participated in for the past 30 years. According to the retirement income analysis that you were given by your employer\u2019s 401(K) plan provider, you would not run out of money as long as the draw down on your 401(K) do not exceed 5% per year, assuming a modest 5% compound growth rate.\nSurprise! Now your drawdown will have to increase from $35,000 to $111,680 to cover the cost of \u201cself-insuring\u201d for your unexpected long term care needs.\nTo make matters worse, having to withdraw an additional $76,680 will kick you into a new tax bracket, from 15% to 25%. Unfortunately, your $700,000 retirement savings, a portion of which you assumed would probably become an inheritance for your children, might not exist beyond seven to ten years. Not only does this place the added burden of needing to achieve a higher rate of return on your retirement funds, but with rewards also comes risk.\nTherefore, it isn\u2019t prudent for someone who is retired to expose their portfolio to greater risk in hopes of generating a larger rate of return. In this scenario, the mostly likely option would be to downsize by selling your primary residence (or selling off other tangible assets) in order to diversify your income sources and reduce your tax liability; with a goal of extending the life of your retirement savings.\n\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nAccording to the The American Elder Care Research Organization, on average, senior citizens spends 904 days or 2.47 years in a nursing facility. Therefore, the price tag (not including medication) could be as high as $153,360. As if that price tag doesn\u2019t create enough sticker shock for you, statistically, 1 in 3 senior citizens will enter a nursing home, with women over 65 to men over 65 being more likely to enter a nursing home, at a ratio 1.37 to 1 and 2.1 to 1 for women over 85 compared to men over 85.\n\nAnother alarming statistic is that the health care costs for older Americans who earn more than $30,000 a year is less than the cost for older Americans, earning less than $10,000, or $11,000 to $17,000.\n\n\n\nGet Our FREE Report: 5 Questions About Long Term Care\n\nCLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD\n\n\nOne of the questions that I often get asked is, \u201cwhen should I begin thinking about purchasing long term care insurance?\u201d\nThere\u2019s more of an age sweet spot, than a set age when purchasing LTCi makes the most sense. I believe the best time to purchase LTCi is between the age 52 \u2013 60. Unlike life insurance that should be purchased at a younger age, LTCi isn\u2019t something that should be purchased when a person is in their 20\u2019s and 30\u2019s.\n\nUnlike death and taxes which has a 100% chance of occurrence, LTCi isn\u2019t something that every person will need, although statistically, there is a 1 in 5 chance that an individual will have more $25,000 in out-of-pocket long term care costs; yet 1 in 10 people over the age 55 have long term care insurance.\n\nHybrid Insurance: Life Insurance With A Long Term Care Rider\nIt is important to note that an insurance company might grant an approval for a life insurance policy for the same person who was unable to obtain an approval for LTCi by the same insurer. This is an instance when I may suggest to a client that they consider a hybrid life insurance policy, that includes a long term care rider. With this type of hybrid insurance, 2% to 4% of the face amount of the policy can be liquidated and paid on a monthly basis to cover the expenses associated with a person\u2019s long term care need.\nFor example, if the face amount of a hybrid Life w\/LTCi policy is $350,000 and the insured decides to liquidate the value of the face amount by 3% ($10,500) on a monthly basis they would be able to cover up to $126,000 per year of long term care expenses. Liquidating the face amount of a hybrid Life w\/LTCi policy will reduce the face amount of the life insurance policy on a dollar for dollar basis. However, this is not a bad option for someone whose health prevents them from getting approved for traditional LTCi; or if they lack an adequate amount of retirement savings to pay for their long term care expenses out of pocket.\n\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nPerhaps this post should have been entitled, \u201c6 Ways Retirees Should\u2026\u201d instead of 5 Ways Retirees Should Protect Their Money During Retirement, because I wrote an earlier blog post for retirees about how to Convert Required Minimum Distributions Into Tax Free Income. I encourage you to read that post because it contains some information that could potentially help you increase the value of your estate.\nFor some who are age 70 1\/2 with money sitting in a 401(K) or an IRA, having to withdraw their required minimum distributions simply because the IRS mandates it is an unfortunate fact of life. Therefore, why not learn how to convert the cash that you may be loathe to withdraw into future tax free income and potentially increase the value of your estate for the benefit of your beneficiaries.\nLife is becoming more expensive year after year and since we\u2019re not getting any younger, despite many of our best efforts, LTCi is something that everyone should consider, especially since 1 out of 3 older Americans enter a nursing home, or require in-home care.\n\n    medianet_width = \"728\";\n    medianet_height = \"90\";\n    medianet_crid = \"223924345\";\n    medianet_versionId = \"3111299\";\n  \n\nThe average annual cost for long term care (e.g. nursing home, or in-home) is $46,000 in 2017. If someone is 50 years old and they wait until age 65 to purchase LTCi, then the inflation-adjusted cost for care could exceed $175,000 per year! At the very least if you are retired, or preparing for retirement you should have a long term care illustration prepared for you so that you can include LTCi premiums as a retirement expense. Likewise, if your LTCi policy has cash value, then you should list this amount in the \u201cassets column of your personal financial balance sheet.\nAs tempting as it may be to finally make a large purchase in fulfillment of your long awaited retirement dreams, whether it is a vacation home or a fancy car, insurance meets the fundamental need of protecting ourselves from the probability of having to claim the benefits of the type of insurance policy in question. As we get older, the probability of our need for certain types of insurance increases, because of the correlation between age and the number of insurance claims submitted.\nAs a retirement planning and investment management firm, our goal is to help you achieve a secure and hopefully stress free retirement. Therefore, trust us when we say \u2018buying long term care insurance could protect your retirement savings and lead to greater peace of mind during your golden years.\u2019\n\n"},{"ID":13618,"post_title":"Retirees Can Protect Their Retirement Money With Better Asset Allocation","post_date":"2017-02-21T17:58:24","post_content":"Retirees Can Protect Their Retirement Money With Better Asset Allocation\nPart 2 in our series: 5 Ways Retirees Should Protect Their Money During Retirement\nAfter 23+ years as a Financial Advisor, I can attest to the truth that retirees can protect their retirement money with better asset allocation. Asset allocation is a discipline. It is the process of assembling a portfolio that is diversified in the type of investments that comprise the portfolio. For example, a broad and very overly stated asset allocation is \u201cstocks, bonds and cash\u201d, or \u201cstocks, bonds and mutual funds.\u201d\nThe problem with the above example of asset allocation is that while a portfolio may include stocks, bonds, cash and mutual funds, that general allocation does not prove that the portfolio is truly diversified. For the most part, it is diversified in name only. I have seen hundreds of portfolios with very similar characteristics, which is why I finally decided to write a blog post on how retirees can protect their retirement money with better asset allocation.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\n\nLet every man divide his money into three parts, and invest a third in land, a third in business, and a third let him keep in reserve. \n~Talmud, Circa 1200 B.C. \u2013 500 A.D.\n\nShould I Be Diversified By Asset Allocation or Asset Class Diversification?\nWhile not guaranteeing an investment portfolio from market losses, the purpose of owning a diverse portfolio (whether it is a 401(K), IRA or even the \u201csub-investments\u201d within a variable annuity or life insurance policy) is not to prevent a down market, but to limit the potential losses that could be sustained by your portfolio during a down market.\nIn other words, asset allocation represents a best efforts approach, in hopes of achieving a minimum of maximum rate of return within an acceptable range of performance. In his book entitled, \u201cAsset Allocation\u201d, Author Roger C. Gibson offers four suggestions for how to design an investment portfolio:\n\n\nDeciding which asset classes will be represented in the portfolio\n\n\nDetermining the long-term \u201ctarget\u201d percentage of the portfolio to allocate to each of these asset classes\n\n\nSpecifying for each asset class the range within which the allocation can be altered in an attempt to exploit better performance possibilities from one asset class versus another\n\n\nSelection of securities within each of the asset classes\n\n\nI agree with Roger C. Gibson\u2019s steps for designing an investment portfolio, because without asset allocation investing is like going to the casino and gambling with your money. Investing with only a focus of \u201cmaking money\u201d is not a plan, and at best it is no different from guessing. It is either hit or miss.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\n1. Deciding Which Asset Classes Will Be Represented In The Portfolio\nSince an investment portfolio is comprised of what it holds, we have to first determine the suitability of the type of investments that should be purchased and why. When counseling with clients about their investments, I want to find out what percentage of their portfolio is invested across the following asset classes:\n\nSmall Cap\nMid-Caps\nLarge Caps\nReal Estate\nInternational\nFixed Income\nCommodities\n\nA common question that I receive is, \u201cwhat is the difference between a \u201cLarge Cap vs. Small or Mid Cap\u201d type of investment. The word \u201ccap\u201d is short for \u201cCapitalization.\u201d According to Investopedia, \u201cThe market value of capital depends on the price of the company\u2019s stock. It is calculated by multiplying the price of the company\u2019s shares by the number of shares outstanding in the market. If the total number of shares outstanding is 1 billion and the stock is currently priced at $10, the market capitalization is $10 billion. Companies with a high market capitalization are referred to as Large caps. Companies with medium market capitalization are referred to as Mid caps, and companies with small capitalization are referred to as Small caps. A general rule of thumb for distinguishing between large caps, mid-caps and small caps is large caps have a market capitalization of $10 billion+, Mid-caps $2 to 10 billion and Small caps $300 million to $2 billion.\u201d\nIt is important to note that the rate of return of small, mid and large caps differs considerably, based on economic conditions. Therefore, it is important that you know which asset classes are represented in your portfolio. At Wealthcare Financial Group, Inc. we take a more specific approach to achieving a diversified portfolio, which we refer to as \u201casset class diversification\u201d vs. \u201casset allocation\u201d.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\n2.Determining the long-term \u201ctarget\u201d percentage of the portfolio to allocate to each of these asset classes\nThe pie chart on the far left is colored coded to reflect the broad asset class percentage representation of the portfolio. For example, there is 1% allocated to Cash, 48% to U.S. Stocks (represented in the \u201cStock Style Diversification Holdings Detail on the right), e.g. Large, Medium, Small, 22% to Foreign (which will also have its own \u201csmall, mid and large\u201d equity classification), including 29% to Bonds.The above Morningstar Style Box is for illustrative purposes only. Not to be construed as a recommended portfolio allocation for anyone.\nWhat many investors are not aware of is the average annual performance among the various asset classes. For example, notice that 71% of the portfolio is allocated to large caps vs. only 6% for the small cap category and 24% for the Mid cap category. One might assume that the reason for the over weighted position is because Large caps have historically (e.g. over periods of 3, 5 and 10 years) outperformed Small and Mid-caps, right? WRONG! \n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nThe chart below shows the average annual performance of Large, Small and Long Term Government Bonds. Which asset class has the overall better performance in each of the four periods shown? The point which I am making here isn\u2019t that one asset class is more or less suitable for a person\u2019s investment portfolio.\nWhen reviewing a prospective clients investment portfolio, it is very common to find that they are over weighed in large caps. This simply begs the question of whether the performance of large caps has been better than other asset classes during the same period of time.\nThe next question is, how would the portfolio perform if each asset class had an equal percentage allocated to it? The above chart is for illustration purposes only, not an actual recommended asset class range.\n3. Specifying for each asset class the range within which the allocation can be altered in an attempt to exploit better performance possibilities from one asset class versus another.\nThis is where having a good understanding about how the economy works is very important. If I were to ask, \u201cwhat would your asset class allocation look like if today was exactly one month prior to The Great Recession which began during the month of December 2007?\u201d.\nIf you are concerned about the performance of your portfolio, then I would assume that the asset class range of your portfolio would look like this:\n\nEquities = 0%\nFixed Income =0%\nCash = 100%\n\nThe reason why the range is some important is because you should adjust the percentage of funds allocated to a certain asset class either based on a reasonable hypothesis about the future direction of the economy, or based on how the current economic conditions is impacting your investments. If you are a retiree and is concerned about generating income from your portfolio, then adjusting the percentage weighting among the various asset classes is vital.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\nThis chart provides a visual illustration of what is referred to as the \u201cEconomic (Business) Cycle\u201d. There are five \u201csessions\u201d to The Economic Cycle: Peak, Recession, Trough, Recovery, Growth (aka \u201cexpansion\u201d). During the Growth and Peak seasons of the economic cycle, the stock market is typically correlated in such a way that growth investors may experience an increase in the overall value of their portfolios. In addition, when the market is experiencing an extended period of growth, there is a greater probability for the rate of inflation to increase. As the threat of inflation becomes more apparent, a move that the Federal Reserve will consider is to increase interest rates, as a way to offset, or limit the growth rate of inflation.\nFrom an investment point of view, which \u201casset class\u201d would potentially be more attractive to a retiree during a Growth through Peak season period of the economic cycle? How about Bank or Brokerage Certificates of Deposit, or Bonds that offers an attractive yield? Does this mean that 100% of a person\u2019s portfolio should be allocated to fixed income and cash? Probably not.\nHowever, the threat of inflation which could influence the Fed to raise interest rates. If so, this presents an attractive opportunity to do a little investment percentage (i.e. asset class) \u201crange shifting\u201d, in hopes of being able to generate additional income within a portfolio. Likewise, what happens to Real Estate as an asset class when the economy is in a Recession? Are you beginning to understand why retirees can protect their retirement money with better asset allocation?\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\n4. Selection of securities within each of the asset classes\nAgain, look at the behavior of the Federal Reserve. While not an absolute (we have to leave room for the possibility of the influence of \u201cevent risk\u201d on the economy such as government or corporate malfeasance, wars, terrorism, etc.), during a \u201cpeak\u201d in the economic cycle, interest rates have risen to its highest point causing the market cool off somewhat.\nIn the event that tightening interest rates results in three consecutive quarters of negative GDP, then the economy is officially in a recession. As a way to stimulate the economy -and have a positive impact on housing, as well as employment- the Federal Reserve will reduce interest rates, which tends to have a positive impact on asset classes such as real estate and certain types of bonds.\nThe needs of investors are unique, therefore the construction of their investment portfolios should also be unique. I emphasize \u201cshould\u201d because many of the portfolios that I have reviewed from large brokerage firms are not unique to each investor. In fact, the typical asset allocation that I notice with accounts that have a minimum of $500,000 includes: Large Caps, Bonds, Real Estate and International\u2026and this is almost without fail.\nIt\u2019s called \u201crubber stamping\u201d and unfortunately, it doesn\u2019t take into consideration the unique circumstances of different people. At Wealthcare Financial Group, Inc. we believe that an investment portfolio should reflect the asset classes which are appropriate for each individual, given the current economic conditions that will have a unique impact on the various asset classes.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nWhen building a custom model portfolio for our clients, we generally utilize the following asset classes, in order to appropriately diversify their portfolio based on our understanding of the economy and where we believe that it may be headed in the future, as well as our understanding of their risk tolerance, income needs and performance goals:\n\nSmall Value and Growth\nMid Value and Growth\nLarge Value\nReal Estate\nFixed Income (U.S. Treasuries, Agencies, Corporate, Municipal, Certificates of Deposit)\nInternational (100% Foreign)\nGlobal (Foreign and Domestic)\nCommodities\nAlternative Investments\n\nReceiving a free Sample Portfolio Review & Analysis of your IRA, 401(K) or taxable brokerage account is critical to the successful management and performance of your retirement investments. Our firm,Wealthcare Financial Group, Inc. prepares free portfolio reviews and comparative investment analysis with no obligation. Feel free to contact me if you would like to receive an in depth portfolio review. (240) 482-3752 |msmith@wcfingroup.com\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\n"},{"ID":13540,"post_title":"Retirees Should Invest In A Good Cyber Security System In Order To Protect Their Money During Retirement","post_date":"2017-02-20T19:16:34","post_content":"Retirees Should Invest In A Good Cyber Security System In Order To Protect Their Money During Retirement\nPart 1 in our series: \u201c5 Ways Retirees Should Protect Their Money During Retirement.\u201d\nThere are many reasons why retirees should invest in a\u00a0good cyber security system. To a cyber criminal, a retiree is a high value target because of the assumption that they have saved a lot of money for retirement, including funds for \u201cleisure spending\u201d on vacations, shopping for Christmas and birthdays for children and grandchildren. Therefore, retirees must be extra vigilant when vacationing, including how and and where they should shop for gifts.\nThe number of older Americans that use the internet increases each year. In 2016, 59% of older Americans were using the internet, representing a 6% increase since 2012, according to a\u00a0report\u00a0issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Let\u2019s be clear, intelligent cyber criminals know are probably reading and researching ways to improve their chances of committing cyber theft.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nThere are a number of cyber-safety things that you should do to protect yourself and your money from people who have targeted retirees. For starters, you should always separate the lock from the key. For example, never use a password that is easy for someone to guess, such as your initials, the name of your pet, or simply the last four digits of your Social Security Number.\nDo not\u00a0make yourself an easy target for them!\u00a0Please do not\u00a0spend time and money to invest in a good cyber security system only to leave the back door unlocked and your front door opened by not choosing a username and password that is extremely difficult for someone to guess, or locate in your home or office?\nFor goodness sake, please don\u2019t store login credentials on your personal computer, laptops and mobile devices as they can be stolen, lost by you or hacked by some criminally minded computer nerd.\nDepending on how sensitive the data is that you need to protect, you may want to contact a Cyber Security company\u00a0to ensure that your data is secure. For example, if you communicate frequently by email, then a cyber security professional could provide you with an encrypted email solution.\nTherefore, whenever you send an email the contents (including any attachments) which are included with your email will only be accessible through an encrypted password.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers the following support for people who are the victims of a cyber crime. The following are a few resources and materials to help you stay cyber safe.\n\n\nProtect yourself, your family, and your devices with tips and resources from the\u00a0National Cyber Security Alliance.\n\n\nLearn about the common fraud schemes aimed at older Americans from the\u00a0Federal Bureau of Investigation\u00a0(FBI).\n\n\nInvest in a good cyber security system in order to avoid scams, protect your identity, and secure your computer with tips from the Federal Trade Commission\u2019s (FTC)\u00a0OnGuard Online.\n\n\nFile a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center\u00a0or your\u00a0State Attorney General\u2019s Office\u00a0if you are a victim of online crime.\n\n\nFollow ten simple, customized steps from the Federal Communications Commission\u2019s Smartphone Security Checker to secure your mobile phone. In addition, learn how to safely use public Wi-Fi networks and what steps to take if your phone is stolen.\nAccording to the FBI\u2019s Scams & Safety website, \u201cseniors are highly targeted by scammers of all kinds because they are widely expected to have their own house, and have excellent credit\u2026many were born in the 30s, 40s and 50s and were taught to be polite and trusting, hence scammers also expect older generations to be easier targets.\u201d\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nLet\u2019s discuss one of the most widely overlooked ways that retirees should protect themselves, by simply encrypting their email. Suppose you use Firefox as your internet browser, you can install the \u201cEncrypted Communications\u201d Add-on. Encrypted Communication provides a secure way to send messages by encrypting them before sending it.\nAnother helpful Firefox encryption tool is \u201cEncipher.it\u201c. Encipher.it allows you to bookmark code on your browser to encrypt email, as well as block text that you enter online. Once Enciper.it has been installed, it will ask you to enter an encryption key.\nIn addition, Google offers security tips for Gmail which can be found under \u201cGmail Help: Security & Privacy\u201d, or even simpler, just click here. Finally, since Microsoft Windows is still the most widely used operating system, you should know how to enable the device encryption option for your Microsoft operating system which you can learn more about here.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nYou should become something of a \u201cCyber Kung Fu Master\u201d when it comes to the security of your data.\nHave you received an annoying call from \u201cWindows Technical Support\u201d?\nPerhaps one of the more recent cyber frauds is the \u201cWindows Tech Support\u201d scam. These shameless fraudsters place phones calls around the clock claiming to be from \u201cWindows Technical Support\u201d, stating \u201cthere is a virus on your computer\u2026\u201d, which only they can help you remove but only after you allow them to access your computer remotely.\nThe long and short of this type of scam is that once you have given these cyber thieves remote access to your computer, they will either steal your data, encrypt your files which will prevent you from opening and accessing your own data, including installing some sort of vicious\u00a0malware on your computer.\nIn order to recover your computer, they will hold your PC hostage and demand payment from you which could cost anywhere from $300 to more than $1,000. This\u00a0is also known as a \u201cransomware scam.\u201d If you have fallen for this scam, it is best to contact a reputable company such as  SUPPORT.COM \u00a0to have them remove the ransomware from your computer, laptop or mobile device.\nAlthough it may not do much good (unless you are able to confirm the exact whereabouts of these cyber criminals) you should also contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint\u00a0Center and file a formal complaint.\nTherefore, DO NOT\u00a0give your credit card or bank account information to fraudulent companies like \u201cWindows Technical Support\u201d, because you most likely find multiple charges on your credit card account. Remember, taking the time to invest in a good cyber security system is the first step in this series: \u201c5 Ways that Retirees Should Protect Their Money During Retirement.\u201d\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nNot that we want to encourage being vindictive, but every now and then it seems fair that scammers like the \u201cWindows Technical Support\u201d folks should get a taste of their own medicine.\nFor laughs, here\u2019s a video where a \u201cWindows Tech Support\u201d cyber crook called the wrong guy, who appears to be somewhat of a tech geek himself. Let\u2019s just say that he enjoys frustrating cyber criminals to no end, as a way to discourage them from contacting Americans with their scams. When they contacted him in an attempt to run their fraudulent cyber scam, the hilarious \u201cCyber Kung Fu\u201d that follows is 15\u00a0minutes of poetic justice.\u00a0\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\n"},{"ID":13497,"post_title":"5 Ways Retirees Should Protect Their Money During Retirement","post_date":"2017-02-18T20:30:17","post_content":"5 Ways Retirees Should Protect Their Money During Retirement\nIn this series, about the 5 Ways Retirees Should Protect Their Money During Retirement, I have decided to focus on one topic per post because each of the five points that comprise this series requires considerable detail, including some research and analysis to make this 5-part post as meaningful to you, my readers as possible.\nRetirement is a celebrated event for obvious reasons. You have worked 30 to 40 years hopefully doing what you love and made a positive impact on society, within your church, community, and for the legacy and name of your family.\u00a0However, despite these noteworthy accomplishments, if you are not careful your \u201cgolden years\u201d might not be quite as golden as you have hoped.\nThere\u2019s almost nothing worse than finally arriving at your desired destination in life only to have the rug snatched from under you because of some mistakes that could have been avoided. That is what I am here to help you accomplish today\u2026before you retire. Or, if you are already retired, then I urge you to consider the first of \u20185 ways retirees should protect their money during retirement.\u2019 Truth is, you really do have a lot to lose, so let\u2019s not risk it!\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nHere is a brief summary of the 5 ways retirees should protect their money during retirement. Be Sure to Check Back In A Few Days For a More In Depth Review of Parts 1 through 5.\nPart 1 \u2013 Invest in a good cyber security system:\nCyber fraud is on the rise and retirees and the elderly are among the most vulnerable targets for cyber criminals. In many cases, being a victim of this type of crime can be avoided.\nLearn how to take measures to secure your personal data, such as sending secure emails with files that are encrypted when communicating with your financial advisor.\nPart 2 \u2013 Retirees Can Protect Their Money With Better Asset Allocation\nFinancial literacy is a challenge for many. While many retirees are familiar with investment vehicles such as mutual funds, stocks and conceptually speaking bonds, there are fewer who are able to explain how their portfolio is invested, what type of \u201casset classes\u201d their portfolio is comprised of and how the economy will impact their portfolios. In addition, I have found that a number of investors simply have the wrong notion in their minds about the pros and cons of investing in the stock market during a recession. An investment portfolio will fluctuate throughout the economic cycle (Peak, Recession, Trough Recovery Expansion and peak), therefore at\u00a0Wealthcare Financial Group, Inc. we place a premium on educating our clients about how the economy works.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nPart 3 \u2013 Buy Long Term Care Insurance (LTCi) Because If You Are Like Most People You Expect To Live Long:\nInnovations in medical science and biotechnology means that people are living longer. In fact, according to the National Institute on Aging\u2019s \u201cGlobal Health and Aging\u201d report, \u201cthe dramatic increase in average life expectancy during the 20th century ranks as one of society\u2019s greatest achievements.\nAlthough most babies born in 1900 did not live past age 50, life expectancy at birth now exceeds 83 years in Japan -the current leader- and is at least 81 years in several other countries.\u201d\u00a0What does this mean for someone who is retired? While it spells good news, the bad news is that living longer comes with a price tag and an expensive one at that. That \u201cprice tag\u201d is what we refer to as needing nursing care (i.e. Long Term Care), whether in-home care or a nursing home facility.\nThe average daily cost of Long Term Care in most states exceeds $200 per day, in today\u2019s dollars. Just image what the future inflation adjusted cost will be. LTCi is definitely a conversation that you want to have with your financial advisor.\u00a0Unless you have enough money saved to self-insure, a person who is retired can watch the value of their estate diminish considerably if they are uninsured and forced to spend their retirement savings to provide for their own nursing care needs, or the needs of an uninsured elderly parent.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nPart 4 \u2013 Don\u2019t Spend Your Retirement Money Frivolously:\nI cannot say enough about \u201cimpulse buying\u201d, especially for those who may suffer from an impulsive spending disorder. If you truly love your retirement, then don\u2019t jeopardize your quality of life in retirement by wasteful spending. One example that comes to mind is casinos because according to www.casinowatch.org, there are 1,511 casinos in the United States that rakes in $71.1 billion in annual revenues.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\nPart 5 \u2013 Planting A\u00a0Vegetable Garden Can Help Retirees Save Money\nYou can\u2019t enjoy your retirement that much if you are not in the best physical shape, right?\u00a0According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),\u00a0moderate-intensity level activity\u00a0for 2.5 hours each week can reduce the risk for obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer and premature death.\nThe CDC considers gardening a moderate-intensity level activity, and can help you to achieve that 2.5 hour goal each week.\u00a0So, perhaps now would be a good time for you to engage in an activity that requires you to kneel, squat, use your arms, shoulders, back and leg muscles more vigorously. Gardening is one of the best ways for retirees to gain exercise without having to spend money on a gym membership.\nIn addition to the benefit of just being able to enjoy the outdoors, the calm, some ambient noises and gain peace of mind as you feel the wind blowing, you can also save money by growing your own food.\u00a0Furthermore, how comfortable are you with the idea of pesticides, certain chemicals and \u201corgenetically engineered foods\u201d that have been genetically engineered in some laboratory? I\u2019ll pass! We want you to enjoy your retirement, therefore I hope you consider these suggestions.\n\n\n\n(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});\n\n"}]