Archive for the ‘Retiring’ Category

Back to School for Small Businesses

Posted on September 22nd, 2014 in Retiring by

tipsWith school back in session, now is a fantastic time for business owners to review some year-end “big-picture” strategies to help finish this year strong and also carry that momentum beyond December 31st.

Financially speaking, here are 5 tips to consider:

One: Review and inventory where your money is currently held.  Life is constantly changing and so too can your needs.  Review that account for the fees and confirm the transactions of what’s been added or withdrawn.  Is the account still the best fit now from when you first opened it?

Two: Evaluate your cash inflow and cash outflow.  Does this year look similar or different from last year?  Can you plan to take any expenses before year-end?  Make a household budget and also one for the business, and establish some goals.  Successful businesses are always looking for ways to improve, be it expenses or revenues.

nest eggThree:  Are you planning for your retirement?  Identity what your goals now and for the future.  Do you know what you will need for income when you retire or sell your business?  As business owners and life-long learners, we strive to protect ourselves with the goal of growing an asset that will generate future income which our family will someday depend upon.

Four:  Use your “back- to-school” energy and strengthen your networks.   Our kids reconnect with their friends, and we also might consider reconnecting with our community personally and professionally.  Set your goals for working your “center of influences.”  If you give or receive business referrals from a particular client or industry, dedicate some time to nurture those relationships.  Break bread together and meet over a meal.  The more you learn of others’ businesses the more you can glean insight into your own.

Five:  Plan for your next break.  This can be a very counterintuitive suggestion.  In many businesses, if “I’m out of the office, I won’t make a paycheck.”  While this may be true in a literal sense, consider the value of taking necessary breaks, refocusing, and recharging.  You may find that this process may pay dividends down the line.

Plan smart with a “back-to-school” attitude so you can dream big!

We’re there when life happens, how can we assist you today?

Best Regards,

Kristi

The material contained herein has been prepared from sources and data we believe to be reliable but make no guarantees as to its accuracy or completeness. This material is published solely for informational purposes and is not an offer to buy or sell a security or investment product. Opinions and estimates are of a certain date and subject to change without notice.

Kristi Schaeffer Kleutsch, Vice President and Financial Advisor with The Schaeffer Group, LLC, works with a team of Advisors in providing financial solutions for her clients. Kristi and her husband reside in Kenosha with their three active children. She is active with the kids’ organizations, community and her church, while enjoying concerts and cooking. Please reach Kristi for a confidential financial review at 262-551-8900 or Kristi@TheSchaefferGroupLLC.com.

The Power of Standing Your Ground on Your Investments

Posted on June 24th, 2014 in Retiring by

SSchaeffer 14061711330The target is 8 feet high and 24 feet wide. As the kicker hurls the ball at speeds near 125 miles per hour, the sole defender has about a quarter of a second to react – and to get it right! I’m talking about the penalty kick. With the World Cup in the spotlight this month, let’s spend a few minutes and talk about SOCCER!

Most of us actually have a lot in common with soccer goalies. During penalty kicks, goalkeepers almost always choose their action before they can clearly observe the direction of the kick (see photo). You can plainly see that the goalie has already decided to move to his right – even before the ball is kicked.

Has there ever been a time when the markets were SO volatile that you’ve decided to take action on your investments – to do something – anything – with your investments?

An *analysis of 286 penalty kicks in the top leagues and championships worldwide shows that the overwhelming choice (94% of the time) is to move – either to the left or right. When the goalkeeper guesses the correct direction, they save 25-30% of the shots.

Yet 30% of the shots are kicked at the center of the goal, where, if keepers do not move, they save 60% of the shots directed there. We could logically conclude that the optimal strategy would be for goalkeepers to remain in the goal’s center.

How often do you suppose the goalkeeper stays his ground? Goalies held their ground only 6% of the time – yes, SIX percent! Wondering why they do that? According to researchers in this analysis, the reason relates to the fact that a goal scored produces worse feelings for the goalkeeper following inaction (staying in the center) than following action (jumping left or right). In other words, if you don’t make the save, at least you tried, and you feel better for having acted. Which leads us to a bias for action.

shutterstock_196096955Goalkeeper behavior reveals a widespread human tendency: a predisposition to act when facing stressful or dangerous situations, including the possibility of loss.

As investors, we go into “fight or flight” mode where flight means taking our money out of the market. It’s our instinct to hold onto or protect what we have because, for early humans, holding onto one’s assets was a matter of life and death.

Our compulsion to act, coupled with a fear of loss, can really trip us up – especially during periods of challenging investment times. Perhaps we can help…

When you feel compelled to move, why don’t you call us? Let us help you analyze your situation so that you can make an informed decision based on needs – not feelings. Sometimes it’s more powerful to just stand your ground.

Best Regards,

Ed Burnett

The material contained herein has been prepared from sources and data we believe to be reliable but make no guarantees as to its accuracy or completeness. This material is published solely for informational purposes and is not an offer to buy or sell a security or investment product. Opinions and estimates are of a certain date and subject to change without notice.

Ed Burnett is a Registered Representative with The Schaeffer Group, LLC, where he implements a team approach to provide financial solutions for his clients. A life-long resident of Southeast WI, Ed is married with three terrific kids, is active in his church and community, and enjoys woodworking and running. Please contact Ed for a free financial consultation at 262-551-8900 or Ed@TheSchaefferGroupLLC.com

Be Cautious on Common 401(k) Mistakes

Posted on May 28th, 2014 in Retiring by

retirement-401k-schaefferFor many of you, the biggest pot of money you have invested is your 401(k). This News & Insights article is intended to help you think about your retirement accounts, and some common pitfalls to avoid.

If you found a $100 bill on the sidewalk, would you just pass it by? No way! You would pick it up! Well, that’s exactly what you’re doing if you passing up a matching 401(k). While a matching 401(k) plan is becoming less and less common, there are still many employers offering a match, and if you don’t participate in the match, you’re leaving FREE money on the table!

One of the first questions (and perhaps the most important question) you need to ask your company benefits person is “How much is the match, and how much do I need to contribute to maximize the match?” With the answer to that powerful question, you may be able to get a raise without asking for it!

Another question to find out… “What are the available investment choices?” Now that you are contributing and getting the match, where do you invest? Some 401(k) plans have dozens of choices, and others just a few. In either case, it is important to make your investment choices based on how much time you have and your appetite for risk. There are some other factors to consider as well, and these factors may change When Life Happens.

Benjamin-black-eye-SchaefferSpeaking of life changing events, what about forgotten plans? Many people change jobs over the span of their working years. What happened to that “old” 401(k) – who’s watching over that plan? Have you moved since you changed jobs? Did you let your old company know of your move? If they can’t find you, then you may no longer be receiving that statement. Don’t forget your retirement accounts or pension plan assets from previous employers.

If you’re living well within your means, then you may be able to fund your account to the limit. In some years these limits periodically adjust, and current limits are $18,000 per year and if you’re age 50 or older, the maximum is $24,000. You’ll want to confirm these limits with your company benefits department for your specific situation.

With all of these details in mind, if there is anyone that you care about, that could benefit from a second pair of eyes, we would be glad to help them.

Best Regards,

Ed Burnett

The material contained herein has been prepared from sources and data we believe to be reliable but make no guarantees as to its accuracy or completeness. This material is published solely for informational purposes and is not an offer to buy or sell a security or investment product. Opinions and estimates are of a certain date and subject to change without notice.

Ed Burnett is a Registered Representative with The Schaeffer Group, LLC, where he implements a team approach to provide financial solutions for his clients. A life-long resident of Southeast WI, Ed is married with three terrific kids, is active in his church and community, and enjoys woodworking and running. Please contact Ed for a free financial consultation at 262-551-8900 or Ed@TheSchaefferGroupLLC.com

So, you earned a raise. Now what?

Posted on May 12th, 2014 in Retiring by

Thanks A MillionCongratulations if this question speaks directly to you.  There are in fact people out there in the world that are currently earning raises.  The times of pay freezes in some industries seems to be slowing. After you have earned a raise, you may ask yourself: What should I do now with the extra money?  This speaks to financial literacy and the trend that people are embracing financial responsibility.

Perhaps the natural tendency for us when we receive a raise, is to celebrate, and spend this extra income on luxuries, a car or things for the house.  But in fact, the first thing to do is actually calculate the increase to know what you’re working with. Often people don’t take the next step of understanding the difference between your gross income, versus net income which is your take home amount.

Did you know that the general rule of thumb when you receive a raise is to save half and then put the remaining half towards reducing debt, if applicable?  By saving half, I’d recommend first looking at your emergency fund to have some available dollars accessible to handle unexpected dilemmas. This is the buffer and support you need when life happens to throw you a curve ball.

manwithplansThen it’s wise to move on to your pre-tax salary deferral plan that is available whether that is your 401k, 403b or company retirement plan. How much do you currently contribute to this account? If you’re able to contribute even 1% more, there are advantages. These pre-tax advantages need to be analyzed before you decide to apply your entire raise toward debt.  Reason being is the pre-tax savings could save you the equivalent of your income tax bracket, perhaps even 25%, whereas your credit could be at 12%.  As your budget allows, an overall goal is to work toward saving a minimum of 10% of your income and funding your pre-tax plan to the maximum.  Each company plan has different maximum IRS and plan funding limit.  This is not the same thing as the amount your employer is matching.  Employees often think they are funding the maximum, while we later discover they are funding the maximum their employer is matching; for example 5% or 6% so that’s a big difference versus $17,500, or $23,000 if you’re 50 or older.

If you’re working on reducing a substantial amount of debt the natural first inclination is to apply most money from your budget to that.  While it is true getting organized and creating a strategy to tackle debt is the priority, it will also be important to take the next step and rank the debt versus the advantage of putting more into your retirement account.

By having a game-plan and organizing your finances, when changes happen in your life, you’ll be equipped to address new opportunities and address financial concerns more quickly. You will have provided yourself with the framework to handle most unexpected events. Though it may not be fun to put the most you can into a pre-tax savings plan, if you’re used to living on your current budget it will be to your advantage to most efficiently account for increased take home money.  By deferring it immediately you won’t miss it and you’ll do yourself a huge service over time by accumulating investment potential, tax advantages as well as future income availability.  That could be the key to perhaps allow you an earlier retirement, stronger cash flow of future income and stability near the bridge of retirement.

Please call Ed or me if we can assist you or someone you know!

Best Regards,

Kristi

The material contained herein has been prepared from sources and data we believe to be reliable but make no guarantees as to its accuracy or completeness. This material is published solely for informational purposes and is not an offer to buy or sell a security or investment product. Opinions and estimates are of a certain date and subject to change without notice.

Kristi Schaeffer Kleutsch, Vice President and Financial Advisor with The Schaeffer Group, LLC, works with a team of Advisors in providing financial solutions for her clients. Kristi and her husband reside in Kenosha with their three active children. She is active with the kids’ organizations, community and her church, while enjoying concerts and cooking. Please reach Kristi for a confidential financial review at 262-551-8900 or Kristi@TheSchaefferGroupLLC.com.