News

2
Dec

Dare to Dream: Your Success Depends on It

Dreaming and goal setting are interrelated; first, you dream about what you want, then you determine how to obtain it. Our dreams should help guide us to make the right choices at the right time and in the proper manner. But merely dreaming about something is not enough; we must set goals to achieve it. In psychology, goal setting refers to a successful plan of action that we set for ourselves.

Psychologist Frank L. Smoll, a Ph.D. and working psychologist at the University of Washington, emphasized through his studies the three essential features of goal-setting, which he calls the A-B-Cs of goals. Smoll said that effective goals are:

A-Achievable

B-Believable

C-Committed

Others in the field of psychology have determined that goal-setting for productivity involves five criteria; it must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive. Whether your dream is buying a larger house, completing a degree, losing weight, or saving a specific amount for retirement, all of these criteria must be included in your planning to achieve success.

If dreaming and ‘goal-setting psychology’ sounds a lot like financial planning, it is. Financial plans develop with all of these productivity criteria in mind. Financial advice is then executed to help make a dream a reality. Achieving more significant goals, such as saving for retirement to live in retirement as one envisions, takes longer. Throughout a client’s life, they may change their retirement dream or adjust their goals to the evolving criteria.

Dreams are Like a Destination

Remember that dreams are like a destination- if you want to go somewhere, you need to visualize where you want to be, recognize where you are at now, and make a plan to get there. You must also stay motivated and keep dreaming! I can help you do all of this; all you need to do is ask.

Additional Disclosure: The newsletter and links are being provided as a service to you. Please note that the information and opinions included are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Planning services are generally available at additional cost and can only be offered only by appropriately licensed registered investment advisors.

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We specialize in providing strategies and guidance for those who are seeking a better lifestyle in retirement. At LKN Financial, we know that it is your retirement, and you should have control over it. We offer our experience and knowledge to help you design a custom strategy for financial independence. Contact us today to schedule an introductory meeting!

25
Nov

Today’s Pre-Retirees: Financial Planning with a Contingency Plan

Financial planning with a contingency plan is a requirement for all those who expect to retire at some point. The demographics of retirement and a ‘retired person’ is rapidly changing worldwide. Over the past 200 years, there have been remarkable changes in health and wealth around the globe. Now, there is a converging demographic between countries, thanks to world aid and trade, and technology. Human life expectancy is increasing; in just the United States, thirty years have been added to our life expectancy over the past 100 years.

Retirement is no longer viewed as winding down one’s life like it was in the 1950s. Today’s pre-retirees are making plans for their second phase of life. According to Age Wave, the nation’s foremost thought leader on issues relating to an aging population, today’s pre-retirees view retirement as an ‘Aspirational Life Stage’:

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18
Nov

World Trade: Is It Just Regulated Politics?

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade on a worldwide scale. It is a place for member countries to settle arguments and negotiate trade deals. But what happens when negotiations between two counties go awry, and tariffs continue to apply for long periods? The WTO can only intervene when its members create undesirable consequences for one another by disputing or blocking economic development and citizen’s well-being. 

This is important for all Americans, as the flow of trade domestically and abroad impacts the profitability and returns in our portfolios and personal savings. We continue to invest in global economies, even when world politics and trade disputes have far-reaching effects.

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11
Nov

Is Lowering Interest Rates Good for the Economy and the Markets?

In this article we look at the effect lowering interest rates can have on the economy and the markets. Interest rates can have a positive or a negative effect on the U.S. economy, the stock markets, and your investments. When The Fed changes the Federal Funds Rate (the rate at which banks can borrow money to lend to businesses or you), it creates a ripple effect

The raising and lowering of the Fed Funds Rate is the role the Fed plays in stimulating the economy. In theory, the lowering of interest rates should help boost the U.S. economy by encouraging borrowing and spending. Therefore consumers and businesses are more willing to make big purchases. Whereas higher interest rates slow down borrowing and restrict the flow of money into the economy.

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4
Nov

Social Security 2020: Increasing Taxes, Payments, and the Full Retirement Age

Social Security Retirement benefits are set to increase in 2020- a modest 1.6% increase for the average retired worker that adds an extra $24 per month to their retirement check. Retired couples will see their combined benefits grow to $40 per month. This cost of living (COLA) increase is one of the smallest over the past twenty years and will help offset 2020’s increasing Medicare Part B and Part D premiums.

The most significant changes happening to Social Security retirement in 2020 will be the increasing social security payroll taxes (FICA) for workers and the increasing age for full retirement benefits. Here’s what you need to know

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13
Aug

Back To School Financial Guide For 2019

Back To School Financial Guide For 2019

In a recent study conducted by the ‘National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics’, it was found that the average American family will spend just south of $700 for back-to-school costs in 2019. Is your child soon to be a college student? The same survey reported you should be ready to spend a little less than $1,000 alone for start-up school supplies. While this cost seems large, it’s just a part of your financial portfolio. Back-to-school time is not only a great time to plan a scholastic budget, but also reviewing and reassessing your financial plan. Below is your Official 2019 Back-To-School Financial Guide to make sure your student, and your financial goals, stay on track:

Create a Baseline Report

How has your year progressed in terms of finances? Have you met or succeeded in your goals? Developing a spreadsheet and comparing where you were at the beginning of the year to where you are now can help you asses how aligned you are with your financial goals. Building this report toward the latter of the year will also give you time to adjust your plan (if needed), throughout the remainder of 2019.

Rethink Insurance Needs

Life happens, which is why insurance was invented. Whether you want to provide for your family in case of an emergency or someone forgets to turn off the stove…again; insurance of all sorts can help cushion the blows to your wallet and financial well-being. However, just as life is always changing, so too are your insurance needs and costs. Once a year, you should reevaluate your insurance needs and coverage for any change. While you may not be able to change health insurance in the middle of the year, items like car and home can be changed with a little research and not much effort.

Develop or Update Your Budget

Regardless if you are married, single, with or without dependents, it is crucial to create and maintain a workable budget. Life changes on a regular basis and your budget must coincide with your current income, needs wants, and goals. Back-to-school time is an ideal time to revisit your budget. It’s a relatively slow time on the tail end of summer travels and on the steps leading up to the holiday season. Budgets should be regularly checked throughout the year and especially after any life changes like marriage, death, education, etc. 

Plan Out Taxes for 2019

Now is the best time to make sure you are receiving the most tax breaks you can on income for 2019. Items like 401(k), charitable contributions, and retirement contributions are all fantastic ways to reduce your tax liability. Consider boosting certain contributions to reduce what you’ll pay in taxes. While ‘tax season’ is still months away, it’s important to start looking at your 2019 year from a financial perspective and start looking out other ways to save on taxes before years end. 

Back-to-school season signifies the approach of cooler weather, the quick onset of school costs, and the ultimate approach of years end. Make sure you have a great start to 2020 and finish off 2019 by utilizing this guide when looking at the remainder of your financial year. Although these are good recommendations to start with, you should connect with a financial professional to see where you are on your financial journey and how these tips could benefit you.

We specialize in providing strategies and guidance for those who are seeking a better lifestyle in retirement. Whether you have a retirement nest egg of five million dollars or $50,000, we can help you make sure it works as hard and as smart as you did in earning and saving it. At LKN Financial, we know that it is your retirement, and you should have control over it. We offer our experience and knowledge to help you design a custom strategy for financial independence. Contact us today to schedule an introductory meeting!

Content derived from www.money.usnews.com and www.usatoday.com

Disclosure: This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial guidance. Before you make any decisions regarding your personal financial situation, you should consult a financial or tax professional to discuss your individual circumstances and objectives.

The post Back To School Financial Guide For 2019 appeared first on Adult Financial Education Services.

Provided by: Adult Financial Education

9
Jul

Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 3

Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 3

What does Summer remind you of? Maybe it’s the feeling of jumping into a cool pool after a day in the summer heat; or maybe it’s the sound of the ice cream truck as you are bolting out the door with whatever change you could get your hands on. From lazy days in air conditioning to random road trips and more; summer is full of memories, and more importantly, choices.

In Part 3 and the final installation of ‘SIZZLIN SUMMER SERIES’, we will go into the top 3 financial choices you should research before making a decision:

  1. 401(K) and 401(k) Roth:

Up until recent, most companies would only offer a traditional 401(k) to employees; however, a Roth 401(k) has become a regular option as well. The difference comes down to one simple, yet complex word: taxes. In short, a traditional 401(k) is taxed when you pull the money out when you retire. Opposite of traditional; a Roth 401(k) is taxed now, so you don’t have to pay Uncle Sam when you retire. So which one is best? It all depends on your tax bracket and current tax rate. For instance, tax rates are the lowest they have ever been in the last 100 years, so it would make sense to rollover to a Roth 401(k).

Key Point: A 401(k) is a vital part to any retirement portfolio. When looking at the 2 types, consider your current tax bracket, how your income will change in the coming years, and tax rate predictions.

  1. Variable Annuity and Fixed Index Annuity:

In short, an annuity is a fixed sum of money paid to someone, typically for the rest of their life on a annual basis. While guaranteed income is a great addition to any retirement plan, its crucial to know the two types of annuities and how they differ. A Fixed Index Annuity (FIA) typically provides a set amount of money annually in exchange for a lump purchase payment. An FIA is the safest annuity type as it is offers no market downturn and a guaranteed rate of interest. On the contrary, a Variable Annuity provides irregular payments based on investment funds designed by the insurance company. In addition, directly correlates with the market, so any downside in the market will reflect in a loss in return.

Key Point: An FIA is the most commonly used Annuity type and offers guaranteed upside potential with no downside risk. A Variable Annuity has the opportunity to earn much more return in less time than an FIA, but usually carries an aggressive risk.

  1. Risk and Reward

Learning to ride a bike and creating an investment strategy have one key trait in common, balance. Where as a bike requires hand eye coordination and practice, a proper investment portfolio requires constant attention and updates. This is because life is always changing, from career change, to starting a family, to new bills and more, finances need to say in tune with your current needs, wants, and goals. While someone who is younger with a time horizon of 5+ years may choose a riskier portfolio, another, older couple may choose a safer portfolio with little to no downside risk.

Key Point: A successful investment strategy does not require a balance beam or seesaw to work properly. What it does require is consistent checks and adjustments to make sure your portfolio is in the best spot for your current goals and financial situation.

A financial plan has a lot of moving parts and just like a car, requires upkeep and maintenance to keep things rolling smoothly. Regardless of where you are on your financial journey, chat with a financial professional today to see how you can achieve your retirement goals.

 

Content derived from www.schwab.com,  www.investopedia.com, and www.businessinsider.com

Disclosure: This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial guidance. Before you make any decisions regarding your personal financial situation, you should consult a financial or tax professional to discuss your individual circumstances and objectives.

 

The post Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 3 appeared first on Adult Financial Education Services.

Source: Adult Financial Education

Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 3

7
Jun

Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 2

Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 2

The official start of Summer – June 21st – is right around the corner. As we cruise into part two or our Sizzlin’ Summer Series, we will make a splash with the best cities to retire in 2019.

Get your Hawaiian shirts on, coolers filled, and beach towels ready, because here come the Top 4 Places To retire!

  1. Independence, Kentucky

Ranked the 31st safest city in the U.S., Independence, Kentucky offers everything you can expect from a larger city, with a quaint feeling of an upscale suburban atmosphere. Beyond its centralized location between two large metropolitan areas, Independence offers a mild climate with extremes of 20’s and 80’s and a vast landscape of trees and greenery. Top it off with Kentucky’s retirement-friendly tax structure that does not tax Social Security benefits and has little to no tax impact on other retirement income sources, you can see why this was one of the top places to retire in 2019.

  1. Little Elm, Texas,

The first thing to note about Little Elm, Texas is there is nothing little about this city bustling with activities and sites to see.  This 22nd safest city in the nation – according to RetirementLiving.com, a retirement news source – surrounds 29,000 acres of the well-known Lewisville Lake and offers a lush landscape. For those who enjoy weather that never goes below freezing and sees the highest temperatures in the 90’s, Little Elm is a fantastic retirement option. Throw in no tax on social security, retirement income or state income tax, and things are looking even better. Did we mention the nationally ranked UT Southwestern Medical Center is minutes away in Dallas?

  1. Iowa City, Iowa

Coming in at the #1 on Milken Institutes list of best cities for successful aging, Iowa City, Iowa has a lot of offer exploring retirement options. Out of the total population of 158,370, roughly 11% make of the 65 and older demographic. This along with a low unemployment rate and strong small business growth make Iowa City a top choice when retiring in the U.S. Milken Institute also ranks Iowa City #1 in healthcare for small cities. Whether you want to be within walking distance to downtown or enjoy small town living, Iowa City is a great place to discover.

  1. Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

Coming in last but certainly not least, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania is positioned on the Blue and Red Lines of the Pittsburgh Port Authority; allowing easy access to South Park and Pittsburgh without the need to drive. In addition to having UPMC Hospital- ranked #11 in geriatric care in the U.S. – within easy access to the transit system, Bethel Park also offers retirees no Social Security Benefits tax and a few options for property tax rebates. And for those who like being minutes away from outdoor activities, Bethel Park contains a 2,013 acre section of South Park, bustling with community events, Golf, ice-rink, hiking trails, historic buildings and more.

Whether you are nearing retirement or still in the planning stages, there is a plethora of places in the United States that offer great opportunities when considering retirement. Next time we will take a dip into the final installment of our Summer Series! Tune in Next Month to see how we’re keeping your summer sizzlin’ and cool!

 

Content derived from www.retirementliving.com

Disclosure: This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial guidance. Before you make any decisions regarding your personal financial situation, you should consult a financial or tax professional to discuss your individual circumstances and objectives.

The post Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 2 appeared first on Adult Financial Education Services.

Source: Adult Financial Education

Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 2

13
May

Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 1

Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 1

This last Winter was one for the books. With record snowfall, rain, and cold temperatures, it’s safe to say that most of us are ready for warmer weather. What better way to celebrate the onset of sunshine and warm temps than with a three-part newsletter series to help you enjoy Summer!

In this month’s newsletter, we will dive into the top 3 places to travel, based on the Summer months:

May Travel:

  1. Asheville, North Carolina: While the rest of the South will be climbing into high heat and humidity, Asheville will offer nothing but crisp fresh air and endless outdoor activities. Burrowed in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a must-visit destination for music, beer and nature lovers.
  2. Cusco, Peru: For those seeking something different, the former capital of the Incan Empire, Cusco, has your name written all over it. Considered the best time to Visit, May is a fantastic month to explore breathtaking views and discover ancient remains, thousands of miles away from home.
  3. Bali, Indonesia: Another great international destination, Bali is known for its scenic views and tranquil country side. Traveling here in May will not only give you an experience you won’t find anywhere else, but 12 hours of gorgeous sunlight.

June Travel:

  1. Anchorage, Alaska: Some people love the cold, which is why Anchorage is on our list of places to visit this Summer. Specifically, in June, the Summer Solstice occurs which is one of the largest celebrations during the year, full of music, food, and unique entertainment. Expect temperatures in the 50-60’s and what seems like endless sunlight to enjoy.
  2. Dubrovnik, Croatia: With crystal clear water and endless enchanting limestone sidewalks. Dubrovnik is the relaxing getaway you’ve been looking for. Whether I’ts exploring or lounging that catches your interest, you will find nothing but enjoyment here.
  3. Reykjavik, Iceland: Love the sun? Do you dread when evening comes? Then this is the vacation spot for you. Travel during June and expect close to 24 hours of gorgeous sunlight, and more importantly, weather. Regardless of time or activity, you will find it here.

July Travel:

  1. Bristol, Rhode Island: Got any plans for the 4th of July? If not, check out Bristol for the historic and longest-running Independence Day Celebration. Since 1785, this celebration has gotten so big, a month can’t contain the festivities, which now begin mid-June. For all you history buffs, this is the place for you.
  2. Boquete, Panama: Calling all Adventurers! Boquete is a paradise ready to be experienced by you. Hidden in Panama’s green highlands, this haven is popular for hiking, mountain climbing, zip lining, and more adrenaline pumping activities.
  3. Athens, Greece: We couldn’t end this list without mentioning one of the most Iconic and well know travel destinations, Athens. Filled with a plethora of things to do and must-see wonders of the world, this is our #1 recommended place to explore this summer.

Make the most of your Summer months by discovering one the amazing destinations listed above; or blaze your own trail and let us know where you went! Tune in next Month for PART 2 of ‘Sizzlin’ Summer Series’, where we will dive in the best places to retire in 2019!

 

Content derived from www.businessinsider.com

Disclosure: This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial guidance. Before you make any decisions regarding your personal financial situation, you should consult a financial or tax professional to discuss your individual circumstances and objectives.

The post Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 1 appeared first on Adult Financial Education Services.

Source: Adult Financial Education

Sizzlin’ Summer Series: PART 1

10
Apr

April is Financial Literacy Month

April is Financial Literacy Month

Do you consider yourself financially literate? According to a study by S&P Global, 57% of American adults are financially literate, ranking the U.S. 14th in the world. As a way to increase financial understanding, April is considered Financially Literacy month!

Whether you’re a financial guru or consider yourself a newbie, here’s 3 ways to make a difference in your finances this April!

  1. Pick & Learn: Always wanted to understand how taxes work? Now’s the time to do so! Pick a financial topic and learn as much as you can about it for the month of April! If taxes aren’t your thing, pick another topic such as mortgage, investing, annuities, and the list goes on. While you most likely won’t be an expert, you can feel more confident on your next financial decision!
  2. See Where You Stand: A lot can change in a year, from a new car payment to moving across the country, April is a great time to see how your unique circumstances have changed. Determine where you stand and see if you need to pivot your finances to better support your journey.
  3. Create Long-Term Financial Plan: While planning year-to-year when looking at finances is good, creating a long-term financial goal is great. Determine major financial goals such as purchasing a home, assign a cost, and develop a time horizon. Beyond financial goals, look at investments and portfolio volatilities to make sure they coincide with your current and future financial goals.

Financial Literacy Month is a great excuse to take extra time on finances and make sure you are on the right track toward your retirement and lifestyle goals. While these tips are a great start to any planning, speaking with a financial professional will help you get a better understanding of your unique circumstances and what is best for your goals.

Content derived from www.investors.com, www.autopayplus.com , and www.money.usnews.com

Disclosure: This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial guidance. Before you make any decisions regarding your personal financial situation, you should consult a financial or tax professional to discuss your individual circumstances and objectives.

The post April is Financial Literacy Month appeared first on Adult Financial Education Services.

Source: Adult Financial Education

April is Financial Literacy Month