When my husband Dave retired from GE last summer (although he’s hardly kicking back), we faced a number of important decisions, not the least of which was what to do with his pension. Even with my financial credentials, we decided to call in a specialist to help us weigh the choices and considerations. We turned to Mark Maurer, CFP® and his firm Low Load Insurance Services.As it turned out, all...

Part II: The 403(b) Plan: Pocket Change or Life’s Savings? As touched on in Part 1 of our two-part series on 403(b) plans, “A Call for 403(b) Plan “Higher Education,” it was initially assumed that the 403(b) would serve as a supplement – not a replacement – for participants’ traditional pension plan benefits. This may have made sense in the 1950's when the 403(b) plan was introduced and pension plans ruled...

Part I: A Call for 403(b) Plan “Higher Education” When seeking financial advice for managing your retirement plan assets, it seems the 401(k) receives a lot more press than the similar, but different 403(b) plans used by government and tax-exempt groups such as schools, hospitals and churches. Some sound advice does cover all retirement plan ground – and all investing, for that matter. But if anyone in your family participates in...

Part III: Additional Notes on Financial Harmony In Part I of our three-part series on managing held-away accounts, we described the important role retirement plans play in your life, as they are often among the biggest building blocks in your household wealth. In Part II, we described an investment strategy for managing them effectively within your family’s overall game plan. Today, we’ll wrap our series with some of the additional advantages...

Part II: From Hodge-Podge Investing to Financial Harmony In our last blog post, we introduced the concept of organizing the building blocks of your household assets under the unified oversight of a financial professional. These include your primary investment portfolio as well as held-away accounts such as retirement plans or unmanaged annuities. Today, we’ll dig deeper into how coordinated oversight can be expected to enhance your investment Harmonious Versus Piecemeal Investing:...

Part I: Building Blocks for Your Life’s Goals Building your dream home involves countless moving parts: architectural blueprints, plumbing and electric, interior design, landscaping, city permits and more. Few would face such a daunting task without an experienced general contractor to ensure that each piece has been individually addressed as well as properly fitted into the whole. And yet, when it comes to their money, most families wind up with a hodge-podge...

Depending on your unique risk tolerances and financial goals, there are times it can make sense to allocate a percentage of your portfolio to real estate investments. But there’s real estate, and then there’s real estate. Do the homes you live in count as investments? Let’s take a closer look. The Role of Real Estate in Your Portfolio Why would you invest in real estate to begin with? As Forbes contributor Frank...

As Valentine’s Day nears, it seems like as good a time as any to cover the frequently asked question about whether gold has an appropriate place in your investment portfolio. We’ve got nothing against your considering the tasteful gift of gold for your sweetheart this time of year, but when it comes to your or your loved ones’ life savings, we advise you to avoid all that glitters. In his article,...

A recent question from one of our clients struck me as excellent inspiration for a blog post of wider appeal. It went something like this: “My son is now 18 and tells me he wants to invest in stocks, or mutual funds, what do I think, etc. He has $1,700, so not really enough to shake the markets, but I am happy he is developing an interest. Before I respond to...

Raise your hand if you’ve had multiple careers. Or does yours more closely resemble Alfred Feld’s? He joined Goldman Sachs in 1933 and remained there for 80 YEARS(!), until he passed away at age 98 last fall. Whenever he was asked about his longevity, he is reported to have replied, “I’m just lucky.” While all of us at SageBroadview come to financial life planning via more circuitous routes, we have...