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Can Life Insurance Help You Retire? Protecting You Beyond Market Risk

By
Gonzalo de Leon Plata
September 27, 2017
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When you put the words, “retirement,” “investments” and “risk” in the same sentence, most of us will automatically think about market risk, you know, the possibility for an investor to experience losses due to overall performance of financial markets1.  According to the 2014 Annual Retirement Confidence survey, 88% of retirees are worried about maintaining the same standard of living.  While Market Risk is a very real reason to worry, there are other risks that may throw a wrench into your financial plan. This time we will discuss the possible need for Advance medical care, how much it could cost, and how to be ready for it.

The Risk: There is a 50% chance that any of us will need some form of Advance Medical Care2.  In other words you or your spouse WILL need Advance Medical Care. The risks are so high and yet most investors don’t prepare of it.

The Cost: Know the potential damage. The numbers don’t lie. The average cost of long term care in the US for Nursing Home Care for a Semi -Private room is a whopping $225 per day3.  The average stay in a Nursing home is 892 days.  For easy math you are looking at a $200,000+ cost above and beyond your living expenses.

The Solution: Use small dollars to cover big expenses. Get life insurance with living benefits.

One solution that is becoming more and more popular is getting a life insurance plan that can be used to cover Advanced Medical Care. Some insurance companies offer something called Living Benefits Riders. These riders allow you to “advance” a portion of your death benefit if certain conditions are met, such as Terminal illness, problems with the Activities of Daily Living  and life threatening conditions.

Building a Financial Plan that can withstand the risks of life is complicated.  Make sure you hire a Financial Coach to help you prepare for the unknown. Thinking outside the box may be a way to protect your golden years.

[1] www.investopedia.com/terms/m/marketrisk.asp

[2] http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/learning-center/probability-long-term-care.php

[3] www.genworth.com/about-us/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html#

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By
Jeff Motske, CFP®
November 26, 2018

Money is a commonly held taboo topic, like politics and religion. We just don’t feel comfortable talking about them – especially to people we care about. That’s because these topics are tied closely to how we view ourselves. These topics also garner a lot of judgment, and the last thing we want is to be judged on something that we feel is intrinsically linked to our intelligence or sense of maturity. Yet, by practicing a few simple tips, we can start tackling the taboo topic of family finances and get on that path to financial independence.

Be Honest

It is human nature to want to hide things we may not be proud of or want to avoid. Perhaps you charged a bit too much to your credit cards or haven’t saved as much as you planned for all of your family’s goals. You may want to avoid addressing such issues, but those who are part of your financial household need to know the honest, unvarnished state of your finances. Trying to hide the facts will just compound your issues when they come to light – and they will.

Be Frequent

Don’t just talk about money when money is a problem. That’s when stress levels are high and emotions are frayed. What needs to be a level-headed discussion can quickly escalate into an emotional shouting match. Instead, conversations about finances should become routine. If you schedule a monthly financial date night with your spouse, the frequent exposure will minimize the surprise and anxiety from these talks. Ultimately, there will be fewer surprises and more planning to help when unexpected or hard decisions need to be made.

Be Open to Feedback

You and your spouse are a team. Teams succeed by working together towards the same goals. Teammates, though, don’t always see things the same way and may have different approaches to the same objective. That’s why it’s important to get your spouse’s input on how your finances are being managed. Not only does your spouse’s input ensure you’re working towards the same goals, but different perspectives can also provide multiple solutions to financial issues. Most importantly, your spouse feels heard and validated, which is a precious thing to give to the one you love.

Be Non-Judgmental

What causes many to shy away from discussing finances is the idea that they will be judged for things they did or did not do with their money. Did you mismanage your funds and refrain from saving sufficiently? Were you too risky with your investments or not risky enough to provide for the household? To avoid the judgment, most will just avoid talking about their finances all together, which doesn’t often have good outcomes. Avoidance doesn’t help financial situations – it often just prolongs the mess. To help your spouse open up, it is beneficial to allow them to speak openly and freely and to listen without judgment.

I do believe that it is imperative to take the taboo out of talking about money with your spouse. Both of you should foster frequent and honest financial discussions, free of strife and judgment. Doing these things will allow you to solidify yourselves as a strong financial team and set you on your path for collective financial independence.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

By
Mike Loo, MBA
August 10, 2018

As someone who works directly with clients on helping them with their financial plans and investment decisions, it wouldn’t be too far off to think that I might not do too bad on my own personal investments. Well, truth be told, I have indeed made some high-return investments over the years. The funny thing about that is when I think about “the best investments I ever made”, they are not stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, venture funds, or the like. The best investments that I have ever made came from investing in myself and/or my practice. The returns may be harder to quantify, but I would venture to guess that it has been exponential. Below are my top three “best investments I ever made”:

Going Back To School For An MBA

I’ve always been someone who wants to constantly improve, both as a person and as a professional. In an article that I had previously written, I discuss how an MBA prepared me for my career as a financial advisor. This was a both a huge gamble and a big-time winning investment for me, especially since I initially entered business school without a clear roadmap of where the advanced degree would take me. After going through the MBA program at USC’s Marshall School of Business, the greatest value I gained came from improving my qualitative skills, such as working with people, networking, effective communication, work ethic, and time management. While I already had these skills at a basic level, it wasn’t until after obtaining my MBA that I realized a deeper level of utilizing those qualitative skills in my career.

Hiring A Personal Trainer

Without our health, we will not be able to enjoy all of the great opportunities at our disposal today or in the future. Because of this fact, I strongly believe that hiring a personal trainer was one of my best investments. In this article, I draw several parallels between personal trainers and financial advisors, ultimately discussing the value that both can bring, respectively, to your health and finances.

Investing in my health by hiring a personal trainer is one of my best investments for several reasons:

Education

For most, it may not make sense to have a personal trainer for their entire life. However, the knowledge and education around the body, nutrition, exercises, etc. that you will gain from hiring a personal trainer will reap returns for the rest of your life. By being more aware and knowledgeable than you were before, you may miss out on potential future injuries or poor food choices that can lead to debilitating diseases.

Consistency

We are more likely to stick to certain regimens when we are simply told what to do. By being on a plan and schedule with my personal trainer, I did not have to worry about anything except for showing up and working hard. We were on a consistent regimen, and I saw results; in fact, I lost more than 15 pounds over the course of several months when I compared my heaviest to my lightest weight!

Decreased Future Medical Costs

By being consistently active and doing exercises that I would not normally do on my own, my personal trainer made sure that my comprehensive training program would benefit me in the realm of longevity. Because of that, I decrease my chances of needing to undergo major surgeries that someone who lives a sedentary life may have to undergo. This means less money spent on future medical needs and long-term care.

Spending Time To Imagine And Dream About The Future

Sometimes work, family, and social events take up all of our time. However, if we never stop and take time to plan, strategize, and dream, we will never accomplish our goals, let alone have something to work towards. While it may not seem like an investment, “spending time to imagine and dream about the future” may be the lowest-cost, highest-yielding investment there is.

In this article, I talk about planning ahead and setting financial goals. It is important to be proactive in planning for the future that you want. The key here is to write your goals down, break them into smaller goals, and find someone (or a community) that will hold you accountable. Your success lies heavily in setting “meaningful” goals. When you set goals that are meaningful, you will be much more likely to reach them.

For me personally, I’ve found that in those times that I dedicate to imagining and dreaming about the future, I’m able to create a reinvigorated excitement for what’s ahead. The return from spending time planning for your future should not be discounted. The yield is immeasurable, and all it costs is your time, creativity, and dedication.

The investments discussed above are not what you’d typically discuss with your financial advisor. However, I hope you were able to see how much of a return each of those items have provided me. With that said, if you are contemplating post-secondary education, different ways to invest in your health, how to map out your future goals, or anything else, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can always call my office at (949) 221-8105 x 2128, or email me at michael.loo@lpl.com.

Get Started on Your Financial Life Plan Today