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Investing is for Everyone

By
Jeff Motske, CFP®
March 12, 2019
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A generation or so ago, the path to financial freedom was pretty direct for most. You found a job and saved for a home and a rainy day. When it was time to retire, you collected from a pension and enjoyed your remaining twilight years. Over time, things have drifted away from womb-to-tomb employment and gotten a lot more complicated. Today’s Americans have to be much more proactive with their finances. In this day and age, saving isn’t enough. Make sure your money is working as hard as you work for it.

There are a lot of concerns for the future. Buying a home. Sending kids to college. Making sure that your current career will be around to see you to retirement. People are living longer, so their retirement money has to go farther. Many high costs associated with medical care aren’t covered by Medicare, such as many prescriptions and long-term care. Pensions are no longer viable option for most Americans, and Social Security, a program that was never intended to replace income, no longer provides the level of security people need for their future. There’s a lot to prepare for.

Due to these concerns on the path to financial independence, people need to be mindful of their money. Even the most conservative Americans need to do more than contribute to a standard savings account, which can’t keep up with the rate of inflation. Investing your money will grow it exponentially faster than simply saving due to the power of compound interest. Yet, preparing for the future can be very emotional work. Today’s retirement planning relies far more on the decisions made by an individual rather than a company or organization, which can be a lot of pressure. Fears of not having enough money, a very common concern, can cloud decisions and can prompt people to react rather than plan. This is why an objective third party is necessary. Financial advisors can see past the emotions and help you plan your path to your financial freedom.

In this day and age, there are real and unique concerns that can derail you from the path to your financial independence. Trilogy Financial is here to help you establish your goals and invest your money to help get you where you want to go. It is our mission to ensure that every American, from Main Street to Wall Street, has access to great planning and the tools to establish their financial independence.

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By
June Adams
December 20, 2021

TSA PreCheck Scams

 

TSA PreCheck is garnering a lot of interest, from both travelers and scammers alike. In addition to pocketing your renewal/application fee, these scammers take your personal information to sell on the dark web or create false identities that can be used illegally. TSA PreCheck scam emails are quite sophisticated, lacking many of the typical red flags such as misspellings, grammatical errors, and slightly-off-looking versions of TSA logos. We recommend that you continue to check the email address and web address of the sender, as well as how they’re asking for payment.

Always verify that the TSA PreCheck web and email address ends in ‘.gov’ – not ‘.com’, ‘.org’ or anything else. If they don’t, these are not official TSA PreCheck communications and you should not provide personal information or payment information. Additionally, don’t purchase or renew a TSA PreCheck membership by clicking on a link you were sent via an email. Instead, go directly to the TSA or Homeland Security website.

The other major red flag comes when it’s time to pay for your renewal or application fees. While there are multiple ways to make a payment for government services, scammers typically only give you the option of using PayPal. If you get an email and suspect it’s a scam, or end up clicking on a bad link yourself, TSA says to do the following:

  1. Report the fraud to your local Police Department.
  2. File a report with the Federal Trade Commission website.
  3. Contact your credit card company or bank and let them know about any fraudulent charges.

In the event that your credit card information ended up in the wrong hands, you will need to work through your bank or credit card company. TSA specifically states on its website that it “will not issue a reimbursement to applicants who attempt to enroll in TSA pre-check through a fraudulent website.”

By
David McDonough
September 23, 2019

People are living longer – that’s a fact. Unfortunately, all those additional years aren’t always spent in optimum health. With longevity comes the complicated question of how to pay for the necessary health care for those additional years. Costs for unexpected and long-term chronic care are rarely covered by Medicare. People are having to face these costs on their own. Thankfully, the right type of planning can make this task less daunting.

Long-term care can be an overwhelming topic. The statistics are sobering. 52% of people turning age 65 will need some type of long-term care services in their lifetimes, and 14% will need long-term care for longer than five years. With the median annual cost of adult day care averaging $18,200 and assisted living facilities at $45,000, the financial implications can be staggering. It can sound like a complicated topic, but the way to protect you really boils down to three options.

  • Self-insure: This is the option that many select by default because they don’t want to think about the possibility of illness creeping into their future. It’s a scary option, which they hope won’t happen to them. However, this option typically leaves them unprepared for the medical costs that eventually do occur.
  • Long-term Care Policy: This is a good form of financial protection as it covers your risk but won’t wreck your financial plan. However, the down side with such a policy is that if you don’t use it, you lose it.
  • Accelerated Benefit Riders (ABR’s): Lastly, you can invest in life insurance you don’t have to die to use. These riders in your insurance plan will allow you to receive your benefits prior to death due to terminal, chronic or critical illness. The ABR’s will cover your risk, and you’ll still receive the benefit if you don’t need to use it for long-term care purposes.

Now, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s always best to meet with your trusted financial advisor to find the right option for you. Just know that when you do take the time to plan ahead and find the right option for your particular situation, you’re not only providing for your future but also your peace of mind as well.

[i] https://www.morningstar.com/articles/879494/75-must-know-statistics-about-long-term-care-2018-edition

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

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