Last week the economist Richard Thaler won the Nobel Price in Economics for his work that explains that people behave irrationally. Well, duh, right? Anyone who has ever been to a frat party can tell you all about irrational behavior.
“Divorce is like death, but without life insurance!” As usual, our clients express their feelings more articulately than we ever could.
Here are our stories of Ethel and Desi – fictional composites of people who have faced divorce.
Back in the late 1960’s the Stanford psychologist, Walter Mischel, studied delayed gratification by placing a marshmallow before a child and offering them a choice: eat the marshmallow now or, if they wait a few minutes, get 2 marshmallows later. The original study found that children who were able to wait longer for their reward tended to have better life outcomes – educational attainment, better health statistics, etc. Suffer now, enjoy later. As a side note, although I am definitely a saver by nature, I wouldn’t wait 2 seconds to eat something chocolate placed before me.
There is a common narrative that savers will eventually reap great rewards by delaying gratification, but only after suffering first. In financial terms, one can eat their marshmallow only when they retire or reach financial freedom, but must drool until then.
There is, of course, a different way to view saving and accumulating wealth. I recently came across an advertisement from 1969 by the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of St. Petersburg. Florida, not Russia. I think it captures quite well the satisfaction and peace of mind one can enjoy NOW by saving and accumulating wealth. (I haven’t edited it, so replace their use of “man” with “person” in your mind while reading)
The transition from working and saving to retirement and withdrawing can be stressful if you’re not ready for it. Consider this: If you are fortunate enough to live to age 65, your life expectancy is about age 85. If you’re married, there’s a 45% chance one of you lives to 90. So, how do you generate income over the next 20-30 years while ensuring you don’t outlive your assets? Here are four tips:
It is far from uncommon for faculty to get a late start on their retirement saving. A Master’s program followed by a Doctoral program followed by a long and daunting dissertation process and then, maybe, even a post-doc somewhere. Finally, when you get that first teaching gig then the real work starts, right? The long and challenging process to earn tenure when the hours are long and the pay is not. As a result, when other 35-40 year-olds already have 10-15 years of saving for retirement under their belts, a university professor may only have a handful.
So, fast forward to 50 or 60, ages when we naturally start to think about retirement. Are you on track for retirement? Have you saved enough to sustain your current lifestyle through retirement? If not, what can be done now?
A woman stole my Social Security number but got bupkes for her trouble because I had frozen my credit. When I received a phone call from a Lexington Police detective a couple weeks ago telling me they were questioning someone who had obtained my Social Security number, along with several others, I told him I had frozen my credit and he immediately said, “You have nothing to worry about.” While it was disturbing to hear that someone could somehow steal my number, I have to say it was also quite satisfying to know I had shut her down faster than a church picnic with no potato salad.
A new federal law that goes into effect today, September 21, makes freezing your credit, thawing your credit and protecting the credit of your underage children easier and less expensive. Here are some steps to take to protect you and your family from identity theft:
Financial planning would be much simpler if our clients would tell us exactly how long they plan to live. Is that really too much to ask?
When to take Social Security is one of the key retirement planning decisions one must make and can be complicated, stressful and confusing. While each person’s decision will depend on their own, specific circumstances, here are 6 steps to consider when crunching those numbers.
As a Kentucky fan, think back to the end of last year’s Florida game and allow yourself to remember that feeling for a moment. That feeling of “what if” is what we’re trying to avoid in our investing. As a recap, we beat Florida like a rented mule through three quarters. Then, it happened. Florida scored not once, but twice, in the fourth quarter to erase a big lead. Two plays turned a 27-14 Kentucky lead into a 28-27 Kentucky loss. Not only did we lose the game but perhaps our best opportunity to beat the Gators in the last 31 years.
What does that have to do with investing? Always keep your focus on the wide receiver, I mean, your goals.
With football starting this week I thought I’d talk some defensive strategy. Namely, the prevent defense – pronounced, inexplicably, preee-vent. For those of you new to this, the prevent defense is often employed by teams with leads more than 3 points and less than 8 with just a few minutes to play. The theory is bend, but don’t break. More specifically, you put just 3 down lineman to pressure the Quarterback and 8 Defensive Backs to cover receivers and prevent a deep pass from reaching the end zone. The result is the offensive team often completes a flurry of passes for 10-15 yards, while burning valuable clock, but never reaches the end zone.
The new tax law (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) passed in December of 2017 marks the biggest overhaul in the tax code in many years. The impact of these changes is far reaching and will impact most of us in some way. As we are now over half-way through 2018, this is a good time to look at your tax situation in light of the new tax law and make any necessary adjustments prior to year-end.