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The Gassman View and You

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Understanding Frailty Risk & Its Impact On Retirement Planning

Aging gracefully is a nearly universal goal. Continuing to enjoy life, having a low risk of disease or disability, and maintaining a high level of physical activity and mental acuity are the hallmarks of successful aging. The process of aging, however, impacts people differently, and leaves a significant portion of older adults vulnerable to deteriorating physical or mental health, rendering some unable to continue to manage their personal and financial affairs. In some unfortunate cases, this can lead to elder abuse. While unpleasant to contemplate, one-third of those ages sixty five or older suffer some degree of frailty and these risks increase with age. The good news is that many of the risks associated with aging can be addressed with good planning.

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Being Retirement Ready

Retirement planning is a topic that is often addressed in a strictly numerical context. A certain amount of assets must be accumulated and these assets are then turned into income that, hopefully, will last through the remainder of your lifetime. Sound familiar? While this can be a useful framework for conceptual purposes, it fails to address many of the non-financial intricacies, human emotions and behaviors that can have a huge impact on retirement readiness.

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Ready to Retire? How to Properly Frame the Investment Allocation Conversation

Young investors are often told to embrace risk in their portfolios. The ups and downs of the markets are an ally in the pursuit of long-term growth, and losses only matter when they’re realized. Rarely is this common and often correct advice applied to investors that are nearing retirement. But indeed it should. Not because sixty is the new forty, but because investment allocation decisions should be based on when the invested funds will be needed, not on how old you happen to be.

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Retirement Income Planning: a practical framework for approaching retirement

People face many questions as they transition from work to retirement, but perhaps none more daunting than how to provide a reliable income stream without running out of money. While accumulating assets is a necessary part of retirement planning, at most levels of wealth, it is not sufficient to ensure a worry-free retirement. A strategy is needed to coordinate these assets with other sources of retirement income, such as pensions and Social Security, to provide a reliable stream of income that is adequate to sustain a desired standard of living, while at the same time preparing for the uncertainties that life will invariably throw their way. No small task, but one that a thoughtfully-designed retirement income plan can help address.

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How Planning for a Long Life Impacts your Retirement Income

Retirement planning involves a delicate balance between adequately planning for a long retirement and maximizing the enjoyment of the money you’ve worked hard to accumulate. In most cases, a retirement that lasts 35 years will require far more financial resources than will one that lasts 20 or 25 years. What is more, the final years of retirement may be the most expensive, as costs associated with chronic or end-of- life care come due. Advances in medical technology have extended life expectancy for many, but certainly not all, demographics. Longevity is a critical consideration of retirement planning, but so too is recognizing that living to an advanced age demands more retirement savings or a lower lifetime income, and whether this is justified based on your current health, lifestyle and family history.

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Yielding Results: a framework for managing your short-term asset allocation

The development of an appropriate short-term asset allocation is an often overlooked but important aspect of financial planning and should be addressed as part of a comprehensive savings strategy. Maintaining adequate savings allows you to recover from temporary setbacks, such as a job loss, and pay for unexpected expenses without dipping into retirement savings or testing the upper limits of your credit card. A linchpin of financial stability, a thoughtful short-term asset allocation provides the security needed to optimize your long-term planning objectives.

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Asset Classes & Why They Matter

Investors are often told to diversify their portfolios using different categories of investments to achieve this objective. And while the concept of diversification can be explained in terms that are easy to understand- don’t put all of your eggs in one basket- how to structure a portfolio of multiple assets with different risk and return characteristics can be confusing. To demystify this medley of investments, take some time to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the five most commonly utilized asset classes. Understanding how each one works in isolation can help you to create a portfolio that behaves like a symphony, and not a garage band.

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Navigating the long-term care planning labyrinth

No one wants to think that they or someone they love will need long-term care services, but with the population of older Americans set to rapidly expand it is a reality that is difficult to ignore. A recent episode of the television news program 60 Minutes followed the progression of an Alzheimer’s disease patient, Carol Daly, and her husband Mike. Carol’s progressive deterioration and the physical and emotional toll that the disease takes on her caregiver husband are heartbreaking and serve as a poignant reminder of the need to plan for a long-term care event.

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A day in the life: how thinking about retirement today can help you down the road

Imagine that you’re playing a game of Charades and you’ve been assigned the task of communicating the process of retirement planning using only a series of gestures. Do you reach for your imaginary calculator and frantically punch numbers into thin air while transmuting the imaginary results onto your imaginary blackboard? Recognizing what a lousy hand that you’ve been dealt, do you secretly wish that you’d have drawn the stroke-victim card instead?

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