Vince, a former Certified Financial Planner of over 25 years as he is active brokering, managing and investing in residential and commercial real estate and well as advising clients on business valuations and commercial brokers professional opinions of values. Vince teaches business, investments, and real estate courses as well as advising individuals and businesses on Real Estate, Retirement and Education Planning, Traditional Fixed Annuities, Life Insurance, Long Term and Elder Care planing, as well as Budget Control/Debt Management.
What I've learned the past 35 years? Average Joe is not being served by many laws that make you feel you are being protected from predators. Too many laws to police with too little state and federal enforcement. Remember what happened 2007-2012 should wake you up. However, the public has about about a 3 year memory. What was the number one stock in last year? Who won the Super Bowl 3 years ago and who was the coach? How much did you spend 2 years ago? BIG government is not protecting you. We are helping the poor, yet many families are now 4th generation "poor" so we are creating more poor. You're still investing and saving WITH the firms that were the center of the scams that put people down. I think It's time to wake up and become more self sufficient. Get great advice!
MONEY MANAGEMENT AND RETIREES: It has been said that besides our health issues the number one worry is to outlive your money. Even tougher is caring for one's savings well into retirement by family members that have neither time nor experience. How old will will live to be 75, 90, 100? Add to that mix we have been retiring younger and we are truly living longer. "We" as a society have been poor at money management during our working years. Do you think this is like "wince" and it gets better as we get older? No, it does not work that way, we all need help for many things at many stages in out lives. Money management is crucial. Trusts are an excellent tool to protect those assets and manage them long term. You need a map for vacation, draw it out and make a plan and work it out.
Protect yourself first and get excellent advice. Beware of those that are "licensed" with little education in the field beyond passing a test. Beware if they promote their BIG national OLD firm they are tied to. That means those firms devoured all those competitors along the way and they are too big for you to fight when you have a problem. Please do NOT be fooled into thinking your 401K or 403B have little fees and have "free" this or that. They don't!
SOME RECENT EXAMPLES:
A couple sold their home in less than 6 hours that was listed with THEIR Broker! The client is is owed a fiduciary responsibility. Home sales often take about 60-90 days or the price may be wrong ... faster moving markets are hard to judge both up and down!. Possession was DAY of closing with NO rent back deal agreed on nor offered! So, they were moving out that same day they closed and ... no place to live with their 4 kids! They were not served by their agent.
Another couple asked me advice on an offer they had on an unlisted investment home that came to them unsolicited. This one page "Purchase Agreement" did not even meet the basic tests that define a contract. There was not even a deposit made plus the offer came from an LLC that did not exist. They moved forward anyway (why did they come to see me...?)... they ended up in court.
EQUITY INDEX ANNUITIES: ask the agent to explain each and every option to your satisfaction and prove PAST results. Even skilled agents with years of service have trouble understanding all the "bells and whistles" they now have. They CAN be a great vehicle for those that are VERY conservative with their money but want to also "bet" on the stock market and do not look at it for the minimum penalty years, usually 5-10. Get an excellent agent and just know what you are getting into and you will be happy.
LIFE insurance to BUILD cash for your retirement, really? I know of not one person in 35 years who is living off of savings INSIDE a policy that was not later invested and THEN moved INTO another product to make it work as a retirement plan. Now, maybe those that got the cash AFTER death live on the money. The policy itself is TO have funds available to others after a breadwinners death, not a golden parachute. They are that simple but the designs go all over the street. In England where they were first crafted they were called "Death" policies. Folks, that IS what they were and still that is what they are. That name was not a big seller by the way. How much do you need? That depends on your age, how many years left to work, how many dependents you have and the age of the youngest. One rule of thumb is 5-10 times your gross income. However, that is only ONE method ... rules of thumb often break thumbs!
Financially, why are some of the biggest insurance firms leaving this part of their business behind?
Education Funding? Well what does that mean? You need start the month the kids are born and for every month you delay you need fund that in reverse. BORROWING is no way to fund the future and payback is hell! POST high school education might mean a 4 month certificate, possible a 2 year Associates, an Apprenticeship, and often over priced over promised 4-6 year university degree. Community Colleges have even fallen into the over promised over priced range with misleading courses that lead nowhere to touting lower tuition as they compare themselves to full blown universities. Apples to apples comparison is never used. How many people do you know they or their kids started college, borrowed money, never finished, and ow have the debt? Great deal that post high school deal. Less is often better. Why did China in 2015 place University education 2nd to technical and skills training based on shortages in their markets. We have over educated Baristas and a shortage of HVAC trained workers. Our education system is led by well meaning well educated teachers inside our K-12 systems that push for all the right reasons University education but are missing the target for 75% of our high school graduates!
Advice nowadays? Expect to pay for good financial advice, and know what that price is. Plan on their hourly rate to be 4-8 times your own equated hourly or a flat fee. A good mechanic or Dentist is not discounting! You pay for their education, experience, and common sense as well as high ethical standards.
Here are some on line sources to educate you and make you think just a little.
SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS - This is very funny but very true