Advisor - Second Quarter 2017
Information from UMassFive Financial & Investment Services & CFS* to help keep your financial life in balance.
It’s finally spring! Now is the time to take a look at your surroundings and de-clutter your home of unnecessary items you’ve accumulated in the past year. While spring cleaning your home, you may want to do the same for your personal finances. Just after tax season is the perfect time to tidy up your budget, bank accounts, debts and investments.
Refinance and Loan Consolidation
If you currently have a mortgage or an auto loan, take a look at your interest rates. If you find that you are paying above average interest rates, you might consider refinancing. Make sure you are aware of any additional costs associated with refinancing and factor that into your decision. Another way to lower your debt is to look into loan consolidation. This involves rolling smaller individual loans into one larger loan reducing your many monthly payments into one. Make sure to do research to see what options work best for you.
Revisit Your Insurance Policies
Dig out your life, homeowner’s (or renter’s) and car insurance policies. Make sure your life insurance beneficiary designations are current and your coverage levels still apply in regards to yourself, home, and car. If you’re unsure about your life insurance coverage and your needs have changed, call an experienced CFS* Financial Advisor at UMassFive today to schedule a review.
Evaluate 401(k) Allocations
Financial planners say that people planning for retirement make two big mistakes: They either invest ultra-conservatively because they are afraid of the volatility in the market, or they invest too aggressively in the hopes of making up for time or past losses.The CFS* Financial Advisors at UMassFive can help you establish your risk tolerance and the portfolio that best suits your needs. Use this opportunity to make sure your beneficiary designations are current.
Check Your Credit Report
The Federal Trade Commission says 5% of consumers have credit report errors that could hurt them financially. A mistake can drag your credit score down, pushing your loan rates higher or perhaps even resulting in denial of auto or home loans. You can get a free credit report annually from 3 of the credit bureaus at annualcreditreport.com.
Who Can Help Me?
When it comes to cleaning up your debt and getting your assets in order, it’s important to determine your plan of attack. The aid of an experienced CFS* Financial Advisor at UMassFive can be an invaluable resource to help assist you in getting your financial house in order.
Speak with your CFS* Financial Advisor at UMassFive today to find out what may be the best resolutions for your situation.
You most likely get an annual physical with your doctor. During the appointment, he or she will ask you about any concerns, make note of your blood pressure and other vital signs and have you on your way in short order. An annual review of your finances is a necessity just like your physical checkup, not just for tax planning purposes, but because a financial plan is dynamic; needs and goals change, new savings, investment, and insurance products become available, family incomes increase, children are born, others are off to college, estates increase and jobs change.
Here are some topics to consider before meeting with an experienced CFS* Financial Advisor at UMassFive.
Have Any Life Changes Occurred?
List any changes in your work or personal life that took place in the last 12 months. These may include a job change or retirement, the purchase or sale of a home, birth of a baby or marriage or divorce. These changes can alter your income and lifestyle significantly.
Are You Still Adequately Insured?
Review your long-term care and life insurance needs. Many financial experts consider life insurance to be the cornerstone of a sound financial plan. It can offer the protection you need to help cover potential risks and liabilities. Life insurance may also provide an income that allows your heirs to maintain their standard of living and cover everyday expenses such as bills, rent and mortgages.
Does Your Portfolio Require Any Maintenance?
Many financial professionals state that you may need from 70-80% of your pre-retirement income in order to maintain your standard of living in retirement. These numbers have increased over the years for many reasons, including increasing life spans, inflation, and medical costs. Retirees today have redefined retirement as more of an exciting time to start a new chapter. It’s no longer considered the end of work life, but perhaps the start of a new career, continuing education, world travel or volunteer work.
Talk to an experienced CFS* Financial Advisor at UMassFive about any performance issues that might be of concern. Review the performance of any stocks, bonds and mutual funds you own. Finally, make sure that the characteristics of your portfolio support the goals you’ve set.
Who Can Help Me?
With all the investment options available today, staying on track to reach your financial goals might seem like a daunting task. As you prepare to review where you stand on your “financial checkup”, it may be helpful to meet with an experienced CFS* Financial Advisor at UMassFive who can help ensure that your financial affairs are consistent with your current needs, risk tolerance and long-term goals.
Speak with your CFS* Financial Advisor at UMassFive today and find out what may be best for your situation.
For most of us, planning for retirement is not on top of the “To Do” list. Fortunately, with a little preparation and careful planning, you may be able to avoid the pitfalls in working towards a secure retirement.
For many workers, investing means having a portion of their paycheck systematically invested in an employer sponsored retirement account. Little thought is given to the retirement account after that. Saving for retirement is arguably the most important aspect in preparing for retirement. Having a carefully laid out plan may help smooth the transition from working to retiring. The sooner you devise a plan, the more time you have to explore and evaluate your options. Taking these steps might make the difference between a successful retirement and a disappointing one.
Seek Professional Advice
Preparing for retirement is not an easy or simple process. With all of the information and products available today, developing a strategy that best suits your individual needs may be daunting. To avoid the headache of trying to tackle this task alone, seek the advice of a trained professional.
Your Credit Union is staffed with experienced financial professionals who may be able to assist you in identifying investment goals as well as developing and implementing a well-structured investment plan.
Test-Drive Your Budget
One of the most important steps in building your retirement plan is becoming aware of your total household expenses. Unfortunately, many of us may not be aware of what our current lifestyle costs each year. In retirement, you may find it necessary to live on a smaller portion of your pre-retirement income. For example, if you plan on retiring on 85% of your current income, consider carving out 15% of your current income and investing it in your retirement account. This strategy may help you prepare to live on a reduced income, boost your overall
retirement account balance, and reduce your taxable income.
Sprint to the Finish Line
If you haven’t begun saving for retirement, don’t get discouraged. It’s never too late to start saving, but you should take that first step now!
Who Can Assist Me?
As there often seems to be a limitless number of variables in navigating your retirement roadmap, the aid of an experienced CFS* Financial Advisor at UMassFive can be a valuable resource.
Get Help From Our Financial Professionals
To schedule an appointment with one of our CFS* Financial Advisors here at UMassFive, call us at 800.852.5886, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. ("CFS"), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIP) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. UMassFive College Federal Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.
CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS) and its Registered Representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should always check with their tax advisor before engaging in any transaction involving IRAs or tax-advantaged investments.