Last week, one of my clients said, “I want to open a joint bank account with my daughter. That way, if I become incapacitated or have health issues or other problems, my daughter could step in and start paying my bills; take care of things.” I said, “Sure, you can do that, but let’s talk over the risks first, so you can make an informed decision.”
Last week, three separate clients expressed concern about the future of Social Security. They were worried that they might be means tested, or that benefits might be slashed, or that the entire Social Security program might be cut. Are their worries based in reality? The Social Security program is in trouble. It’s no secret. Even the program’s website (ssa.gov) says, “As a result of changes to Social Security enacted in 1983, benefits are now expected to be payable in full on a timely basis until 2037, when the trust fund reserves are projected to become exhausted. At the point where the reserves are used up, continuing taxes are expected to be enough to pay 76 percent of scheduled benefits. Thus, the Congress will need to make changes to the scheduled benefits and revenue sources for the program in the future.”
When you invest, you’re in the risk business. You receive returns because you take chances on investments. But I think you can address those risks by knowing your enemy; by recognizing the three main investment risks you face.
I’m a big believer in defense; that protecting yourself against mistakes is how you win. I also think that one of the best ways to protect yourself is to recognize your weaknesses, like these common investor “sins:”
It’s scary but true: You could easily lose most of your money, even if the market is up. How? If you or your spouse become ill, the associated costs can be devastating. A comprehensive survey by Genworth Financial found that a private room in a nursing home averaged $92,378 in 2016, and a home health aide averaged $46,332. And the odds of you or your spouse having a debilitating event and needing care afterward is high: According to longtermcare.gov, nearly 70% of people turning age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives.
Given those odds, I think it’s important to insure yourselves. But before you purchase a long-term care insurance policy, consider these tips:
Who’s better with finances, men or women? The title of this article should give you a clue. According to a 2005 study by Merrill Lynch, women have traits that may make them better money managers than men.
According to the FBI, most burglaries occur when the victims are not home. Since many of you will be traveling out of town to visit family during the holidays, I thought I’d help fight crime by offering these burglary-foiling tips:
1. Remove geotags. Tagging or sharing your location on social media can create a clear map to your valuables. Remove geotags on Twitter and Facebook before posting, and delay posting vacation photos with geo-filters on Snap Chat until you’re back home. Instagram can publicly log user locations through metadata, directly adding locations to a photo posts without you even knowing it’s there. To avoid this, turn off Instagram location services in your phone’s privacy settings, or individually remove location information from photos under the locations tab.