If you work for a medium-to-large company, you may now be entering the “open enrollment” period — that time of year when you get to make changes to your employee benefits. Your benefit package can be a big piece of your overall financial picture, so you’ll want to make the right moves — especially in regard to your employer-sponsored retirement plan.
The current pension/spiking system is broken. You are seeing less services, and higher fee and tax increases because of the broken pension system. Less police officers on our streets, less services for our seniors, fewer library hours, and cuts to after school programs — and it will be getting worse. Phoenix recently instituted a new water tax in order to cover the pension costs. Last year, pension spiking was over $19 million of our budget. An additional increase of $18 million just to cover pension costs was in the budget. City staff has already forecast an additional $18 million to cover pension costs for next year.
Reference is made in a letter to the editor (AFN) Oct. 8, “Prop 487 not right for Phoenix” by Chad A. White. Therein Chad makes the statement that this proposition would place an end to firefighters and police officers death and disability benefits. There is no truth to this claim as far as I have read. Either a misunderstanding or misrepresentation. Prop 487 clearly addresses reform only to the method in which pensions have and are structured and which continues placing the city in deficit shortfall.
Are you ready for this? September is National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month seeks to educate Americans on preparing for natural disasters and other types of emergencies. But you’ll also need to prepare for unexpected events in many other areas of your life — particularly those events related to the financial security of you and your family.
It’s back-to-school time again. If you have young children, you might be hustling them to the store for backpacks and binders. But if you fast-forward a few years, you can envision driving your kids a little farther — to their college dorms. And when that day comes, you’ll want to be financially prepared. So you’ll want to avoid making costly mistakes when preparing for, and paying, those big bills. Here are some of the most common of these errors:
If you’re a baby boomer, you’re at the point in life where, if you haven’t actually entered retirement, you’re at least approaching the outskirts. But if you’re like many of your fellow boomers, you may be experiencing more than a little trepidation over your financial prospects as a retiree. That’s why it’s so important for you to determine what steps to take to help improve your chances of enjoying a comfortable retirement.
If you’re in a marriage that’s ending, you’ll need to gather certain financial documents to help you evaluate your assets and understand the financial position you’re in. Some of the information may be at your fingertips, but some might require sleuthing.
Everyone needs to be aware of the financial resources they will have available in retirement. But if you’re a woman, you must be particularly diligent, for a variety of reasons. And that means you’ll need to know just what to expect from Social Security.
Throughout your career, you have been working hard to save in one or more retirement accounts. Then, once you retire, you’ll have some new decisions to make. But one choice has already been made for you: the age at which you must start taking withdrawals, or “distributions.” It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these distribution rules because they can have a big impact on your retirement income. And you may even want to take action before the end of the year.
While the average citizen struggles to save for retirement, some “public servants” will be making millions from “public service.” Fifty individuals walked away with a cash payout of hundreds of thousands of dollars, got a second retirement plan, and then started making over $100,000 in yearly pensions. What do you get?
The lines have been clearly drawn for those in favor of the Phoenix Pension Initiative, who would like to see the city create a more sustainable pension system, and those against it, who say a dramatic change would cost taxpayers millions to carry out.
Like many people, you might not particularly enjoy thinking about your estate plans, but such planning is necessary to make sure your assets go where you want them to go. And it’s just as important to regularly review your plans with your tax, legal and financial professionals in case any changes are needed. For instance, some of your wishes expressed in your will may be overridden by beneficiary designations you filled out years ago. If these designations become outdated, your assets could be passed to those you didn’t intend.
If you’re like most people, you think estate planning is only for the wealthy. The truth is that everyone — regardless of how much money they have — needs an estate plan. Here are a few frequently asked questions about estate planning, along with the answers that may help you better understand why estate planning is something you may want to consider.
If you’re one of the “millennials” — the generation that began in the early 1980s — you are still in the early stages of your career. Retirement must seem like a long way off — yet, it’s never too soon to start planning for it. At the same time, though, you may also have shorter-term goals. Can you make progress toward your near-term and long-term objectives at the same time?
Recently, we observed May Day, a celebration of spring. And, after a long and hard winter in many parts of the country, most of us are ready for sunshine, warmer temperatures and the hopefulness that spring always symbolizes. But as winter gives way to spring, we are also reminded that our lives have “seasons,” too — and it pays to be prepared for all of them. So, as you move into the “retirement season,” you’ll need to prepare for several possible challenges, including the following: