Climate change, economy, environment, ESG, new economy, retirement, Socially Responsible Investing, SRI

What is Socially Responsible Investing?

I have recently had several people ask me about SRI. What is it? Why does it matter?

The first thing to understand is SRI means different things to different people. Several years ago I attended a gathering of advisors focused on sustainability at the Bloomberg headquarters in NYC. I talked to many of the 300 attendees and what I found was every single person had a different interpretation of what SRI meant.

Some focused on promoting clean energy, some focused on workers issues and inequality, some focused on climate change, some look to exclude alcohol and tobacco, others focused on micro lending. Each focus is unique and approaches the challenge of investing with different assumptions.

Ultimately the client needs to feel comfortable with the advisor’s experience, their outlook, and their rationale to do what they do using SRI.

The first step for the client… they should feel comfortable exploring and addressing the impact their investment dollars are having in creating the world we see around us.

If your mother died of lung cancer at 42 because she smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day, do you want your money allocated to tobacco stocks?

If you oppose war and weapons on moral grounds, do you want your money allocated to arms manufacturers?

If you are concerned about climate change, do you want your money invested in carbon intensive industries like coal and oil?

In addition to excluding specific companies, you can choose to support industries that are proactively working towards change.

Do you want to support and invest in renewable energy?
Do you want to support and invest in companies that have strong corporate governance and diversity?
Do you want to invest in companies that embrace change, fair wages, and economic progress?

Ultimately that client has a great deal of power in terms how the market is priced and where capital is allocated. One investor, combined with hundreds of others, combined with millions more, combined with foundations, endowments and pensions, can have a huge impact…

The question you have to ask is, do your investments match your values?

To learn more and discuss how SRI may help your portfolio please reach out to me. I would love to chat.

Retirement Income. Tax Efficient Planning.
Life Insurance. Disability Insurance
Socially Responsible Investing

To learn more contact:
James Cox
Ph: 610 293 8309
Email: james_cox@devon-financial.com
Devon Financial Partners 744 W Lancaster Av Suite 235 Wayne, PA 19087

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 954 Ridgebrook Rd. Suite 300, Sparks MD 21152. 410-828-5400. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Devon Financial Partners, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. Gear # 2018-52230 exp 1/20

PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC.

economy, income, retirement

First Steps to Retirement Planning

Many people are paralyzed into inaction when they start thinking about the challenge of planning for retirement. The truth is there are a few first steps anyone can take on their own to improve their chances for success.

A first step is to determine how much income you can expect to receive from social security. In years past SSA would mail annual statements for people to see their expected benefits. Things have changed… go to google and search for “my social security”. You will create an account and through this account be able to determine your numbers.

So what are you looking for? Depending on your age you have a variety of options that determines how much income you can draw for retirement. Standard retirement at age 66 or 67 (depending on your DOB) will provide your base amount of income. This number is based on your last top 10 earning years.

If you decide to retire early at age 62 you will receive a discounted amount, perhaps 75% of that base amount.

If you decide to retire at age 70 you will receive a larger amount during retirement, perhaps 125% of that base amount.

If you have limited or reduced retirement savings and you are in good health and able to work to age 70, it is strongly encouraged that you should wait and take social security at age 70. The additional income can provide a cushion that will allow existing savings to last longer.

People are living much longer these days and surveys repeatedly show people’s number one fear is running out of money in retirement.

If you decide to claim early social security it could negatively impact your long term financial plan. You should also be aware that social security benefits could be taxed, further reducing the retirees’ effective income. Be sure to consult a tax professional.

Taking this first step can have a major impact on your retirement planning, whether you are 45 or 65…. knowing the numbers, you can potentially increase the amount you save into retirement plans.

To learn more contact me at james_cox@devon-financial.com or connect using the form below.

 

Retirement Income. Tax Efficient Planning.
Life Insurance. Disability Insurance
Socially Responsible Investing

To learn more contact:
James Cox
Cell: 610 293 8309
Email: james_cox@devon-financial.com
Devon Financial Partners 744 W Lancaster Av Suite 235 Wayne, PA 19087

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 954 Ridgebrook Rd. Suite 300, Sparks MD 21152. 410-828-5400. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Devon Financial Partners, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. Gear #2018- 52228 Exp 1/20

PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC.

 

 

economy, retirement

5 Tips to Make Your Retirement Savings Last

The statistics are troubling…
10,000 Americans begin their retirement every day.
Only 18% have more than $200,000 saved.
56% have less than $10,000 saved. (1)
Most Americans have not been able to save as much as they would have liked, or have lost money due the Great Recession of 2008/2009.

In addition, the Great Recession resulted in many workers in their 50s and 60s getting laid off, not being able to find comparable employment and choosing early retirement.

It’s not an optimal situation for many people. Adding to the stress on finances is the fact that people are living longer.

So the question is how can we improve our retirement situation with the resources we have at our disposal?
Listed below are 5 strategies you can implement today to make the most of your retirement savings…

Let’s assume a retiree has $5000/month of expenses coming out of their account. Let’s assume they have social security income of $2500/ mo. As a result, they have to draw out of their retirement account $2500/ mo.

But what if a retiree could reduce those expenses… what impact would it have on their lifestyle and their savings?

 

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First, examine expenses. Every month I see deductions come out of my account and wonder where is that going to? Subscriptions, contributions, fees… so many voluntary expenses we have are set on auto pay.

Let’s say we can eliminate 2 subscriptions and 1 charitable contribution, saving $100 each month.

This reduces the draw down to $2400/ mo. It leaves the additional $100 in the account, allowing it to continue growing. Over the course of a year that’s $1200, growing let’s say 5%. In 5 years that means the account will have an additional $6,630 than it would have otherwise had.

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Second, take up cooking. Learning how to cook can have several positive effects. First, processed foods tend to be more expensive. Yes, they are easy to cook… pop it in the oven, put on Netflix and eat dinner 30 min later. But understand you are paying a price for that convenience.

What if instead of purchasing processed foods, you cooked from scratch. Many times, ingredients are less expensive, saving you money. You can control portion size resulting in less waste, saving you money. You can eat healthier, reducing health risks and your need for medication, and… you guessed it, you would save money you would have spent on health care costs.

I recently went on a trip to Maui. Everybody we talked to decried how expensive it is to live there, especially for food. When we went to the store, I wanted a ham sandwich… until I saw the cost. A loaf of bread was $10. A pound of deli meat was $10. I decided I didn’t really need a ham sandwich. Instead we bought a bag of rice, some eggs and a pineapple for a total of $4. I was able to create 3 different meals and in the end felt much healthier eating fresh and local.

If the above-mentioned retiree decided to shop healthier, buy local, and learn to cook, they could cut a monthly grocery bill by over $150. That $150 in monthly savings would mean an additional $9,946 in their account after only 5 years.

By making both changes you can reduce your retirement account draw down to $2250/ mo.

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Third, cord cutting. There are a number of technologies that allow people eliminate monthly services, like cable TV/phone, without having to suffer. By eliminating your cable bill, you can eliminate $200/ mo. That $200 saved over the course of 5 years is an additional $13,261.

By making all 3 changes you can reduce your retirement account draw down to $2050/ mo. This is a 20% reduction in expenses, without sacrificing on your quality of life.

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Fourth, downsize your housing. A lot of retiree wealth is tied up in real estate. The 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a big yard was great for raising a family, but for retirees not so much. Mortgages, upkeep, yard maintenance, repairs, and property taxes all drain retiree savings without giving much back.

By downsizing to a smaller house, a retiree can (1) access equity that has built up in the house, and (2) reduce expenses. Instead of spending $2500/ mo. on housing expenses, a smaller house or condo costing $1500/ mo. could create enormous savings.

Additionally the capital gains resulting from the sale of the house would add significantly to long term savings and improve retiree liquidity.

By using all 4 strategies the retiree would reduce their account draw down from $2500/ mo. to only $1050/ mo. The savings of all 4 strategies over the course of 5 years is equivalent to almost $100,000.

By simply making better decisions and being conscious of expenses and cash flow you can dramatically improve your retirement situation.

69C6CD48-12BD-470C-9048-F4A37EC5739A

One last strategy to improve the quality of one’s retirement is to use part of your portfolio to build Guaranteed Retirement Income.

By Using a portion of your retirement savings to create guaranteed retirement income retirees can address several risks that are beyond their control. There are programs that can help retirees reduce market risk, increase their retirement income and ensure that they don’t outlive their savings.

As retirement approaches retirees need to make proactive decisions to improve their long-term viability.

Please feel free to connect. I look forward to helping you make the most of your retirement journey.

 

Retirement Income. Tax Efficient Planning.
Life Insurance. Disability Insurance
Socially Responsible Investing

To learn more contact:
James Cox
Cell: 215 768 5883
Email: james_cox@devon-financial.com
Devon Financial Partners 744 W Lancaster Av Suite 235 Wayne, PA 19087

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 954 Ridgebrook Rd. Suite 300, Sparks MD 21152. 410-828-5400. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Devon Financial Partners, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. Gear #2017-50362 Exp 11/19

PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC.

1 https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/01/01/12-jaw-dropping-stats-about-retirement.aspx

economy, life insurance, new economy, protection

Job Change, Group Life Insurance and Russian Roulette

In the United States, there is a huge number of households which are unprotected or under protected by Life Insurance. In a recent LIMRA study 7 in 10 households believe would be in serious financial distress if an adult in the household passed away.

37 million households have no life insurance.
Another 33 million households do not have sufficient life insurance to count themselves as protected.

One vehicle that many people rely upon for protection is Group Life Insurance. When offered as a company benefit, it can inexpensively provide protection for many people… but it only does so while the insured works for the company.

Currently, 1 in 5 people are only covered by Group Life Insurance.

The challenge is that recent employment trends show that people are changing jobs more often than in past years. A recent study by LinkedIn shows that Job-hopping is becoming more common in the workforce.

“Over the last 20 years, the number of company’s people worked for in the five years after they graduated has nearly doubled. People who graduated between 1986 and 1990 averaged more than 1.6 jobs, and people who graduated between 2006 and 2010 averaged nearly 2.85 jobs.”

In addition to voluntary job changes, a growing trend among large corporations is to convert employees from W2 full time positions to Contractors. By doing so the corporation can reduce or eliminate the expense of things like, Group Life Insurance.

Both of these trends point to a dangerous growing gap in the protection of families.

Employees that are protected by Group Life Insurance, but end up leaving that position, either voluntarily or otherwise, end up losing that protection. This is a particularly dangerous situation to be in.

Qualifying for life insurance is based a person’s age and their health. As people age, they develop illnesses. You will never be younger or healthier than you are right now.

If you leave or lose your job, and your Group Life Insurance coverage, you may not be able to get replacement coverage.

So, what should you do?

I believe it makes a lot of sense from a risk management standpoint to maintain both group life insurance and your own individual life insurance policy.

By maintaining your own life insurance policy, you are assured of your family’s protection, regardless of your employment situation. There is a great deal of flexibility on how a policy can be designed to suit your situation and goals.

The key is to think about planning for the long term. Not this month or this year, not this job or this career, not this election or this recession… By focusing on the short term, you are playing Russian roulette with the future of your family.

Instead ask, what will protect my family regardless of the circumstances around me?

By doing so you can ensure that regardless of circumstance, regardless of illness, your family and loved ones will be protected.

To learn more about how Life Insurance can be designed to help protect your family reach out to me today.

Retirement Income. Tax Efficient Planning.
Life Insurance. Disability Insurance
Socially Responsible Investing

To learn more contact:
James Cox
Cell: 215 768 5883
Email: james_cox@devon-financial.com
Devon Financial Partners 744 W Lancaster Av Suite 235 Wayne, PA 19087

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 954 Ridgebrook Rd. Suite 300, Sparks MD 21152. 410-828-5400. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Devon Financial Partners, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. Gear #2017-50363 Exp 11/19
PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC.
https://blog.linkedin.com/2016/04/12/will-this-year_s-college-grads-job-hop-more-than-previous-grads

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/12/news/economy/millennials-change-jobs-frequently/index.html

life insurance, protection

The Risk To Your Child’s Future

Loss of a parent shatters the life of a child. Period.

Loss of a parent’s love.
Loss of a guide through life’s challenges.
Loss of protection and security.

These are losses that are beyond measure and replacement. But the truth is these losses can be worsened by the financial impact that comes from a lack of planning and losing a parent.

7 in 10 of all households said they would have trouble covering everyday living expenses after several months if the primary wage earner died.

Even today, 43% of children live in low-income families, but many more are at risk.
The National Center for Children in Poverty provides extensive research on subject of child poverty.

“Risks are greatest for children who experience poverty when they are young and/or experience deep and persistent poverty.”

“Factors such as poverty, poor nutrition, lack of preventive health care, substance abuse, maternal depression, and family violence put young children at risk. Children who experience several of these risk factors are often far behind their more advantaged peers from the start.”

Families that find themselves unprepared for the loss of a parent suffer most.

“A major determinant of outcomes for children, youth, and their families is their mental health. Low-income children, youth, and their families are disproportionately affected by mental health challenges, impairing the ability of children and youth to succeed in school and placing them at risk of involvement with child welfare and juvenile justice agencies.”

These are long term issues that your child will struggle with when you are gone. 75%-80% of Children are in need of mental health services but do not receive them.

“It is in the public interest to promote policies, services, and supports that can help change a negative development course to a positive one.”

But, in the current environment of budget cuts and cancelled social programs, a parent cannot rely on the government to provide a better life for their children.

Life insurance is inexpensive protection. For a 30yr old man, preferred health nonsmoker in Pennsylvania, the premium for a $500k benefit annual renewable term is less than $10 Per month.

For pennies a day, you can shield your child from a life time of legacy costs your child would have to bear, for you NOT protecting your child.

You created a life, you love your child, you work and toil and sacrifice…
Do not fail them if your time on this earth comes to an end.

Please feel free to connect. I look forward to helping you make the most of your life’s journey.

To get a free quote, complete the form below:

Retirement Income. Tax Efficient Planning.
Life Insurance. Disability Insurance
Socially Responsible Investing

To learn more contact:
James Cox
Phone: 610 293 8309
Email: james_cox@devon-financial.com
Devon Financial Partners 744 W Lancaster Av Suite 235 Wayne, PA 19087

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 954 Ridgebrook Rd. Suite 300, Sparks MD 21152. 410-828-5400. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Devon Financial Partners, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. Gear #2017- 50631 Exp 11/19
PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC.

http://www.nccp.org/topics/childpoverty.html

economy, new economy, retirement

Investing with Stocks at Record Levels

I have talked to many clients. I have read and listened to many economists and Chief Investment Officers who are nervous about investing hard earned savings when markets and indexes are making new highs.

Many people feel the market is “due for a correction”; they worry about a “bubble bursting like 2008”; they look at the political environment and feel confused by what is happening in Washington DC.

Looking at retirement planning is different from investing other assets.
Many people are limited by 2 factors,
(A) the Need for retirement income, and
(B) a limited time horizon.

They need to draw money from their accounts in order to live in the near term.

For savers and retirees, a solution to both of these issues are annuities that provide guaranteed retirement income. These types of annuities create a lifetime guaranteed income stream while giving the investor the ability to stay invested in the market. If the market declines, they will continue to get their stream of income.

By contrast, someone invested in the market without such guarantees, drawing income and experiencing a down draft in the market they may find themselves running out of money during retirement.

This fear, running out of money during retirement, is people’s number one fear according to several recent studies.

If you feel uncomfortable investing in the market at these levels, please reach out to me to discuss options that can help you protect your lifestyle regardless of what happens in the markets.

Retirement Income. Tax Efficient Planning.
Life Insurance. Disability Insurance
Socially Responsible Investing

GTo learn more contact:
James Cox
Ph: 610 293 8309
Email: james_cox@devon-financial.com
Devon Financial Partners 744 W Lancaster Av Suite 235 Wayne, PA 19087
http://jamesacox.com

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 954 RIDGEBROOK RD SUITE 300, SPARKS, MD 21152, ph# 410-828-5400. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. DEVON FINANCIAL ASSOCIATES LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. 2017-48825Exp. 10/19.

Climate change, economy, retirement

Rising Seas and the Risk to Retirees

 

Florida has always been considered a favorite retirement destination. The warmer climate attracting older American’s who have health issues ranging from Asthma to Arthritis, from Heart Disease to Parkinson’s. 20% of Florida’s population is over age 65 (compared to only 15% in New Jersey).

 

An additional challenge facing retirees in both Florida and New Jersey is climate change risk due to rising seas, storm surge and the potential loss of property in coastal communities.

 

In 2013, hurricane Sandy delivered a wake-up call to many about the danger to real estate as a result of hurricane force winds and storm surge. This past summer it looked to be Florida’s turn. Hurricanes Irma and Maria threatened to make landfall in Florida with devastating force.

 

“Florida is in the crosshairs of climate change. Rising seas, a population crowded along the coast, porous bedrock, and the relatively common occurrence of tropical storms put more real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea level rise in Florida, than any other state by far.” (1)

 

While Miami was lucky and did not suffer a direct impact, it was still impacted by major flooding and the long term risk only appears clearer after the storms.

 

“The sea has begun pushing back, swelling with lunar high tides and storms, reversing the flow in drainage canals and flooding neighborhoods. Rising water infiltrates storm water systems, coastal highways, septic tanks and fresh water wells. Over the past couple of years in Miami Beach, ‘on a bright sunny day, the streets would fill with water,’ twice a day with the tide, Brian Mowry, city engineer of Miami Beach, said. The city’s existing drainage system had created ‘avenues for water to come right into our city,’ he said. Now the city is spending $500 million to hold back the tide and prevent flooding.” (2)

 

Even without hurricanes, Florida continues to flood. Why is this happening?

 

 

“Scientists say the ocean began rising more than a century ago, averaging an almost imperceptible 1.5 millimeters a year from 1900 to 1990, based on data from a network of federal tide gauges around the country. In the 1990s, the rising sea doubled its previous rate, reaching about an inch a decade, said Sweet. And then, over the past 10 years, tide gauges in Fernandina Beach, Mayport and Key West recorded an increase of about 0.9 centimeters per year, a little more than a third of an inch per year.” (2)

 

The rate of increase is accelerating.

 

“Sea level rise is more than doubling the risk of a storm surge at this level in South Florida by 2030. For the hundreds of thousands of Floridians holding 30-year mortgages, that date is not far off in the future.” (1)

 

Six million people are at risk in south Florida.

 

And this is the real danger to retiree financial plans. The loss of a house or property could lead to a massive loss, creating a hole in their portfolio. Many people do not carry flood insurance. In Houston, nearly 60% of houses damaged or destroyed by the extreme flooding as a result of hurricane Irma, did not have flood insurance.

 

It is critically important to understand the expanding definition of risk resulting from climate change. Retirees need to take an active role in managing their risk, and work with advisors who can help moving forward. Addressing large potential risks can improve long term performance.

 

If you want to discuss these issues or learn more please feel free to contact me.

 

Retirement Income. Tax Efficient Planning.

Life Insurance. Disability Insurance

Socially Responsible Investing

 

To learn more contact:

James Cox

Cell: 215 768 5883

Email: james_cox@devon-financial.com

Devon Financial Partners 744 W Lancaster Av Suite 235 Wayne, PA 19087

 

 

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 954 Ridgebrook Rd. Suite 300, Sparks MD 21152. 410-828-5400. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Devon Financial Partners, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. Gear #2017-49676 Exp 11/19

PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC.

 

 

 

Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services, and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof.

 

  1. http://sealevel.climatecentral.org/news/floria-and-the-rising-sea

2. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/florida/articles/2017-07-22/sea-level-rise-is-accelerating-in-florida-scientists-warn