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.

 

 

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

 

economy, retirement

Trick or Treat? The Potential Downside of Tax Reform for Investors

 

 

 

There is an old story that goes “beware what you wish for…” Things don’t always turn out as expected.

 

Along those lines I watched a fascinating interview of Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat, on Bloomberg this morning.

 

His feeling is that a Tax cut, as it is currently being discussed, could be negative for investors. “There’s two reasons; First, when cutting tax rate you raise the after tax cost of debt. Leverage becomes a problem for a lot of businesses. Second, because you are cutting tax rates you are effectively giving cash to all businesses, even businesses where you want to reduce allocation.“

 

His observation is that companies that are currently struggling with cash flow will have a temporary life preserver tossed to them, but it will not change the fundamental issues facing a lot of industries. It will distort markets.

 

Lee states that cuts to tax rates will “amplify negative return industries because they will get more free cash flow. “ But, again, it doesn’t change the fundamental issues that are making those industries less competitive. Examples can be seen in the struggles of brick-and-mortar retail vs online, as well as fossil fuel vs renewables.

In addition Larry summers, former Treasury Secretary, was recently quoted as saying this is the worst time to give a tax cut because of where we are in the economic cycle.

Lee continues by saying “Companies that benefit most, for example retail capital, that are invested in areas getting killed in digital age. “

 

Lee goes on to explain the impact of leverage and borrowing on companies and the market. “BB rated companies are borrowing at 50 bps less the US Treasury Bond. These are not companies with reliable cash flow. Junk grade companies in Japan borrowing at 10 bps over JGBs (Japanese Government Bonds). Central banks have made it possible for weak companies to borrow. “ Lee continues by saying many companies are, “Trading like they are never going to default.”

 

The reality of Tax Reform may or may not transpire depending on what happens in Washington DC. The impact of those decisions will impact the performance of your portfolio in the months and years to come.

 

It is crucial to manage risk in an appropriate fashion. To discuss this topic and/or your portfolio in more detail please feel free to reach out to me.

 

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.

 

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

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. 2017-49170 Exp. 10/19.

life insurance, protection

How will your family survive?

 

My son was born when I was 30 years old. Honestly, I didn’t get life insurance until I was 36. I had never been taught the importance of using Life Insurance to manage risk and protect your family. Recent studies show that I’m not alone. There is a huge gap in the level of financial literacy in the United States.

 

According to a recent study by LIMRA;

  • Among households with children under 18, 4 in 10 say they would suffer immediate financial trouble if a primary wage earner died today.
  • Another 3 in 10 would have trouble keeping up with basic living expenses after several months.
  • Overall, 7 in 10 of all households said they would have trouble covering everyday living expenses after several months if the primary wage earner died.

 

To be clear 37 million households have no life insurance… none…

Another 33 million households do not have sufficient life insurance to count themselves as protected…

 

Ask yourself… “How will my family be affected if something happened? Will they end up homeless, destitute, starving, unable to attend college or get a decent job?”

 

This is a huge gap that must be addressed and reduced. Many people say that life insurance is too expensive, but the truth is as longevity increases life insurance rates decrease. Life insurance has never been more affordable then it is today.

 

The likelihood that we will eventually die is… 100%. The question is what impact our death will have on those around us. What impact will our death have on those who depend on us, like spouses, or children, or elderly parents?

What about the impact your death will have if you have a special needs child? It will be catastrophic… And yet statistics show most of us are playing Russian roulette with our children’s futures.

 

Please reach out to me to learn how you and your family can be better protected.

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

   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. 2017-48484 Exp. 10/19

 

 

 

https://www.limra.com/uploadedFiles/limra.com/LIMRA_Root/Posts/PR/_Media/PDFs/Facts-of-Life-2016.pdf

 

disability, economy, life insurance, protection

Deaths of Despair

 

In March of 2017 a landmark study was released connecting financial security and death rates in the United States. The information is sobering and should be the focus of policy changes at all levels of government.

 

A recent study by Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton titled, “Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century,” shows the connection between the rising mortality rates of the middle class in the US and “a measurable deterioration in economic and social wellbeing”.

 

This deterioration has not suddenly developed. Rather, “Case and Deaton document an accumulation of pain, distress, and social dysfunction in the lives of working class whites that took hold as the blue-collar economic heyday of the early 1970s ended, and continued through the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent slow recovery.”

 

“Case and Deaton find that while midlife mortality rates continue to fall among all education classes in most of the rich world, middle-aged non-Hispanic whites in the U.S. with a high school diploma or less have experienced increasing midlife mortality since the late 1990s. This is due to both rises in the number of “deaths of despair”—death by drugs, alcohol and suicide—and to a slowdown in progress against mortality from heart disease and cancer, the two largest killers in middle age.”

 

To understand the scale of the change that is taking place… “The combined effect means that mortality rates of whites with no more than a high school degree, which were around 30 percent lower than mortality rates of blacks in 1999, grew to be 30 percent higher than blacks by 2015.”

 

As the economic situation continues to deteriorate for the middle class (just as it has for blacks in urban centers) in the United States, issues of alcohol, drug use and suicide worsen. Lack of education to keep up with a changing economy, lack of high paying jobs for physical labor, widening wealth and opportunity gap. And the situation does not improve for the next generation.

 

The authors suggest, “that the increases in “deaths of despair” are accompanied by a measurable deterioration in economic and social wellbeing, which has become more pronounced for each successive birth cohort. Marriage rates and labor force participation rates fall between successive birth cohorts, while reports of physical pain, and poor health and mental health rise.”

 

Declining marriage rates mean less stable households; falling labor force participation means less income and economic peril. Both of these weaken the next generation of children.

 

What is required is an understanding and appreciation for the changes taking place in the economy and the need for schools empower students for this new age, regardless of their background or skills. The educational system of the 20th century will not suffice in an era of rapid technological change.

 

We also need to develop and fund the social services that children and families need in order for them to escape the forces that drag them into despair. PTSD and abuse in families is a widespread problem as recently evidenced by the controversy surrounding #metoo on Facebook. Millions have spoken up about abuse that they have suffered from but were long silent about because of societal pressures.

 

Someone once said, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

 

We all need to be invested in the success, safety and happiness of those around us. Do not leave things to chance. Teach needed skills. Develop multiple ways to bring in income. Leverage what you know and what you can do. Protect your family from economic disaster using Life Insurance and Disability Insurance… they will thank you. Set money aside for the future… your future self will thank you. Develop a plan, and then learn to adjust as life changes things up on you.

 

To learn more please reach out to me.

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

   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. 2017-48476 Exp. 10/19.

 

 

 

https://www.brookings.edu/bpea-articles/mortality-and-morbidity-in-the-21st-century/

 

charitable giving, life insurance, protection

Creating Social Impact Through Giving

 

Every day millions are helped to improve their lives due to the generosity of others. As a community we each have a stake in the success of every individual, every family. Many organizations that make massive positive contributions are struggling due to cutbacks in government supports.

We as stakeholders in American society have a responsibility to give back and help those less fortunate. A recent example of this ethos:

“The $219 million gift from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, announced Wednesday, shatters the previous record for a single donation to U-Md. — $31 million — set three years ago. It is also among the most significant gifts to any public university in the country, coming at a time when many schools have ramped up fundraising to offset declines in state support.”

 

As a result of such donations more students will be able to attend the University of Maryland and build a better future for them and their families. It is an investment in the future and fabric of the United States.

Examples of this kind of giving occur every day… sometimes in the millions of dollars, many times more just a few thousand dollars. What many people are not aware of is the ability to leverage money that is dedicated charity and planned giving to create more impact and bigger gifts.

Permanent life insurance is a tool that has provided security and abundance for hundreds of years. By planning ahead donors can use existing assets and cash flow to create endowments that are many times larger than the premiums paid.

 

As an estate planning tool, life insurance gives additional options and flexibility to charitably minded people.

If a foundation or non-profit have a limited number of apples (assets) to fund their projects, the question becomes ‘how do we add more apples to the bowl’; how do we ensure the organization is sustained for the biggest social impact?

To learn more talk to a financial advisor. Explore options. But above all take action and protect your legacy and those you care about.

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

http://jamesacox.com

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS) 7 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004. OSJ: 954 Ridgebrook Rd. Suite 300, Sparks, MD 21152, 410-828-5400. Securities products/services and advisory services are offered through PAS, a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, 888-600-4667.

Financial Representative, 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 2017-47562  Exp. 9/19

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/a-record-breaking-gift-to-the-university-of-maryland-219-million/2017/10/04/80cb1e54-a76f-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html?utm_term=.2c9ac111e92c

disability, economy, life insurance, protection

A few life lessons…

In the past few months I have seen several friends pass away…

I have seen several people in my circle struggle with illness, addiction and disability…

All are under the age of 50. None of them planned on what happened to them.

 

None of them planned on the impact it would have on those around them.
Life is not a straight line.
We all are forced to deal with situations that are beyond our control.

 

Sometimes we are forced to deal with abusive and alcoholic parents when we are young.
Sometimes we are traumatized by sexual or physical violence.
Sometimes we are injured by an accident, or illness.

 

Many times we self-medicate to hide the pain, trying to make it through another day…
Often times we find ourselves prescribed pain meds that lead to a nightmare of addiction and devastation.

 

A recent article from the Atlantic observed how radically things have changed:

“In 2015, more Americans died from drug overdoses than from car accidents and gun homicides combined.”

“Authors (of a recent NBER study) suspect that the increased use of painkillers is a “physical manifestation of mental-health problems that have long been known to rise during periods of economic decline.” Depression and pain are twin agonies, in other words: Not only does depression make people more sensitive to pain, they note, opioids have been shown to help relieve depressive symptoms.”

“In the same paper, the Princeton University labor economist Alan Krueger found that nearly half of “prime age” men who aren’t in the labor force take pain medication daily.”

In a separate study from the Brookings Institution, authors Anne Case and Angus Deaton suggest that the links between opioids and depression have deeper roots…

“Increases in deaths of despair are accompanied by a measurable deterioration in economic and social wellbeing, which has become more pronounced for each successive birth cohort. Marriage rates and labor force participation rates fall between successive birth cohorts, while reports of physical pain, and poor health and mental health rise.”

 

These studies lend support to the idea that many opioid overdoses are “deaths of despair,” as the Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton call them—deaths brought on by joblessness, hopelessness, and both physical and emotional pain.

 

The Atlantic article continues…

“Europeans also suffered joblessness during the recession, but they aren’t overdosing at American levels. Most European countries have stronger social safety nets, which might soften the trauma of unemployment, as well as socialized health-care systems, in which prescription records tend to be centralized.”

 

Clearly this is a large societal issue that we all have to deal with. We all have responsibility to ourselves and our loved ones.

 

The fact is most Americans are unprepared for economic or financial disruption.

*37 million households lack any life insurance…
*50 million households know they need more life insurance…
*7 in 10 households would be in financial trouble if they lost their main bread winner…
*69% of those working in the private sector have no disability insurance…
*1 in 4 people will become disabled BEFORE retirement…
*68% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck…
*How many are working multiple part time jobs to fill the gap from a lost full time career?

 

The economy is changing and we have to adapt to new conditions. We have to put in place protections for ourselves and our families… we can’t rely on the government or anyone else to provide for us or the ones we love.

 

Talk to a financial advisor. Explore options. But above all take action and protect yourself and those you care about.

 

Please feel free to contact me to learn more.

 

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
http://jamesacox.com

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS) 7 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004. Securities products/services and advisory services are offered through PAS, a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, 888-600-4667.
Financial Representative, 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.
GEAR 2017-47491 Exp. 9/19

https://www.brookings.edu/bpea-articles/mortality-and-morbidity-in-the-21st-century/

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/04/joblessness-and-opioids/523281/

https://www.limra.com/uploadedFiles/limra.com/LIMRA_Root/Posts/PR/_Media/PDFs/Facts-of-Life-2016.pdf