RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Want to Retire at 55? 3 Tips

June 16, 2016 2:21 am

Exiting the workforce early is a common dream—some might say fantasy—for many of today’s employees. It can be done, as MSN Money recently reported, so long as you plan ahead.

To retire at age 55, do:

Live Below Your Means – It’s tempting to upgrade from your starter home or buy a new car every few years, but, as The Millionaire Next Door author Thomas J. Stanley points out, retiring early happens for most people only after years of frugality. In general, it’s best to save 25 times your annual salary by retirement.

Stay Investment-Aggressive – Experts say it’s a misconception that conservative asset allocation is the only way to go. All but the very wealthy will need a healthy allocation to stocks for growth. Joe Heider, president of Cirrus Wealth Management in Cleveland, recommends that people within a few years of retirement scale back their portfolios to 60 percent stocks, and hold steady at that allocation into their retirement years.

Budget for Healthcare – Since you won’t be eligible for Medicare until age 65, you will need to secure health insurance. If you won’t have retirement health benefits, one option is to buy an individual or family plan from your state’s marketplace. Retiring couples can expect estimated healthcare costs of $17,000 per year until Medicare eligibility, according to a recent Fidelity study.

These strategies, coupled with a trip (or two) to a financial advisor, can pave the path to an early—still financially secure—retirement.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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The Highest-Ranking Home Improvement Stores in the Nation

June 16, 2016 2:21 am

Looking to stock up on home improvement supplies?

Look no further than Ace Hardware, which scored highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retailers in J.D. Power’s widely recognized annual study. Ace has now landed the coveted top spot 10 years in row, ranking positively in areas such as staff “availability” and “knowledge.” Midwest retailer Menards was named second in the study, followed by Lowe’s in third.

Other high-ranking retailers include:

• The Home Depot (No. 4)
• True Value (No. 5)
• Sears (No. 6)

“The retailer's staff is most critical to differentiating the experience provided to customers, especially when it comes to the timeliness of greeting customers, answering their questions or providing advice,” said Greg Truex, senior director of the at-home practice at J.D. Power, in a statement about the study.

Customers are happiest when staff members understand the questions they ask and provide product or purchase advice, according to study findings.

More homeowners are taking on improvements to their houses this year, partly in response to a rosier economic outlook. The Home Improvement Research Institute estimates home improvement spending will jump to $332 billion in 2016.

Source: J.D. Power

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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