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

How to Start Planning for Retirement

July 27, 2015 1:30 am

Retirement preparation is essential to the success of your “next chapter.” If you’re unsure of where to begin, independent financial advisory firm The Mather Group advises the following:

1. Develop a realistic monthly budget for retirement.
Track your expenses for up to a year to get an accurate picture of your financial needs. Account for one-time expenses, such as that new furnace or roof you may soon need, and note month-to-month fluctuations in expenses. Plan for higher inflation rates for certain types of spending, such as health care and college expenses.

2. Develop a comprehensive financial plan. Take inventory of your assets – the equity in your home and all investments (401K, stocks, savings, life insurance, etc.). Note all projected retirement income streams, such as pensions and Social Security. Your financial planner will complete your plan and should stress-test it using Monte Carlo simulations to see how it performs under changing market conditions.

3. Maintain an appropriately diversified portfolio. You should be invested in a combination of fixed income, U.S. stocks, and foreign equities, which is the best way to protect your portfolio from a possible correction. Low-cost indexes such as ETFs are a better option than high-cost mutual funds, which typically add one percent in additional management costs.

4. Create a cash flow strategy to minimize taxes.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with specialized knowledge of tax code pertaining to retirement assets can help determine how you should tap your savings to minimize income taxes throughout your retirement.

Source: The Mather Group

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Building a Deck? A Comparison of Materials

July 27, 2015 1:30 am

(BPT) – Looking for a way to enhance your outdoor space? A deck may be the answer. According to the experts at Fiberon Decking (www.fiberondecking.com), the materials you decide to use, whether wood or composite, can affect the project from initial investment to maintenance years from now.

Building a deck with composite materials will cost more than virgin wood initially, but not as much as most homeowners think. The substructure is the same cost for either option and the remainder of the project could cost about 25 percent more for composite. However, most wood lumber is pressure-treated with different chemicals to boost its integrity and make it last longer.

That cost is often recouped over time because there is little maintenance required with composites – maintaining a wood deck can cost hundreds of dollars each year. Nail pops and splinters are common safety hazards with wood decks, as are cracked, warped and rotted boards that need to be replaced. And refinishing a wood deck can cost up to $850!

Composites are also environmentally-friendly – the material not only saves trees, but is created from recycled materials, keeping waste out of landfills.

Want to see how the numbers compare? Visit www.epa.gov and check out the EPA's GreenScapes Tools Excel Decking Cost Calculator.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: