Can You Live 2+ Years Longer?

When I run long-term projections for folks, I regularly assume 95 years will be their life expectancy.  You should see some of the looks I get!  Almost everyone laughs and says there is no way they will make it to age 95.  However, statistics show that a 65-year-old couple has a 90% chance that one of them will be alive at age 80 and nearly 50% chance that one of them will still be alive at age 90!  How is this percentage going to change over the next 20 years until I reach retirement?

JPM Life Expectancy

Also, keep in mind that data on the left is put together by the Social Security Administration, so it is a sample set of the entire population!

Do you go to the dentist regularly?  Dr. David Cleveland at Darby Creek Dental shared that more than 1 in 5 Americans hasn’t seen a dentist in more than 3 years!  Do you wear your seatbelt?  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 27 million Americans still do not?  Do you have access to quality healthcare?  What about the ability to buy quality fresh foods?  If you answered yes to any of the above, you are likely to have a longer expectancy than the average American.

So again, I ask…is 95 absurd?

So how long of a retirement should you plan for?  Can you change your life expectancy?

The obvious answer is to look at longevity in your family history.  If both of your parents lived into their 90s and were physically and mentally healthy, you have a pretty good chance to be looking towards that centenarian mark.  Want some tips directly from the Centenarian’s themselves, then read this article from PBS or watch this video from Sharp Health.

Ok, so what about you?!?  Try taking the test at www.livingto100.com that will ask some specific health questions and compare your estimated life expectancy to the average.  It will also recommend life changes and will show how those changes can impact your longevity.

So what age did you get?

If you need help planning for all those wonderful years of retirement, please feel free to reach out to me!

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The Big Bang Theory – On money…

The Big Bang Theory is one of my favorite television shows!  My wife and I had several years where we would put the kids to bed and then watch a couple hours of syndicated episodes on TBS (since kids don’t allow for primetime television!).  So naturally, when I saw an article written by executive producer, Dave Goetsch, that had to do with finances…it became a must read.

Turns out it is one of the better articles about the market I have read in a long time.

Now and Then

By Dave Goetsch

Dave Goetsch, Executive Producer of  The Big Bang Theory, reflects on his investment experience in the recent market downturn and contrasts his new perspective with memories of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Seeing all the recent headlines about the sudden downturn in the stock market has transported me back to February of 2009, when I was close to despair. It’s striking how different I feel now.

In February 2009, the stock market was down around 50% from its high, and everyone seemed to feel like the sky was falling. I was familiar with this state of panic because my relationship to the financial markets was that I didn’t trust them.

They were always going up and down in ways no one could predict, and I couldn’t trust those folks who said that they could anticipate what was going to happen. So when the market went down, I went down with it—sinking into a depression, knowing there was nothing I could do.

What a difference nine years make. I haven’t changed because the stock market rebounded. I changed because I learned that there was a different way to think about investing. I was right not to trust those people who thought they could predict what was going to happen in the markets, but I was wrong in thinking that there was nothing to do. I’ve learned that I can have a great investment experience if I just accept a few simple truths.

I have to understand the uncertainty of the market. The stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, has returned about 10% per year over the last 90 years,1 but there are very few individual years in which it has ever actually returned that amount. In fact, how many of those 90 years do you think the S&P 500 was up more than 20% or down more than 20% for that year? The answer is 40. Astounding, right? I wish somebody had explained that to me decades ago. Then I would have known to look at stock market returns in terms of decades—not years, months, days, or hours. I would understand that so many of those articles and cable news pieces are just noise, designed to keep an audience obsessed and unsettled.

I haven’t changed because the stock market rebounded. I changed because I learned that there was a different way to think about investing.

In order to be a long-term investor, you have to have a long time horizon. This can be hard to remember when you’re being assaulted by noise, but if you can stay strong, the results are stunning. By results, I don’t mean the investment returns, which hopefully are good. The return I’m talking about is how I feel every day. I worry less—not just about the future, but also about the present. Of course, I know that there are no guarantees when it comes to investing, but I feel like I’m going to be okay. I have a plan.

There’s no way I could’ve done this without a financial advisor. I needed someone who could not just talk me through what my asset allocation should be, but also help me work through how I felt about investing and what exactly I could do to change my perspective.

I was a mess nine years ago. Now, my outlook is totally different. The markets haven’t changed; they still go up and down. The difference is, I don’t anymore.

Equifax Security Breach

EquifaxEquifax had a data breach that potentially impacted over 143 million people. The company has offered free credit monitoring to everyone…sounds good right?!?! However, by signing up for free credit monitoring, you may be giving up your rights to participate in any class action lawsuit!

Here’s the language:

Arbitration

or check out this article: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-some-equifax-customers-have-unwittingly-waived-their-rights-to-a-class-action-lawsuit-2017-09-08

If that doesn’t make you made, what about the three Equifax executives who sold shares of their stock after the breach, but before telling the public?

Read this article from NPR: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/08/549434187/3-equifax-executives-sold-stock-days-after-hack-that-wasnt-disclosed-for-a-month

 

Best Day to Invest…

I recently had a conversation with a client who invests her monthly contribution on the 12th of each month.  She noticed that by the 15th the market had dropped in 6 of the last 8th months.  While this is not a large enough sample set to gain any statistically significant data, it did get me wondering…What is the best day to invest?

Based on this blog post from MustardSeedMoney’s research, the answer is Monday and the 23rd of each month.  While I don’t believe in market timing, it would be fun to see what happens!  Should we double down if the 23rd falls on a Monday?

Thoughts on Greatness (and Happiness)

So you want to be great do you?  I just hired a business coach and she is helping me explore who I am and where I want to be.  I saw this article from Forbes and had to link it to my blog…

My favorite is comfort vs desire for change.  If you are not willing to step outside your comfort zone, then don’t complain if you don’t experience change…

What is your favorite?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicahagy/2012/02/28/the-six-enemies-of-greatness-and-happiness/

Before the electricity goes out…

Winter is just around the corner and with it come all the ice, snow and power outages.  Yes…I said power outages.  Sure the electric company does a good job of trimming back branches over the summer, but unless you are prepared, being without power over the winter could be a nightmare.  Here are some tips that I have gathered over the years on preparing for a power outage…

 

  • Keep a flashlight in every room of the house.
  • Have a deck of cards or something on hand to keep children entertained…I mean what will they do if the power doesn’t come back on before the iPad battery dies!
  • Keep a bucket near your sump pump in the basement as you never know when you may have to bail some water.
  • If you have a landline, make sure you keep an “old phone” around that doesn’t require electricity.
  • Put some ice cubes in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.  If it melts and refreezes, you will know if your power was out long enough that food should be discarded.
  • If you use a generator or grill, make sure it is outside (not in the garage).  You don’t want to add carbon monoxide poisoning to your list of problems.
  • Make sure your fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors  have fresh batteries
  • Have an AM/FM radio available to listen to news and weather forecasts
  • Have a lighter and fire logs readily available near your fireplace
  • Keep the pantry stocked with canned food and make sure you have a manual can opener
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer to keep your food as fresh as possible
  • To prevent damage from potential power surges, disconnect any appliances or electronic equipment
  • Make sure to have extra warm clothes and blankets accessible.  Even if you have a natural gas furnace, the fan that distributes the heat is likely still powered by electricity.
  • Check on your neighbors who may not have seen this list…or better yet, forward it on to them!

 

Okay, I know we are in the 21st century, so let’s add some neat tech gadgets of our list of must haves…

 

Or…check out the more than 32,000 generators available at Amazon.com.