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|Financial Tip of the Month|
Adjusting Your Plans on the Road to Retirement
Retirement is a milestone event that, in a perfect world, can be planned in advance and executed on cue. But as the saying goes, life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. The truth is, when you're five or 10 years out from your planned retirement date, unexpected events or a change in your personal goals can quickly steer you off course.
Consider how the following life-altering scenarios might play out with regard to your finances. With a little readjusting, it may be possible to manage these circumstances with minimal disruption to your bottom line.
Your spouse was recently laid off, potentially forcing early retirement.
Working Americans who are eligible for Social Security income can choose to retire as early as age 62, but leaving the workforce before you're ready can take a toll on your anticipated retirement income. Retiring before your "full retirement age," which varies by birth year and is now 67 years old for workers born in 1960 or later1, also means a reduced benefit amount − as much as 30 percent.
If possible, your spouse may want to pursue another job or freelance work to maintain some income. If continued employment isn't an option, adjust your long-term plans accordingly, and live within your means as much as possible before tapping into retirement savings.
Financial uncertainties are compelling you to push out your retirement date.
In most professions, there's no requirement to retire at a specific age. It may be both practical and desirable to stay in the workforce longer, not only to continue to earn a paycheck but also if you enjoy your work. Keep in mind that staying in the workforce may make sense for some people, but not everyone. If you have a stressful career or are spending a significant amount of cash on transportation and professional wardrobe, determine how much continuing to work might really save you. Some may not be able to work as long as they'd like or expected to after 65 due to a disability or illness. Bottom line: work longer if you are able and desire to, but avoid depending on an extended time in the workforce for retirement income.
Unlike early retirement, retiring later than usual will affect your Social Security earnings in a good way. If you choose to retire after the normal retirement age, you can earn a delayed retirement credit that ranges from 3 to 8 percent2. Use the Social Security Administration's online calculator to determine your benefit amount.
Keep in mind that even if you continue working, you can't keep all your money in a tax-advantaged retirement account forever. Generally speaking, you'll need to start withdrawing required minimum distributions starting the year you reach 70 ½ years of age. The exception to this is if you have money in a Roth IRA that's funded with after-tax dollars and thus isn't subject to the same withdrawal requirements as pre-tax retirement accounts.
Your ideal retirement vacation property is for sale − a little sooner than you had planned.
Timing can be tricky when it comes to real estate transactions. If you believe this is the right property for you, then calculate the cost and tally the sacrifices you'll need to make to swing the purchase. Can you use the property before retirement? Will the purchase leave you enough discretionary income to furnish the home and pay travel expenses to visit as regularly as you'd like?
One strategy that may help lessen the financial burden is to rent your second property to vacationers when you're not using it. But if you decide now is not the time to risk taking on the added expense, do yourself the favor of putting it out of your mind. There are undoubtedly other gems that will surface in the future.
You've decided to relocate across the country to be closer to your children.
You're entitled to change your mind about where you live, but realize that moving can be taxing − literally. There will be financial consequences with relocation, especially given the fragile state of housing markets across the United States.
Before you take the re-location leap, ask yourself these and other questions about the potential of encountering significant cost-of-living differences in your new home: Will you be leaving a state that has higher or lower state income taxes? What about property taxes? Will you be able to sell your home and purchase something comparable (or downsize and save)?
Don't forget that a physical move involves a fair amount of hassle and cost for packing and transporting your personal belongs. Take advantage of the opportunity to get rid of what you no longer need to lighten your load in retirement. On the plus side, your new close proximity to family members may help you save money on travel costs. And if it adds to your enjoyment of life, well, that's priceless.
Consult a financial professional for the journey.
Job loss, new opportunities, relocation-these are just some of the life events that can affect your readiness for retirement. A certain amount of flexibility, ingenuity and optimism are always valuable traits to help you adjust to new circumstances. Pair these attributes with a knowledgeable resource and you may be ready for just about anything. The more prepared you are financially for interruptions or changes in your income and savings, the more freedom you will have to continue in the direction of your retirement goals.
Cheryle A. Brady, is a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., in Quincy, Massachusetts. She specializes in fee-based financial planning, and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 25 years. To contact Cheryle:
Cheryle A. Brady, Financial Advisor
Ameriprise Financial Services,
859 Willard Street, #300, Quincy, MA 02169-7482.
Telephone: 617 691 2167
2 "When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits", SSA Publication No. 05-10147, ICN 480136, July 2008 http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10147.html#a0=1
Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.
Ameriprise Financial does not provide tax or legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney.
© 2012 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.
|Executive Director's Column|
Dear Members and Colleagues:
What a FUN time we had cruising out of Hingham and around the Boston Harbor Islands in July. Jay and Bonnie Spence of Mass Bay Lines donated their vessel and crew for a great night to cruise into the sunset on what seemed like the only night that week without a thunderstorm - yeah! Bonnie joined us on the cruise and has more energy than most - all positive, too, and you witness that when she flashes her beautiful smile.
Eighty or so people danced and enjoyed the summer air. We also networked, met new friends, caught up with old friends and collaborated with other business women and men. After all, that is what SSWBN strives to do - offer our members Contacts, Coaching & Collaboration. We are able to do this because of our generous sponsors, donors and volunteers. Thank you, Bonnie and Jay Spence, for hosting us!
Bonnie and Jay Spence, Mass BayLines.
Photo by Jean Donohue
Call to action: the Second Annual The Art of Healing: Life Beyond Cancer conference, presented by The Friends of Mel Foundation is right around the corner. Scheduled for Saturday, September 15th at the Quincy Marriott, this wonderful conference helps men and women to face life with joy after cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Last year the SSWBN provided two teams of volunteers to assist at the event. One of those volunteers, Patty Funder of LaserLight for Men and Women, said, "We came early, we stayed late, and we all came out of this with a wonderful, inspired feeling. You don't want to miss this opportunity to Pay It Forward." Register to volunteer here.
As always we have sponsorship opportunities for all events. Contact me for details.
Let's do business with each other!
781-696-9901 * firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicated to the success of our members through Contacts, Coaching and Collaboration - our mission.
|A Message from the President|
What a great day was had by all at the Rockland Golf Course this past Monday! Weather was beautiful, attendance was great, raffle and auction prizes were bountiful and the staff at Rockland Golf Course was exceptional.
All the hard work and attention to detail that Board Member Marguerite Salvucci of South Coastal Bank, and her small but powerful team that included Paula Lind of O'Donoghue Insurance and Denece Clinton of Unicorn Realty put into this event really showed. Thank you, Marguerite, for your five years of serving on the Golf Team Committee, including the last three as its chairman: you leave big shoes to fill.
It is unreal that we are already into September. Where did the summer go? I love this time of year though: nice crisp air, hopefully, and great weather to get back to walking again. A lot of people jump right back into networking as well, it seems, which is what I like to do.
We have a lot of exciting things coming up over the next few months with our organization. Our membership is growing every month as we keep bringing more and more great people into an already great group.
About the Law - Barry Gordon, GMO
from Labor Day
Fall is in the air. The goal is to be ready, ready for back to school and whatever else fall brings.
Prepare for what the election brings whether your candidate wins or not. Each of us will have to depend more on ourselves and our support systems. What government brings will be dessert because there will be no main course coming from the government. Some days we will have to go without dessert.
If you had not noticed the Government cannot get out of its own way. Look at the Republicans who put up a brain-dead candidate from Missouri (my opinion).
So what do we all do? We build reserves, secure assets, talk with our families and watch out for signs of danger.
Incorporate your business. Segregate assets and do not secure all assets when you borrow money. Put insurance into trusts. Place a homestead on your home. Reduce interest rates on your mortgage. Buy more auto and home liability coverage. Prepare an estate plan.
Just in case you think I am not an optimist, you thought incorrectly. I am optimistic about myself and my trusted advisors. I am focusing on my issues and those of my family. I am focusing on my clients' issues.
I do not want to clutter my mind with the absolute trash that is on TV and the internet every day.
I urge you to do the same.
Call me, Barry Gordon, at Gordon, Mond & Ott - (617) 786-0800. My associates and I will work with you and provide you with a team of advisors, good, capable people whom we use for ourselves. Let us work with you to reduce or remove uncertainties so you can enjoy your life. We will be part of your support system.
|Kristen Ford Hernandez |
It seems as if this summer went by in a blur. I hope you all had a chance to take some time off and enjoy it with friends and family. It is good to see that some great SSWBN connections were made.
Jean Donohue of Donohue Photography sent her heartfelt gratitude to members who have been supporting her, as she supports her dear friend, Tricia LeVangie, during a particularly difficult time in her battle with cancer: "I have been so impressed by the response of some members of the Network, some of whom I may have met only once or twice," said Tricia.
- Jean gives a huge thank you to Pauline Aligheri, of Friends of Mel, "...who has been so generous with her time and connections to help me advocate for my very sick friend. Pauline helped guide me in getting what was needed in terms of legal papers, insurance information, and what was needed to get a second opinion at MGH. Also, I want to give a tremendous thank you to Attorney George Boerger, who put together the legal documents within a day. Their help was invaluable to me and to my friend.
- "What an amazing woman I found in Lynn Feingold of Songs of the Colonial Days, who with all she is going through herself, took the time to give a generous donation to Tricia ; and to Maureen Elliot of Camelot Enterprises, who gave me a donation for the silent auction.
- "And thank you to Lisa Flashenburg of Legal Edge Real Estate for choosing me to create a portrait for her website, business cards and her social networking pages."
Alison Schirone of Yarn's End sent in a thank you Ann Finnie of Footprints Holistic Healing for a superb reflexology session: "I'm looking forward to my next appointment, and if you have not tried reflexology, I encourage you to take time for yourself and give Ann a call," said Alison.
Lynn Feingold of Songs of the Colonial Days thanks Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant Joyce Auguston "for setting up a personal consultation for me with one of her associates so I could learn how to apply makeup to look my best while I go through treatments. I learned a lot, and I feel confident now that I'm looking marvelous! Thanks to her speedy service my "kit" came in the mail two days later!"
Stacy Mafera of Errands Etceterahas been very busy with fellow members, and she thanks the following:
- Anna Linzi and Matt Menapeace of Light Heart Enterprises, "for meeting with me and giving me the opportunity to learn a little more about what you both do - I had no idea it was so much more than just the gift books! I'm looking forward to working together on social media going forward. Also, thank you for introducing me to your "Drop & Shop" program- I loved trying all of the different cleaning products, and my clients were happy with the quality and smell of them! Also, thanks for allowing me to help guide you through social media, including LinkedIn!
- Barbara Case of Moors& Cabot, "for thinking of EE when your cleaner called out sick last minute! So glad I could step in and help out - I hope your guests had a great weekend!
- Nikki Peterkin of New York Life for running our monthly coffee/brainstorming sessions!
- ENORMOUS thanks to Lynn Feingold of Songs of the Colonial Days for the introduction to her friend, Ruth, who although she has a great husband, still needs a "wife" to help out with the dusting.
- Endless thanks to Janet LaBerge of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - for being so wonderfully supportive and encouraging with one of my clients in a difficult time. "You are truly and inspiration and role model!
- Lois Wood of Lois Wood Graphic Design: "Thank you for having EE help you get a little bit cleaner and for inviting me to your 20th year party! There was so much love in that room- it was overwhelming! Also, thank you for supporting Errands Etcetera and allowing me to help you around your home and giving you website tips!
- Thanks to Megan Stewart of Acupuncture & Homeopathy of Hingham for hiring EE to come and give a little "FaceBook101" lesson.
- Endless thank yous to Katie Howard of SSWBN, but this month specifically for making the connection to KoKo Fit. "I cleaned the studio after construction just days before the opening of this new fitness studio in Hanover, and now that it's opened I'm looking forward to popping in and getting a demo!"
- Lastly, warmest thank you to my dear friend Connie White of Remax: "It was an absolute pleasure to sit down and talk with Connie about steps to purchase a home. She always offers the best advice, and meeting with her always feels like an hour-long hug!"
Lois Wood of Lois Wood Graphic Design sends a BIG THANK YOU to Priscilla Chura of Small Biz CFO! "I was ecstatic to win a raffle prize of four precious hours with Priscilla, who helped me to significantly streamline my entire billing process! She pointed out so many features, and reconfigured my system to generate more meaningful financial reports. Priscilla is great... patient, calm, explaining everything so I could actually understand it. I would gladly give a referral or recommendation for Priscilla to anyone!
- Lois also gives a shout-out to Paula Lind of O'Donoghue Insurance: "Paula is simply the best. We weren't happy with our car insurance guy, and Paula came to our house and reviewed our policy. She found that we were under-insured in some areas, and over-insured in others, and gave us a better price. She then looked at our home insurance and at the insurance for our house in the Virgin Islands, and again found too much here, not enough here. All in all she saved us a lot of money, but more importantly, she is easy to talk with, very calm, and always so nice!
- Thank you Lori Cook of A Fork in the Road at Bryantville, for providing delicious hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine and a sparkling bartender for "the huge party for the kick-off of the 20th Anniversary" that Lois threw to celebrate her milestone in business.
Wishing you all a successful September and an abundance of connections!
Premiere Pros Painting and Carpentry
|Above and Beyond|
This month we have a few milestones from among our members:
Congratulations to Lori Cook, who announced a new name for her business (formerly known as the Bryantville Deli): A Fork in the Road. With new name comes a new direction for Lori to take her business. Best of luck, Lori!
A big congratulations goes out to Priscilla Chura, Small Biz CFO, for her recent acceptance of a position with the ARC of South Shore. After eight generous years in the Network, in which she served on the Board of Directors and orchestrated a streamlined process for our financial management, Priscilla has decided to close her business. She takes on new responsibilities as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance and Administration for her new employer.
Congratulations to Lois Wood of Lois Wood Graphic Design, featured in a recent article in the Business Section of The Patriot Ledger! This is a good example of the power of the SSWBN: the Ledger had called our Executive Director Katie Howard looking for recommendations of women-owned businesses that were hitting a significant milestone this year. Katie gave them several names, so look for more to come!
|Massachusetts Educational Foundation, Inc. |
Exciting News from the Massachusetts Educational Foundation
Welcome back! We hope you had a great summer.
Things have been busy at the Massachusetts Educational Foundation.Once again we sponsored a Red Sox Raffle and raised close to $4,000. These funds go to support the scholarships granted annually to women over 35 who are pursuing a career transition.
This year's winner was Dan Cosgrove of Norwell, a financial advisor with Moors & Cabot and the owner of River Bank, a tax preparation firm in Brockton. Mr. Cosgrove and three of his family attended the July 19th Red Sox against the Chicago White Sox game. His package included not only four tickets to premium seats, but $150 in spending money and a one-night stay at the Boston-Brookline Holiday Inn as well. The winning ticket was sold to Cosgrove by dedicated board member Ava Glaser who owns the internet franchise known as Shop.com/ava
The Massachusetts Educational Foundation runs
raffles and events throughout the year to support the scholarship program. This year we received 38 applications, which represents a 100 percent increase over the prior year and which came from women from all over the state. If you missed
Celebration! you missed the awarding of the scholarships to five women and one set of parents representing their daughter (who was on a previously scheduled vacation). It was an exciting event for both board members and scholarship recipients. It was clear that each recipient was on track to not only change her life, but to change the world in the process.
We are pleased to announce our new board members: Alyssa Dver of Mint Green Marketing, David Gabor of The Wagner Law Group, and Jenifer Pinkham of law firm Schlossberg, LLC. They join forces with current Massachusetts Educational Foundation board members, Veva Johnson, Barbara Case, Ava Glaser, SSWBN co-founder Susan Hammond and Laura Willis. We have great plans for 2013, our 15th year, with these new members on board!
You, too, can support the Massachusetts Educational Foundation with your time, talent or financial gift. Consider joining one of the recently formed committees, including Events, Marketing, Scholarship, Finance, Governance and Fundraising. Thank you to those of you who have already done so. To find out more just reach out to any board member, or use the Contact Us page on our website: www.massedfund.org
We would love you to share your ideas. Thank you for helping to make 2012 a successful year!
The Massachusetts Educational Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of women over 35, enabling them to transition to a more rewarding career, by providing scholarships for education, a place of empowerment and support, and the tools they need to create the life they desire for themselves and future generations. Donations are tax deductible to the extent of IRS regulations.
N-Hance: Renew the woodwork in your home to its original beauty
Paula Greally, Owner with
Address: 16 Russell Trufant Road, Carver, serving the South Shore
Renew the Wood in Your Home, Protect the Environment
How did you come to be in this line of work?
We always wanted to own our own business. In 2008 my husband had a serious accident while working in the construction field. That was the catalyst for us to make some changes, and we took the plunge!
What are the top three things that separate you from your competition?
We offer our clients choices. With our service you can renew the life and luster in your wood, perform a color shift or choose a more dramatic, complete color change. We use proprietary products and a no-sanding process which results in no dust, no mess and no odor! Most of our jobs are completed in days, not weeks -- and with minimal disruption. Our service is on average one-third the cost of re-facing and one-fifth the cost of replacing!
Describe your dream/perfect/best customer.
Our best customers are both homeowners and business owners. Our service is an excellent choice for kitchen cabinets, wood floors, stairs, office floors, office furniture, restaurants, hotel furniture. The list is truly endless.
What changes are happening, or can you predict happening soon, within your industry?
We have some exciting new products coming down the pike. Our new opaque line is a fantastic new choice for wood renewal. This offers a new line of colors such as vintage white, pistachio, slate and many others. This is an amazingly affordable way to completely change the look of your kitchen. Our products are all environmentally friendly. By using our service, clients are helping the environment by renewing their wood instead of replacing it. We use "green" products so everyone is benefitting!
What do you regard as your greatest achievement in business to date?
I think our greatest achievement to date has got to be our high number of repeat customers and referrals. We are amazed that so many people go out of their way to send cards and leave messages to thank us for the work they have had done. It is so rewarding, and it certainly validates our decision to enter into this business!
What is your toughest challenge?
Our toughest challenge has got be life balance. We have two children, Maeve is 9 and Luke is 6. When we hear them playing "N-Hance" games and talking to their teddies about the benefits of using us, then we know we need to check our work life at the door! Having said that, it is so fabulous to be a business partner with someone you know inside out, whom you can trust impeccably, and to know that your goals are identical. Board meetings in our PJs late at night or early in the morning are very convenient also!
What is something that members may be surprised to learn about you?
I was a highly competitive sailor when I was younger, winning many competitions. I was the first woman to win the Nationals in Ireland.
Do you want you and your business to be featured in this column? It is a great way for people to get to "know" you on a whole different level! Contact Katie at 781-696-9901 or email@example.com for more information!