WH Cornerstone Newsletter
Let us be your financial cornerstone in a constantly changing world November 2005

in this issue

Worried About the Future?

The $300,000 Baby

What's News Got to Do with It?

End of the Greenspan Era

Life Insurance Checkup


Worried About the Future?

According to a recent survey, even the wealthiest Americans believe they need more money to secure their future. Individuals with a net worth of $1 million said they would need $2.4 million to live comfortably, and those with $5 million said they would need twice that much.

Everyone wants to feel financially secure. The question is, how do you determine what it will take to reach that point, particularly when it comes to retirement?

Run the numbers. The first step is to calculate how much income you will need to live comfortably and pursue your lifestyle goals. This means taking into account a number of factors. For example, based on your health and family history, how long do you expect to be retired? How much should you expect to spend on health care?

Most experts suggest that you will need 70 to 80 percent of your pre-retirement income in retirement. This may be a good place to start, but a more detailed calculation will give you a more realistic idea of your needs.

Devise a strategy. Next, identify all available sources of income and estimate the future value of your savings. For example, what is the value of your current savings and investments, including retirement plans? How long do you plan to receive income from part-time or full-time employment? What role will Social Security benefits play in your financial strategy?

Finally, determine how long your savings will last based on your anticipated length of retirement, desired lifestyle, and investment growth assumptions. Do you need to adjust your portfolio in order to meet your needs?

Regardless of your net worth, planning for a long, comfortable retirement can be intimidating. Taking the time to map out a personalized strategy might be the key to funding the lifestyle you've always dreamed about.

Read on...

 Quick Links...

As the holidays approach we can often get caught in the rush of things. It is important to take the time to enjoy the special moments with family and friends. Instead of getting lost in the shuffle of meaningless gift giving to those people who have everything or can buy themselves what they want, when they want it. Consider giving an “experience gift”—share an evening over a nice dinner in your home or tickets to a show or event that you’ll enjoy together. Or make a donation in their honor to their favorite charity. Make sure to carve out a little time to reflect on the year in review and prepare for the new year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Time to Share. Create a Buzz. This holiday season, Interfaith Social Services invites you to join them for some Holiday Soul. This year's event will take place on Thursday, December 1st at 6:30 p.m. at Lombardo's in Randolph. There will be a reception, silent auction, dinner and dancing. For more information contact Bettyanne Lang at 617.773.6203.

Interfaith Social Services has been helping people on the South Shore since 1947. Their programs reach out with food, clothing and counseling.

  • The $300,000 Baby
  • Raising children can be costly. A recent study found that families earning $70,200 or more will spend a staggering $269,520 to raise a child through age 17.

    This figure is a composite average, so it could cost some families much more. And this doesn't account for college costs, which could easily add $50,000 for a four-year college education.

    Read on...
  • What's News Got to Do with It?
  • Living in the Information Age means that investors have a wealth of financial information at their fingertips. The number of Web sites, message boards, and Web logs keeps multiplying, in addition to TV and radio talk shows and the more traditional newspapers and magazines.

    Financial literacy is crucial, and investors need to follow the market trends and economic issues that affect their portfolios. However, it is often risky to make investment decisions based solely on reports from the mass media or insight gained in an Internet chat room.

    Read on...
  • End of the Greenspan Era
  • In the American political landscape, where eras usually last no longer than eight years, the equivalent of a visit by Haley’s comet is about to occur. For only the fourteenth time in history, a new chairman will assume the helm of the Federal Reserve.

    In January 2006, the revered but also controversial Alan Greenspan will retire after nearly 19 years with the Fed. Despite the fact that President Bush has already appointed his likely successor, Ben Bernanke, it is unlikely that anyone will truly be able to fill Greenspan’s shoes for years to come.

    Read on...
  • Life Insurance Checkup
  • Although few people would argue about the importance of having life insurance, most do not have a clue when it comes to the appropriate amount of coverage. A recent study revealed that only 13 percent of Americans carry the recommended amount of life insurance coverage based on their income.

    It's not unusual for people to buy a life insurance policy and then all but forget about it. But this could be a big mistake. Changes in your personal and financial situation may necessitate a change in your coverage. By reviewing your life insurance policies on a regular basis, you can help ensure that your coverage is in line with your financial needs.

    Read on...
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