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It's Storm Season. Are You Ready?
We can help you prepare for this year's storm season . . . or whatever natural disasters may threaten your community. We've got a disaster planning workbook that's yours for the asking. Just contact us today to learn more!
Improve Your Odds of Saving Money

Whether you want to start saving for the future, or want to save more, the good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your chances for success.


Imagine Your Future Self Saving for retirement requires giving up something now for a better future. The best way to ease that sense of "loss," say the behavioral scientists, is to imagine your future self enjoying the benefits of your efforts today.


Enroll automatically

Inertia is not our friend, at least when it comes to retirement savings. That's why any plan you can opt into that allows you to make automatic contributions without having to make a decision each time will vastly increase your chances for success. That's true if you have access to an employer's plan or if you invest in your own plan.


Save More Tomorrow

We've already seen that taking money out of your pocket right now feels like a loss, even if it's intended for your future benefit. Two preeminent behavioral scientists, Richard Thaler and Shlomo Benartzi, came up with a clever campaign they called, "Save More Tomorrow."  


How does it work? Simple: Make a commitment to set aside future increases in your pay. So instead of banking that pay raise next year, set it aside in savings. Because you've never seen that increase in your paycheck, it doesn't seem like a loss. Meanwhile, you're building savings for the future.


Minimize Your Choices

Confronting too many investment choices is one of the biggest reasons we fail to open a retirement account. And that's where professional advice can help. Your financial advisor can assess your needs, evaluate your risk tolerance, and come up with an allocation strategy that suits your goals.

Whatever your goals for the future - building wealth for retirement, a college education, or a major purchase - we're here to help. So be sure to give us a call today if we can help you get started!


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Women have achieved so many major milestones over the last few generations. They are better educated, earning more, chief executives of Fortune 100 companies, and more influential in the economy than ever before.

But with all that women have accomplished, it's surprising that some financial obstacles remain. Fail to address these obstacles in your own financial planning, and you may fall short in achieving your goals.     

 Click here to find out how you can get a FREE copy of our informative workbook, Women & Money.

How much do you know about the financial issues women face? Take our short quiz and find out!

Want to learn more? Enjoy our short video on Women and Money.


Market Navigator     April 2015


Financial news, tips, and trends to help you achieve your  goals for yourself, your family, and your business. 

If this newsletter raises issues or concerns which you'd like to address in your own life, please be sure to contact us today. We're eager to help you meet all your financial needs now and for years to come.


 DMG Financial, LLC


Why We Don't Save

Each year, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald Associates publishes the results of its annual survey on "Retirement Confidence," which reveals how workers feel they will fare financially at retirement.


This year's results are only slightly better than in recent years: Just 22 percent of workers are very confident that they will have a comfortable retirement. That number may sound low, but it is up from 13 percent in 2013, and a meager 18 percent last year.


So, if two out of five Americans are feeling "confident" about their retirement lifestyle, what are they doing about it?


Even with rising "confidence," these survey respondents didn't back up their positive feelings with hard cash: just 61 percent of workers reported saving any money at all toward their retirement, and 57 percent of those surveyed had savings, investments, and other assets - excluding their home - of under $25,000.


Bad Company

While we would never suggest burying your head in the sand and ignoring the headlines when they present information you need to know, we also know that there's a big downside to these kinds of surveys. That's because when consumers hear that others are failing to adequately save for retirement, it allows them to take comfort in the fact that they're in good - or bad - company.


It's called "the social norm." When no one else is saving for retirement, then we aren't likely to save either. We're all in the same boat. But while that may take the edge off of the problem, it doesn't make the problem go away.

Instead, social scientists urge us to "personalize" the statistics. Instead of thinking of ourselves as one of a massive crowd, these experts suggest we imagine ourselves at retirement trying to get by on the meager savings we've set aside. The more we can put ourselves in the picture, the more real the problem becomes.


Comparing Apples to Apples

Another problem with this massive study is that it includes workers from all walks of life. What serves us better is to measure our progress against others just like ourselves: similar income, goals, etc. The results may not be so rosy in those cases, and we might just find ourselves the outliers - not living up to the savings standards set by our peers.


Immediate Gratification

The problem with immediate gratification, quipped actress Carrie Fisher, is that it takes too long.


It also keeps us from working towards goals that only offer rewards in the future.


That tendency, say social scientists, means that we have a very difficult time setting aside money for retirement because we have a "present bias." When faced with the option of setting aside $1,000 for our retirement or buying that brand new flat screen TV, our future financial comfort loses out to our desire for a pleasure now.

If you have a tendency for "present bias," not to worry. Behavioral scientists have found that people who do a good job deferring present gratification for long term goals are able to imagine themselves in the future enjoying the benefits of their choices. That's a skill that can be learned, research shows.


A Bird in the Hand

Part of our resistance to saving comes from our negative feeling of loss when we give something up. And for most of us, taking money out of our wallets to "save" for the future feels like a "loss." Logically, that doesn't make sense. It's still our money. But it's out of reach, and so it feels like lost money. This so-called "loss aversion" is a big reason many consumers don't save.


Lack of Access

Through no fault of our own, many of us don't have access to one of the powerhouses of retirement savings, the 401(k). Only about six out of ten working Americans even have access to an employer's 401(k) plan. But not all of those who could participate in a 401(k) will do so. In fact, just one-third of working Americans enroll in this retirement savings vehicle.


Too Many Choices

So, why don't more of those lucky workers who have access to a 401(k) enroll in it? Inertia for starters. It takes effort to read about the plan, fill out the paperwork, and then choose from among dozens and dozens of investment options.


And that brings us to the paradox of choice. Americans like choice. It's the American way. It lets us feel in charge of our own destinies.


But when it comes to retirement savings accounts, those choices can be overwhelming. When faced with too many choices, we can have trouble making decisions, with the result that we end up doing nothing. In fact, it's well documented that people actually make better decisions when faced with fewer options.


In his book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Barry Schwartz shows that reducing the number of options also reduces anxiety and increases the likelihood that consumers will take action. Of course, that may not be an option if you're enrolling in an employer's plan or opening a retirement savings account on your own. That's when professional advice can really help.

Doing Battle with Your Health Insurer

Needing medical care is stressful enough without the added challenge of fighting with your health insurance company over your coverage. But it's the rare consumer who hasn't had to do battle from time to time over just such issues. Here are some tips that will increase your chances of success should you need to dispute a claim or appeal a denial of coverage.


Find Out What's Covered

Before you undergo treatment, make sure your provider has verified coverage with your health insurance company. Most insurance companies will send you an Explanation of Benefits telling you what is or is not covered.


Check for Errors

If you get a bill from a provider that is much higher than you expected, double check how much your insurance company paid out. You'd be surprised at how often a clerical error by either your medical provider or the health insurer turns a covered expense into an uncovered one. Usually these mistakes can be rectified through one phone call.


Another common mistake occurs when a provider who is in network is mistakenly billed as an out-of-network provider. Again, a phone call can usually correct the problem.

Negotiate with Your Provider

Sometimes your provider may be amenable to lowering your bill, but that negotiation is better done in advance. Failure to pay what you owe could result in collection action against you and damage to your credit rating.


Fighting for Coverage

You're in for a bit of a battle, however, if an insurance company has denied coverage for a procedure or treatment. Some treatments, such as jaw surgery for TMJ symptoms, for example, are excluded on most policies. Other treatments may be denied as "experimental" or otherwise unsuitable for your diagnosis.


If you are denied for coverage, you can appeal the insurer's decision by substantiating the medical necessity of the treatment. You'll get the fastest response if you use the insurer's appeal process. You will need help from your doctor or other health care provider for documentation of the treatment and how it addresses your diagnosis.

Kiplinger's Magazine recommends contacting your state's insurance commission for guidelines on how to file an appeal.


If you really need to bring in the heavy artillery, you may want to consider hiring a claims assistance professional (CAP). For an hourly fee, these professionals will advocate for you with your insurance company and providers. To learn more about these uniquely trained experts, visit


Copyright 2015 by DMG Financial, LLC. All rights reserved. This publication is intended for general informational purposes only and may or may not pertain to your specific situation. Be sure to consult your tax adviser, attorney, and financial adviser before making any decisions concerning your own situation.