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More than Money Newsletter - October 2015

Dear Friends, 

“Is this Letter Worth $449,220 to You?”

It depends.  Check out the ideas we’re sharing to see which one(s) fit you, your goals, and your situation.  There may be nearly half a million dollars on the table – and maybe more – if you take action.  Not sure where to start?  Just reach out to our MtM world headquarters.  We’re here to serve you.

“9/11 - Thank You from All of Us to All of You”

On September 11th we gathered again at the world headquarters of More than Money to remember 9/11 and honor our men and women in America’s military by raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.  The day was long and wonderful and deeply moving.  Many of you joined us here with many, many more joining us by phone, by email, and in your thoughts and prayers.  Your generosity is only matched by the depth of your love for American and your appreciation for the sacrifices our military makes to protect us and our freedoms.

As of this writing, our 9/11 efforts have raised more than $27,500.00 for the Wounded Warrior Project.  This is a new More than Money record and brings our total raised in our Remembering 9/11 programs to more than $168,000.00. 

Our More than Money team – Connie, Mark, JoAnne, Daryl, Gretchen, Bill, Diane, and Gene – thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.

“Is this One Idea Worth $259,200 to You?”

It depends . . . do you know how to best use your Social Security benefits?

Choosing when to begin receiving your social security benefits is one of the really big decisions when you retire.

Taking reduced benefits at age sixty-two (62) gets you cash more quickly but at a deep reduction from normal retirement benefits that begin (for most folks) at age sixty-six (66).

Waiting until age seventy (70) to take your maximum benefits will nearly double the benefits you receive at age sixty-two (62) – if you live long enough to collect. 

Does your head hurt?

Understanding that the only time you will know you have selected the exactly perfect choice for you is moments after you’ve died – you might want to seriously consider an important factor before you choose.  People are living longer – much longer on average – than ever before.

The difference in lifetime benefits collected from age sixty-two (62) through age ninety (90) if you delay the start of your benefits until age seventy (70) can be as much as $259,200 (based on today’s social security maximum benefits ).  Obviously, that number grows even higher should you live even longer.

Social security as longevity insurance – who knew?

“Should You Leave the Stock Market Behind?”

It depends . . . completely on your financial goals and timeframes.

(1) Consider if you should be in the stock market at all.  If your need for your funds isless than three years – the stock market may not be for you.

(2) Consider if you should watch any financial shows.  If your investment strategy is well thought out, fits your goals and timeframes, and is professionally monitored – keep cool and stop working yourself up.

(3) Consider if your risk tolerance has dropped and you should add more to your cash, fixed income or other  non-equity positions.

(4) Consider shifting part of your portfolio to guaranteed investments like fixed annuities or fixed index annuities.

(5) Consider creating guaranteed lifetime income inside a variable annuity platform with the appropriate lifetime income riders. While not necessarily outside the market (many variable annuities offer non-equity positions within their menus of investment options) you may find the lifetime income guarantees provide you with the ability to better tolerate the inevitable equity market cycles.

(Important Note! Guarantees of all annuities are based on the financial strength and claims paying ability of the

insurance company issuing the annuity. Evaluate the annuity company carefully.) 

(6) Consider using a diversified portfolio of ETFs with stop-loss orders in effect to provide you with protection against steep drops in the markets. Most ETF stop-loss programs work well in an ‘orderly decline’, but keep in mind you may lose more than expected if the market is volatile – like now.

(7) Avoid ‘magic bullet’ answers.  Cashing in everything to buy gold (silver, real estate, or anything else a salesman wants to scare you into) is a wrong-headed idea.  Don’t be wrong-headed.

What approach to stock market swings best fits you and your goals?

“Could This One Idea Save You $190,020?”

It depends . . . do you (or someone you love and/or are responsible for) want a great college education without being in debt for the next forty (40) years?

College has become one of (if not the) largest expenditures Americans will make.  While the question of whether your son or daughter should even attend college is the subject of a completely different blog, if paying for college is even in your future wouldn’t you want to know how to get an 81.9% discount?

For the purposes of our comparison we are looking to provide our wonderful daughter with a four year degree in engineering.  While you might think this dooms you to $60,000 or more per year at a ‘name’ university. Yale University’s Admissions site advises that a student who completes their degree in four years will spend $253,000. Obviously, students who take longer – and many do – will pay more.)  Consider the following options:

$240,560 – four years at one of America’s top, private, ‘name’ universities

$121,000 –         four years at one of America’s top, public, ‘name’ universities

                           $119,000 savings and a 49.7% ‘discount’

$71,720 -            four years at one of America’s top, public, ‘name’ universities satellite

                           $168,840 savings and a 70.2% ‘discount’

$43,540 -            two years at one of America’s top community colleges and two years

                           at one of America’s top, public, ‘name’ universities satellite

                           $190,020 savings and an 81.9% ‘discount’

And, at graduation, your daughter’s diploma will read Penn State.

Isn’t it better to get a great education, a diploma from a great university respected by all, and not go into crushing debt?

“Are You Age Seventy (70) or Older?”

Are you age seventy (70) or older and in charge of the family finances?

A recent report concluded the number one worry keeping seniors (those ages seventy (70) or older) awake at night is

– what will happen to my (non-financial) spouse when I die?

A very good question.

This could certainly keep a loving spouse awake with worry.

But it doesn’t have to.

If you are in charge of the family finances and are willing to deal with your mortality the time to act is now.  With your experience, it is logical you should initiate the search for a financial advisor to assist your spouse when you are no longer there yourself. The two of you should interview advisors until you identify the person who can help give your spouse confidence she or he can face their financial questions and concerns independently, but not alone.

Take action today – sleep better tonight.


More than Money Radio and Television

Have Breakfast with Gene every Saturday Morning at 8:06 as 

More than Money with Gene Dickison airs on AM790 WAEB. 
all with your questions live at 610-720-7900 
Two Full Hours – 8:06 through 10:00 AM.

 Who would you like to see interviewed on our radio or television show? 

What topics would you like Gene to discuss?

 Send your suggestions to JoAnne@AskMTM.com

 

Words are Powerful Tools for American Freedom

One of America’s thought leaders in business today is quoted as saying:

“Service.  Service is – thought by many – an idea whose time is past.  .

 The phrase “Public Servants’ has become an ironic joke as the vast majority of those elected in America today look to be served by the public and have little or no intention of proving any service in return. 

Many in business – from entry level employees to the corporate suite – look at their customers as a necessary evil, annoying, and, at best, a means to an end – profits.

The interesting reality is the only way to greatness and/or great profits is great. If you wish to achieve greatly – find a way to serve the most people you can.  Spend the vast majority of your time thinking about more and better ways to serve your customers, your clients, or your constituents.  Lift them up, serve them, love them.  Actually serving your clients becomes your greatest competitive

advantage in our ‘dog eat dog’ world. Ironic really.”

Do you know who said these words?  Email your answer to JoAnne@AskMtM.com.  We’ll give you the correct answer in our next newsletter.

Please allow us to serve you and those you love.

Thank you,

Gene 

P.S.  How can you serve more?

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