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Strategies exist to maximize Social Security benefits

The Bakersfield Californian April 23, 2013 Social Security provides at least half the income to Americans ages 65 years and older. For about 25 percent of that age group, it accounts for 90 percent. And that’s why the Social Security reform debate now under way in Congress is so heated. For so many Americans, Social … Read more

U.S. experiencing ‘Gray Divorce Revolution’

The Bakersfield Californian March 13, 2013 A pall hung over my office as two of my clients, who I will call Lois and Bruce, sat solemnly across the desk. For the past two years, I have been working with this 50-something couple to formulate a financial plan for their retirement. Although Lois and Bruce hold … Read more

Consider options before tapping 401(k) account

The Bakersfield Californian January 25, 2013 As the Boomer generation ages, financial planners are concerned that people are not saving enough money to support themselves in retirement. This concern escalated with recent reports that Boomers are digging their financial hole deeper by borrowing against their meager nest eggs. Monitoring agencies report that more than one … Read more

Should you trade retirement income for ‘lump sum?’

The Bakersfield Californian January 15, 2013 A 60-year-old Bakersfield woman, who I will call June, has been working on a financial plan that will allow her to retire in five years. Before seeking my advice last year, she bought a variable annuity to replace the “defined benefit pension” plan that her long-term employer had ended … Read more

Medicare decisions have lasting, profound effects

The Bakersfield Californian October 9, 2012 Last year, the leading edge of the baby boomer generation wave crashed on the Medicare shore. An estimated one baby boomer every eight seconds turned 65 in 2011 – adding more than 2.5 million new Medicare recipients in that year, alone. Baby boomers are people born between 1946 and … Read more

Message is clear: Americans are ‘on their own’

The Bakersfield Californian September 25, 2012 A growing number of Americans are being left “on their own” to figure out how they will support themselves in their old age. The 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in September revealed that baby boomers and members of the generations that follow are … Read more

Student loan returns to haunt aging boomer

The Bakersfield Californian August 29, 2012 The calls began about four years ago. My client, who I will call Bob, had just come home from work and his telephone was ringing. The caller said he represented a debt collection company hired to recover Bob’s unpaid student loan. Bob, who is now 65, graduated from Cal … Read more

Reverse mortgages may not be easy, safe money

The Bakersfield Californian July 24, 2012 If you watch much television these days, hardly an hour will go by without someone pitching reverse mortgages to senior viewers. Even a former U.S. senator/presidential candidate is hawking these loans as safe, easy cash. Under certain, limited circumstances, obtaining a reverse mortgage may make sense. But many are … Read more

Annuity is complex, but good retirement hedge

The Bakersfield Californian June 7, 2012 With defined-benefit pensions disappearing and stock market volatility giving people nightmares, an increasing number of my boomer retirement planning clients are asking me about investing in annuities. An annuity is an “investment,” most commonly with a life insurance company, that can pay out retirement income, often through the lifetime … Read more