Tag Archives: retirement planning

education.business

Enterprise Bank Offers Free Business Course

Enterprise University, an educational program offered by Enterprise Bank & Trust, will continue its Spring 2013 courses with an April 2 class on “Personal Fiscal Fitness: The Critical Components of a Financial Plan.” The morning workshop includes a continental breakfast and will focus on wealth accumulation, retirement funding, estate planning and ensuring financial goals are met. The instructor is Susie Brousseau, Enterprise Bank & Trust’s senior vice president and director of wealth management for Arizona.

Enterprise University provides free educational seminars on a variety of relevant topics for business owners and their leadership taught by experts in a variety of fields including advertising, marketing, business continuity, financial planning and more.

WHAT: Course for business leaders on “Personal Fiscal Fitness”

WHERE: Phoenix Country Club, 2901 N. 7th St. Phoenix, Ariz. 85014

WHEN: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

COST:    Free to business owners and leaders. Registration is required.

RSVP: Visit www.enterprisebank.com/eu to register

Susie Brousseau began her education at the College of Charleston in Medical Technology. Shifting her focus to financial services, she achieved her Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation in 1984, her Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation in 1985 and her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in 1990.

Brousseau’s areas of expertise include estate planning, retirement planning, charitable giving, business planning, life insurance, investment management and asset protection strategies. She has received numerous awards, spoken regionally and nationally on wealth planning topics and has conducted numerous client seminars.

Enterprise University will continue through May, with courses during the month of April focusing on marketing strategy and sales management.

The following courses will be offered in April:
• April 24: Creating a Marketing Strategy to Build Brands and Drive Results
• April 30: Creating a Digital Strategy to Drive Business

For questions on Enterprise University call Kay Erb, Director of Enterprise University, at 800-396-8141, ext. 13203.

Key Elements to Retirement Planning

Key Elements To Retirement Planning

There are countless books, articles, and videos that discuss how to plan for your retirement — many of which can be found at universities, books written by financial gurus, business owners, institutions and professionals in the industry. If one were to Google retirement planning, there would be tons of information, multiple websites, retirement calculators and sources to learn about what to do and how to do it.

There is no one right way to plan or a single investment strategy that works for everyone. But there are some important elements to follow that can help improve the odds of retiring successfully. Some of them include investment strategies, retirement timeline, risk management and asset protection, and estate planning.

Investing has many levels that range from very risky to very conservative. An investor can choose to invest in stocks, bonds, annuities, insurance and real estate. All of these can be valuable if used the proper way and for the right purpose.

But before choosing an investment, I would recommend to complete a series of questionnaires to learn more about what may be suited for that investor. Also, having a good mix of different risk levels and different products can help provide opportunity and protection.

Another important element that should be at the top of the retirement planning list is the value of time. The earlier we start the better the odds to navigate through difficult markets and the better we can plan for life changing events. Navigating through difficult markets is very challenging and staying the course usually works to the investors favor. Having the courage to stay invested and setting aside emotional decisions is critical. Also, by starting sooner it will allow investors to take advantage of compound interest.

Risk management and asset protection can be looked at in many different ways. The most common, is protecting our loved ones by insuring them and the assets we have accumulated. Unknown events will occur from time to time and preparing for these events before they happen can make or break our retirement success. Balancing for the now as well as the future is essential.

Once we have reached our goals, investors should plan to protect their estate with the hope to pass it to their heirs. This task first begins by organizing financials and personal interest to meet one’s wishes upon their passing. The best and most appropriate way to accomplish this is to seek the services of an attorney. It is important to provide the attorney all of the necessary information and have thorough discussions of your wishes so they can be carried out accordingly.

These are important elements of retirement planning and vary per person or household. It is important to take the time to research and learn about what steps to take in starting your plan, managing your plan, and having a resolution to your estate. I recommend working with a financial professional and reviewing your plan annually.

For more information about retirement planning and investing, visit Jacob Gold & Associates’ website.

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This information was prepared by Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and is for educational information only. The opinions/views expressed within are that of Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of ING Financial Partners or its representatives. In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Neither ING Financial Partners nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your financial professional, attorney, accountant or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decisions.

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Low Rate Environment

Dealing With A Low Rate Environment

Dealing with a low rate environment

Many investors watch day-to-day market performance to evaluate their investment holdings. Do I buy, do I sell, hold on, or consider other options such as sitting in cash or CDs to earn a return? There are many factors to think about. Having a low rate environment is one of them. This is a critical piece of the pie and can affect all of us for a long time, especially retirees.

How does this work? The Federal Reserve, led by Ben Bernanke, along with the Federal Open Market Committee, meets eight times a year to determine the federal funds rate. The federal funds rate is influenced by the Fed in three different ways.

First, the Fed can buy Treasury securities from the market to reduce government debt. This will lower the rate.

Second, the Fed can adjust the reserve requirement that capital banks must have on their books. This may reduce the amount of loans banks offer their customers which may affect what consumers pay to borrow.
Third, the Fed sets the discount rate. The discount rate is the rate at which banks can borrow from the Federal Reserve Banks. If this is increased, it creates higher rates for consumers, which usually reduces the amount investors save. The Fed’s influence on rates affects all of us and must be considered in retirement planning.

Having a low rate environment has its pros and cons. For borrowers, it is very positive. It allows individuals and businesses to get cheap money on mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, business loans, and other related borrowing needs. As a consumer, you are able to save by paying lower interest rates and use that savings to spend more on necessities. On the institution side, companies are able to borrow from other banks and the Federal Reserve at low costs. This provides opportunities for acquisitions, mergers, and investing in their companies for future growth.

On the negative side, financial institutions that are required to meet certain deposit minimums may only yield a low return, making it more difficult to generate a profit. Banks and financial institutions earn less on their reserves. Many times, companies will increase their fees to compensate for low-interest rates, which cost consumers more.

Also, having low interest rates provides for low returns on fixed income type of investments such as CDs, money market accounts, and treasury securities. Retirees who have low debt and rely on fixed incomes are feeling the pinch more than ever. In some cases, retirees who depend on low risk returns are having to turn to equity or bond positions to offset the low rates of C’s and cash equivalents. This becomes very challenging and presents a constant balancing act for retired investors.

In today’s market, it is much more difficult to figure out the most appropriate investment for an individual, especially one that is already retired. Most retirees rely on low risk investments to generate returns that will keep up with inflation of about 3 percent. This is much more challenging to do when rates are as low as they are today. According to the Fed’s last meeting, interest rates will continue to be low (near zero) until 2013.

When rates do start to rise, investors will need to be proactive and make change to their portfolios. Learning to manage our investments according to risk tolerance and needs is a constant battle. Working with a financial professional can help guide investors through volatility and rate changes.

For more information about having a low rate environment, visit www.jacobgold.com or call (480) 998-4653.

[stextbox id="grey"]Michael Cochell is associate vice president at Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. This information was prepared by Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and is for educational information only. The opinions/views expressed within are that of Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of ING Financial Partners or its representatives. In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Neither ING Financial Partners nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your financial professional, attorney, accountant or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decisions. [/stextbox]