You’ve probably heard by now that the 2016 cost of living (COLA) adjustment for Social Security benefits is zero—the third time this has happened in the last seven years.  (2010 and 2011 were the other recent years.)  In fact, Social Security benefit increases have stalled since the Great Recession; only once since 2008 have they risen by more than 2%. For many retirees, this was surprising news.  Anybody who has visited the grocery store latelyRead More
To some, goal-setting may seem like an unnecessary task. Rather than investing time and energy towards setting goals, many people go about life without a well-defined path. What’s wrong with that? After all, if we’re too focused on attaining set goals, we may miss out on an opportunity, right? I believe in remaining open to a new calling, opportunity, or challenge in life. However, I also believe in the importance of goal-setting, related to finances,Read More
JGR XY Planning Network
I spent last week in Charlotte for the inaugural XY Planning Network conference (XYPN15). XYPN15 was the first ever financial planning conference geared towards advisors working with Gen X and Gen Y clients. For those not familiar, most people consider anyone born from the early 1960s to early 1980s as Generation X and early 1980s to early 2000s as Generation Y (aka Millennials). The clients I serve are at various stages of their lives, soRead More
JGR XY Planning Network
As a golfer, I am always looking for a way to improve my putting and hit the ball longer and straighter. There are countless tips available online and in magazines for me to reference. However, what I’ve found is the more tips I try to implement, the worse I play. Why is this? Simply put, sometimes we suffer from information overload. As our minds try to process more data, we reach a point where insteadRead More
A question I’m frequently asked is “Am I eligible for both STRS and Social Security benefits?” Many STRS members assume the answer is no, however, that’s not always the case. In short, the correct answer is maybe. And that “maybe” will depend on whether you’re referring to a benefit you’ve earned based on your own work record or a benefit you’re eligible for as a survivor. Confused yet? I’m here to help. First, let’s brieflyRead More
Do you remember the last time a light bulb went off in your head? Perhaps something clicked for the first time. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had at least one of these moments in our life…and they’re typically memorable! For me, one of these moments occurred in 2009 when I was introduced to fee-only financial planning. Why was this such a big deal? Because it completely altered the way I would thinkRead More