Apprise Wealth Management’s Selected Readings for the Week of September 1, 2019

Hospital Charges on a Dollar Bill and Healthcare Costs

At Apprise Wealth Management, we want to help people make better decisions about money. We also read constantly and like sharing some of our favorite commentaries each week.

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Here are this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:

1.   How Much Will Healthcare Cost You in Retirement? Try $369,000. Healthcare costs represent one of the most significant expenses retirees face. The $369,000 figure compares to Fidelity’s estimate of $285,000. The higher figure is based on a healthy 65-year old couple consisting of one male and one female. They are estimated to live to 87 and 89, respectively. (Note: These figures are a bit higher than the projected life expectancy the Social Security Administration assigns to seniors – 84 for men and 86.5 for women). Fidelity’s figure includes out-of-pocket costs such as Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. The$369,000 forecast also reflects projected healthcare inflation rates. The article also shares several ways to save for healthcare costs. My favorite: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which provide a triple tax-free benefit.

2.  6 Tips for Decluttering Your Digital Workspace. There are many ways we can accumulate clutter in our workplace:

·        Stacks of paper

·        An overflowing email inbox

·        A computer desktop littered with electronic files

We often don’t think about cleaning our digital mess. If you haven’t digitally decluttered in a while (perhaps since you bought your most recent computer?), the process can be overwhelming. The article shares several suggestions to make the process easier. It also suggests following a regular schedule going forward. Help is also offered for managing your email and phone.

3.   Claim Social Security at the Right Time. When it comes to thinking about retirement, one of the most important decisions you make is when to claim Social Security benefits. You can start as early as 62, you can wait until full retirement age (66 years and 2 months for people born in 1955; it will gradually rise to 67 for those born in 1960 or later), or you can wait until as long as age 70. Why wait? Your benefit grows 8% annually for every year you delay from full retirement age until age 70. According to the article, on average, failing to take Social Security at the optimal time costs retirees about $111,000 per household in benefits. Unfortunately, there is not a single best time for everyone to claim benefits.

4.  Lessons from Annie Duke (Author of “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts”). For those of you that are unfamiliar, Annie Duke is a highly successful professional poker player. In poker, you must make decisions without knowing everything. If you would like to make better decisions amid uncertainty, click the link for some suggestions. One recommendation that rings most true to me is the sixth item in this post – seek out the opinion of those with whom you disagree. This can help you avoid confirmation bias (discussed here).

5.   6 Good Reasons Why You Should Not Raid Retirement Accounts to Pay Off Debt. Carrying too much debt can make us uncomfortable. Should you raid your retirement accounts to reduce your debt burden or get out of debt faster? The most likely answer is no. This article offers several reasons why should not use retirement funds to pay off debt.


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