Please enjoy this expanded edition of Apprise’s five favorite reads. The writeups are a little longer than normal.
Here are the links to this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:
Those who have some extra cash available should consider investing in I Bonds. Why? They currently pay interest at a 9.62% annual rate. As long as you purchase them before November 1st, you will receive that rate of interest for six months. The interest rate adjusts on November 1st. You will then earn that new interest rate for the next six months. According to this article, the lowest that rate can be is 6.13%. But that rate would only apply if inflation suddenly disappeared – which seems unlikely. In other words, you should expect the rate to exceed 6.13%. You should note that I Bonds come with some limitations. You can only buy $10,000 per person worth of I Bonds. The same applies to your spouse. If you have a federal tax refund, you can File Form 8888 to buy up to $5,000 more. You can also find information on how to buy I Bonds here. Note that you must hold I Bonds for at least a year. If you redeem them within five years, you will forfeit three months’ worth of income. After that, you can redeem them without penalty. The highest rate I can find for an online bank is 2.1%. The highest rate I see for one-year CDs is 2.7%. Buying $20,000 worth of I Bonds will provide more income than either of those options.
As parents, we warn our children about predators who could try to take advantage of them. We should do the same for our elderly parents or any other seniors we care for, too. Such abuse can happen when an online account gets hacked. It could also start with a simple phone call. This article shares four preventative steps you can take to protect elderly family members and friends. One of these shares some resources that can help you monitor and respond to elder financial abuse.
If you haven’t created an estate plan yet, or if you haven’t reviewed yours recently, you should check out this article. Please note that it was written in the context of updating your estate plan in August as some find it a slow month. I read this one as we were traveling by plane to our family vacation destination, so I’m sharing it as the month ends rather than when it started. As discussed in the article the basic components of a good estate plan include the following:
- A will
- Powers of attorney for financial and healthcare matters
- Guardianship arrangements for minor children
- Living wills
I would add advanced healthcare directives to this list. Oftentimes, life events such as marriages, divorces, births of children, and deaths in the family can serve as catalysts to revisit your estate plan. For example, if you get divorced and don’t change the beneficiary on your retirement account, your ex-spouse will still inherit the account if you predecease him or her. Don’t forget to include your digital assets as well. You should maintain a list of usernames and passwords for your financial accounts as well as any social media accounts. Apprise provides new clients with a password book to encourage them to record this information.
Most people don’t like it when they have nothing to do. If your house is anything like ours, your kids probably complain about it. The idea of doing nothing can make our hearts skip a beat. It can leave us with an uncomfortable feeling. With our phones almost always nearby, we can easily find something to occupy our time. But should we? Would doing absolutely nothing from time to time help? According to this article, it would reduce our stress levels. The article shares three tactics you can use to lower the stress associated with the idea of doing nothing. On occasion, doing nothing could lower your blood pressure. It could also help you relax your skeletal muscles. It might help sharpen your focus. You could realize those benefits without investing in products or services and without any particular effort.
Many of us think of retirement in broad terms. But there’s more to it than that. We go through different life stages. According to the article, retirement has different stages as well. The first phase starts before we retire. Called the “Anticipation phase,” it starts 10 years before retirement. The other phases are called “Liberation/Disorientation,” “Reinvention,” and “Reflection/Resolution.” The article also discusses four personality groups. The happiest of these are the Pathfinders and Traditionalists. In addition, the article discusses the five patterns of behavior that help these groups enjoy their retirement more than others. At Apprise, our financial planning process includes a series of life planning questions. These are designed to help determine what matters most to you. You should strive to live your desired life in retirement. Apprise’s financial planning process is called “The Pathway to an Informed Retirement.” To learn more, please click here for a video overview.
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Phil Weiss founded Apprise Wealth Management. He started his financial services career in 1987 working as a tax professional for Deloitte & Touche. For the past 25+ years, he has worked extensively in the areas of financial planning and investment management. Phil is both a CFA charterholder and a CPA.
Located just north of Baltimore, Apprise works with clients face-to-face locally and can also work virtually regardless of location.