Since I’m about to “transition” our of my current job and into the “even better” part of my life, I’m always on the lookout for Boomer tools to educate our mass!  I happened upon the website, “MyRetirementPaycheck“, and found it to be very beneficial, and easy to navigate!

Provided by NEFE (National Endowment for Financial Education), whose mission is dedicated to the mission of helping all Americans acquire the information and gain the skills necessary to take control of their personal finances, this site touches upon key questions that pre and post-retirees ask.  Here’s an excerpt from their site:

A retirement paycheck is a practical way to think about how you will pay yourself during your retirement years.  All the questions you ask yourself in this site are connected to one larger question: ‘How much of a regulare retirement paycheck can I expect to pay myself?’  The answer to this question requires a holistic approach: it depends on decisions you will make about your work, your benefits, your home, and more.

 

To Our Financial Freedom,

Joan M. Jackson, Principal

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Below is a wonderful, new, well-rounded website dedicated to your financial literacy provided by the National Endowment for Financial Education:

The National Endowment for Financial Education is a non-profit that aims to educate and prepare Americans to successfully face financial challenges throughout all stages of life, In order to accomplish this goal, they have crafted this website called “Smart About Money”, and it is full of interesting resources and materials.

First-time visitors will note that there is an excellent “Resource Library” link that contains articles, online courses, curriculum, and tools from NEFE and other unbiased sources. Visitors can choose from almost two dozen topics, including “Home Ownership”, “Bankruptcy”, “Investing”, “Hiring a Financial Planner”, and “Buying a Car”. Other users who enjoy their financial advice on the fly can have financial tips sent directly to their phone by signing up in the blue box with the light bulb in it. News and free financial tips by e-mail can be accessed simply by signing up for them via the “Email Newsletter Signup” box.

The “Life Events and Financial Decisions” link has a host of topics, including the “Crises & Emergencies” section, which contains information on such subtopics as “Natural Disasters” and “Emergency Preparedness”.

To Our Financial Freedom,

Joan M. Jackson, Principal

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Here’s a timely resource for you or someone you know whose trying to avoid foreclosure.  “Housing Help: Foreclosure Prevention Guide” is provided free from Consumer Action.org, this is a downloadable resource guide of websites and other information for those looking to save their home from foreclosure:

Consumer Action’s Foreclosure Prevention Guide lists the variety of government and private programs and websites where homeowners can learn if they are eligible for help in saving their homes from foreclosure. This resource guide, which can be downloaded from Consumer Action’s website, describes each program’s features, explains who is eligible for assistance, and lists contact information for the programs.

Joan M. Jackson, Principal

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I thought that the message below is suitable for everyone, but especially to folks on the East Coast following yesterday’s historic earthquake! 

Having grown up in Washington, D.C., I can tell you that I NEVER experienced an earthquake until I moved to California.  So I know that my friends and family who live there were totally taken by surprise – I even have a cousin who lives at the epicenter of yesterday’s 5.8 quake (Mineral, VA).  By the way, she and her family are fine.

I received this information from the National Endowment for Financial Education, and wanted to share with you this timely information:

Date: August 23, 2011

Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514, pdg@nefe.org

PREPARE FINANCIALLY FOR NATURAL DISASTER

Tips for Financially Weathering the Unexpected Storms

DENVER—Amid the aftershocks of today’s earthquakes in Virginia and Colorado and with Hurricane Irene expected to hit the southeastern U.S. in the coming days, many Americans are focusing on preparing for the uncertainty that comes with a natural disaster. “Disasters, whether natural or man-made, can strike quickly and with little warning,” says Ted Beck, president and CEO of the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®). “Your safety and the safety of your family is the top priority. But it’s also important to protect your home, your assets and your financial security.”

NEFE offers the following tips to ensure that you and your family are financially prepared for a disaster.

Protect Your Health and Life

Above all, the most important thing to consider in preparing for a disaster is to protect your loved ones. Be sure to have a disaster plan in place for your family. Discuss with your family what each person’s responsibility should be in an extreme circumstance. As part of your family’s disaster plan be sure that:

• Everyone knows the safest place in the home to seek shelter, and if needed, each person knows how to shut off the supply to utilities.

• You have an evacuation drill in place, and that your family has practiced it.

• If separated, you have identified a meeting location outside the home.

• You have assembled a kit to care for your pets, including food, water and medication needs.

If you or a loved one is injured in a disaster, your medical and disability insurance can quickly become your most important assets. Be sure that you know your coverage and have all insurance paperwork available. Also, take the time to understand what procedures the insurance company requires you to follow in the event of an emergency.

Protect Your Property

Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, it’s important to take steps to avoid damage to your property, or at the very least take proactive measures to reduce damage and the economic impact that can be caused by a disaster. Start by evaluating your current living space and take note of any potential problems.

• In areas exposed to hurricanes—and storms containing high winds—secure your roof to the foundation of your home and board windows before the storm’s landfall.

• In areas where earthquakes can cause damage, install safety latches on cabinets, bolt bookcases and large furniture to walls, and secure your water heater.

• If you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, keep your property clear of brush, and assess the exterior of your home. Consider upgrading to fire-resistant siding and other less flammable materials if needed.

Even when you take steps to protect your property, there is always the possibility that you could still experience damage. That’s why it is important for homeowners and renters alike to have an insurance policy in place. Some things to consider:

• At a minimum, buy full-replacement insurance. In this case the insurance company will pay to replace the residence up to the coverage amounts specified in the policy.

• Have your property appraised periodically to ensure that you keep adequate insurance coverage.

• Have a policy in place that will cover the replacement of your possessions.

• Depending on where you live, you may want to consider additional insurance coverage that protects in the event of earthquakes, floods, etc.

• Overall, it’s important to fully understand your insurance policy—what it will cover and what it won’t—coverage amounts and the deductible, the amount you are responsible for paying if a claim is made.

In case of evacuation, contact your insurance company to notify it of your situation. Ask if your provider will pay for temporary living expenses if you are forced away from your home. If this provision is not included with your insurance policy, contact the American Red Cross for crisis shelter locations and information.

Protect Your Records

Important documents should be protected in a safe deposit box at a financial institution—for an annual cost of about $30—or in a safe at home. These papers should be items that are difficult to replace, such as birth, death, and marriage certificates; social security cards; loan paperwork; and insurance policies.

Protect Your Job and Income

If you are unable to work because of a disaster-related injury, or if your employer is forced to temporarily close due to a crisis, how will you manage financially? Check with you employer, through a human resources representative or through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), to learn about your company’s plan in the event of an emergency. Other questions to ask include:

• If I am unable to get to work following a disaster, will I still be paid, and if so, for how long?

• Will I be eligible for unemployment insurance?

You also may be able to take advantage of the Family and Medical Leave Act if you are unable to return to work in the near future because you are caring for an injured family member. Learn more by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor’s website at http://www.dol.gov.

Remember Immediate Needs

One of the first things you may need in the event of a disaster is food, shelter, etc. Be prepared with a predetermined amount of cash and keep it accessible. Also, know where and how you can access larger amounts of cash if needed as ATMs may be affected by the disaster. If you need emergency access to money, you may contact the Red Cross or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). One of these organizations might be able to guide you to sources of emergency cash assistance. You also might contact your employer and request an advance on your next paycheck.

Another important aspect regarding your finances is that if you are already experiencing difficulty in managing debt, a disaster may compound the stress in meeting financial obligations. If disaster strikes, contact your creditors and work out a manageable repayment plan. You may also benefit from the services of a nonprofit credit counseling service. Be sure to prioritize your bills however, keeping in mind that insurance policies and mortgage or rent payments are the top priority.

For more tips on financially preparing for an impending disaster, NEFE and the American Red Cross offer Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness on the Smart About Money website at: http://www.smartaboutmoney.org.

The National Endowment for Financial Education is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping all Americans acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to take control of their financial destiny. For more, visit www.nefe.org.

Joan M. Jackson, Principal

JMJ Information Services

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Alternative Ways to Pay for Long-Term Care Insurance

About ten years ago, I decided (at the age of 45) that long-term care insurance was a very wise investment for my husband and I.  Although my husband has a son by a previous marriage, we have no children together.  And even if we did, there’s no guarantee that children would be able to financially, physically or emotionally be able to care for us!

In light of that, long-term care insurance is a viable alternative to help you “age-in-place” gracefully.  It is not a “cheap” alternative, but, you’d be paying a lot more for an assisted living or nursing home arrangement.  Most folks in the senior category need help somewhere in between being totally independent and needing to move to assisted care or nursing home arrangements.  If long-term care insurance is cost-prohibitive, then there are other alternatives

In an August 2011 article in Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, the authors discuss alternatives such as: life insurance combo policies, annuity/long-term care policies, and longevity insurance.  Please take a moment to read this article; it may help you or someone you love having the option of in-home care.

To Our Financial Freedom,

Joan M. Jackson, Principal

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 Wow!  What a difference a week makes!  Since last Thursday (August 4), the stock market has been on a SERIOUS roller coaster ride (mostly downward) not seen since November 2008!

As a preacher used to say on the radio, “Hang in there, old soldiers!”  Instead of getting panicky, let cooler heads prevail  – yes; anyone in the stock market has lossed moola (myself included!) over the past week, but the stock market will eventually bounce back – this is life!  So, don’t put all your resources into cash; the financial pundits have stated that you’ll eventually lose even more money because of the history of the market correcting itself.  Anyway, folks in retirement, or who are about to enter into retirement (myself included!), should truly keep educated about what’s going on long-and short-term.  If you are looking for tax-friendly states to either move to, or stay in, Kipliner’s Retirement Report has come out with a list of the top five tax-friendly states for retirees in the U.S. (August 2011).

For more online information about the top ten tax haven states – and more – look up Kiplinger.com’s Retiree Tax Map

To Our Financial Freedom,

Joan M. Jackson, Principal

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Choose To Save:

Saving for life’s unexpected financial pitfalls is a main focus for Boomer personal finance!

Financial security is one of the most important issues for most Americans. Whether it’s putting kids (or grandkids!)through college, saving for an emergency, buying a house, or saving for retirement – having enough money for life’s demands is among our biggest concerns. And yet, many Americans have not taken even the first steps toward a secure financial future.

ChooseToSave.org is a Web site completely devoted to financial education! As part of its mission, Choose to Save® develops user-friendly, multimedia materials to help individuals plan and save for their financial future. It have loads of free educational tools, and calculators for your savings needs!

To Our Financial Freedom,

Joan M. Jackson, Principal

JMJ Information Services

Market Research for Entrepreneurs,  Small Business Coaching, and Information Products for Your Business

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