Debt Should Retire When You Do

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These days, having a credit card is practically a necessity, even when you are retired. It’s hard to do things like buy airline tickets, rent a car, or place an order online without one. And, while monitoring your credit card use is important anytime, making sure you avoid credit card mistakes that could affect your finances is essential once you retire.

It’s a Credit Card, Not a Paycheck

Although it sometimes may be difficult to live on a fixed amount, using credit to supplement your income will only make it harder to live within your means. Avoid using your card to pay for groceries or other necessities unless you can pay the balance in full when the bill comes due. If you can’t pay the balance and continue to charge purchases, you risk having a larger credit card bill than you’re comfortably able to pay each month. And you could be incurring hefty finance charges on the unpaid balance, making it even harder to reduce your debt.

Pay Attention to Features

Think about how you intend to use the card. Cards that earn travel or other rewards may be appropriate if you’re disciplined and pay off your card balance each month. But make sure any fees for a rewards card don’t outweigh the benefits. If there’s a strong possibility that you’ll carry a balance on a high-rate card, forget the rewards and look for a card with a low interest rate.

Nurture Your Credit Score

You’ll get the best deals on credit cards if you have a high credit score. Don’t hurt your score by paying bills late or getting into too much debt.

If You Do Have Debt

If you still have credit card debt as you begin retirement, make sure you have a plan for paying it off. Once it’s gone, using credit responsibly will help keep your finances on track.

Required Attribution
Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by DST Systems, Inc. or its sources, neither DST Systems, Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall DST Systems, Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber’s or others’ use of the content. 
AR Tracking Number: 1-909497 Expiration Date: 11/2020 

Common Investment Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Only about 17% of American workers say they are “very confident” they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. (1) To help reduce such uncertainty in your life, consider these five common investment pitfalls — and how you might avoid them.

Mistake #1: Waiting to Maximize Your Contributions The sooner you start contributing the maximum amount allowed by your employer-sponsored retirement plan, the better your chances for building a significant savings cushion. By starting early, you allow more time for your contributions — and potential earnings — to compound, or build upon themselves, on a tax-deferred basis.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Specific Financial Goals It is difficult to create an effective investment plan without first targeting a specific dollar amount and recognizing how much time you have to pursue that goal. To enjoy the same quality of life in retirement that you have become accustomed to during your prime earning years, you may need the equivalent of up to 80% of your final working year’s salary for each year of retirement.

Mistake #3: Fearing Stock Volatility It is true that stock investments face a greater risk of short-term price swings than fixed-income investments. However, stocks have historically produced stronger earnings over the long term.(2) In general, the longer your investment time horizon, the more you might consider adding stock funds to your portfolio.

Mistake #4: Timing the Market Some investors try to base investment decisions on daily price swings. But unless you have a crystal ball, “timing the market” could be very risky. A better idea might be to buy and hold investments for several years.

Mistake #5: Failing to Diversify Investing in just one fund or asset class could subject your investment portfolio to unnecessary risk. Spreading your money over a well-chosen mix of investments may help reduce the potential for loss during periods of market volatility. Diversification may offset losses in any one investment or asset category by taking advantage of possible gains elsewhere. (3) Now that you are aware of these five common investment errors, consider yourself lucky: You are ready to potentially benefit from other people’s experiences — without making the same mistakes.

 

 

Source/Disclaimer:
(1)Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, “The 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey,” March 2018.
(2) Source: DST Stsyems, Inc. Stocks are represented by total returns from Standard & Poor’s Composite Index of 500 Stocks, an unmanaged index generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Fixed-income investments are represented by annual total returns of long-term (10+ years) Treasury bonds. Indexes do not take into account the fees and expenses associated with investing, and individuals cannot invest in any index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. With any investment, it is possible to lose money.
(3) Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against a loss in any market.
Required Attribution:
Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by DST Systems, Inc. or its sources, neither DST Systems, Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall DST Systems, Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber’s or others’ use of the content. 
AR Tracking Number: 1-909500 Expiration Date: 11/2020 

JANUARY 2020 CLIENT LETTER

January 2, 2020

Dear Valued Investor:

Happy New Year! What a difference a year makes. One year ago the stock market was plunging and came perilously close to ending what has become the longest bull market ever recorded. In December 2018, dropping stocks were suggesting an increased risk that a recession, or market crisis, might be on the horizon. Confidence in investing fundamentals coupled with attractive stock valuations helped keep a focus on long-term investing objectives in the face of short-term volatility.

One year later with 20/20 hindsight, what appeared to be a bullish forecast for stocks may have been too conservative, and now we’re asking if stocks have come too far, too fast. December 2019’s stock market environment has been in some ways the opposite of December 2018’s. After a strong rally that has lifted stock valuations, the question now is whether investing fundamentals can to continue to support 2019’s gains throughout 2020.

Stock market fundamentals have improved significantly over the past year. We’ve received clarity on the biggest market uncertainties: U.S.-China trade relations, the Federal Reserve (Fed) pivoting from rate hikes to rate cuts, and the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit). We’ve also seen a leadership transition at the European Central Bank and more production cuts by Saudi Arabia-led OPEC to help stabilize oil prices. These actions plus reduced trade tensions in other key international economies could be viewed as evidence that economic growth outside the United States has stabilized and may even be starting to pick up a bit, although it is not assured.

Investors have priced in a lot of this good news, and it’s possible that some potential 2020 gains have been pulled forward into late 2019. Stocks may need to be repriced over the next several months as investors wait for the economy and corporations to deliver against pricing, and that wait could be uncomfortable at times. Corporate earnings growth will likely be the driver of stock market gains, but that still may depend on more progress in trade negotiations. Negotiations on “phase two” of the U.S.-China trade talks could become bumpy, and that could lead to additional turbulence in the stock markets. Inflation could also pick up and trigger renewed fears of Fed rate hikes, although a slight increase in inflation is a sign of a healthy economy. Fallout from the impeachment, international economic data in decline, and the potential for a highly charged U.S. election also could lead to increased market uncertainty this year.

While the strong market performance of 2019 may limit the magnitude of potential market advances in 2020, stock market gains are still possible this year. A Fed committed to keeping interest rates at current levels and progress on trade can improve prospects for business investment and productivity growth. To help prepare for what may be a dynamic—and possibly volatile—year ahead, please read LPL Research’s Outlook 2020: Bringing Markets Into Focus.

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year, and please contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

 

 

Important Information

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

The use of Stocks and Markets herein are referencing corresponding indexes, unless otherwise noted. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

All data is provided as of December 31, 2019.

Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tracking # 1-931723 (Exp. 01/21)