Stocks fell Friday even though Commerce Department data showed the U.S. economy grew at a 4.1 percent rate in the second quarter – its highest growth rate in four years. Poor tech earnings offset the strong GDP report. For the week, the Dow rose 1.57 percent to close at 25,451.06. The S&P gained 0.61 percent to finish at 2,818.82, and the NASDAQ dropped 1.06 percent to end the week at 7,737.42.
Good Banks – As of Friday, July 20, there had not been a bank failure in the United States in 217 days (i.e., more than seven months) that required a federal bailout from the FDIC. That is the longest stretch between bank failures since Sept. 28, 2007, or nearly 11 years ago (source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, BTN Research).
Preparing for the Future – In January 2018, 64 percent of 1,002 American workers were somewhat confident or very confident they will have accumulated sufficient assets to sustain a comfortable retirement. That result is an increase of 10 percentage points from the same survey conducted in January 2009 (source: EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey, BTN Research).
Few Can Afford to Wait - Just 3.7 percent of American seniors wait until age 70 to begin claiming their monthly Social Security retirement benefits (source: Social Security, BTN Research).
Weekly Focus - Six Ways to Increase Your Retirement Savings
You’ve put money aside for years. Always meeting the minimum, but maybe not the max. Suddenly, retirement is a lot closer than you thought, and your finances don’t look as strong as they should. Let’s just say maybe you haven’t saved enough. Time to do some catching up. Here are six ways to increase your retirement savings.
1. First, don’t forget the free money! It can’t be said often enough. Even if you can’t save a big portion of your pay, at least pack away enough to get the employer match. It’s the easiest money you’ll ever earn.
2. Open a health savings account. The triple tax-advantaged HSA may just be the best kept secret of the tax code. You can deduct contributions from your taxes for the tax year during which contributions are made. Gains on your contributions are tax-free, and withdrawals are tax-free as long as they’re used to pay qualified healthcare expenses. If you’re 55 or older, you can also make catch-up contributions.
3. Use catch-up provisions in the tax code. If you’re 50 or older, you can contribute more to your retirement accounts. If you have a 401(k) plan, add an extra $6,000 per year to the yearly allowable contribution. If you have an IRA, whether Roth or traditional, you can contribute an extra $1,000.
4. If you’re self-employed, consider opening a solo 401(k). These allow you to put large amounts of money into your retirement savings each year. You can tuck away your employee salary deferral contributions and, as an employer, also make a profit-sharing contribution.
5. Stuff bonus or other over the norm income into your retirement funds. They may have once helped kick-start your life by buying a house. Now let them work for your retirement years. You can also reduce current expenses and redirect those funds to your retirement account.
6. No matter what your age, connect to your future self and envision your retirement life. Knowing what you want to do and be will help you get a realistic picture of your needs. You may find you want to postpone retirement and work longer. You could also delay taking Social Security and maximize your distributions.
Call our office today. We can help you look to the future and develop a financial plan to get you there.
The Dorion-Gray Team
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Dorion-Gray Retirement Planning is a trade name of Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc. located at 2602 IL Route 176, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Dorion-Gray and the Securities America companies are separate, unaffiliated entities.
Diversification seeks to reduce the volatility of a portfolio by investing in a variety of asset classes. Neither asset allocation nor diversification guarantee against market loss or greater or more consistent returns.
© 2018. Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright July 2018. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 2194473.1