Posts by Jeanie Ahn
- Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance6 hrs ago
If you talk to enough baby boomers or new retirees about what they wish they could do differently, chances are many of them would mention a retirement plan do-over of some kind. And even if you’ve managed to build up a sizable nest egg, executing on the right way to withdraw those funds is just as important as saving. Crucial mistakes along the way can jeopardize the money you’ve worked so hard to save up. As a certified estate planner, Jean Ann Dorrell helps retirees revise their financial and legal plans. In the process, she repeatedly comes across clients who have similar money regrets. Below are some of the costly mistakes Dorrell says you can avoid: Regret #1: Relying on your pension Two summers ago, I think I got about 50 phone calls from clients who expected that they would continue to get a pension from [their company], and all of a sudden they were getting called to a retiree meeting where they were being told: “Here, we’re going to just cash you out,” or, “You can continue with an annuity with this company that we’ve partnered with, but we’re not going to do it anymore.” Others have said, “It’s your responsibility to invest it or put an income stream to yourself from it.” My advice for people who are left with a bucket of money is to invest it safely. The last thing you want to do is put that money in the stock market and risk it – that may mean back to work you go! And who wants to do that in their 60s? I would suggest safe bank-insured investments like CDs or money markets. If you can stomach a longer-term investment for a better return, then utilizing a fixed index annuity with an income rider to guarantee an income for life, similar to a pension, is recommended. Regret #2: Having too many accounts The most I’ve seen is 16 different retirement accounts at different institutions. It becomes overwhelming. So while they’re trying to have this nest egg, what ends up happening is they have a bunch of scrambled eggs. They have things all over the place, and they laugh when we talk about this, but it is a source of concern because they just tend to not open those statements. You can use one financial institution as the umbrella for all of your financial accounts and you can maintain diversity in each account at the brokerage firm or at the financial institution, so that when you get your statement, all of your accounts show up on one statement. You can see the holdings, you can change them, and still be diverse, but simplify and get one statement instead of 16.
- Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance11 days ago
Saying "I live with my parents" is typically not something you want to advertise. But despite the social stigma, more young adults are moving back home than ever before. According to a Pew Research study, 36% of those 18 to 31 years old, a record total of 21.6 million millennials, lived in their parents' home in 2012. Coming together under one roof again can be an uncomfortable adjustment for parents who thought they were done raising their kids, but find themselves having to parent in a new way. With grown children, expert Rachel Cruze, author of "Smart Money Smart Kids," recommends establishing clear guidelines and setting expectations in writing. Below are Cruze’s five tips on how the whole family can work together to maintain a healthy relationship under one roof: Write a contract If your adult child is not moving out, have a formal contract with your kids with a move-out date and some other expectations that you have. It kind of seems formal -- it may sound a little crazy -- but when it’s in writing, it’s going to stick more than if it’s just this idea that you kind of talk about. And it’s not a formal legal document, nothing’s going to happen if you break it, but I think it just shows that, clearly communicating, “This is exactly what we expect for you.” Set a reverse curfew I love the idea of a reverse curfew, meaning you kick them out of the house from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for them to go and apply for jobs because a lot of these adult children don’t have jobs and they’re not making an income. So again, instead of them sitting around the house doing nothing, you kick them out of the house and you say, “Between 8 and 5 you’re not allowed to come back. You have to be out applying for jobs.” Set realistic goals College graduates should be looking for a job, not just necessarily the “dream” job. I think a lot of them have this expectation coming out of school that they have their degree and they’ve been studying this passion of theirs. And that’s great! I want you to get a dream job eventually, but you may not find it right after college. So you need to be very aware that your dream job may be not just sitting there waiting for you, that you need to go make any type of money at any job possible while still looking for the dream job on the side. The six-month mark Your kids can live at home, I think, up to six months. Six months is a great mark to say, "Now it’s been too long." And so for me, I always tell parents to over-communicate with their kids and to figure out a time frame that’s best for your family. But six months is a good point. You just don’t want it to extend because that’s when it starts to harm them when
- Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance27 days ago
Growing up as the daughter of famous investor Charles Schwab, Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz always made saving a priority. But it wasn’t until her 40s that she got intentional about her retirement savings. Despite her financial pedigree, it didn’t preclude her from seeking professional help from an investment advisor. “Even the experts hire experts. It takes out the emotions, it makes you show up, learn and have better outcomes,” she told Yahoo Finance. When she turned 50, Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation, became even more driven to provide a reality check for her peers. “For anyone who is turning 50, we want to have a sense of control in our lives, but with the lack of savings in our country, so many baby boomers are ill-prepared,” she said. In fact, more than a third of people 55 and older have saved less than $10,000 for retirement, according to a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. In her book, The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances After Fifty, Schwab-Pomerantz says it’s never too late to start taking charge of your financial future. Here are a few of her rules of thumb to help you catch up after age 50: Make savings non-negotiable People who aren’t really taking their savings seriously, unfortunately, are going to move themselves into this area of poverty. For someone who hasn’t been saving, take a real hard look at where their money is going and make savings automatic, non-negotiable. If you make savings a high priority, there’s a lot of opportunity to make a difference. Let me give you a financial example: If a 50-year-old was to take advantage of the 401(k) and save $23,000 for the next 15 years until they’re 65, at a 6% rate of return that money can grow to [about] $570,000. Also take a look at credit card debt because the interest that you’re paying could easily be going to savings. The 25 Times Rule You will need 25 times the amount you’ll need to withdraw from your savings to supplement retirement or any other reliable income. So, for instance, if you need $40,000 per year of supplemental income, you will need a million dollars saved at the time of retirement. The Minus 10 Rule If you start saving in your 20s, you can save up to 10% and you should have a relatively comfortable retirement. However if you wait until your 30s, you’re going to have to save at least 20%. And then your 40s [save] 30%, and 50s of course 40%. That sounds like a lot of money, but in this country two-thirds of Americans use Social Security as their primary source of income. For a third of Americans, it’s their only source of income. And, unfortunately, the average amount of Social Security is approximately $15,000 [a year]. Are there things that you can cut out? For instance, even life insurance. For a lot of people it’s a waste of money -- they don’t have dependents or
- Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance1 mth ago
Want to move up in your career, but don’t know how? Yahoo Finance set up a free career booth in New York's Bryant Park where anyone could tap career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine of SixFigureStart, for her insights on how to snag that next promotion. Here are some of the top questions from New Yorkers seeking advice and Ceniza-Levine’s expert tips. Q: I worked for a year before taking a break. The job market is still kind of tough. Should I start back at the bottom? A: You always want to aim for the highest level that you can get. I would research the companies you’re targeting and figure out the best role for you and try to get there. And then if you get offered something that might be a step back, at that point you can reconsider it based on what else is open -- but don't aim for it. Q: How do I assert myself in a male-dominated environment? A: On the plus side you're going to stand out, right? So use that built-in advantage and don't be afraid to speak up because they might be thinking, ‘Well, she's not going to say anything because she's just a girl.’ So when you speak up, don't be afraid to take that one step further and perhaps interrupt, perhaps conflict with an opinion that’s in the room -- so that you make sure that they have heard you. The other thing that men do so well is that they know the bottom line. They're not afraid to talk business. They’re not afraid to take credit for things that they’ve done. So don't be afraid to say, ‘This is my idea and this is something that I've worked on, this is what I think.’ Don't be afraid to promote yourself. Q: How do I review myself without sounding arrogant? A: Look for ways to make everything descriptive and quantified. So you don’t want to say, ‘I’m the best, I’m the most creative,’ because that’s arrogant and subjective. But you can say, ‘I worked on the biggest project,’ or, ‘I worked on the largest client in terms of revenue.’ It’s not going to be bragging if you're just providing details and facts. The other thing is that other people can promote you for you. So if someone says to you, ‘You did a great job on X, Y, Z,’ ask them to email your boss. People are happy to do that and the boss loves it because they seem like a great boss because they’ve got this great team. Q: My company is restructuring. When is the best time to ask for the role I want? A: You want to manage your career for right now. When the company is restructuring, you don't have to wait until all the decisions are made before you ask for a promotion. The fact of the matter is, you don't know how things are going to go, so you should be managing your career for every
- Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance1 mth ago
Before Leonard Smith lost his battle with cancer in 2008, he worked with his financial advisors and attorneys to make sure his children received the balance of his retirement funds when he died. A single mistake, however, thwarted his well-laid plans. Family members realized a year after he died that his IRA beneficiary form was filled out incorrectly. Instead of specifically listing the names of his children along with the percentages designated to each heir, Smith wrote: “To be distributed pursuant to my last will and testament,” where the disbursement of funds was spelled out. But Smith’s failure to complete the form correctly invalidated the document, making his surviving spouse the beneficiary by default. “I had no idea that a will could be trumped by an IRA beneficiary form,” Deborah Smith-Marez, 50, Leonard’s daughter, told Yahoo Finance. Smith-Marez and her siblings fought in court to recover the money, but the court awarded the $400,000 in the IRA to their father’s wife, who married Smith two months before he died. Like Smith-Marez, many Americans are unaware that long-forgotten beneficiary forms can override wills and undermine their loved ones' intentions.
- Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance2 mths ago
Shark investor Daymond John has built an empire on knowing how to stand out from the crowd. With 20 years of entrepreneurial success under his belt, John has strong opinions on how best to attract the attention you need to succeed. As an investor on the hit reality business TV show "Shark Tank," John invests his own time and money into the businesses he partners with through the show. How does he choose who to invest in? John says it all comes down to the people and personalities behind the big ideas: “This is our real money, these are our real investments. You’re going to have to talk to them potentially every day for the next 10 years. And you have to, at the end of the day, just like the person and trust the person,” he says. Here are some of John’s do’s and don’ts on how to stand out and get ahead in the workplace. Censor yourself on social media Stop putting stupid stuff on social media that will never ever go away. Stop going to a company and looking for a job when your last post 6 months ago was "The boss left at 2:00. I’m leaving at 2:07 for the weekend!" So first of all, be very conscious that people are all looking into you from these little screens from all around the world. And they’re not calling you and telling you what they think about you when it’s negative." Appearances matter
- Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance2 mths ago
“I’ve made over $12,000 renting out my car and it’s allowed me to live in San Francisco,” says Caterina Rindi, 45. In 2010, Rindi was the first in the Bay Area to list her Toyota Prius on RelayRides, an online service for peer-to-peer car-sharing. Her hybrid, which rents for about $40 a day, has been a popular choice for borrowers, who have rented her wheels more than 300 times. For Rindi, listing her car was a no-brainer. She was out of work at the time and on the fence about selling her car for cash. “When you don’t have a job, you look frantically for ways to quickly make money,” she told Yahoo Finance. She does have to pay extra for maintenance due to increased mileage and use, but RelayRides covers insurance for owners up to $1 million for every rental.
- Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance3 mths ago
The “Sharks” on ABC’s hit TV show are known for their killer instincts when it comes to making sharp investments in ideas and the people behind them. Shark investors Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John clearly know a few things about what makes a great business -- and a great employee. They shared the secrets to their successful, untouchable careers with Yahoo Finance. How did you become untouchable? Barbara : What drives me is the fact that I was such a bad student. In school I couldn’t read or write and I learned shame in the classroom. I was labeled ‘stupid’ and so that takes a long time to get over. And you know what I think, really? I think my passion, my drive and everything I do, I do it to prove again and again, probably more to myself, but I think to the world, that I am not stupid and it keeps me running hard and keeps me insecure enough to run hard. And I have to say, of all the entrepreneurs I invest in on "Shark Tank," that’s the one trait I’m looking for: insecurity. I don’t want a cocky guy with a big education. I want to get my hands on somebody who’s got something to prove. Daymond : I always say you are the brand first and put your brand into two to five words…For Us By Us [FUBU] was about a culture. It was always me, I wanted to put quality out there, but I wanted to empower people at the same time, and I wanted it to be fashionable. Your two-to-five words will change over the course of time as you grow and my five words over the last couple years: ‘I’m on a quest.’ It’s simple and plain, you know. I walk in the room like the dumbest person and I’m ready to learn. Also see:5 Millionaire Myths What makes an employee untouchable? Barbara :
- Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance4 mths ago
Amazon upped the price of Prime membership to $99 - an additional twenty bucks a year. So is it worth it? First, let’s talk about what’s included with Amazon Prime: unlimited two-day shipping, the ability to stream movies and TV shows, and access to their Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Without Prime membership, it’ll cost you anywhere between $5.99 and $12.49 to have something shipped in two days – the average being about $9 for one item. Add to that order, and you up the fees. So let’s say you place an order on Amazon with these three items: paper towels, a book and a pair of shoes. That’s already $15 in shipping alone. Over the course of one year, if you place seven orders like this, a $99 membership will have paid for itself. But, you don’t need Prime if you don’t mind waiting five to eight business days for shipping. Standard shipping on that same order is around $7 and Amazon will throw it in for free as long as you spend more than $35. Prime also grants access to stream instant video, but for this to be an added value, check to see if your favorite programs are included. Other streaming subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu Plus charge $7.99 a month, and while there is some overlap in programming, each service secures their own exclusive rights to certain shows and movies. One thing to note with Prime is that for the latest releases, there is an additional fee to rent or buy. With Netflix and Hulu Plus, everything you see available is included in the flat price. The last feature on Prime is their lending library. But you can only access it with a Kindle device that can cost anywhere between $69 to $379. The free Kindle apps on other devices won’t give you access to the lending library. You can borrow one book once a month, but without a Kindle, you’re out of luck – even if you have Prime. Think of it as an electronic public library with no late fees. With prime, you can borrow one book as often as once a month from a library with over 500,000 titles. How do authors make money this way? They get a small fee each time their book is borrowed. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not $99 is worth the membership, look back at your purchases in the last year to see if it makes sense. New customers that start a free trial between now and March 20th will still be able to lock in the $79 rate for the first year. If you’re anything like other Prime customers, the average spent was $1,340 last year - almost twice as much as non-Prime members. We wanted to know if Amazon will be adding new features to Prime to keep their members from dropping it. An Amazon spokesperson told us:
- Yahoo Finance5 mths ago
At age 58 and less than a decade away from retirement, Nancie Eichengreen, found herself having to start over from scratch. It was 2012 and she had been laid off for the second time in 10 years from her job as a legal secretary. She spent a few years collecting unemployment benefits and dipping into her meager 401(k) savings to fill in the gaps. “It’s kind of scary because I don’t envision a retirement for myself,” Eichengreen told Yahoo Finance. “I’m just going to have to keep working.” Two years ago, she decided to start over completely, going back to school for a Masters degree in social work at Yeshiva University in New York. Today, Eichengreen now 60, is living off of student loans and says it’s unlikely that she’ll be able to pay off her $200,000 student debt, which includes what she borrowed for her first Masters studies in broadcast management. “I don’t think social workers make much money so I’ll probably be dead before I pay that off,” she said. Her situation is unfortunate but not unique. Thirty-four percent of workers have nothing set aside for retirement, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. A study by the National Institute on Retirement Security found 40 percent of workers 55-65 years old do not own assets in a retirement account. And as a result of the recession, more and more workers over the age of 50 are ill-prepared for retirement and are doing whatever they can to get by. Eichengreen, who was unemployed for over a year, chose social work as a way to counsel and encourage her peers. She is one of 2.2 million Americans over the age of 60 still saddled with $43 billion of student loan debt. “I’m looking in the face of people like myself so I’m able to help them and be an encouragement to them to have an active and productive life,” said Eichengreen. While Eichengreen’s financial woes were prompted by layoffs during the recession, others like Natt Chomsky, who was able to retire on his own terms, are struggling in retirement because of unforeseen problems. Getting married later in life, Chomsky, 61, and his wife had their daughter in their 40s. After a successful career as a video editor, he made the difficult decision to take a company buy-out and retire before the age of 60. Although he had a considerable amount saved, he did not anticipate the need to send his daughter, now 17, to a specialized school. “I never in my wildest dreams thought it would be as expensive as it is, so I’m watching my savings actually dwindle as each semester goes by,” said Chomsky. His wife is eager to join him in retirement, but Chomsky encourages her to stay employed until they get over this bump. Once their savings are depleted, their plan is to sell their home and move to a cheaper, rural location. If you find yourself ill-prepared and on the