Jonathan Pond


Help Your Parents Cope with Later Life Financial Challenges

Strive to help older generation family members meet later life financial and health challenges. Here are four big ones. First, make sure they get the quality of health care they’re entitled to, including maintaining the right type and right amount of health and drug insurance coverage. Second, help them avoid falling prey to scams by always being available to offer a second opinion on anything that someone is trying to sell them or scare them into paying out money. Third, make sure they are not being exploited by unscrupulous investment advisors, insurance salespeople, or, sadly, family members or caregivers. Ask any financial institutions or people who handle their investments and banking to send you duplicate statements. Finally, be on the lookout for the time when your older relatives may have difficulty keeping up with day-to-day financial challenges, like paying bills and completing income taxes. You or a sibling may need to step in to help them.

Smart Money Tips

  • Advice for skittish investors: try balanced funds on for size. If you’ve got some money to invest but are a bit skittish about the stock market in light of recent “events,” but are still smart enough to want stocks in your portfolio, you ought to consider taking a somewhat conservative approach with a balanced mutual fund. These funds generally hold 40% to 60% in stocks with the rest invested in bonds and cash. That’s a comforting mix in today’s market. 
  • If you’re over age 59½, you should be able to move your workplace retirement plan investments into an IRA. It’s really a shame how many workers are stuck with mediocre choices in their retirement savings plans at work, like 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Sadly, many employers don’t seem particularly interested in offering superior choices in the plans. If you’re stuck with an uninspiring plan at work, there may be a glimmer of hope. Most plans allow workers who are age 59½ or over to roll their workplace retirement plan investments into an IRA of the employee’s choosing while continuing to participate in their workplace plans. So, if you’re over age 59½, you’re unhappy with your plan choices, and you’re comfortable with the greater number of investment choices available in an IRA, ask your plan administrator if you can do an IRA rollover while continuing to participate in the plan at work.
Food for Thought

Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.
      -Abraham Lincoln (The Lyceum Address)

Money Can Be Funny

Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure.
Errol Flynn

Word of the Week

ambit (AM-bit), noun:
(1) Circuit or compass (2) The boundaries or limits of a district or place (3) An area in which something acts, operates, or has power or control;
extent; sphere; scope.

Origin: From Latin ambitus, “circuit,” from ambire, “to go around,”
from amb-, “about, around” + ire, “to go.”

Despite opposing counsel’s argument, the judge ruled that the federal case fell within the ambit of the district court’s jurisdiction because the alleged activities had occurred within that judicial