Michele Clark
Clark Hourly Financial Planning - Chesterfield, MO Advisor
1415 Elbridge Payne Road, Suite 255
Chesterfield, MO 63017 USA
Work 636.264.0732
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Coffee with Michele, Jan and Diana November 2017

October 6th, 2017

Come to the Community Room at Kaldi’s in Chesterfield with your financial planning, tax, and Medicare questions and enjoy a cup of coffee with CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional Michele Clark, Jan Roberg, Enrolled Agent, and Diana Wilson, Health Insurance Professional.

There is no prepared presentation, just a casual conversation in a small group environment; your opportunity to pick our brains. Feel free to invite family or friends who could benefit from an hour with us. Open to registered attendees only, due to the size of the room.

It will be Medicare season, bring your questions.

Coffee with Michele, Jan, and Diana
Kaldi’s Coffee Chesterfield
Wednesday, November 8th
10:30 am to 11:30 am

RSVP online Clark Hourly Financial Planning and Investment Management RSVP or call 636-264-0732. Space is limited. Coffee and pastries are complimentary.

Kaldi’s Coffee Chesterfield Missouri address and map. The Community Room is an enclosed room in the back of the coffee shop.

We hope you can join us!

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Michele Clark in the News: St. Louis Post Dispatch about Retirement

March 24th, 2016

In the St Louis Post Dispatch article “Gallagher: Can You Afford to Retire?” Jim Gallagher discusses a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that estimated how much of your pre-retirement income one would need for retirement spending. I shared my experience with helping pre-retirees plan for retirement and how surprised people are by how expensive healthcare can be in retirement. Especially when you look at the impact that inflation has on it over time.  I also shared the figures I used when planning for retirees who do not have employer provided retiree healthcare.

Healthcare expenses are a significant portion of retirement spending and can prevent people from being on track for their retirement goals. In order to get on track you usually have to make adjustments such as;

1) increase the amount you are saving toward retirement, or

2) consider a later retirement age, or

3) spending less on other financial goals in retirement

or some combination of those three variables in order to reach your most important financial goals in retirement.

Jim also included information that I shared with him about the most common mistake I see when potential clients come in and would like me to double check their math to see if they can afford to retire. It is that they have added up their sources of income such as portfolio, Social Security, pension, etc. and compared it to their expected expenses their first year of retirement and since the two numbers (income verses expenses) finally match up they think they can afford to retire.  I know that that is a dangerous assumption because I have run so many financial plans and I have a lot of experience seeing the impact of inflation therefore I know that in a few years the income sources will not be covering the expenses due to the different inflation assumptions for income sources versus expense items.  For example Social Security income we assume will inflate at 2% while healthcare expenses we assume inflate at 6%.  The better course of action is to run a Monte Carlo analysis to determine if your money will last a lifetime and if not what changes to the three variables listed above would need to be made.

Some clients that initially hire me discover that they are already on track to make all of their retirement needs, wants, and wishes come true. But for most folks, we must create a plan with action steps to get there.  I have noticed that some people who thought they were on track were not, and some people who thought they were not, were.  Give yourself enough years before you would like to retire so that you can create the retirement for yourself that you deserve.  Especially considering what you now know about healthcare expenses and inflation!

 

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Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment for 2013

October 19th, 2012

If you receive monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits your benefits will increase 1.7% beginning in January 2013.

Cost of Living Adjustment

The cost of living adjustment (COLA) is made annually.  Sometimes there is no increase as we saw in 2010 and 2011, and sometimes it is as high as 14.3% which we saw in the 1980’s during the high inflation years.  The COLA for 2012 was 3.6%.

No More Paper Checks

Another change for 2013, for those receiving Social Security benefits, is that paper checks are being phased out by March 1, 2013.  In my first job out of college I worked at a bank, while I did not work in the lobby, I walked past the lobby to get to the elevators on the way to my office.  I remember that the lobby was always packed on the third day of the month, because Social Security checks were hitting mailboxes and customers would bringing them in to deposit them.  That was many years ago, I’m sure that isn’t the case anymore.  However, the estimate is that the government is going to save $120 million dollars per year when they stop mailing paper checks. So there are many people that still get paper checks, and there will be a cost savings to moving people to direct deposit.  If you get paper checks, be aware that you must sign up for direct deposit very soon.

Maximum Earnings Subject to Social Security Tax

For those of you still working, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax has been increased from $110,100 to $113,700.

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Garrett Planning Network Retreat

August 31st, 2012

The Garrett Planning Network 12th Annual Retreat was recently held in Denver Colorado.   I am a member of the Garrett Planning Network.  It is a group of about 300 financial planners that offer financial planning on an hourly basis, each member owns their own firm.  I have written about the Garrett Planning Network before.

I attended the conference and earned continuing education credits by going to various educational programs, which I need so that I can keep my designations and licenses such as:

  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER
  • CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR
  • NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor

During the four day conference I attended various educational programs such as:

  • Factors That Have the Biggest Impact On Your Client’s Long Term Financial Plan
  • Understanding Longevity
  • Paying for College
  • Curing Social “In-Security” Part 1 and 2

Kent Smetters, PhD, the Boettner Chair Professor, at the Wharton School, at the University of Pennsylvania, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy of the United States Treasury, gave the Keynote address. Dr Smetters provided comments on the impact of using one model portfolio for all of a client’s investment goals vs. individual goal-based asset-liability matching.

Throughout the year, the Garrett Planning Network, has three or four conference calls each month.  One of the most beneficial outcomes of my annual trip to this retreat , is getting together with this group in person.  They are a terrific group of professional financial planners who, like me, work with clients on an hourly basis.  We share ideas and act as a resource for each other all year, so it is so nice to get together once a year and see each other.

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Financial Doing: Because if it’s just Financial Planning, it will never happen!

June 1st, 2012

I have a theory that just about everyone has important financial To-Do items sitting on their To-Do list.  However, those financial To-Dos often just sit there because there isn’t a looming deadline to make them seem urgent (“Save for college and retirement?  Oh that’s so far away!”).  You can read more about my philosophy in      It’s on your To-Do. Let’s get it To-Done!

Let’s say you decide to address those To-Do items so you create a financial plan.  Well a plan will not help you if you do not implement it!  So let’s take you from Financial Planning to Financial Doing!  For those of you who have taken the step of creating a plan, I would like to give you some easy things to do so that you can get some momentum going on your path to Financial Doing!

Here are some quick things you can do and knock off of your To-Do list…

Social Security

If you are under 60 years old, the government does not mail you a Social Security Benefits statement any more.  Learn how easy it is to pull up a copy of your statement online in my blog post Full Social Security Statements Now Available Online.

Annual Credit Report

You know you should get your free copy of your credit report each year, but with so many advertisements you aren’t sure where to go.  I clear up the confusion in my blog post Annual Credit Report: Where to go to get your free credit report.

Lost Money

This one is just a “no brainer”; it takes only a few seconds to check to see if you have lost money.  One in ten Missouri residents does.  Are you one of them?  Missouri Unclaimed Property: Are you due some money?

Take the first step today to change your Financial Planning to Financial Doing, I promise, it will feel great to finally start attacking the To-Dos!

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