Senior News for January 7th, 2015

By / Life on the Island / Tuesday, 06 January 2015 05:00

Do You Have Insurance on Your Retirement Plan? Financial Planner Shares Tips for Protecting Your Savings

You have insurance on your home, your car, your health.
How about your retirement plan?
“People have homeowners insurance to protect against fires and floods,” notes independent financial planner Stephen Ng, founder and president of Stephen Ng Financial Group, ( “They buy insurance to replace their car if it gets wrecked and they buy health insurance to protect themselves from medical costs. “But for many people, their biggest material asset is their retirement portfolio. When I look at a new client’s portfolio and ask, ‘Where’s your insurance?’ they look at me like I’m crazy!”
Insure your retirement fund by taking steps to safeguard at least a portion of it, Ng says. As you get closer to retiring, the amount you safeguard will be what you need to rely on for your retirement income.
“Your retirement income should be derived from guaranteed sources, such as Social Security benefits and your pension plan,” says Ng, a licensed 3(21) fiduciary advisor, certified to advise companies about their 401(k) and other retirement plans. “It’s the amount you need to pay the bills and do the other things you hope to do in retirement, so your retirement income needs to be a guaranteed source of income.  “Then you look for your ‘play checks.’ That’s the money you don’t absolutely have to have, so you can still try to grow it, and take risks with it, in the market.”
Ng offers these tips for insuring your retirement plan:
•  Invest a portion of your portfolio in annuities.
Annuities are long-term investment options through insurance companies that guarantee you payments over a certain rate of time, which could be the rest of your life or the life of your spouse or other survivor. Note: The guarantee is subject to the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.
•  If you leave your job, quickly roll your employer-sponsored 401(k) into an IRA.
While 401(k)s are a great tool for saving, particularly if your employer is providing matching funds, if you were to die, the taxes your survivors would pay on your 401(k) would be much higher than on an IRA. That’s because they would have to inherit the money in a lump sum – that could easily take 35 percent right off the top. The lump-sum rule does not apply to IRAs. While your spouse would have the option to inherit your 401(k) as an IRA, your children would not. So, take advantage of your employer-sponsored 401(k), but if you leave the company, convert to an IRA or ROTH IRA. You can also begin transferring your 401(k) funds to an IRA at age 59½.
•  Consider converting your IRA to a ROTH IRA. For protection from future income tax rate increases, you should consider slowly converting your tax-deferred IRA funds into a ROTH IRA. Yes, you’ll have to pay the taxes now on the money you transfer, but that will guarantee that withdrawals in your retirement are not taxed – even as the money grows. If you plan to leave at least part of your IRA to your children, they’ll benefit from a fund that continues to grow tax-free. 
About Stephen Ng - Stephen Ng is the founder and president of Stephen Ng Financial Group™ Since 1992, he has helped pre-retirees and retirees preserve and increase their wealth by, in part, helping them avoid common mistakes. He regularly holds financial management, retirement investing and insurance planning seminars at businesses, churches and non-profit organizations. Ng is a Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant and a Certified Estate Planner. He is also an Investment Advisor Representative with SagePoint Financial, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.  He brings a national and international perspective to his financial advice, with professional and educational roots in Australia and Asia, and certifications in 19 states. 
If you would like to run the above article, please feel free to do so. I am able to provide images if you would like some to accompany it. If you’re interested in interviewing Stephen Ng or having him write an exclusive article for you, let me know and I’ll gladly work out details.

Seasons of Caring: Meditations for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers

Seasons of Caring: Meditations for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers (available from CreateSpace) is a book for anyone who loves and cares for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Seasons of Caring contains more than 140 original meditations from faith leaders and care specialists representing a wide and diverse range of major religious traditions, including Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, Muslim, Presbyterian, Sikh and Unitarian Universalist among others. The book is written for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers, their families and friends, clergy and faith leaders, and care professionals. It will have special meaning for facilitators and members of Alzheimer’s support groups, and serve as a catalyst for group reflection, discussion and individual meditation. Each of the 72 contributors – many caregivers themselves – draws upon his or her years of experience to offer words of hope, encouragement and understanding to those on the dreaded Alzheimer’s journey, giving voice to the unique challenges confronting Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers. The authors speak from the perspective of their distinct faith traditions, yet are united in their support of individuals and families facing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“I hope that Seasons of Caring brings you comfort, inspiration and spiritual growth during a deeply challenging time,” said Trish Vradenburg, co-founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, who wrote the foreword to the book. “Every contact with an Alzheimer’s sufferer is important and felt on some level, whether they can express it or not, and we should keep trying to reach them despite the immense challenges in doing so. The beautiful meditations in this book offer encouragement, empathy and understanding, both to Alzheimer’s caregivers and patients themselves.”
Seasons of Caring is a project of Clergy Agains tAlzheimer’s, a multifaith national network of clergy, laity and faith organizations working to focus our nation’s attention on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, to promote dignity and compassionate care for those with Alzheimer’s, and to support families and caregivers. ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s is a network of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, an entrepreneurial and disruptive organization demanding a solution to Alzheimer’s by 2020.
Meditation contributors include:
• Dr. Jade C. Angelica, author of Where Two Worlds Touch: A Spiritual Journey Through Alzheimer’s Disease and Founder of Healing Moments™ Alzheimer’s Ministry
• Deacon Michael Francis Curren, Senior Vice President, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
• Olivia Hoblitzelle, author of Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s
• Rabbi Cary Kozberg, Director of Spiritual Life, Wexner Heritage Village and author of Honoring Broken Tablets: A Jewish Response to Dementia
• John T. McFadden, co-author of Aging Together: Dementia, Friendship, and Flourishing Communities
• Richard Morgan & Dr. Jane Thibault, authors of No Act of Love is Ever Wasted: The Spirituality of Caring for People with Dementia
• Nell Noonan, author of Not Alone: Encouragement for Caregivers and Meditations for Church School Teachers
• Flores Green Reynolds, African American Dementia Outreach Partnership, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky
• Marty Richards, author of Caresharing: A Reciprocal Approach to Caregiving
Meryl Comer, author of the New York Times best seller Slow Dancing with a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer’s, said, “Seasons of Caring offers solace and comfort to help families live in the moment with their loved ones. We need to believe that we are reaching a loved one at some level because deep down we know that Alzheimer’s will ultimately win out.”
Alzheimer’s affects 5.4 million people and 15.5 million caregivers in the U.S. and 44 million people and more than 100 million caregivers worldwide. Recent independent research shows that it is the third leading cause of death and the most expensive health condition in the U.S., outranking cancer and HIV/AIDS as a looming public health and fiscal issue. It is the only disease in the top ten that currently has no cure, treatment or prevention. Yet it receives dramatically less government funding, industry focus or scientific study than other less widespread diseases.
“The words of Pope Francis bear repeating as they describe well both the intent of ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s and Seasons of Caring,” said Lynda Everman, a contributor and editor. “‘Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! And not only that…let us become bearers of hope!’”
More information about Seasons of Caring can be found at




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