Schulfer & Associates, LLC

Blog

What to do if you receive an Important Pension Notice

Pension buyout offers are nothing new. Longer life expectancies, increased costs to run pension plans and a decade of low interest rates have given incentive to hundreds of employers to offer their plan participants a "buyout", in which the participant would accept a lump sum of money in lieu of his or her future promised pension income. Buy-outs are usually one-time offers with a deadline.
View More >>

JIM ROBINSON CHAMPIONS TECHNOLOGY

Jim Robinson of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Wealth Management, recently attended LPL Financial’s Focus 2019 conference, one of the financial advice industry’s premier events and the largest annual conference hosted by LPL. During the conference, held Aug. 18 to 20 in San Diego, Robinson joined a select group of LPL Financial advisors and staff to share best practices and help connect other advisors to technology solutions that can help them more efficiently and effectively manage their practices.
View More >>

Imagining Retirement

I met with prospective new clients recently who were contemplating retirement. Like so many others, they have worked hard, dedicated themselves to a career and raising a family, and have been strong savers. When I asked them what the most important thing was that I could help them with, they agreed that it was designing a retirement plan.
View More >>

What Worries You?

When I meet with people for the first time, the two most important questions I ask are “What is the most important thing I can help you with?” and “What concerns or worries you?” Whether it is for wealth management or retirement planning, among the most common answers are not making large financial mistakes and balancing spending enough while not running out of money. In other words, it would be great if we could devise a plan to spend your last dollar on your last day!
View More >>

5 Tips for New College Students & Parents

There are all sorts of well known planning strategies for how to save for and pay for college. With the experience of two sons going away to universities, I'd like to share five tips that are not often thought of. Save on car insurance. If your son or daughter is not taking a car to college, call your insurance agent. They may offer a discount since your son or daughter will not be a regular driver while they are away at school.
View More >>

Rollovers and Transfers

Rollovers and transfers are ways to move retirement money from one account to another. Sound like semantics? Not to the IRS. Each comes with its own set of rules. A financial institution that holds your money is called a custodian; they have "custody" of your funds. You are rightfully allowed to move your money if you wish to choose different investments and hence, a different custodian. For example, if you are a plan participant...
View More >>

Organize Your Priorities

When we meet with new prospective clients, one of the first questions we ask is "What is the most important thing we can help you with?" We proceed with a comprehensive discussion surrounding their financial state-of-affairs, goals, concerns and expectations. Sometimes, an individual or couple may have a hard time making a decision as to how to move forward. My best advice: organize your priorities. Doing so will guide you in the right direction.
View More >>

Your Life Insurance Policies: Worth a Review

When is the last time you've reviewed your life insurance policies? For most people, they have a good understanding of their coverage as well as the features and benefits of their policy when they initially put the contract in place. Thereafter, it's clear what the death benefit is and of course, the life insurance company will always make sure that you understand the premium due! Other important details of your policy may not be so obvious but are worthy of review
View More >>

Your Greatest Risk may be Your Own Behavior

What do you think of when you hear the word "Risk"? When I ask that question to a client or prospective client, the answer is usually market losses in an investment. Certainly that is one type of risk. There are, however, many other types of risks that have to do with your financial well-being that we consider.
View More >>

Retirement Planning: Dig a Little Deeper

We work with a substantial amount of people throughout the course of a year who are actively planning for retirement.  Questions we commonly hear include: Where is the best place to put my retirement savings (401k, IRA)?  Which pension option is the right for me/us?  When and how should I claim social security?  When can I begin receiving retirement income?  What are the penalties if I do it wrong?
View More >>

It's Never Too Late for a Second Look

I met with a lovely couple for the first time recently who asked me to review their current financial situation and importantly, what it would look like upon the death of the first spouse.   Like many married couples, the husband is the older of the two.  The concern is, if he is the first to pass away, a considerable amount of pension income will be lost.  We also discussed social security:  upon the passing of the first spouse, the survivor assumes the highest benefit
View More >>

Suddenly Single

I hosted a Wine, Women and Wealth workshop at my office recently.  15 lovely ladies joined me for an interactive evening on how planning is different for women than it is for men.  We discussed how life changes if you find yourself suddenly single.  Marriage or a long-term relationship is a partnership where two people share many responsibilities.  In my 25 years of marriage, it has always been my ambition to rely on rather than be dependent upon my husband.  Still, if I
View More >>

Unexpected Money

When you see the words unexpected money you may conjure a vision of the person who wins the lottery and overnight, their dreams have come true.  Certainly, this is one way to come into a large sum  of unexpected money.  More commonly though, people who receive sizeable amounts of money do so through a divorce, a settlement from a law suit, life insurance proceeds from the death of a loved one, an inheritance, the sale of real estate, a business or other investment, receiving a sev
View More >>

Inheriting Accounts

I had a conversation with a funeral director recently about the overwhelming feelings people have when they lose a loved one.  The loss itself often feels too much to bear.  Shortly thereafter comes the realization that there is so much to do in so little time if pre-planning the funeral and final arrangements had not been done.  Then there are all the tasks of settling the estate.  He and I agreed that an important message that people need to hear is that when you lose a lov
View More >>

Long Term Care Planning: Different than it Used to Be

I had a review meeting recently with clients who are in their late 50’s.  Long term care planning was on our agenda.  They said they were not interested in pursuing insurance as a plan to cover potential future expenses, because the husband’s parents each had policies that never paid out.  In a meeting with another client, her parents also had long term care insurance that they’d purchased years ago.  Although her mother needed care a few times, she never go
View More >>

Sorting through Long Term Care Planning Options

Big decisions in life can be intimidating.  Some people are great at planning, while others procrastinate.  Sometimes we stall because we don’t know where to begin.  Many people find this true in financial planning for long term care. Write a list of what is important to you.  The majority of us like to believe we’ll be among the minority and reach a ripe old age without ever needing care.  So, start your list with two columns:  title the left colum
View More >>

Should I Work with an Advisor?

I met with a younger couple recently for an initial consultation.  They reached out to me with questions regarding retirement, which is likely 15 years out for them.  They are successful in their careers, save aggressively and have been doing their own investing into 401(k)s and basic index funds on-line.  The gentleman went on to say that he stays on top of his investments and feels he understands them, but now that their nest egg has grown to several hundred thousand dollars, he
View More >>

What Amount of Commitment Does Your Investment Require?

It’s a question that isn’t asked or understood enough:  What amount of commitment does your investment require? For those with a few decades of life experience such as myself, I don’t have to point out how our culture has changed to one of instant gratification.  That has actually become the case for some people with their behavior toward their investments, even though by its fundamental nature any investment should be held, and therefore judged and managed, for
View More >>

Your Greatest Risk May be Your Own Behavior

What do you think of when you hear the word “Risk”?  When I ask that question to a client or prospective client, the answer is usually market losses in an investment.  Certainly that is one type of risk.  There are, however, many other types of risks that have to do with your financial well-being that we consider.  Inflation risk.  Liquidity risk.  Financial emergencies.  Unexpected death or disability of an income earner.  A long-term care nee
View More >>

What is the Greatest Risk to Your Nest Egg?

In retirement, what is the greatest risk to your nest egg?  What could cause you to lose a significant portion of the assets that you’ve worked hard for all of your life?   For most people, debts are paid off.  Expenses are in-check.  Children are grown and independent.  Liability risks are low.  Investments have been well thought out.  For most people, the greatest risk to their nest egg is the possibility of needing long term care.Envision these tw
View More >>

When Should You Stop Investing?

The vast majority of us need to save money to reach our longer-term goals.  Retirement.  Paying for college.  Travel.  Weddings.  We tend to choose investments rather than savings accounts for these distant ambitions, rightfully so, since a variety of investment options have proven to outperform savings accounts over time. I’ve always really liked the “bucket” approach to aligning goals with saving and investing.  Visualize three buckets. 
View More >>

Life Insurance Shouldn’t be Complicated…. But sometimes it is

Years ago, the trend was for life insurance agents to sell whole life, universal or variable life insurance policies on the potential to grow the cash value inside of the policy.  Cash value can grow by overfunding the policy, meaning you put more money into the policy than the premium required to support the death benefit, or cash value can grow by dividends, interest or investment return on the cash value exceeding the expenses inside of the policy.Life insurance seems like one of those t
View More >>

“I don’t want to be the richest person in the cemetery…”

Our firm has an advisory council consisting of five diverse clients who we get together with twice per year for a half day of uninterrupted deep discussion.  We ask for perspective from a client’s point of view on aspects of their financial lives as well as ways that we can enhance our services.In the middle of a discussion, one of our council-member clients said half-jokingly that she does not want to be the richest person in the cemetery.  In other words, she wants to be able t
View More >>

Taxes and Your Investments

As a Wealth Management Advisor, I help my clients with important decisions, planning and investment management.  While I am not a tax adviser and do not give tax advice, I am mindful of how investment management and income distribution affect my client’s taxes. I began working with a couple in 2018 who had a complicated portfolio of business ownership and investments.  Reviewing their statements, I found over $69,000 of short-term capital gain had been generated with selling
View More >>

Important Ages for Your Retirement Income

You’ve worked hard all of your life.  You’ve saved and invested your money, paid taxes on your income and you’ve made the mandatory contributions to government programs like Social Security and Medicare.  Like so many others, the dream of no longer having to work is a big one and you can now see the retirement light at the end of the working tunnel.  Financial planning for retirement should be at least as straightforward as saving for retirement, but it is not.&n
View More >>

Beneficiary Designations Supersede Other Instructions

Last week, I shared information about the importance of knowing how to update your beneficiary designations.  While the subject sounds simple and most times is, there is potential for things to go wrong.  And when they do, it can be bad in a big way. Beneficiary designations are specified on a retirement account or life insurance policy and supersede other instructions such as those that may have been put forth in a will or a trust, but may not supersede the law.  That means
View More >>

10 Financial Resolutions for the New Year

A new year can either be a fresh start, a time to tweak or you can let it roll by without doing anything different at all.  If resolutions are your thing, here is a checklist.  Ten financial resolves for 2019. Face important decisions head-on.  Look over your next 12 months.  Big decisions involving money are easy to put off but may cost you in the long run.  Remember that you are not alone.  Engage the help of others including trusted family members or a friend and
View More >>

Doing Nothing is a Decision

In my line of work, people have to make decisions.  Sometimes the decisions are small ones, often times they are big.  The decision to save more.  Or not.  The decision to purchase life insurance.  Or not.  The decision to reposition assets.  Or not.  The decision to plan for retirement.  Or not.  The decision to plan for potential long-term care costs.  Or not.  The list goes on and on.  The biggest decisions can be the most intim
View More >>

Know How to Update Your Beneficiary Designations

When is the last time you reviewed your beneficiary designations?   For many people this easy task is one that ends up on the procrastination list.  Life changes and with it, should be a review of beneficiaries, trustee powers, powers of attorney, and transfers on death.Beneficiaries are designated on life insurance policies and retirement accounts.  You may name one or more primary beneficiaries as well as one or more contingent beneficiaries in percentages that you choose.&
View More >>

Are You a Trader or an Investor?

View More >>

True Wealth: All that Money Can’t Buy

I googled “wealth” recently and got about 280,000,000 results in .42 seconds.  I scrolled through the top few pages of hits and to no surprise the results were all about money.  As an Accredited Wealth Management Advisor, I work with people and their money day in and day out, predominantly in planning for and working toward a successful retirement.  I can tell you unequivocally that money is an important tool.  Money puts a roof over our heads and food on the tabl
View More >>

Words of Wisdom for Retirement

I am a quotations fanatic.  Some are profound and some are funny.  What I love about quotes is that the great ones say so much with just a few words of wisdom.  Here are a few on retirement with reflection from me.  If you have others that are worthy of sharing, I welcome you to e-mail me (louann.schulfer@lpl.com), I would love to hear from you!“The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it's at what income.”  George Foreman.  So true. 
View More >>

Great News for Retirement Savers in 2019

I am excited to share some great news for retirement account savers in 2019!  The amount you are allowed to contribute, as well as the income thresholds which make contributions permissible have both risen for the first time in six years! Since 2013, contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s) have been capped at $5,500 if you are under age 50 and $6,500 if you are 50 or older.  For tax year 2019, that amount goes up to $6,000 for those under 50 and $7,000 for th
View More >>

Investing and Planning Different for Women than Men

Early in my career, I would despise hearing how women differ from men when it comes to investing.  Often, it was assumed that women earned less than men and were less aggressive than men, therefore, advisors should choose investments accordingly.  I would go to conferences and listen to the speaker address the “hot topic” of how to work with women clients, like they (the presenters) were afraid that if advisors didn’t use the right words, have the right eye contact or
View More >>

Fees are what you pay. Value is what you get.

When a new prospective client calls our office, one of the questions they sometimes ask is “What are your fees?” before they tell us what kind of service they are seeking or ask us what we do.  Investment fees are a popular topic lately in news articles and advertisements.   I respect the question and wholly advocate using money wisely:  it’s the entire premise of what we do! What the questioner cheats himself or herself out of sometimes is asking about
View More >>

Social Security: It will still be there

A question I often hear is “Will Social Security be there when I retire?”  The answer is yes.  While I cannot tell you exactly what it will look like years down the road, I can give you a high-level perspective in this short article of how it works.  Make no mistake, the program needs some sort of reform.  The last seven Trustees Reports, available at https://www.ssa.gov/oact/TR/index.html, have warned us that Social Security’s trust funds are projected to b
View More >>

What do Halloween and Investing have in common?

So what do Halloween and investing have in common?  Is it the fear of the unknown?  Scary times?  Afraid you’ll be haunted by your next investment move?  Maybe for some people.  For me, there are a number of interesting financial related terms that are Halloween-ish.  Have you heard of any of these?Spiders.  A spider is the pronunciation for SPDR, an ETF, or exchange traded fund, and is one of many ETF’s which track the S&P 500.  The acrony
View More >>

Your Life Insurance Policies: Worth a Review

When is the last time you’ve reviewed your life insurance policies?  For most people, they have a good understanding of their coverage as well as the features and benefits of their policy when they initially put the contract in place.  Thereafter, it’s clear what the death benefit is and of course, the life insurance company will always make sure that you understand the premium due!  Other important details of your policy may not be so obvious but are worthy of review.
View More >>

The Compounding Effects of Good Financial Habits

We tend to have a more mature clientele in our office.  Our clients generally have built their nest eggs and are often within striking distance of retirement or are already retired.  It’s the compounding financial habits and years of wise decisions that has gotten them to where they are today and is equally important in sustaining a successful retirement.   Here is a short version of some of the most impactful financial decisions one can make.Start early.  When is
View More >>

“The Best Retirement Advice I’ve Ever Received…”

I began working with a newer client about nine months ago.  He is a successful semi-retired entrepreneur who has done a great job building and protecting his net worth.  Throughout the years, he has worked with various financial planners, attorneys, CPAs and wealth management firms.  His portfolio is robust with investments, insurances and a trust.   At our initial meeting, I’d asked him “What is the most important thing I can help you with?”  He r
View More >>

Managing Suddenly Acquired Money

You may conjure a vision of the fortunate fella or lucky lady who wins the lottery and overnight, his or her financial dreams have come true. Certainly this is one way to suddenly come into a large sum of money that you didn't have to make decisions with before. More commonly though, people who suddenly receive sizeable amounts of money or other assets do so through a divorce, a settlement from a law suit, life insurance proceeds from the death of a loved one, an inheritance, receiving a sev
View More >>

Cost of Medicare Premiums: Planning can go a Long Way

Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program for those over age 65 or for certain individuals who are disabled.  There are four “parts”:  Part A covers hospital expenses and is paid for by the government.  Part C refers to Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurance companies.  Part B covers outpatient costs and equipment and Part D covers prescriptions; both B & D have premiums partially paid for by the medicare recipient.&nbs
View More >>

Financial Exploitation of Seniors

With our aging population, financial exploitation of seniors is a serious and growing problem.   It happens throughout all economic levels and has robbed people of their savings, their financial security, their home and ultimately their dignity.   We tend to think of criminal activity as obvious and violent.  However, exploitation often begins with a much softer approach.  By playing on emotions, money or other assets are often stolen through gradual persuasion, wit
View More >>

What You Need to Gather When Your Spouse Dies

Losing your spouse is losing your best friend, your soul mate and also, your financial partner.  From a financial aspect, it’s as if you have a business and you’ve just lost your only business partner.  This is one of the most devastating times of our life.  In this highly emotional time, the least of which you want to do is deal with the stress of remembering all that needs to be tended to financially, so here is a basic guide that I recommend you keep as a reference
View More >>

Colorful Financial Slang

Last week, my article Fun Financial History explained the origins of a few of my favorite and the most frequently used financial references:   bull and bear markets, Wall Street and ticker symbols.    If you missed that one, you can find it online at www.SchuflerAndAssociates.com | Meet Us | Blog.  Continuing the spirit of financial fun, here are some colorful financial slang terms you’ve likely heard.Blue Chips.  What exactly is a “blue chip”
View More >>

Fun Financial History

How did bull and bear markets get their names, and what do they mean?  Even if you are not the least bit interested in the markets or investing, you can’t help but hear these frequent references.   A bull market is one that is generally rising for a period of time and a bear market is one that is generally falling for a length of time.  There are a few different theories as to how these rising and falling markets got their name and none are specifically documented, as t
View More >>

Retirement Like a Rubix Cube

We meet with a significant number of people each year who are preparing for retirement.  If you are planning on retiring, the thought of structuring your retirement income plan can feel like trying to solve a rubix cube.  On one side of the cube is your 401(k).  On another, your pension.  Flip the cube over and there is your social security.  The other sides of the cube are your spouse’s 401(k), IRA, and his/her social security.  Solving for one color can feel
View More >>

Planning Does Not Stop After Retirement

What do you think of when you hear the words “retirement planning”?  Most would say planning for retirement.  But that’s only part of the job.  Planning does not stop when you are retired.Planning for retirement is the first phase.  It’s both subjective and objective.  Retirement planning starts with your vision.  From there, it’s like a giant equation with many inputs to work toward your desired output.  Needs and wants for spendi
View More >>

Understand Your Investment Qualifications

For years, we’ve worked with investments that are “alternative” to the traditional offerings that many people are used to or have experience with.  When I meet with new clients, it’s still very common for me to hear “I didn’t know I could invest in something like that”, not ever having heard of investor qualifications and the different investments that one may be eligible to invest in per FINRAs and the SEC’s guidelines (they are our regulator
View More >>

The Most Important Question

When it comes to investing, the most important question is often overlooked.  It’s easy to get money IN to your investments.  You expect that over time, you will earn a rate of return.  But the most important question may be:  What is my exit strategy? Commonly, investors are introduced to investments that are daily liquid with traded markets such as stocks, bonds and exchange traded funds or the investment sponsor such as mutual fund companies.  These can be foun
View More >>

Shredding Party a Great Success for Pacelli Catholic Schools & Community

On May 10th, Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals, a local retirement planning and investment firm, hosted their 8th Annual Shredding Party benefitting Pacelli Catholic Schools.Over $3,000 was raised at the shredding event through donations for the shredding services provided by Express Recycling Solutions, Inc., along with sales of shredded food, while attendees were entertained by the Pacelli Catholic High School pep band.Each year, Pacelli chooses a project which will be fun
View More >>

How Well do You Understand Your Annuity?

Sometimes I get the question, “Are annuities good or are annuities bad?”  My answer:  it depends.  It’s kind of like asking if medication is good or if it is bad.  The right amount used in the right circumstance for the right person can be great.  If the annuity is not a good fit or if there is not value for the extra expense, then it’s wise to consider other options.In a nutshell, an annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company.&nbs
View More >>

Escheatment and Your Investments

I had a new client recently come to me for help on his and his wife’s IRA accounts.  He said he didn’t have time to keep up on the investments and wanted to make sure that the accounts didn’t inadvertently end up in escheatment as unclaimed property someday to the State of Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue(1),  “Property becomes unclaimed or abandoned?? when there isn't owner? activity???R
View More >>

6 ROTH IRA Facts That May Surprise You

ROTH IRAs can be a powerhouse of tax benefit when the account enjoys compounded growth.  Here are six more facts that may surprise you. You can not be too young to contribute.  As long as you have earned income, age does not matter.  This was significant in our family when we gave our sons the opportunity to earn w-2 income beginning at 7 and 9 when we bought a golf driving range for them to run.  Their ROTH IRAs were opened the same year and they’ve been contributing e
View More >>

Retirement Planning: How Clear is your Picture?

When I meet with a prospective client or couple for the first time and ask “What is the most important thing I can help you with?”, the answer is often a list.  Near the top is, help me develop a clear picture of my retirement.  They usually go on to say that they have been strong savers, are not huge spenders and have accumulated a nest egg.  But the worry is there:  how much is enough?  How do I know my money will last as long as I do?   When can
View More >>

ROTH IRA Conversions

Should you convert all or part of your IRA to a ROTH IRA?  That depends.  There are pros and cons that may apply uniquely to each person’s financial situation.  Properly analyzing your circumstances may uncover a great opportunity.  However, understand the rules to avoid unexpected future surprises that may come as substantial drawbacks.The purpose of a ROTH IRA is to allow your money to grow tax deferred and take distributions on a tax-free basis.  The IRS has dis
View More >>

IRA Planning Options

There is so much you can do with your retirement money.  Start with an assessment of what is most important to you and quite frankly, what worries you.  Be sure you are familiar with, or are working with an experienced advisor who understands the various layers of rules governing retirement accounts, as unexpected taxes or penalties are surprises we all want to avoid!  Then, look for opportunities to potentially improve your future.  Here are a few cases I’ve worked rec
View More >>

You're Invited: Shredding Party!

We’re gearing up to host our 8th annual Shredding Party, a community service event that raises money for Pacelli Catholic Schools, and YOU are invited….  Individuals and Business alike!A few years ago in a business planning retreat, the advisors and staff of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals made a commitment to give more to our community.  We wanted to:1.       Host an event where we could share our knowledge with our com
View More >>

What to do When Your Pension Plan Terminates

In my years of experience as an advisor, one of the greatest sources of stress, anxiety and uncertainty felt by men and women is when they receive the news that their pension plan is terminating.  It feels like the rug has been pulled out from under their feet.  As loyal employees, they counted on their employer to provide a paycheck while working and throughout retirement.  Pension plan terminations are nothing new, but when it happens to you, it feels like a tragedy. What d
View More >>

What is Your Greatest Retirement Risk?

What is the goal of climbing a mountain?  Usually the answer I receive is ‘to get to the top of the mountain’.  Actually, that is just the first half of the journey.  The greater challenge is getting down from the mountain.  In fact, for climbers of Mount Everest, the highest peak on the planet, the descent is where most deaths occur.1  That is a great parallel to retirement planning.  “Accumulation” is getting to the top of the mountain.&nbs
View More >>

Introducing #WON

By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF® Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals* Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM Accredited Investment Fiduciary® In our business, we set aside time each Friday for “business development”, a discipline where our entire staff comes together to work ON our business, not just IN our business.  Feedback from our clients and our advisory council has been valuable in shaping our success.  What has always been evi
View More >>

Insurance Champions

LouAnn Schulfer of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals was recently recognized as anInsurance Champion by LPL Insurance Associates. This recognition is for the top 40 advisors in LPLInsurance Associates, which is part of...
View More >>

North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (NCWWDB)

LouAnn Schulfer of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals, was recently nominated andapproved as a Board Member to the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board(NCWWDB). NCWWDB is a public/partnership between...
View More >>

James J. Robinson Attends LPL Financial 2012 National Conference

JAMES J. ROBINSON ATTENDS LPL FINANCIAL 2012 NATIONAL CONFERENCE, A LEADINGFINANCIAL SERVICES EVENT FOCUSED ON INCREASING VALUE TO INVESTORSStevens Point, WI August 19-22 James J. Robinson from Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial...
View More >>

Professionals Offer Tips to Keep Resolutions

Many people resolve financially to do one or more of the following: save more, spend less or pay off debt. With these goals, the key to success is not unlike slimming down your waistline. Schulfer suggests thinking about what you want...
View More >>

Words of Wisdom for Retirement

I am a quotations fanatic. Some quotes are profound and some are funny. What I love about quotes is that the great ones say so much with just a few words of wisdom. Here are some on retirement with reflection from me. If you know...
View More >>

Do You Understand Distribution Diversification?

Recently, I was interviewed by Mark Henricks, a journalist from Austin, TX for an article that will be published on MainStreet.com, the personal finance site of TheStreet.com (if you watch CNBC you recognize “The Street”). Mark has...
View More >>

Inspiring Entrepreneurialism in Our Kids

When our sons were very young, my husband Gene and I set a goal to have some sort of part-time business for them to run during their teenage years. We wanted Jacob and Zachary to develop a business acumen early in life. We wanted them...
View More >>

Entrepreneurialism, Personal Responsibility and Kids

Earlier I wrote an article “Inspiring Entrepreneurialism in Our Kids”. When our sons were very young, we set a goal for them to have some sort of part-time business to operate during their teenage years. The opportunity presented...
View More >>

What Causes Market Sell Offs?

I like to simplify things. Break them down into the fundamentals. Then, once the basics are established we can add the more complicated facets in.So, what causes a stock market sell off? Simply put, there are more sellers than there..
View More >>

Retirement Planning: Dig a little deeper

We work with a substantial amount of people throughout the course of a year who are actively planning for retirement. Questions we commonly hear include: Where is the best place to put my retirement savings (401k, IRA)? Which pension...
View More >>

Big Changes to Social Security Planning for Some

On Monday, November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law a 2 year bipartisan budget deal that avoids a United States default. The deal includes several provisions, one of which will affect social security planning for many.The deal...
View More >>

Important Ages for Social Security’s Recent Changes

Recently I wrote an article titled Big Changes to Social Security Planning for Some. The changes to Social Security are due to section 831 of the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Deal that was signed into law on November 2, 2015 (you can read it...
View More >>

What is your life worth?

It’s an arbitrary question in some ways, but certainly not a rhetorical one. Our life’s worth can be defined in many ways, sometimes best pondered through question. In reflection, what kind of lasting impact have you had on others?...
View More >>

What Would Happen If You Were To Die Today?

What would happen if you were to die today? It’s a question I ask all of my clients at some point. Often, the first response I receive is superficial and sarcastic, making light of the question. For all of us, it’s hard to imagine our...
View More >>

Old Life Insurance Policies: Did You Know….?

When is the last time you’ve had your life insurance policy reviewed? As with all types of business, the life insurance industry has evolved. There are things we can do with life insurance today that could not be done years ago. One of...
View More >>

Retirement Planning Advice: Work to eliminate your Debt

I explain to my clients that building a secure retirement plan is an equation. From a high level, that equation includes formulating an income plan and coordinating that with your spending plan. We identify your needed income (housing,...
View More >>

What Amount of Commitment Does Your Investment Require?

It’s a question that isn’t asked or understood enough: What amount of commitment does your investment require? For those with a few decades of life experience such as myself, I don’t have to point out how our culture...
View More >>

Your Last Gift

In my last article, I wrote about risk management and how for most of us life Insurance is a remarkable tool to manage what may likely be your family’s greatest risk. Not everyone “needs” life insurance; maybe your...
View More >>

What You Need to Gather When Your Spouse Dies

Losing your spouse is losing your best friend, your soul mate and also, your financial partner. From a financial aspect, it’s as if you have a business and you’ve just lost your only business partner. This is one of the...
View More >>

Accumulation vs. Distribution

Most people are familiar with how to save for retirement, and do a good job at it. Making regular contributions to your 401k, taking full advantage of your employer’s matching dollars, adding money to IRA’s or ROTH...
View More >>

Couples: Who makes your investment decisions?

In the years before I was a financial advisor, I had heard that the consensus about women and investing was that wives were often left out of making decisions regarding their family’s investment portfolio and retirement planning....
View More >>

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

In my previous article “Retirement, Like a Rubix Cube”, I wrote about the complexities of retirement planning with respect to solving for the entire retirement income puzzle. Like a rubix cube, retirement planning has many...
View More >>

Fun Financial History

How did bull and bear markets get their names, and what do they mean? Even if you are not the least bit interested in the markets or investing, you can’t help but hear these frequent references. A bull market is one that is...
View More >>

“I” is for Individual

A common misunderstanding that I come across working knee-cap to knee-cap with people is what an IRA is. IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. “I” is for Individual. That means an IRA can only be owned by an...
View More >>

More Fun Financial History

A couple of months ago I wrote an article, Fun Financial History explaining the origins of a few of my favorite and the most frequently used financial references: bull and bear markets, Wall Street and ticker symbols. If you missed...
View More >>

Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results

It’s the line we as advisors say all the time. Yet, when I meet with clients at our firm who have been managing their own money, past performance is usually the number one metric that they tell me they’ve based their...
View More >>

Retirement: A Financial Decision or an Emotional Decision?

When you hear the words “Retirement Planning” the natural association is financial. How much money have you and your spouse accumulated throughout your working years? What is a reasonable distribution rate to determine the...
View More >>

Retirement Planning Advice: Work to eliminate your Debt

I explain to my clients that building a secure retirement plan is an equation. From a high level, that equation includes formulating an income plan and coordinating that with your spending plan. We identify your needed income (housing,...
View More >>

Retirement Planning: The Emotional Side

Earlier, I wrote an article: Retirement: A Financial Decision or an Emotional Decision? If you didn’t get a chance to read it, it can be found at www.SchulferAndAssociates.com | Our Blog. This article is a sequel. The truth is,...
View More >>

Sizeable Assets, Suddenly

You may conjure a vision of the fortunate fella or lucky lady who wins the lottery and overnight, his or her financial dreams have come true. Certainly this is one way to suddenly come into a large sum of money that you didn’t...
View More >>

Do you Understand Distribution Diversification?

Recently I was interviewed by Mark Henricks, a journalist from Austin, TX for an article that will be published on MainStreet.com, the personal finance website of TheStreet.com (if you watch CNBC you recognize “The Street”)...
View More >>

Social Media and Identity Theft: Are You Putting Yourself in Harm’s Way?

By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF® Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM Accredited Investment Fiduciary® Many of us enjoy social media. It’s fun to connect with people we don’t regularly see, keep up to date on...
View More >>

Important Ages for Your Retirement Income

You’ve worked hard all of your life. You’ve saved and invested your money, paid taxes on your income and you’ve made the mandatory contributions to government programs like Social Security and Medicare. Like so many...
View More >>

Your First Wealth is Health!

As I get older, I have a much greater appreciation for my health. I eat nutritious foods and work out just about every day. Lifting weights and jogging are not things that I enjoy doing, but I sure do value the mental sharpness I feel...
View More >>

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know….. and That Could Cost You!

The world we live in is complex and managing your money is no exception. Layers of rules and regulations make managing your assets more complicated than merely selecting investments to achieve a rate of return. One of my favorite...
View More >>

Life Insurance: Understand your Guarantees!

Choosing a life insurance policy can seem confusing, frustrating and intimidating. It’s a big decision and since life insurance premiums are not cheap, you’ll want be sure you are making an informed choice. More important...
View More >>

Do You Need Life Insurance?

The answer is no. You do not need life insurance on yourself, but your spouse and/or children may need you to have life insurance. What is the best way to find out if and how much life insurance you need? Start with a conversation. A...
View More >>

The Only Constant is Change: The DOL Fiduciary Rule

“The only constant is change” -- Heraclitus, Greek philosopher. Isn’t it interesting that this quote dates back to approximately 500 BC? Heraclitus created doctrines about the constant change and flux of life. Many...
View More >>

Couples: Who makes your investment decisions?

In the years before I was a financial advisor, I had heard that the consensus about women and investing was that wives were often left out of making decisions regarding their family’s investment portfolio and retirement planning....
View More >>

How We’ve Specialized in Our Business

Growth in business is key to success and longevity. Ours is no exception. Each Friday morning our team works on business development and a few times each year we travel to spend time with other top advisors from around the country at...
View More >>

Should I Roll Over My 401(k)?

When you leave a company, you generally have four options as to what to do with your retirement money. 1) Cash it out. Brace yourself for the taxes due and, if you are under 55 for certain types of plans or 59 ½ for others, an...
View More >>

Keep Flexibility in Your Retirement Income Plan

Planning for retirement can seem intimidating and is often filled with ambivalence. On the one hand, we fantasize about how great it would be to have a schedule filled just with our own personal activities, not having to report to work...
View More >>

Group Life Insurance vs. Personally Owned Life Insurance

Is it better to own my own life insurance policy or purchase extra group insurance through my employer? That’s a question I hear often in financial planning. The answer? It depends. As part of an employee benefit package, many...
View More >>

Social Security Restricted Application: Consider the “What If’s”

On November 2, 2015 President Obama signed into law, the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Deal. Section 831 contained significant changes to Social Security, which I had written about within days of the law passing as information began to...
View More >>

PERSONAL RISK MANAGEMENT

There are many types of IRAs. The two main categories which you may already be aware of are Traditional and Roth. The difference between the two is significant. Contributions or rollover dollars are received into a traditional IRA as...
View More >>

Different Types of IRAs

There are many types of IRAs. The two main categories which you may already be aware of are Traditional and Roth. The difference between the two is significant. Contributions or rollover dollars are received into a traditional IRA as...
View More >>

Your Last Gift

In my last article, I wrote about risk management and how for most of us life Insurance is a remarkable tool to manage what may likely be your family’s greatest risk. Not everyone “needs” life insurance; maybe your..
View More >>

Social Media and Identity Theft: Are You Putting Yourself in Harm’s Way?

Many of us enjoy social media. It’s fun to connect with people we don’t regularly see, keep up to date on each other’s lives, and share entertaining posts with our friends. It’s a great tool to get to know more...
View More >>

Don’t Blow Up Your IRA

Every now and again, I receive calls asking curious questions about what a person may be able to do with their IRA (Individual Retirement Arrangement). Often, they’ve heard an angle from a friend, a pitch from someone trying to...
View More >>

Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals Office Update

We’ve had a productive year of business advancements that we are excited to share with you. In fact, there is so much to share that we will be doing so in various e-mails over the next several weeks. We kicked off 2017 tackling a...
View More >>

Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals Office Update

Greetings! We’re continuing our communication with you regarding the exciting business advancements that Schulfer & Associates has made throughout the course of 2017. By now you’ve surely noticed the updated LPL account...
View More >>

We’re thrilled to bring you part three of our exciting updates!

E-signature is now allowable for most of our investment applications and other paperwork. Electronic form-filling and submissions are more efficient, reducing errors such as missed information, signatures or initials on paperwork. Once...
View More >>

Thank you for keeping up with our exciting updates! We’re delighted to send you

Thank you for keeping up with our exciting updates! We’re delighted to send you part four! Have you visited us at SchulferAndAssociates.com lately? Based on feedback from our advisory council, we’ve streamlined the content,...
View More >>

Raising Financially Responsible Kids

What does it take to raise financially responsible kids? The three words financially, responsible and kids each have significant importance when pondering the answer to that question. Financially: Money matters. Responsible: I believe...
View More >>

Can I Retire?

That’s the “million-dollar” question I get asked often. Truth is, there is not a magic nest egg number that works for everyone. Retirement planning is like a giant equation with many inputs and variables. To...
View More >>

Protection and Trust

Financial exploitation of seniors and vulnerable adults is matter of great concern for Schulfer and Associates, for LPL and the financial services industry in general. FINRA has taken steps to help firms address these concerns and to...
View More >>

Let Your Kids Handle Their Money. Literally.

When our sons were born, we knew we wanted them to develop a business acumen and strong work ethic at early ages. When they were 7 and 9 we bought a golf driving range for Jacob and Zachary to run. As a financial advisor, I am...
View More >>

Diversification: What it is NOT

You’ve likely heard the saying when it comes to investing, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”. That’s a great way to think of diversification. Diversification of your financial portfolio involves...
View More >>

Taking Time to Plan

We all have to make decisions. Sometimes the decisions are small ones, other times they are big. The decision to plan for retirement. Or not. The decision to address estate planning. Or not. The decision to plan for potential senior...
View More >>