Negotiating your next mortgage

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Looking ahead at a home purchase?

Are high rates convincing you to stay put as long as possible?

With mortgage rates pushing above 7%, you might think a reasonable mortgage is out of reach.

I’ve got some not-so-great news for you.

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Tackling Retirement Health Care Issues

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A single person age 65 in 2023 may need about $157,500 saved after taxes to cover health care expenses in retirement, according to Fidelity. In 2023, their estimate for an average retired couple aged 65 is around $315,000.

The actual amount you’ll need will depend on many variables, including where you live during retirement, your health, and how long you may live. Remember, Fidelity’s numbers are just an average. Some folks will spend more, and some will spend less.

The good news is that costs are expected to stay the same compared to 2022. The bad news: it’s almost double the 2002 estimate.

Fidelity bases its example on those who take part in traditional Medicare. If you have yet to retire, do not assume that Medicare is a panacea for all healthcare costs. Many younger folks believe that Medicare covers all expenses. It doesn’t. While coverage is broad, it does not take care of everything.

Let’s take a brief look at Medicare.

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7 College Planning Steps for Teens

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Getting prepared for college can be both exciting and overwhelming for a high school senior. What might your goal-oriented peers do that will help them succeed as they set out on a new path?

The key to successful college preparation is to establish an efficient and structured plan.

Having a clear roadmap to guide your planning can make the process smoother and ease any worries that you might have as you move on to the next phase of your life.

Let’s look at some important steps that can ease the stress and uncertainty that often accompanies the transition to college life.

7 boxes to check

According to Sallie Mae’s Higher Ambitions: How America Plans for Post-Secondary Education 2020, 94% of high school students are likely to continue their education after high school.

Although not everyone will attend college or obtain a two- or four-year degree, developing a plan and establishing goals can increase the likelihood of making the right choices. If you can check off these seven boxes, you will be well on your way.

1. Research the schools that capture your attention

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7 Steps to Get Your Affairs in Order

While many find it anxiety-provoking to think about, creating a legally binding plan to distribute your assets after your death ultimately provides you with peace of mind. You can rest easy knowing that your wishes will be carried out as you have requested.

Some folks prefer a DIY, or do-it-yourself approach, but this may not be the best option for everyone. One reason is because each state has its own set of laws and requirements. You can find various templates online, but some of the documents may fall short of their claim to meet your state’s requirements.

It is crucial that your estate plan meets your state’s legal requirements to ensure your final wishes are honored, so expert help is recommended. Consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure that documents are correctly prepared, avoiding costly and time-consuming missteps.

While I encourage you to sit down with a legal professional, I also want to provide some general guidelines you can think through independently. Estate planning is a complex field, but a general outline can clear up some of the mystery.

Estate planning 101

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Plan for a Comfortable Retirement

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We plan for retirement because we know that we may not want to work forever. An artificial retirement age set by our employer may limit our options. Health issues may also dictate when we decide to retire.

With your input, I can help devise a plan that puts you on the road to financial security. The result is designed to leave you with sufficient assets so you can maintain your current lifestyle or pursue new interests that you may develop in retirement.

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