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Questions After the Equifax Data Breach

Questions After the Equifax Data Breach

Consumers may be at risk for many years.

 

Provided by TechGirl Financial 

How long should you worry about identity theft in the wake of the Equifax hack?

The correct answer might turn out to be “as long as you live.” If your personal data was copied in this cybercrime, you should at least scrutinize your credit, bank, and investment account statements in the near term. You may have to keep up that vigilance for years to come.

Cybercrooks are sophisticated in their assessment of consumer habits and consumer memories. They know that eventually, many Americans will forget about the severity and depth of this crime – and that could be the right time to strike. All those stolen Social Security and credit card numbers may be exploited in the 2020s rather than today. Or, perhaps these criminals will just wait until Equifax’s offer of free credit monitoring for consumers expires.

Equifax actually had its data breached twice this year.

On September 18, Equifax said that their databases had been entered in March, nearly five months before the well-publicized, late-July violation. Its spring security effort to prevent another hack failed. Bloomberg has reported that the same hackers may be responsible for both invasions.2

Should you accept Equifax’s offer to try and protect your credit?

Many consumers have, but with reservations. Some credit monitoring is better than none, but those who signed up for Equifax’s TrustedID Premier protection agreed to some troubling fine print. By enrolling in the program, they may have waived their right to join any class action lawsuits against Equifax. Equifax claims this arbitration clause does not apply to consumers who sought protection in response to the hack, but lawyers are not so sure.1   

Should you freeze your credit?

Some analysts recommend this move. You can request all three major credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) to do this for you. Freezing your credit accounts has no effect on your credit score. It stops a credit agency from giving your personal information to a creditor, which should lower your risk for identity theft. The only hassle here is that if you want to buy a home, rent an apartment, or get a new credit card, you will have to pay a fee to each of the three firms to unfreeze your credit.1

Three other steps may improve your level of protection.

Change your account passwords; this simple measure could really strengthen your defenses. Choose two-factor authentication when it is offered to you – this is when an account requires not just a password, but a second code necessary for access, which is sent in a text message to the accountholder’s mobile device. You can also ask for fraud alerts to be placed on your credit reports, but you must keep renewing them every 90 days.1  

What other tools can help watch over your statements?

If your bank, credit union, or credit card issuer does not offer identity theft protection and credit monitoring, consider free apps such as Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and Clarity Money. Apart from simply protecting your credit and bank accounts, programs like EverSafe, Identity Guard, and LifeLock have the capability to scan the “dark web” where personal information is sold in addition to monitoring your credit reports. (You may be able to take advantage of a free, 30-day trial.)1

When a pillar of worldwide credit reporting has its data stolen twice in five months, the trust of the public is shaken. The lesson for the consumer, as depressing as it may be, is not to be too trusting of the online avenues and vaults through which personal information passes.

TechGirl Financial    

TechGirl Financial may be reached at 800.584.3652or kim@techgirlfinancial.com.

https://techgirlfinancial.com/

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. TechGirl Financial and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., are not affiliated companies.

Citations.

1 – time.com/money/4947784/7-questions-you-must-keep-asking-about-the-equifax-hack/ [9/20/17]

2 – bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-18/equifax-is-said-to-suffer-a-hack-earlier-than-the-date-disclosed [9/18/17]

The Equifax Data Breach

The Equifax Data Breach 

Have you been affected? If so, how can you try to protect yourself?

 

Provided by Kim Gaxiola

 

On September 7, credit reporting agency Equifax dropped a consumer bombshell

It revealed that cybercriminals had gained access to the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans between May and July – about 44% of the U.S. population. The culprits were able to retrieve roughly 209,000 credit card numbers, in addition to many Social Security and driver’s license numbers.1

 

How can you find out if you were affected?

Visit equifaxsecurity2017.com, the website Equifax just created for consumers. There, you can enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number to find out. (Having to enter the last six digits of your SSN hints at how significant this breach is.)2

If you are among the consumers whose data was hacked, Equifax will ask you to return to equifaxsecurity2017.com to enroll in an identity theft protection product, TrustedID Premier. This program will provide you with free credit monitoring for a year. (The lingering question is whether your data could be used easily by criminals afterward.)1,2

 

How should you respond?

Beyond simply taking Equifax up on its offer of one year of identity theft insurance and free credit monitoring, you can take other steps.

 

Check your credit reports now.

(Unless you have already done so in the past month). You can get one free credit report per year from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. To request yours, go to annualcreditreport.com. Scrutinize your credit card and bank account statements for unfamiliar activity, and sign up for email or text alerts offered by your bank or credit card issuer(s), so that notice of anything suspicious can quickly reach you.

 

Consider changing the password for your main email account.

A weak password on that account is a low bar for a cybercrook to hurdle – and once hurdled, that crook could potentially pose as you to change the passwords on your financial accounts.3

 

Regarding bank, investment, and credit card account passwords, avoid the obvious.

Too many people use simple passwords based on their pet’s name, their last name and year of birth, the high school they attended, etc. Sadly, these same simple facts are often answers to security questions for credit card and bank accounts. Ask your bank or credit card issuer if you can use additional, random words or a PIN for passwords or security question answers. That way, you can avoid logging in using data that is in the public record. You want your password to be long and random, to make it harder for a would-be thief to guess.

 

You may want to consider paying for additional identity theft protection for years to come.

This is one way to try and shield yourself from the unauthorized use of your Social Security number, driver’s license number, email accounts, and credit card numbers.

 

If someone calls you out of the blue claiming to be from Equifax, do not cooperate with them.

Unless Equifax is returning your call, they will not contact you by phone. The same applies if you get a random, unsolicited email or text from “Equifax” – do not comply, or you may inadvertently hand over personal information to a fraudster. Stay vigilant, today and in the future.

 

              

Kim Gaxiola may be reached at 800.584.3652 or kim@techgirlfinancial.com.

https://techgirlfinancial.com/

Kim Gaxiola
Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. TechGirl Financial and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., are not affiliated companies.
Gaxiola Financial Group | 305 Vineyard Town Center #369 | Morgan Hill, CA 95037 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.

1 – wired.com/story/how-to-protect-yourself-from-that-massive-equifax-breach/ [9/7/17]

2 – washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/09/08/after-data-breach-equifax-asks-consumers-for-social-security-numbers-to-see-if-theyve-been-affected [9/8/17]

3 – cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2017/09/devastating_data_breach_at_equ.html [9/8/17]

Your Financial Happiness Starts Here

Thank you for attending today’s presentation. 

It all STARTS HERE, fill out the information below and TechGirl Financial will help you navigate your way to financial happiness!

 

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Weekly Economic Update August 14, 2017

Weekly Economic Update

Provided by TechGirl Financial

TAME INFLATION PERSISTS

Can the Federal Reserve justify another interest rate hike in the second half of 2017? Given weak inflation pressure, maybe not. The central bank has set a 2% yearly inflation target, but the Consumer Price Index rose only 0.1% in July, resulting in a 1.7% year-over-year gain. Core consumer prices rose 0.1% for a fourth consecutive month in July, so annualized core inflation was also at 1.7%. The Producer Price Index fell 0.1% last month; analysts polled by Briefing.com expected a 0.2% rise.1,2

 

 

ANALYSIS: EARNINGS GROW AT A 10% PACE

More than 90% of companies in the S&P 500 have now reported second-quarter results. FactSet, the respected financial analytics firm, now projects a blended earnings growth rate of 10.2% for the S&P 500 for the second quarter, along a with 5.1% blended sales growth rate. S&P component firms generating less than 50% of their sales outside the U.S., however, are set to record 14.0% blended earnings growth and 6.0% blended revenue growth.3

 

 

THE PRICE OF GOLD RISES

At Friday’s close, the yellow metal hit a 2-month high of $1,294.00 on the COMEX as investors looked away from equities. Gold gained 2.3% on the week.4

 

TURBULENCE FOR WALL STREET

Diplomatic tensions sent stocks lower last week. Across August 7-11, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.06% to 21,858.32; the S&P 500, 1.43% to 2,441.32; the Nasdaq Composite, 1.50% to 6,256.56. Volatility certainly came back: the CBOE VIX jumped 53.44% to end the week at 15.39.5

 

THIS WEEK

On Monday, Cumulus Media and Sysco report quarterly results. Tuesday brings July retail sales numbers and earnings from Advance Auto Parts, Agilent, Coach, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Home Depot, TJX, and Urban Outfitters. On Wednesday, minutes from the July Federal Reserve policy meeting appear; Wall Street will also interpret a report on July housing starts and building permits and earnings news from Cisco, L Brands, NetApp, Stein Mart, and Target. Fresh reports on initial jobless claims and industrial production roll in Thursday, complemented by earnings from Alibaba Group, America’s Car-Mart, Applied Materials, Bon-Ton Stores, Gap, Ross Stores, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Stage Stores, and Walmart. Friday, investors consider earnings from Deere & Co. and Estee Lauder and the preliminary August consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan.

 

% CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

+10.60

+17.43

+13.10

+6.51

NASDAQ

+16.23

+19.66

+21.42

+14.58

S&P 500

+9.04

+11.69

+14.73

+6.79

REAL YIELD

8/11 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

0.40%

0.10%

-0.60%

2.56%

 

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 8/11/175,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

WEEKLY RIDDLE:

Shake me, and I’ll do what you want, but first you must extract me from the earth. I may be on the tip of your tongue and over your shoulder. What am I?

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE:

What is the only type of “worm” that will never risk ending up on a hook?

LAST WEEK’S ANSWER:

A bookworm.

 

«Kim Gaxiola»

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation. Please feel free to forward this article to family, friends or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to our distribution list, please reply with their address. We will contact them first and request their permission to add them to our list.
Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. TechGirl Financial and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., are not affiliated companies.
Gaxiola Financial Group | 305 Vineyard Town Center #369 | Morgan Hill, CA 95037
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purposeof avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

Citations.

1 – reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-inflation-idUSKBN1AR19S [8/11/17]

2 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2017/08/07-11 [8/11/17]

3 – insight.factset.com/sp-500-companies-with-more-global-exposure-reported-higher-earnings-growth-in-q2 [8/11/17]

4 – marketwatch.com/story/gold-marks-highest-finish-since-early-june-up-more-than-2-for-the-week-2017-08-11 [8/11/17]

5 – markets.wsj.com/us [8/11/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F11%2F16&x=0&y=0 [8/11/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F11%2F16&x=0&y=0 [8/11/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F11%2F16&x=0&y=0 [8/11/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F10%2F12&x=0&y=0 [8/11/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F10%2F12&x=0&y=0 [8/11/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F10%2F12&x=0&y=0 [8/11/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F10%2F07&x=0&y=0 [8/11/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F10%2F07&x=0&y=0 [8/11/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F10%2F07&x=0&y=0 [8/11/17]

7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [8/11/17]

8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [8/11/17]

 

Life Insurance Products with Long-Term Care Riders

Life Insurance Products with Long-Term Care Riders

Are they worthwhile alternatives to traditional LTC policies?

Provided by TechGirl Financial

The price of long-term care insurance has really gone up.

If you are a baby boomer and you have kept your eye on it for a few years, chances are you have noticed this. Last year, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) noted that married 60-year-olds would pay between $2,000-3,500 annually in premiums for a standalone LTC policy.1 

Changing demographics and low interest rates have prompted major insurers to stop offering LTC coverage. As the AALTCI notes, the number of LTC policies sold in this country fell from 750,000 in 2000 to 105,000 in 2015. Today, only about 15 insurers offer these policies at all. The demand for the coverage remains, however – and in response, insurance providers have introduced new options.1,2

 Hybrid LTC products have emerged.  Some insurers offer “cash rich” permanent life insurance policies that let you tap part of the death benefit to pay for long-term care. Other insurance products feature similar potential benefits.1,2

As these insurance products are doing “double duty” (i.e., one policy or product offering the potential for two kinds of coverage), their premiums are costlier than that of a standalone LTC policy. On the other hand, you can get what you want from one insurance product, rather than having to pay for two.3

Another nice perk offered by these hybrid LTC products: sometimes, insurers guarantee that the premiums you pay will never rise. (Many retirees wish that were the case with their traditional LTC policies.) Whether the premiums are locked in at the initial level or not, the death benefit, coverage amount, and cash value are all, commonly, guaranteed.3

Hybrid LTC policies provide a death benefit, a percentage of which will go to your heirs. Do traditional LTC policies offer a death benefit? No. If you buy a discrete LTC policy, but die without needing long-term care, all those LTC policy premiums you paid will not return to you.3

 The basics of securing LTC coverage applies to these policies.  The earlier in life you arrange the coverage, the lower the premiums will likely be. If you are not healthy enough to qualify for a standalone LTC insurance policy, you might qualify for a hybrid policy – sometimes no medical exam is required. The LTC insurance benefit may be used when a doctor certifies that the policyholder is unable to perform two or more of the six activities of daily living (eating, dressing, bathing, transferring in and out of bed, toileting, and maintaining continence).4,5

These hybrid LTC policies usually require lump-sum funding.  A single premium payment of $75,000-$100,000 is not unusual. For a high net worth individual or couple, this is no major hurdle, especially since appreciated assets from other life insurance products can be transferred into a hybrid product through a 1035 exchange.2,3,4,6

 Are these hybrid policies just mediocre compromises?  They have critics as well as fans. Detractors cite their two sets of fees per their two forms of insurance coverage. They also point out that hybrid LTC policies are not inflation protected, so the insurance benefit is worth less with the passage of time. Also, while the premiums paid on conventional LTC policies are tax deductible, premiums paid on these hybrid policies are not.3 

Funding the whole policy up front with a single premium payment has both an upside and a downside. You will not contend with potential premium increases over time, as owners of stock LTC policies often do; on the other hand, the return on the insurance product may be locked into today’s low interest rates.

Another reality is that many middle-class seniors have little or no need to buy a life insurance policy. Their heirs will not face inheritance taxes, because their estates will not exceed the federal estate tax exemption. Moreover, their children may be adults and financially stable, themselves; a large death benefit for these heirs is nice, but the opportunity cost of paying the life insurance premiums may be significant.

Cash value life insurance can be a crucial element in estate planning for those with large or complex estates, however – and if some of its death benefit can be directed toward long-term care for the policyholder, it may prove even more useful than commonly assumed.

 Kim Gaxiola may be reached at (800) 584.3652 or kim@gaxiolafinancialgroup.com or www.techgirlfinancial.com.
Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. TechGirl Financial and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., are not affiliated companies.
Gaxiola Financial Group | 305 Vineyard Town Center #369 | Morgan Hill, CA 95037

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.
1 – tinyurl.com/ych92alo [7/21/16]
2 – nytimes.com/2016/03/06/business/retirementspecial/hybrid-long-term-care-policies-provide-cash-and-leave-some-behind.html [3/6/16]
3 – today.com/series/starttoday/have-healthy-retirement-jean-chatzky-how-pay-long-term-care-t106862 [1/10/17]
4 – elderlawanswers.com/hybrid-policies-allow-you-to-have-your-long-term-care-insurance-cake-and-eat-it-too-15541# [4/5/16]
5 – elderlawanswers.com/activities-of-daily-living-measure-the-need-for-long-term-care-assistance-15395 [11/24/15]
6 – kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T036-C001-S003-tax-friendly-ways-to-pay-for-long-term-care-insura.html [8/16/16]

 

Saving More Money, Now & Later

Saving More Money, Now & Later

You could save today & tomorrow, often without that penny-pinching feeling.

Provided by TechGirl Financial

Directly & indirectly, you might be able to save more per month than you think.  

Hidden paths to greater savings can be found at home and at work, and their potential might surprise you.

Little everyday things may be costing you dollars you could keep.

 Simply paying cash instead of using a credit card could save you four figures annually. An average U.S. household carries $9,000 in revolving debt; as credit cards currently have a 13% average annual interest rate, that average household pays more than $1,000 in finance charges a year.1

The typical bank customer makes four $60 withdrawals from ATMs a month – given that two or three are probably away from the host bank, that means $5-12 a month lost to ATM fees, or about $60-100 a year. A common household gets about 15 hard-copy bills a month and spends roughly $80 a year on stamps to mail them – why not pay bills online? Automating payments also rescues you from late fees.1

A household that runs full loads in washing machines and dishwashers, washes cars primarily with water from a bucket, and turns off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth may save $100 (or more) in annual water costs.1

Then, there are the big things you could do. If you are saving and investing for the future in a regular, taxable brokerage account, that account has a drawback: you must pay taxes on your investment income in the year it is received. So, you are really losing X% of your return to the tax man (the percentage will reflect your income tax rate).2

In traditional IRAs and many workplace retirement plans, you save for retirement using pre-tax dollars. None of the dollars you invest in those plans count in your taxable income, and the invested assets can grow and compound in the account without being taxed. This year and in years to follow, this means significant tax savings for you. The earnings of these accounts are only taxed when withdrawn.2,3

How would you like to save hundreds of dollars per month in retirement? By saving and investing for retirement using a Roth IRA, that is essentially the potential you give yourself. Roth IRAs are the inverse of traditional IRAs: the dollars you direct into them are not tax deductible, but the withdrawals are tax free in retirement (assuming you abide by I.R.S. rules). Imagine being able to receive retirement income for 20 or 30 years without paying a penny of federal income taxes on it in the years you receive it. Now imagine how sizable that income stream might be after decades of compounding and equity investment for that IRA.4

Request a Complimentary Financial Planning Consultation

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Many of us can find more money to save, today & tomorrow.  

Sometimes the saving possibilities are right in front of us. Other times, they may come to us in the future because of present-day financial decisions. We can potentially realize some savings by changes in our financial behavior or our choice of investing vehicles, without resorting to austerity.

 

Kim Gaxiola may be reached at (800) 584.3652 or kim@gaxiolafinancialgroup.com or www.techgirlfinancial.com.
Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. TechGirl Financial and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., are not affiliated companies.
Gaxiola Financial Group | 305 Vineyard Town Center #369 | Morgan Hill, CA 95037

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.
1 – realsimple.com/work-life/money/saving/money-saving-secrets [7/13/17]
2 – investopedia.com/articles/stocks/11/intro-tax-efficient-investing.asp [8/5/16]
3 – blog.turbotax.intuit.com/tax-deductions-and-credits-2/can-you-deduct-401k-savings-from-your-taxes-7169/ [2/7/17]
4 – cnbc.com/2017/05/15/personal-finance-expert-do-these-6-things-to-save-an-extra-700-per-month.html [5/15/17]

Are Millennial Women Saving Enough for Retirement?

millenial woman sm

The available data is more encouraging than discouraging.

Provided by TechGirl Financial

Women 35 and younger are often hard-pressed to save money. Student loans may be outstanding; young children may need to be clothed, fed, and cared for; and rent or home loan payments may need to be made. With all of these very real concerns, are they saving for retirement?

The bad news: 44% of millennial women are not saving for retirement at all

This discovery comes from a recent Wells Fargo survey of more than 1,000 men and women aged 22-35. As 54% of the millennial women surveyed were living paycheck to paycheck, this lack of saving is hardly surprising.1

The good news: 56% of millennial women are saving for retirement

Again, this is according to the Wells Fargo survey. (A 2016 Harris Poll determined roughly the same thing – it found that 54% of millennial women were contributing to a retirement savings account.)1,2

The question is are these young women saving enough? In the Wells Fargo survey, the average per-paycheck retirement account contribution for millennial women was 5.7% of income, which was 22% lower than the average for millennial men. One influence may be the wage gap between the sexes: on average, the survey found that millennial women earn just 74% of what their male peers do.1

In the survey, the median personal income for a millennial woman was $28,800. So, 5.7% of that is $1,641.60, which works out to a retirement account contribution of $136.80 a month. Not much, perhaps – but even if that $136.80 contribution never increased across 40 years with the account yielding just 6% annually, that woman would still be poised to end up with $254,057 at age 65. Her early start (and her potential to earn far greater income and contribute more to her account in future years) bodes well for her financial future, even if she leaves the workforce for a time before her retirement date.1,3

More good news: millennial women may retire in better shape than boomer women

That early start can make a major difference, and on the whole, millennials have begun to save and invest earlier in life compared to previous generations. A recent study commissioned by Naxis Global Asset Management learned that the average millennial starts directing money into a retirement account at age 23. Historically, that contrasts with age 29 for Gen Xers and age 33 for baby boomers. If the average baby boomer had begun saving for retirement at age 23, we might not be talking about a retirement crisis.4

In the aforementioned Harris Poll, the 54% of millennial women putting money into retirement accounts compared well with the 44% of all women doing so. The millennial women were also 14% more likely to voluntarily participate in a workplace retirement plan than male millennials were, and once enrolled in such plans, their savings rates were 7-16% greater than their male peers.2

In 2015, U.S. Trust found that 51% of high-earning millennial women were top or equal income earners in their households. That implies that these young women have a hand in financial decision-making and at least a fair degree of financial literacy – another good sign.4

Clearly, saving $136.80 per month will not fund a comfortable retirement – but that level of saving in their twenties may represent a great start, to be enhanced by greater retirement account inflows later in life and the amazing power of compound interest. So, while young women may not be saving for retirement in large amounts, many are saving at the right time. That may mean that millennial women will approach retirement in better financial shape than women of preceding generations.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, MemberFINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. TechGirl Financial and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., are not affiliated companies.
Citations
1 – time.com/money/4438063/millennial-women-not-saving-retirement/ [8/4/16]
2 – bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-21/millennial-women-save-more-than-mom-but-less-than-men [4/21/16]
3 – investor.gov/additional-resources/free-financial-planning-tools/compound-interest-calculator [3/23/17]
4 – bustle.com/p/5-ways-youre-better-at-managing-money-than-your-parents-were-44402 [3/15/17]

Organizing Your Finances Part 2

get your finances in order separate into files

Congratulations!

If you are on to Part 2, you are serious about getting organized and making your finances more manageable. The act of getting organized, gets you familiar with what you own. This will lower your stress level and give you a quick handle on how to solve all the stressful financial questions life throws on you. STAND TALL financially. Be in control of what you own and where you are going in the future based on your actions now.

Step 4

Separate

Remember the bin or electronic filing cabinet you have from Part 1 of this article? Now it’s time to separate.

1a. TAXES: Use cool file folders that make you happy! Make it simple – Everything that goes to your accountant for taxes put in one pile and everything needing organization and management throw in another pile.

1b. For advanced organization separate the “other” pile into more detail – Label Insurance, legal documents, prepared taxes, Bank and Investment Statements, Health Statements, Corporate Benefits Statements, Etc.

 

 

Step 5

Decide to Outsource or Do it Yourself

To determine whether you should outsource financial organization or do it yourself, you need to be able to answer the following series of questions with your finances by reading your statements.

  1. What happens if I live a long life? (how much money will I need when I don’t want to work anymore?) What are my monthly expenses? Do I have enough to cover them and for how long?
  2. What happens if I lose my job?
  3. How will I pay for my children’s college education, how much do I need?
  4. How do I pay my bills if my spouse or I become prematurely disabled and can’t work anymore?
  5. For Singles with no dependents: What happens to my assets if I die unexpectedly?
    For Married or Single with Dependents: How will my family be able to support themselves financially if my spouse or I am no longer around to bring in a paycheck?
  6. What are my annual expenses and income?
  7. What happens if I or a family member suffers from a major medical catastrophe?

Do It Yourselfers: Keep records and answers to the above questions in the same place you hold on to these documents. Ideally, you should find an app or program that allows you to compile all your finances in one place. One that gives you an electronic filling cabinet and passes the banking security rules for online protection. Be able to back up your answers with documentation from your financially organized binder or electronic files. Store all in one place – like a binder or the bin from part 1. It’s a good idea to have one hard copy and one backup copy in a secure online cloud storage location. That should keep you covered.

Outsourcers: Hire a trusted financial professional. I recommend you hire one that gives you access to an online dashboard for all your money matters. On your dashboard you should be able to see your 401k, company stock, investments, insurance, credit cards, spending accounts and other bank accounts in one place. You should be able to pull up quickly a net worth statement with all your assets and liabilities from this online dashboard. Hire someone that will answer all your questions above and the ones that come up from time to time. (Can I buy a new car? Lease or purchase? Can I afford a first or second home? Etc…) Make sure your financial professional can store your documents in a safe vault online where you, your family, and your professionals can store and share documents. Lastly, and very important, hire someone you like. Organizing and managing your finances is no fun, but it can be, if you are working with the right professional; someone you enjoy speaking to when things come up in your life. Once you’ve gathered your information, your financial professional, will do all the heavy lifting for you in organizing, compiling and getting you straight and on the path to financial control.

How do you know if you are financially organized? When you are able to answer all of these questions and support the questions with the appropriate documentation you’ve got it together. Take it a step further, when you can answer these questions and be satisfied you are financially secure and working towards financial independence, you are achieving Financial Happiness. This is a long process. Don’t be afraid of it. Just know, the best place to start taking financial control is by getting organized.

 

Go ahead, take the next step and GET ORGANIZED…

bt have a question

bt ready to organize

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Lean In To Retirement

Check out TechGirl Financial's Article Series on how to "Lean In To Retirement".

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Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisors Services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor.

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