Financial Planning

Financial Planning

Retirement Reboot: Why Stopping is Hazardous and Downshifting is Smart

Consider this workforce statistic: The average U.S. commute time isn’t getting shorter  – it’s getting longer.

Yep, you read that right. According to the U.S. Census, the average commute was 26.4 minutes in 2015 (their last survey) and it keeps getting longer. In some metro areas, it’s creeping up to the 40-minute danger zone. Keep in mind, I said “average.” That means there are plenty of folks stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, toiling away two or more hours each day on the road.

PS: This might explain why podcast listenership is increasing.

Average Commute Time Keeps Getting Longer

As I scan the graph at the left, all I can think is if we can put a man on the moon and we’re now within a few years of seeing driverless cars on the road, what’s up with these expanding commute times?

For pre-retirees, that daily commute is draining and you might be dreaming of the day when you can STOP.

But here’s the thing — Stopping is hazardous to your health.

Stopping (retiring with no clue about what you’ll do next) is the express lane to a destination we’re all trying to avoid – accelerated aging. Next thing you know, you’ve got a rocker at Shady Acres with your name engraved on it and you’re clocking rocks per hour on your FitBit.

There’s gotta be a better way to transition from exhausting commutes and endless workplace demands to sleeping in and having more time to indulge in the things you enjoy.

The Perils of Stopping and Starting Something Later24877162894_940d8e9d40_q

I’ll often hear this response from some pre-retirees: “I need to stop and take a break for awhile. Later, I’ll give some thought about what I’ll do next.”

Sounds reasonable at first glance, but then inertia starts to take hold. Suddenly, you’re roaming around the house in your bathrobe with all kinds of time on your hands, but no plan or sense of urgency. 

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Battling Age Bias When Job Hunting

Finding a new job later in life can present some challenges when it comes to age discrimination. Here's how to combat them. ...
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Millennials vs. Boomers: Who’s Better with Money?

Millennials are better with money than many older people give them credit for being, a national survey says. Charles Schwab tracked how 1,000 Americans, aged 21-to-75, manage and use their wealth. Their survey assessed four main categories: Goal setting and financial planning; saving and investing; staying financially on track; and having confidence in reaching financial goals. ...
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Boomers and Money: We’ve Got It, and We Spend It

Boomers: We've got money and we know how to use it. Boomers have distinctive spending patterns. They’re buying fewer cars, shirts, and TVs and shelling out more for services such as healthcare, travel, and entertainment. ...
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Investors will be happier if they approach the market like this

Market update from Aug. 14, 2017

Margie Patel, Wells Fargo, and Doug Mackay, Broadleaf Partners in Hudson, discuss how to play the current action in the markets

Watch Here

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Financial Planning


It Pays to Coordinate

Financial Planning


Steve had a big decision to make.

His daughter was getting married, and he wanted to give her the wedding of her dreams. To do it, he dipped into his IRA. Although the wedding was everything he and his daughter had hoped, it pushed him up into a new tax bracket, costing him thousands of dollars in additional taxes. This caused his Medicare premiums to skyrocket by more than 40 percent for the following year as well.

Steve had the resources he needed to give his daughter the wedding she wanted, but because of a lack of coordination and understanding, he paid thousands in unnecessary taxes. His mistake was focusing on only a single aspect of a major decision.

Consider a Financial Quarterback

Steve’s situation explains why it’s important that all your advisers are connected and understand the big picture. When you make a major decision like Steve did, there will be outcomes you might not have considered.

So how do you make financial decisions that have been reviewed from every angle? Try a holistic approach to your financial health that includes professionals who will help with all of your tax, insurance, legal and financial planning needs.

New advisers should be open to working with existing advisers whom you know and trust as well. It’s important for each adviser to be aware of what another is doing. Using a network of connected advisers helps people decide which decision is right for their situation.

Coordination gives clients a peace of mind that saves time and money, and lets them focus on more important things — such as wedding plans. Your goal should be to find an adviser that will make sure every financial decision is examined through the lens of all the available options so nothing is missed.

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Special Needs Trusts Workshop


Summit DD Hosts Butcher Elder Law for

an Exclusive Workshop: Special Needs Trusts 101


Free event presents the essentials all families of persons with special needs should know


Tallmadge, OHIO – In honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Butcher Elder Law is partnering with Summit DD to present an exclusive workshop, Special Needs Trusts 101 on Tuesday, April 4 from 5 – 7 pm in the Multipurpose Room at the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board, 89 E. Howe Road, Tallmadge.


Special Needs Trusts are documents established for the benefit of an individual who receives government benefits based on need, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.


Should a person with an intellectual or developmental disability receive an inheritance or settlement, those government benefits could be impacted or jeopardized by receipt of unanticipated funds.


The free workshop will present the essentials of establishing a Special Needs Trust and how they can guarantee the stability of benefits for years to come.


Lead by Sam Butcher and Erin Eurenius from Butcher Elder Law, the program will cover:

  • Who needs a Special Needs Trust
  • What is involved in creating a Special Needs Trust
  • Why it is different from other legal documents
  • How funds from Special Needs Trusts can be used


The workshop is open to persons and families served by Summit DD as well as the general public. Space is limited and an RSVP is required in order to attend. Please call Ann Watt at Butcher Elder Law at 440.268.8284 or go to Eventbrite to confirm workshop reservation.


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Social Security Strategies – How the New Budget Deal May Affect You

At the beginning of each year, many of us create resolutions for saving and spending.

This year it is especially vital to understand a crucial policy change MMthat Congress passed late last year as part of a budget deal. In it, Congress phased out a Social Security claiming strategy called “File & Suspend/Restricted Spousal Application.”

This news caused quite a stir, particularly because there has been much concern over the viability of the Social Security program. As pensions become less common, Social Security is quickly becoming the backbone of retirement for many.

Strategies vary based on marital status, earnings and disability history. Social Security benefits can be con- fusing and policy changes may seem alarming. Between the various claiming options, updates to the program and misinformation available, exactly how should you decide on a strategy?

To start, when reviewing your Social Security benefits, it’s best to do so within the context of a full financial plan. Each individual’s tax situation and spending goals, marital history, health status and retirement date varies.

Keep these key point in mind: The soonest you may apply for benefits (which varies, but is generally 62), the age you may collect “full,” unreduced benefits called “Full Retirement Age” (FRA) and the latest you may collect benefits, which is age 70 for everyone.


Because the Social Security Administration is no longer regularly mailing statements, it’s best to visit the Social Security website to determine your benefits. On the site, create a login to your personal record and find your “Full Retirement Age.” This is the age any American who has worked long enough at a job where they paid into the Social Security system (at least 40 calendar quarters total) may claim the “full” benefit.

If you fall into this category and are married or divorced but previously married for more than 10 years, the recent legislative changes may apply to you.

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