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Layoffs After 50: You Have Options

In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.
-Dalai Lama

From the lunchroom to the nightly news, older workers are bombarded with stories of how hard it is to get a job after 50. This can be a demoralizing refrain. It’s especially scary if you depend on an income to survive because you don’t have enough in savings.

One mistake many people make is to turn to their retirement savings as a life raft. But, if you’re 50 or older, this could be a terrible move.

3 out of 10 people who lose or change jobs cash out of their retirement accounts.1

An estimated 1.5 percent of assets “leak” out of 401ks and IRAs each year through early withdrawals, cash-outs or loans, according to a white paper from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.2 Without these leaks, IRA retirement wealth would be 20 percent higher.3 This is a substantial amount for people on fixed incomes.

Apart from draining your IRA or 401k during unemployment, being out of work can hurt you in other ways, too.

The Center for Retirement Research4 reported that:

➢ The average older worker who loses her job has a reduced income of 15 percent a decade later versus her older peers who averted a layoff.

➢ Not only that, but her pension is worth 20 percent less and financial assets are also reduced by 30 percent.

Let’s put all of this doom and gloom into perspective. Although, it is tougher – in some instances – for older Americans to find work, it’s not impossible. In fact, there are dozens of resources out there to help you capitalize on your experience.

Many of you might be thinking: what about age bias? Yes, age bias exists – but so do companies and hiring managers who understand the value seasoned workers bring to the table.

And with the wonderful world of technology, there is a whole new job market that many people don’t know exists. Or, if they do – they don’t know where to begin.

So, before you touch that 401k you have worked so hard to build up, roll it over into an IRA or just leave it where it is – if you need help figuring out what to do with your investment, contact us and we’ll walk you through the next steps.

Now, let’s look at 5 job options you can explore today!


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    Thought freelancing was just for Millennials? Think again. This is an entire world full of skilled, talented people of all ages and backgrounds who make money doing what they love – without ever having to leave their house. The world of freelancing is open to everyone from teachers and administrative assistants to engineers, voiceover actors and salespeople. There are many freelance job sites out there that will help connect you with employers. Here are a couple popular ones: and


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    Have you been on a website and a little box appears asking you if you would like to chat? The person you would be chatting with is called a “virtual agent.” They are probably wearing slippers, sipping tea and sitting in their living room. But, they will still do a great job helping you get what you need. You could be one of these people. Many reputable companies hire virtual agents as a way to up their customer service game. Needle is a fantastic resource for virtual agents. You can fill out an application right online:

  • 3. TUTOR

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    College graduates can make money working from home as a tutor. This goes for people over the age of 50. is one resource to find work making $10 per hour or more remotely. As all teachers know, college can’t prepare you for hands-on teaching – only experience can do that. So you have a huge advantage! Popular subjects include math, English, social studies and history.

    Kaplan is another reputable employer that hires experts in a variety of areas to teach online courses. Subjects include software development, data science, UX/UI, IT, test preparation, finance and accounting, business, insurance, real estate, legal, healthcare courses and more. You can apply directly on their website:


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    Good writers, editors and proofreaders can make a living working right from home. There is a growing need for content these days, so the demand for quality writers is huge. If you have experience writing or editing, you already have a leg up on your younger peers – as many inexperienced writers make rookie mistakes.

    You might want to collect pieces you have written and create an online portfolio. There are many free sites out there, so you don’t have to spend a penny. It doesn’t have to be fancy either, just a place where employers can go to see your work. WordPress is an easy-to-use (and FREE!) DIY website builder. In some cases, samples aren’t required – you might just have to take a skills test. Check out Global English Editing ( and to get started.


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    If you want to get out of the house and interact with people, without having to rejoin the rat race, seasonal and part-time work might be the best option. There are so many jobs for people who are flexible in their hours and expectations. You could sign up with a temp agency and take jobs as they come or work part-time at a store, as a bookkeeper or as a museum membership agent. The sky’s the limit!


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    Don’t believe the hype! Unemployment is relatively low for people over 55, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Recent data shows that the unemployment rate for people over 55 is just 3.2 percent; contrast that number with a whopping 16.1 percent for teenagers (16 to 19 years) – and older workers aren’t doing too bad.5

    Of course, you might face hurdles as you get older – but so do recent college grads. Everyone has their own challenges they must overcome when job hunting.

    It’s natural to feel anxiety if you’re unexpectedly let go from your job, but avoid making hasty decisions. Tapping into your retirement savings should be the last thing you do.

    TAKEAWAY. Make a list of all your skills, stay positive and before you know it, you’ll have a brand new job – and your retirement savings intact.




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The #1 Concern for Retirees – And Why They’re Getting It Wrong

One of the big eye-openers of adulthood is when roles reverse and the child must care for the parent. It’s one of the toughest problems we face as we get older – especially when our parents don’t have any long-term care plans or money set aside.

A Painful Balancing Act: Long-Term Care Choice and Budget

Finding the balance between securing safe, comfortable care for elderly parents and paying for it can be almost impossible. Many people are surprised to discover that Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care costs, also known as custodial care.

This type of service includes daily living assistance such as:

  • Bathing
  • Eating
  • Chores and housework
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Moving around

If you’re working full-time, raising children and responsible for your parents’ daily needs, this can be an overwhelming load. Now imagine you’re the parent – and your children have to make these decisions for you.

The #1 Concern: What Will Happen When I Can’t Care For Myself?

According to a recent survey by the Society of Actuaries, long-term care is tied for first place as the number one concern of retirees. The other concern is inflation.1

It’s not a big surprise that most people rank this as their chief worry. If you have had to make long-term care plans for a loved one, then you know how expensive it can be. Not to mention, the better facilities cost more money.

This comes with another set of questions: Will my loved one be properly cared for? Will my mother be neglected? Will my dad be happy and stimulated? What will their quality of life be like?

These questions are naturally applied to ourselves, too. We want to receive great care when we can no longer care for ourselves. We recognize that just because our bodies aren’t working optimally, our minds still crave stimulation and engagement. We want to retain as much control over our lives as possible.

The reverse is also true. How will we be cared for if we are unable to make decisions? These are not things we want to think about – especially while we’re young, healthy and active… but that’s precisely when we should be thinking about them.

For Women, Planning Is Particularly Important

Women more than men should consider preparing for long-term care. A gender gap in health means that figuring out how to pay for custodial and medical services is especially important for females. There are three major reasons for this:

➢ Women live, on average, 5 percent longer than men.2
➢ Because women outlive men, widowed women can’t depend on spouses to care for them.
➢ Women suffer from chronic diseases more than men do.3

The Worry Is There, But Not the Preparation

The staggering result of all this worry is that most people do little to nothing to prepare. In addition to not preparing, the Actuary survey showed that pre-retirees underestimate life expectancy. In 2015, the median of pre-retirees stated that they will live until 85, despite the fact that 55 percent of those reported at least one family member living past 90.

As far as a financial strategy for long-term health care, only 33 percent of those surveyed purchased a guaranteed lifetime income product.

“In terms of a planning horizon, 17 percent of pre-retirees plan for five to nine years, and 19 percent plan for ten to 14 years. By comparison, 38 percent of pre-retirees have either not thought about their planning horizon or do not plan ahead.”
– 2015 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey

More Expensive Than a Mortgage

In 2016, the average cost of a private room in a nursing home was $7,698.4 This is almost six times the amount of the average monthly mortgage payment.5

Although assisted living facilities are about half as much as a nursing home, they’re still expensive at $3,628 per month, especially if you’re on a fixed income.

Will You Need Long-Term Care?

There are no guarantees when it comes to health – which means you should plan on needing it and try to live a healthy lifestyle so that you don’t.

The numbers, however, point to the fact that more than half of us will need some form of assistance as we get older.

➢ In 2012, nine million Americans over the age of 65 required long-term care. That number is projected to jump to 12 million by 2020. 6

Considering Your Options

1. Long-term Care Insurance

Long-term Care Insurance is one of the most popular options as it drastically reduces the cost of care if you need it.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance reports that the average married couple, age 55, would pay $1,816 per year for a policy with $162,000 in coverage for each. A 3-percent inflation protection rider is also available for about $1900 more per year.7

The earlier you lock in a rate, the better. A good time to invest in this insurance is around age 52.

2. Life Insurance With a Long-term Care Rider

This might be a good option as there are a couple more benefits with this option than a traditional long-term care insurance policy. Basically, you will get the death benefits that come with a life insurance policy, you will pay about the same – or less – in monthly payments – and enjoy approximately the same coverage you would receive with long-term care insurance through the rider.

3. Fixed Index Annuity

A fixed index annuity with a single premium is yet another route to take on your way to long-term care preparation. Some annuities offer a long-term care doubler benefit which pays twice as much per month as it would if you were not in long-term care. This is an amazing perk and one that could save you tons of money down the road.

Bottom Line

Don’t wait to get ready for long-term care. Even if you are running marathons in your 60s, the time might come when you need some form of assistance. It’s better to have a plan in place now than to rely on your children or social services to help you later.

If you need help deciding if long term care is for you or your parents, we are here to help. Click here to request a call or call us at 310-824-1000 and ask for Caroline. She’ll be happy to set up a time in our calendar.



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60% of Nurses Between 45 and 60 Haven’t Prepared For Retirement. But Why?

We hear so much about the woes of Social Security and what will happen to future generations, that we sometimes forget about today’s retirees. Are they going to have enough for retirement today or in five years?

One such survey, by the Center for American Nurses, paints a bleak picture for nurses. The survey states that 60% of nurses, between 45 and 60, have done nothing – not one thing – to get ready for retirement.

At first look, this might be a startling fact.

How can so many nurses – a group that is educated, responsible and logical, ignore the inevitable? But, upon, closer inspection this number isn’t so shocking after all. And here’s why:

The median amount – all families in the United States have saved – is $5,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute.1

This is not much at all… so maybe it’s not odd that nurses haven’t planned either. Or do they have their own reasons – that might be different from other non-saving Americans?

Nurses Assume They Will Work For a Long, Long Time. But They Shouldn’t.

According to the survey results, reasons nurses are not prepared for retirement are similar to Americans in other industries and careers:

  • Lack of Time
  • Lack of Resources (Who Can Help Me? What Do I Do?)
  • And Putting Others Needs First (Paying for kids’ college before funding your own retirement)

But perhaps one of the most telling reasons nurses aren’t getting their ducks in a row is because they assume they’ll be working into retirement age.

Nurses reported they planned on working full-time past 66, while others stated they would work part-time.2

So, instead of imagining tropical vacations and sleeping in, most nurses polled don’t envision retirement as anything more than an abstract concept. Something other people do.

The thing is, nursing is not easy work. It requires physical and mental stamina. As nurses age and younger nurses come on the scene, it will be harder to compete in terms of ability and pay. At some point, nurses must think about their financial future – even if they do hang in the workforce longer than others.

Why Wait?

Waiting to save money for retirement is like waiting to jump on a life boat from a sinking ship. The longer you wait, the further and harder you have to swim to get to the boat. Don’t make it that difficult.

Make a commitment today that you will do these three things:

  • Figure out a good age to retire – at lease within a 5-year range (66-71)
  • Get your budget in order – what are you making vs. spending
  • Meet with a financial advisor – find one who comes with good recommendations and is a fiduciary

You can’t take care of others, if you don’t take care of yourself! Start today, you won’t regret it.





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Money Confidence for Nurses: Take Control in 5 Easy Steps

When it comes to being tough, smart and capable, female nurses (and women, in general) have proven they can be all three–and then some. Women are more likely than men to have a college degree1, women outlive men and women bring less credit card debt into relationships3.

But despite these powerful tendencies, women get tripped up when it comes to retirement planning.

Nurses Can Tackle Medical Emergencies, So Why Not Finances?

According to a recent survey “Money FIT Nurses Study” by Fidelity Investments, more than half of nurses lack the confidence to make financial decisions4. Given that about 90 percent of nurses are women5, it’s safe to assume that the people without financial grit are mostly female.

Women aren’t scared of money – in fact, 80 percent of household-buying decisions are made by women.6

Women are savvy with getting deals, they price compare, clip coupons and frequent discount websites to save a few dollars. So why do so many women – and nurses, in particular, have a hard time dealing with their financial future?

A Big Problem, With Even Bigger Consequences

The bottom line: there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. For some women, financial decisions might be left to their husbands, while others blindly trust their financial advisers – often too scared to ask questions or be proactive with their money.

For nurses, taking care of financial business can be tricky. Many nurses report not having the time to devote to retirement planning. After all, who wants to sit down in front of a spreadsheet filled with numbers on a day off? Not many people.

But, if you devote some time to understanding your finances, you can change the outcome of your retirement drastically. In short, it’s worth the challenge, because the reward is huge.

Let’s take a look at how you can get a grip on your retirement investments in 5 easy steps.


The first step in retirement planning is knowing when you can retire. The operative word here is “can” because some people may need to work longer due to limited financial resources.

  • The earlier you begin saving for your retirement, the better off you’ll be.

As you get closer to retirement age, adjust your exposure to risk.

  • If you have more than 30 years until retirement, then you can afford to gamble with riskier retirement vehicles – since you have the time to grow your money.
  • Those who are nearing retirement want to focus on safer instruments so that they won’t have a disruptive impact on your savings. 


A thoughtful budget is your spending blueprint for retirement. Here’s where you’ll figure out how much money you need for:

  • Fixed expenses (mortgage, health insurance, car payment, loans)
  • Variable expenses (food, gas, entertainment).

Your fixed expenses usually don’t fluctuate from month to month, whereas variable expenses can change.

TIP: Be practical with your budget – don’t underestimate your spending, otherwise you might find yourself in a pickle after you retire.


If you want to live off your retirement savings, then you have to understand rates of return. Seriously. Although the sound of “rates of return” is enough to put you in a deep sleep, it’s important to get a basic idea of what this means.

  • In today’s market, a reasonable rate of return for a 30-year Treasury bond is just 3 percent. This means if you have $1 million invested in bonds, your yield will be about $30,000 per year. 7


Now that you’re equipped with the building blocks of your retirement plan, it’s time to talk to a pro. A retirement income professional will help you come up with a sound strategy for executing your retirement plan. Like any other profession, not all are created equal. Some will be proactive and invested in your financial health, while others will operate on autopilot. You don’t want the latter.

What to watch out for in a financial advisor:
  • If an advisor promises sky-high returns, a red flag should raise.
  • Is your financial advisor a fiduciary? It means he or she has pledged to operate to the highest ethical standards. Much like the nurse’s “Nightingale Pledge,” fiduciaries have a “duty to care” about their clients’ investments, which includes monitoring their financial situation along with investments.
  • Finally, you can find out if your adviser has had any rulings against him or her through a simple SEC search. This will take just a few minutes and can save you a lot of time and headache down the road. 


Like your patients, you’ll want to make sure your investments are on track each year. As you get older, it’s smart to check on the following:

  • Asset allocations: Are they still on target for your retirement goals?
  • Risk analysis: As the seasons change, so does your risk tolerance level. It’s important to assess your risk tolerance yearly, and shape your retirement income strategy accordingly.
  • Ensure your beneficiaries are up to date

Keeping track of your retirement accounts is part of your financial health. Even if you have a great financial advisor, ultimately the responsibility is on you to make sure everything is running smoothly and heading toward your goal: a happy and healthy retirement!




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Retiring Soon? This Could Mean a Major Health Boost, According to Study

The common refrain when someone retires is: “Don’t sit down!” A friendly – albeit foreboding – warning, to the newly unemployed, about not becoming a couch potato can be a bit of a downer.  Other morsels of wisdom include: “Keep moving. Don’t sit around in your pajamas all day eating doughnuts. Find a hobby. Stay in touch with your friends.”
If you’re retired, then you have probably heard some, or all, of this advice.

In some ways, it’s scary to hear. You imagine yourself morphing into a motionless sloth who stops showering and forgets how to use a fork the moment you cash in that 401k.

The Best Is Yet To Come

Well, it turns out that retirees actually make positive health changes after they stop working, according to a recent study led by the University of Sydney.

The report, which surveyed 25,000 retirees, found that retired folks are more active, sleep better and curbed their smoking habits compared with their working counterparts.1

This is exciting news for a lot of people who believe that retirement signals the end of a meaningful, vibrant life. In fact, the contrary is true. Retirees seem to be traveling more than ever before – along with quitting smoking and not sitting on the couch eating doughnuts.

Travel More, Sit Less

U.S. travel company, Overseas Adventure Travel, which creates adventure excursions for people who are over 50, has seen an increase in older adventurers. The company reported a 67 percent spike, over the span of ten years, in 50+ travel. Here’s another fun fact: AirBnB users, over 60 years of age, total more than 1 million customers.2

This adds up to a beautiful picture of retirement. It’s what we all imagine as we clock in to work every day.

So next time you go to a retirement party – be sure you shelf those tired warnings about being a couch potato and congratulate your newly retired buddy on a fun, fulfilling future!


10 Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your Retirement:

  1. Plan Now! Create your retirement goals and make a plan to reach them.
  2. Don’t Wait to Save. Forgoing a latte or new pair of shoes each day or week adds up – so keep one eye on the future (while the other one is on that new purse).
  3. Take Advantage of 401ks. If your employer is matching your money, make sure you jump on that opportunity.
  4. Get Healthy Now. If you get in shape now, by the time you retire you will have the stamina and energy you need to follow your passions.
  5. Think about extra money you’re spending that you could be investing. Do you pay for a storage unit? That money adds up, while the stuff inside depreciates.
  6. Create Healthy Habits. Just like investing your money for retirement, invest in good habits now so later they will be easier to stick with. Replace cookies and chips with fruits and gorgeous salads. Make time for a walk each day or a coffee date with a friend.
  7. Stimulate Your Imagination Don’t wait for retirement to start a hobby. Start now! Even if you only have an hour a week to devote to it – whether it’s tennis or ceramics – jump in! By the time you retire, you’ll have connections and more time to spend doing the activities you already cultivated.
  8. Meet With a Financial Planner A good financial planner can help you set up investments now and adjust them as you near retirement, so that you have enough money to enjoy your life without worrying about running out.
  9. Geography As you near retirement, assess where you live. If you’re far from family and friends, you might want to consider relocating before or right after retirement. A good network of people you love, trust and enjoy being around can dramatically enrich your life.
  10. Check Up On Your Investments Finally, don’t rely on anyone else to make sure you are on the right track for retirement. There’s nothing worse than saving your whole life only to find out at age 62 that your investments were all wrong for your goals… and you lost money. Don’t let “fake science” fool you into thinking you’re earning huge profits. Look at your bottom line – and always follow your gut. If you feel like you need a second opinion, then you probably do.