Season 3

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Grandparents can teach their grandkids about money in the real world

Episode Notes

It’s important for your grandchildren to start building their “money-awareness” at an early age. Since schools generally don’t teach financial literacy and parents often don’t have the time or energy to discuss these matters with their kids, you can play a key role in helping your grandchildren become smarter about money. With younger children, help them understand how much of their parents’ paychecks are spent on food, clothes, mortgage payments and home repairs and taxes. Visit online retailers with them so they can see the costs of the clothes, books and toys they own or want for the holidays. Give them odd jobs that put extra money in their pockets and help them figure out how much of their earnings to reserve for saving, spending, investing and charity. For teenagers and college students, help them learn how to keep debit card spending from spiraling out of control and avoid getting trapped in credit card debt. This is also a good time to teach them the basics of investing by offering inexpensive ways for them to enter the stock market.

A variety of online tools are available to help your grandchildren become smarter money managers. They include:

  • Acorns.com lets you set up investment accounts for your grandchildren that can be partially funded with spare change from family purchases.
  • Stockpile.com offers an inexpensive way for your grandchildren to learn about investing by letting them purchase fractional shares of stocks and ETFs.
  • Visa Buxx debit cards allow parents and grandparents to load money onto prepaid debit cards for their high school and college kids and monitor their spending activities.
  • Moneysavvy.com offers a variety of piggy banks with separate “save,” “invest,” “spend” and “donate” chambers.

Recent Podcasts

Season 3

The 4% rule

For years, many financial professionals have suggested that most retirees can afford to withdraw up to 4% of their retirement assets each year with very low risk of their money running out in less than 25-30 years. But this “4% rule” was created at a time when interest rates were much higher than they are today. Back then, many investors with conservative portfolios could depend more on bond income to replenish these withdrawals. Now, retirees have to allocate more money to stocks to help make up for today’s historically low bond yields. In any case, there is no “hard and fast” rule on how much money you can or should withdraw. The actual amount needs to be based on your retirement age, life expectancy, lifestyle and other sources of income. Other factors, such as whether you have long-term care insurance or whether you’re hoping to leave some of your retirement money to your heirs or favorite charities also need to be considered. If you’re struggling to deal with these complex issues, consider seeking the advice of a fee-only fiduciary financial planner, who can help you understand different retirement cashflow scenarios and recommend a strategy that may increase the chances of your retirement nest egg lasting as long as you want it to.

Season 3

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All you need to know about Medicare open enrollment 2020

Why are you seeing an endless stream of commercials for Medicare providers? Because right now it’s the annual Medicare enrollment period, which ends on December 7. If you haven’t signed up for Medicare yet, you can do so several months before you turn 65 so your coverage starts on your birthday. If you’re 65 or older and have been laid off from your job and no longer have healthcare coverage, you can sign up for Medicare right away. Once you’ve enrolled, you can change your coverage during this annual fall enrollment period. The most common and puzzling decision Medicare enrollees face is what kind of coverage to get. They can enroll in standard Medicare (Part A and B) and add prescription drug (Part D) and supplemental coverage (known as Medigap). Or they can choose a comprehensive Medicare Advantage plan offered by private insurers that covers Medicare services and prescriptions. While Medicare Advantage plans often have cheaper monthly premiums, they can incur higher out-of-pocket costs and limit your choice of physicians and hospitals. Confused? Fortunately, there are resources you can use to use to compare your options and get human assistance. These include:

  • Shiptacenter.org can help you find a local, free State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) representative who can guide you through the Medicare decision-making process.
  • Medicare.gov, the official Medicare web site, lets you compare costs and coverage for standard Medicare, Medigap and Medicare Advantage options.
  • Ehealth.medicare.com can provide a list of Medicare Advantage providers in your area.
  • Askclaire.com, is a popular a free, unbiased Medicare education resource.

Podcast Hosts

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Pam krueger

Terry-Savange

Terry Savange

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Richard Eisenberg