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3 Retirement Essentials Every Boomer Should Follow for the New Year

Piggy Bank with retirement formula

By Carl Edwards, MBA, ChFC

Wow, what an amazing market ride over the last few years!  Running on tracks laid by an unprecedented Federal Reserve monetary easing program, the market has once again run to new all-time highs and appears to still have some steam. Or does it?

While no one really knows the answer to this, it is important to remember history as a guide, and to think about the future — your future.  It wasn’t all that long ago that the world’s financial system was shaken to its core, leaving many retirees running for shelter from the Ebola-like symptoms displayed by world financial systems.  Fear over which institution or country would next display the almost certain deadly symptoms ran rampant.

I am certainly not echoing the calls of the past and screaming it’s time to get your guns and gold.  I am, however, pointing out to consumers the recent and vivid reminders of the importance to get back to the basics with your financial planning this New Year.  If we fail to remember the past, we repeat it.  You have worked too hard preparing for this time in your life.

Let’s review three vital elements you should implement in your retirement plan this New Year.

  1. Get your annual financial check-up.  How can we possibly forget to do this?  Annual check-ups are the number one preventative care tool at our disposal.  While many individuals should be meeting more regularly with their financial advisor, everyone should have at least the minimum of an annual visit.  Problems creep up and this is often the best way to catch them before it is too late.
  2. Don’t forget to diversify.  Are you working with a broker who always wants to sell you mutual funds full of stocks and bonds?  Does your annuity guy think every dime you have should be stuffed into insurance products?  The reality is they are probably both wrong.  Find an advisor this year who knows the benefits of each of these products, but who also knows the value of how they work together.  Diversification is important and it may include each of these products along with other assets such as individual stocks and bonds, Certificates of Deposit (structured and fixed), Business Development Companies, Real Estate Investment Trusts, precious metals, and numerous other investments.
  3. Rebalance, Rebalance, Rebalance.  With the great equity run up we have encountered since the lows of March 2009, it is vital to remember that we must continue to evaluate our investment portfolios.  While equity portfolios have risen significantly since that time, other areas of our portfolio may not have fared so well, leaving our risk levels in need of adjustment. It is often a good idea to capture some of those hard-earned gains.  You never know — the next major pullback could be just around the corner.  Be prudent, not greedy!

About Carl

Carl Edwards, MBA, ChFC®, is a Chartered Financial Consultant® and is the owner of C.E. Wealth Group,. He has passed the Series 7, Series 66 and Series 63 securities industry exams. In addition, he has passed the Series 24 principal exam. He represents High Street Asset Management as an Investment Adviser Representative and Calton & Associates, Inc. as a Registered Representative.  The views expressed in this article reflect the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Calton & Associates, Inc. or High Street Asset Management. Information contained in this article is not a recommendation, solicitation, or offer to buy or sell securities.  Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results.  Individuals should consult a financial professional before making investment decisions.  Edwards is also a licensed insurance agent in Life, Health, Medicare Supplement and Long Term Care insurances. Edwards received a master’s degree in business administration and is currently completing a second master’s degree in finance from Penn State University. He also is a member of the American MENSA.

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Observes World AIDS Day 2014

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WASHINGTON — On December 1, the global community observes and honors World AIDS Day, remembering all those affected by HIV and AIDS.  Since 2009, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) and 18 national black and Latino civil rights organizations have worked as Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI), a coalition funded by the Centers for Disease Control. AAALI partners have implemented 2,400 HIV/AIDS related events in collaboration with their 400 chapters and collaborative partners, which yielded more than 3.6 million attendees.

“World AIDS Day serves as an opportunity to educate the public on key issues driving this epidemic,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer, CBCF. “Unfortunately, African Americans represent the highest rate of new HIV infections. The CBCF and its partners will continue engaging the public to reinforce that knowledge is our strongest weapon against the disease.”

The CBCF has also been a key partner working with Howard University Hospital in organizing the International Stigma Conference, currently in its fifth year.  “Stigma is one of the leading causes of people not getting and staying in treatment,” stated Washington.  “In order to have an AIDS-Free generation, we must not only educate, but work on how to change behavior.”


 

ABOUT CBCF

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated, established in 1976, is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy, research and educational institute intended to broaden and elevate the influence of African Americans in the political, legislative and public policy arenas.

BOTTOMLINE: FERGUSON “How to Get Away With Murder”

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Ferguson, Missouri… the past (the thought), the present (the word), and the future (the echo) cannot be nor do they belong in the same room, space, or thought! There must be distance between them or chaos and confusion will reign.

Even if the Ferguson Grand Jury had indicted Officer Wilson, that would not solve the problem. If Officer Wilson were tried and found guilty, that would not solve the problem! Ferguson is only a symptom.   The fact that the Grand Jury found no reason to even have a trial is in fact an example of the real problem. It is truly the merging of the thought, the word and of the echo. It says that “We, society, the instituters and shepherds of institutional racism, so fear retaliation from All Blacks (The Thought) that we, society prepare for All Blacks to act anti-socially by treating them or their children, or children who look like their children, as if they have all ready acted so (The Word) to the point where indeed some Blacks will follow the script and retaliate… (The Echo)!

As a result of Some Blacks retaliating against racism by burning down and looting businesses that serve their community, public safety officers’ respond by letting them do so. As if to say, “If you get mad because we shoot your bad-assed kids, we will get mad and let them burn your community down.”

Ferguson is a symptom of a much deeper problem in America. The problem stems from the lingering echoes of the good ole days of official and lawful racism; institutional racism that despite not being lawful, is still official and alive and well!

The statistics describing Black males not only prove that racism is alive but also represent an undeclared State of Emergency. Black males are disproportionately represented in school suspensions and expulsions, in arrests and sentence as well as being unemployed.  Black males are identified and branded early as potential trouble makers and taken through the process to guarantee that the prediction comes true.  History shows that Institutional Racism is indeed, “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Ferguson is a symptom!  The solution will come only after a real examination of the problem. Our institutions harbor racism and encourage racists! The only way to have change is to make change!