Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

LPF Financial Advisors

It may not be reality to stop one’s career before reaching the full retirement age Social Security has set for us.  

Is Early Retirement a Reality?

We all desire the flexible lifestyle, to not work or work when we want.   Wouldn’t it be great to spend more of our lives not working than working?  There have been countless financial plans created with this target in mind, but it may not be a reality to stop one’s career before reaching the full retirement age Social Security has set for us. 

Early retirement won’t be an option for many as most American’s haven’t saved enough for retirement-and may never.  The median retirement savings balance for US adults aged 56 to 61 is $17,000 according to the Economic Policy Institute. That’s not even enough to cover a year’s worth of food and utilities in retirement!  What could we be doing better to increase the possibility of more American’s having the ability to retire early?  Saving! 

You may be preparing to retire early or on time if you’ve been saving consistently and planning.  If this is your situation, congratulations!  To be sure your early retirement is a reality, consider these facts:

  1. Leaving the workforce before full retirement age (according to Social Security) stops 401(k) contributions, Social Security Accumulation, and employer health insurance benefits.
  2. Drawing pre-tax retirement savings before age 59 ½ results in an IRS penalty, further depleting your savings.
  3. Health Insurance will now become your responsibility to pay as you are not eligible for Medicare until full retirement age.  Even when you’re able to use Medicare, it doesn’t cover everything, and you still need to pay for additional coverage like dental, vision, prescription, and a percentage of costs for all medical service.  Medicare is not that great of coverage- ask a retiree!

The best way to meet your retirement goals for considering early retirement is to set a budget now for saving and spending-the save first, spend second philosophy.  Secondly, plan for the unexpected-poor health, bad financial markets, job loss and overhead debt payments.  Lastly, continue financial planning with financial advice to help make retirement a reality when you’re financially ready.

Click here for printable version

Privacy, Social Media and You

In April 2018 Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s admittance of Facebook user’s data used by Cambridge Analytica in our last presidential election has caused an emotional reaction in Americans and lawmakers alike.  Zuckerberg admitted that controls to prevent such a leak were not in place and that, he too, believes social media will need to be regulated in the future.  To avoid your social media profile from being used for personal or political gain  by those wanting control and what will it take to ensure personal privacy and protection of your sensitive personal data going forward? 

With this specific instance, information was obtained by the downloading of third-party apps onto the personal smartphones of unsuspecting legal age voters.  Because Facebook operates in an unregulated industry, no foresight had been given to notify those whose personal information was being used for a political purpose until the story leaked to the media and was made public.   

With the sharing of personal information-sometimes by the person themselves-where does that leave privacy and personal information when it comes to your investments?  The financial services industry operates under the regulation of the Federal Government (the SEC) and FINRA, which requires each financial company to develop protocols for transparency and notification to customers if or when their information compromises.  Aside from technology in place to protect financial customer information, the customer must also play a role in their own personal privacy. 

To help you to determine if you may be compromising your privacy and personal information:

Review your social media profile and ‘turn off’ public view of your information such as date of birth, contact information, and education and employment information.  Limit this information, along with photos, only to connections. You may want to eliminate personal information from your profile. 

Use Apps only from financial companies you do business with and don’t use apps that aggregate access to all companies through a third party app-especially if they’re not a financial company.  Compiling online access to multiple companies through one app source puts you at risk for all your financial passwords and profiles.

Be aware of what you’re putting on the internet each time you ‘like’ or comment on a social post.  Artificial Intelligence captures your reaction to ad targeting-which is what happened this past election.  Those that commented or ‘liked’ posts were the recipients of more targeting; certain geographic areas were targeted during the 2016 election.

Lastly, have varied login and password credentials for each account you have-from the electric company to your retirement accounts.  Do not use the same information as if one is compromises they may all be.  We leave our digital path on the internet each time we login if we are not logging in and out securely each time with different credentials.

Click here for printable version

Aside from technology in place to protect financial customer information, the customer must also play a role in their own personal privacy. 

There are benefits to getting ‘personal training’ regarding your investments. By helping you break down bad habits and recover from poor financial relationships, your financial plan can be a form of ‘financial therapy.’

Personal Training Advice Style

For those of you that have ever hired a personal trainer--you know what that experience is all about.  The first day is the one that you will never forget because it was hard both physically and mentally.  You probably found out that you weren’t as strong as you thought you were or maybe that you didn’t prepare well enough.  But it made you stronger in the long run. 

Working with a financial advisor, believe it or not, can be a similar experience.  It is common for most people to have some level of emotional duress when thinking about money.  The stress compounds when investors come seeking to break their bad investing habits or when they’re emotionally recovering from a bad experience with their former advisor or broker.  A financial advisor should work with you to correct mistakes made by offering on-going advice, as painful as it may be.

There are benefits to getting ‘personal training’ regarding your investments. By helping you break down bad habits and recover from poor financial relationships, your financial plan can be a form offinancial therapy. This sets you up for long-term prosperity that is more self-sustaining. In other words, you grow to be more empowered to manage your day-to-day finances.  Providing more strategic advice is often of higher value in the long-term.

Perhaps the most significant difference between an actual physical personal training and a financial advice personal training is the fact that we must listen to you more than a personal trainer ever would.  By us asking you the right questions and listening, you’re able to accurately reflect upon what went right or wrong in your previous financial relationships. This element of critical thinking is the personal training aspect that allows an investor to break down so they can be built back up with a financial plan.

The sting of financial pain can lead investors to a better place. The first step towards improving an investor’s well-being, however, is through asking questions and listening intently. This type of personal training sets the stage for financial empowerment and well-being for investors.  Financial advisors experience divorce, death, business success (and failure), and personal growth from the front row seat of their clients’ lives, all by bringing each client through their training.


Click here for printable version

Tariffs, Trade Wars, and Your Investments

Since President Trump announced his intention to impose tariffs on all countries the stock market has been reacting-based on investor concerns in reaction to the media.   All indications at the time of this writing are that the tariffs would be applied to all countries, although that remains unknown.  This development has risen the speculation of a trade war with the US’s major trading partners including the EU, China, Canada, and Mexico. Trump has softened his stance by indicating that countries that treat the US fairly would get relief from the tariff, although that remains unknown.  A global market doesn’t avoid harm from the strategic targeting of tariffs; international fallout may follow.

But is the possibility of a trade war and tariffs on imports as dramatic as it sounds?  Consider that the relationship between the US and its trade partners is quite frankly, lopsided.  The US imports four times more than it exports to the trade partner countries.  Political retaliation from other countries toward the US can negatively impact imports coming into the US resulting in increased costs on items such as clothing, food, and lifestyle items such as electronics.  Agricultural exports will suffer additionally after experiencing a decline the past two years.  We can only assume we are in for a bumpy ride if this ‘tariff talk’ continues.

The US may stand to benefit from buying more goods from its own home-based companies if imports become too expensive.  Although certain imports are deemed necessary, such as food not grown in our climate, is a trade war stand-off enough to bulletproof the US economy?  For now, the trade war and tariff talk is merely a war of words as the proposed tariffs will not go into effect until June 2018.  Factors to consider:

  • Tariffs and trade wars typically lead to higher inflation and lower economic growth which has a negative impact on the markets.
  • While trade restrictions will create headwinds for the equity markets, ultimately it is high valuations that have a bigger long-term impact.
  • Inflation protection strategies should benefit from potentially higher inflation if this policy shift does materialize.
  • Limited duration of fixed income should buffer from rising rates driven by higher inflation caused by these policies.

These factors may not apply to all investors which is why we welcome your questions regarding your portfolio and how it may impact.

Click here for printable version

A global market doesn’t avoid harm from strategic targeting of tariffs; international fallout may follow.


SAI May 2018 Newsletter Approval 2101366.1

Click here for printable version


Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm. LPF Financial Advisors and the Securities America companies are separate entities.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Finance LLC. All rights reserved worldwide.

Click here to unsubscribe from this mailing list.