Mt. Pleasant (989) 772-1209 | Midland (989) 631-9500
RFM Financial Solutions, LLC

Archive for September, 2011

Liz Ann Sonders, Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Strategist with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. has written a nice commentary article regarding the recent announcement by the fed of “Operation Twist”.

Please click here to read this commentary.

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, hackers were able to retrive more than 13 million sensitive records this year alone.  Unfortunately, most companies or people do not know the extent of what has been taken.  Take the following precautions to help avoid this misfortune.

  1. Always keep your firewall, anti-malware and antivirus software up-to-date.
  2. Be sure to pick passwords that are very strongly coded.  Use upper and lower case letters, numbers punctuation marks and symbols.  NEVER use common words or names.  There are free programs out there that will generate and store all of your log-in credentials on your personal computer.
  3. If one account has been compromised, act like they all have been and watch over all statements.  If your Social Security number has been taken, be sure to place a security freeze on your credit report.
  4. Be sure to be surfing the web using https://.  Also, try to not use public Wi-Fi to log into sensitive accounts.
  5. Don’t be a clicker…bad things can happen when you click on a suspicious download or pop-up.

Just take a few extra steps to save yourself some major headaches!!

Ever wonder why it’s so hard for some people to part with their money while others can’t seem to stop spending? The answer can be summed up in two words: money personality. Everyone has a money personality – that defining attitude that helps us decide how we use our money. While there are many types of money personalities, these can all be grouped into two main categories: savers and spenders.

Where do you fit in? Meet the personalities and see which one reflects your own money attitude.

The Saver

Whether they’re putting away money for retirement or an upcoming trip, savers are patient planners who understand that all those small sums will eventually add up to something substantial. They’re also thoughtful shoppers who can resist the tug of the impulse buy.

Many savers are afraid of risks and are happy to live on a meager budget in exchange for the security of a nest egg. As a result, some savers may go too far and deny themselves the right to enjoy their money. This aversion to risk could also cause savers to lose out on investment opportunities that could actually increase the size of their nest egg.

The Spender

In general, spenders are great optimists who shell out the cash or whip out the credit card confident in the knowledge that they can afford to pay for these purchases. For spenders, money is less about security and more about seeing tangible evidence of their financial success.

While spenders often have enviable lifestyles, their relaxed attitude towards money could put them at risk of spending more than they can actually afford. Many spenders know this and often feel guilty every time they go beyond their budget. Spenders who don’t save at all could also find themselves in deep financial trouble should they get seriously ill or lose their job.

Striking a balance between the two personalities

Regardless of your money personality, its important to strike a balance and find the sweet spot between being a spendthrift and a penny pincher. If you think you’re a saver who could benefit from loosening up a bit, talk to us about how you can increase your savings through investments. Knowing your money is growing is sure to make you feel more confident about spending a bit of it on yourself and on your family.

If you’re a spender, it may be time to look at putting money away on a regular basis. As a first step, look into setting up an automatic deposit into your brokerage account.  Start with small amounts, gradually increasing your savings as you become accustomed to this new habit. Soon you’ll even be budgeting to save – an achievement that should make you feel less guilty the next time you take out your wallet.

September 9th is National 401(k) Day!  This day is an annual celebration to promote the importance of participation in employer-sponsored profit sharing and 401(k) plans.  Ignoring these plans should  not be an option!  Do you stop for a coffee everyday?  Put that money towards your retirement instead!  Would you like to reduce your income taxes?  Participate in the retirement plan and do just that as the contributions are deducted before your taxes are calculated (except for Social Security taxes).  Does your employer offer a match?  If the answer is yes, realize you are throwing free money away by not  participating!  Do you have an old 401(k) from a previous employer?  Most employers allow you to roll your 401(k) balance into their plan and if they do not, you can open an IRA to capture those assets. 

Contact us today to discuss these options or for any assistance you may need!!

Even before the onset of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, many people wondered whether they were saving enough for retirement. Frankly, many weren’t. Now, post-meltdown, the question remains: Am I saving enough? Take the Kiplinger quiz to see if you are on track for a comfortable retirement and if not, how you can improve your chances.

Click here for the quiz!