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Education. Wisdom for financial peace...

Nine Ways to Boost Your Brain Power

Victoria Avenue Riverside,CA

You run along Victoria Ave, have your favorite Riverside gym, take a weekly jaunt up Mt. Rubidoux- all of that is great, but…

When you think about health, don’t forget your brain too. Vow to break from routine and focus on strengthening your body AND your mind. The idea of losing a step or two worries many of us, especially those who find themselves forgetting things more often than they like. In most cases, occasional lapses can be attributed to stress or multitasking, which can distract your brain, causing you to become unfocused and less productive.

The good news? While there’s a lot we still don’t know about the brain, research has shown that the brain is like a muscle and can benefit  from activities to boost its strength, flexibility, resilience and endurance. Take a look at some simple and inexpensive ways to train your brain. Proactive measures may improve memory, creativity, attention span, problem solving and, perhaps best of all, support a long, happy and healthy retirement.

Sleep deprivation impairs quality and accuracy of work (31%), clear thinking or judgment (31%) and memory of important details (30%).

-Source: Better Sleep Council study

  1. New Territory: Clear more neural pathways by learning a new language, instrument, skill or hobby. The challenge of the unknown boosts brain resilience, as well as memory retention, coordination and high-level thinking.
  2. Purposeful Mindset: Build endurance and resilience by defining your life’s purpose. A reason to wake up every morning helps you transition when life changes.
  3. Healthy Habits: Promote a healthy body and brain through diet and physical exercise, which increases blood flow to the brain, reduces stress, stimulates adaptive capabilities and helps you focus. Aerobic exercise just twice a week could lower your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60%. Bonus: A healthier body means you could stave off use of medications that could dull cognition.
  4. Social CirclesA meaningful social life, including volunteering, improves executive function and memory. Social interaction means more engagement and lower risk of cognitive impairments.
  5. Restorative Sleep: Sleep restores the mind when overwhelmed, rebuilds and repairs neuron pathways, reduces stress, and helps create long-term memories. Learn good sleep habits as well as de-stressing techniques that work for you, such as deep breathing or spending time with family and friends.
  6. Lifelong Learning: While a higher education is the strongest predictor of greater mental capacity, memory and thinking skills in later years, a formal education may not be necessary. A lifelong habit of learning and engaging in mentally challenging activities benefits memory as well.
  7. Complex Thinking: Jobs that involve complex, detailed work carry a lower risk of memory loss than professions that are less intellectually demanding.
  8. Positivity: Starting your day with a mental accounting of things to be grateful for contributes to brain health and performance. Reframing events with positive thinking increases adaptability and resilience as well.
  9. Tranquility: Silence digital distractions in favor of a good book, meditation, journaling or some other relaxing activity to help focus your mind and improve concentration.
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Goal planning; simplified.

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There is no such thing as  “one size fits all ” when it comes to financial planning or working through your next goal. As a lifelong Riverside resident, I often watch our community and economy shift. In response, I work closely with my clients to make their financial planning comprehensive and relevant.  One of the things I like about Raymond James is that they offer so many well-thought-out tools that give my clients autonomy. Being able to set goals, monitor them, adjust, and understand what you’re working towards is much more powerful than a hands-off approach.

Our Goal Planning and Monitoring Software allows you to design a strategy personalized to your situation. You can keep track of your financial goals, re-asses their effectiveness, and adjust as needed.

If you’re not familiar with our Goal Planning and Monitoring Software, you can find it by logging into Investor Access until the tools menu.

In addition to the Goal Planning and Monitoring tool, you can also play with a host of other calculators; budget worksheet, college saving, cost-of-waiting and more.

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Introducing The Vault!

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Thanks to the new Investor Access Vault, working together has never been easier, faster or safer. Vault gives you one place to store and share digital copies of your important documents, and the security of knowing each one is protected.

From financial statements and legal agreements to passports and photos of valuable assets, Vault puts it all right at your fingertips. And with the ability to upload, download and add comments to the files you place in Vault, you can work directly with your advisor from your own computer.

To learn more about Vault, please view our FAQ below or visit our quick reference guide.

Q. What types of documents are recommended for storing in Vault?

  • Financial reports and statements
  • Legal documents (wills, trusts, deeds, powers of attorney)
  • Tax documents
  • Insurance policies (life, disability, home, auto, etc.)
  • External account statements
  • Copies of licenses, passports, certifications, etc.

Q. What file types does Vault accept?

Virtually all common file types are supported by Vault. However, executables (.exe, .bat, .pif, .pi, .vbs, etc.) are not supported.

Q. Will documents ever be deleted from Vault after a certain time period?

No, documents will never be automatically deleted. You can choose to delete any document at any time, however, and your advisor can delete documents that they uploaded themselves.

Q. Does Vault have a storage limit?

No, Vault lets you store as much as you need to.

Q. What limitations will be placed on file size/number of documents that can be uploaded to Vault?

The maximum total file size per upload is 200MB. Multiple documents can be uploaded at once as long as total file size does not exceed this limit.

Q. Who has access to my documents in Vault?

Your advisor, and office professionals (advisor support staff) with proper entitlements, will have access to all documents uploaded to Vault. Permission for authorized representatives can be granted by you at the folder level.

Q. How do I give my CPA, attorney or other authorized representatives access to Vault?

This can be done by utilizing the Share feature at the folder level.

Q. How long does it take to upload a file to Vault?

Upload speed can vary depending on computer speed, internet connection and file size. Typically, uploads take a matter of seconds.

Q. Can I customize my folders in Vault?

Yes, you can create unlimited folders and sub-folders within Vault.

Q. How are Vault documents kept secure?

As a feature of Investor Access, Vault is protected by our existing security systems, which are constantly monitored and routinely updated.

Q. How does the commenting feature work? Will I be notified every time my advisor uploads or comments on a document?

You and your advisor can both add comments in the document viewer. You also have the option to turn email notifications on or off. Either way an icon will appear with the number of notifications you have each time you log in to Investor Access.

Q. Can I “reply” to comments?

You cannot reply to one particular comment. All comments appear in order based on the time they are posted.

Q. Will my advisor be notified if something is uploaded?

Yes. They will also be notified when a comment is added.

Q. Is Vault available on the Investor Access mobile app?

Yes, you can access Vault through the Investor Access mobile app on your smartphone or tablet.

Q. Can I view and comment on documents stored in Vault from the Investor Access mobile app?

Yes.

Q. Can I upload documents or pictures from the Investor Access mobile app?

No, you cannot upload documents or pictures to Vault through the Investor Access mobile app at this time.

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You're in your 30's-- now what?!

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Financial Planning isn’t just for those close to retirement. Your 30’s is a great time to start creating a financial plan that allows you to enjoy every aspect of life: family, friends, and everything Riverside has to offer! Read on…

That 30th birthday can be a somewhat traumatic event, but with people living longer, they say 50 is the new 30. If that’s the case, then you’re just a kid!

That doesn’t mean, however, that you should be childlike about your finances. If your 20s are the years when you lay the foundation for good financial habits, then your 30s are when you build on that foundation.

By now you’re likely employed in your field, possibly married or in a committed relationship, and thinking about building a family. It’s important to factor in these life events when you are planning. A financial advisor can work with you to create a solid plan and provide objective guidance no matter how investment savvy you are.

Your priority should be saving and avoiding non-mortgage debt. Without debt, saving seems easy. And there’s a lot to save for: the wedding, starting a family, buying a house, sending your kids to college and retirement. Not to mention all the surprises in between. This is where the long-term plan you and your financial advisor create comes in. It’s important to stick to it.

Another key element is to review your financial plans periodically to make sure they still meet your goals. If you are part of a couple, consider making “financial dates” with your spouse or partner to proactively talk about money. It’s a good way to make sure both parties in a relationship are aware of the other’s goals for the future.

To Help You Get Started on your Journey, Here’s a Checklist for 30-Somethings:

  • Save for retirement. Are you taking advantage of the retirement plan offered by your employer? It allows you to invest a portion of every paycheck before taxes – or after taxes in the case of a Roth 401(k). While you’re at it, analyze other employer benefits. Are you taking advantage of all the benefits your employer offers? Look at everything, from flexible spending accounts to group discounts.
  • Pay off personal debt. Have you paid off your high-interest debt? Paying off a credit card that charges 25% interest means substantial savings.
  • Write a simple will and also a living will. How will your property be handled if you die? A simple will can keep your loved ones from having to decide. What do you want to happen if you become seriously ill? A living will records your wishes and removes that burden from your family.
  • Name a guardian for your children if you have any. Who will be responsible for your children if you and your spouse/partner die? Protect them by legally naming a guardian.
  • Review your insurance. If you’ve recently married or started a family, are life and disability insurance adequate given your new status? Also, the younger you are, the less long-term care and disability policies cost. It’s also a good idea to review your auto and home policies to ensure your family and property are fully covered. You may also be eligible for package discounts.
  • Start a college fund for your children if you have any. As soon as you are out of debt, begin an education fund. The costs for education are soaring, so the earlier you can begin saving the better.
  • Think about your future housing needs. Is your family going to outgrow your house? Will your parents eventually move in with you? A separate savings fund for housing can accommodate these possibilities.

More questions? We’d love to help! Contact Randy today!

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6 Steps Towards Retirement for the Late Starter

 

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Sometimes a late start to retirement can feel overwhelming- but it starts with one simple decision. Randy has been  helping Riverside plan their retirements for years and his advice is simple: just start. 


Article by  Ryan Zacharczyk of Brightscope.com

It’s never too late to start saving for retirement. However, if you feel as though you are getting a late start and need to catch up on your retirement savings, here are six things to remember:

  1. Start Saving Now: The sooner you get started the sooner your money can work for you. Whether it was procrastination or some bad breaks that kept your savings off track to this point, it is not too late to get started. Don’t put it off any longer.
  2. Pay off your mortgage: Even if you are only a few years from retirement with very little savings, one of the best guarantees for comfort in your golden years is to have no mortgage payment. This will dramatically reduce your living expenses and could allow you to live very comfortably on only Social Security and a little savings. Time the last mortgage payment to coincide with your retirement date if possible by paying additional principal on your mortgage payment every month.
  3. Delay Social Security: Putting off collecting Social Security as long as possible (no later than age 70) will provide you with the larger benefit. Social Security income is perhaps the best form of retirement income you can receive due to the fact that it is inflation adjusted, tax efficient, and guaranteed by the Federal Government. Thus, the larger our Social Security income is, the more comfortable your retirement. The decision of exactly when to take Social Security should be taken on a case by case basis, however, it is generally advantageous to delay Social Security for the late retirement saver.
  4. Don’t invest too aggressively: It is a very common error for those who are late in saving for retirement to become too aggressive and “gamble” the little savings they have on a few speculative investments. Although it may not seem like you have much to lose, the truth is quite the contrary. Even a small nest egg can create a relatively decent sum when invested properly for a few years. This sum will be very valuable when you retire and are trying to manage on what you have. A speculation or gamble will almost certainly lead to an eventual loss.
  5. Don’t be too conservative: The opposite is also true. It is not uncommon for late starters to be too conservative, investing all of their money in cash or money market vehicles. Their fear is that they do not have much and want to protect what they do have. The problem with this philosophy is that the little money they do have will be eroded over time by inflation. A 50 year old with $40,000 should invest in roughly the same way someone with $400,000 would invest.
  6. Utilize as many tax efficient plans as possible: More than ever, being tax efficient is important when you get a late start on your retirement savings. Utilize 401k’s, Roth IRA’s, and Traditional IRA’s to their fullest extent allowed by law.
  7. Plan to work just a little longer: Putting off retirement even one additional year has a tremendous impact on your retirement savings. This creates not only one additional year you do not need to live off of your savings, it also is one more year of retirement contributions, account growth, and delay in collecting Social Security. The longer you delay retirement, the faster your retirement numbers swing from scary to exciting.

Need more info? Contact Randy Hord today!

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