Easily Boost Your Retirement Savings With This Simple Tip

Easily Boost Your Retirement Savings With This Simple Tip

When it comes to saving for retirement, most people aren’t saving enough—and they know it. Of those who are already saving, a Ramsey Research study found that 70% wish they could save more. That makes sense in light of the fact that only one in 10 Americans are saving the recommended 15% of their income toward their future. But planning for your retirement doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Increasing the size of your nest egg—and your ability to live out your dreams in your golden years—can be as simple as increasing the percentage you put toward retirement every month. Consider David and Susan to see how a simple change can make a big difference. A Little Goes a Long Way David and Susan are both 35, making the average household income of $56,000 per year. They started contributing a total of 5% of their income into their 401(k) plans last year to take advantage of the employer match offered in their plans. After meeting with their investing pro, David and Susan realize that investing 5% of their income won’t be enough to fund the family vacations they dream of taking in retirement. So they map out a plan. With the help of their pro, David and Susan set a goal to contribute 15% of their income toward retirement. That’s a big leap to make at once, so they decide to bump up their contribution to 8% this year. That’s only $140 more per month than they invest right now! The next year they’ll increase their percentage to 11%. The year after that, they’ll make a 4% jump...
Brandon Kennedy: Owner/Financial Consultant

Brandon Kennedy: Owner/Financial Consultant

Brandon has a passion for helping families make smart decisions about their money. He believes genuine relationships are a cornerstone of doing business the right way, and they need to be based on two foundations – trust + accountability. He takes pride in educating and helping others, and strives to live his life with integrity and Christian values. A lifelong resident of Southeastern Michigan, Brandon is a devoted husband to his high school sweetheart, Danielle. They are the proud parents of three, Logan, Henry, and Juliet, and live in Rochester Hills. Brandon is a die-hard baseball and Detroit Tigers fan, and is a supporter of local youth baseball organizations. You can also find him building things in his worksop, speaking in movie quotes, and working on cars. Brandon graduated from Oakland University, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Finance. He has also achieved the Accredited Asset Management Specialist, AAMS, which provides specialized training in providing comprehensive financial planning. He is a board and active volunteer at his local church and offers personal finance educational seminars and courses throughout the year, including Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Fun Fact: He spent 60+ hours taking rough cut Walnut lumber and building a one of kind crib for his children and hopefully grandchildren (one day). Favorite Movies: Pan’s Labyrinth, Gladiator, Fight Club Why He Loves His Job: “We help take the burden off the shoulders of families, so they can have more of the most precious asset in this world – spending time with each other.” Contact Brandon: brandon@kennedyfinancialgroup.org 248. 528.0485 For more information on this advisor click the link...
What Happens When You Meet With an Investing Pro the First Time?

What Happens When You Meet With an Investing Pro the First Time?

It’s no secret that a lot of Americans worry about retirement. But a new retirement study commissioned by Ramsey Solutions shows getting professional help can be a big-time confidence boost: Americans who work with a pro are nearly twice as likely as those who don’t to say they are very confident they’ll have enough money to retire. If you’ve never sat down with a pro before, that first step can feel intimidating. We talked to Chadd Hoeft and Justin Widick, investing professionals from Omaha, Nebraska, to find out what you can expect and how to prepare for the first meeting. Do This First After you schedule your first appointment, you’ve got some homework to do. Don’t worry; it’s a team assignment. Simply sit down with your spouse and discuss your future together. Coming to the table with a clear set of shared goals makes it easer to figure out which direction is right for you. Here are a few questions to get the conversation started: When would you like to retire? What does your dream retirement look like? Do you plan to work in retirement? How will you fund your kids’ college education? Who will your beneficiaries be? Think of Your First Meeting as a Get-Acquainted Session Your investing pro can’t help you reach your retirement goal if they don’t know where the starting line is or what hurdles you’ll need to clear to get there. That’s why it’s important to come prepared with recent financial statements. “As much information as they can bring, the better,” Chadd says. Your pro can give you specific guidance on what documents to...
How to Be Ready for Retirement Without Losing Sleep

How to Be Ready for Retirement Without Losing Sleep

It’s almost time for football season. Across the U.S., millions of people have already circled the date on the calendar when their favorite team plays its first game. And you can bet that those teams have been hard at work to get ready for the season. Coaches have been looking at film, breaking down plays and creating schemes. Players have hit the weight room, practiced on the field, and studied their playbooks. And when the season begins, you quickly learn which teams were ready . . . and which ones weren’t. When it comes to retirement, you can tell which people are planning and preparing and which ones are not by how anxious they are and how much sleep they’re losing. Numbers Don’t Lie In 2016, Ramsey Solutions commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 adults to see how they’re doing with their retirement planning and saving. The survey also focused on how thinking about retirement affects Americans’ stress levels and sleep patterns. And the results aren’t surprising: 56% of Americans lose sleep thinking about retirement. And the top emotion those sleep-deprived Americans feel? Anxiety. What might be surprising is that 61% of people who are actively saving for retirement are still losing sleep over it, compared to 49% of non-savers. Why are so many people counting sheep at night even though they’re saving for the future? Because saving money alone doesn’t take away the stress associated with retirement. But something else does. One action moves people from anxiety to confidence. Going on Autopilot Won’t Get You There The research study showed that when people have a plan for...
5 Debt-Free Ways to Pay for College (and Still Save for Retirement)

5 Debt-Free Ways to Pay for College (and Still Save for Retirement)

If you have kids who will start college soon, it’s no surprise to you that three out of four parents in your shoes say they are concerned about having enough money to help their kids pay for school. Many want to help, but they have their own financial challenges to overcome. How can they get their kids through school and still pay off debt or save for retirement? Four years ago, Ron and Paula R. from Eagle, ID, found themselves facing that situation. Their son, David, was headed to college and their daughter, Debbie, was set to start the next year—but they had zero college savings. They tried to solve the problem like millions of parents do every year. They signed up for thousands of dollars in student loans for David’s first year of college. And not just any college—an expensive, out-of-state, private college. That loan brought their total debt up to around $80,000, and they still owed on their home. It seemed their only option was to put their own financial future at stake and fund David and Debbie’s college education solely with student loans. In Search of a Better Way A few months after David started college, Ron, Paula and Debbie attended Financial Peace University together. There they learned about the mistakes they’d made, but, even better, they discovered that they did have options—debt-free options—that would allow them to get their kids through college without sacrificing their own financial future. They immediately decided to cash-flow David’s tuition, and he picked up a part-time job to help with the costs. And what about that expensive private school? “It was gone as soon...
Got a Late Start on Retirement? Here’s How to Fix It

Got a Late Start on Retirement? Here’s How to Fix It

Something happens when you turn 40. First of all, you realize the big 4-0 isn’t nearly as ancient as you thought it was when you were 22. You also decide that reading glasses are actually pretty handy—and the right pair can make you look quite distinguished. On the other hand, you realize that retirement isn’t as far away as it used to be. And you can no longer ignore the fact that at the rate you’re going, you’ll never build up enough of a nest egg to kick back and enjoy retirement—if you’re able to retire at all! But if there’s anything else you’ve learned in your 40-odd years, it’s that time changes many things. And if you’re smart and you take action now, you still have enough of it to change your retirement outlook completely. Use What You’ve Got If you’re like most folks in their 40s, you probably have around $10,000 saved for retirement—so you’re not totally unfamiliar with retirement plans and how they work. You simply haven’t been making the most of them. Assuming you have no debt except for your home and a decent emergency fund to keep you afloat in tough times, there’s nothing holding you back from taking full advantage of your retirement savings options by investing at least 15% of your income right away. Here’s where you can reap at least one of the benefits of age: a higher salary. People age 45–54 are at or approaching their peak earning years, averaging more than $55,000 in annual income. That means you can invest $8,250 a year for retirement, compared to the average...