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Women and Retirement Perceptions

Irene Smith is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Public Accountant with Smith Financial Management. Earlier in July, we hosted one of her fantastic seminars, A Woman’s Journey To Financial Independence. On August 16th, we will be hosting another of her seminars, Wine Tasting and Real Estate. The event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP no later than August 10 if you wish to attend. Click here for more information.

WOMEN & RETIREMENT PERCEPTIONS: Will the reality of retirement live up to expectations?

Presented by Irene Smith

In January 2011, Merrill Lynch released the results of a survey asking baby boomers with $250,000+ in investable assets about their retirement hopes. There were some interesting across-the-board findings – 70% of those polled expected to work at least part-time, and 84% felt their retirements would be more comfortable and dynamic than those of their parents. Yet it was the collective response of women in the 1,000-investor study that drew the most attention.1,2

Women envision a very active retirement. Volunteering and travel registered as major priorities for women, more so than for men: 64% of women said they wanted to get more involved in their communities, 62% planned to devote more time to philanthropy, and 86% planned to travel when retired. Additionally, 14% of the women surveyed said that they wanted to start a business after their careers ended.2

Women are more concerned than men about running out of money. While 52% of male respondents were unsure that their retirement assets would last a lifetime, 63% of women polled were worried about outliving their money. Additionally, 70% of the women surveyed said they worried about rising healthcare costs.2

Will reality prove disappointing? Too many women approach retirement unprepared, with too little saved or invested. You can cite two major reasons for that.

1. The multiyear absence of some women from the workplace (which can coincide with peak earning years, lessening the rate of retirement plan contributions)
2. A notable earnings gap (full-time working women earn 78 cents for every dollar men earn, which may reflect everything from gender inequality in career paths to wage discrimination).3

Another factor may be conservative investing. While you can take on too much risk in your portfolio and pay the price, there may also be a cost for assuming too little risk – your portfolio may not be able to produce returns that keep up with inflation. The federal Consumer Price Index from June 2011 shows annualized inflation at 3.6%.4

How are you investing and saving to pursue your retirement dream? Is there a strategy in place with realistic objectives? A chat with a financial professional may lead to the discovery of creative new ways to pursue your retirement ambitions.

Securities, advisory services and insurance products are offered through Investment Centers of America, Inc. (ICA), member FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor, and affiliated insurance agencies. ICA and Smith Financial Management are separate companies.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

Citations.
1 – reuters.com/article/2011/01/31/us-retirement-study-idUSTRE70U3E820110131 [1/31/11]
2 – mediaroom.bankofamerica.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=234503&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1521693&highlight [1/31/11]
3 – civilrights.org/archives/2009/04/291-equal-pay-day.html [4/29/09]
4 – online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304521304576447641965268196.html [7/15/11]

Upcoming Events

We still have two fantastic events this summer. On August 13th, we have a Second Saturday Divorce Workshop featuring Attorney Robert Borsky,  James Walton, Ph.D., and Pete Collins, CFP, covering child custody, spousal and child support guidelines, how to protect oneself in court, and the divorce process and fees.  Our much anticipated Wine Tasting and Real Estate event on August 16th will be hosted by Irene Smith, CDFA, with guest speaker Dvir Levy, Regional Vice President of Wells Real Estate Funds.

For the Second Saturday Workshop, register online here and get 50% off the registration fee, or call us toll free at (888) 852-9961.

For Wine Tasting and Real Estate, click here to RSVP online, or call us toll free at (818)884-4888.

Register Now: Wine Tasting and Real Estate

photo by 96dpi via PhotoRee

Our seminar, Wine Tasting and Real Estate, is coming up on August 16th. Irene Smith, CDFA, will be hosting A Tale of Two Markets, accompanied by Dvir Levy, Regional Vice President of Wells Real Estate Funds. The presentation will start at 6:30 p.m., with wine tasting immediately following. Space is limited so reservations are required.

Click here to RSVP online, or call (818)884-4888.

A Woman’s Financial Reality

Irene Smith is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Public Accountant with Smith Financial Management. We are proud to be hosting three of Irene’s excellent financial seminars this summer. For more information about Irene’s seminars, visit our events page at TheLawCollaborative.com/events.htm. These seminars are free but space is limited. Please RSVP if you wish to attend.

A WOMAN’S FINANCIAL REALITY: Your financial future is up to you … and no one else.
Presented by Irene Smith

Will this be your future? Did you know that Social Security income represents two-thirds of income for women 65 and older? Did you know that without Social Security, an estimated 58% of widows aged 65 and older would live in poverty? 1

These findings are from a 2010 U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee report. As Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) put it, “Social Security is literally a lifeline for most elderly women.”

That lifeline is barely adequate. With inflation and other economic pressures, a mature woman relying on SSI may eventually have to choose between food or medicine, or rent or car repair, or contend with other stressful money dilemmas.

When these women were younger, did they envision such a meager future ahead of them? Probably not. More than a few probably wish they had understood money matters better or actively invested for retirement.

How much do you know about personal finance? The more knowledge you have, the more action you can take to define and pursue your financial goals and build retirement savings. You can also respond to a few financial realities common to women’s lives.

The average woman spends 12 years out of the working world. So finds WISER, the non-profit formally called Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement. Typically some of this absence is for parenting, some of it for caregiving. This means the average woman has 12 fewer years to pour steady money into that 401(k), 403(b) or IRA.2

Women live longer. According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, female life expectancy is at roughly 80.5 years versus about 75.5 years for males. The reality unnoticed in these numbers is that many women will live on their own for a decade or more after being divorced or widowed.3

Women face an earnings gap. On the whole, women do not earn as much as men. In 2009, the Government Accountability Office noted that women earn $0.78 for every $1 that men earn. Some people question this statistic, arguing that it reflects gender inequality in career paths rather than distinct salary discrimination. Regardless, the gap exists – and it is even more pronounced for women of color.4

At work, many women are worth more than the salaries they receive. Some women are reluctant to negotiate a better salary for themselves. Will it upset the equilibrium at the office? Will it be seen as too aggressive? The answers here are probably “no” and “no”. It takes confidence (and it may take a little research) to affirm your professional worth in front of your boss – and it should be done.

A rich spouse does not equal a retirement strategy. It is nice to have a spouse whose wealth allows you freedom from financial worries. Yet even if you are blessed with a rich and attractive mate, there is no telling where that mate (and that money) might end up someday but for fate.

How do you plan to arrange a comfortable future for yourself? If you don’t want to end up dependent on Social Security, then see that you have the financial education that will let you make major money decisions with confidence. Study fundamentals of investing and read up on the basics of retirement and estate strategizing. Follow up by meeting with a financial representative who can help you put a strategy into action.

Irene Smith may be reached at 818 884 4888 or Irene.smith@investmentcenters.com.
www.smithfinancialmanagement.com

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

Citations.
1 – thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/801-economy/126543-changes-to-social-security-could-negatively-affect-women [10/29/10]
2 – mainstreet.com/article/retirement/women-still-far-behind-retirement-plans [4/25/11]
3 – nytimes.com/2011/03/17/health/17brfs-ART-AMERICANLIFE_BRF.html [3/17/11]
4 – civilrights.org/archives/2009/04/291-equal-pay-day.html [4/29/09]
5 – montoyaregistry.com/Financial-Market.aspx?financial-market=money-and-happiness&category=29 [6/5/11]

Saving Money During A Divorce

Last night’s seminar, A Woman’s Journey To Financial Independence, was a success. Thank you to those who attended and expressed their appreciation for the outstanding information. For those who were unable to attend, not to worry, we’re hosting another financial seminar on August 16th: Wine Tasting and Real Estate.

In this new podcast featuring Irene Smith, who presented last night and is co-hosting Wine Tasting and Real Estate next month, she and the partners have a lively discussion about what spouses should know about finances before and during a divorce case. In addition, Irene explains to Ron and Robert the advantages to working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, including how a CDFA will save you time and money.

Click the play button to listen now.

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It All Adds Up, Know Your CDFA – Irene Smith, CPA, CDFA

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) Irene Smith speaks with Ron and Robert regarding the financial matters all divorcing couples must know. A CFDA is a new designation for assisting couples in divorce. A CDFA is a member of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts who specialize in the financial issues surrounding divorce. The role of the CDFA includes acting as an advisor to one party’s divorce lawyer, or as a mediator for both parties. A CDFA uses his or her knowledge of tax law, asset distribution, and short- and long-term financial planning to achieve an equitable settlement.  CDFAs are also helpful in reducing the costs of divorce.

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Save The Date

The next Breakfast with Ron & Robert: Second Saturday Divorce Workshop is coming up July 9th. July’s speakers will include Attorney Ronald Supancic, Dr. Kathy Memel, Ph.D., MFT, and Irene Smith, CDFA. You’ll learn how to protect yourself in court, California guidelines for child support and spousal support, and how to help you, your kids, and your spouse cope with the divorce. Register online and get 50% off the registration fee. Register online by clicking here or call us toll free at (888) 852-9961.

Roth IRA Conversion Strategies

Today we will hear from Irene Smith, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and an affiliate of The Law Collaborative. Irene is a member of the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts and the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association. She served on the board of the American Women Society of Certified Public Accounts – Los Angeles Chapter, and was the scholarship committee chairperson for the Chapter. She is a frequent speaker on the subjects of financial planning, risk management and financial fitness strategies for women. She holds the designations of Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Public Accountant. You can visit Irene’s website at www.SmithFinancialManagement.com.

Sincerely,
Ron and Robert

Roth IRA Conversion Strategies

Traditional IRAs offer some great advantages, such as tax-deductible contributions and tax-deferred growth. However, with tax-free growth of earnings, tax-free qualified withdrawals and no required minimum distributions for original account owners, Roth IRAs offer remarkable benefits.

Beginning in 2010, the modified adjusted gross income limit for ROTH IRA conversions no longer applies. To help relieve tax liabilities on IRA conversions, investors who convert in 2010 have the unique opportunity to pay the taxes on conversion with their 2010 income tax return or elect to pay the taxes over the following two years, 2011 and 2012.

If no withdrawal is needed from a retirement account, Roth IRA conversion can transform the account from a retirement vehicle to a wealth transfer tool. Since there are no required minimum distributions (RMD) with Roth IRAs, the account can continue to grow tax free throughout your retirement. Eventually, you can pass it on to your beneficiaries, giving them growth potential and tax-free access to this portion of their inheritance. They will need to take RMDs, but the RMDs will be income tax-free.

Another strategy may apply if you have experienced a loss in the value of your qualified retirement plan or traditional IRA. You could convert the account to a Roth IRA while the markets are down, and pay taxes with non-retirement funds. As the markets recover, the recovered investment loss and any additional investment growth would be tax free, as would any qualified distributions you choose to take in retirement.

Now is the time to talk to your tax and financial advisor to formulate a game plan.

Irene Smith

To contact Irene, email her at Irene.Smith@InvestmentCenters.com

Second Saturday Workshop at TLC

The Law Collaborative
Second Saturday Workshop
Saturday, May 8th
8:00 am – 1:00 pm
5959 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Suite 375
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Ron Supancic, CFLS will be discussing:
*Collaborative Law
*The divorce process and fees
*Protecting yourself
*Child Custody
*Spousal and child support

Presenters include: Renee Leff, LMFT & Irene Smith, CDFA

Registration Admission:
$50.00 charge at the door
$45.00 pre-paid