Navigating Healthcare When You Retire

Securing a Health Care Plan in retirement can be a challenge if you retire before age 65 and are Medicare eligible. If you are under 65, there are typically two options available. First, you can continue on your employer’s health insurance (assuming you had an employer who offered health care) for up to 18 months. This is called COBRA. With COBRA, you will pay 102% of the premium—the full cost of the insurance plus a 2% administrative fee. Second, you can obtain your own coverage through the marketplace paying the going rate and keeping that coverage until you are Medicare eligible at age 65. Note that with the first option, the 18 month COBRA period may not take you to age 65 so you might still need to obtain your own policy for some period of time.

How To Turn Retirement Assets Into Income

Is a portfolio worth $500,000 a lot of money for retirement? How about $1 million? What if you’ve saved $5 million? I get asked this a lot, and I find it helps to reframe the question: Is $2,000 a month a lot of money? What about $5,000 a month? Or $10,000?

When you look at it this way, you probably already know your answer. That’s because we generally conceive of wealth in terms of current income and not assets. Think about it: We pay income taxes and see our tax withholding on every pay stub, and we routinely deal with monthly bills and expenses that must be paid with current income.

Six Questions to Ask Before Buying That Vacation Home

With a humid mid-Atlantic summer in full swing, many Marylanders are entertaining the idea of purchasing a vacation home. That might be wise — it can be a great place to rejuvenate and spend time with family and friends.

However, a vacation property also comes with its own set of challenges and those considering a purchase should be aware of them. With that in mind, here are six important questions to ask before making the move.

Secrets of a Successful Retirement Transition

For most Americans, retirement is one of life’s major turning points. We’re no longer required to take part in the work-a-day world, and can turn our attention and considerable experience to family, friends, service, and personal interests.

But it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Many people find retirement jarring, and have trouble adjusting to the new lifestyle. With that in mind, we’ve asked our retired clients for advice for those about to make the leap — what lessons they’ve learned, what they did well and what they wish they’d done differently. The responses are full of fantastic insights, important reminders, and creative ideas. Whether you’re facing retirement now or at some point in the future, you will find something of value here.

How to Choose a Retirement Location

While Americans have always been a mobile people, retirees aren’t moving to new places as frequently as they have in the past. According to census data, between 2010 and 2011, just 3% of those age 65 and older relocated. A lot of 401(k)s have taken a hit, the housing market fell, and many of those who planned to retire are delaying that move. This has resulted in the lowest level of migration for those 65 and older since the end of World War II.

How to Choose a Financial Advisor

We recently received a question at our website from a troubled consumer of financial advice who wondered how he might compare Pinnacle’s wealth management process to that used by his current advisor. That’s an excellent question. After all, there is no Consumer Reports for financial advisors where firms are evaluated by objective and independent experts. The best we can do is recommend a process of evaluation that will give an educated consumer confidence in choosing the right financial advisor.