Resources

Stay abreast of the stories and headlines that may impact you.

Fresno Financial Advisor News: Savings Strategies for Travel, at Home or Abroad

By Soutas Financial | March 4, 2020 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Advisor News: Savings Strategies for Travel, at Home or Abroad

Here’s an idea for restless young adults and adventurous retirees alike: Get paid to live in Italy.

The region of Molise, east of Rome, has more than 100 underpopulated villages that are fading away due to migration to larger cities. These communities — some are walled, medieval towns set among olive groves and green pastures — have put out a global offer to recruit new residents.  The region will pay people the equivalent of $770 a month (for up to three years) to move there and start up a small business to contribute to the local economy.1 Ever dreamed of owning an inn, restaurant, book or boutique store?

If that region of Italy doesn’t appeal, several others are willing to sell you an Italian villa for about $1; you just need to agree to renovate your new home within a certain time frame.2

If you’re not interested in relocating permanently, but you would like to stay somewhere long enough to live like a local, check out the residential options at Airbnb.com. Some rentals offer up to a 50% discount if you book for at least a month, while others may drop another 5% if you book at least two months in advance.3

Staying longer in fewer places eliminates many of the hassles of traveling. You can stop living out of a suitcase and avoid spending half a day or more catching planes, trains or buses or driving place to place. You can develop favorite cafés and stores, getting to know the proprietors and locals for tips on the best places to eat, shop and tour. By staying in one location, you may save money on accommodations, travel lighter by washing and re-wearing clothes, and even save on your food budget by eating “at home.”4

Of course, if you’re inclined to stay a spell in another location, you might as well volunteer to do some good. One of the latest trends is “environmental travel,” where visitors spend time helping clean, plant or build in natural areas such as farms, wildlife habitats or national parks.5

Another travel industry trend is themed trips. For example, culinary travel involves exploring the local cuisine via cooking classes, eating in private homes or at farm-to-table venues, or trying activities like truffle hunting. Other popular themes include the expansion of the “Girls Night Out” into a longer getaway, or “untouristed” excursions to remote, unpopulated regions in such places as Borneo, Greenland or Oman.6

Not everyone can afford an extensive vacation, particularly if you live on a fixed income. If that isn’t an option, consider other ways you can enjoy luxury without the travel. For example, glam up the thrifty “staycation” option.

Save up a specific amount of money and choose a long weekend one or more times a year when you indulge at home like you’re on vacation. Go to the most expensive restaurant in town. Have a spa day. Spring for a tee time at an upscale golf resort. And don’t skimp when you’re dining at home on staycation, either; buy things that don’t usually fit into your grocery budget, like crab legs, expensive cheeses, berries and fine wine.7

Then revel in how much you’re saving by not paying for travel or accommodations.

Fresno Financial Advisor Takeaways

Fresno portfolio advisor – Soutas Financial appreciated these points, which will be of great benefit if you enjoy your vacation days and downtime. Relaxing and refreshing vacations don’t have to break the bank. Remember some of these easy ways to enjoy a vacation without taking on loads of debt. Some rentals offer up to a 50% discount if you book for at least a month, while others may drop another 5% if you book at least two months in advance. If you would like to stay closer to home, you might consider saving up a specific amount of money and going to the most expensive restaurant in town and having a relaxing spa day. Enjoy yourself and splurge a little!

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno portfolio advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment products such as trusts, probates, charitable giving, estate planning, or tax-efficient strategies, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.

1 Silvia Marchetti. CNN. Sept. 12, 2019. “These Italian towns in Molise will pay you $27,000 to move there.” https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/molise-italy-pay-to-move/index.html. Accessed Nov. 7, 2019.

2 Silvia Marchetti. CNN. April 18, 2019. “Buying a $1 Italy dream house just got even easier.” https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/italy-one-euro-home-websites/index.html. Accessed Nov. 7, 2019.

3 Airbnb.com. https://www.airbnb.com. Accessed Nov. 7, 2019.

4 Craig Makepeace. Y Travel. Oct. 4, 2018. “52 ways to save money on travel.” https://www.ytravelblog.com/how-to-save-money-on-travel/#3_Spend_More_Time_in_Fewer_Places. Accessed Nov. 7, 2019.

5 Adventure Student Travel. “10 Most Important Travel Trends for 2020.” https://www.adventurestudenttravel.com/10-most-important-travel-trends-for-2020/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2019.

6 Lea Lane. Forbes. Oct. 18, 2019. “6 Emerging Trends For 2020 Upscale Travelers Among Key Findings In New Virtuoso Report.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/lealane/2019/10/18/6–emerging-trends-for-2020-upscale-travelers-among-key-findings-in-new-virtuoso-report/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2019.

7 Valerie Lai. NerdWallet. Oct. 12, 2018. “Your Money-Saving Guide to Holiday Vacations (or Staycations).” https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/travel/money-saving-guide-holiday-vacation/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2019.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

1012447B

Fresno Financial Advisor News: Credit Cards: News, Trends and Tips

By Soutas Financial | March 3, 2020 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Advisor News: Credit Cards: News, Trends and Tips

Sometimes it feels as though we don’t learn from our past financial mistakes. Back in 2008, as a contributor to the recession, consumer debt reached a record high of $12.68 trillion. As of the end of the second quarter in 2019, Americans surpassed that number by $1.2 trillion; we now stand at $13.86 trillion in total household debt.1

A significant part of that debt comes from credit cards, which reached $1.08 trillion this year. Perhaps that’s not surprising, given that:2

  • More than 189 million Americans have credit cards.
  • The average credit card holder has at least four cards.
  • The average credit card debt per household is $8,398.

Here’s the thing. While debt, when used correctly, can allow us to buy homes and pay for other big-ticket items, it’s important to not get over one’s head. If you’re concerned about whether you can cover your expenses in retirement, give us a call. We can look at your household budget and help you create a retirement income strategy that’s right for you.

One of the disquieting factors about credit cards is their relationship with interest rates. Despite a decline of 50 basis points in the U.S. 10-year note yield since last summer, the average interest rate on credit cards is still near record levels. This suggests credit card companies are not adjusting rates in relation to the target federal funds rate dictated by the Federal Reserve. Issuers appear more focused on using rewards points and other value-added benefits to appeal to customers than on lowering interest rates.3

Given that high interest rates are a key reason consumers get in debt trouble, here are few tips to keep in mind:

  • Introductory rates are designed to attract new credit card customers but they usually don’t last. Check the current annual percentage rate for a card before applying or making higher-priced purchases than you can pay off by the end of the introductory rate period.
  • If you open a card for its rewards (hotel and travel points, etc.), be sure to pay off your purchases each month; otherwise, the interest you accrue could outweigh any rewards you receive.
  • It’s important to note that there may be annual fees associated with a credit card. Be sure to review the terms before signing up. 

Fresno Financial Consultant Takeaways

Fresno financial planning is our utmost concern here at Soutas Financial and we thought these takeaways were worth mentioning again. We do have the power to learn from our past financial mistakes. When debt is used correctly, it can be a powerful tool which can help us to buy a home or other big-ticket items. But it is important to remember not to let our credit card usage to get out of control. So when deciding to use credit cards, always remember to do your research and read the fine print.

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial planning consultant is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment products such as trusts, probates, charitable giving, estate planning, or tax-efficient strategies, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Aug. 13, 2019. “Total Household Debt Climbs for 20th Straight Quarter as Mortgage Debt and Originations Rise.” https://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/news/research/2019/20190813. Accessed Oct. 24, 2019.

Debt.org. Bill Fay. “Key Figures Behind America’s Consumer Debt.” https://www.debt.org/faqs/americans-in-debt/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2019.

3 Brian Riley. Payments Journal. Oct. 9, 2019. “In Credit Cards, Bigger is Often Better.” https://www.paymentsjournal.com/in-credit-cards-bigger-is-often-better/. Accessed Oct. 24, 2019.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

1008386B

Fresno Financial Advisor News: Anticipating Retirement During Changing Times

By Soutas Financial | March 2, 2020 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Advisor News: Anticipating Retirement During Changing Times

According to the United Nations, across the globe, people older than 65 now outnumber children under five for the first time in history. In 1960, the average woman gave birth to five children in her lifetime; by 2017, that ratio had dropped to 2.4 children per woman. Meanwhile, our life expectancy has increased around the world. In 1960, the average lifespan was just over 52 years of age; in 2017 the life expectancy was 72.1

Today, more than 60 percent of married households with children have two income earners.2 Yet many still struggle to make ends meet. That makes it difficult to save for both the exponentially rising cost of college and retirement. With fewer children in subsequent generations to contribute to the economy and bolster Social Security and Medicare programs, there may be fewer resources available to support the number of older adults in the future.3

It’s worth remembering that 2019 began with the longest U.S. government shutdown in history.4 On top of that challenging start to the year, some economists and media pundits have been suggesting we may be headed for a recession in the future.5 If you’d like to discuss your specific situation, and the potential role of insurance products in your retirement income strategy, please contact us.

One strategy for retirement income planning during uncertain times is to create multiple income streams. For example, you could purchase an annuity contract for an insurer-guaranteed stream of lifetime income. In one recent report, several Brookings Institution fellows noted, “For many people, acquiring an appropriately consumer protective and reasonably priced income annuity with at least a portion of their savings will still be the best choice for retirement income, and for many others it will play a key role in a broader post-retirement financial strategy.”6

One reason an annuity can help address uncertainty is because none of us knows how long we are going to live. Therefore, it’s difficult to know how much money to save or how much you can afford to spend each year in retirement. An annuity can help address these financial uncertainties because it offers an option for income for life — as well as the life of your spouse. It’s important to remember that annuities are insurance contracts designed for retirement or other long-term needs. They provide guarantees of principal and credited interest, subject to surrender charges.

As for how much income you’ll need in retirement, be aware that it will likely change as you get older. According to recent research from the National Bureau of Economic Research, people age 70 to 75 spend 10.17% of their household income on health care; after age 80, that share rises to 15.25%. Money spent on domestic services increases from 1.28% to 5.22% during those same time periods.7

Fresno Financial Planner Takeaways

Soutas Financial your Fresno financial planner would like to remind you of the following points. We are living in uncertain times. Many are struggling to make ends meet. With that in mind, what can you do? One strategy that has the potential to be successful, especially during uncertain times is to create multiple income streams. Because it’s difficult to know how much money to save or how much you can afford to spend each year in retirement, annuities can be the way to go.

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial planner is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment products such as trusts, probates, charitable giving, estate planning, or tax-efficient strategies, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.

Fernando Duarte. BBC. April 8, 2019. “Why the world now has more grandparents than grandchildren.” https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20190405-why-the-world-now-has-more-grandparents-than-grandchildren. Accessed Oct. 18, 2019.

2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. April 27, 2017. “Employment in families with children in 2016.” https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/mobile/employment-in-families-with-children-in-2016.htm. Accessed Oct. 18, 2019.

3 Kathleen Romig, Matt Broaddus and Aviva Aron-Dine. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. April 22, 2019. “Financial Challenges Facing Social Security and Medicare Largely Unchanged From Last Year, Except for Improvement in Disability Insurance.” https://www.cbpp.org/research/social-security/financial-challenges-facing-social-security-and-medicare-largely-unchanged. Accessed Oct. 31, 2019.

4 Tobias Salinger. Financial Planning Magazine. Jan. 18, 2019. “How wealth management is stepping up to help during the shutdown.” https://www.financial-planning.com/news/financial-advisors-help-clients-through-government-shutdown. Accessed Oct. 18, 2019.

5 Reade Pickert, Yue Qiu and Alexander McIntyre. Bloomberg. Nov. 6, 2019. “U.S. Recession Chances Inch Down to 26% Within Next 12 Months.” https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/us-economic-recession-tracker/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2019.

David John, William Gale, J. Mark Iwry and Aaron Krupkin. Brookings Institution. July 2019. “From saving to spending: A proposal to convert retirement account balances into automatic and flexible income.” https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/ES_201907_JohnGaleIwryKrupkin.pdf. Accessed Oct. 18, 2019.

7 Retirement Income Journal. Oct. 18, 2019. “Differences in Expenditures between Young and Old Adults.” https://retirementincomejournal.com/article/differences-in-expenditures-between-young-and-old-adults/. Accessed Oct. 18, 2019.

Guarantees and protections provided by annuities are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

1002516B

Fresno Financial Advisor News: Learn How to Chill in Retirement

By Soutas Financial | March 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Advisor News: Learn How to Chill in Retirement

If you are retired or planning to retire soon, you may still have some work to do.

For example, it’s smart to have a readily accessible emergency savings fund that can pay for three to six months’ worth of living expenses, if necessary. You should also consider what insurance policies you may need to help pay for big-ticket items that may otherwise deplete your savings and retirement portfolio. These may include damage to your home, an unexpected medical expense or long-term care. Please give us a call if you’d like to learn what options are available.

Retirement planning isn’t just about saving enough money — it’s about staying out of debt so your cost of living doesn’t increase because you’re paying high bills. There’s a recent trend of older Americans retiring with a more substantial amount of debt. Some of the causes include larger home mortgages, medical debt and overspending on credit cards — exacerbated by late-payment penalties and higher interest rates.1

However, there’s more to retirement than being financially prepared. You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared as well. One challenge is to learn how to relax. In the Netherlands, they have a word to describe a growing trend among the Northern European population: niksen. It means doing nothing; being completely idle — staring out a window or listening to music — with no particular purpose. It is the opposite of mindfulness, as your mind can wander wherever it wants. The practice has been shown to promote creativity, problem solving and a sense of happiness.2 That’s a good place to start in learning how to chill in retirement.

It helps, too, if you have goals, of perhaps an expansive “bucket list,” to keep you occupied and have something specific you want to accomplish each day.

If you do have specific goals for retirement, it can be difficult to stay focused on them. If you’re used to working a 40-hour week, you might have looked forward to having more free time to get things done. However, many retirees can’t figure out where the time goes. They get so bogged down in day-to-day chores they forget about working toward long-term goals. Researchers say one of the biggest detriments to getting things done is a lack of focus.3 We check our emails but then get drawn into social media posts and news stories. We turn on the television, and suddenly half the day is gone. The way to promote focus is to limit, block and tune out other distractions. It can help to assign a particular time of day when you focus solely on your chosen task and let everything else fall outside those designated hours.

In her book, “How to Be an Epicurean: The Ancient Art of Living Well,” author Catherine Wilson explains that the Greek philosopher Epicurus believed that the greatest source of pleasure in life was close human relationships.4 Therefore, if you don’t have a material goal in mind, focus on establishing and maintaining key personal relationships in your life as a fulfilling way to spend your time in retirement.

If you find yourself preoccupied with the idea of your own mortality, some researchers suggest getting a dog. A recent study encompassing 4 million people worldwide discovered a correlation between dog ownership and mortality. Specifically, dogs provided their owners with 24% higher protection against all types of causes of death. For example, people who had already experienced a heart attack or stroke were 31% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease if they had a dog.5

Fresno Financial Advisor Takeaways

As your Fresno financial advisor we thought this was a good takeaway. Always remember that retirement planning involves much more than just saving the right amount of money. To be “successful”, it is crucial to stay out of debt. This means avoiding overspending on credit cards, medical debt, and larger home mortgages. Two other key components to enjoy a successful retirement are to be mentally and emotionally prepared. If you start preparing now, there is a good chance you too will be able to feel confident in retirement.

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment products such as trusts, probates, charitable giving, estate planning, or tax-efficient strategies, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.

Annamaria Lusardi, Olivia S. Mitchell and Noemi Oggero. Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. June 8, 2019. “Debt Close to Retirement and Its Implications for Retirement Well-being.” Page 3. https://gflec.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Lusardi_Mitchell_Oggero-Working-Paper-6-8-19.pdf?x70028. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.

Sophia Gottfried. Time. July 12, 2019. “Niksen Is the Dutch Lifestyle Concept of Doing Nothing – And You’re About to See It Everywhere.” https://time.com/5622094/what-is-niksen/. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.

Nir Eyal. CNBC. Oct. 9, 2019. “Stanford psychology expert: This is the No. 1 work skill of the future – but most fail to realize it.” https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/09/stanford-psychology-expert-most-important-work-skill-of-the-future.html?sf110405650=1. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.

Catherine Wilson. Thrive Global. Sept. 25, 2019. “Meaningful Friends Are Essential for Your Well-being – This Is Why.” https://thriveglobal.com/stories/meaningful-friends-essential-for-well-being/. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.

Sandee LaMotte. CNN. Oct. 8, 2019. “Owning a dog tied to lowering your risk of dying early by 24%, says science.” https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/health/dogs-help-us-live-longer-wellness/index.html. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

991719B

Our firm provides links to third-party articles in an effort to assist users in locating information on topics that might be of interest to them. Information presented has not been verified and is not guaranteed, nor can we attest to the accuracy of information provided. Linking to an article or website does not constitute a representation of the services offered by our firm, nor does it constitute an endorsement by our firm of the sponsors of the site or the products presented on the site. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual's situation.