It’s national save for retirement week – so take action

Congress has dedicated the third week of October as National Save for Retirement Week. Clearly, the government feels the need to urge people to do a better job of preparing for retirement. Are you doing all you can?
Many of your peers aren’t – or at least they think they aren’t. In a recent survey conducted by, respondents reported that “not saving for retirement early enough” was their biggest financial regret. Other evidence seems to show they have good cause for remorse: 52% of households 55 and older haven’t saved anything for retirement, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, although half of this group reported having a pension.
Obviously, you’ll want to avoid having either financial regrets or major shortfalls in your retirement savings. And that means you may need to consider making moves such as these:

Guard against identity theft – and protect your finances

In 2015 alone, more than 13 million Americans were victimized by identity theft, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. What can you do to guard your identity and protect yourself from potential financial losses?
Here are some ideas to consider:

Fisheries debate draws full slate of candidates

Fish on! The lure of reaching a statewide radio audience has once again attracted a full slate of political hopefuls to Kodiak for its popular fisheries debate.
On Wednesday, five candidates for U.S. Senate traveled to the nation’s No. 2 fishing port to share their knowledge and ideas on a single topic: Alaska’s seafood industry.
“It’s a great service to Kodiak, to our fishing communities and to Alaska in general,” said Trevor Brown, director of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, host of the event. “Fishing is the state’s largest private sector employer. I think the candidates realize the importance of the fishing industry and that its viability is very important to Alaska.”

Are you on track to meet your financial goals?

October is Financial Planning Month. And now that you know it’s Financial Planning Month (just in case you didn’t know before), why not take the opportunity to determine if you’re on the right path toward meeting your financial goals?
Consider taking these steps:

Vote for smart investment moves

The presidential election is little more than a month away. Like all elections, this one has generated considerable interest, and, as a citizen, you may well be following it closely. But as an investor, how much should you be concerned about the outcome?
Probably not as much as you might think. Historically, the financial markets have done well – and done poorly – under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Also, many factors affecting investment performance have little or nothing to do with the occupant of the White House. Consequently, no one can claim, with any certainty, that one candidate is going to be “better for the markets” than another one.

Want to retire early? Start planning now.

The average American retires at about age 63, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. If you enjoy your work, of course, you may want to go well beyond that age. But what if you don’t want to wait until 63 or so? Can you afford to retire early?
Possibly – if you follow these suggestions:

Use “open enrollment” to help improve your financial outlook

It’s Open Enrollment Season, so if you work for a medium- or large-sized company, you will need to make some choices regarding your employee benefits — and these choices can have a big impact on your financial situation.
Depending on your employer, your benefits package may include various types of insurance, plus access to a 401(k) or similar retirement plan. Here are some suggestions for getting the most out of these benefits:

Make the most of gifts to grandchildren

Did you know that National Grandparents Day is less than a week away? While this “Day” is not as widely known as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, it is nonetheless important, as it recognizes the key role that grandparents play. If you are a grandparent yourself, you might expect some cards or phone calls or emails from your own grandchildren – but you will probably experience even greater enjoyment in the gifts you can give them. If you’re thinking of making a financial gift, consider your options carefully.

Investors can learn much from workers

Next week, we observe Labor Day, a celebration of the American worker. And there’s a lot to celebrate, because our workers have accomplished great things and, in the process, demonstrated a variety of impressive character traits – many of which also can be useful to investors.
For example:

Consider All Aspects of College Savings Options

It’s almost back-to-school time. If you have young children going to public schools, your biggest expenditures may be on pens, pencils and notebooks. But if you want those same kids to go to college someday, you’ll eventually face considerably larger costs – so you may want to start preparing soon.
College is costly. For the 2015-16 school year, the average expense (including tuition, fees room and board) was nearly $20,000 at a public, four-year school, and more than twice that amount at a four-year private school, according to the College Board. Of course, cheaper alternatives are available – your children could go to a local community college for two years at a very reasonable cost, and then transfer to a four-year school.

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