The New DNA Testing Scam

There is a new DNA testing scam targeting retirees. We’ll talk about how they are doing it and what you can do to protect yourself on this episode of What’s Happening Now.

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Consumer Level DNA Testing

Over the past few years, there has been a rise in consumer level DNA testing. It has centered around finding out where in the world your family originated. Companies like Ancestry.com and 23 and Me have made these tests readily available.

Also, 23 and Me has an option where you can find out more about certain genetic health conditions. This can help you determine if you are at risk for certain hereditary diseases.

DNA Testing Scam

The New DNA Testing Scam

We received a notification from the Ohio Department of Insurance about a new DNA Scam. They target retirees and in some cases bribe them to complete DNA tests. And they try to convince their victims Medicare will pay for the tests.

They try to get critical information from you. They ask for your Medicare number and your Social Security number.

Medicare will only pay for the DNA test if they are medically necessary.

Sharing your Medicare or Social Security number can lead to identity theft.

Protect Yourself

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself.

Consult Your Doctor.

Ask your physician if they believe a DNA test would be beneficial. If they believe it will, have them order the test. They will refer you to a reputable lab for the test. They will also be able to submit the request to Medicare.

Use One of the Known Consumer Providers.

We don’t have any experience with 23 and Me. And we cannot attest to their services or the results they provide. But they should be able to provide you some information at a published cost. And they should be able to do it without obtaining your Social Security number.

Do Not Share Your Information

You should not share critical information with people you do not know and trust. When someone has information like your Social Security and Date of Birth, they can do a lot of damage. Guard this information carefully and only share it with trusted sources.

Check With People You Know and Trust.

If you get a call like this, get the name of the company, a phone number, and the name of the person calling. Then do some research. Call your family, call your doctor, call us before you proceed. Let those around you help you do the research before you jeopardize your identity.

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Financial Planning

Neal Watson is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional and a Financial Advisor with Fleming Watson Financial Advisors  He typically works with people who are planning for retirement.  Fleming Watson is a Registered Investment Advisory firm located in Marietta Ohio.  Our firm primarily serves Marietta, Parkersburg, Williamstown, St. Marys, Belpre, Vienna and the surrounding communities in Washington and Noble Counties in Ohio and Wood and Pleasants county in West Virginia.

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Do you have a question about what’s happening in the world of finance or investing?  We’ll create a video or audiocast of the answer and post it here on our website, our facebook page, and our YouTube channel.

Complete the form to the right to submit your question or comments. 

Enter Your Question Here

The Inverted Yield Curve

The yield curve “inverts” when yields on short term debt exceed those for long term debt.  Right now the yield for 3 month notes is higher than 1 year, 3 year, 5 year, and 10 year bonds.

This has happened nine times since the 1960’s.  Seven of those periods came before a recession.

Whether it predicts a recession this time remains to be seen.

Last week we talked about the most recent Social Security Scam.  You can listen to that episode here.

Are You Planning For Retirement?

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Financial Planning

Neal Watson is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional and a Financial Advisor with Fleming Watson Financial Advisors  He typically works with people who are planning for retirement.  Fleming Watson is a Registered Investment Advisory firm located in Marietta Ohio.  Our firm primarily serves Marietta, Parkersburg, Williamstown, St. Marys, Belpre, Vienna and the surrounding communities in Washington and Noble Counties in Ohio and Wood and Pleasants county in West Virginia.

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Plan for A Better Retirement

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Tips to Help Your Savings Last 23 Years

Will Your Savings Last 23 Years

The Primary Reason People Run Out of Money

I’ve been doing this for 23 years, and there is a common theme for those who run out of money. It’s not bear markets or recessions, and we’ve seen two of the worst since the great depression in that span.The one common factor which led to people running out of money was spending too much.

When your withdrawal starts at 5% or more, you increase the risk of running out of money. And the chance of failure increases rapidly as you approach 6 or 7%.

The target number, if you’re wondering is 4%. So when you look at your numbers, focus on that level. In the coming weeks we’ll have a video about how to calculate that.

Will Your Savings last 23 Years

The Primary Obective is Growth of Income

Growth is important. Remember every year everything you buy costs more. Your income will need to increase as you move through the years. By the time you reach the 23rd year of your retirement, you’ll need nearly twice as much income as you do on day 1.

But modest growth is what you need. The big bear markets in the last two decades may not have been the primary reason people ran out of money. But they didn’t help either.

Distributions from your nest egg amplify the impact of any downturn–even the mild ones like last year. And those withdrawals also make it more challenging for your savings to recover.

Also beware of being too conservative. If your retirement savings isn’t growing, you are going to eat into your princpal faster. As you need more income over time…It makes that problem bigger.

Will Your Savings Last 23 Years

Time is Your Biggest Asset

Delaying retirement can help preserve your retirement savings.

For most of us, our retirement income will come from our savings and Social Security. The more you receive from Social Security the less income you’ll need from your savings.

How do you get more income from social security? you delay your retirement. Retiring early, means discounts to your Social Security benefits.

The same thing can happen with state and private pensions. Retiring early often means less income from those fixed sources.

By waiting, those discounts shrink, and your fixed income increases.  And if you delay beyond your normal retirement age, your social security benefits will actually increase. This means your savings won’t have to do as much of the heavy lifting.

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Monday Morning Money Ep. 02

When thinking about how you spend money in retirement, do you consider what you might spend for healthcare?  You probably should.  Fidelity estimates a couple will spend over $280,000 on healthcare in retirement.  It is a staggering number.  We’ll talk about that in today’s video.

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Where the $2800,000 Goes….

healthcare

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Video Transcript

As your thinking about retirement, how do you see yourself spending your money? A few rounds of golf, maybe some other Hobbies? Travel? Spoiling those grandkids?

Those answers are typically what we hear.  Most people look forward to the good things. But there is something else we need to consider.  It will likely be one of your biggest expenses during retirement.

Stick around we’ll talk about that right after this.

Hi I’m Neal Watson, Welcome to Monday Morning Money. Please take a minute to like our facebook page, And subscribe to our YouTube Channel, A link for all of those can be found below.

Planning for retirement should be something we look forward to.  Once we leave the workforce, we’ll have time to do many of the things we’ve wanted to do, but couldn’t seem to fit them into our daily lives.   And people tend to get excited about those new opportunities.

But there are some realities we must face. And one of those are health care costs.  A recent study estimated the average couple will spend over $280,000 on healthcare in retirement.  That’s a pretty staggering number when you think about it.

It’s even more surprising when you consider this figure doesn’t include premiums for medicare supplements, costs for a nursing home or long-term in home care.

It simply includes things like your part B and part D medicare premiums.  Prescriptions, and other common costs like co-payments, and deductibles.

Over a quarter million dollars on health related expenses.  It’s Mind boggling!  But this will easily be one of your biggest expenses in retirement. And one many people aren’t considering

So what are some of the things you can do to help with these costs?  Let’s take a look.

1.  Invest in a Healthier Lifestyle.

By this we don’t mean putting money in an account.  We mean, make the effort to change some of your habits. Lose weight, exercise more, be more active.  Also take time to give your brain a work out.  Making healthier choices can help reduce some of those expenses you’ll face later in life.

2. Delay retirement to age 65 when you are eligible for Medicare.

Many people want to retire as early as possible, but one of the major obstacles to retiring prior to age 65 is the high cost of health insurance. Health insurance premiums for a 62 year old couple could easily exceed $1,500 per month. That’s over $54,000 total to get to Medicare.

3. Consider Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Some of the deductibles and co-pays for medicare can be significant. These supplements are designed to help cover some of those costs. These supplements do come at an expense, so consider that in your decision making process.

4. Do you have a Health Savings Account?

Not everybody participates in a high deductible health plan that offers health savings accounts.  But if you do, consider maximizing your annual contributions.  This money can be used to pay for health related expenses, and the earnings are tax free.

The cost of healthcare in retirement is not something any of us like to think about.  But it could easily be one of your largest expenses.  And something we should consider in our plans.

Monday Morning Money Ep. 01

3 ideas to plan for lower future returns

We face a number of financial risks in retirement.  And, when most people hear the word “risk” they automatically think about a stock market crash.  And while those events are possible, one threat always impacts our nest egg.  Every year, everything you buy costs more.  We’ll talk about that in this week’s episode of Monday Morning Money.

Yes there is a Big Mac Index. It was created by the magazine The Economist

Plan for A Better Retirement

We created Monday Morning Money with one goal in mind.  Give you information to inspire you to plan for a better retirement. 

We publish a new episode each week.  And, we will deliver it right to your inbox.

Don’t miss an episode, subscribe today!

Get Free Weekly Tips!

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Plan for A Better Retirement

We created Monday Morning Money with one goal in mind.  Give you information to inspire you to plan for a better retirement. 

We publish a new episode each week.  And, we will deliver it right to your inbox.

Don’t miss an episode, subscribe today!

Other things we buy also cost more.

Every Year Everything You Buy Costs More: The First Class Stamp

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Every Year Everything You Buy Costs More: The Big Mac

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When I Was A Kid…

What are some of the things you remember buying years ago?  What are some of the stories your parents or grand parents told you about the prices they paid for the things they purchased?

Leave your comments below.

Video Transcript

We face a number of risks in retirement. Most people focus their attention on another stock market crash like we saw in 2008. Rightfully so. That was rough. But there are other threats we need to consider and plan for. One of the most significant ones: Every year everything you buy costs more.

Who hasn’t heard a parent or grandparent tell us “when I was a kid, a loaf of bread was a nickel and a movie was a quarter. And I had to walk up hill both ways to buy both!”

We all know bread hasn’t been a nickel for decades, and when I was a kid, Buck night at the Athena and Varsity in Athens was a treat.  And my parents dropped us off.

Every year, everything you buy costs more.  It is a simple way to explain inflation. Over time, the prices of the things we buy increase.

But we don’t always notice in our day to day lives. It’s not until we look at the cumulative effect over many years, that we see just how much inflation impacts our wallet.

One of the best ways to illustrate this is a first class stamp.

A little more than a month ago, your cost to mail a letter increased to 55 cents. And while this was the largest increase ever announced by the postal service, it probably didn’t seem like a big deal.

But if we go back 30 years, you could buy 4 stamps for a dollar. Over time the cost to mail a letter has increased gradually.  A penny here, two cents there, And now thirty years later, it will cost you more than a dollar to mail two letters.

Stamps aren’t the only thing which has increased in price.

In 1988 a big mac cost two bucks. Now three decades later, this signature sandwich has more than doubled in price. There is actually something called the Big Mac Index.

The same can be said for

Bacon,
Movie tickets,
gasoline,
bread,
Ice cream
and electricity.

All of these items cost more.

Prices go up, And this impacts how we need to plan for retirement. When thinking about what you’ll spend in retirement, most people look at how they spend their money right now. And that’s a good starting point. But it won’t remain constant over time.

If something costs a dollar today, you should expect to pay more in the future.

If inflation averages 3%,

That same item will cost $1.16 in five years.

It jumps to $1.34 in 10 years.

In fifteen years, you can expect to spend over 50 percent more.

After two decades, that one dollar item jumps to a dollar eighty,

And after 25 years, the price will more than double.

For years, we were able to depend on Social Security to help us with these rising costs.  But in more recent years the cost of living adjustments have been much smaller.  And on top of that, Medicare premiums have been eating up much of those annual increases.

This means we must rely on our savings to provide the raises we will need in retirement. Without a good plan, Inflation could be as much of a threat to your nest egg as a major stock market crash.

So, what’s your plan to deal with this threat?

Leave your thoughts or questions in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.

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