Financial Planning and Advice Blog for Syracuse

Want to keep up with the latest news in the financial sector? HighPoint Advisors in East Syracuse, NY makes sure all our clients have the latest up to date financial information to better plan for their future. Feel free to browse the blog below to learn more about the current financial market.
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How to Retire on a Teacher’s Salary

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By highpointadvisors October 10, 2017

Teaching is considered one of the most important professions in the country, so anyone that devotes their life to educating either children or adults deserves a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, teachers aren't given salaries that match their training, education, and dedication to improving society. Pensions still exist for some educators, but benefits in general seem to be going down, and yearly salaries don't always keep up with inflation. If you're a teacher, creating a future with a comfortable retirement takes a bit of extra planning.

Calculate the True Value of Your Pension

Teacher Retirement PlanIf you're fortunate enough to be in a district that still provides a pension and you know you'll be eligible to take advantage of the benefits, you may not be able to rely completely on this income stream in retirement. A pension very rarely pays 100% of your working salary, so you need to figure out how to match your retirement income with expenses. That may mean downsizing in retirement or increasing your retirement savings while working. Also keep in mind that many teachers who pay into some kind of retirement or pension plan through their state or district are exempt from social security taxes. That means you'll need to make sure any income you need comes from other sources.

Use Tax-Advantaged Retirement Instruments

The IRS has special retirement savings accounts for teachers and other people who work in public or tax-exempt private schools. A normal 403(b) lets you contribute pre tax income into your preferred savings instrument. The contributions grow tax deferred, but you do pay taxes when you decide to withdraw. If you prefer to pay taxes ahead of time, you may be more interested in the Roth 403(b) where contributions grow tax free. You may also want to put your pre tax dollars directly into a 457(b) plan. You're allowed to maximize your contributions to both 403(b) and 457(b) accounts.

Work with a Professional Advisor

As a teacher, you know how important being educated is when it comes to succeeding at any given goal. Retirement is no different. When you work with a professional financial advisor who's dedicated their life to giving individuals and families the tools and information they need to live comfortably, your chances of success can improve. In addition to advisors, there's likely a wealth of information available to you from local teacher's associations, state institutions, or even benefits counselors within your district. Make sure to take advantage of all the resources available to you. While it's best to start saving for retirement as soon as possible as a teacher, it's never too late. Benefit plans seem to be constantly changing, and information for private-sector employees seems much more abundant, but there are people and resources out there who can help you navigate this complicated process. Contact an experienced financial planner from Highpoint Advisors today to get started. The sooner you act, the better. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Investing involves risks, including the loss of principal....

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Global Trends in Millennial Investment

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By highpointadvisors July 31, 2017

Millennials, who are going to be the largest adult segment by the end of the decade, have often been harshly judged. You just need to check a few posts online to know this. They’re thought of as lousy savers compared to their parents, with some financial experts resigned to seeing most people in this age group die poor. While some of this is true; millennials aren’t as investment-oriented as boomers and the older generations, it’s time financial experts took notice and cut this group some slack. Millennials might not be the best investors in the world right now, but they are certainly making the right steps. HighPoint AdvisorsThe following are three trends which prove that millennials, while not perfect, are actually making the right moves investment-wise.

They lead in ETF investment

A January 2017 report by the Market Insider shows that over half of U.S. investors plan to invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and millennials are leading the pack. The report shows that more millennials are invested in ETFs than the Generation X, Boomers, and even Silvers. According to the report, more than 70% of millennials plan to invest in ETFs in the next 12 months compared to 52% of total investors. It was even found that a greater percentage of millennials have taken steps to learn about ETFs compared to all other age groups. Experts believe that this is due to the fact that millennials love to access high end products at reasonable prices – think Uber.*

They are masters of portfolio diversification

Millennials carry with them the mental scars of the 2008 economic recession. Most of them were old enough to see what an economic downturn can do. For this reason, they understand the importance of a diversified portfolio. It's therefore unsurprising that an impressive 82% of millennials meet the Wells Fargo criteria for a diversified portfolio. According to the Wells Fargo, an investment portfolio is said to be diversified if it comprises at least; a fixed income fund, two equity funds, and no more than 20% of assets in employer stock.**

They love Robo advisor platforms

Robo advising which refers to the delivery of financial advice online with minimal human contact has been on the up in recent years. And guess who is leading the pack here – it’s millennials again! According to one of American’s top Robo firms, nearly one fourth of full-service millennials have either tried or are actively using robo-advisory platforms. Additionally, 15% of self-directed millennial investors use Robo-advisory firms. This is far more than any age group. Only 19% of full-service and 14% of self-directed Xennials, for instance, use Robo advisory firms. Among the Generation X, only 6% of full service and 6% of self-directed investors use Robo platforms. Most boomers don’t even know what Robo Advisor platforms are.     The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual *An investment in Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), structured as a mutual fund or unit investment trust, involves the risk of losing money and should be considered as part of an overall program, not a complete investment program. An investment in ETFs involves additional risks such as not diversified, price volatility, competitive industry pressure, international political and economic developments, possible trading halts, and index tracking errors. **There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk....

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