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Up-To-Date Market Week

Oct 18, 2021 3:37:32 PM
written by The Retirement Group

The Markets (as of market close October 15, 2021)

Despite a shaky start, Wall Street enjoyed a strong week of gains. A favorable start to corporate earnings season helped lift equities higher. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid weekly gains, led by the Nasdaq and the S&P 500. The dollar and Treasury yields slipped, while crude oil prices rose 3.5% to $82.25 per barrel. Despite the generally positive week, investors will continue to keep an eye on economic data and rising prices. Higher oil, gas, and other commodity prices could raise concerns about inflationary pressures and how they could drag down corporate profit margins. Materials shortages, rising wages, and shipping bottlenecks have driven up costs for producers. Many have passed these costs on to consumers, leading to more persistent inflation. Initial earnings data comes from banks and financial institutions. The next few weeks will see earnings reports from the bulk of companies in most sectors and may reveal the impact that inflation and supply demands has had on earnings margins so far in the third quarter.

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posted in Financial Planning, Lump Sum, Pension

Social Security's Uncertain Future: What You Should Know

Oct 18, 2021 2:44:00 PM
written by The Retirement Group

Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, which means today's workers are paying taxes for the benefits received by today's retirees. However, demographic trends in your area such as lower birth rates, higher retirement rates, and longer life spans are causing long-run fiscal challenges. There are simply not enough U.S. workers to support the growing number of beneficiaries. Social Security is not in danger of collapsing, but the clock is ticking on the program's ability to pay full benefits.

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posted in Social Security

Redefining a Safe Withdrawal Rate in Retirement

Oct 15, 2021 9:15:00 AM
written by The Retirement Group

Many factors could have a significant influence on your retirement, from unforeseen expenses, such as high costs of caregiving or medical in your area, to drastic declines in the stock market. If you don’t use your retirement savings and investments, you are certainly guaranteed a lower lifestyle standard, than what you could achieve otherwise. Not spending, or spending too little, aren’t traits of safe withdrawals.

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posted in Retirement, Withdrawal

8 Ways to Miss your Ideal Retirement

Oct 14, 2021 1:59:16 PM
written by The Retirement Group

Everyone wants to achieve a comfortable retirement to gain full control of our time, and do whatever we want for however long we want. Do you?


Maybe you love the 9-5 grind at Corporate Employee. Or maybe you’re fond of the uncertainty of not knowing if you are able to pay for medical care, should you ever come to need it. Perhaps you enjoy the sleepless nights caused by worrying over bills.

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Medicare Open Enrollment for 2022 Begins October 15

Oct 13, 2021 1:17:00 PM
written by The Retirement Group

Medicare beneficiaries can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Each year, Medicare plan costs and coverage typically change in your area. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The Open Enrollment Period — which begins on October 15 and runs through December 7 — is your opportunity to switch your current Medicare health and prescription drug plans to ones that better suit your needs.

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posted in Medicare

The Budget and the Debt Ceiling: Federal Spending in the Crosshairs

Oct 4, 2021 11:17:25 AM
written by The Retirement Group

On September 30, 2021, Congress averted a potential federal government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution to provide funding for government operations through December 3, 2021.[1] This was only a temporary measure, and lawmakers will continue to wrestle with the budget for fiscal year 2022, as well as the debt ceiling, which requires action by mid-October.

Both of these issues have become increasingly contentious over the past decade, and they are made especially difficult this year due to simultaneous negotiations on two large spending initiatives, the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which has bipartisan support, and the $3.5 trillion budget package funding education, climate initiatives, and health care, which is split along party lines.

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posted in shutdown, budget

Is Home Title Theft Insurance Real or is it just Hype?

Oct 4, 2021 10:41:20 AM
written by The Retirement Group

Has my house been stolen? Could I be evicted? Is all my equity taken?

Sounds like you’ve just heard one of the many TV and radio ads about home title theft.

Yes! They’re everywhere. It must be a major problem.

Hold on just a second. You can’t believe everything in an ad, especially when it uses fear to promote a product.

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posted in Insurance, Theft, Home

Advancing Tax Proposals Put Corporations and High-Income Individuals in Spotlight

Sep 30, 2021 3:04:40 PM
written by The Retirement Group

On Saturday, September 25, 2021, the House Budget Committee voted to advance a $3.5 trillion spending package to the House floor for debate. The House Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation had previously released summaries of proposed tax changes intended to help fund the spending package. Many of these provisions focus specifically on businesses and high-income households.

Expect these proposals to be modified; some will likely be removed and others added as the legislative process continues. As we monitor progression through the legislative process, though, here are some highlights from the previously released proposed provisions worth noting.

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posted in Tax, Corporate, Proposal

Infrastructure Legislation Advances

Sep 29, 2021 10:04:00 AM
written by The Retirement Group

Two large infrastructure bills have taken important steps to advance in Congress. Here's where they stand:

1. On August 10, 2021, the Senate passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, to be named the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act when enacted. A vote on this bill is expected in the House no later than September 27.

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ExxonMobil Lump Sums Fall, as Rates are on the Rise

Sep 29, 2021 12:00:00 AM
written by The Retirement Group

Interest rates are tending upward, if this trend continues it will decrease the value of ExxonMobil employees' pension lump-sums. The IRS has recently released the Segment rates for the month of August, recorded at: 0.66% / 2.50% / 3.12%. Over the course of 2021, interest rates at ExxonMobil increased significantly, which greatly reduced many lump sum payments. With record low rates culminating in the first quarter of 2021, ExxonMobil employees have since seen a significant increase in interest rates. We saw an increase in rates for the second & third quarters of 2021 in the second segment, and now fourth quarter rates have risen slightly higher. Rates rose roughly 0.04% in the second segment, in the last quarter. The short term rates have experienced a slight increase, while the long term rates saw a slight decrease. Even though blended rates for the first quarter of 2022 will not be known until the end of September, this recent trend upward might be an early indicator of bad news for ExxonMobil employees opting for a lump-sum.

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posted in Financial Planning, Lump Sum, Pension, Retirement Planning