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Retirement Certainty Scorecard™

 
  DISAGREE AGREE
Indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the statements below.
1

I have a clear, written and actionable retirement plan that shows my current financial position (Point A) and my ultimate future (Point B) and sets a path to get from A to B.

2

I review my written retirement plan each and every year and adjust it for changes in my life. I stress test my plan's viability by changing variables for the worst case scenario.

3

I know exactly what my personal required rate of return (PRROR) is that will allow me to achieve all of my retirement goals. I plan my investment strategy around and work toward that PRROR.

4

I have an investment plan which focuses an equal amount of time on making money as it does on not losing it, simultaneously advancing and protecting my assets.

5

I know that I am utilizing independent advice and strategies which specifically fit my individual situation.

6

I review all of my investments each and every year based on how the market and economy are responding and make adjustments and/or rebalances at least annually or as needed.

7

I am confident with all of my insurances knowing that the way they are positioned and funded will protect me and my family for any unforeseen negative events.

8

I am confident that my estate planning documents and beneficiary designations are all set up to maximize the benefits that my family receives.

9

I am well qualified or utilizing professionals that are well qualified to give the best possible advice for my retirement, investment, estate and tax planning.

10

My retirement planning is set up (by me or my advisor) in a way that requires little daily, weekly or monthly attention so that I can enjoy life to its fullest.

As I consider everything that will allow me to live most comfortably during my retirement, the thing that keeps me up at night is:

Thank you for completing the Retirement Certainty Scorecard™.

Please click "Submit & Print Form" to send a copy of this form to Campbell Wealth. After completing Steps 2 and 3, a Campbell Wealth associate will review the results of your Scorecard with you.

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2015 New Year’s Resolutions: Are We Better Off Than 100 Years Ago?

Every year we are faced with New Year’s resolutions, whether from the ones we were supposed to achieve last year or those we will commit to do for the New Year. This year, however, I wanted to take a different look at things. I want to take a few minutes to be thankful for how far we have come over the last 100 years. And once you read over this, I think you will have a lot to be thankful for as well.

Let’s start with average life expectancy. Males lived to age 47. That would eliminate many of us. Interestingly, the leading edge of the baby boomer population is about 68 years old. That’s progress.

Of course this next fact may be the reason they lived such short lives. Only 14% of homes in the US had a bathtub. I am not sure how to take this. Did people go to borrow their neighbor’s bathtub like they would a cup of flour? Or worse, did they simply put on a little extra cologne?

And for you women that remember the old hair shampoo ad: ‘I just washed my hair and I can’t do a thing with it,’ forget about it because the average female only washed her hair once a month. And she used borax or eggs yolks for shampoo. Forget about conditioner.

Transportation was also an issue. There were only about eight thousand cars, but worse only about 144 miles of paved roads.  And the maximum speed limit is most cities was only ten miles per hour. That was a great way to get nowhere quick.

Remember also, the airline industry was just starting to offer the first commercial flights in 1914 but they were both expensive and dangerous. It was kind of like riding a roller coaster but you really could die.

Investing was very different back then. The only real things you could invest in were individual stocks. The first mutual fund did not start trading until 1975. Employees could not invest in a 401(K) until the early 1980s. The first Exchange Traded Fund (ETFs) did not hit the market until 1993. And online trading? Remember, the internet did not exist until the late 1980s. And the first online trading accounts did not come about until the mid-1990s. While it has become so much more complicated to invest, we are so much better off than before because now, we have choices to make. And we have so many ways to invest with IRAs, ROTH IRAs, 401(K)s, Solo (K), ROTH 401(K)s, brokerage accounts, options accounts and even commodities accounts. The list goes on and on.

Let’s talk about salaries. The average wage in 1910 was a measly twenty two cents per hour giving the average worker $300 to $500 per year income. You’re not buying a new flat screen with that kind of money. Of course you would have to wait another sixty five years for a flat screen to even be invented.

A good accountant could earn $2,000 per year, a dentist, $2500, a vet about $3,000 and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 a year. Not per month, that is per year.

Think about what it cost for a new car today compared to those salaries. Better yet, many people today pay more per month for their house payment than a dentist made in a year back then.

Health care? Surprisingly, most doctors did not even have a college education. Many attended so called ‘medical schools’ which were condemned in the press. Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter and back then, pharmacists said that  heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to  the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels and is the perfect guardian of health….Seriously?!?!?

The five leading causes of death were:  1. Pneumonia and influenza, 2. Tuberculosis, 3. Diarrhea, 4. Heart Disease and 5. Stroke. Wow, you could die from diarrhea? I guess Kaopectate wasn’t invented yet.

It seems clear that health care has been, is and likely always will be an issue in the US. We should all be happy today we have so many options to choose from.

Finally, let’s go to everyday life in America. The United States were still developing as there were only 45 stars on our flag. There was no Mother’s day or Father’s day. And only two out of every ten adults could read or write. Worse, only six percent of all Americans had a high school education.

So as I write this blog on my Dell computer that can likely store more knowledge on its hard drive than even existed 100 years ago. And as I hit the send button knowing that this will be delivered to literally thousands of people within a fraction of a second and that those people can pass it on to thousands more, I realize that while this country has issues and things may not always be the way I want them to be, I am so very thankful for everything I DO have.

I am happy I have a healthy family due to the modern medicines and health care. I am happy I have a job that can support my family and one that allows me to enjoy life with literally unlimited opportunities. I am thankful that I can choose from many types of investments and may different investment platforms. I am so thankful that my kids have such a great education system where they can learn to do anything they want to do. And yes, even though I feel that we Americans are too connected with our technology (phones, tablets, internet, texting, surfing, online trading, access to any market in the world, email and everything else that distracts us 24/7) I am happy I have that ability and opportunity.

God Bless American and have a Great 2015.

 

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