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Investment Insights

The Rising Cost of Long-Term Care

National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care information, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011 The average national cost of a one-year nursing home stay is $80,000 and, in many states, the cost is much higher. In the future, long-term care is likely to be even more expensive.

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old; you grow old when you stop laughing.”    – George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950   Question: What is the difference between Medicare and Long Term Care (LTC) Coverage? Answer: Mistakenly, many people believe that Medicare, the federal health insurance program for older Americans, will pay for all LTC needs. The truth is that Medicare does not cover custodial care, which is usually the kind of care older Americans need. Medicare only provides limited coverage for skilled nursing care or physical therapy. The most common and preferred type of LTC is provided in the home ... Read More »

Mutual Funds Explained

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INVESTMENT INSIGHTS Darcie Guerin, CFP® “Muddy waters make for good fishing.” Daniel Drew, American financier, 1797-1879.  Question: Please explain what mutual funds are. I’m uncomfortable asking anyone because I feel like I should know this. – Gretchen S., Naples.   Answer: First, I’ll give you the same advice I give our grandkids and that is to take the word “should” right out of your vocabulary! Until a concept is explained to you in the way you can grasp it, there’s no reason you’d master terminology not used in your day-to-day life. As my husband often reminds me, financial professionals are ... Read More »

Ask the CFP®

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INVESTMENT INSIGHTS Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com “There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness.”  - Franz Kafka, German existentialist author, 1883-1924. Question: How frequently should I monitor my portfolio? - David S., Marco Island Answer: Monthly portfolio reviews are a good place to start. Even if you have chosen an appropriate asset allocation, market forces may quickly alter your allotments and require attention. If stock prices go up, you may eventually find yourself with a greater percentage of stocks in your portfolio than you intended. If stock prices go down, you may be concerned about reaching ... Read More »

Ask the CFP®

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INVESTMENT INSIGHTS Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com   “Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.” Edward Everett, American politician (1794-1865)   Question: My advisor said my annuity matured. Please explain annuities and how will I know when mine matures? Answer: Some advisors and investors have the misconception that annuities mature. Unlike a bond or certificate of deposit, an annuity contract does not mature. In its simplest form, an annuity is a contract between you (the purchaser or owner) and an insurance company. You pay money to an annuity issuer, and the issuer then pays an income stream back ... Read More »

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“I’m not confused, I’m just well mixed.” Robert Frost Question: With current market activity, should I review my portfolio? Answer: Yes, let me use an example to illustrate why periodic monitoring is important. Until recently, our home decor was a mix of “contemporary cocker spaniels” and “early grandkids.” The kids are no longer toddlers and the dogs are well past puppy stage. External circumstances changed and it was time to respond. We enlisted the help of a professional, choosing to work with a woman who understands our lifestyle and priorities. Establishing this sort of relationship was a little scary and ... Read More »

Ask the CFP

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INVESTMENT INSIGHTS Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com “Chance favors the informed mind.”                                       -Winston Churchill   uestion: Will I outlive my money? Answer: This is a common concern of retirees and for those who are preparing for retirement. At the risk of sounding like a wise guy, the answer is “it depends” — on a number of things. Here’s an example of what I mean; a client with a great sense of humor scheduled his annual physical right before a portfolio review meeting. He told his doctor that he was seeing me later that day and said he needed to ... Read More »

Advance thinking and planning

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“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” - Winston Churchill By Darcie Guerin - darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com The coffee maker didn’t work, that’s why your coffee isn’t ready.” I had to laugh as I heard those words fall out of my mouth one morning when Pete returned from walking the dogs. The truth was that I had been watching “Downtown Abbey” on Netflix the night before and had forgotten to set the timer on the coffee maker. For better or for worse, I took responsibility for my actions– regardless of external circumstances–and prepared his coffee, no excuses. This same premise applies to financial ... Read More »

Ask the CFP®

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“Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it you’ve got to start young.” Fred Astaire By Darcie Guerin – darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com Question: What financial planning and career advice would you give our “twenty-something” year-old children? Answer: Parents’ attitudes and behaviors influence children enormously. First, strive to be a powerful and positive example when it comes to your financial life. For many of us, childhood memories set the tone for our fiscal futures. Here are a few of the important concepts passed along by my parents and several things we encourage in our family. Most of these will ... Read More »

Investment Insights

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by Darcie Guerin “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it you’ve got to start young.”     Fred Astaire. Ask the CFP® Question: What financial planning and career advice would you give our “twenty-something” year-old children? Answer: Parents’ attitudes and behaviors influence children enormously. First, strive to be a powerful and positive example when it comes to your financial life. For many of us, childhood memories set the tone for our fiscal futures. Here are a few of the important concepts passed along by my parents and several things we encourage in our family. Most of ... Read More »

Behavioral Finance

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“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.” George Bernard Shaw Emotions can overrule intellect and may interfere with sound thinking. For instance, after watching a particularly gruesome crime show on television, I took our dogs out for their nightly walk. Because of the TV show, illogical fears popped into my head warning me of unfounded danger behind every palm tree. It is a scientific fact that we respond strongly to recent information. Suppose you’ve just watched “Shark Week” on The Discovery Channel. You may avoid swimming in the ocean ... Read More »

Discerning Wants vs Needs

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By Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com “I’m not concerned about a return on my money; I’m concerned about a return of my money.” ~Mark Twain comment made famous by Will Rogers. During our lives, the difference between “wants” and “needs” evolves. Those of us born between 1946 and 1964, often referred to as Baby Boomers, have seen priorities shift in response to our own aging process and technological advancements. Many things that used to be “wants” are now “needs.” Economic output and personal cash flow management vary in response to these transitions. While at a conference on investment trends, examples of these ... Read More »

Just Follow the Recipe: Part II

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INVESTMENT INSIGHTS Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com In the last column, we outlined the first six of twelve suggested financial resolutions; today we’ll address the remaining six. Committing to fearlessly evaluate and potentially change one’s behavior can be a bit intimidating. I’ve never felt that it was fair to ask others to do anything that I’m not willing to do, and because my financial life is already in good shape (it had better be!), the area I’ve chosen to focus on are organizational skills and I’ll be working with an efficiency coach this year. The idea of being accountable to another person concerning ... Read More »

Just Follow the Recipe

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INVESTMENT INSIGHTS Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com Welcome to “Investment Insights,” a new column designed to coordinate the pieces of your financial life and provide observations about financial markets. I hope that you will pick up a few actionable ideas intended to increase your financial well-being and provide peace of mind. As I entered college in 1978, my grandmother was certain that majoring in my chosen field of economics, rather than home economics, was a huge mistake for a woman. Nothing against Grandma, it’s just that she was from a different generation. She had never drove a car or written a check let ... Read More »