Financial Planning “The big difference between retirement planning and financial planning” When we tell our clients we do both retirement planning and financial planning, most think we are talking about the same thing. These are actually two separate services we provide for clients—financial planning comes first and retirement planning comes later. A financial plan is designed to focus on the accumulation phase of the work-life cycle, to make sure you have a general, but realistic, target of how much you’ll need after work stops. It also helps ensure that you’re saving and investing enough to hit that target when you do retire. By comparison, a retirement financial plan is designed to focus in detail on expenses after the paycheck stops and how your various assets can generate an income stream that will cover those costs for the rest of your life. Retirement planning is a more detailed and complex experience. The first few years right after you retire are usually the most important in terms of spending, income and returns. The below article highlights the main differences between retirement planning and financial planning. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-big-difference-between-retirement-planning-and-financial-planning-2019-02-14?mod=retirement ~Katharyn S. Woods, CFP®, Investment Portfolio Associate Estate Planning “5 Estate Planning Strategies for Singles” One of the biggest financial missteps we see is not getting the correct estate planning documents in place before they are needed. We have seen too many times where a simple document like a will or power of attorney would have saved a loved one countless days and compounded stress. There are a handful of advanced directives that are “must-haves” when it comes to the complex world of estate planning. However, there is one segment of individuals where we see this the most frequent. This segment is aging singles where there may or may not be children and if there is they are not local. I came across a nice article that outlines some of these strategies that are helpful for aging singles. https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinefletcher/2019/03/15/5-estate-planning-strategies-for-singles/amp/ ~Casey Bulgin, CFP®, Vice President- Investments Human Interest—Follow Up “Long Lost Twins Reunite After Watching ‘Three Identical Strangers’ Documentary” Back in October of 2018, Katharyn posted a link to the trailer of the documentary “Three Identical Strangers”. We knew at the time that the story seemed compelling, with a dark undertone. Well, I finally got around to watching it (I streamed it on Hulu, but there are many different options) and it certainly made an impact and stuck with me. Without saying too much and risking ruining it for others, I will simply say that it was definitely worth watching. It is a story that needs to be told and it is a movie that needs to be seen. That said, the following link is a follow-up to this movie. Again, without saying too much, it is about two identical sisters who found each other more than 50 years later due to watching this film. If you have seen Three Identical Strangers, take a look at the following link; it’s just one more surreal story originating from the same “circumstance” that brought us the Three Identical Strangers story. If you haven’t seen that movie yet, watch it and then come back to this link. https://www.newsweek.com/long-lost-twins-reunite-after-watching-three-identical-strangers-documentary-1153322 ~Jesse A. Peck, JD, WMS, Vice President- Investments Budgeting “Patriots player Rob Gronkowski is retiring from the NFL with $54 million of his career earnings. Here are 5 money-saving tips you can learn from him.” We could all learn a thing or two from Rob Gronkowski—the New England Patriots tight end who earned a reported 8 million base salary in 2018. "To this day, I still haven't touched one dime of my signing bonus or NFL contract money," he wrote. "I live off my marketing money and haven't blown it on any big-money expensive cars, expensive jewelry or tattoos and still wear my favorite pair of jeans from high school." These are 5 tips from Gronkowski we could all utilize: Don't spend your earnings or bonuses all at once Make the most of what you have before buying something new Buy a car instead of leasing it Save for your future Diversify your income sources by trying a side hustle https://www.businessinsider.com/nfl-patriots-money-saving-tips-rob-gronkowski-2019-2 ~Katharyn S. Woods, CFP®, Investment Portfolio Associate Student Loans & Higher Education “College Grads Sell Stakes in Themselves to Wall Street” US borrowers now owe more than $1.5 Trillion in unsecured student loan debt. I remember only a few years back when the amount owed crossed the $1.0 Trillion figure. We were absolutely blown away at that figure. The talking heads on television proclaimed that something must be done immediately. In the few short years since that time, college educations are more expensive than ever and student loan debt levels have risen by more than 50%. Little has been done to slow down the rate of borrowing, let alone chip away at the enormous figure of outstanding debt. Enter the concept of selling one’s future to pay for one’s schooling. Though the idea is off putting at first and though it sounds like modern day indentured servitude, the idea has merit. If you can, try to shake off the sounds of Tennessee Ernie Ford singing “I owe my Soul to the Company Store” and keep an open mind for just a bit. The idea behind this plan is to eliminate the “debt only” side of college. Rather than making students take out a mountain of debt, make them and their future actual investments for others willing to pay for their education. The students get the money they need for college and the investors get a certain percentage of the student’s earnings when those earnings occur. If the student earns more than expected, the investors make more money, if the student earns less, the investors make less. If the student is unemployed, the investors do not get paid. Is this a perfect solution? No, but a problem this big requires creative thinking and at least this is a plan other than the broken status quo. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-09/college-grads-sell-stakes-in-themselves-to-wall-street ~Jesse A. Peck, JD, WMS, Vice President- Investments Any opinions are those of Casey Bulgin, Jesse Peck, Katharyn Woods and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecasts will occur. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.