Perspectives on Life

Planning Strategies

Discover financial planning strategies that will guide you through all stages of your life – from starting out, to building a family, to retirement.

Latest Stories

The Most Common Mistakes People Make in Saving for Retirement

By Penn Mutual | November 6, 2018

In my experience, when people say they’re planning for retirement, that simply means they’ve been putting money away every year. Don’t get me wrong – that’s an important first step – but simply saving for retirement may not count as planning for retirement.

Don’t Let These Planning Mistakes Haunt You

By Dewane Lewis, Jr. | October 31, 2018

Financial planning must be scary, given the amount of people who avoid it or try to do it on their own, unassisted. While having a 401(k) or Roth IRA, or perhaps having a 529 savings plan for college are critical components of a sound financial plan, this is only focusing on particular needs without looking at the bigger picture.

Smart Tax Planning for the Soon-to-Be Retired

By Jason Wein | October 23, 2018

There’s such an emphasis on saving for retirement, yet no one puts much thought into the tax consequences. Without smart tax planning, taxes can be a major source of erosion on retirement income. Most of us would be thrilled to get a 6 to 8 percent return long-term on our retirement portfolios, yet the current minimum income tax rate is 10 percent, the maximum is 37 percent. Being smart about taxes can make your money go much farther in retirement.

Common Estate Planning Myths

By Margaret Muldoon | October 16, 2018

Many people have the wrong ideas about wills, trusts, and estate plans. After all, estate planning isn’t something most people think about every day and something they may try to avoid. These misconceptions often prevent people from taking action that will save their loved ones countless headaches and difficulties.

Why Healthcare Costs Must Be Part of Your Retirement Planning

By Kevin Gianfortune | October 2, 2018

Illness is one of those great unknowns of life, and healthcare and long-term nursing care are expensive, getting more so every year. Healthcare costs must be an integral part of our retirement planning. Otherwise, we’re putting all our retirement plans at risk. There are four long-term issues working against us.

Four Big Mistakes Newlyweds Make with Their Finances

By John Caserta | August 28, 2018

One big source of stress for many newlyweds is the household finances. After years of being single, getting married can make money matters suddenly seem more complicated. Here are four of the big financial issues that can pop up.

Personal Finance When You’re About to Retire

By Michele Burkholder | August 21, 2018

Those last few years, months, and weeks before retirement can be both exciting and terrifying. We call it “go time” when talking with our clients. Among other things, it’s time to make sure you have everything in place. Here are five steps you need to take before you retire.

Why You Should Run Your Household Like a Business

By Walter Young | July 31, 2018

If your household was a business, one sold on the stock exchange, would you invest in it? For most of us, the answer is probably no. We maybe spend every dollar we get — perhaps even a little bit more — so we’re not “profitable.” We’d be embarrassed to show people our balance sheets, cash flow, or profitability statements. We need to start running our household finances as if it were a business.

Making Cents of Having Children

By Justin Cowell | July 24, 2018

Having a child brings huge financial changes to your life. It’s not just suddenly spending a lot more disposable income on things like diapers, clothes, and baby monitors, but you may also find a change in perspective. It’s important to get your financial house in order to protect your growing family.

Personal Finance in Your Middle Years

By Kevin Gianfortune | July 3, 2018

For those of us in our “middle years,” this is an important time in our lives. We are hitting our stride in our careers, we’ve settled down with a spouse and a house, and maybe started a family. Things that were once remote possibilities are starting to take a more concrete form. With this in mind, we need to start thinking differently about our financial lives.