Manage Risk

News reports notwithstanding, people are living longer than ever before. That means many more years of enjoying a well-earned retirement. However, longer lifespans make it critical to carefully manage risk – even after retirement – to ensure that you have the funds you need to maintain your lifestyle. These are seven ways you can protect your retirement income from perils like inflation, market volatility and outliving your savings.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Every dollar you have put away for your retirement years represents hard work. Because of this, many people have strong emotional reactions to dips in the market. They are tempted to protect their funds by reacting to short-term trends instead of sticking to a long-term investment strategy. The best thing you can do to manage this risk is to keep an eye on your goals and ignore the daily ups and downs.

Beware of Overspending

There are a lot of factors that go into calculating how long your money will last, including your age, your life expectancy, current rates of return and the amount you have saved. We can help by giving you an approximate figure that you can safely withdraw each year without putting yourself at risk of running out of money.

Design Your Portfolio With Inflation in Mind

One of the most frustrating things about setting money aside is that over time, buying power is eroded by inflation. When it comes to your retirement, this issue goes from discouraging to dangerous, as inflation can dramatically decrease the value of your portfolio. Use tried-and-true inflation-proof portfolio management techniques to ensure that your rate of return will – at a minimum – keep up with the cost of maintaining your lifestyle.

Focus on Interest Rates

At one time, interest rates of 5 percent or more were standard. That made it simple to accumulate solid earnings, and interest income could be relied upon for living expenses after retirement. However, those high rates have been gone for a long time now, and who knows when they will reach that level in the future. In the interim, it is important to adjust your portfolio to account for low interest rates, and ensure you have enough invested in holdings that will generate a better return.

Plan for Longevity

Most people assume their lifespans will be far shorter than statistics indicate, and they plan for their retirement accordingly. Unfortunately, the result of this trend is that many retirees outlive their savings. The best way to mitigate this risk is to assume a best-case scenario when planning for retirement. Save, invest and spend as if you will live to be 100 years old.

Prepare for Market Changes

The economy goes through regular cycles, and no matter how carefully you invest, you are sure to be faced with a market downturn at some point during your retirement. While this isn’t an issue while you are still making contributions to your retirement accounts, it can add complexity during the distribution phase. Over time, with no withdrawals, your investments may eventually recover. However, this can take years. Practically, you cannot avoid all withdrawals during this period, so your overall income strategy must take this downturn into consideration when calculating your annual distribution targets.

Focus on Sequence of Returns

Market changes mean that you will probably have to make withdrawals during a market downturn, which goes against the standard “buy low, sell high” investment wisdom. If this happens early in your retirement, it is likely that you will deplete your savings more quickly than if it happens later. As you make decisions on when to retire, how much to withdraw and when to begin distributions, keep in mind that taking money out of your investment accounts when the value of your portfolio is down could put you at risk in later years.


Fear of Investing

Among the many different emotions human beings experience throughout our lives, fear just might be the most unique and intriguing. In our hunter and gatherer days, a healthy sense of fear was likely extremely beneficial in keeping us out of harm’s way. However, although we now rely on supermarkets rather than woolly mammoths for our sustenance, that sense of fear can still dominate our lives.

A place this notion is exemplified is in investing. The markets don’t naturally lend themselves to the squeamish and faint of heart, displaying stretches of volatility that can make even the most well-seasoned investors want to grab a parachute and jump out of the metaphorical plane.

To the average investor, one that might lack the thorough perspective and financial history of that well-seasoned investor, abiding by the buy-and-hold strategy that is preached from many a mountaintop – particularly in the face of choppy financial seas – can feel like an overwhelming endeavor.

However, as queasy and anxiety ridden as the markets can sometimes make you feel, maintaining an appropriate psychological and emotional approach will always be to your benefit, especially in the face of overwhelming fear.

Keep an Open Mind

In this dynamic and demanding world, society can feel like it’s capable of stepping over a cliff at any given moment. Although we certainly live in trying times, life has always been challenging, no matter the time or place. In the modern era, the specific brand of fear created by the investment markets is, to a large extent, created by a lack of control and an unknown future.

The great unknown has always been a constant, however, including in even darker hours over the past century, so remembering that both societies and financial markets have been able to withstand many catastrophes in the past to only rebound should help put your investing fears in a proper perspective.

Dampen Your Fears With a Group Think Approach

In any regard, including investing, fear can be blinding and prevent you from making sound decisions. That notion is precisely why emotions can still dominate the markets, even with our sophisticated analytical and technological advancements in investing.

For that reason, when fear rears its ugly head and just the thought of your investments triggers insomnia, it might be best to help reduce the risk from making rash decisions by seeking the counsel of people you trust – including your spouse, or others that might have a different perspective on current market trends. Such guidance might include strategic solutions to your fear like better diversifying your assets, revisiting your allocation, or dollar cost averaging into the market rather than diving in head first.

Ultimately, if after seeking the guidance of those trusted individuals, selling some shares and heading for the hills still seems like a wise decision, then so be it. However, relying on others to see through the blinders placed by fear can help navigate you through even the most volatile of waters reducing the impact of your financial well-being.


Social security quiz

With millions of Americans nearing retirement each year, many may be at risk of under utilizing a critical component of their retirement income stream. Just 8 percent of those surveyed considered themselves to be very knowledgeable on the subject of Social Security.

Take the QUIZ


Identity Theft and Retirement: How to Protect Yourself

Identity theft is a problem that impacts millions of people annually and retirees and older Americans have recently been targeted at higher rates than other segments of the population.

Individuals over the age of 65 years lose an estimated $36.5 billion dollars annually and about $3 billion of those dollars were taken via identity theft. Of those who have lost money due to identity theft, the average losses over the course of five years averaged $7,633. 1

How to Protect Yourself

If you’re a retiree or you’re approaching retirement age, it’s important to fully understand how to protect yourself from identity theft. Below are some important behaviors that can help save you countless hours of headaches and many thousands of dollars due to identity theft during your golden years:
• Regularly monitor your checking and savings accounts as well as your investment and retirement accounts. Many older Americans believe they’re immune to identity theft if they don’t use Internet banking or technologies such as social media, but that’s a false sense of security. In reality, most Americans are better protected if they set up online access to their accounts. The Equifax breach is a good example of how identity theft can happen to people who have few or no dealings online. 1,4,5
• Pay attention to credit card bills and bank statements. Do you see items listed that you didn’t buy? Are the statements accurate? This could indicate that someone has accessed your credit card information. Consider going paperless whenever you have the opportunity. 1
• Debt collection calls from accounts you’ve never opened or loans you’ve never applied for are a red flag. Check into these kinds of issues right away and keep digging until you discover why you’re receiving these kinds of calls. 1
• Create strong, complex passwords that are hard to hack. Avoid using information like your birthday or a pet’s name in a password. Regularly change your passwords and never use the same ones twice. 1
• Review your credit report annually. Also, check your credit score on a regular basis. Do these things accurately represent the reality of your financial health? 1
• Be mindful of your iPhone. It contains information about your bank account, personal data, contacts, photos of you, and more that could be used to steal your identity. 2
• On your iPhone go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Turn Location Services to “off”. When this service is “on”, a number of companies have access to information about your location that’s updated up to 14,000 times per day. This is a huge impediment to your personal privacy. For Google Maps or Lyft, specify that location updates are made only “While Using the App”. 2
• On your iPhone go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Turn Location Services to “off”. When this service is “on”, a number of companies have access to information about your location that’s updated up to 14,000 times per day. This is a huge impediment to your personal privacy. For Google Maps or Lyft, specify that location updates are made only “While Using the App”. 2
• On your iPhone go to Settings > Privacy > Camera and disable access to your camera. Also, go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone and disable access to your microphone as well. 2
• Install anti-virus software and firewall software on your computer. 1
• Shred any physical financial statements and receipts. 1
• Collect your mail every day and put it on hold at the post office if you plan to be traveling in order to avoid having someone steal sensitive information that’s been sent via post. And never leave sensitive information unattended in your car even if it’s locked. 1
• Never give out your personal information over the phone, in-person, or online. 1
• Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to check bank accounts, social media accounts, or email. 1
• Never carry your social security card with you and don’t carry documents that list your social security number on them unless it’s absolutely necessary. Guard your social security number carefully. 1

Mobile phone security is an important consideration for anyone who wants to protect themselves from identity theft. SIM-swap attacks are common these days where an identity thief steals bits and pieces of your personal information in order to convince your cell phone provider to transfer your number and account into the thief’s possession. Once the thief has control over your phone, they can break into all accounts connected with the phone. 3

The Equifax data breach in September 2017 was a grim reminder of the fact that a loss of personal data can happen even if you’re extremely conscientious about passwords, and online behaviors. This breach affected just under half of the population of the United States. Though Equifax is compensating consumers and offering credit monitoring services to victims who request it, it’s hard to recoup on the emotional cost of having to recover an identity that’s been stolen. Individuals who are retired or nearing retirement are being affected at unprecedented rates and the financial devastation at this stage in a person’s life can be hard to recover from. Equifax victims are being compensated, but victims of identity theft resulting from negligence can lose countless hours and a lot of money that will never be recovered despite their best efforts. 4,5



Important Steps To Complete Before Retirement

Important Steps To Complete Before Retirement

By: Andrew Maisch, CFF®, Certified Financial Fiduciary, 

Maisch Financial Group 

It’s almost that time, you worked your entire life to reach retirement.  Now, what do you do to ensure that your retirement plan will meet your goals?

Here are a few steps to take  before retirement:

Create a Budget-  What are your expenses?  Write down all of your monthly and yearly expenses.   Look at your bank debit account, credit cards, and checking account statements and see where your income goes each month.  Are there areas that you plan on cutting back spending in retirement? For example, maybe you eat lunch out at work everyday, and you may not have that expense when you retire.  Or, your car expenses may lessen in retirement due to not commuting to work each day. Also, I advise clients to take into account unexpected costs in retirement, such as house and car maintenance as well as repairs.  Gifts, and travel should be considered also. Making a budget looking at ALL of your projected costs is very important. Failure to plan this step can result in unnecessary financial stress in retirement!

Investigate your healthcare options-  Healthcare is a big expense in retirement and the options are often confusing and/or complicated.  For instance, you may be eligible for Medicare and you should review all of the options to decide what is best for you.  Also, if you retire before Medicare eligibility, what are your choices? And lastly, if retiring from a job that provides healthcare in retirement, what are your options?  I have a client that just retired from the state pension system and she had multiple options for healthcare for her and her spouse and each plan had different variables and costs that needed to be factored into her budget.

Social Security benefits-  Do you know your choices in Social Security?  Making a wrong choice about the best time to take Social Security can be costly.  Research your options and make sure to integrate it with your retirement plan. Look for local Social Security workshops in your area.  Attending a workshop with a qualified speaker will be worth your time due to the valuable information it will provide for planning your retirement.

Pension Options- Do you have pension options from current or previous employment?  Contact your human resources department or schedule an appointment with your pension counselor to review your options.  Some workplaces have pension workshops online or in person. This is important to merge with all the other aspects of your retirement plan to make sure to meet your needs.  

Investment Portfolio-  What does your investment portfolio look like?  Does it have high risk investments that could stifle your retirement plan?  What are the fees for your investment plan? And lastly, do you have safe, worry free investments that you can’t outlive?  These are all important questions to make sure you are on the right track to retirement.

Retirement isn’t just not setting an alarm anymore to go to work.  It’s a life changing decision, that, with proper planning will be at time to relax and enjoy all of your planning and hard work!


Common Mistakes

Are you planning to retire?  Here are a few common mistakes to steer clear of, if possible, while preparing for retirement:

Overlooking Health Care Costs
Health care costs are projected to continue their current annual increase in rate of more than double or triple the rate of inflation. Extended care may be an expense that can undermine your financial strategy for retirement if you fail to prepare for it.

Not Adjusting Your Investment Approach Well Before Retirement
The last thing your retirement portfolio can afford is a sharp fall in stock prices and a sustained bear market as you leave the work-force. Consider adjusting your asset allocation as you transition from living off your paycheck to living off your savings and investments. Because the return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change, your shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Asset allocation is an approach to help manage investment risk. Remember, asset allocation does not guarantee against investment loss and past performance does not guarantee future results.

Retiring with Too Much Debt
If too much debt is bad during the earning years, it can be especially harmful for those living in retirement. Consider managing or reducing your debt level before you retire.

Retirement Planning Is Not Only About Money
Above all, a rewarding retirement requires good health. So, maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, stay socially involved, and remain intellectually active.


Year End Money Moves

Year End Money Moves

What has changed for you in 2019? Even if your year has been relatively uneventful, year-end is still a good time to get cracking and see where you can plan to save some taxes and/or build a little more wealth.

Do you practice tax-loss harvesting, charitable gifting, or asset rebalancing on an annual basis? The art of tax-loss harvesting involves taking capital losses (selling securities worth less than what you first paid for them) to offset your short-term capital gains. This practice is part of an overall annual review which can include charitable contributions, re-allocation of assets, and reviews of IRA and HSA contributions among other things.

Do you want to itemize deductions? You may just want to take the standard deduction for 2019, which has increased from $12,000 to $12,200 for single filers and from $24,000 to $24,400 for joint filers. If you think it might be better for you to itemize, now would be a good time to get the receipts and assorted paperwork together.

While many miscellaneous deductions have disappeared through 2025, some key deductions remain: the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, now capped at $10,000; the mortgage interest deduction; the deduction for charitable contributions, which now has a higher limit of 60% of adjusted gross income; and the medical expense deduction. If you discover that you have withheld too little on your W-4 form so far in 2019, you may want to adjust your withholding before the year ends.

Consider talking with a financial or tax professional now rather than in February or March. Little year-end moves in the areas mentioned above can help you improve your short-term and long-term financial situation.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. All The Best!


Grow without market risk

 Do you want to GROW and PROTECT your money?

One of the most commonly asked questions from my clients is, “How can I grow my income without market risk?”  I’ve met with many individuals that are worried their retirement savings is going to run out or they’ll lose money they can’t recoup through market changes.  This video offers ways to protect your money for the rest of your life.  So, don’t worry, you can rest comfortably each night knowing your money won’t run out if you follow a plan with these great options!


2020 New Year Post

What Are Your Financial GOALS For The New Year?

The beginning of a new year presents an opportunity to consider your plans and goals in 2020! What accomplishments do you want to achieve? This is an excellent time to adjust or refine your financial strategy and make an action plan that will help you achieve your dreams. Are you hoping to protect your Retirement Savings from market volatility? A financial review can help you clarify whether your existing portfolio allocation aligns with your needs and objectives.

If you currently rely on Social Security or you plan to in retirement, it would be a good idea to verify your Social Security benefits and personal information. The Social Security administration is not immune to error and these mistakes can be particularly devastating for women. Both genders can benefit from verifying their birth year and ensure other details are correct. Those nearing retirement will want to be in-the-know about rate increases and other changes in Social Security policies before making major life decisions.

Is debt one of your resolutions this year? Take action to maximize good debt and minimize bad debt, or increase your savings. Make an effort to build an emergency fund – a liquid fund holding 3 to 6 months worth of expenses. Such an account can help create financial stability and ultimately decrease debt over time. Homeowners, single income households, and self-employed people should consider saving even more than 3 to 6 months in their emergency fund. A number of strategies exist to help people save more and spend less with simple organizational tools as opposed to pinching pennies.

Please feel free to call or reply with any questions you might have. Hoping 2020 brings joy, peace, and prosperity to you and all those you love.



Do you want to learn how to optimize your Social Security income?

When: 3/10/20 at 6:00 pm


3/12/20 at 6:00 pm

Where:  Rowan College of Burlington County

This event will answer your most pressing questions!

  • Understand the changes in 2020
  • Discover creative strategy and timing methods to get the most from your hard-earned benefits
  • Learn how Social Security income works (even if you continue working after claiming)
  • Find out how much you give-up if you choose to take benefits early
  • How your benefits may be affected if you have a pension through the state or federal government
  • Identify additional spousal benefit opportunities (even if you’ve been divorced)
  • How we can provide you a custom Social Security benefit report (that analyzes your family’s benefits, shows you all the benefits you’re eligible for, and identifies an optimal strategy)

Register today

Market Volatility

Do you feel like your on a rollercoaster? Stock markets have been experiencing volatility in recent weeks as investors worry about the economic effects of the acute respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

Warnings of reductions in quarterly sales forecasts from companies like Apple and Walmart combined with forecasters predicting reduced growth in the first quarter have already had an impact on the markets.

While no one can predict when volatility will strike, it is eventually inevitable.

Between 1926 and 2010, there were higher odds of a negative year for the S&P 500 after a three-year period of strong performance. A diversified investment portfolio can reduce the overall effect of market shocks, but smart planning can help protect your life savings and assets from a volatile and unpredictable market. Volatility can have a bigger impact in early rather than middle or late retirement, so it is important to have strategies in place before this sensitive time frame.

People naturally believe that they are unlikely to experience a negative event as compared with someone else.

Unfortunately, this optimism bias can prevent us from taking action to protect ourselves from the very real dangers of volatility, particularly in financial planning and retirement. Hedging with certain types of tools can eliminate the need for extreme measures to recover from a serious market dip like delaying retirement, reducing retirement expenses, or working part time. While the primary purpose of life insurance is the death benefit, it is an incredibly versatile product that can serve as a cushion to help prepare for the unexpected. Fixed index annuities do not directly participate in any financial markets, and can provide a conservative solution with reasonable growth potential.

The market is unpredictable. However, incorporating appropriate safe money moves during specific points in the retirement process can protect you during economic upheaval.

Contact us at 856-203-6911 or attend one of our workshops to see how we can help you keep your money safe from stock market volatility!



Does the current market downturn have you worried? We know these are challenging times and thought we would reach out to let you know you have resources in your corner to help stabilize your retirement income avenues.  Here are a few things to consider when the market is in a downturn:

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19: A FEW KEY FINANCIAL PRECAUTIONS YOU SHOULD HEED RIGHT NOW We are in the midst of unprecedented events. Air travel banned from foreign countries. Non-essential traffic halted at the borders. School systems shut down for the remainder of the school year. Mandatory quarantines. While precautions such as these are certainly necessary and will undoubtedly save lives, they will also very likely result in continued economic upheaval and market volatility. This impacts you and every other American preparing for or currently living in retirement. In this environment of anticipated continued volatility, here are a few key items you may want to consider regarding your retirement assets:

1. ALL-TIME LOW INTEREST RATES On Sunday, March 14, 2020, in an effort to stimulate the economy, the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to 0- 0.25 percent.* While historically low interest rates may be positive for the economy, they often create challenges for conservative retirees using fixed interest financial vehicles in their portfolios. If you have money sitting in any of these fixed interest options – Certificates of Deposit (CDs), money markets, treasury bonds or traditional fixed annuities – now may be the perfect time to take another look at your current retirement income plan and see if there are any alternatives that it makes sense for you to consider. Why? Because there are still some products available which may provide you with meaningful interest rates. Given the financial and interest rate environment we’re currently in, it is likely that the interest rates on these options are likely to change in the near future.

2. THE NEED FOR GUARANTEED INCOME For retirees, market volatility can be more alarming to those who aren’t currently depending on the market for income. Stomaching market volatility – at least with some of your assets – can be more bearable if you have a significant portion allocated into a source of guaranteed income, which Fixed Index Annuities (FIAs) can provide. FIAs are deferred annuities that offer complete principal protection from losses caused by dropping markets. They offer interest credits based in part on the performance of a market index (because your money is not directly invested in the market) which affords you the opportunity to participate in some of the market gains, while also providing protection from losses when the market falls. In some instances, these annuities are even available without any fees. Once you are ready, you can convert the annuity into a reliable stream of income – contractually guaranteed for the lifetime of you and your spouse. In other words, you will never have to wonder or worry about “paychecks” in retirement again.

IN SUMMARY With all of this said, please take heart. We are fully confident we’ll get through this, and things will return to normal. Whether thinking back to 9/11, the market crash of 2008 or other crises our country has faced, we are a resilient nation, and we will emerge on the other side of this.However, just like everyone is doing with their physical health right now, we URGE YOU to be taking NECESSARY STEPS to maintain your financial health as well. If you aren’t currently 100 percent certain of the path you’re on, please contact us at 856-203-6911 and ask for Tina in scheduling or click the link below to set up a phone appointment with a member of our team today!

*At Maisch Financial, we are set up to operate virtually – allowing you to meet with us by phone or webcast from the comfort of your home rather than coming into our office. Even if you don’t fancy yourself “tech-savvy,” we can make things incredibly simple, so don’t let current social distancing procedures keep you from making important financial decisions! We’re here to help! Contact us now at 856-203-6911 and ask for Tina in scheduling or CLICK HERE to schedule a phone consult!

*Source: Accessed 3/19/20. 

Insurance and annuity product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Fixed index annuities are designed to meet long-term needs for retirement income. They provide guarantees of principal and credited interest, subject to surrender charges and a death benefit for beneficiaries. Annuities are not bank or FDIC insured. 3/20-1123710B


Market Volatility Can Be Defeated

If you are worried about your future retirement options, you are not alone. Read on to find out if the Gain or Retain system is a good option for you.

The stock market is up, the stock market is down, day after day. Stress among many people worried about the future is very high. If you have experienced losses in your IRA and are worried about your future retirement options, answer a few questions to determine if the “Gain or Retain” system is for you. Consider these questions regarding your IRA and other retirement funds:

  • Does the daily volatility in the equity markets make you crazy?
  • Do you think the U.S. and world economy is volatile?
  • Has your retirement date been pushed far ahead into the future?
  • Have your retirement funds experienced a decrease in value?
  • Are your retirement plans based on an IRA or 401 (k)?

If you share these feelings, consider a simple and guaranteed approach to retirement planning. Retain or Gain!

The product of choice is called a Fixed Indexed Annuity. This product ties its returns (crediting) to an outside source such as the Standard and Poor’s Stock Index 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. When these markets move up, your account is credited. When the market lowers itself, you do not participate. Your account can only increase and never decrease. Here is the catch, your funds are not invested in these indexes, they are used simply to calculate yield!

These products also will allow for conversion to a lifetime pension and safe, secure, recurring income. They provide income that you or your spouse can never outlive. Income that you can never outlive is a great stress reliever!

There are numerous companies and a myriad of products available so make certain your choice matches with your goals. Think “Gain or Retain” for your important retirement dollars and remove all risk.

What is the downside? The insurance company gets to hold your money! That is the only downside and if you invest anywhere, the investment company or bank will hold your money. Why not let the most regulated industry in the country hold your money? Safety and security is their goal and the fear of loss will be forever removed.

In the past few years a Perfect Storm has been slowly developing, a storm that will have a negative effect on retirement planning. Since the financial downslide America faced in 2007, general interest rates have declined to historic lows, resulting in a very low interest rate offered by US Treasuries which are the financial backbone for investment used by insurance companies. Since US Treasuries provide a fully guaranteed asset, many companies have a large percentage of their assets in this category. Interest rates dictate the payout guarantees offered by insurance companies and when they are very low, planning for often decades of future financial responsibility becomes more negative.

Instead of personally managing your retirement funds or allowing a financial planner or stockbroker to manage them, move your funds to an insurance company. What is the difference? Simple, an insurance company will issue you a retirement annuity based on an underlying guarantee. That guarantee is simple: your funds will never lose value and will never be exposed to market risk. The removal of the possibility of losses provides a guaranteed base on which future growth will be added.

Many experts feel it may take a long time, even years, to recover from this current volatility in the world’s equity markets. Many consumers are frightened and confused about what road to take with their important funds. You don’t have to feel alone. Most people in this country have those same feelings. What to do?  Contact us to schedule a meeting to assist you with planning a “worry free” retirement plan 856-203-6911.