07-11-2019 Columns

Life events can lead you to see a financial advisor

Over the years, you’ll experience many personal and professional milestones. Each of these can be satisfying, but they may also bring challenges – especially financial ones. That’s why you may want to seek the guidance of a financial professional. Here are some of the key life events you may encounter, along with the help a financial advisor can provide: New job – When you start a new job, especially if it’s your first “career-type” one, you may find that you have several questions about planning for your financial future, including your retirement. You may have questions about how much you should contribute to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. What investments should you choose? When should you increase your contributions or adjust your investment mix? A financial advisor can recommend an investment strategy that’s appropriate for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. Marriage – Newlyweds often discover they bring different financial habits to a marriage. For example, one spouse may be more of a saver, while the other is more prone to spending. And this holds true for investment styles – one spouse might be more risk-averse, while the other is more aggressive. A financial advisor can help recommend ways for you and your spouse to find some common ground in saving and investment strategies, enabling you to move forward toward your mutual goals. New child – When you have a child, you will need to consider a variety of financial issues. Will you be able to help the child someday go to college? And what might happen to your child, or children, if you were no longer around? A financial advisor can present you with some college-savings options, such as an education savings plan, as well as ways to protect your family, such as life insurance. Career change – You may change jobs several times, and each time you do, you’ll need to make some choices about your employer-sponsored retirement plan. Should you move it to your new employer’s plan, if transfers are allowed? Or, if permitted, should you keep the assets in your old employer’s plan? Or perhaps you should roll over the money into an IRA? A financial advisor can help you explore these options to determine which one is most appropriate for your needs. Death of a spouse – Obviously, the death of a spouse is a huge emotional blow, but it does not have to be a financial one – especially if you’ve prepared by having the correct beneficiary named on retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Your financial advisor can help ensure you have taken these steps. Retirement – Even after you retire, you’ll have some important investment decisions to make. For one thing, you’ll need to establish a suitable withdrawal strategy so you don’t deplete your retirement accounts too soon. Also, you still need to balance your investment mix in a way that provides at least enough growth potential to keep you ahead of inflation. Again, a financial advisor can help you in these areas. No matter where you are on your journey through life, you will need to address important financial and investment questions, but you don’t have to go it alone – a financial professional can help you find the answers you need. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

SW Michigan heard during State budget talks

This summer, the state Legislature is in the midst of budget negotiations to determine how the state raises funding and where it goes for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Key topics I’ve heard across the district include funding for roads, education, clean drinking water, senior services, and the Governor’s proposed gas tax increase. Last time, I went into detail on the House road funding proposal and addressed concerns I’d heard regarding education funding and the gas tax. While there are many pieces to the budget, key features to highlight are that the House proposal does not include the Governor’s gas tax increase and instead puts every dollar already being collected from the existing gas tax to roads rather than shifting it to other things. With this in mind, it is important to note that the school aid fund will still be receiving an increase from last year’s funding, yet again. Protecting our seniors from fraud, abuse, and excessive medical costs remains a central focus of mine. That is why I have been working with my colleagues on the appropriations committee to specifically include additional funding for in-home senior services. On June 20, I introduced legislation to codify the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) into law. Since Michigan took the lead on PFAS testing, MPART’s efficient communication and swift action has helped communities affected by PFAS, like Hartford, get the answers they need and quickly transitioned to safe water. While investigation and detection are only the beginning, they are important first steps in keeping families safe. With this p