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Terry L. Jordan

Oct
31
Test Your Knowledge of Financial Basics
How well do you understand personal finance? The following brief quiz can help you gauge your knowledge of a few basics. In the answer section, you'll find details to help you learn more. Questions 1. How much should you set aside in liquid, low-risk savings in case of emergencies? a. One to three months worth of expenses b. Three to six months worth of expenses c. Six to 12 months worth of expenses d. It depends 2. Diversification can eliminate risk from your portfolio. a. True b. False 3. Which of the following is a key benefit of a 401(k) plan? a. You can withdraw money at any time for needs such as the purchase of a new car. b. The plan allows you to avoid paying taxes on a portion of your compensation. c....
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Oct
04
Investing as a Couple: Getting to Yes
In a perfect world, both halves of a couple share the same investment goals and agree on the best way to try to reach them. It doesn't always work that way, though; disagreements about money are often a source of friction between couples. You may be risk averse, while your spouse may be comfortable investing more aggressively--or vice versa. How can you bridge that gap? First, define your goals Making good investment decisions is difficult if you don't know what you're investing for. Make sure you're on the same page--or at least reading from the same book--when it comes to financial goal-setting. Knowing where you're headed is the first step toward developing a road map for dealing jointly with investments. In some cases you may...
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Sep
07
Getting Help from a Financial Professional
Are you suddenly on your own or forced to assume greater responsibility for your financial future? Unsure about whether you're on the right track with your savings and investments? Finding yourself with new responsibilities, such as the care of a child or an aging parent? Facing other life events, such as marriage, divorce, the sale of a family business, or a career change? Too busy to become a financial expert but needing to make sure your assets are being managed appropriately? Or maybe you simply feel your assets could be invested or protected better than they are now. These are only some of the many circumstances that prompt people to contact someone who can help them address their financial questions and issues. This may be...
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Aug
28
Common Factors Affecting Retirement Income
When it comes to planning for your retirement income, it's easy to overlook some of the common factors that can affect how much you'll have available to spend. If you don't consider how your retirement income can be impacted by investment risk, inflation risk, catastrophic illness or long-term care, and taxes, you may not be able to enjoy the retirement you envision. Investment risk Different types of investments carry with them different risks. Sound retirement income planning involves understanding these risks and how they can influence your available income in retirement. Investment or market risk is the risk that fluctuations in the securities market may result in the reduction and/or depletion of the value of your retirement...
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Aug
22
Advanced Estate Planning Concepts for Women
Statistically speaking, women live longer than men; if you're married, that means that the odds are that you're going to outlive your husband. That's significant for a couple of reasons. First, it means that if your husband dies before you, you'll likely inherit his estate. More importantly, though, it means that to a large extent, you'll probably have the last word about the final disposition of all of the assets you've accumulated during your marriage. But advanced estate planning isn't just for women who are or were married. You'll want to consider whether these concepts and strategies apply to your specific circumstances. Transfer taxes When you transfer your property during your lifetime or at your death, your transfers may be...
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Aug
20
Balancing Your Investment Choices with Asset Allocation
A chocolate cake. Pasta. A pancake. They're all very different, but they generally involve flour, eggs, and perhaps a liquid. Depending on how much of each ingredient you use, you can get very different outcomes. The same is true of your investments. Balancing a portfolio means combining various types of investments using a recipe that's appropriate for you. Getting an appropriate mix The combination of investments you choose can be as important as your specific investments. The mix of various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives, accounts for most of the ups and downs of a portfolio's returns. There's another reason to think about the mix of investments in your portfolio. Each type of investment has specific...
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Jul
31
Setting and Targeting Investment Goals
Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you're lucky, you may end up with enough money to meet your needs, but you have no way to know for sure. How do you set investment goals? Setting investment goals means defining your dreams for the future. When you're setting goals, it's best to be as specific as possible. For instance, you know you want to retire, but when? You know you want to send your child to college, but to an Ivy League school or to the community college down the street?...
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Jul
12
The Tax Benefits of Your Retirement Savings Plan
Taxes can take a big bite out of your total investment returns, so it's encouraging to know that your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan may offer a variety of tax benefits. Depending on the type of plan your employer offers, you may be able to benefit from current tax savings; tax deferral on any investment returns you earn on the road to retirement; and possibly even tax-free income in retirement. Lower your taxes now When you contribute to a traditional retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), your plan contributions are deducted from your pay before income taxes are assessed. These "pretax contributions" reduce your current taxable income, which in turn reduces the amount of income tax you pay to Uncle Sam...
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Jul
03
I'm about to get married. Should I adjust the asset allocation in my 401k to take my husband's investments into account?
That depends on several factors. Perhaps the first step is to make sure your existing asset allocation is appropriate for your circumstances; if you haven't reviewed it in several years, you should probably take a fresh look at it, whether or not you intend to consider his assets in your investing strategy. Assuming your allocation is appropriate for your current situation, you may want to make sure that any overlap between your accounts doesn't create a portfolio that's too heavily concentrated in a single position. For example, if you have received company stock as part of your compensation plan for many years, you might not have enough diversity in your portfolio; if both of you have worked at the same employer, the problem could be even...
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May
17
Merging Your Money When You Marry
Getting married is exciting, but it brings many challenges. One such challenge that you and your spouse will have to face is how to merge your finances. Planning carefully and communicating clearly are important, because the financial decisions that you make now can have a lasting impact on your future. Discuss your financial goals The first step in mapping out your financial future together is to discuss your financial goals. Start by making a list of your short-term goals (e.g., paying off wedding debt, new car, vacation) and long-term goals (e.g., having children, your children's college education, retirement). Then, determine which goals are most important to you. Once you've identified the goals that are a priority, you can focus...
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May
10
Pay Down Debt or Save for Retirement?
You can use a variety of strategies to pay off debt, many of which can cut not only the amount of time it will take to pay off the debt but also the total interest paid. But like many people, you may be torn between paying off debt and the need to save for retirement. Both are important; both can help give you a more secure future. If you're not sure you can afford to tackle both at the same time, which should you choose? There's no one answer that's right for everyone, but here are some of the factors you should consider when making your decision. Rate of investment return versus interest rate on debt Probably the most common way to decide whether to pay off debt or to make investments is to consider whether you could earn a...
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May
02
Paying the Bills: Potential Sources of Retirement Income
Planning your retirement income is like putting together a puzzle with many different pieces. One of the first steps in the process is to identify all potential income sources and estimate how much you can expect each one to provide. Social Security According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), nearly 9 of 10 people aged 65 or older receive Social Security benefits. However, most retirees also rely on other sources of income. For a rough estimate of the annual benefit to which you would be entitled at various retirement ages, you can use the calculator on the Social Security website, www.ssa.gov. Your Social Security retirement benefit is calculated using a formula that takes into account your 35 highest earnings years....
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Mar
29
Test Your Knowledge of Financial Basics
How well do you understand personal finance? The following brief quiz can help you gauge your knowledge of a few basics. In the answer section, you'll find details to help you learn more. Questions 1. How much should you set aside in liquid, low-risk savings in case of emergencies? a. One to three months worth of expenses b. Three to six months worth of expenses c. Six to 12 months worth of expenses d. It depends 2. Diversification can eliminate risk from your portfolio. a. True b. False 3. Which of the following is a key benefit of a 401(k) plan? a. You can withdraw money at any time for needs such as the purchase of a new car. b. The plan allows you to avoid paying taxes on a portion of your compensation. c....
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Mar
29
Handling Market Volatility
Conventional wisdom says that what goes up must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when your money is at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the following common-sense tips can help. Don't put your eggs all in one basket Diversifying your investment portfolio is one of the key tools for trying to manage market volatility. Because asset classes often perform differently under different market conditions, spreading your assets across a variety of investments such as stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives has the potential to help reduce your overall risk. Ideally, a decline in one type of asset will be balanced out by a...
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Mar
08
Retirement Plan Considerations at Different Stages of Life
Throughout your career, retirement planning will likely be one of the most important components of your overall financial plan. Whether you have just graduated and taken your first job, are starting a family, are enjoying your peak earning years, or are preparing to retire, your employer-sponsored retirement plan can play a key role in your financial strategies. How should you view and manage your retirement savings plan through various life stages? Following are some points to consider. Just starting out If you are a young adult just starting your first job, chances are you face a number of different challenges. College loans, rent, and car payments all may be competing for your hard-earned yet still entry-level paycheck. How...
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Mar
01
Staying on Track with your Retirement Investments
Investing for your retirement isn't about getting rich quick. More often, it's about having a game plan that you can live with over a long time. You wouldn't expect to be able to play the piano without learning the basics and practicing. Investing for your retirement over the long term also takes a little knowledge and discipline. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, there are ways to help yourself build your retirement nest egg. Compounding is your best friend It's the "rolling snowball" effect. Put simply, compounding pays you earnings on your reinvested earnings. Here's how it works: Let's say you invest $100, and...
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Feb
15
Handling Market Volatility
Conventional wisdom says that what goes up must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when your money is at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the following common-sense tips can help. Don't put your eggs all in one basket Diversifying your investment portfolio is one of the key tools for trying to manage market volatility. Because asset classes often perform differently under different market conditions, spreading your assets across a variety of investments such as stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives has the potential to help reduce your overall risk. Ideally, a decline in one type of asset will be balanced out by a...
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Jan
18
Four things women need to know about Social Security
Ever since a legal secretary named Ida May Fuller received the first retirement benefit check in 1940, women have been counting on Social Security to provide much-needed retirement income. Social Security provides other important benefits too, including disability and survivor benefits, that can help women of all ages and their family members. 1. How does Social Security protect you and your family? When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you're paying for three types of benefits: retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. Retirement benefits Retirement benefits are the cornerstone of the Social Security program. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), because women are less often covered by retirement...
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Jan
11
What to do after You've been automatically enrolled in your company's retirement plan
At one time, the only way you could join your company's 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, or 457(b) plan was to put pen to paper and sign yourself up by filling out the appropriate forms. Now, though, in an effort to help participants increase their retirement savings, some employers have begun enrolling their employees automatically. With automatic enrollment, you don't fill out a form to opt into your company's retirement plan; you only fill out a form to opt out of it. At first glance, automatic enrollment sounds like a no-brainer--without doing anything, you're on your way to saving for retirement. But don't just assume that the investment decisions your employer has made on your behalf are right for you. Instead, take charge of your own...
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Jan
04
Robo Advisors have arrived, but life often calls for a human touch.
After years of development, numerous robo advisors have entered the world of investment management. Still, many investors may not fully understand exactly what robos do, or how they do it. A robo advisor is a digital platform that uses advanced algorithms (based on various financial models and assumptions) to select and manage investments. To keep costs relatively low, portfolios are typically composed of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds that track market indexes. The recommended allocations, available strategies, and various other features can differ significantly from one service to another. To start the process, the investor fills out a standard online questionnaire designed to determine his or her risk tolerance and...
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Dec
21
Taxation of Investments
It's nice to own stocks, bonds, and other investments. Nice, that is, until it's time to fill out your federal income tax return. At that point, you may be left scratching your head. Just how do you report your investments and how are they taxed? Is it ordinary income or a capital gain? To determine how an investment vehicle is taxed in a given year, first ask yourself what went on with the investment that year. Did it generate interest income? If so, the income is probably considered ordinary. Did you sell the investment? If so, a capital gain or loss is probably involved. (Certain investments can generate both ordinary income and capital gain income, but we won't get into that here.) If you receive dividend income, it may be taxed...
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Dec
18
Back to Basics: Diversification and Asset Allocation
When investing, particularly for long-term goals, there are two concepts you will likely hear about over and over again — diversification and asset allocation. Diversification helps limit exposure to loss in any one investment or one type of investment, while asset allocation provides a blueprint to help guide your investment decisions. Understanding how the two work can help you put together a portfolio that targets your specific needs. Diversification: Spreading out risk Diversification refers to the process of investing in a number of different securities to help manage risk. The theory is that if some investments in your portfolio decline in value, others may rise or hold steady. For example, say you wanted to invest in stocks....
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Nov
21
10 Years and Counting: Points to Consider as You Approach Retirement
If you're a decade or so away from retirement, you've probably spent at least some time thinking about this major life change. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some capacity? Will changes in your income sources affect your standard of living? When you begin to ponder all the issues surrounding the transition, the process can seem downright daunting. However, thinking about a few key points now, while you still have years ahead, can help you focus your efforts and minimize the anxiety that often accompanies the shift. Reassess your living expenses A step you will probably take...
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Nov
09
Social Security claiming strategies for married couples
Prepared for: Save New Client Subtitle: Social Security Claiming Strategies for Married Couples Deciding when to begin receiving Social Security benefits is a major financial issue for anyone approaching retirement because the age at which you apply for benefits will affect the amount you'll receive. If you're married, this decision can be especially complicated because you and your spouse will need to plan together, taking into account the Social Security benefits you may each be entitled to. For example, married couples may qualify for retirement benefits based on their own earnings records, and/or for spousal benefits based on their spouse's earnings record. In addition, a surviving spouse may qualify for widow or widower's...
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Oct
11
Should you pay off your mortgage or invest?
Owning a home outright is a dream that many Americans share. Having a mortgage can be a huge burden, and paying it off may be the first item on your financial to-do list. But competing with the desire to own your home free and clear is your need to invest for retirement, your child's college education, or some other goal. Putting extra cash toward one of these goals may mean sacrificing another. So how do you choose? Evaluating the opportunity cost Deciding between prepaying your mortgage and investing your extra cash isn't easy, because each option has advantages and disadvantages. But you can start by weighing what you'll gain financially by choosing one option against what you'll give up. In economic terms, this is known as...
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Oct
05
Myths and Facts about Social Security
Myth: Social Security will provide most of the income you need in retirement. Fact: It's likely that Social Security will provide a smaller portion of retirement income than you expect. There's no doubt about it--Social Security is an important source of retirement income for most Americans. According to the Social Security Administration, more than nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits. But it may be unwise to rely too heavily on Social Security, because to keep the system solvent, some changes will have to be made to it. The younger and wealthier you are, the more likely these changes will affect you. But whether retirement is years away or just around the corner, keep in mind that Social...
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Sep
27
Elven ways to help yourself stay sane in a crazy market
Keeping your cool can be hard to do when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It's useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are 11 ways to help keep yourself from making hasty decisions that could have a long-term impact on your ability to achieve your financial goals. 1. Have a game plan Having predetermined guidelines that recognize the potential for turbulent times can help prevent emotion from dictating your decisions. For example, you might take a core-and-satellite approach, combining the use of buy-and-hold principles for the bulk of your portfolio with tactical investing based on a shorter-term market outlook. You also can...
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Sep
20
Leaving a Legacy
You've worked hard over the years to accumulate wealth, and you probably find it comforting to know that after your death the assets you leave behind will continue to be a source of support for your family, friends, and the causes that are important to you. But to ensure that your legacy reaches your heirs as you intend, you must make the proper arrangements now. There are four basic ways to leave a legacy: (1) by will, (2) by trust, (3) by beneficiary designation, and (4) by joint ownership arrangements. Wills A will is the cornerstone of any estate plan. You should have a will no matter how much your estate is worth, and even if you've implemented other estate planning strategies. You can leave property by will in two ways: making...
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Aug
08
Deciding When to Retire: When Timing Becomes Critical
FINRA® Letter Prepared for: Save New Client Subtitle: Deciding When to Retire: When Timing Becomes Critical Deciding when to retire may not be one decision but a series of decisions and calculations. For example, you'll need to estimate not only your anticipated expenses, but also what sources of retirement income you'll have and how long you'll need your retirement savings to last. You'll need to take into account your life expectancy and health as well as when you want to start receiving Social Security or pension benefits, and when you'll start to tap your retirement savings. Each of these factors may affect the others as part of an overall retirement income plan. Thinking about early retirement? Retiring early means fewer...
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Sep
28
Estate Planning Key Numbers
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Estate Planning Key Numbers You will find here some key numbers associated with estate planning, as well as the federal gift tax and estate tax rate schedules for 2014 and 2015. 2014 2015 Annual gift tax exclusion: $14,000 $14,000 Gift tax and estate tax applicable exclusion amount: $5,340,0001+ DSUEA2 $5,430,0001+ DSUEA2 Noncitizen spouse annual gift tax exclusion: $145,000 $147,000 Generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption: $5,340,0003 $5,430,0003 GST tax rate 40% 40% Special use valuation limit (qualified real property in decedent's gross estate): $1,090,000 $1,100,000 1The basic exclusion amount 2Deceased spousal unused exclusion amount (for 2011 and later years) 3The GST...
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Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

Terry L. Jordan is a Investment Advisor Representative who is a Michigan resident. An Investment Advisor Representative may only discuss/and or transact securities business with residents of the following states: Michigan, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, and Washington.

Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC. Insurance offered through Jordan Financial & Associates which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. 



This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of AZ, FL, ID, IN, MI and WA. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.
 


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