Can my office help you “Achieve Your #Goals?”

Right now it might seem impossible to have the life of your dreams. But with a little planning a solid education, a new home, and the financial security to start a family are closer than you think.

Financial planning is more than knowing how to invest – it’s knowing the right goals for every stage of your life. By partnering with a financial expert, we can set the right goals to help you achieve your dreams – not just add to your 401k.

Check out this short video that shows how we can work together to meet your #Goals:

 

Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit

We may be able to help veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam and other wars qualify for funds that most people don’t know exist. The Veterans need not have participated in these wars but rather just needed to be on active duty within 90 days on either side of these declared wars.

The extra funds could mean the difference between depleting a life savings to pay medical bills and being able to use that savings for retirement or to pass it on to the next generation.

The Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit can provide around $2,000 a month to pay for all types of medical care, including hospital and doctor care, and also home health assistance.

According to the latest data available from 2007, $3 billion has been allocated by Congress since the law went into effect in 1951 and only 150,000 veterans or spouses of veterans are currently claiming the benefit.

That is only 1% of the 15 million veterans who might qualify. Up to 85% of applicants get rejected on their first application because the process is complicated, but our office can find out if the Veterans qualify and, if so, help them get the funds.

Any veteran who served during the dates of a declared war–including WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan–is eligible if he or she is 65, received a discharge other than dishonorable, had 90 days of active duty with one day during wartime, and needs help with daily living activities because of health issues.

There are some other minor criteria due to the dates different wars were declared. If a veteran is disabled, the age limit can be lowered. There are income eligibility guidelines, too, but there are techniques, such as setting up an irrevocable trust, that can protect assets while still qualifying for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit.

Monthly benefits range from $2,540 for two married veterans, $1,949 for a veteran with a dependent spouse, $1,644 for a single and $1,056 for a surviving spouse.

Using the available veterans’ benefits can pay for medical expenses or for an assisted living facility and protect the family’s nest egg at the same time, he says.

The Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit is completely separate from Medicaid. Applications are separate and can be made for either or both, but the two should not be confused.

The Veterans Benefit is described in four pages of a 1,800-page law, so it is not surprising many Veterans do not know about it.

 

Simple Logic

If you can figure out how this works:

DrawDown Strategies - 2018 (Keebler)_Page_2

Getting here is so much easier:

WAW

Easier yet, just give our office a call and we can work with you to make it happen.  Call me at 215-886-2122.

 

The information provided here is intended to be educational and should not be considered or construed as legal, accounting (tax), or financial planning advice. The strategies described may not be suitable for all individuals. Examples are provided for illustrative purposes only, and no representation is made that a person acting on these examples will achieve the results shown.

ABOUT SCHWARTZ FINANCIAL:

Schwartz Financial Service is a Concierge Wealth Management Firm

firm serving individuals and families across the United States.

Clients are owners of business, corporate executives,

managing partners of law firms, financial institutions and

consultancies, and rising professionals.

 

Schwartz Financials purpose is to clarify and simplify the means by which

clients achieve their financial goals.

 

For more information contact:

Michael Schwartz, RFC, CWS, CFS Wealth Manager, Owner

Schwartz Financial

1105 Taylorsville Road

Suite 321

Washington Crossing, Pa  18977

215-886-2122

Mike@Schwartzfinancial.com

Long Term Care Insurance Quiz

Ever wondered if you should have long-term care insurance?

Now, you can answer this question once and for all with the quick quiz below!

LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE QUIZ:

  1. Would paying $200/day or more for long-term care deplete your savings?
  2. Would you prefer to preserve your assets so that you might pass on an inheritance to loved ones?
  3. Would you like the option of receiving care in your own home instead of going to a facility?
  4. Would your family members have difficulty covering the added expense of your care if your savings was depleted?
  5. Do you have a family history of chronic illness or memory loss?

If you answered “YES” to even one of these questions, you should learn more about your long-term care coverage options. You never know what tomorrow may bring, but one thing is for certain – you’ll feel relieved knowing that you’ll live with dignity, without burdening your loved ones, no matter what happens.

Call me today and I’ll explain your options and help you find an affordable solution.

Warm Regards,

Michael L. Schwartz, RFC, CWS, CFS

215-886-2122, Mike@schwartzfinancial.com

http://www.schwartzfinancial.com

 

P.S.      Isn’t it time to make a wise and caring choice to preserve your dignity and your assets? Wouldn’t it be nice to know you’ll never be a burden to your loved ones? Call me today – you’ll be glad you did –215-886-2122.

The Longest Bull Market Ever

Human beings are obsessed with setting records.

The fastest.  The strongest.  The first.  The longest.  It’s exciting whenever a new record gets set.  It makes us feel like we’re witnesses to something important, something historic.  Something we can tell our grandchildren about.  And now, we can add a new record to the list:

The Longest Bull Market in History

You’ve probably seen the news.  On Wednesday, August 22, many media outlets reported the U.S. stock market had set a new bull market record of 3,453 days.1  This incredible stretch, which by most estimates began on March 9, 2009, surpassed the previous record set in the 1990s.

But here’s the thing about records.  Sometimes they matter.  Sometimes they don’t.  And the stories they tell can be very subjective.

So, in this letter, let’s break down what this bull market really means – and what it doesn’t.

Is it really the longest bull market ever?

It depends on who you ask.

For every article sounding the trumpets, you can find another pumping the brakes.  Fact is, the definition of a “bull market” is rather nebulous – and whether or not this one is truly a record depends on which data you’re using.

The Wall Street Journal provided a good example in a recent article.

“The widely accepted definition of a bear market is a drop of 20% from the last peak in this cycle, while bull markets are usually measured from the lowest point reached until the peak before the next bear market.”2 

But if this is the definition you’re using, our current bull market may only have started in October of 2011.  That was the month the S&P 500 fell 21.6% from its previous high.  Any growth from that point would be part of a new bull market, not the old one.  To which other pundits might respond, “Not so fast!  That number is only accurate if you’re using intraday prices instead of closing prices.  If you use closing prices, the S&P 500 only fell 19.4%2, which is less than the 20% needed for it to be a true bear market.”

Confused yet?  Don’t worry – most people would be.  And anyway, if you really wanted to get technical about the definition of a bull market, you’d have to debate about whether to only use price returns (the price of a stock) or total returns (to which dividends are added). And then there’s the question of which market indices to use.  The S&P 500?  The Wilshire 500?  The Dow?  Do we use intraday prices or closing prices?

I could go on, but I won’t – I don’t want this letter to give you a headache.  The point is, the deeper you dig into the numbers, the less certain a record like this becomes.  Which means the real question we should ask ourselves isn’t, “Is this the longest bull market ever?”

The real question is whether it even matters in the first place.

To which the answer is, “No!”

Here’s what we know: The stock market has been going up for a long time now.  Sometimes slightly, sometimes sharply, but always up.  Let’s say all the experts got together and decided we aren’t in the longest bull market in history.  Would that change the fact that stocks have been going up for years?  Would it change the performance of your own portfolio?

No, it wouldn’t.

So what matters is not whether this is the longest bull market ever.  What matters is how we react to a long bull market like this one.

What goes up must come down

On March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 hit a low of 666.1  (Yes, 666.)  Since then, the S&P has soared.  That’s over nine years of growth.  Nine years of an improving economy.  Nine years of soaring corporate profits.  Nine years of mostly happy times for investors.

It will end eventually. 

Read that last line aloud: IT WILL END EVENTUALLY. 

When that will happen, I can’t say.  Indeed, many economists foresee the current bull market continuing for some time, albeit at a slower rate.  Taxes are low, unemployment is low, and the economy is humming along nicely.

I can’t tell you this bull market will end next month or next year.  All I can tell you is that it will end.  The reason I emphasize this so much is because now is the time to prepare for that inevitable day.  Now is the time to accept that however well your portfolio has done, nothing can escape gravity’s pull.  At some point, you will see stock tickers showing a big, fat minus sign next to each of the major indices.

When a bull makes way for a bear, it’s not uncommon for investors to be taken by surprise.  Suddenly, it’s raining – and they’ve been caught outside without an umbrella.  When that happens, it’s easy to panic.  To think the sky is falling.  Too many investors did that when the dot com bubble popped in the early 2000s.  Too many investors did that during the worst of the Great Recession.  And the reason they did is because they hadn’t prepared themselves when times were good.

Maybe they thought the good times would last forever.

On the other hand…

Just as it’s easy for investors to get complacent, it’s also easy for investors to get skittish.  That’s why an equally bad mistake would be to think, “Oh, this bull market has gone on for too long.  It’s probably going to crash any week now – time to get out!”

Nope.  The markets don’t work that way.

Here’s what will happen.  The longer the bull lives, the more you’ll see the media speculate about what will kill it.  One week it might be the threat of rising interest rates.  The next, it might be corporate profits, or whatever’s happening in far-off lands across the sea.  And sure, any of those things could well impact the markets.  But even if the markets were to drop, that doesn’t mean a crash is imminent.

No one should abandon ship the moment they get a little wet.

The point is to not overreact

Some records matter.  Some don’t.  And the stories they tell can be very subjective.  That’s why we don’t overreact to them.  Here’s what we do instead:

  1. We prepare ourselves, mentally and emotionally, for when the other shoe drops. That way, when it does drop, it will be much easier to handle.
  2. We don’t allow ourselves to flinch at every market wobble.
  3. We remember that we have an investment strategy, and it’s not based off headlines, storylines, records, or milestones.

In the meantime, if you’re worried about what will happen when this bull market ends, that’s okay.  Just focus on what you can control.  Focus on paying off your house, setting up an emergency fund, or helping your children or grandchildren pay for college.  Take care of the things that matter now. 

Or maybe your goals have changed, and you want to take advantage of this bull market while it lasts.  That’s a discussion we can have, too.  Just remember that our first responsibility should always be to prioritize the long term over the short.

Human beings tend to be obsessed with setting records.  But here at Schwartz Financial, our job is to help you set goals – and then work toward achieving them.  Whether we’re in the longest bull market or not, that’s what we intend to do.

As always, if you have any questions about the markets, or about your portfolio, please let us know!  We love to hear from you.  Have a wonderful rest of the summer!

Let my office save you tax dollars

Recently we were able to help a local business owner save $60,000 on his tax bill and instead put that money and more into his retirement plan. Can we help you do the same thing? Give me a call at 215-886-2122 and let’s start a conversation.BPP 199A 12