financial planning

Balancing Fun and Frugality: Tips for Baby Boomers on Being Resourceful, Having Fun

blog-img3.jpg

Most of us admire the frugal friend or relative who always seems able to set aside money for unexpected expenses and fun vacations. Some people just have a knack for being resourceful when it comes to saving and spending money. If you’re a member of the Baby Boomer generation, don’t make the mistake of turning your life into a no-fun zone. The trick is to find a happy medium between saving and spending so you’re less likely to give up on it.  Remember, it is never too late to plan for tomorrow. Plexus Financial Services, LLC can guide you to your goals.

Take Care of Your Business First

Being frugal and saving money won’t get you far if you’re unprepared to handle an important expense like health insurance. If you can, continue on your employer’s health care plan post-employment. If you lack coverage, make sure to sign up for Medicare — there’s plenty of information online to guide you through the process of finding a plan that covers ancillary healthcare expenses such as dental, vision, hearing, and prescription medications.

Another good way to cut expenses is to discontinue a life insurance policy if it’s no longer necessary. If your life circumstances permit - if your children are grown and on their own or if you have sufficient income to cover your needs - you really don’t need a life insurance policy anymore and can better use that money in other ways. 

Email Lists

Go ahead and enjoy your favorite restaurant or retail stores; just make sure you sign up for their email lists. You’ll earn coupons, receive free offers, and get a jump on other promotions as they come up, which are great ways to save money. If you want to really get organized about it, set up a separate email address for all those coupons and offers so you don’t clog up your primary email address and risk losing track of emails that can save you money.

Don’t Forget the Library

Remember how much fun it was to visit the library when you were a kid? All those books and movies, and all you needed was that magic little card that doesn’t cost a cent. You can relive those happy visits and save money by borrowing great books and movies you love whenever you want. If you have kids, introduce them to story hour, which is a wonderful source of free entertainment that public libraries still offer their patrons.

Make Credit Cards Work for You

Credit card reward points are a great way to save for a family vacation, especially if setting money aside in a vacation fund is a problem. Use low-limit cards to pay bills and buy groceries and start racking up points. If you’re handy at managing credit cards, you can finance a nice vacation — just make sure you’re able to keep paying off those cards. Remember, racking up a bunch of credit card debt is the opposite of what you’re trying to do here, so be careful about this option if you’re not so good at managing money.

Parks Are Free

If you live in a community with a good parks system, you’ve got a terrific source of free entertainment anytime you want, especially if you live in an area that’s not conducive to walking or jogging. Many parks have tennis or soccer leagues you can join for free or at a minimal cost, so why not enjoy a little friendly competition while getting some exercise and fresh air?

Used Sports Equipment

If you’re an avid golfer, you know that the game can be quite expensive. In fact, golf clubs are among the most expensive sports equipment on the market. You can save hundreds of dollars by opting for used clubs at a second-hand sports store (such as Play It Again Sports). And who knows: You might finally come across the putter of your dreams.

Living frugally doesn’t mean you have to cope with boredom. If you can’t find ways to have fun, scrimping and saving may quickly seem a pointless waste of time. Stick with your plan and be sure to combine resourcefulness and entertainment. You’ve earned it!

Written by Jim McKinley

Money With Jim

Advisor Fee Disclosure: Why Plan Sponsors Could Use Another Set of Eyes

advisor fee disclosure The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration mandates third-party administrators of financial plans (TPAs) advise plan participants of fees taken from plan assets. The regulations regarding fee transparency were strengthened four years ago, with the intended outcome greater clarity for plan participants on where all of their investment dollars were heading.

Under the final DOL rule established in 2012, the fees charged to individual plan participants as well as the plan as a whole must be furnished by the plan administrator, as well as a variety of data on historical fund financial performance. The final rule also “requires participants and beneficiaries to be provided investment-related information in a form that encourages and facilitates a comparative review among a plan’s investment alternatives.”

The rule changes also have ramifications for plan sponsors/fiduciaries, who are advised to read the fine print on their fee structure. Plan sponsors should be able to answer two basic questions regarding plan fees:

  • Are the fees understandable to you and your plan participants?
  • Have you benchmarked your fees against industry fee averages?

A corporate retirement plan expert can help plan sponsors get to the bottom of their fees. With no standard fee disclosure language for plans, even retirement plan advisors need to read carefully. Furthermore, corporate retirement plan advisor can provide the market data needed to ensure that plan participants aren’t paying too much, relatively speaking, in fees.

The latter point shouldn’t escape notice, for it’s possible that plan sponsors could find themselves under legal scrutiny if fees are alleged to be too high. As the National Association of Plan Advisors notes, a current Minnesota lawsuit charges that plan fiduciaries didn’t conduct proper due diligence on a company’s fee structure, thus resulting in too-high fees for plan participants.

Have questions about fee regulations, benchmarking and transparency? Plexus Financial Services can help. Contact us at 847-307-6222 or via the web at PlexusFs.com.

Disclaimer: Plexus Financial Services does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal 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.

Plexus Financial Services is located at 21805 Field Parkway, Suite 300, Deer Park, Illinois 60010. The company phone number is 847-307-6222.

Securities and advisory services offered through Plexus Financial Services LLC, member FINRA/ SIPC, a registered investment adviser. 

plexus