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IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO SET GOALS
We’ve made it through the first month of the new year! We’ve set personal and professional goals, and we know many of you have done the same. But by the time we get into February, most people have fallen behind — or given up on them entirely. Or maybe you didn’t set any goals because you weren’t sure where to start or you hadn’t decided what you wanted to do this year. It’s never too late to set goals; it doesn't matter if you set them this month or several months down the line. You don’t need to set them in January — it’s just a good time to look ahead. Setting goals is still important, whenever it may be. The thing you want to avoid, however, is overcommitting or pushing yourself too far. This is where people run into the most trouble. A good example is a fitness-related goal. You might set a goal to exercise or go for a run five days a week, but if you haven’t been exercising regularly, this is unrealistic. You will get painfully sore and may even suffer injury. It’s simply too much upfront. You’ll do it less and less, and you may end up stopping completely. There’s an old riddle: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s okay to set a big goal, but you don’t necessarily want to go all-in right out the door. It’s important to take incremental steps and start with a series of smaller goals and work your way up. Let’s say you want to be physically active five days a week. You would make that a longer-term goal, but in the short-term, you would start with something simple, like exercising two days per week or something less strenuous until you build up more stamina. Then increase the number of days. If you want to eventually run 5 miles a day, you might start with a brisk walk or jog around the block. Then over the next several weeks, you can work up to jogging twice around the block, then three times. You can also change things up and try new, longer routes. After a few months, you might be hitting 5 miles with a mix of jogging and walking. Then, by month six, you’re running the full way!
If you find your fitness goals (which can include movement, exercise, and nutrition) aren’t working for you, it’s okay to recalibrate. It’s always better to make adjustments instead of skipping them altogether. Maintaining good fitness is just too important — especially in retirement. In terms of finances, I want to discuss something that may influence your financial goals going into 2020 — the SECURE Act. Everyone should have a financial plan. All of our clients do. In many ways, the SECURE Act is a reminder to take a look at your plan to make sure it’s up to date and reflects your current goals. The reason? The SECURE Act introduces several major changes to retirement accounts, including IRAs and Roth IRAs. One of the biggest changes has to do with the required minimum distributions (RMDs). In the past, you had to take RMDs from your IRAs when you hit age 70 1/2. If you turn 70 1/2 this year or in the future, this no longer applies. The new RMD age is 72. Another major change is you can now continue to contribute to your IRA after age 70, but you still must have earned income. Now, what may be the biggest change has to do with your legacy. When an IRA or Roth IRA is inherited by a non-spouse (such as your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc.), they must take distributions within 10 years. In the past, there was no set time restriction. Now, your beneficiaries must empty the account within 10 years of inheritance. They can take the money out incrementally — or they can wait until year 10, but the account must be liquidated. If you have any questions about the SECURE Act and your financial plan, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help you navigate these changes and make sure your plan is lining up with your goals and your legacy. If you have any questions about setting goals—whether they are fun, fitness, or financially-related—we’re more than happy to talk about those, too! Kelly Campbell
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Give the Gift of Life Feb. 14 is National Donor Day
Join a Donor Dash. Donor Dash fundraising events pop up all over the country on National Donor Day. These noncompetitive 5K running and walking events are designed to bring donors and recipients together and keep hope alive for those who are currently waiting for a donation. To learn more, or to register for an event, check out DonorAlliance.org. Participate in #StartTheConversation. Donor Alliance, a nonprofit that works to promote organ donation, began the #StartTheConversation campaign as a way to help spread awareness about organ and tissue donation. Starting the conversation can be as simple as sharing that you registered with your friends and family or as personal as sharing a story about how organ donation has touched your life or the lives of your loved ones. Don’t let another Valentine’s Day come and go in a tide of cellophane, candy hearts, and cheesy cards. This year, get involved in National Donor Day. After all, what better way is there to express the value of love than giving the gift of life?
With all the cards, chocolates, and expensive dinners, it’s easy to get cynical about Valentine’s Day. However, National Donor Day also falls on Feb. 14, and it can refocus our attention back on the real meaning of the day: love.
In the U.S., 20 people die each day while waiting for an organ transplant. Losing loved ones is one of the most painful aspects of the human experience, and while it is unavoidable, organ donation offers a pathway to help prevent that loss and keep more love in the world. In the spirit of that love, here are a few ways you can get involved with National Donor Day this Feb. 14. Register as an organ donor.
Signing yourself up is easy and can be done either online or in person at your local Department of Motor Vehicles. You’ll need official identification to register. Registration is not permanent and you will always have the option to change your mind. Once registered, you will not need to carry your donor card with you, as your status exists in the registry.
ABBREVIATE THEDATE? Why You Need to Write Out '2020'
When you write out the date, many of us abbreviate the year to 2/14/20. Longer, it reads 02/14/2020. We get in the habit of writing the shorter version because it’s a little quicker and gets straight to the point. But you might be doing yourself a major disservice. Dates like this appear on all kinds of documents, from leases to checks. However, by abbreviating the date — especially starting this year, 2020 — you open yourself up to potential fraud. Abbreviating a number means someone could potentially write out the rest of the number. 2/14/20 could become 12/14/2021. The executive director for the National Association of Consumer Advocates, Ira Rheingold, explains why this is problematic: Let’s say you write a check and date it 2/2/20. The check was meant for a specific purpose, but it goes unused. If you went to use that check over six months later in the year, it should be declined because it’s out of date. However, someone could easily modify the check to read 2/2/2021 so the check could be used again. If the check is out of your hands, it can put you at risk for financial fraud.
Another example of potential fraud exists between creditors and
lenders. If you date a lending contract 2/14/20, but you miss a
payment during the course of the contract, an unsavory lender could change the date on the
contract. Rheingold gives the example of adding the number 19, making it 2/14/2019. Suddenly, the lender could claim you owe them for the entire year. Hopefully, you’d have the carbon copy of the document to refute their false accusations. If not, you’d be out of luck. The next time you date a document, be aware of how you write out the date. Thankfully, when you catch yourself, it’s an easy fix. Get in the habit of writing out the full date and year. It’s just one more simple way you can protect yourself from financial fraud.
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DON’T LET SCAMMERS GET YOU DOWN Protect Yourself and Your Money
According to a recent survey by the American International Group (AIG), a majority of Americans over the age of 65 don’t know much about the myriad financial scams circling the globe. Reports show that ignorance of these scams has proven costly for the 65-plus crowd, who are the most frequently targeted demographic. Is It Love? One common shakedown taking seniors and retirees for a ride is the online romance scam. As part of it, a person poses as a potential date or romantic partner and engages in a fake relationship with the victim. The scam usually starts with an online or web-based dating service and progresses to texting or talking over the phone, but it always stops short of an in-person meeting. Instead, after the scammer has gained the trust of their victim, they’ll claim there’s been some kind of emergency for which they need money fast. The clueless victim usually offers to wire them the money. In many cases, the scammer will continue asking for money for as long as they can get away with it. Then, once the victim figures they've been bamboozled and try to retaliate, the scammers vanish — off to find their next target. Would you like to be a Campbell Wealth Management Ambassador? Would you like access to exclusive CWMAmbassador events?
Did You Pay? Another prevalent rip-off is the invoice scam. Again, AIG reports that about 57% of people aged 65-plus aren’t familiar with this sham. In most cases, the victim
receives a phone call or email from a representative of a local company, who says they still owe money for a bill or service. For example, the scammer may tell the victim they owe an overdue $50 for their power bill. If the victim says they’ve already paid, the scammer might respond, “Your payment didn’t process correctly.” The crook’s job is to get the victim to relent and pay up. Then, once they’ve been paid, usually via credit card number or wire transfer, the scammer once again vanishes along with a significant portion of someone’s bank account. Scammers want your money, but if you are aware of today’s hustles, you can better protect yourself and your assets. Luckily, AIG also found that nearly 92% of the 65-plus crowd now ignores phone calls, texts, and emails that request personal information, and 89% of these folks say they avoid clicking links from unknown senders. Be vigilant and remember that if someone calls you and demands personal information over the phone or asks you to wire money, there’s a very good chance it’s a scam.
Taxes in Retirement Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m. or Thursday, Feb. 13 at 6:00 p.m. Fairlington Community Center
3308 S Stafford Street Arlington, VA 22206
All you have to do is refer a friend. Do you know someone who: • Wants to be better prepared for retirement? • Is looking for a second opinion regarding their portfolio? • Has gone through a major life event (death of a spouse, retirement, etc.)? Call us at ( 571) 800-6371 and let’s set up an introduction! If they are important to you, they are important to us.
Retirement Planning Workshop Thursday, Feb. 20 at 1:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.
Sherwood Regional Library 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane Alexandria, VA 22306
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Set Goals You’ ll Stick With Give the Gift of Life HowWriting the Date Can Get You Into Serious Trouble Don’t Let These Scammers Steal Your Money Upcoming Events Your Epic Adventure Awaits
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CREATE YOUR OWN ODYSSEY MYTHICAL ADVENTURES AWAIT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. Sicily, Italy One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. Gozo, Malta While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia,
home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ġgantija temples, which are older than
the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. Ithaca, Greece If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey —minus the mythical monsters, of course.
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