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Gelinas Financial Group, Inc.

LISTEN, UNDERSTAND, RESEARCH, HELP. Money management has a new reality. Financial-planning efforts must consider “the whole client.” We offer a multi layer approach that starts with education. We strive to gain your trust then deliver the results you seek. At Gelinas Financial Group, Inc., our passion is supporting our clients by adding value: You need information to make correct decisions. We’ll help you achieve higher levels of success and better process management through cutting-edge solutions, training, mentoring, and continuing education. Our objectivity and independence mean you get the financial-planning and risk-management solutions that meet the unique demands of your present situation. We offer our expertise in the following areas: Financial Planning Retirement Planning Insurance Investment Coaching Annuities More Hope is not a strategy. We meet with our clients regularly to scrutinize their investments and make adjustments.

You Need More than Social Security to Live Well in Retirement

Author ShawnaKreis , 11/5/2014
Gelinas Financial Group, Inc., GA, Fixed AnnuitiesDo you really think that your monthly Social Security check will provide enough income so when you retire you will be able to pay all of your bills? Well maybe you can if you move to a smaller place, stop going out to eat, and don't travel any farther than to your doctor's office. Don't be forced to downgrade your lifestyle because you failed to plan for retirement. Living on a fixed income that hardly keeps up with inflation is a struggle millions of older Americans face every day. If you don't want to worry about money, or the lack of money, during your Golden Years, be proactive and do something about it today to secure your financial future. In order to have money tomorrow, you need to start saving today. If you already have a 401K retirement plan through work, you are off to a good start. Many employers match the funds you contribute up to a certain percentage of your income. If this is the case, you should absolutely take advantage of the "free money" you receive and participate in your 401K plan at least up until the amount of the employer match. If you like the mutual funds or other investment options of your 401K plan, you should think about fully funding the tax-advantaged account. Well, what happens if your investment options with your employer-sponsored retirement plan are limited and you don't feel comfortable investing in any of the available choices? As long as you have earned income, you can always open up a standard IRA or Roth IRA. Either type of personal retirement account allows you to choose the way you want to invest. It is never too early or too late to start saving for retirement. Starting early allows you to take full advantage of the power of compounding. If you have not been diligent about saving for retirement, you can catch-up by contributing the maximum allowable amount to your retirement plan or plans.

Get a Guaranteed Lifetime Income with an Immediate Annuity

Author ShawnaKreis , 10/29/2014
Gelinas Financial Group, Inc., GA, Multi Year Guaranteed AnnuitiesSocial Security is not the only way you can guarantee that you will have a monthly income for the rest of your life. Buying an immediate annuity can provide you with a guaranteed income for as long as you may live, even if it is to the ripe-old age of 100. Annuities come in many forms but they all have one thing in common. They all provide a future stream of income based on the amount of the annuity, the interest rate, and the specified term of the annuity. Annuities are sold by insurance companies and are considered, for the most part, to be among the safest types of investments. While not backed by FDIC insurance like savings accounts, an annuity is backed by the strength of the insurance company. Insurance companies that issue annuities are highly regulated and have billions of dollars in assets. The way an immediate annuity works is that you hand over a lump sum of money to the insurance company and the insurance company promises to pay you a specified sum of money, starting almost immediately. Payments are usually made monthly, but you can change the frequency if you so desire. An immediate annuity can be setup to pay you income for your life and also for your surviving spouse's life. In survey after survey, the number one fear of retirees is that they will outlive their money. An annuity that provides guaranteed lifetime income will calm that fear. Under the terms of the annuity contract, it will tell you the exact amount and exact date of the month that you will receive your payout. Your return on your investment is based on a number of factors but is most influenced by your life expectancy from the time you start receiving your first payment. If you live longer than the actuarial charts suggest you should live, you will continue to receive payments and your rate of return on your investment will be greater than what was calculated when you purchased the annuity. Annuities can be complicated financial products. Before you buy one, it is best to seek counsel and advice from a reputable professional who understands annuities.

Does Your Portfolio Reflect Your Retirement Goals?

Author ShawnaKreis , 10/22/2014
Gelinas Financial Group, Inc., GA, Split AnnuityYou probably did pretty well over the last five years if you had the bulk of your portfolio in stock funds and individual stocks. Over the last five years, the Vanguard S&P 500 Growth Index Fund, returned an average of 16.64 percent each year. True, the stock market was coming off its March, 2009 recessionary lows, but nonetheless, the stock market was the place to put your money. Now, you are five years older and five years closer to retirement. Perhaps you are already retired and receiving a Social Security check from Uncle Sam. It is most likely that you are at a stage in life where you can't afford to take as much risk as you did when you were in your 20s or 30s. It is not only good form to regularly review the holdings in your portfolio, but it is extremely important to do so when you are entering a new stage in your life. Your portfolio should reflect your changing needs and financial goals. It may be a good idea to sit down with a financial adviser and go over the present composition of your portfolio. While some growth is still important, the preservation of wealth is even more important. A professional financial adviser can look at your holdings objectively and make buy or sell recommendations based on data and facts. As financially savvy as you may be, emotions often get in the way of sound financial decisions. If you bought a stock that is down, you might hesitate to sell and take a loss. Some investors fall in love with a stock and never want to sell. You may not realize if your investments are risk appropriate and not know that there is a better way to allot the money in your portfolio. While there is no steadfast rule to follow to determine the perfect blend of stocks, bonds and CDs, the general rule is to reduce risk and focus more on income as you get closer to retirement age.

Protect Your Company -- Secure a Keyman Insurance Policy

Author ShawnaKreis , 10/15/2014
Gelinas Financial, GA, Independent Insurance AgencyProper planning is essential for any business organization. It just makes sense to plan ahead after you have invested a lot of effort and money just to have a solid business foundation. One mistake could result in the downfall of a company, especially when it involves the loss of a key man. This is why purchasing keyman insurance can be an excellent strategy to protect your company. Safeguard Your Company with Keyman Protection Providing insurance for your key employees is the best strategy to keep your company safe from unforeseeable disaster. Both small and large businesses can be assured that the loss of a valuable employee will not result in the downfall of a company. A form of keyman protection is an affordable method to insure a company and allows it to retain options should there be an unfortunate event such as death or disability of a key employee. The options may include recruiting replacement employees that are fit for the job, handling accounts of the company, or even selling the company successfully. Purchasing keyman insurance makes it easy to handle these matters. Keyman Protection Keeps Your Employees Basically, keyman life insurance protects your company from devastating effects due to the loss of a very important person in the business. In addition, keyman protection can actually help you retain valuable employees. Several small- to large-sized corporations hire valuable people who help reinforce the company’s foundation. To avoid losing these key employees, companies can use keyman protection as an additional employee benefit. A Company Without Keyman Insurance When your business does not have keyman protection, you should expect the company to face turmoil. If a valuable employee dies or becomes seriously ill, many companies can expect to face complications in long term and day to day operations. Securing a keyman insurance policy does not involve many expenses and it is also easy to get one. This is one simple decision that every company should consider. Sources: http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/key-person-insurance, http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/56068

Keyman Protection -- Why You Need to Insure Your Company

Author ShawnaKreis , 10/8/2014
Gelinas Financial Group, GA, Key man InsuranceLosing someone that holds a very important position in your company can be very devastating. There are events in this world that are beyond our control and one of those is death. When a valuable person in a company dies, it could create a sudden turmoil that may lead to financial loss or bankruptcy which is even worse. A situation like this can be prevented through a keyman protection plan which can safeguard your company from losing it. Keyman protection is an insurance plan that protects your business from any devastating financial impact it could suffer should a key individual in your company die or have a critical illness. Protection plans are available for short term to long term business stability. Here are the reasons why you should consider keyman protection.
  • It provides many options for your company during critical situations when an important person is no longer available to work.
  • This insurance company can release emergency funds for the key person’s sick pay or wage.
  • Keyman protection can definitely provide funds to employ a replacement employee.
  • It prevents any loss of profits and sales during the company’s financial turmoil due to the key person’s disappearance by creating a temporary fix.
  • This protection plan can find a way for you to balance the increasing workload by hiring more staff.
Keyman protection provides many advantages for your company. The consequence of losing a key person will be a very painful experience for your business and it requires you to make the smartest decision. Growth and productivity will be expected to slow down due to sales reduction that could happen abruptly. Keyman protection is the answer for your business needs during critical conditions. It will help you create an action plan that enables your business to run smoothly even when losing a key player. Remember that it is also possible for you to insure any key players of your team who are not shareholders. Sources: http://www.shareholderprotection.org/, http://www.keymanadvice.co.uk/

Estimating Your Retirement Income Needs

Author ShawnaKreis , 10/1/2014
PlanningYou know how important it is to plan for your retirement, but where do you begin? One of your first steps should be to estimate how much income you'll need to fund your retirement. That's not as easy as it sounds, because retirement planning is not an exact science. Your specific needs depend on your goals and many other factors. However, by doing a little homework, you'll be well on your way to a comfortable retirement. Use your current income as a starting point It's common to discuss desired annual retirement income as a percentage of your current income. Depending on who you're talking to, that percentage could be anywhere from 60% to 90%, or even more. The appeal of this approach lies in its simplicity, and the fact that there's a fairly common-sense analysis underlying it: Your current income sustains your present lifestyle, so taking that income and reducing it by a specific percentage to reflect the fact that there will be certain expenses you'll no longer be liable for (e.g., payroll taxes) will, theoretically, allow you to sustain your current life-style. The problem with this approach is that it doesn't account for your specific situation. If you intend to travel extensively in retirement, for example, you might easily need 100 percent (or more) of your current income to get by. It's fine to use a percentage of your current income as a benchmark, but it's worth going through all of your current expenses in detail, and really thinking about how those expenses will change over time as you transition into retirement. Project your retirement expenses Your annual income during retirement should be enough (or more than enough) to meet your retirement expenses. That's why estimating those expenses is a big piece of the retirement planning puzzle. But you may have a hard time identifying all of your expenses and projecting how much you'll be spending in each area, especially if retirement is still far off. To help you get started, here are some common retirement expenses:
  • Food and clothing
  • Housing: Rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners insurance, property upkeep and repairs
  • Utilities: Gas, electric, water, telephone, cable TV
  • Transportation: Car payments, auto insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs, public transportation
  • Insurance: Medical, dental, life, disability, long-term care
  • Health-care costs not covered by insurance: Deductibles, co-payments, prescription drugs
  • Taxes: Federal and state income tax, capital gains tax
  • Debts: Personal loans, business loans, credit card payments
  • Education: Children's or grandchildren's college expenses
  • Gifts: Charitable and personal
  • Savings and investments: Contributions to IRAs, annuities, and other investment accounts
  • Recreation: Travel, dining out, hobbies, leisure activities
  • Care for yourself, your parents, or others:  Costs for a nursing home, home health aide, or other type of assisted living
  • Miscellaneous: Personal grooming, pets, club memberships
Don't forget that the cost of living will go up over time. The average annual rate of inflation over the past 20 years has been approximately 2.4 percent. (Source:  Consumer price index (CPI-U) data published by the U.S. Department of Labor, 2012.) And keep in mind that your retirement expenses may change from year to year. For example, you may pay off your home mortgage or your children's education early in retirement. Other expenses, such as health care and insurance, may increase as you age. To protect against these variables, build a comfortable cushion into your estimates (it's always best to be conservative). Finally, have a financial professional help you with your estimates to make sure they're as accurate and realistic as possible. Content provided by ©2013 Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Retirement Planning - The Basics

Author ShawnaKreis , 9/24/2014
Rtirement JarYou may have a very idealistic vision of retirement--doing all of the things that you never seem to have time to do now. But how do you pursue that vision? Social Security may be around when you retire, but the benefit that you get from Uncle Sam may not provide enough income for your retirement years. To make matters worse, few employers today offer a traditional company pension plan that guarantees you a specific income at retirement. On top of that, people are living longer and must find ways to fund those additional years of retirement. Such eye-opening facts mean that today, sound retirement planning is critical. But there's good news: Retirement planning is easier than it used to be, thanks to the many tools and resources available. Here are some basic steps to get you started. Determine your retirement income needs It's common to discuss desired annual retirement income as a percentage of your current income. Depending on who you're talking to, that percentage could be anywhere from 60% to 90%, or even more. The appeal of this approach lies in its simplicity. The problem, however, is that is doesn't account for your specific situation. To determine your specific needs, you may want to estimate your annual retirement expenses. Use your current expenses as a starting point, but note that your expenses may change dramatically by the time you retire. If you're nearing retirement, the gap between your current expenses and your retirement expenses may be small. If retirement is manyyears away, the gap may be significant, and projecting your future expenses may be more difficult. Remember to take inflation into account. The average annual rate of inflation over the past20 years has been approximately 2.4 percent.  (Source: Consumer price index (CPI-U) data published by the U.S. Department of Labor, 2012.) And keep in mind that your annual expenses may fluctuate throughout retirement. For instance, if you own a home and are paying a mortgage, your expenses will drop if the mortgage is paid off by the time you retire.  Other expenses, such as health-related expenses, may increase in your later retirement years. A realistic estimate of your expenses will tell you about how much yearly income you'll need to live comfortably. Calculate the gap Once you have estimated your retirement income needs, take stock of your estimated future assets and income. These may come from Social Security, a retirement plan at work, a part-time job, and other sources. If estimates show that your future assets and income will fall short of what you need, the rest will have to come from additional personal retirement savings. Figure out how much you'll need to save By the time you retire, you'll need a nest egg that will provide you with enough income to fill the gap left by your other income sources. But exactly how much is enough? The following questions may help you find the answer:
  • At what age do you plan to retire? The younger you retire, the longer your retirement will be, and the more money you'll need to carry you through it.
  • What is your life expectancy? The longer you live, the more years of retirement you'll have to fund.
  • What rate of growth can you expect from your savings now and during retirement?  Be conservative when projecting rates of return.
  • Do you expect to dip into your principal? If so, you may deplete your savings faster than if you just live off investment earnings.  Build in a cushion to guard against these risks.
Build your retirement fund:  Save, save, save When you know roughly how much money you'll need, your next goal is to save that amount. First, you'll have to map out a savings plan that works for you. Assume a conservative rate of return (e.g., 5 to 6 percent), and then determine approximately how much you'll need to save every year between now and your retirement to reach your goal. Content provided by ©2013 Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Your Home as a Source of Dollars in Retirement

Author ShawnaKreis , 9/17/2014
HomeIf you own a home, you may be wealthier than you think. The equity in your home could be one of your largest assets, especially if your mortgage has been paid down over the years or paid off. This home equity can be a valuable source of extra income during your retirement years. How do you tap your home equity? There are two ways to tap your home equity if you're approaching retirement (or already retired) and don't want to make mortgage payments: You can trade down, or you can use a reverse mortgage. Trading down involves selling your present home and replacing it with a smaller, less expensive home. A reverse mortgage is a home mortgage in which the lender makes monthly payments to you, rather than you making monthly payments to the lender. Both of these strategies can give you substantial additional income during retirement. Note: You could get money from your home by taking a home equity loan, where you place a regular mortgage on your home. But you must repay the home equity loan, with interest, like other regular home mortgages. Trading down can give you increased income If your home is larger than you need, trading down to a smaller place may be a good way to increase your retirement income. The difference between the price that you receive for your present home and the cost of a smaller new home can be added to your retirement funds to provide you with additional investment income. The amount of cash that you can get by trading down depends on the value of your present home, the cost of purchasing a new home, and the incidental costs involved in the trade (e.g., brokerage commissions, legal fees, closing costs, and moving expenses). You should estimate these amounts to get some idea of the net amount that you will receive. To check the present value of your home, you should get an estimate of its selling price from two or three real estate agents. You should also get an estimate of the cost of your replacement home by shopping around for the type of home that you think you'll want. Note: If you think that the tax consequences of trading down are a drawback, think again. You may be able to exclude from federal taxation up to $250,000 ($500,000 if you're married and file a joint return) of any resulting capital gain, regardless of your age. To qualify for this exclusion, you generally must have owned and used the home as your principal residence for a total of two out of the five years before the sale. An individual, or either spouse in a married couple, can generally use this exemption only once every two years. However, even if you don't meet these tests, a partial exemption may be available. (For sales and exchanges made after December 31, 2008, this homesale exclusion won't apply to the extent the gain is allocated to periods (not including any period before January 1, 2009) during which the property was not used as your, or your spouse's, principal residence.) Trading down can reduce your housing costs The other important financial benefit of trading down is that it reduces housing costs--often substantially. A smaller home usually means lower real estate taxes and smaller bills for heating, cooling, insurance, and maintenance costs. If your move is from a single-family house to a condominium, your costs will be reduced even more because outside painting, roof repair, landscaping, and similar costs disappear into lower monthly condo fees. You should carefully estimate the amount of the cost savings that you'll get from trading down. Compare the annual cost of maintaining your present home with the expected annual cost of maintaining your new home. Be sure to prorate expenses that do not occur regularly, such as indoor and outdoor painting and roof repairs. But trading down may have disadvantages Consider the possible drawbacks of trading down. For instance, you may not want to reduce your living space by moving to a smaller home. Or, you may not be able to find a smaller home as attractive as your present home. Another common problem with trading down occurs if you are strongly attached to your present home. You may not want to be uprooted from your home and the social network around it. Still, you may also be troubled by worries that afflict many older homeowners, such as rising property taxes, the threat of escalating insurance, and the unexpected cost of major repairs. You may decide that trading down is warranted to lighten these worries as well as your financial burden. Note: If you sell your home at a gain and aren't eligible for the capital gain homesale exclusion, you'll have to pay federal income taxes on the difference between the selling price and your adjusted basis (the initial cost of your home, plus amounts you've paid for capital improvements, less any depreciation and casualty losses claimed for tax purposes) in the home. A reverse mortgage can also give you increased income If you are older and have substantial equity in your home, a reverse mortgage can give you a valuable supplemental source of retirement income. You can receive this income based on the equity that you have built up over the years in your home--without having to repay the reverse mortgage during your life. The amount of the monthly payment you receive from a reverse mortgage depends on four factors:
  • Your age
  • The amount of equity in your home
  • The interest rate charged by the lender
  • Closing costs
The older you are and the more the equity in your home, the larger your monthly payments will be. Also, a lower interest rate and lower closing costs will increase your payments. A reverse mortgage lets you keep your present home for life As discussed, you may not want to trade down for a variety of reasons, including attachment to your present home. With a reverse mortgage, you can increase your income and continue to live in your present home for life. The mortgage typically becomes due when you no longer live in the home. When reverse mortgage payments last as long as you live in your home, the mortgage is known as a tenure reverse mortgage. You can get other types of reverse mortgages, including an annuity advance reverse mortgage. With the annuity mortgage, payments last as long as you live, regardless of whether you continue to live in your home. But a reverse mortgage is not without drawbacks With a reverse mortgage, you must mortgage your home to the lender. Each payment that you receive from the lender increases the amount of principal and interest that you owe on the mortgage. Although the mortgage typically does not become due while you're still living in the home, the equity value of your home is reduced by each payment that you receive. This reduction in the equity value of your home may have a negative effect on your children's ultimate inheritance. Note: If you face a retirement income shortage, this equity reduction may be preferable to a reduction in your standard of living. Also, in the rare case where the value of your home appreciates more rapidly than the mortgage loan increases, equity reduction does not occur. A reverse mortgage may have other drawbacks, including:
  • High up-front costs: The closing costs for a reverse mortgage normally exceed the closing costs for a conventional mortgage. This means that a reverse mortgage may not be cost effective if you plan to remain in your home for only a few years.
  • No reduction in homeowner costs: Unlike trading down to a home with lower housing expenses, a reverse mortgage does not reduce your housing costs. Since you stay in your home, you still face real estate taxes, insurance, repairs, and other costs associated with the home.
Content provided by:  ©2013 Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Do not do these with your credit cards

Author ShawnaKreis , 9/10/2014

master-creditcardUseful as they may be, credit cards can also deadly.  Deadly to your credit rating that is.  If you have credit cards, don’t do these things to damage your credit rating.

  • Not monitoring your credit report and profile.  It is so important to keep a watchful eye on that.  Anything can go on the report and damage it. Identity theft is on the rise, meaning that someone else could be destroying your information without you knowing it.   You are entitled to one free credit report from all the big agencies, Equifax, Experian, & TransUnion.
  • Not paying your bills on time.  With online payments with virtually everything nowadays, there is no excuse to not have your bills paid on time.  Setting up recurring withdrawals from your bank account is easy to do.
  • Using your credit card for cash advances.  Credit card cash advances cost more money with the interest rate.  If you don’t pay off your cash advance immediately, your interest rate will follow you until that has been paid.
  • Going over your limit.  You have a limit for a reason.  Don’t go over it.  If you have $100 left on your limit, and you purchase that thing for $99, you are not calculating in fees and interest rates which will push you over your limit.  Yes, that thing that you absolutely cannot live without, can be purchased after your balance has been lowered.
  •  Stop with the plastic madness!  You do not need to have all those credit cards.  I don’t want to hear about all the offers they send you, no.
  • Don’t close that account just yet.  You will still be responsible for any balance that’s left on the credit card and just by using that card once a month for a minor purchase and paying off that purchase immediately, can keep your credit score in good standing.
  • Signing without reading.  So many people are ready to sign to get that new credit card they’ll sign just about anything to hold that plastic.  Don’t.  Read the fine print first because you’ll be agreeing to their terms and conditions, including late fee charges, interest rates, and all that other good stuff.
By following these few tips, you can save your credit rating. Content provided by Transformer Marketing.

You just hit the jackpot. Now what?

Author ShawnaKreis , 9/3/2014
8-20-14It happens all the time, people hit the jackpot playing the lottery, by an inheritance, or some other financial windfall.  Now what do you do?  You don’t want to blow it but the temptation is there.  We put together some tips for you so you get what you are looking to out of it.
  1. Don’t tell anyone.  As soon as people hear that you have a huge chunk of money, everyone will come knocking.  Even your “cousin” that you haven’t heard from in 25 years and you aren’t even sure how you’re related will try to be your best friend.  Best thing to do is keep your windfall to yourself.
  2. Figure you what you want.  Make a list of goals that you would like to use this money for.  If you are looking to take that exotic vacation, put that on the list.  If you want to help out with your favorite charity, put that on the list.  If you are planning on buying a house, put that on the list.  Resist the immediate temptation of just going out and spending.
  3. Pay off your debt first.  The moment you become debt free you will feel a whole lot better without that stuff running through your mind.
  4. Save, save, and save some more.  Make your money work for you.  Find out what financial plan works best for you and your needs and do it.
  5. Contact a financial planner.  We are here to help you navigate through all the legalities of windfalls.
Gaining a windfall is not the time to be impulsive, it’s the time to take a step back and define your financial goals.  Jeffrey Gelinas can help you with any questions you may have. Content provided by Transformer Marketing.