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Social Security Surprise

Social Security Surprise

Live long and prosper. | Copyright Oli Scarff, Getty Images

Because women have a longer life expectancy than men, they spend more time in retirement and have to stretch their savings longer. But many female retirees are surprised by their post-retirement financial situation, according to a Nationwide Retirement Institute survey. Eighty percent of female retirees say they began collecting Social Security benefits early, and more than a quarter currently drawing Social Security say payments are less than they expected. Not to mention, the survey revealed female retirees could end up spending 70 percent of their Social Security benefit on health care costs, largely due to longevity. A big part of the problem? Only 13 percent of women say they received advice on Social Security from a financial advisor.

LPL Financial Team Partners With Focus to Launch RIA

Brett Shane Bernstein and Robert Kantor

A Rockville, Md.–based team led by Brett Shane Bernstein and Robert Kantor has left LPL Financial to start an RIA with the help of Focus Financial Partners. The team manages more than $600 million in client assets. Focus will help the new RIA, XML Financial Group, expand through mergers and acquisitions in the Washington, D.C. area. “Focus turned out to be a perfect fit for us because of the superb access to capital and expertise in M&A and value-add growth support it provides,” Bernstein said. This is the seventh firm to join Focus this year.

Car Payments Are Killing America's Wealth

Buy used. | Copyright Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Health care costs and raising children sure do put a crimp in a family's bottom line, but those expenses are not what's keeping Americans from getting ahead. Instead, it's their car payments, writes Jeff Rose for Forbes. Rose writes that a recent Experian study on the state of automotive finance found that the average new car payment now sits at $499 a month. That goes along with the average new car loan being extended to 68 months long. Rose suggests instead that Americans should hold onto the cars they have, forgoing new ones and invest the money they'd save by not having a car payment. Some back of the napkin math puts savings at between $349,000 and $820,000.  

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