What the Love of Money Means
John Piper in his book Money, Sex & Power makes an interesting observation. He asks, “Have you ever pondered the possibility that the first and the last Commandments are virtually the same, and function as kind of an enclosure, or bracketing, that makes the other eight commandments in the middle possible?” I had never thought […]
Are You Ready for Retirement?
Even before the pandemic, a disturbingly high percentage of currently working Americans, about 30%, said they believed they would not have enough money to survive in retirement. Add to that the 27% of people already retired who do not believe they will have enough to make it through their retirement without going back to work […]
How to Ruin Your Retirement Plans
A Retirement Guide for Millennials and More It’s crazy to start thinking about retirement in your twenties and thirties, isn’t it? Actually, it’s crazy not to start thinking and planning for retirement then! Yes, the world will be very different in thirty or forty years. Forget the world; American society will be very different in […]
What Can I Do?
During the Coronavirus pandemic, that is a question I have heard from a number of people. “I am only one person, what can I do?” But you aren’t just one person, you are one of many asking the same question. There is strength in numbers – a lot of strength! Here are a few ideas […]
What If You Have No Retirement Savings?
The sad truth is that many have saved nothing The numbers are bad, real bad. Northwestern Mutual released a report in 2018 that shows some shocking numbers. 78% of Americans are “extremely” or “somewhat” concerned being able to afford a “comfortable” retirement. Those concerns are justified based upon the following figures from that report: • […]
Don’t Just Settle for Good
There are likely very few Christian articles that will start with a quote from, of all people, Hunter Thompson. For those not familiar with him, Hunter S. Thompson (1937 – 2005), was an author and journalist who hated authority and made many outrageous statements like, “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to […]
Must-Dos Before Retiring
There is something very unpleasant about the thought of retiring poorly. The idea of retiring and then having to go back to work because there is no money as you near the end of the month and you can’t find the money to do the things you want is bad, really bad. No one should […]
The Problem With Worrying About Money
“Don’t worry. Be happy! That is easier said than done by far, especially looking at our economy. 2018 was not a kind year for those watching the U.S. economy and the stock market. In 2019, 2020 and even 2021 the market has been down due to the pandemic but then came roaring back, and was […]
How To Prepare For Retirement, Part 2
Ready, get set, stop! That’s the problem if you do not plan to retire! Last month we looked at How to Prepare for Retirement, Part 1, covering some of the many steps you have to take to get ready for your retirement. Retirement as a goal is not as easy as it may seem. You […]
Dealing With Incapacity
Physical and mental incapacity is not a fun topic and it is one most people love to avoid. But consider this: A family member develops a serious cancer and surgery is scheduled for debilitating radiation and chemotherapy. During that time and perhaps forever, everyone’s life is changed. A family member has an automobile accident or […]
Financial Abuse of the Elderly
We all get them, those emails telling us that we have an inheritance from an unknown relative – a really rich one – who left millions to us! Usually, that surprise relative is a prince in a foreign country we never knew was related to us. All we have to do is respond! Oh, I […]
How to Prepare for Retirement, Part 1
Ready, get set, stop! That’s the problem if you do not plan your retirement! Retirement as a goal is not as easy as it may seem. You are definitely not just retiring from work but you are retiring into something. That “something” is something you should define and plan for long, long before and not after […]
How to Give Wisely in 2022
The tax law enacted as a 2017 Christmas present to Americans by the administration and Congress, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, has had an impact on the structure and amount of charitable donations. That impact lingers on and is being discovered by more people even as they prepare their taxes for 2021. […]
A Few More Estate Planning Pitfalls
In our earlier article on this topic, A Few Estate Planning Pitfalls, we considered five of the most common estate planning pitfalls, including, 1. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish – get it done right. 2. Consider life insurance. 3. Watch out for changes in your family. 4. Have your assets increased? 5. How […]
A Few Estate Planning Pitfalls
“Hey, estate planning is a waste of my money. I don’t need a will, I don’t have much.” “My spouse is going to get everything so why would I need to spend a couple thousand dollars on estate planning?” “I’m too young to spend my money on that.” “I’ve got more important things to do […]
Inflation and Your Retirement
Inflation is low and has been low for years. In the past 20 years, the highest inflation was at the start of the Great Recession but even then it was only 3.8%. You have to go back to the 1980’s to find inflation above 5%. Avg. inflation for the past 20 Years 1997 2.3 1998 […]
5 More Common Problems Faced by Retirees
In our prior article, we posted five of the most common problems faced by retirees, death and taxes, the surprise delivered by RMDs, the changing investment world, keeping up with Medicare, and trouble following your finances. But there are always more. Here are five more issues that retirees face. 1. Transportation One of the abilities […]
5 of the Most Common Problems Faced by Retirees
When I was a teenager and thought life was fairly simple, I believed that retirement would be a breeze – life and its purposes would be clear, decisions would be easy to make and all the tough parts, like work, would be in the past. “Hey, I can do whatever I want when I want […]
Coming Soon to a Millennial Near You
The Greatest Wealth Transfer in History The hard facts: Many people want their children to have a better life than they did. And they are willing to try to make that happen. According to AARP, people older than 50 hold 80 percent of America’s household wealth, the non-organizational wealth. That amount is estimated to be […]
More on Long-Term Care
In our first article, Long-Term Care Considerations, we shared some information about costs and potential issues. As you look more into this complex product, you will find additional layers of complexity, additional potential issues. Fortunately, not all of them are serious, nor do they make this an undesirable product. Regardless of complexity, long-term care is […]
Planned Giving – A Blessing for All
Planned giving is a phrase many hear but few understand. To a degree, it is like estate planning, a phrase often misunderstood itself because it is thought of as just getting a will or trust. True estate planning is far more than just a will or a trust (see Documents (And Protection) Everyone At Every […]
Roadblocks to Retirement
If you ask enough seniors what they regret about their finances before retirement, you will get hundreds of different answers. Wells Fargo Asset Management did just that in 2015. They got a wide variety of answers but there was one answer that stood out. It was the leading regret by an overwhelming margin. There also […]
The Truth About Reverse Mortgages
If you watch TV, you have very likely seen one of those commercials, and maybe even one of the infomercials, on turning your home into cash for your retirement. The best part, according to these TV spots, is that you don’t have to sell your home to access its value. Now they have your attention! How […]
Helpful Health Coverage Sites
The Idlewild Foundation makes no recommendation of any particular health insurance coverage or plan, and does not endorse any of these plans. Health insurance coverage is very personal and needs are unique to each individual and family and their particular circumstances. The market is impossible to address in a single article and it is unwise to rely upon one website […]
Helpful Sites for Social Security
Social Security is a challenging topic for people who don’t understand the history and complexity of the entire U.S. retirement system. Along with our article “Social Security Can’t Do It All,” here are some website links that can help you educate and protect yourself. Please click Download Resource to access the helpful sites.
Social Security Can’t Do it All – A Primer
Social Security was created in 1935, signed into existence by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the heart of the Great Depression. The first taxing of earnings took place in 1937, with a maximum of $3,000 in earnings taxed at 2% (compared to a maximum of $127,200 at 12.4% in 2017 for a self-employed individual, plus […]
Essential Documents – End of Life Checklist
Why does documentation matter? Two Different Stories for Ken and Noreen Ken has been married for 22 years to Joanne. He has been the head of the household, the worker outside the home and the father to 3 children, Mary who is 19 and in college, Jimmy who is 15 and Ellen who is 11. […]
Helpful Medicaid Sites
Medicaid does not apply to nearly everyone, but it certainly applies to enough people and is complex enough to cause confusion for even benefits experts, especially when the issue of asset exhaustion and permissible assets comes up. Here are some sites to help answer your questions. Please click Download Resource to access the helpful sites.
Helpful Medicare Sites
Medicare is often a huge shock to persons reaching the threshold where they have to consider the many options of Advantage Plans, Supplements or Medigap, benefit limits and coverage. To get real help, you need an expert to advise you. For lesser questions, these website links may give you the information you need. Please click […]
Helpful Sites for Retirement Planning
Retirement is a time of many changes and new products, services, opportunities and challenges. Many people will offer help. Always be aware that “help” and advice, especially from private websites are often motivated by opportunities to market services for a fee. These private websites are listed not as recommendations but because at the time of listing the […]
Are you going to give your kids money to burn?
The importance of developing your Family Stewardship Philosophy now Over the course of history, fire has been a vital tool for empowering great achievements, but it has also burned many who brought it into their homes. Ironically, what begins as a desire to bless the family too often becomes a crippling curse. In this respect, wealth is […]
Foundations of Retirement Planning
Nearly two out of every three working Americans expect to delay their retirement. Many have no choice. The most commonly stated reason is insufficient savings. When and how can you start preparing for retirement and for the rest of your life? The answer to that question is easy. Yesterday, if possible.
Aging In Place
More Americans want to stay in your home as they grow older now than in past years. But it gets harder to do things on your own and you find that you may need assistance with everyday tasks. Staying at home can get expensive, prohibitively so. Some people, including family members, will tell you to […]
Making Your Home Senior-Friendly
Aging In Place In the recent past, there has been a shift back towards what is commonly called “aging in place.” Rather than move to a assisted living facility or even a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), seniors have shown a clear trend to prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. “Their […]
IRA Charitable Rollovers
Are you at least 70 ½ years old? If the answer is yes, you have the opportunity to make a gift of up to $100,000 each year from your IRA to a public charity by using a qualifying Designated Fund through The Idlewild Foundation in association with the National Christian Foundation (NCF). Please note, however, […]
Giving to Your Grandchildren
Many grandparents today ask themselves, “How much wealth should I pass on to my grandchildren? Will it be used for good, or for destruction?” Andrew Carnegie wisely said, “I not only ask, ‘Will my fortune be safe with my children?’ but, ‘Will my children be safe with my fortune?’”
How Can I Afford a Nursing Home?
People always assume that Medicare will pay for the nursing home. But Medicare only pays for a limited time after hospitalization and does not pay for long-term nursing home stays. Medicare was not designed to pay for what is more commonly referred to as long-term care. Despite that discouraging truth, you do have options. 1. Sell […]
What Legacy Will You Give?
One of the great blessings of my life was when I received an inheritance from a great uncle that happened to be the amount of the down payment my wife and I needed to buy our home, the one we now have lived in and loved for almost forty years. However, receiving an inheritance at […]
Long-Term Care Considerations
Long-term care insurance is just that – insurance. Will you need it? No one can answer that any more than you know whether you need homeowner’s insurance coverage for a fire that might or might not happen sometime in the future. But if that fire happens, you will be thankful for the premiums you have […]
The Myths and Truths of Nursing Homes
As with all of life, it is sometimes hard to know what is really true. “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes.” Not true, but we all heard it and probably many of us have said it. Let’s hear some of the myths and then the truth about nursing home and assisted living rights. […]
Your Financial Future By The Decade
Your future actually just started. Are you on board? Even if the answer is “yes,” there could be a problem. If you don’t know where you need to go or where you should aim, how can you possibly know what you need to do to get there? It makes some sense to give yourself some […]
The Four Percent Rule for Retirement
There is a “rule” often referred to as the 4 percent retirement rule that is popular among retirement savers. It gives you a guideline for how much you can spend in your retirement. However, the 4 percent retirement rule falls far short of working perfectly – after all, it is only a rule of thumb. […]
When Should I Retire?
There is an anonymous quip that has a strange truth to it about retirement – “The fellow who can’t figure out what to do with a Sunday afternoon is often the same one who can’t wait for retirement.” The implication is that the fellow in the quip may not be ready to retire, at least […]
Click to download a guide for creating a my Social Security account
This is a guide prepared for The Idlewild Foundation by a Social Security Administration representative who spoke for the Foundation in 2016.
Helpful Links and Numbers for Seniors
Helpful Links and Numbers for Seniors Helpful Local Government and Private Links and Sites West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc. This organization has information and services on a range of assistance for older adults and those who care for them in Hardee, Hillsborough, Highland, Manatee, and Polk Counties. 5905 Breckenridge Pkwy., Suite […]
A short article from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control. Falls are a major risk for seniors and this short article, entitled Simple Steps to Reduce Fall Risks, may help. See also our articles “Making Your Home Senior-Friendly” and “Aging in Place“.