Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama for Feb. 10, 2015:
1. Do you know approximately how much capital you'll need at retirement to fully fund your retirement years based on the lifestyle you want? Yes/ No
2. Do you have a written retirement plan strategy? Yes/No
3. Could you explain to another person how your money is currently invested? Yes/No
4. Are you confident in your investing skills or if you use a professional investor, are you confident in his or her skills? Yes/No
5. Do you know your projected - or current, if you are retired - Social Security income? Yes/No
6. Have you considered the potential impact of healthcare costs during retirement? Yes/No
7. In your retirement planning have you taken into account the possibility of having to provide some financial support for a parent or child? Yes/No
8. In your retirement planning, have you determined an appropriate withdrawal rate from your investment accounts? Yes/No
9. Do you have a Power of Attorney that complies with the new Alabama legislation that became effective January 1, 2012? Yes/No
10. Are you prepared to make the necessary changes to put your retirement 'on track'? Yes/No
Add up all of your 'Yes' answers. If you got nine or more Yeses, give yourself a pat on the back and be willing to share some of your knowledge with others who are looking for help in their retirement planning. If you got seven or eight Yeses, your retirement plan is likely in pretty good shape and you only need a bit of tweaking to get on track. If you got six or less Yeses, don't wait, you need to get focused now and make changes now or you're likely to face a less than pleasant retirement experience. Understand that even if you're already retired it's not too late to make changes that can significantly improve your situation. Get the help of a professional advisor. To find a Certified Financial Planner near you, visit www.CFP.net. For more information, visit www.welchgroup.com.
SAVE THE DATE: If you are looking for free financial advice or help with a wide array of financial issues, come to the 2015 Alabama Money Expo on Saturday, March 7th at Carver High School. This is a free event offering help in a wide range of financial topics. For more information, visit http://almoneyexpo.com.
• Will dietary supplements make you healthier?
• Does the supplement contain the ingredients it says it does?
A 2012 report from the Inspector General found that 20% of supplements for weight loss or immune system report made illegal claims. Recalls of supplements for containing dangerous substances are high and investigators often find that some dietary supplements are contaminated with toxic ingredients. And now, in the most recent case, the New York Attorney General's office ordered GNC, Target, Walgreens, and WalMart to remove a number of store-brand supplements from their shelves because they did not contain the active ingredients listed on the supplement. In other words, consumers were not getting what they paid for. How can this happen? While many consumers believe that over the counter supplements are regulated, the reality is, they are not. Supplement companies have only lax rules and can get away with a lot – including selling you products that don't even contain what the label states. How can you protect yourself? Enter the USP – the United States Pharmacopeia. The USP is an independent group that supplement companies can voluntarily ask to come in and inspect their supplements. The doctor who founded the USP almost 100 years ago also founded the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval! So look for the letters "USP" on supplements and this mark:
From the website: The USP Dietary Ingredient Mark & What It Means
"Manufacturers of dietary ingredients that pass USP Verification can display the USP Verified Ingredient Mark on containers of verified products, as well as on an accompanying Certificate of Analysis. When the manufacturers of dietary supplement finished products see this distinctive mark on the containers of ingredients they buy, they can feel confident that
• The ingredients are consistent in quality from batch to batch.
• The ingredients meet label or certificate of analysis claims for identity, strength, purity, and quality.
• The ingredients are prepared in accordance with accepted manufacturing practices.
• The ingredients meet requirements for acceptable limits of contamination."
What USP Means:
• Ingredients are consistent from batch to batch
• Strength, purity, identity, and quality have been tested
• Ingredients are prepared safely and without contaminants
Be aware that "USP" does not mean that the supplement will work for you or that you will actually be healthier by taking it. Most supplements do not have scientific evidence to support the benefits they claim!