Spectrum Management Blog

By Tia M. Lee | September 4, 2015

Labor Day Weekend Tribute

Every now and then a voice from the past springs up to remind us that certain values stand the test of time. I believe this is true of a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt to the Hamilton Club in Chicago in 1899. Approaching the turn of the century, Theodore Roosevelt's message was that Americans must not strive for a life of ease but for a life of strenuous endeavor so that true greatness can be achieved. The underlining message in the speech is as true now as it was in 1899. In honor of Labor Day, I offer his wise words as a tribute to hard working people everywhere.

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Topics: Tia M. Lee

By Tia M. Lee | August 20, 2015

3 Tips to Help Clean Out Your Financial Dust Bunnies

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Topics: Tia M. Lee, Financial Planning, tia

By Tia M. Lee | August 6, 2015

Can Your Income Predict How Long You Will Live?

We all know that money can’t buy you happiness but apparently it can buy a few more years on this earth to search for what makes you happy.  According to The Health and Retirement Study conducted by the University of Michigan, there seems to a strong correlation between lifespan and income.  The study began in 1992 to survey a nationally representative sample of adults over the age of 50 in order to understand the dynamics of our aging society.  Since its inception, The Health and Retirement Study has provided an invaluable long-term look at the complex interplay of health, work, and economic status of Americans age 51 and older.

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Topics: Health Care, Retirement, Tia M. Lee, Estate Plans

By Tia M. Lee | July 24, 2015

The History of Social Security: How Many Times Have Benefits Been Reduced?

This week is the 2nd National my Social Security Week and it provides the perfect opportunity to take a historical look at Social Security. Social Security claiming mistakes are often made due to fear the program will dramatically change or benefits will be significantly reduced or eliminated.  This fear is particularly common among those nearing retirement. While there are no guarantees about future governmental decisions, reviewing the historical changes to benefits may put those fears into perspective.

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Topics: Social Security, Tia M. Lee, Wealth Management

By Tia M. Lee | July 16, 2015

What Does it Mean?: Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA)

The letters CTFA stand for Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and it is a certification granted by the American Banks Association.  This designation indicates the holder has completed training and demonstrated knowledge in the following areas: trust and estate planning and administration, estate and income taxes, investment management, and financial planning. The Certified Trust and Financial Advisor mark is appropriate for financial planners, tax professionals, and trust officers that provide estate planning advice to their clients.

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Topics: Tia M. Lee, Estate Plans, Designation Description

By Tia M. Lee | October 1, 2014

Will our government take back the promise to pay Social Security benefits?

I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say that by the time they are ready to collect Social Security benefits there will be no money to pay the benefits. All things considered, this thought is certainly understandable. Before you, too, come to that conclusion, let us look at a relatively recent Supreme Court decision and consider the dynamics of our political system. 

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Topics: Social Security, Retirement, Tia M. Lee, Wealth Management

By Tia M. Lee | August 20, 2014

Are Social Security statements accurate?

Social Security benefits statements are useless for retirement planning purposes, testifies Andrew Biggs, Ph.D. and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, at the July 29th U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means held to explore what the American public needs to know about the Social Security program. Biggs goes as far as to say that the statements are wrong and underestimate future benefits by as much as 35 percent -- the factor used to discount the future amount back to the purchasing power of today's dollar is a big part of the reason. 

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Topics: Social Security, Retirement, Tia M. Lee, Wealth Management

By Tia M. Lee | July 30, 2014

Estate planning: 4 areas families must discuss

In a recent post, I covered what can happen when a parent does not talk about their estate plan with their family. Today, I am going to follow up on the topic, providing ways to communicate about estate plans while still maintaining privacy.

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Topics: Tia M. Lee, Estate Plans, Income Tax and Estate Planning

By Tia M. Lee | July 1, 2014

The case of not communicating about your estate plan

Virtually all parents believe that they should discuss financial matters with their children, but according to a past survey conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education, 69 percent of the respondents felt they had barriers to open communication. I cannot readily cite statistics about other topics families struggle to discuss -- judging by nightly TV programming, however, it appears to me that money is the only topic that is off limits. Apparently, open conversations about all things make for a closer family and well-adjusted children. 

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Topics: Tia M. Lee, Estate Plans, Income Tax and Estate Planning

By Tia M. Lee | May 21, 2014

How to assess the value of delaying Social Security benefits

Determining when to apply for your Social Security benefits requires looking at many factors. You must take into consideration how long you plan to work, you and your spouse's health, the future amount of both partners' full retirement benefits, income taxes now and in the future -- the list goes on and on. These variables call for you to use your best judgment because they are subject to change; once you have made your decision on the variables above you are then faced with a difficult choice.  

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Topics: Social Security, Retirement, Tia M. Lee, Wealth Management