Page 19 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - December 2016 - 23-12
P. 19

Time for a Year-end
Investment Review
✭ Mall Kiosks ✭
✭ Pharmacies ✭ Gas
Stations ✭ Supermarkets ✭
✭ Bookstore Retail Chains ✭
✭Clothing Boutiques✭Dollar Stores✭Catalogs✭
✭Convenience Marts✭Candy Shops✭Music Stores✭
✭Grocery Stores✭Electronics Stores✭Pop-up Shops✭ SELLING TOYS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
✭ Craft Retail Chain Stores ✭ Christmas Tree Shops-in-a-Tent ✭ ✭Stores with Words like “Beyond” in Their Name✭Consignment Stores✭
✭ Nurseries ✭ Fancy Hotel Gift Stores ✭ Not-So-Fancy Hotel Gift Shops ✭
58 W. Michigan in Downtown Battle Creek • 269-224-3089 •
Open 7 Days A Week, 10am - 5pm
By: Brent Fast, Edward Jones Financial Advisor
With the holiday season upon us, you may well be busier than usual. However, by spending a few minutes reviewing your investment scenario of this past year, you can see where you’ve been, where you might be going, and what you need to do to keep moving forward toward your long-term financial goals.
So, as you look back at 2016, pay close attention to these elements of your investment picture:
• Performance – Reviewing your investment performance over time is important in helping you determine if you’re on track to achieve your financial goals. So, in evaluating how your investments did in 2016, ask yourself some key questions: How did your investments do relative to their performance in past years?
If there was a big difference, what might have accounted for it? Were your returns relevant to your long- term goals? In other words, if you have already established a return rate you’ll need to reach your goals – and you should indeed set such a rate – were your actual returns “on track” to help you make progress toward your objectives? And, just as impor- tantly, were your return expectations realistic, based on your investment mix and the market environment?
• Investment Mix – If you are a diligent investor following a well- designed strategy, you probably started out in 2016 with an invest- ment mix that reflects your risk tol- erance, time horizon, and short- and long-term goals. But over time, your investment mix can change, even without your having done so on purpose. If you owned a certain per- centage of an asset, such as growth
stocks, and those stocks appreciated in price substantially, they could
take up a larger percentage of your portfolio than you had intended, thereby exposing you to a higher risk level than that with which you are comfortable. So now that the year
is coming to a close, examine your investment mix to see if it needs “rebalancing.”
• Contribution Levels – Are you taking full advantage of your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retire- ment plan? Specifically, if you got
a raise this past year, did you boost your contributions to your plan? The more you invest now, and throughout your working life, the less likely it will be that you have to play “catch up” in the years immediately preced- ing your retirement.
• Mistakes – We all make mistakes in every walk of life – including the way we invest. In looking back over 2016, can you spot some investment mistakes you might have made? Did you temporarily “bail out” on invest- ing immediately after the “Brexit” vote, only to find, a few weeks later, that the markets had soared to record highs? Did you act on impulse and buy a so-called “hot” stock that turned out to be inappropriate for your needs and risk level? While mistakes like these might be costly in the short term, they can ultimately prove invaluable – if you learn from them.
We’re just about ready to turn the page on the 2016 calendar. So, as you review your investment deci- sions for the past year, try to deter- mine what worked, what didn’t – and what you can do to improve your results in 2017.
 Antiques & collectibles
 Homemade jams, honey & maple syrup  Silk & dried floral arrangements
 Jewelry
 Primitive giftware
 Amish log furniture
 Braided rugs
 Yarn shoppe
 Baby giftware
 Hand built furniture  18” Doll clothes
 Country decor
Social Security
Gift Certificates & Layaway Available
Call For Dealer Space Availability • RV & Bus Parking
10750 W. CHICAGO ROAD (US 12)  ALLEN, MICHIGAN 517-869-2250 
Timing counts when it comes to your social security benefit
Social Security can be one of your most valuable retirement assets. The decision of when you start taking your benefit impacts how much you’ll receive.
Call or visit today, and learn how your decision impacts your overall retirement income strategy.
Final decisions about Social Security filing strategies always rest with you and should always be based on your specific needs and health considerations. For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website at
Brent D Fast, AAMS®
Financial Advisor
18 West Michigan Avenue, Suite 1a Battle Creek, MI 49017 269-965-8531
Question:I have never worked but my spouse has. What will my benefits be?
Answer: You can be entitled to as much as one-half of your spouse's benefit amount when you reach full retirement age. If you want to get Social Security retirement benefits before you reach full retirement
age, the amount of your benefit is reduced. The amount of reduction depends on when you will reach full retirement age. For example, if your full retirement age is 66, you can get 35 percent of your spouse's unre- duced benefit at age 62 (a permanent
reduction); if your full retirement age is 67, you can get 32.5 percent of your spouse's unreduced benefit at age 62 (a permanent reduction).
The amount of your benefit increases if your entitlement begins at a later age, up to the maximum
of 50 percent at full retirement age. However, if you are taking care of
a child who is under age 16 or who gets Social Security disability bene- fits on your spouse’s record, you get the full spouse’s benefits, regardless of your age. Learn more about retire- ment benefits at www.socialsecurity. gov/retirement.
Have a Happy Holiday Season
Senior Services of Southwest Michigan
CALL 866-200-8877 TODAY!
Meet volunteers, help your neighbor, make a difference!
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Senior Times - December 2016
Page 19 | Member SIPC

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