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When you retire, one of your biggest decisions you may make is to take a monthly pension from your employer or take a lump sum that you can invest yourself. Before making a decision, Ray Lucia has a few items you may want to consider first.

Baby Boomers are often called “the sandwich generation” – sandwiched between caring for their parents as well as for their own kids.

If that describes you, one of your greatest challenges – both emotionally and financially – is to make sure your folks are prepared for their later years.

First you must find out if your parents have adequate medical insurance, long-term care insurance, or enough money to cover nursing home care. Do they have a will as well as durable powers of attorney, living trusts, living wills, or other medical directives? And have they budgeted enough so they won’t outlive their income?

That discussion, while emotionally painful, is critically important. Most parents, of course, don...

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If you are nearing retirement and still working you may want to consider allocating your funds to a decumulation strategy right now. That’s because you never know what tomorrow may bring.

It’s not just retirees and pre-retirees that need to focus on decumulation. No one knows if or when they’ll lose their jobs or become ill and need to tap into their retirement funds.

A decumulation strategy differs greatly from an accumulation strategy as it takes into account how to invest in order provide income at whatever point you may need it.

A comprehensive decumulation strategy may involve buying annuities, inflation protected bonds, and alternative income investments that are not likely to be found in your 401k plan.

You may a...

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I’m a big fan of mutual funds. Investing can be simpler if you forget about the individual stocks and stick with mutual funds.

They’re pretty close to being one-stop shopping for investors. And therein lies a problem: Do you buy’em and forget’em?

A lot of investors do. But I want to remind you that a portfolio of even the best funds needs attention.

A key question: is your money divvied up the way you want among stock funds, bond funds, and cash-equivalent money market funds? This is called asset allocation, and it likely will significantly affect your future returns.

No one mix is right for every investor. So what you need to do – on your own or with your advisor – is decide on your ideal allocation.T...

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