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Jason Parker

Two of the most challenging questions I’ve ever been asked were:

1) How will you be remembered?

2) What have you contributed?

After being asked those questions and contemplating the answer, I overheard someone talking about me.  They said, “Jason is very driven.” While I appreciated that what they said was meant as a compliment, I realized it was not what I had hoped someone might say. read more »


Marginal income tax rates are at an historical all-time low. Our government debt is at an all-time high and currently $17.5 trillion. Ten thousand baby boomers are retiring every single day. Social Security is expected to only be able to pay 77 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits by the year 2033, and we have recently overhauled the health care system, which is likely to cost us all a lot of money as we shift health care responsibility from individuals to the government. read more »


It was a Saturday morning, and my 8-year-old son and I were headed out fishing. The sky was clear and the sun was shining when we left our home, but by the time we arrived at the boat launch the fog was pretty thick.

I could see the sun trying to break through so I figured it would not be long before the fog had burned off. My plan was to get the boat in the water, stay close to shore and just fish right near the shoreline until visibility improved. read more »


Let’s look at a hypothetical example of how a home-equity conversion mortgage (HECM) could be used to help you increase your retirement income and be sure to leave a legacy to your heirs. Mr. Moon is 70 and Mrs. Moon is 68 years old. They are in very good health and have been retired for almost fifteen 15. When they retired, their pension was more than enough to cover all of their living expenses.  read more »

Retirement Lifestyles

An affluent client who was quickly approaching age 62 recently asked my opinion about when he and his wife should begin taking Social Security. My initial response was based on much of the analysis I’ve done about how one can actuarially maximize Social Security benefits over two peoples’ lives. By understanding the rules and structuring Social Security in such a way that you are taking full advantage of all of the nuances within the system, a married couple can greatly increase the amount of benefits received over two peoples’ lifetime. Sometimes us geeky number guys are more concerned with the math than the reality of how the choice impacts lifestyle.

This client pointed out that he and his wife have plenty of income from other sources and Social Security will just be an added bonus. He also pointed out that if he used the strategies we teach to maximize his Social Security benefits, it may mean he would receive more money from the Social Security Administration over both of their lifetimes, but most of that additional money would come much later in life. read more »


We are always looking for ways to add significant meaningful value to the financial lives of the people we serve, and I just learned about a planning opportunity that needs to be considered.

Please note that this opportunity is likely to change soon and may be lost completely. If you are preparing to retire from one of these three Washington State Retirement Systems please take a minute to read this and be sure to pass it on to anyone who you think this may help.

  1. Public Employees (PERS);
  2. Teachers (TRS);
  3. School Employees (SERS)

You probably know at the time of your retirement you can name a beneficiary to your pension. Depending on the income option you select, your beneficiary would continue to receive all or a portion of your pension income after you die. read more »


At a recent Christmas gathering I was speaking with a close friend who said, “You were right about that investment Jason. It turned out to be fraudulent.” Sometimes I hate being right, and this was one of those occasions. Let me share with you what happened.

Several years ago this friend, who is retired, told me they were considering a high-yield investment. This particular investment paid a much higher interest rate than was typically found at banks or was being offered by high-quality bonds or dividend-paying stocks.

Apparently, they had a relationship with a past business associate who had told them about this so-called “investment opportunity” and because of that existing relationship, they had a high degree of trust and confidence that the investment was a good one. read more »


I have had the good opportunity to work with many people who are retired business owners. Entrepreneurs tend to be cautiously optimistic and are very savvy. They have done a great job building their businesses, making money, and adding value to people’s lives. Often times, though, they have not had the time nor inclination to really dive into personal finance. They just make it, save it and keep working harder and harder. Then one day they realize they don’t want to work forever.

One of the questions I often ask in my first meeting is, “If you could wave a magic wand and accomplish just one thing by us meeting today, what would it be?” The common reply usually has something to do with the words clarity and confidence. Sometimes I’ll get the good-humored reply of, “I want to earn 20 percent per year.” read more »


I remember in 2008, when I was introduced to some folks who had recently retired, they came into my office and were very concerned about their investment portfolio. They explained they had lost more than 30 percent of the value of their portfolio in less than 12 months. What was worse is they had made plans to draw income from this portfolio every year to supplement their retirement income needs.

In my industry a prevailing bit of wisdom you may occasionally hear from financial advisers when Mr. Market is experiencing a lot of turmoil is, “don’t worry, over a long period of time the market goes up.”

Or another favorite is, “Well at least you have not lost as much as…” Either way, many people we serve are generally not comforted by this advice. Once you have retired you may not have a long period of time to recover from a significant market sell-off. read more »

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