More or Less

Sometimes it feels like there’s just more to do these days. Our houses are bigger and our toys more sophisticated, so there’s more to maintain. On the other hand, we can buy prepackaged salads and don’t have to shell peas anymore. Our cars don’t need oil changes nearly as often, and our ovens self-clean. But between checking emails, returning calls, running errands, carpooling children and being on-call for work and family issues 24/7, it’s important to take time out to simply do less.

In fact, according to a recent research paper, making time to do absolutely nothing can help foster our imagination and improve mental health.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Importance of Doing Nothing,” at Forbes, July 1, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the white paper, “Doing Nothing and Nothing to Do: The Hidden Value of Empty Time and Boredom,” at INSEAD, 2014.]

While this summer might be the perfect season for us as individuals to do nothing, corporations, U.S. government agencies and other nations at large have been busy doing some very positive things.

For example, businesses and governments went on a hiring spree in June, which yielded a drop in the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent. The good news is that the rate hike is due to people finding jobs, not simply giving up hope of finding one and dropping out of the job market as they have in the past.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Solid U.S. Job Gains Pointing to a Stronger Recovery,” at The Associated Press, July 3, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Five Takeaways from the June Employment Report,” at The Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the press release, “Employment Situation Summary,” at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 3, 2014.]

Also recently, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued final rules allowing longevity annuities to become more available to 401(k) and IRA markets. This salary deferral option allows participants to shelter a portion of their retirement plan savings to be distributed at a later age (typically 80 or 85), skirting the required minimum distribution at age 70½.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Treasury green lights annuities in 401(k)s” at Producers Web, July 2, 2014.]

But if you are exclusively focused on the positive news in the U.S., you could miss out on opportunities elsewhere. A recent report cites Argentina, Denmark and India as the top three best performing markets in the world, with the U.S. coming in at number 32.

[CLICK HERE to see the interactive chart, “Best performing global markets” at CNNMoney, June 27, 2014.]

We work very hard to earn our money, but many times we set up financial strategies and never look back. It’s important to remember, however, that there are times when it’s good to do nothing, and there are times when it may be beneficial to react to the constant changes in our world. If you would like a mid-year review to discuss your current retirement strategy, please give us a call.

Our firm assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies that include the use of insurance products.

These articles are being provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any financial decisions. While we believe this information to be correct, we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included. All clients are encouraged to consult qualified tax and legal professionals before making any decisions about your personal situation.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

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