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Smart Money Management is a locally produced weekly radio talk show sponsored by Alderfer Bergen & Co. Hosts Alan Alderfer and Mike Bergen, discuss a wide range of financial topics that are relevant to you and your life in Northern Indiana.  This blog runs as a newspaper article each week in the Warsaw Times Union newspaper. It coincides with the radio show heard on the 107.3 WRSW, News Now Warsaw and Willie 103.5.

 

Friday, July 31, 2020

I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who made the unusual 2020 version of Riley Radio Days a success. We are so blessed to live in such a caring and giving community. Today we are going to cover what a retiree should do if...

 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

One of the strange things about this year is how long kids have been home from school. However, the start to the new year is just around the corner. College students, including one of my sons, will be heading back to campus in just a...

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

It seems crazy, but 2020 is more-than-half over, and what a year it’s been.The world we live in now seems completely different than the one we had in January. We began this year with a few columns about getting a handle on your...

 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Sometimes in financial planning we have to think about the unthinkable, our own mortality. No one likes to think about their own death, so estate planning is often put off in favor of more pleasant financial tasks. Before I go any...

 

Monday, June 8, 2020

We talk and write a lot about how important it is to have a plan for managing your long-term investments, particularly your retirement accounts. Regular listeners to Smart Money Management know how important we consider asset...

 

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Monday, May 11, 2020

This year is only one third over, but it seems like it’s already been one of the longest and strangest. Recent headlines seem to point in many directions like the fact that the stock market has largely recovered despite the fact...

 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Our modern society affords us many conveniences, but unfortunately there is a dark side to the technology that makes those amenities possible. It has given us a whole new category of crime: identity theft. Annually, almost 400,000...

 

Monday, April 27, 2020

We talk and write a lot about how important it is to have a plan for managing your long-term investments, particularly your retirement accounts. Regular listeners to Smart Money Management know how important we consider asset...

 

Friday, April 17, 2020

As we continue to practice social distancing and self-isolation, it may be an opportune time to take care of some the financial planning tasks we’ve been putting off. Estate planning is often one of the issues that gets moved to...

 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The current pandemic is a stark reminder that unexpected disasters can happen quickly and we may have to react. That is why every family should prepare what we call an “Evacuation Box”. This box should include your...

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The current pandemic is a stark reminder that unexpected disasters can happen quickly and we may have to react. That is why every family should prepare what we call an “Evacuation Box”. This box should include your...

 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Just a month or so ago, we used this space to write about simple portfolio building and about how important it is to have a plan for managing your long-term investments, particularly your retirement accounts. Volatility has come...

 

Friday, March 6, 2020

One thing that is certainly true is that if you don’t like Indiana weather, wait ten minutes and it will change! The weather seems to keep changing from winter to spring and back again. Hopefully, it won’t be long until...

 

Monday, March 2, 2020

We talk and write a lot about how important it is to have a plan for managing your long-term investments, particularly your retirement accounts. Regular listeners to Smart Money Management know that I have a major concern about how we...

 

Friday, February 28, 2020

We have been blessed here in Kosciusko county with a pretty good economy over the last few years. Unemployment here has been below the national average. Lately, though, we’ve heard about some plant closings and layoffs. Losing a...

 

Friday, February 28, 2020

One thing that is certainly true is that if you don’t like Indiana weather, wait ten minutes and it will change! The weather seems to keep changing from winter to spring and back again. Hopefully, it won’t be long until...

 

Monday, February 3, 2020

In the 25 years I’ve been in the financial planning business, I have been asked many times about ideas and methods for staying on top of your financial life. Many people take the time to put together a financial plan, work on...

 

Monday, January 13, 2020

The start of the new year is an appropriate time to work on getting a handle on your finances. This week, we will use this space give you the first steps towards reaching that goal. The start of the new year is a good time to make this...

 

Friday, January 3, 2020

Retirement has changed in many ways over the last generation or two. Here are some of the most important ones, and what you can do to plan for them. Perhaps the most important change has been the increase in life expectancy. A century...

 

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Federal Reserve has been in the news a lot lately, as they have reversed course and have begun lowering interest rates. The Fed is generally independent of politics but President Trump has recently been critical of Chairman Jay...

 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

We have been blessed here in Kosciusko county with a pretty good economy over the last few years. Unemployment here has been below the national average. Lately, though, we’ve heard about some plant closings and layoffs. Losing a...

 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Well, I don’t know what happened to fall, but winter certainly seems to have arrived early. This kind of weather makes many retirees consider abandoning Indiana in favor of a warmer climate until spring. Unfortunately, sometimes...

 

Monday, December 2, 2019

A month or so ago, I dedicated this column to discussing the different types of risk investors face in managing their portfolios. It was more geared toward talking about risk on a theoretical level. Today we will explore risk on a more...

 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The month of October is when many of us relish the chance to be scared by ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and other things that go bump in the night. While some find that sort of good-natured fright enjoyable, no one want to be scared...

 

Monday, August 19, 2019

As we me move through life, there are different stages to our financial reality. In each stage there are important steps to take to ensure success. Today, we will explore some of the common mistakes in each of the stages and how you...

 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Sometimes in financial planning we have to think about the unthinkable, our own mortality. No one likes to think about their own death, so estate planning is often put off in favor of more pleasant financial tasks. Before I go any...

 

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Fourth of July holiday is one of the best here in Kosciusko County, and usually means cookouts, fireworks, and time on the lake or in the pool. Independence Day means more than that though. It’s also the day we asserted our...

 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

As all savers know, interest rates have been unusually low for a very long time. The Federal Reserve (the Fed) lowered rates in response to the financial crisis in 2008, and kept rates low to encourage the recovery. In December of 2015...

 

Monday, July 29, 2019

We are often asked, “What can I do to be a better investor?” There are many simple steps that you can take to improve your investment results. Many of these tips are topics which we devote an entire radio show or newspaper...

 

Friday, July 26, 2019

One of the aims of this column, and of the Smart Money Management radio show, is to take the mystery out of investing and financial planning. Today, however, we are going to talk about myths that are widely regarded as truth. As Mark...

 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Losing a job is one of the most difficult things that can happen in your working life. In addition to the obvious financial issues involved in losing your income, we tend to include our job in our self-image, and build the routines of...

 

Monday, July 22, 2019

For some people the thought of financial planning can be overwhelming. They may have heard of financial planning but have no idea where to start. Often, the motivation to begin the financial planning process is a desire to get...

 

Friday, June 7, 2019

For some people the thought of financial planning can be overwhelming. They may have heard of financial planning but have no idea where to start. Often, the motivation to begin the financial planning process is a desire to get...

 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Our modern society affords us many conveniences, but unfortunately there is a dark side to the technology that makes those amenities possible. It has given us a whole new category of crime: identity theft. Annually, almost 400,000...

 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Many of our Smart Money Management radio shows and our columns here in the Times Union are devoted to retirement planning. Rightly so, considering that it is the most important financial planning task most people will face. However, we...

 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Alan and Jason and I are often asked for our thoughts on “The Market.” Do you think The Market is too high? Do you think The Market will crash? Where will The Market go from here? I’m sure all financial professionals...

 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

When our clients retire, they often spend the first few weeks or months feeling like they are on vacation. However, as Americans are living longer, retirement, while it is the end of your working career, is also the beginning of a new...

 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Although an advisor writing a column about how to meet with an advisor may seem a little self-serving, the goal is to help readers make the most of their initial meeting with a financial planner and to identify some of the qualities to...

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

I can always tell when spring has come to Kosciusko county. Those are the days here at the office when we run the heat in the morning and the air conditioning in the afternoon. It is also the time that many people start to think about...

 

Monday, April 15, 2019

We are often asked, “How do I become a millionaire?” The answer is, “By living simply!” This may seem an unlikely answer when we have been conditioned to think of millionaires as people who live in mansions,...

 

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Sandwich Generation is defined as adults who have a living parent over age 65 or older and are either raising a child under 18 or supporting a grown child. Caring for both parents and children at the same time creates pressures on...

 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The recent tornadoes in Alabama are a stark reminder that there is always a chance we could have to evacuate our home very quickly. That is why every family should prepare what we call an “Evacuation Box”. This box should...

 

Monday, April 1, 2019

One of the hardest parts of our job as financial advisors is helping clients whose spouse has recently passed away. Few things compare to the difficulty of losing one’s spouse, and that difficulty is often compounded by the...

 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

As we wait for spring to arrive, some of us start to think about our favorite outdoor activities. Spring is often the time that people around here start to think about retiring, often to spend more time on those favorite activities. We...

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

One thing that is certainly true is that if you don’t like Indiana weather, wait ten minutes and it will change! The weather seems to keep changing from winter to spring and back again. Hopefully, it won’t be long until...

 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Well, the weather outside finally matches the calendar – winter has definitely arrived in northern Indiana. This time of year, Alan uses this column to explain the basics of financial planning, and I use it to make some...

 

Monday, January 14, 2019

The start of the new year is an appropriate time to work on getting a handle on your finances. This week, we will use this space give you the first steps towards reaching that goal. The start of the new year is a good time to make this...

 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Wow! What a crazy December it has been in the stock market! In fact, it’s been a pretty crazy year. So far, 2018 has seen both the biggest single-day decline and biggest single-day gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in...

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

When many people turn 16, they are anxious to get their driver’s license. I know that has been true for my boys. Before we can drive, though, we need to learn the rules of the road. Some of them are laws, and some are just smart,...

 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Federal Reserve has been in the news a lot lately, as they have raised interest rates incrementally over the last three years. Recently, the Fed has drawn the ire of President Trump, who feels they have been too aggressive in...

 

Monday, December 3, 2018

This year, it’s going to be different. This year, I’m going to keep my holiday spending under control. It’s easy to understand how so many people get themselves in over their heads during the holiday season. In 2018,...

 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday, October 19th, was the 31st anniversary of the Black Monday stock market crash. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 508 points that day, a 22% decline. I was a freshman at Indiana University that day, and it was a...

 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Today, I’ll give you some ideas of things you to avoid as you plan, save and invest at various stages of life. The first stage we call The Age of Consumption. This is usually your twenties and thirties, when you are starting your...

 

Friday, October 5, 2018

We all experience the death of friends and family members in our life. In financial planning, we often find ourselves involved in the aftermath of those deaths. If the deceased planned their estate before their death, it usually makes...

 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

As all savers know, interest rates have been unusually low for a very long time. The Federal Reserve (the Fed) lowered rates in response to the financial crisis in 2008, and kept rates low to encourage the recovery. In December of 2015...

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

As regular readers of this column know, it is a companion to our radio show that airs on the weekends on WRSW, Willie and News Now. This week, when we were doing the show, host Roger Grossman observed that many of the keys to being a...

 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Alan and Jason and I are often asked for our thoughts on “The Market.” Do you think The Market is too high? Do you think The Market will crash? Where will The Market go from here? I’m sure all financial professionals...

 

Friday, August 31, 2018

When it comes to financial planning, the basics are relatively simple: save as much as you can in your retirement account; do not spend more than you make, and prepare your estate for after your passing. However, most individuals get...

 

Friday, August 10, 2018

I moved to Warsaw with my parents in the summer of 1977, and it is pretty amazing how Warsaw has changed and improved over the last 41 years. Over that same period of time, the way that Americans fund their retirement has changed...

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

We talk and write a lot about how important it is to have a plan for managing your long-term investments, particularly your retirement accounts. One of the basic tenets of your overall investment plan is how to best allocate your...

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Regular readers of this column and listeners to Smart Money Management know that I am the father of four sons. One of the things that my wife and I, like all parents, try to teach our kids is to learn from both the mistakes and...

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

It seems crazy, but 2018 is more than half over. Many of those New Year’s resolutions we made are just distant memories by now. We began this year with a few columns about getting a handle on your finances. Maybe you have, or...

 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Congratulations to all the graduating seniors, including my son, Alex. Alex will be joining his older brother Nick at Indiana University this fall. I’ve been joking that, with two at IU, I’m just going to have my paycheck...

 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Sandwich Generation is defined as adults who have a living parent over age 65 or older and are either raising a child under 18 or supporting a grown child. Caring for both parents and children at the same time creates pressures on...

 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

When our clients retire, they often spend the first few weeks or months feeling like they are on vacation. However, as Americans are living longer, retirement, while it is the end of your working career, is also the beginning of a new...

 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Every year we have clients and friends come into the office or give us a call with a deal that seems just too good to be true. As you probably expect, most of them actually are too good to be true. It’s funny though. As you are...

 

Friday, May 11, 2018

One of the aims of this column, and of the Smart Money Management radio show, is to take the mystery out of investing and financial planning. Today, however, we are going to talk about myths that are widely regarded as truth. As Mark...

 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Some people are intimidated by the thought of meeting with a financial advisor. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of those meetings. First, it helps to learn some of the basics of personal finance. You might check out a...

 

Friday, April 20, 2018

So, you wake up one morning and realize that you are 55 and you don’t have anything saved for retirement. It happens more often than you might think. Maybe college tuition has eaten up your nest egg, or maybe unexpected medical...

 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Over the last 30 years, a huge change has taken place in how Americans fund their retirement. Recognizing that change, and what it means to you, may be very important in determining what retirement lifestyle you can afford. For much of...

 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

For some people the thought of financial planning can be overwhelming. They may have heard of financial planning but have no idea where to start. Often, the motivation to begin the financial planning process is a desire to get...

 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I would like to just take a moment to thank everyone who helped make a successful Riley Radio Days for the KC Riley Kids Fund. We are always grateful to live in Kosciusko county, but never more so than when we experience the tremendous...

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The recent flooding in Kosciusko county and across northern Indiana reminds us that there is always a chance in we could have to evacuate our home very quickly. That is why every family should prepare what we like to call an...

 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

As we wait for the floodwaters to recede and for spring to arrive, some of us start to think about our favorite outdoor activities. Spring is often the time that people around here start to think about retiring, often to spend more...

 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Hopefully this mid-winter thaw means that spring is right around the corner. Spring also means tax season, which is often a trying time. One of the things that will help to make your life easier is being organized. Today we are going...

 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Losing a job is one of the most difficult things that can happen in your working life. In addition to the obvious financial issues involved in losing your income, we tend to include our job in our self-image, and build the routines of...

 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Market Update After more than 18 months of nearly uninterrupted advances, the U.S. equity markets started declining last week, with a large sell-off on February 5, 2018. Although it is always difficult to endure these declines when...

 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

In the 24 years I’ve been in the financial planning business, I have been asked many times about ideas and methods for staying on top of your financial life. Many people take the time to put together a financial plan, work on...

 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Today we will talk a little more in-depth about one of the first steps to financial planning, developing a household budget Hopefully, this will help to get 2018 off on the right foot financially. First, let’s not call it a...

 

Monday, January 15, 2018

The brutal temperatures of this first week of 2018 have made inside tasks much more desirable than outside chores. Even though warmer temperatures are supposed to come, this is still an appropriate time to work on getting a handle on...

 

Monday, January 15, 2018

The brutal temperatures of this first week of 2018 have made inside tasks much more desirable than outside chores. Even though warmer temperatures are supposed to come, this is still an appropriate time to work on getting a handle on...

 

Friday, January 12, 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, many of us are starting to think of New Year’s resolutions and improvements we want to make to our lives in 2018. A study showed that for next year, the most popular resolutions are: Eat better, exercise...

 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The last few years have been a period of extremely low interest rates in the United States and the rest of the developed world. Most of us have heard of the Federal Reserve and know that the “Fed” has a role in setting...

 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Some people are intimidated by the thought of meeting with a financial advisor. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of those meetings. First, it helps to lean some of the basics of personal finance. You might check out a...

 

Friday, December 1, 2017

This year, it’s going to be different. This year, I’m going to keep my holiday spending under control. It’s easy to understand how so many people get themselves in over their heads during the holiday season. Each year...

 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Now that the time has changed, and it gets dark early, and with the chill in the air, it really feels like autumn, which means the holidays and the end of the year are just around the corner Tax planning should be a year-long event,...

 

Monday, November 13, 2017

The last 12 months have been great for Cubs fans. We reached the NLCS for the third straight year, and have been basking in the glow of being World Series Champions. With the Astros victory this week, the Cubs are no longer the...

 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Over the years, we’ve noticed that our clients here in Kosciusko County have done a pretty good job of preparing for retirement. Increasingly, though, we are seeing more people who are delaying their planning because the view it...

 

Monday, October 9, 2017

One of the hardest parts of our job as financial advisors is helping clients whose spouse has recently passed away. Few things compare to the difficulty of losing one’s spouse, and that difficulty is often compounded by the...