Ali'i Financial Consulting Bring your legacy to life. Thu, 22 Jan 2015 04:44:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Social Security’s Silly Cost of Living Increase Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:07:48 +0000 Social Security payments will rise 1.7% in 2015, CNNMoney reports:


Of course, this tiny increase will hardly cover the increasing costs for medical!! This recent article reminds us that we ought to view Social Security as only one form of a retirement income stream in your overall planning.

How many citizens and SS recipients realize that these COLA (cost of living adjustment) increases are based on the CPI which is set by our “prudent” leaders in D.C.?  It supposedly represents the price inflation of our daily consumption items. Given this assumption, why then are the numbers skewed by removing food and gasoline from the equation??

Share this info with your friends and family. Using the concept of time and compounding, you’ll prepare to build other sources of income to supplement Social Security, thus increasing your chances of having enough income during your “Golden Years.”

If you are counting on Social Security, contact me with any questions or concerns. We are your partner for Retirement Cashflow planning!


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Are you “Sitting Too Long” and wasting your workout?? Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:52:42 +0000 Check this out. It’s true and you can save yourself a lot of pain in your legs, back, neck, shoulders…you get the idea.  Good reminder, folks!


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Obamacare alternative? Wed, 29 May 2013 19:10:51 +0000 If you aren’t already aware, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka obamacare) is rolling out its massive “takeover” of healthcare this October. Beginning tax year 2014, you will pay a $695 penalty if you do not have approved health insurance.  Company or Employer group plans are bracing for 100 -400% rate increases. Note: Your budget needs to prepare as well.

This link is to an article on a doctor in Portland, ME, who is attempting to “work for his patients” instead of the government or insurance companies.

If you know of any quality physicians like him, please do send me a message with that information. We need to have alternatives for patient-focused care once again. Functional medicine practitioners are great but usually pricey. Let’s spread the word if you have referrals!

Good health to you!

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Bank Levy “Did You Know?” Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:25:17 +0000 As the global economy continues to enfold, we have more insight to our possible future by observing the latest development in Cypress. Passed in the cover of darkness (aka on a weekend, holiday schedule), Cypress banks’ customers awoke to find that their cash was invaded, and restrictions applied to all withdrawals.

Well folks, I encourage you to contact the FDIC and ask them what happens to your bank deposits if such an event takes place in the good ole USA. The FDIC insures against bank failure, but not against any tax or “levy” instituted by your government.

Another reason to diversify liquid assets, hold cash reserves outside the banks, and be vigilant as your elected officials craft laws that increasingly erode your presumed rights.

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A Little Wisdom to share… Thu, 13 Sep 2012 03:50:50 +0000 “Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”—C.S. Lewis

Making some observations of the market, and wondering if it’s “very” high, moving “infinitely” higher, and trying to guess what’s driving these moves.  There are experts on both sides of the fence – the “Go Long’s”, and the “Short the market at these highs”. It’s a zero-sum game: you gotta have Buyers and Sellers, aka Winners and Losers, aka Market Makers and Novice Traders. Which one are you?

Some S&P 500 notable numbers:

High 1549 Oct. 31, 2007

Low 735 Feb. 27, 2008

Current 1436 Sept. 12, 2012

They really mean nothing, except if you put all your money in at the low or the high. However, not many people realistically invest this way – think “buy low, sell high”….. it sounds easy, yet not many are executing this “easy plan”. Is the ongoing, depressing economic conditions still a factor for you? What about your liquid cash/savings sitting in CD’s, money market, or at best, the “high-yield online banking” accounts? How will the potential QE3 affect the market this time? [rises each time Ben hits that digitizing/”we don’t print money” button]  Should you worry about inflation? Deflation? Check out the debt clock on my Home page and really ponder how we (or our grandchildren) are ever going to pay this off, and the consequence on our economy.

Is the market going to the next Supply level or will it reverse? [I highly recommend the Sam Seiden webinar at for a solid lesson in Supply-Demand Odds Enhancers].

If your thoughts are spinning like a tornado, perhaps you might want to consider some safe money options for a portion of your portfolio. Although not all Equity Index Annuities are built the same, the best ones can be a “very” prudent asset to preserve some funds for guaranteed principal & growth, guaranteed income, and guaranteed increasing death benefit for your spouse or family. The superior contracts even assure you that fees are only charged when your account has increased in value above and beyond the fees. Certainly provides peace of mind for most folks.

I suggest that you keep one eye on QE3, October, and the election, and the other on your 401(k) and other equity investments.

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Which “Diversified Investor” are you? Sun, 01 Apr 2012 08:18:18 +0000 Cliff in HawaiiHow many times have you heard that the best way to invest your money is to diversify? So what exactly does that mean to you?

Having many years of experience as a Registered Rep with various broker dealers, I know that my peers are trained to “sell” asset allocation portfolios to help their clients diversify. Our training included assumptions such as, “you need to have a blend of Large Cap, Mid Cap, Small Cap Equities, plus some corporate bonds, government bonds, perhaps inflation protected treasuries, along with International or global funds or companies, to really own a diversified portfolio”. It seemed a little off-balance to me, as I pondered how to best serve my clients in this “New Normal” economy.

When March of 2008 happened, how did all those asset classes perform??? It wasn’t pretty, and so much for that diversified portfolio. However, we’re now at the point of “market recovery”, ain’t that grand?!  To hear the media report it, “the market has risen 100% since 2008″.  Oh goodie, now my account is just where it was 4 years ago! How does that translate into a 7% rate of return on your retirement projections?

Perhaps I sound a bit cynical but my reality tells me that we will not see this market continue to rise, so now may be a good time to re-evaluate your plans. We’ve been letting our client accounts recapture their gains, using charts and simple moving averages to keep us “in the money” and being alert to the need for protecting principal once we do decide to “lock in the gains”…

How often have you been presented with a true all-asset class diversified mix, including real estate, precious metals, foreign currencies and commodities as a foundation for your investment portfolio? This works well for both your short term and longer term [i.e. Retirement] wealth buckets.

Here is an article on silver and gold that might interest you.

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Is Too Big To Fail now “What’s in your wallet?” Sat, 03 Mar 2012 05:22:57 +0000 Well, most of the folks I know don’t have time to keep up with the fast lane of high finances, but I had to stand up and take notice when I received an email informing me that Capital One would now be taking over my Kohl’s Credit Card! It was bad enough that they acquired my once-favored online bank, ING Direct. This is a commentary on one of the places we put our “Safe Money”~

Using my mini-detective skills, I dug a little deeper on this story. What I found was disturbing enough to result in a decision to close & move my ING Direct account elsewhere.

Did you know that “TBTF” [Too Big To Fail] is a new acronym birthed out of our latest financial crisis? Yes, whenever you hear it, think, “No, I am not bailing out another failed, giant corporation, backed by the corrupt DC politicians”!! Click here to read a story on that exact thought—and herein I will add a few tidbits from my “investigation”.

Sometime around August of 2011, Capital One acquired the US Credit Card business from HSBC Holdings. In December 2008, they took over Chevy Chase Bank. Previous years acquisitions include plastic credit of the AFL-CIO (largest union in the US), Best Buy, and General Motors! This was enough to smell “govt. mess” right away.

Now I’m not saying that you should close your ING Direct account, but I personally will no longer patronize ING & give my dollars to a company who I have no doubt is making stinky, wheeler-dealer, transactions with the Fed’s blessing.  It is widely known that Capital One had exerted its aggressive, sub-prime lending practices to grow itself.

While I believe in the free market (capitalism in it’s purest form), we all know that many giant corporations have compromised success for greed. Still, the alternative of government-controlled everything is far worse. As consumers, we all need to pay attention to who gets to use our hard-earned dollars, choosing companies who balance rewarding customers and shareholders with their profit-margins.

Contact me for more information on Safe Money alternatives.

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Good ‘ole and other Federal Agencies Thu, 01 Mar 2012 00:22:07 +0000 If you’re like me, it occurs to you every once in a while that you might like to know what your Social Security Retirement Benefit might be, in case the govt. (I researched to verify that SSA is an Independent Agency under the Executive Branch) doesn’t really blow it up??! Well, for those who haven’t noticed, the 2011 statement did not arrive. And for those who already know or care to know, you won’t be receiving one of those due to “budget cuts”. You mean, “that budget that hasn’t been passed by this Administration and congress??

Yes, you see they can still spend $millions on salaries & benefits of federal agencies to PREVENT permits to drill for oil or re-open those “Shut down” refineries, but American workers would no longer have access to their earnings history or annual Social Security benefit statements. This was supposed to be a temporary thing from April through September 2011. However, at last check their website hints at ‘indefinitely’. By the way, the latest budget proposed by our president would not cut any federal agencies in layoffs or paycuts, but only our military would be subject to cuts and lesser benefits. I won’t even get started on this brilliant idea…

You may still access an “estimated” benefit statement online, or even mail order a personalized estimate of your future retirement benefits, but it won’t contain the detail and earnings history of that physical statement you had been receiving.

So now we get to pay dearly at the pump, or buy a Chevy Volt, or ride “high-speed, govt-subsidized rail/trains”, but don’t try to check on your earnings history any time soon. This is just a reminder that you need to keep your tax returns in case you need to prove your earnings on which you did PAY OASID taxes! We still live in the greatest country on earth, God help us.

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Online Banking caution Thu, 23 Feb 2012 02:18:28 +0000 Today’s widespread use of online banking creates huge opportunity for the devious, tech-savvy criminals to perpetrate their theft schemes. Imagine if these people used their talents for good instead of evil??  Unfortunately, we are often unaware of the malicious activity that goes on “inside” our computers. This article comes from F-Secure, provider of my internet security. McAfee and Norton gave me a lot of trouble interfacing with the many programs I use for business, so when my computer tech recommended this software a couple of years ago, I became a fan.

I’m not saying don’t use online banking but I hope you take the time to read this short article and make yourself aware of the dangers. To your cyber-safety!

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Will you be prepared for the consequences of printed $USD?? Wed, 08 Feb 2012 08:09:05 +0000 As we’re inundated with the latest political folly, our nation continues towards the impending outcome of ongoing spending & debt amassing. Think Greece can’t happen here? What will your situation be like if it does? Plan for the worst, hope for the best, but don’t bury your head in the sand. Perhaps keeping a close eye on your equity accounts is prudent. The market is showing strength, so we’re going along for the ride to recapture values, but this rise is not sustainable long term, in my opinion.

There is a lot of information to substantiate the condition of our nation’s financial mess, but watching this video is a good place to start. I’m usually for the underdog, but this play on boxing has a serious side for me. Not sure what the mission of this video’s creator had in mind, but appears to be pro-Keynes. I, instead have ascribed to the Austrian or Hayek model of our economy, which doesn’t believe the way out is to keep printing fiat currency & buying our own debt back. Perhaps you’ll enjoy this modern rap version of their explanation to our nation’s woe’s.

I’ll keep posting updates, and am always available for consult. Aloha!

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