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What’s on our mind? You can read about it in our blog. Whether it’s ideas from the industry or emerging trends, you can read about it here. And once in a while, we may throw in a movie review or some other surprise. So keep checking in. We’re glad to have you reading along.

 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

We all have some definition of leadership. In fact, if you spend any amount of time on LinkedIn, it is dripping with parables, pictures and memes of leadership. Then of course, there are all wonderful posts about military leaders,...

 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Some people plan for retirement, and others simply retire. Especially in these times, it can be very tempting to take off a few years, or stop working altogether. Besides having enough money, what else should you be thinking about?...

 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

It is hard to believe, but we are into the holiday season. As we are thinking about the fun we are going to have, the family we will see and all of the shopping, we should remember that this is a busy season for thieves as well. While...

 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Laura and I have returned from a week long conference in Nashville. We stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. For those who have never stayed there, bring comfortable walking shoes, you will need them. During the week, we were...

 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

With the rapid retreat from Afghanistan, the overseas conflicts that we have been fighting now seem to be over. There is plenty to compare this with and the end of the Viet Nam War. Inflation numbers are almost identical. The...

 

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Saturday, September 18, 2021

When you get what you want in your struggle for self, And the work makes you long for a say, Then go to the mirror and look at yourself, And see what that man has to say. For it is a man's father, mother, or wife whose Judgement upon...

 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Most, if not all of us, have some goals. Some of those goals pertain to our career and if and when we retire. Many will leave it to others or an event as to when we reach a retirement goal, others will have a particular dollar amount...

 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Many companies are in or soon to be in the Open Enrollment Season for their company benefits. For most employees, this will be the only time in a year that changes can be made to your company benefits package. Given the pandemic that...

 

Friday, August 20, 2021

It is has been difficult week to watch and hear the news about our withdrawal from Afghanistan. There are many comparisons being drawn to this and the fall of Saigon. I lived on Judah Street in San Francisco during the Viet Nam War. I...

 

Monday, August 16, 2021

We are fortunate to be able to have at our fingertips incredible technology. As Boomers, all of us can remember the Etch-A-Sketch. What made me think about it is we are training on a new note and document system that uses a Apple Pad...

 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

I wanted to share some of the good news emanating from this year’s COVID Olympics. Like many Americans, I haven’t paid much attention to the Olympics. But, I couldn’t stop from keeping tabs on the shooting sports and...

 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Have you heard of the tax torpedo? It’s real – and it’s real scary. Your Social Security benefits will likely be subject to income tax if you have other income such as wages, self-employment income, capital gains, or...

 

Monday, July 26, 2021

This past weekend, Laura and I shot a tournament at Elk Creek in Owenton Kentucky. As you already know, I have been taking lessons from Wayne Mitchell (pictured above) for about 5 months now. During the last lesson, Wayne said to...

 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

As many of you may know, I started the local chapter of G.R.I.T.S., Girls Really Into Shooting, The Tennessee Valley G.R.I.T.S. To provide you all with an update, we meet the 3rd Saturday morning of every month at Limestone Hunting...

 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Laura and I just returned from visiting clients in the Atlanta area. While we were there, we had the opportunity to participate in the Georgia State Games and shoot a registered tournament at the Big Red Oak Plantation. It is a...

 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Laura and I have a business meeting in New Orleans and as luck and planning would have it, we had an opportunity to shoot in a sporting clays tournament on the way. The club that we shot at is probably the biggest in Louisiana...

 

Monday, June 7, 2021

There have been some pretty disturbing news stories of companies whose computer systems have been hacked, notably Colonial Pipeline. It would seem that nothing is safe and there is little that can be done. It leaves us with the...

 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT With respects to David Allan Coe and Johnny Paycheck I have the privilege to work with people in planning the rest of their lives. Most of them have thought about not working any longer, but their thoughts...

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Laura and I returned on Monday from the SouthEast Regional sporting clay tournament at The Meadows Gun Club in Forsyth Georgia. There were over 800 shooters competing. It was run like a well oiled machine with little or no waiting at...

 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Financial Independence, Retire Early. Who would not love that? In a nutshell, it is supposedly accomplished by saving and investing 70% of your income. This is also a financial advisor’s dream as well! But coming back into...

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

I have an exciting announcement to make, I am starting the Tennessee Valley Chapter of G.R.I.T.S.!!! The acronym of course is Girls Really Into Shooting. Many of you already know of my passion for empowering women and the desire to...

 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

What if you could make an IRA distribution non-taxable? If you are at least age 70-1/2 – even before you are required to take required minimum distributions – you probably can! The Protect Americans from Tax Hikes Act of...

 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

II am excited to write this blog. Laura and I just returned from shooting and I scored a 92! This was a tremendous improvement and I owe it to my coach, Wayne Mitchell at Limestone Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clay's. As I reflect...

 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

As many of you know, Laura and I are avid sporting clay shooters. We love the sport and anytime we can get out and shoot is always a good day. I equate a lot of what we do, retirement planning with shooting sporting clay's, the...

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Under the Secure Act passed in December 2019, with some exceptions, non-spouse IRA beneficiaries must withdraw all funds from their inherited IRA within 10 years of the owner’s death. This applies to IRA account holders who died...

 

Friday, December 25, 2020

As many of you know, Laura and I love to shoot sporting clay's competitively. There is a saying that most targets are missed by 6 inches. The 6 inches specifically is the distance between your ears. For whatever the reason, our brains...

 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

It seems like it is a bit early to look back on 2020, but December is always a busy time for us, and I wanted to share with you the highlights. Despite COVID and a very contentious political cycle, we managed to grow again by almost...

 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Updates and Changes to Social Security and Medicare in 2021If you’re retiring or planning your retirement in 2021, you should know how the 2021 changes to Social Security and Medicare may affect you. Some are simple...

 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Did Ruth have a plan?? #huntsvilleretirementspecialists #huntsvillefinancial

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

From time to time, we like to share posts from others. CochranMickels is honored that Mr. Guy J. Sagi allowed us to publish this amazing photo and article on our blog. As hunting season approaches, this is an excellent read for all of...

 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

34.7556 -86.6805 We all have a good understanding of GPS, or Global Positioning System. We have it in our smart phones and as navigation aids in our vehicles. We have seen it give us the upper hand in defending our soldiers with...

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Retirement has many definitions. For most people it often means a string of Saturdays – for as long as you want! These days many people are considering retirement at a time they may not have yet considered. Companies offering...

 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Expertise and integrity are highly valued traits for people in our profession. Our founder has lived her professional and personal life this way since the beginning. A recent example of this came to light the other day. Laura started...

 

Monday, August 24, 2020

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost I often think of this poem, especially when I know that fall is just around the corner. It...

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Like many of you in Huntsville, I’ve read the terrible news about Remington filing for bankruptcy a second time. I have no idea what caused it, if you want to read about conjecture or opinions, the Wall Street Journal and MSNBC...

 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Here is another fantastic article by Daniel Schindler, Master Sporting Clays, Skeet, Trap and Wingshooting Instructor. If you are interested in winning at anything, this is a must read. Mike “I couldn’t repair your...

 

Monday, July 13, 2020

“Come gather 'round, people wherever you roam and admit that the waters around you have grown And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone if your time to you is worth savin' And you better start swimmin' or you'll...

 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

For many of our clients we offer a variety of ways to communicate. Three years ago, while our firm grew and we acquired more clients living outside of Huntsville, we began implementing a digital meeting platform. This was also a key...

 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Anyone can look good during a bull market. Smart investors are prepared to weather the inevitable rough patches and take advantage of market downturns. First it is important to understand if your investment is performing better or...

 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

If the recent COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything: it is that a nursing home is the last place you want to be. Statistics are coming in daily that the highest concentration of deaths occur with people who are in nursing homes. Not...

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was recently signed into law. Included in the $2 trillion emergency relief package are special provisions for coronavirus-related distributions and loans, and certain...

 

Friday, April 3, 2020

“Recent weeks have seen some extraordinary moves in the financial markets, as the world reacts to the spread of COVID-19. Please know that we are closely monitoring current news and economic reports, and we are committed to...

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Volatility in the stock market is a given. Yet when we go through a period of increase and calm, such as in 2019, it often takes us by surprise - especially when it’s swift and violent. What should you be doing right now? Take...

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

How will it affect you? The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019” that was passed in December is the most significant legislative change affecting tax-qualified retirement savings...

 

Thursday, March 5, 2020

There is a lot panic about the outbreak of Coronavirus. While the stats are that it is less deadly than the normal flu, it has none the less been a disruptor in the stock market. While we don't want to fan the flames of panic, if you...

 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

It looks like we are about a month away from moving into our new office location. Laura has chosen the colors, carpet and other floor treatments. We are all very excited to get into our new space. One of the other announcements we had...

 

Monday, February 17, 2020

In deference to Charles Dickens, this blog has nothing to do with his novel, A Tale of Two Cities. But it is a brief look at two of my favorite relatives’ retirements, my grandmother and my father-in-law. My grandmother worked...

 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Well, 2019 is in the books and what a year it was. CochranMickels enjoyed a 28% growth in revenue and the numbers of families and businesses that put their trust is us grew as well. As many of you may have heard or seen, we are moving...

 

Monday, January 20, 2020

This post is a departure from our usual. I wanted to take an opportunity to introduce you to a young lady who is just started her quest to become an Olympic shooter and get on the US Shooting Team. Her name is Makayla Scott and she is...

 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

I came across this article, a 79 year flight attendant from Delta Air Lines was terminated for stealing a carton of milk. The full story can be read here at https://www.foxnews...

 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

You must be living under a rock not to have heard about some of the recent highs in all the markets. We have experienced one of the longest Bull Markets in history. So, what about that 401(k)? Have you looked at it lately? If you are...

 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

For many folks, retirement is in sight, the finish line that we have been racing towards all our working careers is coming into focus. These are exciting times, this is the highest salary you have ever earned in your lifetime, the...

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

There are some interesting comparisons with NASA history and today’s retirement opportunities in thatyou must begin with a great set of calculations and some bravado, too.My father was the Deputy Director of the Computation...

 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Pictured above is one of our firm’s newest marketing pieces that will have a digital copy of our client’s retirement/financial plan. While we do the most comprehensive planning of anyone in Huntsville and provide an...

 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Yesterday I had a client say to me how fortunate it was for me to work in a job where I could make others’ dreams come true. And that’s exactly why I do it. I love the smile on their faces, the plans they make when they...

 

Monday, September 30, 2019

Our Pioneering Spirit Laura and I recently returned from our annual conference with our broker-dealer, Cambridge Investment Research, that was held in Denver, Colorado. Laura and I drove out as we were not only interested in some...

 

Monday, September 2, 2019

As many of you know, Laura and I love the sporting clay's and enjoy to shoot competitively whenever we can. I have written a couple of times about the similarities of retirement planning and shooting sporting clay's. I came across...

 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. Most of you will remember this hit by The Tokens and will be humming it the rest of the day. I had to take Laura to the doctors office today and saw this advertisement in...

 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Do I need life insurance when I retire? This is a big question many people have, and it’s a good one. The answer is – it depends. Generally, life insurance is used to replace income. When you’re no longer working, it...

 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Planning for college is exciting – right up until planning for how to pay for it. If you’re fortunate, you have the funding already. If not, you’re like the more than 43,000,000 others who have relied on student...

 

Friday, June 28, 2019

A Special Announcement CochranMickels Retirement Specialists is excited to begin sharing podcasts!! The podcasts can be found athttps://www.buzzsprout.com/admin/podcasts/398638/website and we will provide a link directly from our...

 

Monday, June 17, 2019

The third annual Lipstick N Lead is in the record books! It was a huge success!! A big shout out goes to Wayne Mitchell and his staff for providing a wonderful venue that ensures the success of the event. Special thanks also go out to...

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The David Letterman show has been off the air since 2015. One of the most iconic segments was Dave's top 10 list, something that Laura and I enjoyed watching. It brings to mind the top 10 things a financial advisor can do that you...

 

Monday, June 3, 2019

I have been a fan of James Bond flicks for years. This movie comes to mind because of some recent articles circulating on social media about how much you need before you can retire. After reading one of those articles, I can see how...

 

Friday, May 17, 2019

I do a fair amount of work in the employee benefits area and these questions come up with almost at every meeting either with the employer or the employee. Should we offer it? Should I buy a policy? According to the latest study by...

 

Friday, May 17, 2019

If you are not sandwich meat right now, you probably know someone who is. It’s not very tasty being squeezed between kids heading off to college and the needs of aging parents, and at usually right about the time your career is...

 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

We celebrate our country’s freedom and independence on the fourth of July as John Adams wrote we should, “with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this...

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

I rarely get to tell people about the remarkable career achievements of my wife and business partner. To me and the many professionals that she has worked with over the years, it is a remarkable story. Laura started her career in the...

 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

It is something we all look forward to. Here are some of the signs that you might be ready: 1. You have searched the web for assisted living facilities. 2. You are curious about what the retirement age is. 3. You pay more attention to...

 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Similar words were spoken by astronaut Jack Swigert on Apollo 13, “Houston, we have a problem”. So, what exactly is our problem here in Huntsville? Let me start out with the good news. We are a highly educated population....

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

It has been an incredible week here in the Rocket City. The Missile Defense Agency that is based in Huntsville announced they had successfully conducted the first ever GBI Salvo Intercept. Our hats are off to the men and women who...

 

Monday, March 18, 2019

What is the difference between a financial advisor and a retirement specialist? Aren’t they both working for you to reach the same goal? A lot of folks are surprised at the differences and what the potential outcome is to them...

 

Friday, March 1, 2019

If you plan to retire before age 70, there is a brief yet magical time you can use financial strategies that may make a substantial change in lifetime assets. Most people plan to take social security at retirement and save their 401k...

 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

From time to time, we enjoy pertinent and relevant information. This blog is written by Mark Pettit. Seven billion people inhabit lands outside our borders, five billion of whom live on less than $10 per day[1]. The UN estimates 3 to 4...

 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

I am willing to bet money, you have received an invite like this in the mail. You may have even thought about the wine you were going to enjoy with this "free" meal. All you have to do is go to this event and listen to a presentation....

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

As business owners, we are often asked to support many different and worthy non-profit organizations in our city. We are blessed to be part of a community that gives; over 90% of our clients alone include charitable giving in their...

 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Here it is, the new year already! And right in the midst of holiday gatherings and celebrations, the stock market took an unprecedented roller coaster ride. If you haven’t done it yet, this may indeed be the year that you need...

 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Many of you who bought traditional long term care insurance may have recently gotten quite a surprise in the mail. They are raising their monthly premiums and it is significant. Let me first say, don't abandon the policy without...

 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Laura and I started our New Year doing one of the things that we love doing together, shooting sporting clay's. We had an enjoyable time and both of us shot well into the 80's and 90's. But most importantly, it gave us the space need...

 

Monday, December 10, 2018

It’s always on your list of New Year’s Resolutions and looks something like spend less, save more - or pay off debt. All good resolutions! So, how’d that work for you? I find that people really want to be better...

 

Friday, November 16, 2018

I was recently informed of a strategy that a fairly large insurance carrier is promoting here in Huntsville. It is using a whole life policy to fund children’s education. This is how it works: you purchase a life insurance...

 

Friday, November 2, 2018

You are enjoying retirement, cruising along when all of a sudden you get RMD Tax Torpedo shot at you. That’s right, many do it yourself retirement planners are learning the hard way that taxes are still an issue in retirement....

 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Market You would have to have been comatose not to have heard about recent movement in the stock markets. Which brings out the fear and speculation about what lies ahead and how to best protect your retirement savings. Enter the...

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

RETIRING WITH A PENSION? DON’T MAKE THIS MISTAKE If you’re retiring with a pension, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is if to take a higher life-only annuity or a joint and survivor benefit that offers a lower...

 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Long term care insurance has long protected against the chance that the devastating costs of long term care will deplete a family’s savings, and has prevented many from being forced into life-changing, unwanted living situations....

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Have you ever wondered what the most expensive thing you own is? Is it your house? Your cars? Your portfolio? It has taken me years to figure it out, but I think it is my ego. That’s right, my ego has cost me dearly both in time...

 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Our firm specializes in financial planning, specifically as it relates to retirement planning. We run across of a lot of people that we call "Spreadsheet Warriors." These are people who meet with us and spend a fair amount of time...

 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

THE QUALIFIED CHARITABLE IRA DISTRIBUTION What if you could make an IRA distribution non-taxable? If you are at least age 70-1/2 - the age when you are required to take minimum distributions from your IRA – you probably can! The...

 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

I apologize, I got shooting on the brain. Clays for CASA is just around the corner and Laura and I looking at shooting a couple of tournaments in Tennessee. One of the common mistakes we make is we don't take the time to pattern our...

 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

My wife/ business partner and I shoot sporting clay's together and we compete in registered and non-registered shoots whenever we can. We love being around people while enjoying the outdoors and you can find us at least twice a month...

 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

If your employer-sponsored retirement plan offers pre-tax, Roth, and/or non-Roth after-tax contributions, which one should you choose? Start by understanding the features of each. Pre-tax: For those who want lower taxes now Pre-tax...

 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Have you ever heard the following? You should be fine withdrawing 4% annually from your investments in retirement. It doesn’t make sense to pay off your mortgage when the interest is tax-deductible and you can get a better return...

 

Monday, July 9, 2018

If you are not sandwich meat right now, you probably know someone who is. It’s not very tasty being squeezed between kids heading off to college and the needs of aging parents, and at usually right about the time your career is...

 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Financial advisors thrive on numbers. What‘s the return on your portfolio? How well is it doing compared to the index? Need a financial plan? We’ll gather up all your numbers and put them into our software program that...

 

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passage in December made major changes in tax law. Most everyone has made decisions on buying homes, getting home equity loans, paying mortgages, making donations, and funding college – among others -...

 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My wife Laura and I are out in the community a lot and are often asked “what do you do?” When we answer that we are retirement specialists, more often than not, the response is “I’ll never retire.” How...

 

Friday, June 15, 2018

How you’ve spent your time and your money. How you’ve saved, gifted, and invested. It increases the risks of things that are out of your control - like inflation, interest rates, health care, and the economy. And it brings...

 

Friday, May 25, 2018

PAYING OFF THE MORTGAGE You’ve probably asked – should I pay off my mortgage? Advice from one corner will say - no! If you have a low interest mortgage, and the interest is tax deductible, couldn’t you make more by...

 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

WHAT IS A SAFE WITHDRAWAL RATE? If you’ve studied about withdrawing an income from your investment accounts, you’ve likely encountered the “safe” withdrawal rate. The annual percentage of your total investments...

 

Friday, May 18, 2018

WHEN TO TAKE SOCIAL SECURITY? A hot topic in retirement planning these days is the best time to begin Social Security benefits. When you approach age 62 – the earliest most people can begin – it becomes tempting to...