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Blog

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.

 

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...

 

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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...