Golf may seem like a game of leisure, says Don Dirren, but it requires a lot more strategy, agility, hand-eye coordination, and strength than it may look like. And even after you are able to understand and grasp the basics of the game, you’ll spend the rest of your life working to tweak and improve your game.
Whether you’re new to the game, or an old golf pro, these tips from Don Dirren, an avid golfer, can help you lower your score and have more fun on the course. It’s not just about how you hold the club or follow through on your swing. You also have to take the course and weather conditions into account and master your mental game. Golf is a complex and challenging sport.
Check Your Alignment Says Don Dirren
A big mistake that a lot of players make is allowing themselves to shoot out of alignment, says Don Dirren. If you don’t aim with your body facing the target fully square, your brain will overcompensate in either direction, and you’ll miss by a mile.
So before you spend hours and hours changing up your swing, try working on your alignment to improve your shots, states Don Dirren. You can use alignment sticks at the driving range to make sure you’re shooting square. Still not sure whether it’s your swing or your aim? Have a friend record you swinging and check how you’re squaring off against the target.
Don’t Neglect Your Short Game
Everyone loves their driver, explains Don Dirren. But are you giving the same amount of love to your wedges and putters? Once you’ve made that all-important initial shot, you’ll be spending the rest of the time on the putting green. That makes improving your short game one of the best and easiest ways to shave points off of your score.
A lot of golfers would rather work on their drive shots, but if you can’t close the deal on the putting green, all that work on your driving form means nothing. It can be a little frustrating, but practice makes perfect, encourages Don. The more effort you put in on your bunker shots and bump and runs, the more improvement you’ll see in your game.
Take a Deep Breath
Golf looks like such an idyllic and leisurely sport when you watch it from the clubhouse, says Don Dirren. But once you get on the course, it’s a whole different story. Even though you’re playing against other people when you play golf, your real opponent is yourself. Your swing, your aim, your alignment…it’s a lot of pressure to perform that you’re putting on yourself.
This can make it extra frustrating when you miss that putt from a few feet away or the wind seemingly plucks your ball right out of the air and throws it into the water feature. But when you find yourself in a potentially frustrating situation, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remember that you’re playing this game because it’s fun. Even the professionals hit bad shots – that’s just a part of the game!
Once you retire, your income will typically come from three sources – Social Security, retirement account distributions, and funds from investments and savings. Your income level will determine what tax strategies you can use to minimize how much is taken from your income by the federal and state government. You should talk to a financial advisor about how to protect your income and your retirement savings, says Donald Dirren, a financial advisor in Phoenix, Arizona.
There are several ways to minimize taxes on each source of income you take in as a retiree.
Live in a Tax-Friendly State Advises Donald Dirren
As we readjust in the wake of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, living in a tax-friendly state is more important than ever. Through 2025, only $10,000 in sales tax, state income, local income, and local property taxes will be deductible for the purpose of federal income taxes.
There are currently seven states with no income taxes:
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (in 2021)
Because the federal government does not allow the states to tax residents on retirement benefits earned in another state, relocating to a state with no income taxes can help you avoid state taxes on your income, explains Donald Dirren.
We realize that not everyone is able or willing to move just for tax purposes. But if you were considering moving anyway, why not choose a place that benefits your financial well-being?
Postpone or Avoid RMDs
You do not have to pay taxes on your required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRA if you are at least 72 years old and you are transferring the funds to a charity.
This is a relatively new development, says Donald Dirren. The age for RMD used to be 70.5 years old, but it was raised to 72 in the 2019 Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act.
To qualify, you must transfer the funds directly to an IRS-approved public charity, and you must receive a receipt or written acknowledgment from the charity. There is an annual limit of $100,000 (per spouse in the household).
It is also important to note, says Donald Dirren, that this applies only to IRAs, not Roth IRAs, which are not subject to RMDs. Simple IRAs and SEP IRAs are also excluded.
Talk to a Professional
These are only two of the dozens of financial strategies you can employ to protect your income from being reduced by taxes, says Donald. He advises that you talk to a licensed financial advisor or wealth manager about your options to ensure that your income will carry you through your retirement.
Donald Dirren has been a licensed financial advisor for over 30 years in Phoenix, Arizona. His specialty is retirement planning and education, and his passion is helping Arizona seniors protect, preserve, and pass on their wealth. He is one of the top Safe Money Specialists with Bergen Financial Group and has a strong presence throughout Arizona as the owner and operator of two independent brokerage firms.
Donald Dirren Explains Two Myths About Buy & Hold – A Tried and True Investment Strategy
Financial planner, Donald Dirren is a 30-year veteran in this sphere. As an alumnus of Arizona State University, ASU is a resounding force in his industry. Arizona is considered a moderately friendly state for retirees in terms of taxation. Because his specialty is working with retirees, he is well known.
Donald Dirren makes it plain – what exactly is “buy and hold”? It is considered a passive strategy when it comes to stock investment. Investors buy stocks and then hold them for an extended period no matter what occurs in the stock market.
Myth number one – the cost of stock is unimportant. However, there are some common misconceptions or “myths” about the buy-and-hold strategy. One misconception is that the price of the stock purchased is irrelevant. Buy-and-hold is not a cut-and-dried strategy. There are certain nuances that only professional financial advisors are aware of. In other words, it is always important to have a professional help you understand the stock market and how it works before you plunge in. Donald Dirren is that person for his clients. His professional acumen is incontrovertible.
Common myth number two the implication that the whole strategy of buying hold ignores risk. Buy-and-hold does not mean that every fluctuation in the stock market is good because the end justifies the risk. The nuances of the buy-and-hold strategy are best navigated by a professional. It is not a black-and-white approach. The fact is that every day in the stock market will not be a good day even for buy and hold strategists.
You can learn more about buy-and-hold facts with a simple consultation with Donald Dirren. He is currently a top Safe Money Specialist with Bergen Financial Group. Here he maintains his focus on retirement planning and educating his clients on ways to protect, preserve, and bequeath their wealth to their loved ones. During the course of educating his clients, Donald Dirren adds his own experiences to the coursework. He has lived through or witnessed firsthand many real-life scenarios that he can effectively present to his clients. This addition makes the financial content easier to understand.
Donald Dirren is known throughout the financial industry in the state of Arizona due to his ownership of two independent brokerage firms. He also operated these firms making him an individual with vast experience and knowledge. In addition to his familiarity with the buy and hold investment strategy, Donald Dirren is expert at Social Security planning, tax planning in retirement, and how to manage life insurance products for seniors and those in long-term care.
Don Dirren is a business assessment professional who has years of experience providing help for many companies. In 2020, he saw the transformations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and helped many firms stay open in the face of this problem. And he recently provided details on risk assessment for 2021, including what issues are likely to remain an issue (and how to solve them).
The Risks Don Dirren Sees in 2021
The year 2020 was, putting it mildly, a devastating time for the economy. With thousands of businesses closing forever due to the pandemic, Don Dirren and many other experts have watched the market and examined the risks inherent in its operation. And Don Dirren believes that the risks in 2021 will be similar to those in 2020 — though there is a light at the end of the tunnel in his assessment.
First, Don Dirren believes that economic risks will continue to be a problem for many companies. These risks occur when a business doesn’t have a strong enough cash flow. With stores shutting down amid governor orders, Don Dirren believes it is essential to prepare for this danger immediately. Find new ways to offer services and goods, such as deliveries or socially distant operations.
These commercial risks include not only a weaker cash flow but a smaller number of potential customers. Don Dirren knows many states are limiting attendance at businesses, cutting back on financial success. Try to integrate outdoor seating environments, if possible, to expand this facet. Renting seating areas in other outside regions also helps benefit many companies as well.
Don Dirren suggests a professional business assessment long before these problems impact your company. A vital evaluation like this can examine other business risks, such as misjudged market demand. Many companies during Covid-19 are either expecting too much market demand or too little and suffering. Getting an assessment minimizes this risk, Don Dirren says, by providing an objective look at the situation. You can use this information to plan your approach based on real market demands.
Inadequate competition assessment is another risk Don Dirren believes will become a problem in 2021. Even though the business world has slowed, many competitors likely still exist for your services or products. Don Dirren suggests assessing the strength of your competitors and your market share compared to theirs. Try to adjust your business approach to exist in whatever pocket you possess.
Lastly, Don Dirren is concerned that many businesses may not create workable business strategies in the face of 2021. Too many companies coasted through 2020 on old techniques that worked by inertia through the pandemic. As this health danger stretches into 2021, now is the time to focus on social distancing strategies, delivery options, curb-side sales models, and expanding the digital marketplace as the most effective option for increasing a business’ presence.
Don Dirren Shares the Best Online Resources for Investment Research
Profitable investing often takes a lot of work. Don Dirren would know. He’s a finance expert who has helped countless people plan for retirement. And when it comes to investing, Donald Dirren believes that knowledge really is power. That’s why he’s going to share some of the best online resources for investor research and education.
“These days, you have more educational opportunities than ever before,” Don Dirren argues. “You can take classes at your local college, you can enroll in online classes, buy ebooks, whatever. If you’re completely new to investing, I recommend checking out something like the Stock Market from Scratch for Complete Beginner’s class on Udemy. You can sometimes gain access to the class for twenty dollars or less.”
He also notes that you can buy a lot of ebooks on Amazon. Sometimes, these beginner investing books are free or cost just a few dollars. He suggests looking for books with a lot of high reviews.
“With investing books, quality can vary,” Don Dirren claims, “however, there are a lot of cheap, facts-focused books. Getting the basic investing facts right isn’t difficult. When it comes to cultivating investing strategy, you need to do more research and make sure that the expert is, in fact, an expert.”
If you’re willing to spend big on your investing education, Don Dirren recommends looking at Warrior Trading’s online classes. These classes can cost upwards of several thousand dollars, however.
“Warrior Trading has a great reputation and they’re known for being very comprehensive,” Don Dirren says. “Their courses are pricey, but a lot of their students will tell you the cost was worth it.”
Don Dirren Shares Some Free Online Investing Research Resources
Looking for some low-cost investing research opportunities? Don Dirren has you covered.
“Investopedia is one of the oldest, most trusted brands as far as online investing education goes,” Don Dirren points out. “They cover pretty much everything. Whenever you’re doing research, I always recommend getting a second opinion, but Investopedia is a site every investor should check out.”
Don Dirren also notes that Investopedia offers a popular stock simulator. With this simulator, you use fake money to purchase fake assets, with prices being tied to live markets. This lets you test investing strategies and research conclusions without having to risk real money.
“Using a stock simulator is an excellent way to start your investing career,” Don Dirren says. “And Investopedia’s stock simulator is among the better simulators.”
Another favorite resource is Seeking Alpha. This website sources content from a huge number of contributors, both professional and amateur. Mr. Dirren says this offers a great way to source a lot of opinions.
“Seeking Alpha is an excellent website and you can quickly see how other investors think,” Donald Dirren says. “I would caution readers, however, that the articles mostly represent opinions, not facts, and even the best investors can get it wrong.”
Why Investing In Life Insurance Early Makes Sense, With Financial Advisor Donald Dirren
When you’re young and single, you probably don’t give a lot of though to end-of-life plans, or how to protect people you haven’t even met yet from the financial burden associated with a loved one’s death. That being said, doing so now can pay off in dividends down the line. According to financial planner Donald Dirren, investing in life insurance early can set your family up for a comfortable financial future – even if you have yet to meet your future family members.
Donald Dirren says that the cheapest time to sign up for life insurance is usually right this moment. The earlier in life you sign up for life insurance, the less you’ll pay each month. The Discovery of family health conditions can also increase the cost of life insurance, according to Donald Dirren. When you sign up for life insurance now and purchase permanent insurance, your rate is locked in for life. The amount that you pay toward your policy today will not change with age, no matter how your health or family information may change over time, according to Donald Dirren. If you pay $35 per month for your life insurance policy now, you’ll still be paying $35 a month 30 years from now, while your contemporaries may be paying double that price due to taking out a policy later in life.
Signing up for life insurance now also protects the people who would be responsible for your end-of-life costs should an unforeseen circumstance arise. Whether your adult siblings or your parents would be responsible for managing your affairs, the last thing you want is to leave them with a burden. While you may not have a spouse or children yet, naming a close loved one as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy can help to ease some of the stress on family members should an unexpected death occur, according to Donald Dirren.
If you’re thinking about having a family in the future, investing in a life insurance policy now is one of the most loving things that you can do for your yet-to-be-born children, according to Donald Dirren. When you set your children up for a successful financial future, you’re affecting your family positively for generations. If you have a significant other and you’re starting to have serious talks about a future together, be sure to bring up taking out permanent life insurance policies, according to Donald Dirren. While these conversations may feel uncomfortable at first, Donald Dirren says that they’re an incredibly important step in any long-term financial plan.
With the increasing cost of long-term care and home care coverage throughout the United States, there are a number of crucial considerations that should be taken into account when contemplating life insurance paired with coverage for long-term care needs. That’s according to Donald Dirren, a 30-year veteran of the insurance industry and a licensed financial advisor, based in Phoenix, Arizona.
“It’s important to get advice from a competent financial adviser who can provide you with the facts surrounding what we call life insurance paired with long-term care coverage,” explains financial advisor Donald Dirren, speaking from his office in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona’s capital city of Phoenix.
Insurance expert Don Dirren has been a licensed financial advisor for over three decades, specializing in retirement planning and educating, he says, those who seek to proactively protect, preserve, and pass on their financial legacies.
First, Donald Dirren is asked whether an individual should purchase life insurance with so-called long-term care coverage, or simply life insurance without this additional benefit. “This depends,” says Dirren.
“In the simplest sense, life insurance paired with long-term care coverage is an insurance product designed to assist an individual and his or her family in paying the costs associated with long-term care not covered by standard insurance,” explains the expert, “nor either Medicare or Medicaid.”
Whether an individual should rely upon—or indeed need—long-term care cover, then, depends on a variety of different factors, according to Donald Dirren. “Several considerations must be taken into account,” he goes on, “such as how much a person can, or plans to, pull from their savings, annually, in later life.”
Where the option or a plan already exists to pull from savings to cover late-life care expenses, it might, Don Dirren says, make more sense to forego long-term care cover entirely. Another consideration, Dirren suggests, is tied to the unpredictable nature of the ultimate need for long-term care, and thus long-term care coverage.
The financial implication, therefore, earlier in life, should be taken into account when considering the late-life value of long-term care coverage down the line, the expert says. “At the end of the day, all life insurance products vary considerably, both in terms of coverage and cost,” suggests Dirren, “so it’s important that people carefully select a policy that’s both appropriate and affordable, and offers value for money, too.”
While life insurance with long-term care cover works for many, Donald Dirren reports, other options, such as indexed universal and fixed interest universal life cover, may be more appropriate, particularly depending upon an individual’s age. “It should also be noted that long-term care insurance is rising in cost,” he points out.
“With this in mind, a hybrid insurance option, then,” adds Donald Dirren, wrapping up, “may present a better option overall, delivered as a single cost-effective premium, and where benefit amounts are often ultimately assigned precisely as necessary when needs arise.”
Phoenix-based financial advisor Don Dirren provides expert insight into maximizing benefits via Social Security planning.
A veteran of the financial services industry, Donald Dirren has now been a licensed financial advisor for more than three decades. Based in Arizona and an expert in Social Security planning, Dirren offers an overview of how best to plan for the future by maximizing available benefits.
“Successful Social Security planning is, ultimately, about maximizing benefits for you and your household,” explains licensed financial advisor Donald Dirren, speaking from his office in the Arizona state capital city of Phoenix.
Administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration, an independent agency of the federal government, Social Security pertains to a number of social welfare and social insurance programs, according to Donald Dirren. “These programs are designed to provide individuals with benefits when they retire or should they become disabled in life,” reveals the expert.
Social Security, Donald Dirren goes on to further point out, also relates to qualifying benefits paid to a spouse or other eligible family members when an individual passes away.
An often challenging aspect of income management, Social Security planning is ultimately about preparing for eventualities in the future. “It’s important for many of us to maximize our Social Security benefits if we’re to maintain a particular lifestyle, for example, after we retire,” explains Donald Dirren. This aspect of Social Security planning, he suggests, is often the number one concern for those looking into the matter.
Properly understanding the process, then, Donald Dirren says, is extremely important. “We all know to expect the unexpected in life, so why not plan for it now rather than waiting until another day to do so?” asks Dirren, a graduate of Arizona State University, somewhat rhetorically.
Donald Dirren uses what he calls an education-first discovery process in his Social Security planning endeavors. “This is ultimately to pinpoint clients’ individual retirement goals,” explains Dirren, now a highly seasoned financial advisor with over 30 years of invaluable experience under his belt.
Consider the risk of becoming disabled, too, suggests Donald Dirren, for even greater peace of mind. “It’s important to factor in all possible eventualities,” says the expert, “including what happens when you pass away.”
Donald Dirren is focused on educating individuals wishing to preserve, protect, and pass on their wealth, using his own experiences and illustrations of real-life situations in an effort to make the topic as clear as possible, particularly in regards to retirement planning.
“Make a point of speaking to several local financial advisors if you’re in any doubt whatsoever,” suggests Donald Dirren, wrapping up, “and work with the right one for you to maximize your benefits via professional Social Security planning while also safeguarding your financial legacy in the process.”
Licensed financial advisor Don Dirren, from Phoenix, Arizona, provides a helpful overview of the best life insurance products for seniors today.
With products varying wildly, it’s important that seniors have a clear overview of the leading life insurance solutions available to them. That’s according to Donald Dirren, a more-than-30-year veteran of the financial services industry, based in Phoenix, Arizona, as he provides an expert overview of the products on offer.
“From indexed life and long-term care cover to final expense and various hybrid options, life insurance solutions for seniors vary wildly,” explains licensed financial advisor Donald Dirren, speaking from his office in Phoenix, Arizona.
Don Dirren uses his more than 30 years of experience within financial services to connect Arizona’s seniors with the best life insurance solutions for them as individuals. He does so, he says, based on a variety of criteria, including their age, health, goals, and a number of other factors. “Usually cheapest is term life insurance,” explains Dirren, “suited to those seeking just short-term coverage.”
With terms often limited, however, particularly for older individuals, it may be better to look elsewhere for a life insurance solution, according to the expert. “Where an individual’s goal is end-of-life expense coverage, for example,” he reveals, “final expense life insurance is often a better bet.”
Longer-term, guaranteed universal and indexed universal life insurance policies are another good option for many seniors, Donald Dirren suggests. Both permanent and flexible, such policies, he says, represent a low-risk option. “Alternatively, there’s long-term care insurance,” the expert notes, “although this is becoming increasingly costly.”
Don Dirren’s preferred option, then, it seems, is a hybrid solution. “Combining coverage types, a hybrid solution often represents the best proposition for many seniors,” reveals Dirren. He might, he says, for example, combine long-term care cover with one other form of life insurance. “Such cover is often available as a single premium,” Donald Matthew Dirren explains, “and many seniors find that it’s far more cost-effective than traditional single types of cover.”
A hybrid life insurance solution, as recommended by Donald Dirren, typically sees an individual’s selected benefit amount assigned as called for. This will most commonly pay either for long-term care in later life, or be provided to beneficiaries upon the policyholder’s passing.
Where an individual may wish to steer away from hybrid options, Dirren has one more solution to recommend. “Permanent whole life insurance is, perhaps, recognized as the most comprehensive single form of cover for any individual,” he explains, “but it’s generally expensive and may, as a result, be out of reach for many, particularly seniors.”
Arizona-based financial advisor Donald Dirren shares an expert look at how best to reduce taxes on Social Security benefits.
From saving in an individual retirement account to setting up what’s known as tax withholding, a variety of methods exist to legitimately reduce taxes on Social Security benefits. An Arizona-based Social Security planning specialist from Phoenix, Donald Dirren shares a closer look at the process and explains more about the matter, particularly in regards to retirement planning.
“From the outset, stay below the taxable thresholds relevant to what your provisional income is,” says Donald Dirren, a popular financial advisor from Phoenix, Arizona, “this is determined by taking 50% of your individual or joint social security plus all taxable income.”
According to Donald Dirren, benefits become taxable at $25,000 for individuals and $32,000 for married couples. “Consider taking individual retirement account withdrawals before signing up for Social Security benefits,” adds the expert.
Next, says Donald Dirren, factor in state taxes. “Also explore the option of contributing into a roth IRA that offers tax-free growth and withdrawals during retirement,” suggests the licensed financial advisor.
Such plans, according to Donald Dirren, are not taxed upon distribution, providing that certain conditions are met. “If you’re in any doubt whatsoever, make a point of speaking to local financial advisors,” says Donald Dirren, “and look to work with the right one for you to find the best methods of reducing taxes on your Social Security benefits.”
Another method of reducing taxes on Social Security benefits, Donald Dirren further points out, involves looking at potentially doing roth conversions from your traditional IRA’s. This can be done at any age, any time and any amount provided you pay the income tax based on your current tax bracket. “Look into this, plus the added importance of managing any other sources of income, particularly in retirement,” adds the expert and licensed financial advisor, “if seeking to minimize taxes on your benefits.”
Social Security is a government system that provides monetary assistance to qualifying individuals. In the U.S., Social Security is the primary foundation of financial security for millions of predominantly retired or disabled American citizens.
As revealed by Donald Dirren, more than 60 million people currently collect monthly Social Security benefits. A total of approximately 170 million Americans, meanwhile, pay Social Security taxes at present. “It’s essentially,” he explains, “as a largely pay-as-you-go program.”
Financial advisor Donald Dirren has previously spoken at length on topics including Social Security planning, tax planning in retirement, the latest life insurance products for seniors, and key considerations concerning long-term care with life insurance.
Donald Dirren is known for his illustrations of real-life scenarios focused on Social Security and retirement planning. “I aim to educate those seeking to protect, preserve, and pass on their wealth,” explains the Social Security planning specialist, wrapping up, “and showcase the best methods of reducing taxes on Social Security benefits wherever possible.”