Honoring All on Mother’s Day

Honoring All on Mother's Day

On behalf of everyone at Cornerstone Financial Solutions, happy Mother’s Day! It’s not uncommon to hear people describe their mom as “The Best Mom Ever” and proudly present her with a personalized coffee cup or trophy. But Mother’s Day can also be a difficult day for some people, and we want to try to honor all the ways this complicated day affects people.

If this is your first Mother’s Day without your mom – our hearts are with you as you find new traditions to continue celebrating her. Whether you plant flowers in her honor, enjoy brunch at her favorite restaurant, or spend an afternoon on her favorite lake, we know she is in your thoughts on this day.

If you have little ones and think some quiet time alone would be a great gift, we see you. We know you’re exhausted and have probably run out of ideas about what to cook for dinner. Your capacity for love inspires us, and our fingers are crossed that you get the nap you so greatly deserve.

If you’re celebrating via Zoom because your kids live too far away to give you a hug in person, we are ready and waiting to help! We’d love to hear about your children and deliver the hug they aren’t able to give you in person. Stop at the office and say hello.

For foster moms and adoptive moms who are making a difference in the most tangible way imaginable, we are in awe of your willingness to open your hearts and homes.

For the women who thought they’d be a mom by now, but that isn’t how life has played out, you are not forgotten. Give yourself the self-care you need today, in whatever form that may be.

 To the mommas whose babies are waiting for you in Heaven – you are in our thoughts and hearts more than ever on this day. We can’t even begin to imagine the pain you have endured.

 And for those of you for whom this day evokes painful memories, we wish you nurturing relationships to help heal and mend your heart.

 Wherever your heart is this Mother’s Day, we are grateful for you. We are here if you need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to speak to, and look forward to many years of celebrating life’s triumphs and heartaches with you as friends.


    CSP #487144 Exp 2025.05.06 

    5 Steps to Determine How Much Income You’ll Need in Retirement

    5 Steps to Estimate Retirement Income Needs


    It’s common to discuss desired annual retirement income as a percentage of your current income. Depending on who you’re talking to, that percentage could be anywhere from 60% to 90%, or even more. The appeal of this approach is its simplicity. It seems fairly common-sense – Your current income sustains your present lifestyle, so taking that income and reducing it by a specific percentage to reflect the fact that there will be certain expenses you’ll no longer be liable for (e.g., payroll taxes) will, theoretically, allow you to sustain your current lifestyle.

    The problem? It doesn’t account for your specific situation. For example, if you want to travel extensively in retirement you might easily need 100% (or more) of your current income to get by. It’s fine to use a percentage of your current income as a benchmark, but it’s worth going through all of your current expenses in detail, and really thinking about how those expenses will change over time as you transition into retirement.


    Your annual income during retirement should be enough (or more than enough) to meet your retirement expenses. That’s why estimating those expenses is a big piece of the retirement planning puzzle. But you may have a hard time identifying all of your expenses and projecting how much you’ll be spending in each area, especially if retirement is still far off. To help you get started, here are some common retirement expenses:

      • Food and clothing
      • Housing: Rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners insurance, property upkeep and repairs
      • Utilities: Gas, electric, water, telephone, cable TV
      • Transportation: Car payments, auto insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs, public transportation
      • Insurance: Medical, dental, life, disability, long-term care
      • Health-care costs not covered by insurance: Deductibles, co-payments, prescription drugs
      • Taxes: Federal and state income tax, capital gains tax
      • Debts: Personal loans, business loans, credit card payments
      • Education: Children’s or grandchildren’s college expenses
      • Gifts: Charitable and personal
      • Savings and investments: Contributions to IRAs, annuities, and other investment accounts
      • Recreation: Travel, dining out, hobbies, leisure activities
      • Care for yourself, your parents, or others: Costs for a nursing home, home health aide, or other type of assisted living
      • Miscellaneous: Personal grooming, pets, club memberships

    Don’t forget that the cost of living will go up over time, and keep in mind that your retirement expenses may change from year to year. For example, you may pay off your home mortgage or your children’s education early in retirement. Other expenses, such as health care and insurance, may increase as you age. To protect against these variables, build a comfortable cushion into your estimates (it’s always best to be conservative). Finally, have a financial professional help you with your estimates to make sure they’re as accurate and realistic as possible.


    To determine your total retirement needs, you can’t just estimate how much annual income you need. You also have to estimate how long you’ll be retired. Why? The longer your retirement, the more years of income you’ll need to fund it. The length of your retirement will depend partly on when you plan to retire. This important decision typically revolves around your personal goals and financial situation. For example, you may see yourself retiring at 50 to get the most out of your retirement. Maybe a booming stock market or a generous early retirement package will make that possible. Although it’s great to have the flexibility to choose when you’ll retire, it’s important to remember that retiring at 50 will end up costing you a lot more than retiring at 65.


    The age at which you retire isn’t the only factor that determines how long you’ll be retired. The other important factor is your lifespan. We all hope to live to an old age, but a longer life means that you’ll have even more years of retirement to fund. You may even run the risk of outliving your savings and other income sources. To guard against that risk, you’ll need to estimate your life expectancy. You can use government statistics, life insurance tables, or a life expectancy calculator to get a reasonable estimate of how long you’ll live. Experts base these estimates on your age, gender, race, health, lifestyle, occupation, and family history. But remember, these are just estimates. There’s no way to predict how long you’ll actually live, but with life expectancies on the rise, it’s probably best to assume you’ll live longer than you expect.


    Once you have an idea of your retirement income needs, your next step is to assess how prepared you are to meet those needs. In other words, what sources of retirement income will be available to you? Your employer may offer a traditional pension that will pay you monthly benefits. In addition, you can likely count on Social Security to provide a portion of your retirement income. To get an estimate of your Social Security benefits, visit the Social Security Administration website (www.ssa.gov). Additional sources of retirement income may include a 401(k) or other retirement plan, IRAs, annuities, and other investments. The amount of income you receive from those sources will depend on the amount you invest, the rate of investment return, and other factors. Finally, if you plan to work during retirement, your job earnings will be another source of income.


    If you have questions about your financial plan please contact us today to schedule a complimentary, no obligation review with one of our advisors. Call 605.357.8553 or email cfsteam@mycfsgroup.com.

    M22-12417 Exp 2025.09.27. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, estate, or investment planning advice as individual situations will vary. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

    Are you Retirement Ready?

    Are You Retirement Ready?

    When it comes to living the life you imagine in retirement, the earlier you prepare, the better your chances of reaching your goals. Just like planning a wedding or building a new home, there are a lot of decisions to make and variables to consider.

    Find out where you stand with our Retirement Readiness Checklist. Don’t panic if you’re just getting started or have a lot left to do. Our team’s step-by-step process, the Cornerstone Experience®, provides one-on-one attention and guidance to help you enjoy life today and take care of the people you care about for the long-term.


    Where will your monthly retirement income come from?

    79% of workers plan to keep working in retirement, while 34% of retirees actually do work in retirement.1

    Work $_________
    Assets $_________
    Social Security $_________
    Insurance $________
    Pensions $_________
    Other (inheritance, etc.) $_________


    Do you know how much you’ll need for living expenses when you retire?

    I know what my monthly essential expenses will be: $_________
    I know what my monthly extra expenses will be: $_________


    Do you have a contingency plan to take care of yourself and those you love if you can’t work as long as you intend to at your current position?

    46% of retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned because of a hardship, such as a health problem or disability. Another 31% say they retired due to changes at their company.1  



    How will you handle healthcare costs?

    While it’s impossible to precisely predict out-of-pocket expenses, a retired couple can easily spend $10,000 a year above and beyond what’s covered by traditional Medicare.2

    Long-term care insurance
    Health Savings Account (HSA)


    Are you planning to provide for others or do any charitable giving during your retirement or after you’re gone?

    College fund for heirs
    Gift to charitable organization(s)

    Which essential documents do you have in place to ensure your wishes are carried out if something were to happen to you?

    Living will
    Power of attorney
    Medical power of attorney
    Ethical will
    Personal property memorandum or disposal list
    Organized records, including contact information for your attorney, wealth advisor, tax advisor, etc

    Are you planning to
    provide for others or do any charitable giving during your retirement or after you’re gone?

     College fund for children/grandchildren
     Leave an inheritance
     Gift to charitable organization(s


    Have you communicated your wishes to the people responsible for carrying them out?  



    What will you do with your time?

     Travel
     Work part time
     Volunteer
     Spend time with grandkids
     Master a hobby or start a new one
     Take classes or go back to school
     Keep doing activities I’m currently doing

    Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do “if you had the time” or if money was no object?

    Have you always wanted to own your own plane? Do you feel called to volunteer building housing in Rwanda? Did you miss your true calling of being a kindergarten teacher or university professor? Lawyer or social worker? Anything is possible with the right plan and support! ______________________________________________________


    Who will you spend your time with?

     Current group of friends
     Plan to meet new friends
     Continue attending professional groups I’m involved with
     Join a new organization
     Time with family will keep me busy

    Download The Questionnaire

    The pdf opens right away after you enter info and hit “Download the Questionnaire.”

    1 2023 Retirement Confidence Survey, Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald Research
    2 Ready to Transition to Retirement, Raymond James, March 2019

    Blogs and Articles

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    Your Plan Can Create Meaningful Outcomes In Your Life

    Our team will analyze your income needs for today and tomorrow, then help you develop and implement a plan to help you achieve the life you’ve imagined in retirement.

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    Gain confidence with goal setting and monitoring, comparing scenarios to understand how factors impact your plan.

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    A basic understanding of estate planning can help you preserve your assets, take care of the people who are important to you, potentially reduce taxes, and avoid common mistakes.

    Tax Planning Strategies

    Keeping your tax liability to a minimum is an essential part of maintaining your Cornerstone financial plan.

    Investment Management

    Our advisors will help design a strategy that is clearly defined, matches your goals, and aligns with your risk preferences and lifestyle.

    Risk Management / Insurance Planning

    We use best financial practices, built on an industry-renowned framework, to help us understand YOUR acceptable levels of risk-and-reward with unparalleled accuracy.

    Hear Directly From Our Team

    Shelby Bierema Client Relationship Manager

    I was immediately drawn to the team and atmosphere at Cornerstone. With my first step in the door, I felt accepted, seen, and valued. I am proud to be part of an organization that truly believes in placing people over profit.

    Shelby Bierema, FPQP®                                      Manager of Client Relations

    Andrew Ulvestad AAMS Wealth Advisor Financial Planner Sioux Falls, Huron, SD

    It wasn’t about sales; it wasn’t about money. Cornerstone displayed a genuine love for their clients and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

    Andrew Ulvestad, AAMS®                                      Wealth Advisor

    Hear Directly from Our Clients

    “Gordon, you have built an outstanding organization, and have selected qualified professional employees to serve your clients. The hallmark to your success is dedication, honesty, integrity, trust and your personal faith. Your leadership has established for your clients a sense of pride and belonging to your organization. Pauline and I will always be grateful for what you have done for us during our retirement years. We are grateful to you for being our Financial Advisor and friend during the past 20 years.”


    ~Eldon and Pauline Nelson, Clients since 1999

    The statement is a testimonial from current clients as of March 13, 2023, and may no longer be applicable or a client. No compensation was paid in exchange for the testimonial, it was not solicited by the advisor, and client consents to use of this testimonial in the advisor’s advertisements.

    The testimonial is not representative of all client’s experience with the advisor, not based on performance, and not a guarantee of future performance or success. Investing involves risk and isn’t always profitable.

    The advisors at Cornerstone Financial Solutions, Inc. provide an outstanding client experience and integrated, full-service financial planning in a family-like culture. The practice focuses on client education and coaching with frequent reviews to help ensure clients are on-track to realize their financial goals.

    The unparalleled level of service is best suited for those with a minimum of $500,000.00 in investable assets, who want to work with a fiduciary specializing  in comprehensive financial planning.

    The Cornerstone team has over 140 years of combined team experience and 30 years in business, and is backed by the power of Raymond James, one of the top financial institutions in the US.

    Learn more about The Cornerstone Experience®.

    Mammograms a Crucial Part of Self-Care

    Cornerstone Client Relationship Manager, Stephanie Gerrits, FPQP®, recently talked to staff at Huron Regional Medical Center (HRMC) about their campaign to promote the importance of mammograms to women. A wife and proud mom to three amazing boys, she had her first mammogram at age 40 – a recommendation that all women don’t follow. She believes early detection through regular mammograms is a crucial part of self-care, saying, “I want to be in charge of my health so I can live my life to the fullest and be with my family.”

    Her willingness to share her experience to benefit this crucial health advocacy campaign is a testament to Stephanie’s belief in the potentially life-saving health screening and her commitment to the community. And it brilliantly reflects Cornerstone’s core value, Invest In People, which drives us to build genuine connections and make a positive impact.

    Here’s Stephanie’s Mammogram Story:

    Q: Do you have any friends or family that have been affected by breast cancer?
    Stephanie: Yes, including a few who have lost their battle. They have all been diagnosed at different stages of life – 20s, 40s, 60s and beyond. And several of them, like myself, have had no close family history of breast cancer.

    Q: Why did you get a mammogram?
    Stephanie: During my annual physical in 2022, shortly before I turned 40, my doctor recommended that I schedule my first annual mammogram. I wasn’t looking forward to it, so I kept putting it off. However, in June of 2022, I lost a classmate and friend to metastatic breast cancer. It hit me hard because she was a wife, a mother, and 40 years old just like me. Her passing, combined with close relationships with others who’ve battled this disease, pushed me to get an appointment scheduled.

    Q: Was it hard to schedule or get an appointment?
    Stephanie: For whatever reason, I felt awkward about calling to schedule an appointment. So, I used Huron Regional Medical Center’s online form to make my first mammography appointment (I’ve had two now.) I provided my information, chose appointment dates and times that would work with my schedule, and then they called me with available options that met my criteria. The day of the mammogram was just as easy, I simply checked in with Admissions and went back to the Radiology department. I would guess I didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes either time I’ve had a mammogram.
    Both times I have scheduled a mammogram I’ve been offered an appointment within two weeks of the scheduling phone call. They work with you to find a time that works best for your schedule. I was only gone from work for around 30 minutes for my appointments.

    Q: Does having a mammogram hurt?
    Stephanie: It isn’t the most comfortable experience, but it isn’t anywhere near as bad as I had imagined. I think that there are a lot of things that women do for the sake of beauty that are far more painful. It is just a little discomfort for the sake of your health once a year.

    Q: What would you tell other women about getting a mammogram?
    Stephanie: I wholeheartedly recommend getting a mammogram! The brief discomfort of a mammogram is significantly outweighed by the potential benefits of early detection. It can save lives! As moms, we often put everyone else’s needs before our own. But we need to do better, especially when it comes to our health. Making our health a priority gives us the power to be there for our loved ones.

    Call HRMC at 605-353-6334 to schedule a mammogram. Or, visit https://www.huronregional.org/services/radiology-imaging/3d-mammography  to learn more or access the online appointment request form.

    Cornerstone team at Huron’s Annual 1 Mile Walk for Breast Cancer
    Alyssa Kirk, Associate Advisor
    Lori Mack, First Impressions Director, CFS, Branch Associate, RJFS
    Liz Opfer, Personal Assistant, CFS, Branch Associate, RJFS
    Stephanie Gerrits, FPQP® Client Relationship Manager


    Stephanie’s “Why”

    Husband Trevor and sons
    Logan, Evan, and Dilan

    Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse Huron Regional Medical Center. 2023.10.17 #312962

    Quiz – Market Volatility vs Risk

    What’s the Difference Between Market Volatility and Risk? 

    While volatility is not the same as risk, the chances of incurring a loss may increase during periods of market volatility, in large part, that’s because investors become anxious about falling share prices and sell when they might be better off holding.

    See what you know about the difference between risk and volatility by taking this brief quiz.

     1. What is market volatility?

    a. Asset prices rising over a period of time.

    b. Asset prices falling over a period of time.

    c. The frequency and size of asset price swings, higher and lower.

    d. A measure of how easy it is to buy and sell stock.


    2. What is risk?

    a. The chance of losing some or all of an investment.

    b. The chance that actual investment returns will be different from anticipated investment returns.

    c. A vulnerability that can be managed through asset allocation and diversification.

    d. All of the above.


    3. How can the effects of stock market volatility be limited?

    a. By timing the market

    b. By avoiding bonds

    c. Through asset allocation and investment diversification

    d. By avoiding stocks


    4. Which famous investor said, “When people are desperately trying to sell, I buy. When people are desperately trying to buy, I sell. It has worked out very well over the years.”

    a. Warren Buffett

    b. Abby Joseph Cohen

    c. Sir John Templeton

    d. Abigail Johnson

    Answers: 1) c1; 2) d2; 3) c3; 4) c4


    If you feel overwhelmed and uncertain because of volatile markets, give us a call. You don’t have to go it alone! We can help you make sound decisions during difficult times.

    Not a Cornerstone client?

    Discover what’s possible when our 140 years of combined team experience and 30 years in business goes to work for you! Call 605-352-9490 or email cfsteam@mycfsgroup.com.



    Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.


    1 https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/what-is-volatility/

    2 https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/risk.asp

    3 https://www.investopedia.com/articles/active-trading/121014/protect-retirement-money-market-volatility.asp

    4 https://novelinvestor.com/quote-author/john-templeton/

    CSP #242150 Exp. 7.18.24