Here’s How to ‘Future-Proof’ Your Long-Term Investments
Friday, 03 January 2020
Investing in the stock market isn’t for the faint of heart, and many news stories can cause your panic level to rise when you aren’t prepared to ride the natural highs and lows. However, you’re not alone in your worries about the future. In fact, 60 percent of Americans report feeling stressed by simply thinking about the stock market. The good news is, if you have planned your long-term investments properly, they are actually built to ride the highs and lows of a mercurial market. Remember, investing is a long game; if you prepare properly, you can overcome short-term volatility. Below is a three-point checklist to help you protect your investments through a rough period.
Financially Supporting Your Kids May Negatively Impact Your Own Financial Health
Thursday, 26 December 2019
Are you considering financial support for your adult children? If so, you’re not alone. In a recent study by TD Ameritrade, 25 percent of baby boomers admitted they are supporting adult family members. That support, on average, equates to $10,000 per year. That’s a full $10,000 that boomers aren’t able to save or invest for their retirements – annually.
When it comes to your retirement planning, it’s important to ask yourself whether you can truly afford that kind of generosity. After all, if you fall short of your retirement goals, will anyone be there to bail you out? More than likely, the answer is no.
So, before you agree to provide financial support (or further financial support) to your adult children, you should ask yourself four questions:
Learn How Your Mindset Can Improve the Way You Manage Your Money
Wednesday, 20 November 2019
The term “money mindset” is most often used in discussions about attracting greater wealth in your life. However, there’s an alternative way to look at this phrase, too. What if, instead of focusing on trying to bring more money your way, you flipped your mindset to one of gratitude for what you already have?
Believe it or not, waking up each day focused on practicing an attitude of gratitude can actually enhance your finances over the long-term. Read on to learn three important reasons that being grateful can improve the way you manage your money.
Four Steps for Surviving a Market Meltdown
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The past decade has been kind to recent retirees – they’ve benefited from a bull market that quite possibly increased their net worth even though they’re no longer working. Of course, not all retirees will be this lucky.
Since the market is always in flux, some retirees will find themselves in the unfortunate predicament of retiring into a bear market that’s about to show its teeth. However, all hope is not lost. Here are four steps you can take to help ensure your retirement is bear market-proof.
1. Take Stock of Your Budget
The ebbs and flows of the market can make us feel powerless at times, with Wall Street maintaining more control over our money than we do. This is an unsettling feeling, particularly if you’re newly retired or will be retiring soon.
Are You Spending Your Retirement Days the Same Way Others Are?
Thursday, 24 October 2019
It’s common for those on the verge of retirement to struggle with imagining their days without work. So much empty space on the calendar can be exciting, but it can also cause feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.
Don’t fear – once you actually retire, you’re likely to find that your days are not as different as you thought they might be. If you’re intentional about how you structure your schedule and open-minded about the experiences and activities you’d like to try, you’ll soon find yourself with a full agenda designed to create the fulfilling retirement you’ve dreamed of.
Most people spend their working years worried about saving enough for retirement. What tends to escape attention, however, is how that retirement income will be taxed in the future.
Tuesday, 08 October 2019
Depending upon the type of income, retirement earnings are often taxed at a lower rate – or sometimes not at all. It’s important to understand where your retirement income falls on this continuum so that you can ensure you will have the spending power you hope for once you stop working.
Let’s imagine you’re a single person who earns $80,000 each year, and you save 10 percent for your retirement. After deducting this retirement contribution, income taxes and applicable FICA taxes, you’re likely to have $50,000-$60,000 at your disposal annually. How do you ensure you’ll have this same amount available to you in retirement after taxes? Since that answer is highly dependent upon the source of your retirement income, let’s take a look at a few common sources:
Wednesday, 25 September 2019
It’s nearly here. Retirement. Sometimes, it may seem you’ve been planning, prepping and worrying about your retirement for ages. If retirement is close, you may already see yourself out on the golf course, sleeping late, or moving to the south of France. Before that happens though, it’s good to take a breath and review three big things that won’t change as you move into retirement. Addressing these three can have a major effect on the quality of your retirement.
Thursday, 12 September 2019
You’ve drafted up a will, so you’re all set, right? Wrong. Having a will is a good first step, but to really ensure that you and your family are secure, you’ll want to go over the 6 estate must-haves detailed in this article. 6 in 10 American adults do not even have a will. The good news is that percentage of older Americans (above the age of 72) that number jumps up much higher, to 81% but that still is leaving a lot of things undecided for a lot of folks. If you are behind on your estate planning think of it this way- it’s not just a will it’s naming guardianship if you have children and it’s naming power of attorney if you become unable to manage your finances or health care needs. Estate planning is going over your beneficiaries and creating trusts. While it may be unpleasant thinking about death, the peace of mind that comes with have all the paperwork in place and knowing your wishes will be known is worth it. So, let’s go over 5 items you will need to prepare.
ARE YOU ONE OF THE GROWING NUMBER OF AMERICANS THAT WANT TO RETIRE EARLY?
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
DO YOU WANT TO DO IT BEFORE YOU TURN 60? IF YOU ANSWERED YES TO EITHER OF THOSE QUESTIONS, THEN READ ON, AS YOU MAY WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT A 72(T) DISTRIBUTION.
Normally, when someone retires early and draws on their retirement savings (before the age of 59 ½) they incur penalties and fees. 72(t) distribution plans allow someone to draw on their IRA savings, without fee or penalty, by using what is called “substantially equal periodic payments”. What that essentially means is unlike the other times you can pull from retirement savings, like to buy a house, or for school tuition, a 72(t) must be paid out over a set period of time. If you start a payout at age 52, for example, you must consistently do so for 8 years. You must take payment for 5 years, or turn 59 ½, whichever happens later. So, if you start at 57 you must continue with the payments until you are 62.
Tuesday, 30 July 2019
When, where, what, who. These are questions that we ask ourselves all the time about big or small things happening in our lives. When is the movie? Where is the baby shower? What do we need at the grocery store? Who left the bathroom light on? So then, it should seem obvious that you and your spouse consider the very same thing when you are approaching retirement. Let’s start with when.
When will we retire?
According to a recent Motley Fool article, 43% of couples do not agree on when they will retire. This poses a challenge since agreeing upon the right time to retire is critical to making your retirement income last as long as it can.
WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT IT CAN BE A STRUGGLE TO JUSTIFY THE COST OF PAYING FOR A PROFESSIONAL TO DRAFT A FINANCIAL PLAN FOR YOU.
Tuesday, 16 July 2019
After all, you manage and plan for most of the other things in your life, why do you need to pay someone to make a plan for what comes next financially? It turns out that not investing in a financial plan could cost you in the long-run and not just because of the investment component of financial planning.
According to a Morningstar study[i] which tracked households for a fifteen-year period and then ranked their financial soundness and the quality of their financial decisions, those who got planning advice from a financial planner fared better than those who sought advice from the internet, friends or transactional advisors. In fact, those who sought planning advice from transactional advisors (brokers and bankers) had the least positive outcome in this study.
Monday, 17 June 2019
It’s hard these days to turn on a TV, open a paper, or scroll a news feed without a bombardment of unsettling stories. This article will be, hopefully, something of a palate cleanser from all of that. Yes, there are troubles, tragedies, wars, famine and all manner of turmoil in the world, but there is also so much good that gets so much less press. The 24-hour international news cycle depends so thoroughly on us being angry, scared and engaged that unfortunately stories about the positives in the world get lost in all the noise.
Tuesday, 28 May 2019
If you live in a high tax state (like CA, NY, or NJ) and are a high-earner (over $120,000 for singles and $199,00 for a couple)[i] there is a good chance you will see your taxes going up. Due to earnings caps on certain investment strategies, you may not have thought too much about a Roth IRA. This article will go over what is called “The Rich Person’s Roth” which is a gauche name for cash value life insurance, or Life Insurance Retirement Plans (LIRP) which could be a useful investment option for those who make too much to use a traditional Roth and want the tax saving and retirement benefits.
If you’re a business owner, professional, physician, or self-employed, and a high-earner, you may pay higher taxes than most Americans.
Friday, 03 May 2019
Individual income taxes are the IRS’s biggest revenue source and the top 50% of all taxpayers paid 97% of the total income tax paid. The good news is that there are some financial options that you may be able to take advantage of to lessen your taxes and keep more of your hard-earned money. In this article, we will go over some of the basics of the Defined Benefit Plan (DB), the Defined Contribution Plan (DC), and Cash Balance Pension Plans.
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
It may be hard to see sometimes, with the often apocalyptic 24-hour news cycles, but there is a lot of good out there in the world. One of the good things is how generous Americans have been with their charitable giving. Part of this widespread generosity is tied, no doubt, on the internet connecting people all over the world. Americans gave $410.02 billion dollars to charity in 2017, breaking a record and 70% of that was given by individuals.[i] As wealth grew, so too did charitable giving and generosity. Within that huge number, over $400 billion, some interesting patterns and data appear. Within this article, we will discuss why people practice charitable giving, who is giving, and how, if inclined, you could give more as well.