Follow These Four Steps to Ensure Your Assets Stay Protected
Thursday, 12 May 2022
There’s a lot that goes into estate planning and, hopefully, you’ve got a plan in place to ensure your wishes are carried out. However, one piece of the puzzle that is missing for many people is ensuring that beneficiaries are listed for every policy and account – and that they are kept up to date. Indeed, it is critically important for you to review your beneficiary designations on any retirement accounts, annuities, or life insurance policies and make sure they each list one or more current beneficiaries. Why is this such an important step? Well, even if you have a will, it does not override your designated beneficiaries if it states something different.
Conducting a beneficiary review before you retire allows you to be sure that you have the correct beneficiaries listed and designations determined. This means reviewing your beneficiaries in light of your long-term goals and objectives while also taking into consideration tax laws and other policies regarding the distributions for each type of account or policy. Below are four steps to guide you as you review your own beneficiary designations.
Teaching Financial Literacy to the Next Generation Leaves a Lasting Legacy
Tuesday, 26 April 2022
Moments passed with children and grandchildren is always time well spent. The lessons you give them will last the rest of their lives. April is Financial Literacy Month, an ideal time to begin a conversation with your grandkids about money.
Giving them the benefits of the lessons you’ve learned can help set them up for a happier, more financially secure life ahead. And don’t be afraid to share your successes as well as your mistakes—there’s wisdom in both.
Here are three essential financial lessons you can teach the next generation to set them up for success:
Ways to Maximize the Benefits of Your Philanthropic Gifts
Tuesday, 19 April 2022
Practicing philanthropy is a very personal decision. More often than not, it’s about more than money – it’s about your values, passions, and vision for the future. However, even if saving money on your taxes isn’t your main reason for giving back, there are still several tax benefits that come from charitable giving that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Below we’ll discuss four tax-advantaged ways that you can make a charitable gift.
Use This Checklist to Help Ensure Your Affairs Are in Order
Tuesday, 05 April 2022
None of us like to think about a world that we’re no longer a part of, yet we all have limited time on Earth. Having to make decisions about who should raise your children or which of your children will best manage your assets can be uncomfortable. But the critical aspect of estate planning is this: if you don’t make a plan, then you lose your power. Without an estate plan in place, your assets may end up in court and divvied up based on a judge’s decision rather than your own.
A strong estate plan is about more than simply having a will written down. You’ll want to be sure that you’ve thoroughly planned for all of your assets as well as put a plan in place to ensure they transfer as smoothly as possible to your heirs. Needless to say, there’s a lot that goes into estate planning. It can be intimidating to begin the process, but the following checklist can help guide you as you begin putting your own estate plan in place.
Guidelines to Sharpen Your Vision of What Retirement Means to You
Wednesday, 23 March 2022
It’s no secret that the key to a successful and fulfilling retirement is a well-planned, comprehensive retirement plan. While creating your retirement plan, there are three big questions that you must ask yourself in order to clarify your vision for this phase of your life and determine what you need to plan for. After all, a retirement plan can only work if you know what you want and need! So, ask yourself the three questions below and then you can use this newfound clarity to develop an intentional plan for your future.
How to Stay Up to Date and Do All You Can to Reduce Your Tax Bill
Monday, 14 March 2022
As we approach the April 18, 2022 tax filing deadline, remember that preparation is the key to maximizing your tax situation. It’s never too soon to start thinking about how to handle your federal return, and you can use this tax prep checklist to help you meet your obligations and take advantage of any savings opportunities.
If You’re Struggling with This New Chapter, You’re Not Alone
Wednesday, 09 March 2022
Most people spend decades of their working lives planning for and dreaming about how they want life to look in retirement. They plan where their income will come from, where they’re going to live, what trips they may be going on, who they’re going to spend their time with, and many more exciting details. Yet, despite all the diligent planning, many retirees find themselves shocked when they realize that adjusting to retirement is more difficult than they anticipated.
Strategies to Help Ensure Financial Stability in Retirement
Friday, 25 February 2022
Most retirement advice is focused on how to save smartly so that you’re financially secure when you leave the workforce. This is understandable considering you most likely want to live comfortably in retirement and doing so usually requires a sizable nest egg. However, as critical as those pre-retirement money moves are, it’s equally as important to think about your wealth management strategy once you retire. You want to be able to enjoy the fruits of your hard work without worries of running out of money – which is a common cause for anxiety among retirees.
This conundrum ends up creating two unfortunate camps that retirees can find themselves stuck in if they aren’t careful. One camp is so afraid of running out of money that they barely spend anything and deny themselves a retirement that they deserve. Conversely, there is another camp of retirees who spend more than they should and put their financial security at serious risk.
Your goal should be to find an even balance between these two extremes and the strategies below will help you to pursue your retirement dreams without putting your savings in jeopardy.
Four Wealth-Building Habits to Start Today
Wednesday, 09 February 2022
Use these Strategies to More Effectively Grow Your Wealth Over Time
If you want to achieve financial independence and live the life of your dreams, you’ll need to adopt wealth-building habits that help you accomplish your goals. Like any habits, wealth-building habits must be regularly practiced until they become second nature in order to be effective. To do that, you must exercise patience and commitment.
The first step is to figure out what wealth means to you. Get clear on what your goals are and then start employing the habits below to bring them to fruition.
The Key to Tackling Your Goals Lies in a Clear Vision and a Strong Plan
Thursday, 20 January 2022
If there’s one thing most of us have in common, it’s the experience of saving money incrementally for something that seems out of reach. Whether you’re a teenager saving up for a car, a college student saving up for a degree, or an adult saving up for a down payment on your dream home, you’re probably intimately familiar with what it feels like to have to put money aside to achieve a financial goal. You probably also know how challenging it can be to stay disciplined and motivated to reach the savings threshold you desire.
In order to successfully save enough to finance your long-term dreams, it can help to set specific financial goals. What is it, exactly, that you want to achieve? How long will it take you? What are the particular steps you need to take in order to be successful? Questions like these can help ensure that you’re on the right track – and that you stay on it.
When it comes to goal setting, the new year always provides the perfect opportunity to take stock of where you are, what you want, and how to go about getting it. In light of the new year, here are a few tips and guidelines to help you set and achieve your financial goals – no matter how big or small.
A Guide to Setting Financial Resolutions and Overcoming Money Stress
Wednesday, 05 January 2022
If you’re among the 73% of Americans for whom money is a source of stress in their lives, you may be considering a financial resolution or two for the New Year. You might also be unsure where to start or feel overwhelmed by the idea of tackling something that feels immense. Luckily, you can take small steps to create big change in your financial well-being as we move into the new year. Below, I’ll share 10 keys to greater financial health that you can use as a guide as you set your financial resolutions for the year ahead.
Holding Off on Your Benefits May Pay Off in the Long-Term
Monday, 20 December 2021
If you’re like most retirees, you may be planning to claim your Social Security benefits around the age of 62. Or, perhaps, you plan to hold off a bit longer until you’ve finally hit full retirement age, which is typically between the ages of 66 and 67. However, have you considered waiting even longer – until age 70 – to begin collecting Social Security?
The truth is, there are quite a few benefits that could come from being patient. Here are three main reasons why it may pay in the long run to delay taking your Social Security benefits until age 70.
These Four Scenarios Signal it’s Time to Hire a Professional
Monday, 08 November 2021
If you’re among the many people who wish they had begun taking financial planning seriously a bit earlier in life, you’re definitely not alone. It’s a common refrain we hear from clients and, while you can’t go back in time, you can encourage your adult children to avoid the mistakes you made.
Now, if your children are in their 20s, or are older but not earning much yet, there’s probably not much need for a financial advisor. However, life changes and careers evolve, and there will come a time when professional financial advice is both appropriate and needed. Below, we’ll discuss four triggering scenarios in your adult children’s lives that may make it the right time to seek out the services of a financial advisor in order to create a proper plan for the years ahead.
Seven Steps to Get Your Finances in Order for Retirement
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
Any time the season changes it brings with it a great opportunity to re-assess your current reality and revisit your plans for the future and long-term goals. For most people, envisioning a dream retirement is fairly easy – it’s not hard to picture yourself somewhere tropical with your toes in the sand, or hiding away in a cabin somewhere with your nose stuck in a book. Or perhaps your dream retirement is full of images of you baking with your grandchildren, surrounded by family. Whatever your dream retirement may look like, visualizing your future life isn’t the same as preparing your finances to make that dream a reality.
As we settle into fall, now is a great time to reconnect with your financial goals, get intentional with your investment strategy, and freshen up your money habits. If you’re looking to tighten up your finances, try using these seven steps below to get yourself back on track.
The 2021 Tax Year is Bringing Some Surprises with It, but Here’s What We Do Know
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Financial planning provides a plethora of benefits; however, it also comes with many challenges considering it’s impossible to completely prepare for an unpredictable future. Despite the impossibility of being able to fully prepare for what the future holds, a smart financial plan can still provide you with the flexibility and strong financial foundation you need to respond to whatever the future brings.
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the tax plan put forth by Democrats and the corresponding changes it may bring. While there is still a lot that is unknown, some of the upcoming tax changes are certain and can begin being planned for. Below is a summary of some of the items that will change in the 2021 tax season.