Planning Together Ensures You'll Understand One Another's Expectations
Monday, 19 October 2020
Nearing retirement is an exciting time. It’s the culmination of the many years you’ve spent working hard and diligently following your retirement plans, and for many, it can be an incredibly meaningful and rewarding phase in your life.
Retiring is a very personal decision, and everyone must decide their own perfect timing. This means that couples aren’t always going to be retiring at the same time. Should you find you and your spouse in the position of retiring at different ages, here are three things you should know.
Achieving Financial Security is Just A Few Steps Away
Monday, 28 September 2020
What is stopping you from achieving financial freedom? Often in life, the biggest hurdle we have to overcome is ourselves. Too often our mindset or our emotions get in the way of us achieving the goals that we’ve set. This is especially true in our financial lives. Whether it’s the feeling of being too overwhelmed by the task set before you, such as saving for a house or retirement, or it’s unhealthy habits you’ve picked up like late night shopping, it’s easy to feel ill-equipped, disparaged, or completely overwhelmed when it comes to tackling your money.
However, money doesn’t have to be this gargantuan, all-consuming burden in your life. It’s possible to overcome these hurdles and take control of your financial reality, and it starts with learning a few healthy money habits. We’ve put together a list of 15 of our favorite money tips that can turn you into a financial guru in no time. We hope you to try implementing some of these into your own life, then watch as your financial independence blossoms.
Review These Reminders Before December 31 Each Year
Wednesday, 19 August 2020
Utilizing qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) for your retirement planning is a smart move – after all, earnings on these tax-advantaged accounts grow tax-deferred or even tax-free. In order to make sure you get the most out of them, as well as stay up to date with all account requirements, review the below reminders each year.
Portfolio Returns are Only One Piece of Your Planning Puzzle
Monday, 20 July 2020
You max out your 401(k) contributions, you contribute regularly to your IRA and you’ve diversified your portfolio in order to reduce your overall risk. This is a thoughtful and strategic financial plan, right?
Well, not exactly. Although many people believe a consistent investment strategy sets them up for their desired financial future, the truth is that investing is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to financial planning. If your investments are the only thing you’re being thoughtful and strategic about, you’re missing several crucial steps in protecting your financial future. Below we’ll discuss a three-part plan to help you discern where you may have holes in your current financial plan.
Part 1: Goal Planning
Regardless of what stage of life you’re in, you have short- and long-term goals. Maybe you want to get married and buy your first home, maybe you’re focused on getting the kids through college debt-free and buying a vacation home, or perhaps it’s your dream to retire early and travel the world. In any scenario, you can’t properly plan for the future until you know what you want. Once you’ve clarified your goals, you can devise a strategy to achieve them.
Sunday, 29 March 2020
On March 27 the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to address the unprecedented public health and economic crisis related to COVID-19.
This $2 trillion bill is meant to impact both individuals and businesses and contains significant tax-savings measures. It could affect prior tax years while also creating immediate cash-flow.
Impact on Individuals
Perhaps the most impactful provision for American citizens is the CARES Act’s promise of cash payments of up to $1,200 per single individual and $2,400 for a married couple. Parents will also receive an additional $500 per qualifying child. Payments are phased-out for individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 and for married couples filing jointly with income greater than $150,000.
Provisions are such that payments will be based on 2018 tax returns, though, like the Affordable Care Act’s tax premium credit, there is a true-up related to the amount for which you are eligible on your 2020 tax return. Nonresident aliens, dependents and estates and trusts are not eligible for a stimulus check.
Retirement Plan Rules
Since this bill aims to generate more access to cash, it loosens retirement fund rules. In particular, it waives the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related use. It also allows for the federal income tax on such distributions to be paid over a three-year term. Finally, these distributions can be contributed back into the retirement fund within three years with no impact on that year’s contribution limit.
The CARES Act also adds flexibility regarding loans from certain retirement accounts when used for coronavirus-related needs. The loan maximum is now the lesser of $100,000 or 100 percent of the accrued benefit. Repayment is also now delayed.
Friday, 27 March 2020
As I sit here in my home office looking out at so many beautiful plants just beginning their gorgeous annual blooming ritual, I am reminded of the new awakening we Americans are experiencing. Americans have a long history of pulling together when needed, from 9/11 to numerous world military conflicts and now to the global COVID-19 virus pandemic. Amid the drumbeat of constant bad news these days there are also many good things happening--one just has to look around a little.
Americans Can Defer Filing & Payments for 90 Days
Friday, 20 March 2020
As we continue to face uncertain times, the IRS has made a welcome announcement.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced that the IRS has decided to extend the filing and payment deadline for 2019 tax returns, allowing taxpayers to defer until July 15. Mnuchin indicated this move will put $300 billion into the economy during a time of great economic concern over the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The payment deferment is subject to certain caps, however. Individuals may defer tax payments of up to $1 million, while corporations may defer up to $10 million. The limits were purposefully selected to benefit small businesses that report income through S corporations, partnerships or other pass-through entities.
Tuesday, 17 March 2020
We are facing something we have never faced before in our lifetimes. That is a fact and, in a time, when the news of the pandemic is spreading and the recommendations on social distancing are getting broader by the day, it can be hard to feel certain or safe about anything.
As troubling as it is to watch the unprecedented market decline and as hard it is to tune out the fact that you know you are losing a lot on your investments, we need to maintain our health and the health and safety of our family, friends and neighbors as the number one priority. Covid-19 which emerged late in 2019 in China has spread rapidly worldwide since then and is a global pandemic. The measures taken by leaders around the globe have been drastic leaving most children without a classroom to go to, parents working from home or without a job altogether and investors panicking about what is to come.
This disruption to daily life and to our psyches is substantial and it’s terrible. The coming weeks will not be easy, but these measures are practical and prudent.
Yesterday – March 9 – was the eleventh anniversary of the crescendo of global panic that marked the bottom of the bear market of 2007-09.
Tuesday, 10 March 2020
It is, to me, a thing of the most irony that the world elected to celebrate this iconic anniversary with – you guessed it – another epic global panic attack.
At yesterday’s closing level of 2,747, the S&P 500 is down over 18% from its all-time high, recorded on February 19. Declines of that magnitude are common occurrences – indeed the average annual drawdown from a peak to a trough since 1980 is close to 14%*. But such a decline in barely a month is noteworthy, not for its depth but for its suddenness.
As we all know by now, the precipitants of this decline have been (a) the outbreak of a new strain of virus, the extent of which can’t be predicted, (b) the economic impact of that outbreak, which is equally unknown, and (c) most recently, the onset of a price war in oil. (That last one is surely a problem for everyone involved in the production of oil, but it’s a boon to those of us who consume it.)
The common thread here is unknowability: we simply don’t know where, when or how these phenomena will play out. And in my experience, the thing in this world that markets hate and fear the most is uncertainty. We have no control over the uncertainty; we can and should, however, have perfect control over how we respond to it.