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Retirement Planning Mistakes to Avoid in the Era of COVID-19

What NOT to Do to Keep Your Retirement Plan on Track After a Crisis
Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Retirement Planning Mistakes to Avoid in the Era of COVID-19

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the financial security of many Americans, as well as becoming a stress test for retirement planning and saving. If this health and financial crisis changed your retirement plans or has left you feeling less secure in your retirement savings, you’re not alone. Though the economy is recovering, and things are beginning to normalize as vaccines roll out, it may take a bit more time to get your retirement plan back on track. Below we will discuss five mistakes to avoid so you can strengthen and protect your savings now and into the future.

Surviving Money Disagreements as a Couple

Open and Honest Communication Can Help You Turn Disagreements into Opportunities for Growth
Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Surviving Money Disagreements as a Couple

By nature, relationships can be fraught with challenges. As two people come together and begin to intertwine their lives and finances, there are many issues to navigate. Plus, busy schedules often leave couples feeling like they’re not spending enough time together, small things like dishes left in the sink can lead to resentment, and jealousy or control issues might permeate the relationship too. In short, relationships aren’t easy, finance issues aren’t easy, and combining the two can be challenging for any couple.  

Of the potential setbacks you and your partner may face, the biggest relationship roadblocks tend to be related to money. Financial issues can sink even the healthiest of relationships, so learning how to work with your partner – rather than against them – to navigate these challenges can ensure your relationship finds long-lasting success, and on firm financial footing, too.

Health Savings Accounts Offer a Tax Break for High-Earners

When used correctly, HSAs can be the ultimate tax savings strategy.
Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Health Savings Accounts Offer a Tax Break for High-Earners

Protecting as much of your earnings as possible is key to wealth building, making it imperative for high-earners to develop a savvy tax strategy. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are often a viable option, though they tend to be overlooked or misunderstood. When they’re used correctly, however, they can be a fantastic tool to have in your financial planning toolbox. An HSA cannot only provide an easy annual income tax deduction, but it can also create a dedicated, tax-free vessel of funds on hand to cover any healthcare costs you may encounter during retirement.

How to Enable Your Adult Children to Create Financial Independence

Supporting Your Adult Children Can Strain Your Finances and Endanger Your Retirement
Wednesday, 10 March 2021

How to Enable Your Adult Children to Create Financial Independence

As a parent, you’ll likely do anything for the health, safety, and security of your children. For many parents, this translates into financial support – oftentimes long into adulthood. For several years now, there has been an emerging trend among young adults needing to rely on their parents for financial help to varying degrees after college. Now, COVID-19 has made the job market even more volatile for younger, less experienced members of the workforce.

While it’s important to support your loved ones, you need to find a balance between softening their landing and protecting your own financial security – especially your retirement nest egg. Below you’ll find six strategies to protect yourself and encourage your loved ones to create financial independence.

Six Ways to Use 'Self-Continuity' to Strengthen Your Retirement Plan

Try this Ancient Greek Concept to Better Prepare for Your Future
Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Six Ways to Use 'Self-Continuity' to Strengthen Your Retirement Plan

If you’re like most people, you’ve already put some thought into your retirement plans and the lifestyle you’ll lead. Hopefully, you’ve begun contributing to retirement funds or building other assets for your eventual retirement, too. You may have even thought a little about your age at retirement or brainstormed some specifics of where you’d like to be or what you’d like to be doing. These are useful and necessary parts of retirement planning. However, there is one extra step you can take that will make your decisions for the future even easier, and it’s an Ancient Greek concept called “self-continuity.”

Self-continuity involves imagining your future-self and relating to that person. It allows you to connect with who you will be in the future in a less abstract way, and it can increase your ability to prepare for that time in your life. Researchers have found that being able to relate and project yourself to that future-self in more vivid and realistic terms can make you more willing and capable to make the decisions that will benefit you the most in the future. This can be invaluable, of course, when planning your retirement.

Below are six techniques that will enable you to use self-continuity to bridge that gap between who you are now and who you will be in retirement.

The GameStop Frenzy

An Article by Ladenburg Thalmann
Monday, 01 February 2021

The GameStop Frenzy

Three weeks ago, GameStop (ticker: GME) was known as a store that millennials may have visited in their childhood to shop for video gaming consoles and accessories. That quickly changed when the price of GameStop stock surged more than 1,600% from January 11th to January 27th (source: Bloomberg) dominating the headlines and causing many market participants to ask the question “what in the world is going on?”. The thundering rise in GameStop’s stock can primarily be attributed to an underlying battle between small investors and hedge funds. Since we have fielded many questions on this story, we thought it may be best to provide some context around what has happened so far and how we think it relates to some of the bigger themes taking place in the market and economy today.

Planning for Retirement in Your Fifties

How to put yourself on firm financial footing as you approach retirement
Wednesday, 06 January 2021

Planning for Retirement in Your Fifties

In your 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s retirement can seem like it’s a lifetime away, but as you reach your 50’s it begins to feel much more pressing. If you are finding yourself approaching fifty and you’re not where you want to be with your retirement savings, don’t despair. It’s not too late to take steps to get yourself back on track.

Below are four areas for you to consider focusing on as you enter into your 50’s and begin buckling down on your retirement planning strategy.

How the Sandwich Generation Can Protect Their Retirement

Financial tips for those who juggle caring for aging parents while raising kids
Monday, 21 December 2020

How the Sandwich Generation Can Protect Their Retirement

If you’re part of the Sandwich Generation, you or someone you know are likely juggling the tasks of caring for aging parents and raising kids at the same time. This can be a Herculean feat, and you likely feel as if there’s never enough time, money, or energy to go around for all those depending on you, let alone time or resources for your own needs. This can seem especially so when it comes to having to manage finances for two generations on top of your own.

Though you may have conflicting feelings or struggle with guilt, it’s important to be sure that you’re focusing on your own financial needs, especially when it comes to retirement planning. It can feel impossible but, with discipline and planning, you can protect your retirement in a way that will allow you to launch your kids into a more secure adulthood and continue supporting your parents, too.

Here’s how you can better protect your retirement if you’re a member of the Sandwich Generation.

Developing a Long-Term Focus: Recency Bias and Reconsidering the Reinsurance Sector

Guidance for Overcoming the Urge to Think Short-Term
Monday, 07 December 2020

Developing a Long-Term Focus: Recency Bias and Reconsidering the Reinsurance Sector

One of the greatest pitfalls that investors need to be aware of is something called “recency bias.” This term refers to when current events or trends influence the decisions we make with our investments. Recency can be hard to avoid because it can affect us both intellectually as we review numbers, and also emotionally, which can create impulsive decisions. For instance, recency can lead to jumping on the bandwagon with recently well-performing stocks or assets, causing us to end up buying high and selling low. It can also cause us to get rid of what feels like a loss, only to have it turn around and perform well.

Successful investors look at long-term performance and make intentional decisions without falling victim to short-term performance and recency bias. The first step toward strengthening your investment decisions in this way is to understand more about how it can impact our decision-making.

Who Should Consider a Roth Conversion Now that the Stretch IRA Has Been Eliminated?

This Strategy Offers Another Way for Affluent Investors to Pass Along Their Wealth
Monday, 02 November 2020

Who Should Consider a Roth Conversion Now that the Stretch IRA Has Been Eliminated?

If you’ve saved diligently for retirement – or your parents have – and you’ve accumulated a sizable nest egg, recent rule changes affecting retirement distributions could seriously impact your financial strategy.

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, more commonly called the SECURE Act, was signed into law in December 2019. It was sweeping legislation that included significant provisions to increase access to tax-advantaged accounts and prevent retirees from outliving their money, but it also eliminated a strategy many affluent investors have been relying on.

Three Ways Retiring at Different Ages Might Affect You and Your Spouse’s Retirement Plans

Planning Together Ensures You'll Understand One Another's Expectations

Monday, 19 October 2020

Three Ways Retiring at Different Ages Might Affect You and Your Spouse’s Retirement Plans

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.

15 Money Habits You Should Be Practicing if You Want to Achieve Financial Freedom

Achieving Financial Security is Just A Few Steps Away

Monday, 28 September 2020

15 Money Habits You Should Be Practicing if You Want to Achieve Financial Freedom

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. 

Your Retirement Tax Prep List

Review These Reminders Before December 31 Each Year

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Your Retirement Tax Prep List

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.

There’s More to Financial Planning Than Just Having an Investment Strategy

Portfolio Returns are Only One Piece of Your Planning Puzzle

Monday, 20 July 2020

There’s More to Financial Planning Than Just Having an Investment Strategy

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.

2020 Second Quarter Investment Market Report

Wednesday, 08 July 2020

2020 Second Quarter Investment Market Report

This year, investors have been treated to a rare real-world lesson in the mathematics of investing—namely, the fact that after a market decline, it takes a greater market recovery to get back to even.  The first quarter saw a frightening downturn that delivered 20% losses across the U.S. and developed foreign markets.  Then we experienced a breathtaking 20% gain in the second quarter, the fourth-best quarterly rise since 1950.  Work out the mathematics, and virtually all indices are still showing a loss for the year.

You can see this dynamic everywhere you look.  The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index—the broadest measure of U.S. stocks—fell 20.70% in the first three months of the year, then gained 22.69% in the ensuing quarter.  By the mathematics of the market, investors in the index are still down 2.88% so far this year.  The comparable Russell 3000 index is down 3.48% in the first half of 2020. 

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