Estate planning is one of those topics that often makes people uncomfortable. Most of us don’t want to think about what’s going to happen after we die, or some of us feel like we don’t have enough assets to warrant needing an estate plan. The truth is everyone needs a plan. Your estate is comprised of everything you own — your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture and other personal possessions. So, no matter how modest your estate might be, you’ll still want to manage who receives each item and when they receive it. You’ll also want to include medical and financial directives so others know your wishes. Here are five simple components of an estate plan.
Many older adults will require long-term care at some point during their lives. Long-term care is defined as requiring assistance with at least two “activities of daily living” (eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, continence or transferring from a bed to a chair) that lasts at least 90 days, or a need for substantial assistance due to severe cognitive impairment. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “more than 6 million older Americans are thought to have a high need for long-term care. Yet fewer than 10 percent of older adults have purchased long-term care insurance because it’s expensive.” So how do you get long-term care without breaking the bank?
Trying to decide whether or not it makes sense for you or your partner to become a stay-at-home parent? We know this is not an easy decision to make for most families. While there are numerous benefits to having one parent stay home with the children, there are also financial adjustments that need to be taken into consideration. Families need to have a financial plan to help mitigate any financial challenges created by the loss of income. In order to help your family make the best decision, here are a few helpful steps you can take to help determine the financial feasibility of one parent staying at home.
The beginning of the new year is an excellent time to review your financial goals and set your resolutions. Financial resolutions can help you successfully reach your short- and long-term goals. Financial goals could include items like going on a fabulous vacation, purchasing a new home or increasing retirement savings.
Last week I wrote about what individual taxpayers can expect in 2018 under the new 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Law. Now, let’s take a look at the business side of things. The purpose of this blog is to highlight things that taxpayers understand, not what they expect their accountants and financial professionals to know. In other words, we won’t get “into the weeds.”
For more details, this article “What Tax Reform Means for Small Businesses & Pass-Through Entities” by Forbes writer Kelly Phillips Erb covers a lot of ground. I will bullet the major points to highlight areas that you may want to spend more time understanding in light of your business situation. The new laws are still being interpreted and we can expect more clarification from the IRS in the coming months.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has become law, and it will go into effect for the tax year 2018. For many, there will be benefits and savings. For others, there may be some adjustments to be made. Although this law simplifies the tax code, there is still quite a bit of information to wade through. It will take several pages to go through all of the changes, but I will focus on some major items now and more in future posts.
The stock market continues to trend upwards. According to industry analysis it is expected to remain positive for 2017 and enter 2018 strong. This may have some people questioning why they still need a financial advisor. The truth is a good financial advisor may be the key resource between reaching your financial goals or spending your lifetime worrying about them. Below we’ll delve into a few reasons why people need a financial advisor — even when the market is up.
The holiday season is here, and, while it’s important to give thanks and spread holiday cheer, it’s also important to be mindful of your budget and savings. This is particularly important if you are a young adult still adjusting to living on your own, paying off bills and student loans, and earning an entry-level salary. Not sure where to start? No worries, below are some key money management tips to keep you on track during the holiday season and throughout the new year.
Are you debating whether or not you should add Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage into your traditional Medicare coverage? Traditional Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers many healthcare expenses. However, it doesn’t cover everything, like vision, dental, prescription drugs and overseas emergency health coverage. Even the services Medicare does cover can add up in out-of-pocket expenses due to copayments and deductible fees. Because of this, many Medicare recipients enroll in Medicare plans to cover the gap in coverage.
Are you planning out your retirement strategy but are puzzled about required minimum distributions (RMDs) and what they mean for you? If so, the good news is you’re not alone. The bad news is that failure to set a proper RMD withdrawal strategy can result in significant tax penalties.
RMDs are annual distributions required from a tax-deferred retirement account once you reach the age of 70 ½ years old. (Note that you can take withdrawals of any amount without penalty once you reach age 59 ½.) They are also required if you inherit an IRA or 401(k) type account at any age. Distributions are subject to income tax, since they were saved “tax-deferred” during your working years. A key component of your retirement planning is taking required minimum distributions from your retirement accounts. But there are rules that govern when you must start taking withdrawals and the minimum amount you must withdraw from specific retirement accounts. Below are some tips you should know about RMDs:
While we have enjoyed steady gains in the equity markets, corrections do happen. When the next correction occurs we offer the following thoughts for investors to keep in mind.
A stock market correction is often announced with attention-grabbing headlines. The effect can be scary and overwhelming to any investor. It’s hard to stay calm and not panic when bright red numbers and flashy headlines tempt you to take immediate action. Let’s discuss what a correction in the market means and how it may impact you.
Do the following words have you holding your head in fear and confusion - Recession, Depression, Bubbles, Bull and Bear Markets? Do you wonder when morning shows use them whether you should be celebrating or stuffing your money into a mattress? If so, you’re not alone. It can all be a bit bewildering. Good news is, we’re here to help. Let’s discuss the history and definition behind all these terms and what they mean for you.
“Buy low and sell high. It’s pretty simple. The problem is knowing what’s low and what’s high.” - Jim Rogers, Chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc.
Buy low, sell high, four words that make the idea of investing in the stock market seem exciting and simple. The reality, however, can be overwhelming and frustrating, particularly if your investments aren’t performing as well as you expected in the markets. Maybe you heard the latest buzz about a new and upcoming technology that had you jumping at the chance to be a part of the action – only to realize later that you purchased high and now their stock price is dropping. You’re not alone.
Blackrock reports, “The average investor, over a 20-year span ending in 2015, underperformed the S&P 500 by six percent.”
Below are a few key reasons that uninformed investors don’t make more money in the stock markets.