As a widow looking toward retirement, you have a number of financial and emotional concerns you’re currently facing. Whether your spouse recently passed away or not, it can feel daunting to consider going through this next chapter of your life without them by your side. 

However, with some forward-thinking and strategic planning, you can make the transition to retirement feeling financially confident in the lifestyle you envision for yourself. Follow these steps to get started.

When you open a Roth IRA, the IRS stipulates that you’re only able to contribute up until you hit an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $124,000 if you’re single (or married filing separately). If you’re married filing jointly, this increases to $196,000. 

Many people mistakenly feel that they’ve graduated out of being able to contribute to a Roth IRA. This is especially true as they near retirement, and have a notably increased annual income at the end of their career. 

In 2020, the SECURE Act, or the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” Act, went into effect. This new government spending bill will impact both current retirees and pre-retirees who are currently in the process of building their retirement savings. 

In the past, I’ve written on both market corrections and the history of recessions in the United States. The truth is that there will always be a fear of market volatility for investors, and it’s worth discussing not only what a recession would look like, but also how to protect yourself against one if the market should dip in the near or distant future. 

The 5-10 years before retirement can be both exciting and stressful. Retiring from a career you’ve spent a lifetime building can be an unexpectedly challenging transition - both financially and personally. The more you can set clear goals in the leadup to your retirement, the more likely you’ll be able to enter this new season of your life seamlessly. 

For many people, Social Security makes up a large percentage of their retirement income. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to navigate Social Security - especially if you’ve gone through a divorce. Let’s explore what divorcees can expect when it comes to Social Security benefits, and how that impacts their retirement planning. 

As a new grandparent, I’ve given a lot of thought to the kind of family legacy I want to start building. The truth is, I often have similar conversations with my clients who are grandparents, as well. It’s incredibly important to teach our kids and grandkids the ins and outs of giving, and helping to show them how to give according to your family values can be even more meaningful. 

One way to teach your grandkids to give, and encourage them to think about the type of impact they want to make on the world, is to leverage a Donor-Advised Fund. 

Are you in the sandwich generation?

Sandwich generation individuals are literally “sandwiched” between their young adult children and aging parents. The emotional and financial strain of caring for both your parents and your kids can be difficult to navigate. 

Everyone I’ve spoken to about becoming a grandparent says it changes their life. Now that I’ve had my first grandchild recently, I can honestly say - I completely get it! Becoming a grandparent is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced.

Are you ready for 2020? As we enter this new decade, it can be helpful to get organized as you gear up to build your wealth and improve your financial wellness next year. Luckily, staying on track in 2020 doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, there are several ways you can get ahead before December 31st that don’t require too much time or energy. These three year-end financial tips will help you to hit the ground running next year! 

Many clients who come to Wood Smith Advisors for financial guidance have one pressing question on their minds:

Am I financially “okay” to retire?

Most people think of their 401(k) (or other workplace retirement plan) when they think of retirement savings. However, there are several other options for growing your retirement savings in a tax-efficient way. Today I’d like to go over two savings vehicles you may not be leveraging yet - your HSA, and a Backdoor Roth IRA. 

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changed several tax laws. These changes make tax planning an even more critical part of your comprehensive financial plan. 

One of the changes that require more forward-thinking than before is that Roth Conversions are now permanent, not reversible as they have been in years past. Let’s talk about what a Roth Conversion is, and whether or not you should leverage this strategy before the December 31st deadline this year.  

When you’re growing your career, and you start to bring in a higher salary, your bigger paychecks often come with mixed emotions. Earning more money for yourself and your family is a fantastic feeling, but the additional considerations that come with higher wealth can be overwhelming.

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