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.

Many companies who have formerly offered a pension are now “buying out” plan participants. General Electric is the most recent company to enact a pension freeze and to offer a buyout to all 100,000+ of their current pension benefit recipients. Fewer and fewer organizations now offer a pension to their employees for a variety of reasons. In their place, a 401(k), 403(b), or other employee-funded retirement savings vehicle is usually offered instead. 

The idea of early retirement appeals to many people - and why wouldn’t it? When you’ve spent so much time and energy planning for your ideal retirement, it’s completely reasonable to be excited to dive in. However, early retirement doesn’t come without its drawbacks. It’s important to know what you’re walking into before taking the leap.

Too often, people view charitable giving and building a legacy as something they do exclusively through their estate plan. Apart from small donations to their favorite charity or religious organization each year, they don’t work to align their financial budget with their values, or the causes they care about. 

Caring for aging parents is an incredibly challenging and emotional task, especially as they near the end of their lives. As an adult child, there are several ways you can help your parents through this next chapter gracefully by guiding them through both financial and emotional decisions. 

Have you ever considered volunteer work in retirement? Whether you’re planning to take a full-blown volunteer vacation as a retiree, or you want to help at your local animal shelter weekly, incorporating volunteering into your schedule as a retiree has a wide range of benefits. From improving your physical and emotional health, to finding a connection in your community, to making an impact on the world around you - volunteer work is a fantastic lifestyle pursuit for retirees.

When people picture retirement, many of them picture a retired couple enjoying their days in the Arizona sun, or camped out at their beach house by the ocean. The stereotypes of snowbirds, or of retirees uprooting their lives to relocate somewhere warmer, exist for a reason. Close to 25% of retirees are looking to leave their current community for one reason or another, with the vast majority of retirees moving to sunnier states like New Mexico, Florida, and Arizona.

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