Fraudulent tax schemes have devastated many families. From losing money to forfeiting personal information, tax scams can have a detrimental effect on a person’s life. Scammers use many means to identify and initiate contact with their targets: phone, email, social media, and regular mail.
There are a few telltale signs that your letter from the IRS is not real. Here are some of the easiest ways to tell that it is a scam.
If you’re a retiree, you may be preparing to take your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) this year. Most retirees plan to take theirs by the end of each year, and they may consider making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) to mitigate the impact of taxes on their RMDs. However, you don’t have to wait until year-end to pursue this option. In fact, recent studies have shown that early planning of QCDs can often have an even bigger tax benefit than waiting.
Those two words can send some people running for the hills.
Many women struggle to find a financial advisor who understands their concerns and feels like a good match for their financial planning needs. This happens for a variety of reasons, but the truth is simple: women aren’t a homogenous group. We’re all unique individuals with specific goals, desires, dreams, and worries.
Too many advisors gear their advice toward women by offering generic platitudes without getting down to the nitty-gritty. Women want an authentic relationship with their advisor that dives deeper beyond the surface-level financial advice and small talk. They want a custom plan that supports their short and long term goals, and they don’t want to have the advisor continually address their husband or partner instead of directing questions their way.
Making financial “check-in’s” part of your regularly scheduled programming can be a colossal benefit for your financial life right now, and it can set you up for success in the future. When I talk to people about their financial habits, I hear a recurring theme:
You’ve tried the latest budgeting app. You’ve done weekly “allowances” for you and your spouse. You’ve made a lot of strides in a few short months - only to fall off the wagon again.
You’ve gone through the recommended next-steps - and you’re tired of seeing your day-to-day money habits continue to backslide.
Did you know that freezing your credit is one of the best ways to protect your identity? So many people skip credit freezes because they’re worried that it’ll be difficult to un-freeze it if they need it. The truth is, un-freezing your credit is a relatively straightforward process, and it has additional benefits - like forcing you to hit “pause” before making a major financial decision that requires a credit check.
The good news is that freezing your credit is an easy “to do” that you can check off your list in an hour or less. Ready to get started? Here’s your quick-start guide.
The holiday season is in full swing--family begins to arrive, gift wrap covers the floor, and the oven seemingly won’t recover from all the work it has been doing. This time of year is busy for many people. With the swirl of the holiday itinerary, money seems to be left on the back burner for the new year. By that time, it is often too late to recover from the tiring workout you have put your finances through this season.
In the world of financial planning, we often talk about building a retirement strategy that stands the test of time. We want to plan with longevity in mind because you never want to be without cash flow - even if you live to be 100+! However, financial planning has an often-untold side: spending is just as important as saving. Even though we want to plan with longevity in mind, that doesn’t mean anything if we deprive ourselves today and pass away unexpectedly tomorrow.
Millennials are the next generation entering and rising through the ranks of the workforce. Their needs, however, differ distinctly from the Baby Boomer generation that preceded them. In a general sense, millennials are not focused on attaining the same types of goals as their predecessors, namely expensive houses, and cars. Rather, their priorities lie in spending money on experiences, travel, and personal development.
Financial advisors need to be aware of the shifting needs of their millennial clientele and actively think about ways to better help them reach their goals.
Tax-loss harvesting, or TLH, is a strategy that has been around for a while but may be somewhat misunderstood. In essence, it is the practice of minimizing capital gains tax on investments by offsetting gains and losses, while staying invested in the market.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by your financial situation? Do you find that the business of life has created a permanent white noise that seems to always distract you? If you are feeling this way or similar, you are not alone.
Many people feel bogged down by the demands of life: family, friends, work, bills, finances. These distractions (wonderful though they can be) have the tendency to make us swerve from thinking about our own emotional well being. One of the best ways to take care of yourself this year is to undergo the process of decluttering.
Many pre-retirees have the same question crop up, and there never seems to be a solid definitive answer based on a quick Google search: Should I own my home throughout retirement?
Home ownership is a complicated part of our financial lives. There’s a sense of pride in owning a home, but a hefty mortgage and costly maintenance can cripple your cash flow as a retiree. So - should you own your home during retirement? And if you choose to own instead of renting, what’s the best way to mitigate the risks of home ownership as a retiree?
Most people have a vague understanding of the fact that their health will decline as they age. However, few people take the time to build a financial plan for what will happen if they need assisted living, or long-term care. It’s not a fun topic to think about, but having a strategy in place in case of a worst-case-scenario can provide immeasurable comfort to both you and your family.
Let’s go over what long-term care is, what you can expect if you need it someday, and how to put a plan in place to alleviate some of the financial and emotional pressure if you’re ever faced with long-term care needs for you or a family member.
Talking about money in the workplace can be uncomfortable. Because personal finance tends to be the last taboo topic in our modern world, many people cringe at the thought of bringing up their salary and benefits with their coworkers - or even their boss. However, discussing money at work with your HR department or your boss, and understanding your worth, can be key for employees looking to “level up” in their career.