In Part I of this series, we provided a basic definition of deferred compensation plans and introduced questions to ask your financial advisor.

We said a deferred compensation plan is one in which a portion of an employee's pay is held until a specified date, usually (though not always) retirement. A deferred compensation plan:

Congratulations! You’re an executive and you now qualify for deferred compensation plans. But what does that mean?

You might have heard the term “deferred compensation plan” before. If not, you might be more familiar with the idea than the term, so this definition might ring some bells when you put it in context: A deferred compensation plan is one in which a portion of an employee's pay is held until a specified date, usually (though not always) retirement.

We talk a lot about financial education in this blog, especially as it pertains to our youth. But what about our entrepreneurs, seasoned business owners and executives who have experience in their fields but not in finance? What happens to them in business and in life if they do not become educated?

In my series on youth and finances, I try to share many ways to give young adults tools to make sure they keep their financial life as stable as they can while navigating high school, leaving home for University and, eventually, their first career building job choices. However, for many students, personal financial stability has never been a reality, even if they have come from a family with that stability. There are many reasons for this, but the most prevalent is lack of education.  

Go onto the IRS website or any financial planning site and start looking up retirement plans. Assuming you don’t work in investing or human resources, we can almost guarantee you will be tilting your head and asking, “What the…?” by the time you hit the second or third paragraph. No, it’s not just you. The way this information is presented is daunting at best.

It is a different world when our grandchildren are around. We invest time to spend and we relive so many wonderful memories. Investing in our grandchildren is also an investment in the future of our communities, and many people consider it a financial investment as well. And doing it while you are still living can serve to reduce your potentially taxable estate.

Welcome to A Deeper Look series. One of the ways of understanding finance is understanding many of the terms you are not used to hearing every day. These terms may sometimes be confusing, so it helps to get some background and perspective.

Today, I would like to share the term “asset allocation.” Asset allocation is an investment strategy that incorporates the risk tolerance and investment time horizon of the investor. It may sound simple, but there are many ways to allocate assets within an investment portfolio. Most approaches consider three main sets of asset classes: equities, fixed-income and cash or cash equivalents.  Each class has a different level of risk and expected return, and each will generally perform differently than the other. There are additional classes such as “alternatives,” real estate and precious metals that can also be considered as part of an allocation.

As a beneficiary of the love of many dogs, I know how they can become a very valued family member.  For parents, as the kids leave the nest and we approach retirement, many of us adopt a dog or a cat, (or a few), as a companion for our new adventures. For non-parents, a beloved pet can be a faithful friend to join in life’s activities. These wonderful animals become part of our family, but many worry about how to make sure their pets are provided for if they outlive us.

It’s a horrible situation to be in, but it’s one that is all too common. A loved one becomes seriously or terminally ill, and insurance does not cover even half the costs. Not only does the family worry about their loved one, then, they begin to wonder where the funds will come from to pay for quality care. But this is not a blog about health insurance or long term care insurance. It’s about having an emergency fund.

Years ago, in many junior and senior high schools, our youth attended classes about basic budgeting and finances. And often, the only classes were part of a Home Economics track as Life Skills. Sadly, along came budget cuts, and these classes were removed. During my career, I have spent some time in classrooms as a guest teacher, sharing insights and tips for students to become more financially savvy.

Did you know that nearly 40 percent of weddings today are second or third marriages for at least one of the spouses? The Pew Research Center shared this statistic along with several others, including that one in five marriages are remarriages for both spouses. You may be one of these numbers; single due to divorce or the death of a spouse. If you are marrying again you are creating an opportunity for new life with a new partner. Successful remarried couples have found the following tools helped their financial success during this joyful transition.

The Successful Transition Series looks at three major life transitions: retirement, entrepreneurship and career change. This week, we look at career change and some of the financial challenges that come with this transition.

Just a few weeks ago a surprising statistic showed up in one of our blogs. Over half of single women have a moderate or heavy amount of anxiety about dealing with finances. Many single women are successful in their chosen field and many are business owners. American Express commissioned a study this year that found the number of women-owned firms increased by 45 percent between 2007 and 2016. Many of these women are sole owners, showing us that the idea of successful single women can be a spectrum from personally single to business single and personally attached.   

One of the many facets of my financial advisory services is helping clients evaluate and choose to participate in their employer’s executive benefits.  Many of these benefits supplement an executive’s overall income, now and in the future.  But there are pros and cons as well as tax considerations that go along with them.

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