Finance Made Simple

Many pre-retirees plan to have Social Security as part of their retirement income strategy. However, few plan ahead for when they want to start taking their Social Security benefits as part of their larger retirement plan.

When thinking about how to increase their cash flow, many people immediately jump to a simple solution:

If I make more money, I’ll be able to increase my cash flow.

It’s true that increasing your salary, or figuring out a way to bring in more money for you and your family, will help to boost your cash flow. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as asking for a raise, or finding time in your busy schedule to pick up freelancing, or additional part-time work. This is especially true if you’re well-established in your career.

Many retirees plan to travel during retirement. Unfortunately, your cash flow as a retiree isn’t limitless. Travel often has to be done on a budget - but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the world and embrace this exciting new phase of your life!

On average, most people will be retired for over 20 years. That’s a long time! Think back to the first 20 years of your life: what did they look like? They were probably filled with school, friends, first loves, and new careers. Many people think of their 20s as a time of growth, change, excitement, and freedom.

Why not look at the 20+ years you’ll spend in retirement in the same way?

Marie Kondo has taken the process of organization to a whole new level. Through her “spark joy” campaign, the business of cleaning-house has grown a new commercial leg. Marie Kondo says she loves clutter and relishes in the opportunity to help people weed out the unnecessary things in their lives to get to the root of what really matters to them.

Why don’t we try and apply this method to our finances: do your financial habits bring you joy?

Your income channels will drastically vary when you reach retirement. Without the cushion of a biweekly paycheck from your employer, it becomes even more important to understand your revenue streams and where they will come from.

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.

Tax season.

Those two words can send some people running for the hills.

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.

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.

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Finance Made Simple

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