Most parents take certain steps to protect their children in the event of their premature death. Drafting a will or other estate documents, designating a guardian, obtaining life insurance and naming appropriate beneficiary designations on IRAs and 401k plans are all important components of an effective estate plan that serve the purpose of protecting your children. However, most parents should take additional measures to provide guidance on how their financial assets are managed for their children’s benefit.
Many financial planning objectives can be accomplished through the utilization of trusts. Here are several of the most common types of trusts and a brief overview of their purpose:
An effective estate plan can ensure that assets pass directly to the intended heirs according to the deceased wishes and with the least amount of cost. Without a properly executed estate plan, heirs can be left with a big mess and lots of hassle. Here are a number of estate planning mistakes that, if avoided, can ensure an efficient distribution …
Is there another crisis looming? We have been getting this question quite a bit recently from clients, as well as from other professionals in our network. This is a good question. After all, many things can go wrong.
This article discusses several simple items that can help ease the estate settlement burden on your heirs.
Well, Congress finally enacted the tax reform bill that many have been anticipating for some time. In general, the new law extends the Bush-era tax cuts for two years and provides taxpayers with some certainty during this period. While this comprehensive piece of legislation covers many aspects within the tax code, here is a summary of some of the major points.
We are often asked the question, “How much money do I need to retire?” While it is impossible to answer this question definitively as every situation varies, we do maintain mental benchmarks that are based on a number academic studies as well as our overall experience conducting Retirement Feasibility Analyses for clients.
As the year winds down, it is always a good idea to review your tax situation to determine if there are ways to reduce your tax liability. However, the uncertainty surrounding many tax changes is proving to make 2010 a very difficult year for tax planning. Here are several items that may warrant consideration prior to the end of the year:
One of the most important financial decisions people face with regard to retirement planning is when to start taking their Social Security retirement benefit. Making the most of this decision requires careful consideration of a number of variables including tax, cash flow and even elder care issues. The economic downturn has forced many families to consider taking Social Security earlier than expected. With that in mind, here are some ideas to consider, when making this important decision.
I have learned that one of the most effective ways to get things done is to work from a “To Do” list. In that spirit, here are a number of very important items that, upon completion, will certainly strengthen your financial situation. The best part…the entire list can be completed in 2 hours!
Vanguard has an interactive tool on their website that allows visitors to compare the results when attempting to time the market based on certain investment rules.
A key component of our one-time financial planning engagements involve assessing how much insurance coverage our clients need while also reviewing the insurance policies that clients have in order to determine if they are adequate or necessary. In doing so, we often find that people have purchased insurance products that are either not necessary or entirely too costly.
With more than $80 billion invested in exchange traded funds (ETFs), they have become a very popular investment for both retail and institutional investors. While ETFs can be an integral component of a sound investment strategy, investors should understand the tax treatment of these investments in order to avoid unexpected tax consequences.
he financial markets have experienced continued volatility since the end of April. In fact, with stocks having declined in excess of 10%, the markets have officially entered a period of “correction.” Although corrections are normal (and actually healthy for the markets), many investors may be a bit uneasy, especially with the wounds of the “Great Recession” still fresh in everyone’s mind.
Given the turbulence in the financial markets during the week of May 3rd, we would like to provide our blog followers with a few thoughts and insights.
We often receive questions about how long certain financial records should be retained. The IRS, through Publication 552, offers some guidance with regard to recordkeeping for individuals. Their recommendations are based on the following deadlines:
The idea is simple—get enough life insurance to protect your family from the potentially devastating impact of a death. While the concept is straight-forward, as with many components of financial planning, deciding on the appropriate type and coverage level of life insurance is not quite that easy.
I recently had lunch with a friend of mine who told me that he had recently read The Millionaire Next Door (published in 1996) written by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. For those of you who have not had a chance to read the book, the authors surveyed over a thousand millionaires to try and identify common attributes that made …
Have you ever wondered how your company-sponsored retirement plan compares to other companies? If so, you are in luck – there is a website called BrightScope that has done just that. BrightScope has compiled a massive database of 401(k) plans, providing key information on many 401(k) plans. Rankings are based on the design of the plan and performance of the …
“Deciding on a retirement community is very difficult from many standpoints, including a financial standpoint,” said Hymiller. “From affordability and financing issues to how the costs may impact other financial goals such as estate distribution wishes or charitable bequests.”