In our office, we talk quite a bit about risk. Financial risk, and more importantly, identifying strategies to help our clients mitigate or manage those risks is a very real and important component of the financial planning process.
Long term care costs are expensive and rising every year. For many, a two or three year stay in a skilled nursing facility could cost several hundred thousand dollars and potentially wipe out a retirement nest egg.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A recent USA Today article titled “Finding the All Stars: How we whittle down the funds” scanned the universe of mutual funds in an attempt to identify a number of “all star” mutual funds. The list of funds that were selected for the article all have impressive track records and are certainly worthy of consideration in any portfolio.
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 …
Much has changed over the last year—especially for those who are taking withdrawals from their investments to fund living expenses. Even investors who maintained a moderate portfolio allocation may have sustained significant investment losses over the last year. With portfolio declines, some retirees may find that they are having to distribute a greater percentage of their portfolio to fund “lifestyle” …
I stumbled across this little tool at CNNMoney.com that I thought was pretty neat. The purpose of the tool is to seek an answer to the question, “How healthy are your finances?” You enter answers to a series of questions and the calculator determines, or grades, your financial health. I entered a few hypothetical situations and I thought it provided …