Whether you’re an individual strategically planning for a comfortable retirement, or you own a small business, some year-end planning is in order. Here’s your checklist of things to do before January 1. For many of us, 2021 can’t come fast enough. But if you want to set yourself or your business up for financial success next year, now is the time to do some important planning. Get a start with this list. Make sure you’re on track For individuals: Whether or not you’re working with a financial professional, this time of year is always prime time for a comprehensive Read More
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Thinking about making some charitable contributions before the year is up? Here are some things to consider from a financial planning and tax perspective. The end of the year is the most popular time for charitable giving: Nonprofit and charitable organizations receive on average more than 40% of their annual revenue during the holiday giving season. Not only are people in a spirit of generosity around this time of year, it’s also a great time to optimize your finances for tax purposes. Charitable contributions can typically provide you with a big tax benefit if you itemize your deductions and Read More
Planning for retirement feels relatively straightforward in many ways: Save and invest to build wealth, and you’ll have the recipe for a comfortable, secure, and happy retirement. While that is true, there’s a bit more to it. Even though saving as much as you can and starting early is the go-to advice for preparing for retirement, it’s not quite as simple as that. There are quite a few nuances to the multistep process of retirement planning. Here’s a quick list of 20 things everyone should know as they get serious about setting retirement goals. Getting started with your retirement Read More
It’s that special time that always comes at the end of the year. We’re not talking about the holidays. We’re talking about open enrollment, those few weeks in November and December when you can make changes to your health insurance policy, enroll in your company benefits program, or ditch coverage. The benefits you opt in to (or out of) can have a significant financial impact — positive or negative — so it makes sense to review each option carefully. As a financially savvy individual — someone who has their personal finances in order and who’s on track toward accomplishing Read More
A couple of common questions we get during election years are: "What do you think the markets will do if <Candidate X> is voted in?" Or: "How are you positioning the portfolio, because if <Candidate Y> is elected, I’m convinced the economy will struggle?” We’ve even had this occasional request: "Move my portfolio to all cash, because if <Candidate Z> is elected, I don’t want to lose money when the market crashes.” We spent the better part of the years between 2008 and 2016 (when Obama was president) convincing Republicans that it was okay to invest and that the world Read More
In order to meet your personal and financial goals, you need a plan. So how do you get there? Here we look more closely at how the financial planning process can help assure you the financial future you’re aiming for. Have you reached a point in your investing and saving where you realize you need to seek the expertise of an outside resource? To get you started, here’s a helpful overview of the financial planning process. Step 1: Establish a relationship with a financial professional. Why is this the very first step? Do you absolutely need to engage a Read More
As you likely know, an HSA is your government-regulated health savings account, available to you if you have a high-deductible health plan. What you may not already know: Your HSA comes with some pretty major tax benefits and can be a powerful way to boost your retirement savings. An HSA allows you to accumulate money on a pre-tax basis, and these funds can be invested and grow tax-deferred. If spent on qualified medical expenses, they can be withdrawn tax-free, too. The best of all worlds! Here’s how it works. Tax Advantage #1: Pre-tax contributions When you use a payroll Read More
World and national events continue to have an impact on our financial lives. If you’ve been needing to double check that your financial plan is still on track, or if you’re wondering whether you should make certain adjustments to your strategy, keep reading. Here are a few recommendations for ensuring your financial plan is on solid footing heading into the next several months of continued uncertainty. Don’t panic. If you’ve been watching the market this year with gritted teeth, wondering if you should be selling, don’t. Pulling money out of the stock market in a panic is an understandable Read More
If recent events have taught us anything, it’s the importance of being financially secure. National and global turmoil in any era can create upheaval in the markets and trouble for businesses, derailing individuals and families who are not financially prepared. So how does one reach financial security and avoid their financial futures getting thrown out of whack by uncontrollable circumstances? Of course, there are never any complete guarantees — life is full of uncertainties, and finances are part of that — but there are steps everyone can take to achieve financial security. Financial Security Defined What is financial security? Read More
Are you interested in working with a wealth management firm to help you reach your financial goals? Find out how to identify the right wealth manager match for you. When it comes down to it, the services offered by one financial advisor aren't the same as the services offered by another. Financial advisors and wealth managers come with different certifications, college degrees, qualifications, and even credentials. And the firms they work for are just as diverse.In order to get the most value for your hard-earned buck, it might make sense for you to locate a wealth manager that offers a number Read More