It’s that special time of year: Time to make sure your financial goals are on track and that your investment strategy will get you there.Of course, this is something that we can help you with all year long, but year-end is a particularly good time to check in on both short-term and long-term goals. Give your financial plans a once-over with this checklist.#1 Review your goalsIt can be helpful to remind yourself what you’re aiming for in the first place: a comfortable retirement? Being able to purchase that vacation home? Paying for all your children’s college educations?Once you understand where Read More
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Risk: Life is full of it, and that doesn’t stop when you hit your retirement years. Even if you spend decades planning and judiciously saving for retirement, you still face the unexpected hiccups that could disrupt all you’ve planned. Part of careful financial planning includes accounting for risks. How will your plan bear the brunt of both unanticipated and known risks? It’s never something that can be foreseen with complete certainty, but understanding that there are potential risks and what those are can help you better plan and prepare. Here are three categories of risks that every retiree (or Read More
You’ve seen the acronym SERP, but what exactly are these retirement plans, and how do they differ from other retirement benefits? A supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP) is one way businesses can reward and retain key employees. Here are the top three things you need to know about these plans as a small business. SERPs are intended for highly compensated employeesThis type of retirement offering is included in a broader benefits package to attract and retain high-level executives at a company, particularly C-suite employees. It’s an incentive that can make a business more competitive in attracting top-tier talent. These are the basics: The Read More
It’s that special time of year: Q4, when small businesses owners start thinking about year-end tax planning. Get ahead of the game with our 10 tax tips. Tip #1: Make sure your books are in order If you’re managing a small business (meaning, you don’t have an entire dedicated finance department), it’s a challenge to stay on top of the daily to-dos involved with proper bookkeeping and accounting. Right now is an important time to reconcile all your accounts and make sure your finances are in order in preparation for tax time. Tip #2: Know your business’ financial health Read More
We all have a goal to retire comfortably, whether we plan to retire early, at age 65 or continue to work after the average retirement age. Knowing these retirement facts could help you do just that. #1 Your retirement could be 30 years or longer. Think about it: If you retire at 65, your retirement could last almost one third of your life. This may mean you shouldn’t go too conservative in your investment approach early in retirement, because if you do, you may not continue to reap the returns you need to sustain your required income for all Read More
The Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment just had the biggest boost in 40 years. Here are all the details. There have been many economic impacts as a result of the pandemic, and here’s another one: the Social Security Administration (SSA) just announced it will increase benefits by 5.9% in 2022. The bump will lift the average benefit by $92 to $1,647, up from an average of $1,556. For couples where both spouses are Social Security beneficiaries, the average will rise $154, from $2,599 to $2,753. Why the COLA Increase? The increase is in response to rising consumer prices for Read More
There are a number of financial strategies out there that help you make the most of your hard-earned money when it comes to retirement. One of those strategies is a bond ladder. A bond ladder is simply a portfolio of bonds with different maturity dates. It’s an investment strategy that has two main objectives: First, it helps you mitigate interest rate risk. And second, it allows you to create regular cash flow. Let’s start with looking at how it helps reduce your exposure to interest rate fluctuations: Rather than buying bonds that all mature at the same time, you Read More
Has your life ever experienced a plot twist? Things not going according to plan is a normal part of our existence — and this applies to retirement, as well. But with proper planning, you can have the income you need during your post-work years. While every individual’s retirement is different, they all require one thing in common: income to provide for expenses. Retirement income planning refers to the process of strategizing to ensure you have the necessary income stream to cover every possible expense. What expenses may come up in retirement? Picture three “buckets” of expenses: Essential, day-to-day expenses Read More
Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are an increasingly popular — and valuable — form of equity compensation. Here we answer common questions about RSUs. What are restricted stock units? A restricted stock unit (RSU) is a type of compensation in the form of company shares. An employer issues RSUs to employees, giving them interest in company stock. When issued, they contain some form of restriction, typically a time-based restriction through a vesting schedule (often four years). Once vested, RSUs are assigned a fair market value and are considered income. There are two important dates when it comes to RSUs: The Read More
The lifetime gift tax exemption applies to all the taxable gifts an individual makes during life, and it also applies to assets left upon that individual’s death. In 2021, that lifetime exemption is $11.78 million for individuals. Here, we answer common questions about gift taxes. What qualifies as a “gift” as far as the IRS goes? A gift is any money or asset that you don’t expect to receive fair payment for. This could be cash, real estate, investments, interest-free loans, and tangible or intangible assets. There are some exemptions, or things that don’t qualify as gifts for the Read More