Have you heard the term “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations”? It refers to the trouble of building generational wealth: The first generation builds wealth, the second generation spends it, and the third generation gets nothing. If you’ve spent years saving and investing wisely to prepare not just for your retirement, but to build a legacy of wealth that you can share with your children and other descendents, then this is probably not what you have in mind. But statistics bear out the old saying. In fact, it’s reported that 70% of wealthy families lose their wealth by the Read More
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Wondering what the difference is between the equity and fixed income markets, and how to decide where to invest your hard-earned dollars? Here’s our primer on these two types of investments. When it comes to equity vs. fixed income investing, there are some major differences, including the types of securities that are traded, the level of risk involved, and the expected returns. Even the profile of the average investor for each type of investment tends to be somewhat different. Here’s a quick look at some of the top things differentiating the two: EQUITY INVESTMENTS FIXED INCOME SECURITIES Trading Read More
Understanding Your Retirement Readiness Being ready for retirement is about so much more than hitting a certain retirement age. Here we look at three areas that you should consider when determining whether you’re in a position to retire. Approaching retirement comes with so many questions. Will you have enough money? Will you be able to accomplish what you’d like to do with the money you have? Will you be satisfied with retirement life? While it’s true that success in your retirement years is due in large part to finances, there are other factors to consider, as well. As you Read More
It sounds like something from a James Bond movie, but it actually has to do with your investments. Here we’ll take a high level look at what it is and how it might be applied to your portfolio. Games of chance — think dice, roulette, or craps — are known for producing random outcomes. But can these outcomes be determined in advance? That was the question posed by a mathematician named Stanislaw Ulam. He would play game after game of solitaire, plotting the outcome of each game in order to observe outcome distribution, trying to determine how probable it was Read More
Turbulence in the markets and a lot of noise around so-called opportunities can create a heady environment for investing. With so much noise, how can you know what to do? Here we take a closer look at market volatility, and offer some “dos” and “don’ts” for the investor preparing for retirement.Global and national economic factors, tax and other government policy, interest rates, and influences from a variety of industry sectors can all have a say in how the market behaves. And when that behavior is more erratic or fluctuates more than “normal,” it’s referred to as volatility. What is market volatility, Read More
The end of the year isn’t the only time to tackle financial to-dos. The first of the year can be a great time to wrap up tasks you didn’t quite get to in Q4, or to set yourself up early for wealth planning success in the coming months. If you’re ready to start 2021 on solid financial footing, rather than putting things off until later on in the year, then check out our first-of-year wealth and financial planning checklist. #1 Review your 2020 finances and investments and make necessary adjustments. Take a look at your spending, savings for retirement, cash Read More
In 2019, the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act was passed as a way to expand and preserve retirement savings for individuals who otherwise have a lack of savings opportunities.Now the SECURE Act 2.0, which builds on the original act’s efforts to encourage and promote retirement savings, is pending passage by Congress. If you’re a high net worth individual, then we’re betting you’re already on your way to strong financial preparation for retirement and the underlying purposes of these acts may not feel entirely pertinent. However, if the bill passes, it will have an impact on your retirement Read More
Here’s a win-win: Direct some of the income from your required minimum distributions (RMDs) to charity. The charity wins by receiving your contribution, and so do you, because you’ve lowered your adjusted gross income. Here’s everything you need to know about using the qualified charitable distribution (QCD) to reduce your taxes by lowering your adjusted gross income (AGI). If you have tax-deferred retirement accounts, and you’re older than 72 (or if you were 70.5 before December 31, 2019, thanks to the SECURE Act), then you’re required to distribute (or withdraw) a certain amount of funds from your accounts each year. Read More
Like all taxes, Medicare taxes can be clear as mud. Here, we spell out what every high income earner needs to know about which Medicare-related taxes you may be required to pay. First, here are the basics of the three types of so-called Medicare tax that might affect you: Medicare Contribution Tax There’s a 2.9% Medicare tax applied to wages and net self-employment income. If you are an employee with wage earnings, then you pay 1.45% of that employment tax. Employers pay the other half of the full tax. Net Investment Income Tax There’s a 3.8% net investment income Read More
The perks of 401(k) plans are many: They offer tax-deferred savings, employer matches, and a consistent, reliable way to ramp up your retirement planning. But does that mean you should make the maximum contribution? With an employer-sponsored plan, your 401(k) contributions are deducted from your paycheck, pre-tax, which automates and accelerates your retirement savings — certainly a no-brainer. But what takes a little more brain work? Determining exactly how much is the right amount to contribute in a given year. Should you contribute the minimum (usually 3%) to get the employee matching contribution (also known as free money), or Read More