Insights

5 Easy Ways to Protect Seniors from Financial Abuse

Technology has helped to streamline the way we manage our money, allowing us to perform transactions and monitor our accounts online, instead of needing to do everything in-person. These tools are simple to use, getting better every year, and may not cost any more than the traditional methods. But there are risks involved, especially for...

Retirees, What’s Your Withdrawal Strategy?

When planning for retirement, we often focus on the accumulation phase: saving diligently and investing wisely. We spend 40 or more years of our lives focused on building the proverbial “nest egg,” but after retirement, things change and so should our financial focus. There are a variety of questions that must be answered. How much...

Protect Your Children from Their Inheritance

Wealthy families often find themselves grappling with how to effectively pass along assets to their children while ensuring those children are ready for the responsibility. As we tread towards the largest generational wealth transfer in history, there is a growing need to ensure those inheriting the assets are adequately prepared to handle them. There are...

We All Have Money Blind Spots

Blind spots, in the realm of investing, can be likened to the unnoticed smudges on a pair of glasses. They obscure a clear view of reality, but can easily go unnoticed. In the world of finance, this can have costly implications. Imagine Sarah, an IT executive. She's tech-savvy and feels very confident investing in the...

Keep Politics Out of Your Portfolio

In our current environment, where political news comes from every direction, it’s important to remember the importance of impartiality in your portfolio. There is a certain allure of aligning your portfolio with your political beliefs, but the lessons of history underscore the significance of maintaining a clear boundary between the two. Here are a few...

Must-Know Retirement Deadlines

When can you access your savings without a penalty? When should you enroll in Medicare? At what age is it best to collect Social Security? In the years leading up to retirement, there are a number of key milestones and deadlines to consider. Without careful attention, it's easy to miss these checkpoints and the consequences...

25 Ways to Make Friends in Retirement

Retirement is an exciting phase of life, offering seniors the opportunity to explore new interests, travel, and spend more time with loved ones. However, it can also present challenges in terms of socializing and making new friends. Research consistently highlights the positive impact of social connections on overall well-being, mental health, and longevity. Friendships provide...

Are You Prepared for a 30 Year Retirement?

The good news? Retirees are living longer. The bad news? Many aren’t planning for it financially. Life expectancy is a key piece of retirement planning. After all, you'll need to estimate your lifespan to determine how much money you'll need to retire comfortably. Many pre-retirees speculate on this figure or overlook it entirely. So, how...

Mortgage Gimmicks Explained

Mortgage rates have been rising steeply since 2021 and are now commonly found in the neighborhood of 7%. This is significant as you might remember rates in 2021 were often below 3%.[1] The run-up has cooled the housing market considerably. Now, lenders are having to get creative to drive new business. They’re offering more incentives...

10 Questions to Ask When Relocating in Retirement

Did you know that 40% of workers today plan to move to a different city or region after they retire?[1] This underscores a trend of retirees eager to explore new horizons, trade familiar environments for fresh ones, and even redefine what their retirement living might look like. However, the decision to relocate during retirement shouldn’t...

3 Biases That Can Sabotage Your Wealth

Making financial decisions can often be more challenging than it appears. A variety of subtle influences can cloud our judgment. Among these, behavioral biases like anchoring, loss aversion, and herd behavior have been found to shape our choices significantly. In this article, we’ll explore each of these biases and ways to counteract their influence. Anchoring...

Target Date Funds: What They Are and When to Use Them

A target date fund is an investment instrument designed to become more conservative as it approaches a predetermined future date. For investors looking to simplify their retirement strategies, target date funds can be appealing for their “set-it-and-forget-it” nature. But how do they work and are they the right tool for your retirement planning needs? How...

5 Strategies to Boost Your Retirement Savings

Whether your retirement date is fast approaching or you still have a few years to go, it’s important to take steps to boost your nest egg so you’re better prepared to meet your goals. Consider the following five strategies for maximizing your savings potential. Maximize tax-advantaged contributions Get the most out of your savings by...

5 Podcasts for Business Owners

Listening to podcasts is like having a personal coach or mentor for your business. Whether you’re looking for advice, creative ideas, or motivation, they can be a great help in reaching your goals. The podcasting industry is booming right now. Check out the growth since 2019: Year    Global Listeners 2019    274.8 million 2020   ...

Gratitude’s Impact on Your Money Mindset

When we hear the term "gratitude," most of us think of living a happier and more fulfilling life. We think of slowing down, being mindful, and cherishing the small moments, like savoring a cup of coffee or reconnecting with an old friend. But how does gratitude shape our perspective on money? Could practicing gratitude be...

Riches to Rags: Poor Money Choices of 5 Celebs

An increase in assets doesn’t come with an increase in financial acumen. Financial Literacy Month is a great time for us all to expand our knowledge. It’s also a great time to raise awareness of the many scams, frauds, or predatory lending practices that affect too many families every year. Sometimes we analyze “best practices”...

Answering Your Kids Toughest Money Questions

Kids ask tough questions about money. It’s how they learn. As a parent, these are teachable moments that offer a chance to impart some financial wisdom to them. Start by asking them questions for clarification. After all, "Why does a lawyer always answer a question with a question?" Answer: "Why shouldn't a lawyer answer a...

Instilling Financial Values in Your Family

Over the next two decades, more than 84 trillion dollars will change hands in what has become known as the “great wealth transfer.” More than $72 trillion of that will pass from older generations to their heirs, while nearly $12 trillion will be donated to charities.[1] This shift in multigenerational wealth represents a huge opportunity...

What You Should Know About Advisor Fees

Financial advisors and planners help you manage your investments and work toward your financial goals, such as estate and retirement planning. In return for their expertise and guidance, some advisors will charge a flat fee, while others work on commission. Some may even do both. But how are those fees determined and who pays for...

3 Small Moves that Make a Big Difference in Retirement

Saving for retirement doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an ongoing process that requires monitoring and tweaking your plan over many years to help ensure you have enough to meet your retirement goals. Sometimes relatively small adjustments to your plan can make a huge impact on your ability to save, such as choosing to invest in low-cost...

How Does the New RMD Rule Affect Retirees?

There’s good news for your retirement plan! Starting this year, the age at which you must start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your tax-deferred retirement accounts has increased from 72 to 73 years old. In 2033, it will increase again to age 75. This new rule was passed into law by Congress at the...

Finding the Ideal Place to Live in Retirement

Planning for retirement is rife with big questions — not just how you want to spend your golden years, but where? For some, retirement offers the opportunity to spend more time with family; for others, it’s the chance to venture into a different climate. For the most part, seniors are planning to spend their retirement...

End of Year Reflections

The holiday season is often a time for reflection - a chance to recap the past year and set new goals and aspirations for the year ahead. Alex Walker, one of Detalus' advisors, highlights three main categories to focus on in this video as you apply this reflective meditation to your financial plan and investment...

Get to Know Your Risk Tolerance

When constructing a portfolio, it’s critical to understand three important factors: your goals, your time horizon, and your risk tolerance. Of those three, risk tolerance can be the trickiest to get a handle on, especially since it can be determined in large part by your emotions and how well you handle turbulence in the market....

Growth Stocks vs. Value Stocks

Stock investing is an important engine of growth in your portfolio, but deciding on an investing strategy and particular stocks can be challenging. When designing a diversified portfolio that minimizes risk, it can help to think of stocks as falling into one of two categories: growth stocks and value stocks. Both growth and value stocks...

3 Advantages of a Family Trust

Have you ever considered a Family Trust? Here are three major advantages it offers in the estate planning process. 1. Greater Control - When you establish a family trust, you can set specific conditions on when and how your assets are distributed. For example, you can decide that beneficiaries only access the assets when they...

Understanding Mutual Funds, Index Funds, and ETFs

It’s common knowledge that investing in mutual funds, index funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can help build a diversified portfolio. These funds hold diverse baskets of securities, including stocks, bonds and other assets from real estate to derivatives. By investing your money in a variety of investments, you help minimize the risk that your investments...

Investing During a Bear Market

Lately, financial pundits seem to be constantly warning that a bear market is coming, arguing over whether one has begun or predicting when one will end. It’s less common for them to actually define one. From their ominous tone, you can tell it’s less appealing than its counterpart, a bull market. But what is it...

Smart Ways to Save for Your Child’s Education

If you are a parent, the start of a new school year may have you considering how much you are able to set aside for your child’s college fund. In 2022, the average annual room and board in the U.S. is around $24,000 for public schools and around $63,000 for private schools. So the sooner...

Understanding Student Loan Forgiveness

The forgiveness or restructuring of debt is one of the oldest governance mechanisms in the finance sector. From Israel’s years of Jubilee abolishing debts to George Washington’s Debtor’s Prison Relief Act of 1792 restructuring the American debt system and the more Modern GI Bill, this mechanism has a long but infrequent tradition. The current administration...

Smart Ways to Save for Your Child’s Education

If you’re a parent, the start of a new school year may have you considering how much you’re able to set aside for your child’s college fund. Average annual tuition in the U.S. is $38,185 for private college and $10,338 for public college.1 And those numbers may rise by 2%–3% in the coming school year.2...

It’s Time to Have “The Estate Plan” Talk

Talking with loved ones about estate planning and inheritance can be challenging, especially as it centers around two difficult topics — money and death. But talking with your adult children about their inheritance can provide significant advantages for you and them. It can help your heirs better prepare for the future and give you a...

Timeless Principles of Investing

Have you ever considered stashing money under your mattress? While surprisingly common, it's probably not a good idea. Not only is your money at the risk of fire, floods, and forgetfulness, but it is also prone to theft. This may seem like common knowledge, but in the video, we'll walk you through some trusted investment...

The Sequence of Returns Risk in Retirement

Markets go up and down in ways that are not entirely predictable. For long-term investors, what the market is doing in the present isn’t that troubling; they’ve got a long time to ride out potential downturns. But for recent retirees, an ill-timed market downturn can have a negative impact on their nest egg, increasing the...

An Introduction to Bond Ladders

Bonds play an important role in a diverse investment portfolio. As fixed-income securities, they can provide a stable return until they mature. As with any investment, bonds are subject to a certain amount of risk. Interest rate risk, for one, is the possibility that interest rates will rise after an investor buys bonds, causing them...

Saving for Your Child’s Future

One topic that comes up with most of our clients who are parents is what’s the best way to start saving for their child’s future. While this conversation has traditionally centered around education planning, parents are considering other options in recent years. This video will address options available to you and your family as you...

It’s Time to Have “The Estate Plan Talk”

Talking with loved ones about estate planning and inheritance can be challenging, especially as it centers around two taboo topics — money and death. But talking with your adult children about their inheritance can provide significant advantages for you and them. It can help your heirs better prepare for the future and give you a...

How to Weather a Market Correction

How to Weather a Market Correction Sometimes stock prices drop across the entire market at once triggered by a range of things, such as a natural disaster, political turmoil, concerns over rising interest rates, a global health crisis, or problems within a single sector that cause a domino effect across the market. A decline in...

Why Investors Should Avoid Overconcentration

A concentrated position in a single stock can happen to investors for many reasons. They may receive company stock as part of their employee compensation package or they may have bought shares of a single company, hoping to choose a big winner. However, it’s unlikely that a single stock will outperform the market as a...

How Women Can Overcome Obstacles to Retirement

Retirement planning requires forethought, discipline, and the juggling of many moving parts. Staying on track to meet financial goals can be tricky for anyone, but it can be especially hard for women, who face a number of financial headwinds. Women face unique challenges when it comes to employment, income, and caregiving; as a result, they...

First Meeting Insights

Meeting a financial advisor can feel intimidating – especially if you’ve never met with one before. In this video, we want to give you some insight into what Detalus covers during an initial meeting to help provide clarity, alleviate anxiety, and manage expectations. When you're ready, we're ready. We look forward to meeting with you!...

4 Tips to Help You Avoid Timing the Market

It’s common to get the urge to sell when you see your investments lose value — or to buy when the market is surging. But predicting the effects of short-term market movements like these is nearly impossible. Despite the harm you can do to your portfolio, the urge to time the market can be hard...

Long-Term Care Insurance

Let’s talk about long-term care (LTC) insurance. Do you have it? Do you need it? It might not seem pressing if you’re not facing any health concerns right now, but nearly all of you would benefit from it at some point. In this short video, we will make the case for why you need it...

Build A Socially Responsible Investment Portfolio

Our values impact the ways in which we shop, socialize, and even invest. When it comes to investments, more and more people are wanting to invest in companies with whom they share values. Today we will discuss one of the more simple approaches, Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Socially responsible investing is an investing strategy that...

Get a Jump Start on Your 2022 Taxes

As you’re finishing up your 2021 tax return, you may be thinking your tax work is done until next spring. But getting a jump-start on next year’s taxes can help you get organized, saving you time and money when April 2023 rolls around. Here are four steps you can take now to prepare for next...

Keeping Your Financial Accounts Cyber-Secure

Cybercrime is on the rise everywhere. In fact, global losses due to cybercrime climbed from $600 billion in 2018 to $1 trillion in 2020. That’s enough to make anyone concerned about the security of their financial accounts. But you don’t have to feel helpless against the threat of hackers. These steps can help limit your...

Lessons from the FIRE Movement

The Financial Independence/Retire Early, or FIRE, movement is an investment practice and lifestyle that focuses on saving aggressively and spending frugally so individuals can move toward financial freedom and perhaps even retire decades ahead of schedule. The movement has been around since the 90s and has gained more exposure recently as the financial fallout from...

4 Tips to Help You Avoid Timing the Market

Sudden ups and downs in the stock market can be hard to ignore. It’s common to get the urge to sell when you see your investments lose value — or to buy when the market is surging. But predicting the effects of short-term market movements like these is nearly impossible. And efforts to “time the...

Get a Jump Start on Your 2022 Taxes

As you’re finishing up your 2021 tax return, you may be thinking your tax work is done until next spring. But getting a jump-start on next year’s taxes can help you get organized, saving you time and money when April 2023 rolls around. Here are four steps you can take now to prepare for next...

The Unique Advantages Of Health Savings Accounts

You have probably heard the term “Health Savings Account” or “HSA” before, but what is it and why is it valuable? If you are considering getting a Health Savings Account account setup but are unsure where to begin, check out this video, where we discuss the unique advantages it can have for you and your...

Five Rules of Long-Term Investing

The stock market plunged, and many investors were tempted to pull their money out of the market to avoid additional losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your ability to stay calm and stick with your plan during the market’s inevitable ups and downs can have a big impact on your investment returns in the long run....

Hedging Against Inflation in Your Portfolio

Over the past year, investors have become increasingly worried about how inflation might impact their portfolios. One measure of inflation, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), climbed to 7.5 percent in January, its highest level in four decades. Supply chain issues, government stimulus, and increased consumer demand have contributed to higher prices for goods and services....

Negotiating for Workplace Benefits

It’s a job seeker’s market. The Great Resignation, which began in April 2021, has seen Americans leave their jobs by the millions, often in search of greener pastures. It has also produced a labor crunch, often leaving employers desperate to fill positions across industries. As a result, employees are in a good position to negotiate for...

5 Tips For A Financially Strong 2022

The start of a new year is a great time for introspection and evaluating the areas of your life that you’d like to improve. People often think about their career or physical health, but financial wellness is just as important. In this video, we will dive into five key tips for achieving financial wellness in...

ESOPs: The Basics of Employee Stock Ownership Plans

A company that wants to supplement its employees’ salary with equity compensation can do so in a variety of ways. The most popular is the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Besides offering employees a potentially valuable ownership stake in the company, ESOPs can play an important role in succession planning and confer tax advantages to...

The Benefits and Risks of Income Investing

Income investing is a strategy that seeks to provide investors with passive income from the assets they hold. This strategy may be attractive to people working toward financial independence or who need a predictable stream of income in retirement. Investors looking to embark on an income investment strategy may consider adding dividend stocks, bonds, and...

Understanding Your Employer’s 401(k) Matching Program

If you are a person who: Contributes the maximum amount to 401k AND Your employer matches contributions Make sure you understand HOW and WHEN your employer contributes its match; by Lump Sum or every paycheck. The most common form of employer matching is done in every paycheck. The IRS maximum annual amount for an employee...

Rising Interest Rates

Did you know that consumer prices climbed 7 percent in December from the past year, the quickest pace of increase since 1982? Inflation is real and the Federal Reserve is about to take action. The federal funds rate (currently set at zero) is expected to be increased three times in 2022. But what does that...

How Rising Interest Rates Impact Investments

In an attempt to control inflation, the Federal Reserve has signaled its intention to raise the federal funds rate (currently set at zero) three times in 2022. This will effectively raise interest rates in general, making it more expensive to borrow money. Even small increases in the federal funds rate can have an impact on...

5 Tips for a Financially Strong 2022

The start of a new year is a great time for introspection and evaluating the areas of your life you want to improve. When setting New Year’s resolutions, individuals often think about their career or physical health, but financial wellness is just as important. It’s no surprise then that January is Financial Wellness Month. Financial...

3 Tips for Evaluating Portfolio Performance

Building a portfolio is a big effort. It requires considering your goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. Once that’s settled, you’ll have to choose investments that match these criteria. And this is only the beginning. Portfolios require regular monitoring and performance evaluation to ensure that the assets you own are still working together to help...

Why You Need an Evolving Financial Plan

Financial planning is not a set-it-and-forget-it activity. Rather, financial plans are ever-evolving based on your changing life circumstances. Your goals and priorities may shift as your career evolves and big changes like marriage, having a child, or getting a new job may warrant adjustments to your long-term plan. Here is a look at the situations...

Lasting Legacy

Although there is a financial component to leaving a lasting legacy, it encompasses so much more than just money. It’s about how people will remember you and the impact, both financial and personal, that you have on your family, friends, community, and potentially even the world. Here are some key considerations when considering your legacy....

4 Tips to Saving Money This Holiday Season

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is easy to go a bit overboard when it comes to holiday spending. In this video, we want to walk you through four tips that can help get you through the holidays without breaking the bank. If you are looking to build better habits this holiday season, we...

Happy Holidays

The team at Detalus wishes you peace, joy, and prosperity throughout the coming year. Thank you for your continued support and trust. We look forward to working with you in the years to come, and we hope your holidays will be filled with joy and laughter with family and friends throughout the entire New Year....

Giving Back During the Holidays

The holiday season is a popular time to reflect on the past year and donate to causes you care about. Donations not only aid people and organizations in need; they also confer a potential tax benefit to the giver. Recent changes to the tax code resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have also incentivized charitable giving,...

Should You Make Early Withdrawals from Your 401(k)?

Your 401(k) is a tax-advantaged retirement account built to help you save more for retirement. Contributions can lower your taxable income, and money inside your 401(k) grows tax-deferred. Withdrawals are subject to income tax. To encourage people to keep money in their 401(k)s until retirement, the IRS may charge a 10% early withdrawal penalty on...

Detalus’ Newest Team Member

Meet Detalus's newest team member: Mike DeBerge, as he and Alex Walker discuss why he made a career change, what excitements him about this new endeavor, why he selected Detalus, and, last but not least, his growing family. We are excited to welcome Mike to the team and know that he will be a great...

The Unique Advantages of Health Savings Accounts

You have probably heard the term “Health Savings Account” or “HSA” before, but what is it and why is it valuable? If you are considering getting a Health Savings Account account setup but are unsure where to begin, check out this video, where we discuss the unique advantages it can have for you and your...

How Diversifying Your Portfolio Can Mitigate Risk

Risk is an inherent part of investing. After all, no one can control the losses or gains of a particular asset, sector, or the market as a whole. But you can take steps to manage your risk by diversifying your portfolio. Here’s a look at what diversification is, why it matters, and how to do...

Evaluating Your Executive Stock Options

As part of your compensation package, your company might offer you stock options to supplement your salary. While they can be a valuable form of compensation, they also leave you with plenty of decisions to make about how and when to use them. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of stock options to...

Two Rebalancing Strategies

Over time, the ups and downs of the markets can change the profile of your investment plan, leaving you with more risk than you would like, or less growth potential than you need. In this video, we share two methods of rebalancing that help keep the centerpiece of your investment plan - your asset allocation...

Four Risks That Can Impact Your Retirement

Even with careful planning and diligent saving, some parts of retirement planning are out of your control. Part of our job as advisors is helping clients assess and neutralize risks that will derail their retirement. In this video, we look at four common retirement risks and how to address them and keep your savings on...

The Unique Advantages of Health Savings Accounts

A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged savings account that allows individuals with high-deductible health plans to set money aside for medical expenses. These accounts offer unique tax benefits and can even be savings tools for retirement. What is a health savings account and how do you qualify? An HSA allows you to contribute...

The 2021 Child Tax Credit: An Overview

Every year, the Child Tax Credit reduces the tax liability of American parents. If it lowers their tax burden below zero, it can even put money in their pockets. The credit's size increased following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. And now, thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, it's even...

Taxes Hurt: Understanding Retirement Income Tax

When you retire, you’ll likely draw your income from several sources—such as retirement accounts, taxable investment accounts, and Social Security Benefits. Each of these sources is taxed according to its own rules. So, in order to accurately plan for your retirement, you need to know what these rules are, whether (and when) you’re required to...

Understanding Your Retirement Income Plan

When you retire, you get to bid farewell to the working world. That’s the good news… The bad news? You’ll no longer have a paycheck coming in from your employer. To address that, you’ll need to piece together a steady stream of income from different retirement sources. In this quick video, we will break down...

4 Risks That Can Impact Your Retirement

Even with careful planning and diligent saving, some parts of retirement planning are out of your control. Factors like longevity, rising medical costs and the ups and downs of the market can have an impact on your savings. But while you can’t plan for the unexpected per se, there are ways you can manage these...

5 Tips for Reviewing an Early Retirement Offer

You’ve spent years planning and saving for your retirement. And then, out of the blue, your employer hands you an early retirement offer that could change everything. An early retirement, or “voluntary severance,” offer is a financial incentive to resign that an employer may offer to senior employees when they need to reduce payroll costs....

Leave a Lasting Legacy (Video)

Although there is a financial component to leaving a lasting legacy, it encompasses so much more than just money. It’s about how people will remember you and the impact, both financial and personal, that you have on your family, friends, community, and potentially even the world. Here are some key considerations when considering your legacy....

How to Make a Wealth Transfer Plan

Baby boomers are already in the throes of the most significant wealth transfer in history. Over the next 25 years, they are expected to leave $68 trillion in wealth to their heirs. But you don’t need to be older to need a wealth transfer plan, nor do you need a large estate. Here’s a look...

What Is Inflation—And Why Is Everyone Talking About It?

Climbing commodity prices, ambitious government spending packages due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crash have resurrected a long-dormant fear: runaway inflation. But what is inflation, and is it something to worry about? A lot of the thinking surrounding inflation has changed over the years, and economists disagree on what causes it and...

A Beginner’s Guide to Alternative Investments

Alternatives are investment options beyond the typical stocks, bonds and cash found in most portfolios. They can be tangible assets like precious metals, or they could be financial assets like private equity or hedge funds. Alternatives tend to be riskier than traditional assets, which means investors usually have to meet certain criteria to access them....

Money Questions For You and Your Partner

If you are in a long-term relationship the odds are that money has come up in conversation before. In fact, money is one of the top issues that cause arguments in a relationship. Figuring out your partner’s attitude towards money can be a difficult topic to approach. One of you may be the spender and...

Understanding Behavioral Bias

Behavioral biases can sometimes cloud our judgment and lead us to make irrational decisions. That’s especially true when it comes to investing. It is impossible to predict what tomorrow will look like, and our perceptual distortions can make a difficult situation - like a down market - even worse. Check out how behavioral biases, such...

Breaking Down IRAs

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are a type of tax-advantaged account that can help you boost your retirement savings. The most common IRAs you’ll choose from are traditional and Roth IRAs. Both are designed for long-term growth, but there are some key differences, including how your contributions are taxed and when you can withdraw funds. Here...

Automated Investing vs. Human Guidance

When you’re looking for help managing your investment portfolio, you have a decision to make: Should you work with a financial advisor or a robo-advisor? A financial advisor is a professional specializing in financial planning, wealth management and other personal finance services. On the other hand, a robo-advisor is a digital platform that uses algorithms...

Financial Conversation Tips for Couples

Communication about money is often fraught for couples, and bringing the topic up with your partner can be challenging. But discussing financial concerns, goals, and habits is key to a strong relationship. And open communication about these topics can help you and your partner work as a team toward common financial goals. How to talk...

Breaking Down Socially Responsible Investing

Many investors want more out of their investments than just a good return. They want to know that the companies they invest in are ethical and responsible — that they build environmentally sustainable business models, advance a social good and operate in a transparent, ethical way. To identify these companies, socially responsible investors can use...

What in the World Are NFTs?

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have been the recipient of the latest buzz. NFTs are digital files attached to blockchain codes. If you know anything about digital currencies, you’re probably aware that these blockchain codes are what identifies a digital “coin” and makes it tradeable to those who accept that sort of payment. In this case,...

Qualified Charitable Distributions

Do you have an I.R.A.? As you enter your 70s, you may start to look at that I.R.A. not only as an asset but also as a problem. By law, you must take required minimum distributions (R.M.D.s) from a Traditional I.R.A. once you reach age 72; there are very few exceptions to this. The downside...

Cash Balance Plans

In corporate America, pension plans may be fading away. Only 14% of Fortune 500 companies offered them to full-time employees in 2019. In contrast, legal, medical, accounting, and engineering firms are keeping the spirit of the traditional pension plan alive by adopting cash balance plans.1 Owners and partners of these highly profitable businesses sometimes get...

A savvy way you can give more to charity, and pay less in taxes

A savvy way you can give more to charity, and pay less in taxes Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), the standard deduction available to taxpayers increased substantially. However, for taxpayers who choose to itemize their deductions, TCJA limited or discontinued certain previously deductible expenses, such as state and local income,...

When will we get back to average market returns?

When will we get back to average market returns? Average total returns in the stock and bond markets are often cited in financial circles, perhaps giving lay investors the false impression that these returns are the norm. In reality, there have been few years when either stocks or bonds delivered returns that are even close...

Will political changes affect your investments?

Election years can be fraught with uncertainty as developments surrounding the candidates, their platforms, and their predicted effects on the economy and markets dominate the news. But should you let this stream of political information influence the management of your investment portfolio? A lengthy history of empirical research suggests not. Elections matter, just not in...

Annual Financial To-Do List

What financial, business, or life priorities do you need to address for the coming year? Now is an excellent time to think about the investing, saving, or budgeting methods you could employ toward specific objectives, from building your retirement fund to managing your taxes. You have plenty of choices. Here are a few ideas to...

Extraordinary Times Mean Extra Federal Debt

America’s debt is now nearly as large as its economy. On September 2, the Congressional Budget Office announced that by the end of the 2020 fiscal year (September 30), the federal government is projected to owe debt equaling 98% of the nation’s gross domestic product.1 The CBO also projects that the country’s debt is expected...

What Are Stock Splits?

Two high-profile companies—Apple and Tesla—have announced stock splits in the past few weeks, which makes it a great time to discuss what’s involved when a company announces a stock split. Remember, any companies mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any...

Has the Stock Market Rally Left You Behind?

Some people in recent weeks may have been feeling that “the stock market seems to be doing so well but I’m not participating.” A look behind the headlines helps tell the story. A CNBC study found that between the stock market high on February 19, 2020—and the new market high on August 18, 2020—only 38...

The A, B, C, & D of Medicare

Whether your 65th birthday is on the horizon or decades away, understanding the different parts of Medicare is critical, as this government-sponsored program may play a role in your future health care decisions. Parts A & B: Original Medicare. There are two components. In general, Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility costs,...

Retirement Plan Options for Small Businesses

As a small-business owner, figuring out retirement choices can be a little intimidating. How do you pick the most appropriate retirement plan for your business as well as your employees? There are three main types of retirement plans for small businesses: SIMPLE-IRAs, SEP-IRAs, and 401(k)s. Read on below to learn more about each type of...

College Funding Options

How can you cover your child’s future college costs? Saving early (and often) may be essential for most families. Here are some college savings vehicles to consider. 529 college savings plans. Offered by states and some educational institutions, these plans allow you to save up to $15,000 per year for your child’s college costs without...

Tax-Loss Harvesting

Even though this may end up being a subpar year for stocks, you may still realize capital gains, which is a taxable event. What can you do about them? You could recognize investments with a loss and practice “tax-loss harvesting.” Please note this article is for informational purposes only. It is not a replacement for...

Key Provisions of the CARES Act

Recently, the $2 trillion “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” (“CARES”) Act was signed into law. The CARES Act is designed to help those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also providing key provisions that may benefit retirees.1 To put this monumental legislation in perspective, Congress earmarked $800 billion for the Economic Stimulus Act...

The SECURE Act

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is now law. With it comes some of the most significant changes to retirement savings law in recent years. While the new rules don’t appear to amount to a massive upheaval, the SECURE Act will require a shift in strategy for many Americans. For others,...

ABLE Accounts for Loved Ones with Disabilities

Families with special needs children have a new tax-deferred savings option. The ABLE account also called a 529A savings account, is patterned after the popular 529 savings plan, created to help parents save for a child’s higher education. Like 529 plans, states run ABLE accounts rather than the federal government. These plans emerged after the...

Your Extended Care Strategy

Do you have an extra $33,000 to $100,000 to spare this year? How about next year, and the year after that? Your answer to these questions is probably “no.” What could cost so much? Eldercare. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, a year of in-home care for seniors costs roughly $33,000. A year at...

Your Diversified Portfolio vs. the S&P 500

“Why is my portfolio underperforming the market?” This question may be on your mind. It is a question that investors sometimes ask after stocks shatter records or return exceptionally well in a quarter. The short answer is that even when Wall Street rallies, international markets and intermediate and long-term bonds may underperform and exert a...

Eight Mistakes That Can Upend Your Retirement

Pursuing your retirement dreams is challenging enough without making some common, and very avoidable, mistakes. Here are eight big mistakes to steer clear of, if possible. No Strategy. Yes, the biggest mistake is having no strategy at all. Without a strategy, you may have no goals, leaving you no way of knowing how you’ll get...

Will You Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes?

Many people plan their estates diligently, with input from legal, tax, and financial professionals. Others plan earnestly but make mistakes that can potentially affect both the transfer and destiny of family wealth. Here are some common and not-so-common errors to avoid. Doing it all yourself. While you could write your own will or create a...

Diversification, Patience, And Consistency

Regardless of how the markets may perform, consider making the following part of your investment philosophy: Diversification. The saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” has real value when it comes to investing. In a bear or bull market, certain asset classes may perform better than others. If your assets are mostly held...

Getting a Head Start on College Savings

The American family with a child born today can expect to spend about $233,610 to raise that child to the age of 18. And if you’ve already traded that supercharged convertible dream for a minivan, you can expect your little one’s college education to cost as much as $198,000.1,2 But before you throw your hands...

What the SECURE Act Could Mean for Retirement Plans

If you follow national news, you may have heard of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. Although the SECURE Act has yet to clear the Senate, it saw broad, bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. This legislation could make Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) a more attractive component of retirement strategies...

Keep Calm, Stay Invested

Recent headlines have added volatility to the markets. There will always be new headlines, and any of them could mean turbulence for Wall Street. As an investor and retirement saver, how much will this turmoil matter to you in the long run? Not as much as you may expect. There are many good reasons to...

Financial Strategy for Athletes

Whether you are a professional athlete, a college amateur, or an aspiring Olympian, you probably know what success feels like. You also know a thing or two about being a good sport when things don’t go your way. Good news: this means you already have some of the basics needed to create a financial strategy....

Teaching Your Heirs to Value Your Wealth

Some millionaires are reluctant to talk to their kids about family wealth. Perhaps they are afraid of what their heirs may do with it. If a child comes from money and grows up knowing they can expect a sizable inheritance, that child may look at family wealth like water from a free-flowing spigot with no...

Reducing the Risk of Outliving Your Money

“What is your greatest retirement fear?” If you ask any group of retirees and pre-retirees this question, “outliving my money” will likely be one of the top answers. In fact, 61% of investors surveyed for a 2018 AIG retirement study ranked outliving their money as their top anxiety.1 Retirees face greater “longevity risk” today. The...

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