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These Five Questions Will Improve Your Relationship with Money

It’s Time to Un-Complicate this Long-Term Relationship
Thursday, 17 October 2019

These Five Questions Will Improve Your Relationship with Money

When it comes to the subject of money, do you practice avoidance? If so, you’re not alone. Money is a complicated subject matter, and your relationship with it will likely change at different stages in your life. We all tend to have residual money memories left over from childhood, that mix with our adult experiences as earners and spenders. The result is often a convoluted mess that leaves many people baffled and anxious about money topics in general.

So, how do you “get right” with your money relationship and begin making smarter financial decisions for yourself? Believe it or not, it’s as easy as answering the following five questions:

The ‘Mega Backdoor Roth’

and Two More Ways to Benefit from a Roth IRA Under New Tax Law
Thursday, 19 September 2019

The ‘Mega Backdoor Roth’

Roth IRAs have long been popular, but recent changes in tax law are making them even more enticing. Even if you’ve been under the impression that you earn too much to take advantage of a Roth, there may be ways to utilize them.

Let’s start with the new lower income tax rates: these are set to expire in 2025, but they make any conversions to a Roth IRA even more favorable in the meantime because you’ll pay less tax on these conversions, plus qualified distributions from your Roth IRA in retirement are income tax-free.

 

From Resident to Retiree and Every Step in Between

Why Should You Have a HIGH Early Savings rate

Friday, 09 August 2019

From Resident to Retiree and Every Step in Between

It’s no secret that medical school is expensive and that many medical professionals graduate with staggering amounts of debt. However, the best financial roadmap for young doctors and medical workers is not just about paying off your debt (though that is important), it’s also about setting yourself up for the future you envisioned when you first decided to pursue your calling. One of the best ways you can do this is to make sure that you are building your nest egg even in the early stages of your career. By saving early and maximizing your contributions you can make a big difference in your freedom to pursue your goals down the line.

Five Strategies from the Ultra Wealthy that Anyone can use

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Photo by Jean-Frederic Fortier on Unsplash

Life can be complicated; kids need to be shuttled to practice, deadlines at work, cramming in some exercise class, and of course, saving for retirement. If you worry you aren’t on the right track, you may find some help in an unlikely place: the ultra-wealthy. There are some strategies that are practiced by the Ultra-Wealthy that may be worth implementing in your own investing, albeit at a smaller scale. These techniques do not have a pre-requisite of $30 million dollars (which is the minimum cap to fit the designation Ultra-Wealthy aka UHNWI)[i] but can be used by anyone who wants to up their investing game and avoid some of the pitfalls. The majority of the high net worth individuals (with a net worth between $1 million and $30 million) are self-made and 40% of them live in the United States.[ii] Knowing that so many of them built their wealth from the ground up should be encouraging. Below we will go over 5 investing habits practiced by the ultra-wealthy that can up your game and ideally, also your returns.

5 lessons ordinary investors can learn from Warren Buffett

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Photo by Jean-Frederic Fortier on Unsplash

On May 4, 2019, Berkshire Hathaway held its annual meeting. Each year Nebraska welcomes tens of thousands of investors looking to pay homage to billionaire Warren Buffet also known as the “Oracle of Omaha.” In this month’s article, we figured we’d save you the trip and give you the top five lessons from Warren Buffet that will help you become a savvier investor.

"Be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy."

During the Great Recession of 2008 Buffet shouted this from the rooftops amid widespread fear and plummeting markets. While others were pulling their money out, Buffet kept on buying. His reason was based on the historical data demonstrating that stocks are cheapest when fear is running high. 

Having “The Talk” with Your Kids About College

Monday, 20 May 2019

Photo by Jean-Frederic Fortier on Unsplash

It seems like only yesterday they were in the sandbox and you had all the time in the world to plan for college. But in the blink of an eye, they are teenagers and college and its costs loom large. There is a lot to think about. With realistic expectations and a solid plan, everyone can be less stressed about the future.

Make a Plan! Dying at Your Desk isn’t Exactly a Retirement Strategy

Are you reading this article at your desk? You may be, as studies show employees spend 1-3 hours surfing the web at work. But that’s between you and your workplace and none of our business.
Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Photo by Jean-Frederic Fortier on Unsplash

Let’s say you are at work, going through your to-do lists for the day, the week, the month. Bills, work deadlines, dance recitals, doctors appt. etc. our schedules overflow and it’s hard not to feel a little overwhelmed. Now think about this: have you been saving for your retirement and more importantly, for this article at least, when are you thinking you'll want to do it? The big R. For some of you, the answer is clear, you've been maxing your contributions, and you are scoping that little condo in Boca and just counting the days. But for many, the question of when and how you will retire is a lot harder to answer. Retire too early and you may not be able to afford it, retire too late and you may have spent all your life working and saving for a period you don't get to enjoy. It’s why retirement is 10th on the list of the top 43 most stressful life events, put together by the American Institute of Stress.

Instead of Retiring, Consider a Mid-Life Career Change

The Pros, Cons, and Alternatives to Retiring Early
Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Photo by Jean-Frederic Fortier on Unsplash

Ah… Early Retirement. Even the words early retirement probably brings to mind some middle-aged business wiz sipping a fruity drink on a beach somewhere. Like most things though, the fantasy of early retirement and the reality can be markedly different. In this article, we will discuss some aspects of early retirement that may change your mind on if it's really all that it's cracked up to be.

Some Have to Retire Early

People retire early for many reasons. For some, it may not be as glamorous, but because their health made it impossible to continue working. For others, they may have been laid-off or opted to take a buyout by their employer. Others may leave the workforce early to care for an ailing family member. In all the above cases, financial long-term health to last through retirement will be an obstacle. Leaving full-time work early means less saved for retirement, less earned toward Social Security, and being too young and therefore ineligible to take advantage of pensions, certain IRAs, or Medicare. People in these categories are forced to retire, for whatever reason, and so have a different set of challenges going forward than someone who chooses to retire early.

Five Ways You Can Prepare Yourself or a Loved One for Advanced Aging

Tips to plan ahead for advanced aging and the challenges it can sometimes bring.
Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Photo by Jean-Frederic Fortier on Unsplash

Thinking about the future, a future where you, your spouse, or your parents, have a significant medical condition or chronic illness’ like Dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson's is difficult.

Age-related medical conditions that long term arrangements are challenging for all involved. Having a plan in place before these unfortunate circumstances arise can unburden families who are already having to deal with the emotional impact of a loved one's diminishing health whether physically or mentally.

We’ve all witnessed someone with these conditions either as the caretaker or the one who needs care. We also know that while it can be uncomfortable to have conversations about this type of future retirement planning, it is also imperative to do so. This is because, whether we have the talks or not, life happens. We’ve all encountered people caught unawares by unforeseen life events. They are often ill-prepared, financially over-burdened and mentally at their wit's end. Not having a plan leaves you scrambling with few options in a difficult situation. Currently, only 40% of Americans have a will and 17% have a trust in place.[i] That leaves a lot of people in a precarious position if something unexpected happened.

Four Tips to Help You Talk About Estate Planning with Your Family

It is never an easy conversation to start. But it's extremely important.
Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Photo by Jean-Frederic Fortier on Unsplash

There are points in life where thinking about the future can be exciting. On the flipside, there are also points in life when talking about the future can be awkward or uncomfortable, like planning for your late life and after your passing. In fact, one study showed 43% of parents had not reported having a detailed discussion about their long-term care plans with their adult children. The difficulty in talking about long-term care, end of life plans, estates, and inheritances is exactly why it’s so important to take the time and have the hard conversations. Talking about money and death have been culturally taboo topics. But, no matter how hard the talks may seem, it’s always better to have them when you can than wait too long and lose the opportunity.

In this article, we will go over some ways to open the channels of communication around what types of documents you’ll need for retirement and estate planning. The end goal is to make sure everyone involved is on the same page and that your wishes are known and carried out by those you are close to.

Your Money Story and Your Choices

How Does Your Relationship with Money Impact Your Financial Decisions?
Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Your Money Story and Your Choices

There is a lot of emotion tied up in our relationship with money. To save it or spend it. To stash it where it is “safe” or invest it and hope to watch it grow. Humans are complicated and our relationship to our finances is no different.[i] Taking the time to consider why we do what we do and what particular emotions may be triggering our behavior, in relation to money, can help us make more informed, deliberate decisions about our finances.

The Excitement of Spending

One emotion that can be both a good or bad money motivator is excitement. There is a real rush when one encounters a windfall or starts seeing some expendable income. And for some, spending that money on a coveted, much-desired item is satisfying. For others, the excitement comes from watching the small seed investment planted grow and mature. And for others there comes the excitement of knowing there is money stashed away safe and secure. There is an excitement in having enough money to choose where to put it. But when that excitement leads you to make unsound or risky choices, better to take a step back and gain some perspective, before you do something that could hurt your long-term finances and goals.

10 Tax Hacks for 2018

2018 will be the last year to file using the old tax laws.
Monday, 19 November 2018

10 Tax Hacks for 2018

2018 will be the last year to file using some of the old tax laws. As the holidays roll in and the end of the year hovers just weeks away, it’s important to look over what tax laws should be taken advantage of before they’re gone. In this article, we will discuss ten tax hacks to save you money and file smarter.

To Itemize or Take the Standard Deduction.

Standard deductions will double from $630 to $10,700 for single filers, and from $12,000 to $24,000 for couples. Due to that, this may be the last year to file an itemized tax return and look into as many deductions that you can claim while still able. Normally, it is advised to file an itemized deduction if the amounts are greater than the standard deduction number.

Advisor's Perspective: Portfolio Strategy Q&A with the FC Investment Committee

When volatility prevails it is important to weigh your options and choose wisely.
Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Advisor's Perspective: Portfolio Strategy Q&A with the FC Investment Committee

It goes without saying that October was quite a challenging month for global markets. Selling pressure and volatility paved the way for widespread market declines. As investors ourselves and trusted advisors for our clients, we feel those emotions too. But as veterans of the markets, we also understand the necessity to anticipate and expect volatility but not overreact to it. We believe that times of volatility emphasize the importance of having a long-term investment plan. That plan should recognize potential volatility and have the mechanisms in place for addressing it. 

While many advisors will recommend to “do nothing”, we understand this is not as easy it sounds. Fear is a human element we cannot avoid, and goals, opinions and risk tolerances evolve over time. Depending on your unique situation, the concept of doing nothing can make you feel like a sitting duck. While stepping back and letting the markets correct themselves is often what we recommend, sometimes, we recognize that a different course of action is necessary to be prudent with our risk. We believe this is one of those times…

 

Investor Stress and Market Fluctuation

"The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient." - Warren Buffet
Friday, 12 October 2018

Investor Stress and Market Fluctuation

It’s hard to watch the news and not worry about your investments. We understand this. Every day comes with some new political upset, international debacle, scathing book or some other distraction. And with it, comes financial news which tethers itself to these headlines as if they have something to do with one another. It’s hard as an investor with skin in the game to not feel a pang of worry, or be tempted to act impulsively. But, believe it or not, the market corrects itself nearly every year and, if past history could predict future results (which it cannot) it might suggest that the Market is highly resilient and we as investors are too.

How to Protect and Grow Your Wealth in a Volatile Environment

"EVERYONE HAS A PLAN UNTIL THEY GET PUNCHED IN THE FACE" - MIKE TYSON
Wednesday, 11 April 2018

How to Protect and Grow Your Wealth in a Volatile Environment

This is my favorite quote when I think about investing. I love it because it was not intended for investing, yet, so relevant. Most people investing in the markets will claim they are invested for the long-term and will be patient. Most investors adhere to a Buy-and-Hold Strategy.

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