Monday, 20 May 2019
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.
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
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.
The Pros, Cons, and Alternatives to Retiring Early
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
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.
Tips to plan ahead for advanced aging and the challenges it can sometimes bring.
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
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.
It is never an easy conversation to start. But it's extremely important.
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
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.
How Does Your Relationship with Money Impact Your Financial Decisions?
Tuesday, 18 December 2018
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.
2018 will be the last year to file using the old tax laws.
Monday, 19 November 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.
When volatility prevails it is important to weigh your options and choose wisely.
Tuesday, 30 October 2018
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…
"The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient." - Warren Buffet
Friday, 12 October 2018
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.
"EVERYONE HAS A PLAN UNTIL THEY GET PUNCHED IN THE FACE" - MIKE TYSON
Wednesday, 11 April 2018
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.
Monday, 12 February 2018
In case you were not aware, global equity markets experienced a massive dose of volatility over the past two trading days. From recent highs last week, the S&P 500 is down around 8%. Although this is not large from an historical perspective, it has garnered attention given the recent rapid pace of selling. The losses over the past 2 days has been ~6%.