Here’s a little reminder from the year 2020: anything can happen.
Monday, 22 June 2020
If you’re like most people, you never envisioned that this year would bring a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, or monumental transitions in the way people live and work. However, this is where we find ourselves and, though there is much to be anxious about, there’s a silver lining, too. We’re all facing challenges that remind us just how important it is to prepare for the unexpected and to avoid complacency and procrastination when it comes to our priorities in life.
One of the most important aspects of financial advising – and the most fulfilling one – is helping people determine how to protect their families in the event of an unexpected life change like death or disability. These aren’t comfortable topics to discuss, which causes too many people to put off planning for another day. For most people, though, protecting family is their number one priority and recent world events provide the important perspective that we need to be prepared for whatever might lie ahead.
Here are a few steps you should consider taking now if you haven’t already:
This is the decade that sets the stage for your long-term goals.
Tuesday, 02 June 2020
Your forties can feel like a momentous decade for several reasons, one of which is that it may be the time in your life when you truly begin to feel financial pressure. Your retirement could be looming in the distance, you may be sending children to college soon, and you might begin focusing more on building your net worth. With the economic fallout and market volatility caused by the novel Coronavirus, you may be feeling the pressure even more than expected.
As you navigate this consequential decade, here are six steps to take that are designed to help you prepare for your financial future.
Do the Math Now to Set Clear Goals for Your Future
Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Retirement planning forces you to think about lots of different numbers: annual investment returns, your debt to income ratio, your net worth, and more. Perhaps the most important number, however, is your personal “enough” number.
Your “enough” number is that magic figure that defines exactly how much you need in order to have the retirement you desire. It’s the number that helps you set financial goals that are tied to your lifestyle goals. Identifying it is a necessary step in setting your retirement savings goals and in understanding whether you’re on track to meet them. At this stage of life, while you’re still working, your “enough” number includes the amount you need to fund your basic needs, as well as the wants that make your life enjoyable and the savings-plan required for you to meet your retirement goals.
In a time when many of us are re-evaluating our personal finances as we ride out economic uncertainty, long-term financial planning becomes even more imperative. So, how do you determine your personal “enough” number?
Protecting yourself from internet fraud during the COVID Crisis
Thursday, 02 April 2020
Sadly, as is the case in any crisis, there are those among us who are looking to capitalize on cruelty and take advantage of heightened vulnerabilities. Hackers are trying to lure victims to click on COVID-19 related hyperlinks that contain malicious software and other computer viruses. In some cases, these scams look like official messages from the government and they send people to fake websites where their sensitive information can be stolen.
The following guidelines can help you protect yourself from these digital scams and stay clear of suspicious links you may come across in your internet travels.
On March 27 the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to address the unprecedented public health and economic crisis related to COVID-19.
Saturday, 28 March 2020
This $2 trillion bill is meant to impact both individuals and businesses and contains significant tax-savings measures. It could affect prior tax years while also creating immediate cash-flow.
Impact on Individuals
Perhaps the most impactful provision for American citizens is the CARES Act’s promise of cash payments of up to $1,200 per single individual and $2,400 for a married couple. Parents will also receive an additional $500 per qualifying child. Payments are phased-out for individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 and for married couples filing jointly with income greater than $150,000.
Social Media and Viral Laughs are Important for Self-Care, Doctors Say
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
As we continue to live in uncertain times, self-care is more important than ever. With 24-hour news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and growing concerns about how far-reaching novel coronavirus will be in the United States, there are more than a few of us with heightened anxiety. Unfortunately, gone are the days when we could give ourselves a mental break from all the doom and gloom by grabbing a drink with a friend after work or hitting the gym for an intense workout session. Guidelines recommending social distancing and state-mandated lockdowns have made it difficult for many of us to manage our stress in typical ways, and this is concerning for our individual and collective mental health.
Enter social media.
In an age when we are sometimes connected to our digital devices to a fault, social media is now providing us with much-needed feelings of connection to one another. There are bright spots in any time of darkness, and several feel-good stories and videos have gone viral thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. These outlets are allowing people to share smiles, laughs, and breaths of fresh air from the constant, worrisome news coverage on the global health and financial crises.
Positive Viral Stories and Videos
If you’re in need of an optimistic story in these trying times, take a moment to check out each of the smile-inducing links below:
Americans Can Defer for 90 Days
Friday, 20 March 2020
As we continue to face uncertain times, the IRS has made a welcome announcement.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced that the IRS has decided to extend the filing and payment deadline for 2019 tax returns, allowing taxpayers to defer until July 15. Mnuchin indicated this move will put $300 billion into the economy during a time of great economic concern over the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The payment deferment is subject to certain caps, however. Individuals may defer tax payments of up to $1 million, while corporations may defer up to $10 million. The limits were purposefully selected to benefit small businesses that report income through S corporations, partnerships or other pass-through entities.
Tuesday, 17 March 2020
We are facing something we have never faced before in our lifetimes. That is a fact and, in a time, when the news of the pandemic spreading and the recommendations on social distancing getting broader by the day, it can be hard to feel certain or safe about anything.
As troubling as it is to watch the unprecedented market decline and hard it is to tune out the fact that you know you are losing a lot on your investments, we need to maintain our health and the health and safety of our family, friends and neighbors as the number one priority. Covid-19 which emerged late in 2019 in China has spread rapidly worldwide since then and is a global pandemic. The measures taken by leaders around the globe have been strong leaving most children without a classroom to go to, parents working from home or without a job altogether and investors panicking about what is to come.
This disruption to daily life and to our psyches is substantial and it’s terrible. The coming weeks will not be easy, but these measures are practical and prudent.
Volatile Markets and the Ongoing Spread of the Virus are Causing Economic Uncertainty
Tuesday, 03 March 2020
Last week saw the worst week on Wall Street since 2008, as the Dow fell into correction likely due to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, commonly called novel coronavirus. A market correction is a nerve-wracking event for investors, but the current uneasiness in the markets is no cause for panic.
While the spread of COVID-19 is atypical, market correction is not. In fact, it’s an entirely normal process, and not altogether unexpected after experiencing the longest-running bull market on record. There have been 22 market corrections since 1974, and they are aptly named because the market usually “corrects” itself and returns prices to their longer-term trends. While the coronavirus is likely to cause economic impact into at least the second quarter of 2020, historically, Wall Street’s reaction to these types of epidemics has been short-lived, including in the recent past.
These five tips will help Boomers safeguard their legacies as they transfer their assets.
Monday, 24 February 2020
We’re in the midst of a wealth transfer the likes of which our country has never seen before, with Baby Boomers preparing to pass down more than $30 trillion to their heirs. These are hard-earned, well-managed assets that Boomers are excited to share with their loved ones, yet many have not adequately prepared to address the challenges they may encounter.
It’s difficult to face your own mortality, and it keeps many people from properly preparing their financial legacies. As uncomfortable as it may be, though, strategic planning is the only way to ensure your estate will be handled according to your wishes. Keep in mind that many of your heirs may be Millennials who are skeptics when it comes to professional financial services. Their reliance on DIY digital financial tools could jeopardize the long-term viability of your hard-earned money if you don’t take the time to put the necessary safeguards in place.
A Five-Year Plan to Prepare for Retirement
Friday, 10 January 2020
For decades, you’ve been focused on building and maintaining your career. Your eventual retirement was always looming in the distance, but it seemed far off and not like something that required much of your attention – until, that is, it suddenly dawns on you that you’re just a few years from the finish line.
Are you prepared to retire? Are your finances in line? Is your estate plan in order? Questions like this can keep you up at night once you reach your late 50s or early 60s and realize you don’t have much time left to get your retirement ducks in a row. However, this borderline panic can actually be a good thing. The final five years before retirement may be crucial to setting yourself up for the retirement of your dreams, so using this time for focused action and decision-making can substantially improve your next phase of life.
In the following guide, you’ll learn where to concentrate your energy during your “final five” before retirement so that you can turn panic into productivity and sail into retirement worry-free
Essential Strategies for High Net Worth Individuals
Tuesday, 07 January 2020
Tax planning is an essential task for high net worth individuals, and it requires a carefully developed strategy. Without one, you could easily miss out on tax benefits that could be key to maintaining your net worth in the long-term. Since many tax law changes took effect in 2018 with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it’s an ideal time to revisit your tax planning strategies and ensure you understand the impact of the changes, as well as the opportunities they may present with regard to tax savings.
Below, we’ll review the most important topics to discuss with your tax professional.
How Peer-to-Peer Payment Apps Make Transactions Convenient and Easy
Thursday, 12 December 2019
Worldwide social media usage has been growing steadily since 2014, with 3.2 billion users worldwide in 2019. According to recent statistics from Emarketer, 90 percent of Millennials and 78 percent of Gen Xers use social media daily. Baby Boomers are creeping up in usage rates, as well, with more than 48 percent currently using social media every day.
As social media usage has risen, so has the popularity of social payment apps. Let’s explore how this technology is changing the landscape of how we payment-share with friends and family.
Why the Benefits of ‘Retirement Work’ Go Far Beyond a Paycheck
Friday, 15 November 2019
Have you ever wondered why so many retirees continue working in some fashion in their retirement? You may assume it’s the simple financial incentive, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
Many so-called “retirement workers” have learned through experience that there are more benefits to working than earning a paycheck, which is why so many continue to work in part-time positions or dedicate themselves to volunteer efforts. Work, as it turns out, adds more than just monetary value to your retirement years.
It’s Time to Un-Complicate this Long-Term Relationship
Thursday, 17 October 2019
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: