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June Planning Items

Protect your Family with an up to date and complete Estate Plan You’ve packed sunblock and a beach novel. You’ve planned your itinerary and bought plane tickets. But have you ensured that your estate plan is up to date? Don’t leave home without making sure your financial health and the future of your loved ones is provided for. It’s even more crucial than getting a pet sitter and locking the front door. Creating an Estate Plan If you don’t have
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6 Steps to Help Protect a Loved One from Financial Elder Abuse

Financial elder abuse – defined by the National Committee for the Prevention of Financial Elder Abuse as the illegal or improper use of an elder person’s funds, property or resources – can take numerous forms and will cost seniors billions of dollars each year. Its impact on an elder person’s emotional, physical and financial health – and thus longevity – can be significant and long-lasting. To help protect an aging loved in your life, consider starting on the following six
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The Bumpy Road to the Market’s Long-Term Average

Since 1926, the US stock market has rewarded investors with an average annual return of about 10%. But it’s important to remember that returns in any given year may be sky-high, extremely poor, or somewhere in between. Annual returns came within two percentage points of the market’s long-term average of 10% in just six of the past 94 years. Yearly returns have ranged as high as up 54% and as low as down 43%. Since 1926, annual returns have been
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May Planning Action Items

With travel plans and home events gearing up in the summer months, May is a great time to review your emergency savings and property casualty policies to ensure you’re properly protecting your assets. Emergency Savings – The more you earn, the higher your expenses, and the more important this key account becomes in protecting your wealth. Set aside in a specifically designated savings account enough cash to cover a minimum of 6 – 12 months worth of expenses. Obviously, in
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April Planning Action Items

Stuff to Do While Quarantined: Clean Up Expenses and Financial Records “When we throw out the physical clutter, we clear our minds. When we throw out the mental clutter, we clear our souls.” –Gail Blanke I get it. We’re all scared. Something is happening that we’ve never experienced before. One thing that might help is to distract yourself while doing something productive. It’s easy to get frozen by news reports and fear. See if this helps get your mind on
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What Do You Do When Markets Are Down? Build Wealth!

It never feels great to see the stock market drop, especially by a lot, and then watch as your portfolio’s value falls with it. Fear, frustration, anger, anxiety, helplessness – each is a totally understandable and even appropriate response. But all circumstances, no matter what part of life they touch, come with context. And nothing about the context surrounding current market events happens to change what you can and cannot control. At an elemental level, for instance, we have no
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The State of the Economy and Coronavirus

Given the volatility in the financial markets beginning the week of February 20, 2020, it’s helpful to review the state of the U.S. economy entering into this stressful period, what’s happened since, and some of the potential economic impacts. Here is our take on those topics. At the beginning of 2020, the U.S. economy was in very strong shape, with unemployment falling and the labor force participation rate and wages rising. Compared to 2008-09, this is not a financial crisis
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February Planning Action Items

Review your W2 and 1099s with your Independent CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM. Your 1099s and W2s provide valuable information about your earnings and investing habits. If your salary has increased, have you also increased your savings and investment rates? Apply income/salary to living expenses, and bonuses and stock options proceeds to retirement goals. If your mutual funds made sizable capital gains distributions, would you be better off holding low cost, tax-managed institutional funds in your taxable account(s)? Bump up contribution rates
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10 Major Trends in US Audits

Most taxpayers envision Internal Revenue Service audits as intrusive investigations resulting in criminal sentences. Today, nothing could be farther than the truth: The IRS’s auditing power has been greatly diminished in the past decade. IRS audit resources have been reduced by 28 percent in the last decade and the audit rate has dropped from 0.9 percent in 2010 to 0.5 percent in 2018. In fact, the number of IRS audits in 2018 (991,168) dropped by almost half compared to 2010
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2020 and Beyond – Where’s Your Focus

Welcome to “Projections Season” where every financial personality and even your friends and family will provide an insight into their crystal ball on how the “market” will perform next year. They will back up their projections with strong data and sound reasoning, yet history continues to show us just how futile it is to spend time predicting any future, much less that of how over 20,000 worldwide securities will perform over the short term. As we move into 2020, I
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