Let the Good Times Roll

Excerpts from the February 2018 Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes…

“Let the good times roll.” I am partial to this expression because my Dad used to say it a lot either as a toast or statement when things were going well.  Looking overall at the last few years’ markets, current economy and lives and businesses of clients, the expression definitely applies. 

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During good times, how extensively you plan and from whom you get your advice can greatly lessen overall worry.

But of course, there will always be something to worry about. Always. 

  • How long will these positive markets last?
  • Will my portfolio continue to gain in value? How can I best preserve all this wealth I have created?
  • How long will these economic and business conditions continue to contribute to my personal and business success?
  • Will the risks I have taken in the past few years (that have paid off) continue to yield positive results?

Continue reading “Let the Good Times Roll”

Year-End Tax Planning Tips

Excerpts from the TGIF 2 Minutes Archives:

The beginning of October means we are in the 4th Quarter… and the countdown begins to year-end. The following are excerpts from the Year-End Tax Planning Checklist.* Several of these items, if addressed now, could make a big difference to your 2019 tax filing AND add to your savings.

variety of pumpkins
The beginning of October means we are in the 4th Quarter… and the countdown begins to year-end.

Continue reading “Year-End Tax Planning Tips”

The Cost of College

College is expensive.  As with all expensive things, planning and talking through plans – even hopes and dreams – can make the situation more affordable in the long run.

Case in point: paying for college. Back in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s when a lot of the people reading this note went to college, college was mostly affordable depending on the choice of schools. The most expensive colleges and universities cost less than $15,000 or $20,000 per year (definitely, in the 1960’s and 1970’s). Although families still struggled to pay the cost for college in lots of cases.

person writing debt on paper
Talk with your kids about debt and its implications well before they start college.

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Minimizing Danger to Your IRA

Last week’s topic was potential danger to IRAs contained in new legislation lingering in the Senate. Those affected would be most IRA beneficiaries including you or your kids or grand kids. The scenario would affect the lives of more than just the wealthy. Therefore, it makes sense to present a handful of ways to minimize the possible negative consequences.  Although, if the SECURE Act legislation is passed in its current form, these strategies will be even harder to come by.

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Several current solutions have been discussed in prior editions of TGIF 2 Minutes, namely using the Roth IRA, Roth 401k or 403b, or Roth IRA conversions (see the link below for quick details of various Roth strategies). Most important is to have this issue on your radar – to create a balance by using both traditional and Roth strategies TODAY side by side for diversification. Continue reading “Minimizing Danger to Your IRA”

Potential Danger to Your IRA

In the heart of this already HOT summer of 2019, the heat may only be beginning for your IRA. Under the seemingly friendly title of the “SECURE Act” Congress is considering plans to over-reach in the form of future taxes on IRA accounts.

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There are several positive and constructive elements of the bill recently passed by the House of Representatives and currently in review in the Senate. These include provisions to lower the threshold for small employers to offer 401k plans to their employees. However, a key part of the bill would do away with one of the most popular and widely used aspects of current IRA rules: the “Stretch IRA” for beneficiaries.

Currently, and dating back to the 1990’s, the Stretch IRA favors longevity by allowing a beneficiary to stretch inherited IRA monies over a lifetime, or until the IRA (or rolled over 401k) monies are depleted. This feature has come to be a popular and inexpensive long-term planning tool. The “Stretch” also aids in managing the tax consequences of becoming an inheritor of IRA monies. Continue reading “Potential Danger to Your IRA”

New Tax Law Changes

As we roll full steam into the New Year 2019 it helps to be aware of a handful of changes related to taxes and tax-deductible contributions to 401k plans, IRAs and the like.

Important to recognize (when in a calm state of mind) is that with last year’s introduction of one of the most sweeping tax law changes in decades, filing for tax year 2018 may contain both pain, in terms of lost SALT deductions, and valuable lessons for how to proceed in tax year 2019. In the meantime, consider the following.*

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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Thankful vs. Grateful

Bottom Line: Being Thankful and Grateful are both positive things.

Simply saying “Thank you” out loud is hard without somehow smiling either inwardly or outwardly. Try it! But say, “I am grateful for X” whether it is for a person, place or thing,and it likely brings an even deeper feeling.Perhaps that is why in the science of happiness (yes, there is a whole branch of science around happiness) the concept of gratitude is central.

thank you text on black and brown board
Simply saying “Thank you” out loud is hard without somehow smiling either inwardly or outwardly. Try it!

Continue reading “Thankful vs. Grateful”