Scariest Financial Things

Halloween can be pretty scary — but not as scary as Open Enrollment for health coverage!  Enrolling for healthcare (Flexible Spending/FSA, Dental, Health Savings Accounts/HSAs, or Medicare, among others) can scare the living daylights out of even the smartest, strongest person.  We are presently in or near the “Open Enrollment for Healthcare” season.

Pumpkin

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Year-End Tax Planning

Tax planning is important stuff.  Not as exciting as the markets, but saving money on taxes can be more exciting than you think.  The beginning of October means we are in the 4th Quarter…and the countdown begins to year-end. The following is a handy Tax Planning Checklist.*  Some of these items, if done now, could make a big difference to your 2017 tax situation AND add to your savings. Continue reading “Year-End Tax Planning”

Quadrant #4 of Saving: Protecting Your Savings

This recent series has been all about Saving Money.  Just as with any task, saving money can be broken down into stages.  In this case I outlined “4 Quadrants of Saving” to illustrate how each quadrant (or stage) builds on the previous one, and how the task can be made more achievable.  

protecting money

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Quadrant #3 of Saving: Personalize Your Savings Plan

More on Saving.  Saving is a critical subject at all ages — for the simple reason that savings and investments give people choices at various points in life.  In my latest series, I have broken down the concept of Saving into “4 Quadrants”:

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Quadrant #2 of Saving: Personal Vision

Last week we explored Quadrant #1 of Saving, or Personal Vision.  This week we take the next step beyond vision to build a portfolio that attempts to bring the vision to life… at some point in the future.

portfolio

This is what “Quadrant #2 of Saving” is all about:  Building a Portfolio.

Unfortunately, this step is often mistakenly addressed first (prior to the vision step) by investors and less-qualified advisers alike.  Why?  Because the portfolio is the part everyone likes to talk about!  Of course, the portfolio is essential; but success depends first on Quadrant #1 and addressing the “Commonly Overlooked” items (see last week’s edition).  plan must be in place to build the savings that go into the portfolio — no savings, no portfolio. Continue reading “Quadrant #2 of Saving: Personal Vision”

Tax Break…Anyone?

One of the more anticipated pieces of legislation out of Washington DC has been the Trump tax proposal — or really ANY tax proposal — that has been said to carry some kind of relief for all taxpayers.

tax-formsHealthcare is another hot button but taxes slightly edge out healthcare as the #1 item of interest (and if my readership is any indication, the subject of taxes is my #1 most read topic year-over-year).

This is at least a two-part edition, so here goes the tip of the iceberg of ideas being floated by reporters on the front lines in Washington:*

  • Lowering the corporate tax rate to 15%
    • theoretically encourages US corporations to bring back, or “repatriate”, cash being held overseas.
  • Simplification of individual tax brackets to three: 10%, 25% and top rate of 35%.

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Caring for Aging Parents

Grandma moving in??  Traveling to help mom and dad from time to time? Sharing tasks with your siblings to help out your parents?

Elderly Parents

“Caring for Aging Parents” is an emotional and involved topic that takes FAR longer than 2 minutes to cover.  However, it is a critical topic and one that comes up daily in my conversations with friends and clients. Think about it: how many times have you been part of this conversation in the past several months alone… among friends/family?? I bet more than once!

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