It may be impossible to entirely avoid the pain of aging – in the context of you, a family member or both. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could at least lessen the pain and stress?
Most people would define their primary savings goal as “retirement.” …Or would they?
Of course, retirement is often a primary long-term savings goal, but not always. The definition of retirement itself has morphed over the recent decade with people living longer lives. “Retirement” encompasses more than simply stopping work and being on a “permanent vacation.” In fact, recent research published in the Journal of Financial Planning* reports that quitting work cold turkey often is not reality – for a number of reasons.
Considering last week’s news of “free trading” (Fidelity jumped on board this week) here are two things that are NOT – and unlikely to become – free:
- Financial Planning advice & guidance
- Non-proprietary mutual funds trading transactions
Two very different things… but both are consistent with successful long-term financial planning and strategy. There are still far more moving parts to “free trading” so stay tuned.
Where do we stand going into the Year Ahead?
It is always helpful to define where stand today and understand a few points about how we got here. So as a sequel to my last post, here are a handful of data points about today’s economy and market stats from the recent past. Several of these may surprise you.
“TGIF 2 Minutes” was never meant to simply report current events. Rather, my intent is to highlight topics in personal finance – or a current topic – that affects your financial life and decision-making. BUT (there is always a “but”) certain pieces of news affect our mindset – both positively and negatively – and if I can comment on how to avoid letting the news sway you too far either way financially-speaking, then I believe it worth commenting!
ECONOMIC TIMES ARE GOOD! This week the revised U.S. GDP report (the key measure of economic growth) revealed a strong, strong US economy. There is a reason I am mentioning this news as it relates to our mindset for making all sorts of major spending and savings decisions – decisions for us, our families and businesses in the short-term and longer-term.
What Emoji are you feeling these days when it comes to your financial life? Recall that an “emoji” is that little character that expresses an emotion using the keys on your computer or phone keyboard. Happiness, joy, confusion or sadness… there’s an emoji for it all. But just because the markets have been mostly joy … :o) … does not mean that your financial life is all joy and satisfaction. (That is the “uncertainty/confused” emoji.)
Did you finish your taxes? Technically you have until Tuesday, April 17th to file – and pay if you owe – because of Emancipation Day in Washington, DC on Monday, April 16th AND a Sunday being April 15th.
Last year was bitter-sweet for taxpayers and investors. The stock markets enjoyed gains, gains, gains in 2017 – almost the 9th year in a row – and the economy delivered mostly good things in the way of jobs and incomes. There are always exceptions, of course, but 2017 was mostly a great year economically and investments-wise. So even though you probably paid more in taxes and likely had less investment losses to offset gains, it was a positive year. Remember, rebalancing your portfolio is a critical tool but one that can create taxable gains — and an attentive, qualified adviser will guide you to minimizing inevitable taxes on a profitable portfolio. Continue reading “Onward to Tax Year 2018”