Navigating Changing Jobs and Careers, While Staying on Course with Financial Planning

Employment changes will happen to every one of us and more than once in our lifetimes. Working for one employer or keeping one career is not viable any more. The era of lifelong employment with just one employer is long gone.

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Doing the Flip: Saver to Retirement Spender

One of the biggest transitions in life is to go from worker to retiree, or from saver to spender (call it decumulation or spend downer if you like). Today I’m addressing an issue faced by those who have managed to save through most or all their working careers and now find it’s time to begin using some of their savings in consumption. After all, those savings, in most cases, are deferred income they put away into retirement accounts.

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Helping Incapacitated Loved Ones

Recently, I’ve been helping two relatives since I’m the family member closest to them with both financial skills and healthcare experience (retired hospital administrator married to a retired nurse). Both relatives exhibit signs of incapacity with diminished functioning on some level. So now I must brush up on my communication skills in addition to my background and experience in helping others in financial planning.

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Time to Give It Away

Have you looked at the holdings in your individual or joint brokerage accounts lately? Do you see lots of gains as you look through the portfolio of your taxable accounts? Would you like to avoid recognizing those capital gains and save on your taxes too?

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Roth/Traditional – What’s the Difference?

As I think most of us are aware, there are (2) types of IRAs – a Traditional and a Roth. These options are growing in availability within employer-sponsored retirement plans, and I think some explanation about the difference is warranted. Traditional accounts are tax-deferred, meaning the money put into the account is not taxed and thus your annual income is lowered. For example, if you are earning $80,000 a year and you’re filing Married Joint, you would start in the 25% bracket. If you contribute 6% of your income to a traditional retirement plan (401k, 403b) your taxable income drops to $75,200 and you end up in a lower tax bracket (15%).

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Charitable IRA Distributions

Most of us are aware the IRS requires us to take distributions from IRA’s no later than the year you reach 70 ½ (Source IRS.gov). For those who don’t necessarily “need” the money this can become an extra tax burden, and could impact how much they are paying for Medicare; because Medicare Part B premiums are based upon income reported (2) years ago (Source medicare.gov). So, what can you do if you don’t want to pay an increased income tax, increased Medicare and you don’t really “need” the money?

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Loving Your Elderly Parents

We recently interviewed Mr. Farr on our YouTube video series, Swim with Jim, where he told us about adult children who love their parents and want the best for them, coming to see him for advice and counsel. These elderly parents may not have planned and in fact, in many cases, don’t have much of an estate plan, if any.

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College – It’s not for everyone (and that’s OK!)

If there is one theme I feel very confident in saying I run into in almost every planning encounter I do for families with young children, it's college planning. Yet the research I've done, using Pew Research Center, indicates only "56% of students earn degrees within 6 years". Combine this with an average student loan debt amount of almost $29,000 per borrower ($28,950, Institute for College Access & Success, 2015) and you have a recipe for financial disaster. Because if these students are not finishing their degrees, are they finding jobs paying enough to cover the loans, or did they fall victim to a feeling of failure and take unskilled labor positions?

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THEY DID WHAT????!!!!!!

I think it's safe to say we've all either been in a position to say this, or know someone who has. This article is specifically focused on the titling of your estate. Far too often, in my opinion, there is conflict or confusion about what to do when someone passes away, and which is the last thing anyone should have to deal with when mourning.

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Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit Could Fund Long-Term Care

There’s a 70% chance that people over 65 will need some kind of long-term care, including services such as home care, assisted living and skilled nursing, according to government statistics.

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Why you should wait until 70 to file for Social Security when you have disabled child

Social Security makes up a very large portion of the income most people receive in retirement, and it makes sense why they would want to start collecting it as soon as possible. However, according to the social security administration, if you start collecting it before your full retirement age you could be leaving between 20 - 30% of your benefit on the table - meaning you will forever miss out on this money. However, if you wait until age 70 before collecting benefits you could earn an additional 5.5 - 8% each year you delay past your full retirement age (delayed retirement credits).

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Overcoming Obstacles to Achieving Financial Goals

We are in the goal business. Helping people define, refine and achieve their financial goals. What does it take to achieve and surpass financial goals?

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Money Market Accounts Could Drag Down Your Retirement Savings

After the stock market meltdown of 2007 and 2008, many Americans grew wary of investing and moved more of their savings into money market deposit accounts. These have less volatility than stocks and a higher return rate than traditional savings accounts. In fact, the total amount in money market accounts has nearly doubled since the stock market crash, from around $2.7 trillion at the end of 2007 to more than $5.1 trillion as of this June, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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How to Turn Big Dreams Into Financial Goals

‍A dream without a plan is just a wish. To make sure you can achieve the big dreams and desires you have in life, it’s important to turn them into attainable financial goals. Then you must prioritize your goals and consistently track your progress toward them. The following steps will help you define and prioritize your goals so you can make your dreams a reality:

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Smart Steps to Plan for Retirement

Many people worry that Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare won’t be available to them in the future. Recent reports from the Social Security and Medicare trustees indicate that if Congress doesn’t act to better fund these programs, they will face shortfalls in the coming years. However, Social Security and Medicare are incredibly important programs that many people rely on heavily, so it’s hard to imagine that politicians won’t act to ensure their survival. Even so, while we hope Congress will do something, there are steps we can take on our own to plan ahead. To make sure you have enough savings to cover health care and other costs in retirement, here are some strategies you might want to consider:

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Divorce Doesn’t Preclude Social Security Spousal Benefits

Social Security retirement benefits are administered under a complicated set of rules that most participants don’t completely understand. Adding divorce into the equation can result in even more confusion.

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For Social Security Benefits, Timing Is Key

When to begin receiving Social Security benefits is one of the most frequently asked questions among those nearing retirement. The answer is complicated because there are so many factors involved, some of which are not easy to quantify or predict. For instance, you’d have to think through how long you’re likely to work, and even how long you’re likely to live.

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Do you need a will? What to know about estate planning

Do I need a will? How do I get one? The answer financial planners usually give is that it depends. But generally speaking, you should have an up-to-date will, as well as a durable power of attorney for health care, also called a health care proxy, and an advance health care directive, also known as a living will, for estate-planning purposes.

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Maximize Your Employee Benefits

Being your own boss might seem like a sweet deal, but one of the advantages of working for a company is the employee benefits package you’ll usually get. Typical benefits include a retirement plan,...

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