Month: September 2019

The Importance of TOD & JTWROS Designations

Sep 30, 2019

female teen hand with chalk on blackboard
A convenient move that could ward off probate on your accounts.

TOD, JTWROS – what do these obscure acronyms signify? They are shorthand for transfer on death and joint tenancy with right of survivorship – two designations that permit automatic transfer of bank or investment accounts from a deceased spouse to a surviving spouse.

This automatic transfer of assets reflects a legal tenet called the right of survivorship –the idea that the surviving partner should be the default beneficiary of the account. In some states, a TOD or JTWROS beneficiary designation is even allowed for real property. (more…)

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72(t) Distributions

Sep 23, 2019

Schedule and Calculator
Sometimes you can take penalty-free early withdrawals from retirement accounts.

Do you need to access your retirement money early? Maybe you just want to retire before you turn 60 and plan a lifelong income stream from the money you have saved and invested. You may be surprised to know that the Internal Revenue Service allows you a way to do this, provided you do it carefully.

Usually, anyone who takes money out of an IRA or a retirement plan prior to age 59½ faces a 10% early withdrawal penalty on the distribution. That isn’t always the case, however. You may be able to avoid the requisite penalty by taking distributions compliant with Internal Revenue Code Section 72(t), section 2. (more…)

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Your Extended Care Strategy

Sep 18, 2019

Are you prepared for the possibility – and expense – of eldercare?

Do you have an extra $33,000 to $100,000 to spare this year? How about next year, and the year after that? Your answer to these questions is probably “no.”

What could possibly cost so much? Eldercare.  According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, a year of in-home care for a senior costs roughly $33,000. A year at an assisted living facility? About $45,000. A year in a nursing home? Approximately $100,000.

Medicare has limitations. Generally speaking, it will pay for no more than 35 hours per week of home health care and only up to 100 days of nursing home care, following a hospitalization. It may pay for up to six months of hospice care. If you or someone you love happens to develop Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, Medicare will not pay for any degree of room and board for them at an assisted living facility. (more…)

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Your Diversified Portfolio vs. the S&P 500

Sep 16, 2019

Marbles
How global returns and proper diversification are affecting overall returns.

“Why is my portfolio underperforming the market?”

This question may be on your mind. It is a question that investors sometimes ask after stocks shatter records or return exceptionally well in a quarter.

The short answer is that even when Wall Street rallies, international markets and intermediate and long-term bonds may underperform and exert a drag on overall portfolio performance. A little elaboration will help explain things further. (more…)

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Your Changing Definition of Risk in Retirement

Sep 13, 2019

Clock
Some things to consider.

During your accumulation years, you may have categorized your risk as “conservative,” “moderate,” or “aggressive,” and that guided how your portfolio was built. Maybe you concerned yourself with finding the “best-performing funds,” even though you knew past performance does not guarantee future results.

What occurs with many retirees is a change in mindset – it’s less about finding the “best-performing fund” and more about consistent performance. It may be less about a risk continuum – that stretches from conservative to aggressive – and more about balancing the objectives of maximizing your income and sustaining it for a lifetime.

You may even find yourself willing to forgo return potential for steady income. (more…)

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Renaissance West Community Initiative (RWCI) & The Bulb

Sep 10, 2019

What a nutrient-dense and inspirationally-packed 2-for-1 volunteer effort today, getting to take park in The Bulb’s mobile food market at the Renaissance West Community!

If you’ve never been to the Renaissance West Community Initiative, or have yet to learn about it, please go and please do. It is flat-out impressive what they have pulled together in such a short time here in Charlotte. RWCI uses a holistic community redevelopment approach, focusing on multiple critical factors, including mixed-income housing, educational opportunities, youth and adult development programs, as well as health and wellness services.

The Bulb is a spectacular grass-roots non-profit founded by Alisha Pruett six-years ago. Their mission is to provide access to (mosty) local, fresh and healthy produce as well as education on health and wellness to vulnerable and underserved neighborhoods in our local communities.  As BIG fans of healthy eating (yes, we love our veggies!), we were awestruck by the incredible variety of amazing fruits and vegetables that they provided any RWC resident who stopped by.

Please, take a minute to click on the links above and learn more about these two extraordinary organizations doing “real work” to improve the lives of others.



Getting a Head Start on College Savings

Sep 9, 2019

Student with books
The hows and whys of college savings.

The American family with a child born today can expect to spend about $233,610 to raise that child to the age of 18. And if you’ve already traded that supercharged convertible dream for a minivan, you can expect your little one’s college education to cost as much as $198,000.

But before you throw your hands up in the air and send junior out looking for a job, you might consider a few strategies to help you prepare for the cost of higher education.

First, take advantage of time. The time value of money is the concept that the money in your pocket today is worth more than that same amount will be worth tomorrow because it has more earning potential. If you put $100 a month toward your child’s college education, after 17 years’ time, you would have saved $20,400. But that same $100 a month would be worth (more…)

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A Decision Not Made is Still a Decision

Sep 6, 2019

Person with Options
Indecision can lead to no decision.

Investment inaction is played out in many ways, often silently, invisibly, and with potential consequence to an individual’s future financial security.

Let’s review some of the forms this takes.

 Your workplace retirement plan.

The worst non-decision is the failure to enroll. Not only do non-participants sacrifice one of the best ways to save for their eventual retirement, but they also forfeit the money from any matching contributions their employer may offer. Not participating may be one of the most costly non-decisions one can make. (more…)

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Tax Efficiency

Sep 4, 2019

Tax books
What it means; why it counts.

The after-tax return vs. the pretax return. Everyone wants their investments to perform well. But for many investors it’s their after-tax return that may make all the difference. After all, even if your portfolio is earning double-digit returns, it may not matter if you’re also losing a percent of those earnings to taxes. (more…)

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Keep Calm, Stay On Plan

Sep 2, 2019

Numbers
Expect volatility, but avoid letting the headlines alter your plans.

Recent headlines have added volatility to the markets. There will always be new headlines, and any of them could mean turbulence for Wall Street.

As an investor and retirement saver, how much will this turmoil matter to you in the long run? Not as much as you may expect. There are many reasons to remain on plan rather than attempting to intuit or guess when and where big shifts in fortune may arrive. (more…)

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More Insights

Dec 1, 2021

Getting rich quick can be liberating, but it can also be frustrating. A sudden wealth windfall can help you address retirement saving or college funding anxieties, and it may also allow you to live and work on your terms. On the other hand, you’ll pay more taxes, attract more attention, and maybe even contend with … Continue reading “When a Windfall Comes Your Way”

Nov 29, 2021

  You may have seen this statistic before or one resembling it: the average 65-year-old retiring couple can now expect to pay more than $250,000 in healthcare costs during the rest of their lives. In fact, Fidelity Investments now projects this cost at $285,000. The effort to prepare for these potential expenses is changing the … Continue reading “Healthcare Costs are Cutting into Retirement Preparations”

Nov 24, 2021

Preparing for retirement just got a little more financial wiggle room. This week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced new contribution limits for 2022.

Nov 22, 2021

Financial markets can be challenging to understand. But when markets enter a “bad news is good news” cycle, it becomes even more difficult to follow along. Enter the Fed’s decision for tapering bond purchases.

Nov 19, 2021

The past year and a half have tested all of us, but overall, the economy continues to strengthen, COVID-19 trends are greatly improving, and this still relatively young bull market is alive and well. As the leaves turn colors and begin to fall to the ground, there are many reasons to be thankful.

Insights + Resources >