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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Types of Stock Market Analysis

Sep 27, 2019

Three different approaches.

The majority of stock market analysis can be lumped into three broad groups: fundamental, technical, and sentimental. Here’s a closer look at each. (more…)

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An Executor Checklist

Sep 25, 2019

Checklist
The steps you may need to take to fulfill a major responsibility.

If you are an executor to an estate, you must carry out your duties responsibly. Fulfilling these duties is not only a measure of your ability, but a measure of your character.You can approach these tasks methodically. In fact, it is probably best if you do. Here are the common steps required of executors, before and after the death of a testator.

What should you do now, before having to assume the role of executor? The most important thing you can do is to communicate with him or her. Ask where the will and other foundational estate planning documents are, so you can locate them when the time comes. See if they want an elaborate funeral, a simple service, or no service at all – and yes, ask whether burial or cremation is preferred. Ask for the contact info of the key financial, insurance, tax, and legal professionals connected to the testator’s financial situation, plus contact info for business partners, creative collaborators, and any relatives you may not know well. (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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Understanding Long-Term Care

Sep 11, 2019

Doctor Typing
The important question: Are you prepared?

Addressing the potential threat of long-term care expenses may be one of the biggest financial challenges for individuals who are developing a retirement strategy.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 69% of people over age 65 can expect to need extended care services at some point in their lives. So, understanding the various types of long-term care services – and what those services may cost – is critical as you consider your retirement approach. (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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More Insights

Aug 4, 2021

With overseas investments, we remind people that, “international markets carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risk, foreign taxes and regulations.” The Chinese markets are no exception to that.

Aug 2, 2021

Summer jobs are a perennial aspect of the American workforce. It’s a time when teenagers are filling out applications and, in many cases, earning wages of their own for the first time. But some of what we’ve become accustomed to may be changing.

Jul 30, 2021

High net worth investors face investment challenges that some would consider unique to their financial status. The fundamental tenets of investing apply just as equally to them as any other investor, but these investors need to be mindful of issues that typically arise only from substantial wealth. Let’s examine a few of these.

Jul 28, 2021

Corporate earnings season has begun, and the results are turning heads on Wall Street. Of the 120 companies in the S&P 500 index that reported numbers as of Friday, July 23, 89% of them beat the Street’s earnings-per-share estimates by an average of nearly 21%.1

Jul 26, 2021

Given the threat of COVID-19, seniors today may be considering their eldercare alternatives with extra caution. In addition to health factors, the cost can be an issue. According to Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the median annual cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is now $90,000. A single-occupancy room may cost … Continue reading “Eldercare Choices in the COVID-19 Era”

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