When you lose a spouse, partner, or parent, the grief can be overwhelming. In the midst of that grief, life goes on. There are arrangements to be made, things to be taken care of – and in recognition of this reality, here is a checklist that you may find useful at such a time. If not, estate planning is an important aspect of one’s overall financial picture. It plans for what comes next.
First, gather documents. Ask for help from other family members if you need it. Start by gathering the following. (more…)
The first week of 2021 has already had many ups and downs. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that the 2020 issues go away, and so far, 2021 has been no exception to this rule.
The markets opened on January 4 and traded lower out of the gate, with the S&P 500 dropping 1.5%. The last time the market opened lower was in 2016, when the S&P 500, the Dow Jones, and the Nasdaq Composite all dropped on the first trading day of the new year.1,2 (more…)
This time of year, you might glance at an account statement and see there has been an adjustment. But there may not be any cause for concern.
Many mutual funds in December pay shareholders capital gains distributions that they have accumulated throughout the year.1
Typically, mutual fund companies start making estimates about distributions as early as November and most finalize the payment by mid-December. Unfortunately for us, this can cause undesirable tax consequences. (more…)
We all have our “blue sky” visions of the way retirement should be, yet our futures may unfold in ways we do not predict. So, as you think about your “second act,” you may want to consider some life and financial factors that can suddenly arise. Nobody likes having retirement blind spots
You may end up retiring earlier than you expect. If you leave the workforce at “full” retirement age (FRA), which is 67 for those born in 1960 and later, you may be eligible to claim “full” Social Security benefits. Working until 67 may be worthwhile because it will reduce your monthly Social Security benefits if you claim them between age 62 and your FRA.1 (more…)
As Wall Street pushes higher, a pandemic-weary Main Street is relearning how to manage cash flow with the hope of keeping its retirement dreams alive – and for those self-employed, this is paramount.
Self-employed Americans, and the people working for them, account for roughly 30 percent of the nation’s workforce.1
In the best of times, putting aside money for retirement was a challenge for this group. (more…)
When you marry or simply share a household with someone, your financial life changes—and your approach to managing your money may change as well. The good news is that it is usually not so difficult. (more…)
Are prescription drug costs burdening your finances? Some people find it a challenge to manage the cost of prescription drugs. Americans pay an average of $1,200 per year for medicine. For those facing greater and more dangerous ailments, some drug costs are $10,000 per month or even lump sums in excess of $80,000 for certain drug therapies. Yes, health insurance and Medicare Part D can help you, but not everyone has access to Medicare, and not every insurance company has the same formulary. This means that your coverage may fall short—not something you want to hear when wrestling with a major diagnosis.1 (more…)
As the United States sees a rise in cases of COVID-19 across the nation, news of two promising vaccines out of hundreds being tested has offered a ray of hope for a fatigued world.1
A positive reaction to these vaccines affects every aspect of human life, including the financial world. On Monday, November 16th, The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 450 points on the news of a second effective vaccine, hitting a record high.2
Markets are not merely reacting to the positive news, but what a vaccine might mean for the economy. Investors are likely picturing people returning to something resembling their old lives. Stocks related to travel, such as airlines and cruise holidays, have seen an uptick. (more…)
With the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates at or near zero, you may wonder about your mortgage. Is it a good time to refinance or even pay off the debt entirely? After all, your mortgage is one of the biggest expenses you may have in life, so why not rid yourself of that debt as soon as possible? (more…)
As an investor, it can be tempting to get caught up in daily news headlines. From election news to vaccine updates, these headlines can lead to additional volatility in the markets. Consider how news about the election and COVID-19 vaccines have moved the markets over the past several weeks. But having a financial strategy can help you ignore short-term volatility and focus on your long-term vision. (more…)
When you lose a spouse, partner, or parent, the grief can be overwhelming. In the midst of that grief, life goes on. There are arrangements to be made, things to be taken care of – and in recognition of this reality, here is a checklist that you may find useful at such a time. If … Continue reading “Estate Planning Checklist for When a Spouse or Parent Passes”
The first week of 2021 has already had many ups and downs. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that the 2020 issues go away, and so far, 2021 has been no exception to this rule. The markets opened on January 4 and traded lower out of the gate, with the S&P 500 dropping … Continue reading “2021 Opens With a Bang”
A new year offers a welcomed turn of the calendar and a fresh start. However, it’s difficult to put 2020 completely behind us just yet because the COVID-19 pandemic still presents a significant threat. Healthcare workers continue to perform heroically, while the rest of us must continue to make sacrifices until vaccines are widely distributed. … Continue reading “Market Update: 2021 Brings a Fresh Start”
After a bit of political posturing on stimulus details in December, the $900 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (2021 CAA) was signed into law by President Trump as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact employers and employees. Here’s a quick recap of five key highlights providing stimulus to those that need it:
Financially, many of us associate April with taxes – but we should also associate April with important IRA deadlines. From current and previous IRA contribution deadlines, to RMD deadlines, keep an eye on the calendar. April 15, 2021 is the deadline to take your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from certain individual retirement accounts. Keep in … Continue reading “IRA Contribution Deadlines are Approaching”
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