Tag: Family Wealth

Eliminate the Guesswork in an Estate Plan

Mar 22, 2024

Scales of Justice
Using a lawyer to create an estate plan is a key component of achieving financial wellness

Creating an estate plan is a key component of achieving financial wellness
Most people don’t spend too much time thinking about end-of-life planning on a daily basis. But you may have loved ones who will soon face those issues. While it’s not pleasant to think about, you may be the one who ends up having to sort out their affairs. In addition, there will come a time when you need to think about yourself and your own family. (more…)

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Managing Money as a Couple

Mar 20, 2024

wedding couple in front of money
What are the keys to prepare to grow wealthy together?

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…)

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What Are Personal Tax Credits?

Feb 28, 2024

Tax Written on Paper
Deductions you do not want to miss

Have you ever thought that you’re paying too much income tax? You may be, if you’re not claiming all of the tax credits for which you are eligible when you file your federal tax return. These credits may significantly reduce your tax liability.

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Do Our Emotion or Biases Affect Our Financial Choice

Feb 16, 2024

emotional bias questions
Even the most seasoned investors are prone to their influence

Investors are routinely warned about allowing emotion to influence their decisions. However, they are less routinely cautioned about their preconceptions and biases that may color their financial choices.

In a battle between the facts & biases, our biases may win. If we acknowledge this tendency, we may be able to avoid some unexamined choices when it comes to personal finance. It may actually “pay” to recognize blind spots and biases with investing. Here are some common examples of bias creeping into our financial lives. (more…)

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Heirs, Value and Family Wealth

Jan 31, 2024

A family at the Beach
Teaching your Heirs to Value Your Wealth

Some high net worth individuals are reluctant to talk to their kids about family wealth. Perhaps they are afraid of what their heirs may do with it.

If a child comes from money and grows up knowing they can expect a sizable inheritance, that child may look at family wealth like water from a free-flowing spigot with no drought in sight. Your child may rely upon your wealth if nothing works out; or simply to whims born of boredom. The perception that family wealth is a fallback rather than a responsibility can contribute to the erosion of family assets. Factor in a parental reluctance to say “no” often enough, throw in a penchant for racking up debt, and the stage is set for wealth to dissipate.

How might a family plan to prevent this? It starts with values. From those values; you can begin to define goals and purpose. (more…)

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Social Security Survivor Benefits

Jan 17, 2024

When you think of Social Security, you probably think of retirement. However, Social Security can also provide much-needed income to your family members when you die, making their financial lives easier.

Your family members may be eligible to receive survivor benefits if you worked, paid Social Security taxes, and earned enough work credits. The number of credits you need depends on your age when you die. The younger you are when you die, the fewer credits you’ll need for survivor benefits. However, no one needs more than 40 credits (10 years of work) to be “fully insured” for benefits. And under a special rule, if you’re only “currently insured” at the time of your death (i.e., you have 6 credits in the 13 quarters prior to your death), your children and your spouse who is caring for them can still receive benefits.

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Six Keys to Investing

Dec 6, 2023

InvestingA successful investor maximizes gain and minimizes loss. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, here are six basic principles that may help you invest more successfully.

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Life Insurance and Estate Planning

Sep 25, 2023

Free Selective Focus Photography2 Blue Egg on Nest Stock PhotoLife insurance has come a long way since the days when it was known as burial insurance and used mainly to pay for funeral expenses. Today, life insurance is a crucial part of many estate plans. You can use it to leave much-needed income to your survivors, provide for your children’s education, pay off your mortgage, and simplify the transfer of assets. Life insurance can also be used to replace wealth lost due to the expenses and taxes that may follow your death, and to make gifts to charity at relatively little cost to you.

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Gift and Estate Taxes

Sep 15, 2023

If you give away money or property during your life, those transfers may be subject to federal gift and estate tax and perhaps state gift tax. The money and property you own when you die (i.e., your estate) may also be subject to federal gift and estate tax and some form of state death tax. These property transfers may also be subject to generation-skipping transfer taxes. You should understand all of these taxes, especially since the passage of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (the 2001 Tax Act), the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Act), the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the 2012 Tax Act), and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The recent Tax Acts contain several changes that make estate planning much easier.

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Wills: The Cornerstone of Your Estate Plan

Jul 17, 2023

If you care about what happens to your money, home, and other property after you die, you need to do some estate planning. There are many tools you can use to achieve your estate planning goals, but a will is probably the most vital. Even if you’re young or your estate is modest, you should always have a legally valid and up-to-date will. This is especially important if you have minor children because, in many states, your will is the only legal way you can name a guardian for them. Although a will doesn’t have to be drafted by an attorney to be valid, seeking an attorney’s help can ensure that your will accomplishes what you intend.

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More Insights

Apr 17, 2024

Following Iran’s missile and drone strikes on Israel over the weekend and the apparent escalation likely in any Israeli response, stocks fell sharply during Monday’s trading session. We examine the latest developments in the Middle East conflict, how stocks have reacted historically to geopolitical events, and the possible impact on markets moving forward.

Apr 15, 2024

Did you buy U.S. Savings Bonds decades ago? Or did your parents or grandparents purchase them for you? If they’re collecting dust in a drawer, you may want to take a look at them to see if any of your bonds have matured. If your bonds have matured, that means they are no longer earning … Continue reading “How US Savings Bonds Work”

Apr 12, 2024

In baseball, three strikes and you’re out. With inflation, a third straight month of hotter-than-expected consumer inflation data nearly ruled out probabilities for a June rate cut yesterday (now less than a 25% chance, according to fed funds futures). The core Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in March, or 3.8% when compared on a … Continue reading “Market Update – Assessing the Prospect for a Pullback”

Apr 10, 2024

You know how important it is to plan for your retirement, but where do you begin? One of your first steps should be to estimate how much income you’ll need to fund your retirement. That’s not as easy as it sounds, because retirement planning is not an exact science. Your specific needs depend on your … Continue reading “Estimating Your Retirement Income Needs”

Apr 8, 2024

Let’s talk seasonality. For those that are unfamiliar, seasonality is the tendency for markets to perform better during some calendar periods and worse during others in a somewhat predictable way. One of the more amazing things about 2023 and part of the first quarter of 2024 is how well U.S. equity markets have been following … Continue reading “Can Pre-Election Market Trends Survive This Attention?”

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