Tag: Wealth Building

Explaining the Basis of Inherited Real Estate

May 6, 2024

Giving house away
What is cost basis? Stepped-up basis? How does the home sale tax exclusion work?

At some point in our lives, we may inherit a home or another form of real property. In such instances, we need to understand some of the jargon involving inherited real estate. What does “cost basis” mean? What is a “step-up?” What is the home sale tax exclusion, and  what kind of tax break does it offer? (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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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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Wills: The Cornerstone of Your Estate Plan

Jan 8, 2024

male hand with pen on paper
A convenient move that could ward off probate on your accounts.

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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What is the 4% Rule for Withdrawals in Retirement?

Dec 13, 2023

Free Atm Withdraw Cash photo and pictureSaving for retirement is not easy, but using your retirement savings wisely can be just as challenging. How much of your savings can you withdraw each year? Withdraw too much and you run the risk of running out of money. Withdraw too little and you may miss out on a more comfortable retirement lifestyle.

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Charitable Giving

Dec 4, 2023

When developing your estate plan, you can do well by doing good. Leaving money to charity rewards you in many ways. It gives you a sense of personal satisfaction, and it can save you money in estate taxes.

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Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

Jun 26, 2023

As a business owner, you should carefully consider the advantages of establishing an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Generally, you’re allowed certain tax benefits for establishing an employer-sponsored retirement plan, including a tax credit for establishing the plan and a deduction for contributions you make. In return, however, you’re required to include certain employees in the plan, and to give a portion of the contributions you make to those participating employees. Nevertheless, a retirement plan can provide you with a tax-advantaged method to save funds for your own retirement, while providing your employees with a powerful and appreciated benefit.

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Building a Healthy Financial Foundation

Apr 17, 2023

When you read about money matters, you will sometimes see the phrase, “getting your financial house in order.” What exactly does that mean?  When your financial “house is in order,” it means it is built on a solid foundation. It means that you have six fundamental “pillars” in place that are either crucial for sustaining your financial well-being or creating wealth. (more…)

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Charitable Lead Trusts

Mar 10, 2023

Charitable Lead Trusts
How they work, how they may help you reduce taxes.

Are you concerned about the inheritance taxes your heirs may have to pay? Then you may want to consider creating charitable lead trusts. (more…)

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Eight Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

Oct 12, 2022

retirement mistakes spilling coffee over desk of papers
Will you avoid these retirement mistakes?

Pursuing your retirement dreams is challenging enough without making some common, and very avoidable, mistakes. Here are eight big mistakes to steer clear of, if possible.

No Strategy.

Yes, the biggest mistake is having no strategy at all. Without a strategy, you may have no goals, leaving you no way of knowing how you’ll get there – and if you’ve even arrived. Creating a strategy may increase your potential for success, both before and after retirement. (more…)

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More Insights

May 20, 2024

Withdrawing taxable funds from a tax-deferred retirement account before age 59½ generally triggers a 10% federal income tax penalty, on top of any federal income taxes due. [Distributions from Section 457(b) plans are generally not subject to an early distribution penalty; and the penalty for distributions from SIMPLE IRA plans during your first two years … Continue reading “Exceptions to 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty”

May 20, 2024

In today’s corporate environment, cost cutting, restructuring, and downsizing are the norm, and many employers are offering their employees early retirement packages. But how do you know if the seemingly attractive offer you’ve received is a good one? By evaluating it carefully to make sure that the offer fits your needs.

May 17, 2024

Do bad money habits constrain your financial progress? Many people fall into the same financial behavior patterns, year after year. If you sometimes succumb to these financial tendencies, now is as good a time as any to alter your behavior.

May 15, 2024

You don’t want to pay more in federal income tax than you have to. With that in mind, here are five things to consider when it comes to keeping more of your income.

May 13, 2024

There’s a subjective uncertainty associated with financial wellness. Are you financially fit? And if so, how fit are you? While there is no clearly defined threshold for answering affirmatively, much less grading your level of fitness, there are baseline elements associated with financial fitness. To make sure that you’re on the right track, develop a … Continue reading “Basics of Financial Fitness”

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