Personal Finance

Helping blended families focus on financial wellbeing

With blended families now increasingly the norm in our society, more and more people are facing the challenge of getting to grips with a new family unit. The Stepfamily Foundation estimates that around 64% of all American families are blended, i.e. involve married or unmarried couples living together with a stepchild and/or offspring from a previous relationship. Bringing together and catering for all the needs associated with this new family dynamic demands time and commitment, but on a practical level it also requires money. A […]
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What Happens When You Inherit an IRA

What happens to a Traditional IRA when the owner has passed and a non-spouse is inheriting? A non-spouse beneficiary has two choices. One choice is to take a lump-sum distribution. In this case, even if you, as the beneficiary, are under age 59 ½, the 10% early withdrawal penalty is waived. To do this, you would need to transfer the assets into an account in your name, and then distribute the assets in a lump sum. All the funds are distributed at once, and all […]
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Dream Planning

In working with financial planning clients, one of the questions we ask is “What are your dreams during retirement?”  About half the people will say they want to travel.  About one in 20 will say something beyond that:  “I want to by an RV and cruise the country”, or “I want to pay for my grandchild’s college education,” for example.  Sometimes, having that dream home or a vacation home is mentioned. All these things take planning, yes.  But a lot of the time, people simply […]
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Pay Yourself First

A recent survey by the American Savings Education Council indicated that Americans of all wage levels are having a hard time saving. Its seems that the old saying “you grow into your income” just might be true. The recent study as reported by CNBC shows that 31% of consumers have $0 non-retirement savings. As adults there are so many things that we are suppose to save for. College, retirement, emergency fund, and other goal oriented funds all while being drawn in by 0% interest inpulse […]
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Your Advisors Interest May Not Align With Yours

When individuals are choosing an investment advisor, it can be a very confusing process. After all, to most people, we all look the same, just different firm names; however, there are many differences. At the core, there are advisors that are legally bound to work in the best interest of their clients. These are fiduciary advisors and usually work at independent firms that hold client assets at custodians like TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Schwab. The other side is a suitability advisor. These advisors work at […]
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5 Ways Your Brain Can Sabotage Your Investing

The stock market is a great brawl in which minds with opposing views battle over whether prices will go up or down. Unfortunately, investors are often their biggest foe in this arena because our brains have biological mechanisms to screw us up. Here are five reasons the self-sabotaging brain does this.
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Legal: Partnership Agreements

Forming a partnership, even when with a trusted friend or colleague, should be done so with the foresight to protect yourself and your new joint venture. By formally setting the rules of the partnership at the formation of the business, you are setting your business up for success.
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2014 IRS Limits – Saving For Retirement

It’s 2014, and the new IRS limits have kicked in. Here’s what you need to know concerning your 401k, IRA and other limits.
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Early Retirement – IRS 72t – Avoiding the 10% Penalty

What happens, though, if because of health or company early retirement mandates, you are forced to retire before age 59 ½? How can you access your retirement savings without paying penalties? The answer is 72(t).
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Who Needs Long Term Care?

Having a long term care policy in place can help you preserve assets that would otherwise be diverted to custodial care, and give you peace of mind that your care needs will be addressed should the need arise.
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