Personal Finance

Social Security Planning Update – A Loophole is Closed

During the financial planning process here at Wiser, we use planning software to determine the best strategy to take Social Security benefits. Social Security can be applied for and received in many different ways. A lot of clients assume that they should take it as soon as possible, but for many this option could hurt them in the long run. Assuming you did planning, a common way to take Social Security for a couple was called file and suspend. The file and suspend method worked […]
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Checking a Broker’s Background Gets a Mandatory Link

FINRA, the regulatory authority for stock brokers and investment advisors, has recently approved a new rule requiring brokers to place a link on their webpage to connect the retail client to the FINRA broker check website. The FINRA broker check site provides professional background checks on advisors, disclosing client complaints and professional disciplinary actions against the advisor. The link, unfortunately, is not required to take the viewer all the way to the broker’s background. Instead the viewer will need to enter the brokers name or […]
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Right Now You Need to Do Nothing

“Your best move is to stay invested and keep your fingers crossed.”-Jack Bogle, founder, Vanguard Group The original publication of this article can be found here.  The following is an interview done by CNBC with Vanguard founder Jack Bogle. Mr Bogle is a very wise man and all individual investors should listen closely to his advice.    In the wake of the market’s worst week since 2011, the question for individual investors is what to do? Nothing, says Jack Bogle, the legendary founder of the world’s […]
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Fear is NOT and Investment Strategy

The stock market has been jumpy the last few months. Greece, the Federal Reserve looking to raise interest rates, China’s Stock market plunge and some weak corporate earnings have all contributed to recent volatility. We must also acknowledge that the stock market has been on a good run since March 2009 with only a few setbacks. When I see the market behaving in this manner, I remember a quote from William Bernstein, a financial theorist and best selling author, “In the short term the stock […]
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Avoid Tax Settlement Scams

Tax relief companies use the radio, television and the internet to advertise help for taxpayers in distress. If you pay them an upfront fee, which can be thousands of dollars, these companies claim they can reduce or even eliminate your tax debts and stop back-tax collection by applying for legitimate IRS hardship programs. The truth is that most taxpayers don’t qualify for the programs these fraudsters hawk, their companies don’t settle the tax debt, and in many cases don’t even send the necessary paperwork to […]
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Teaching Your Kids About Money

Teaching your kids about money By Casey Smith, President, Wiser® Wealth Management My wife and I were standing at our back window one early morning looking at our grass that seemed to have grown overnight. As we were observing, my wife said, “is that Kate’s new doll in the yard? Look, there is Ethan’s baseball glove! They just don’t seem to take care of their stuff.” I said, “It’s like they don’t understand that we work hard to provide them these things!” This was our aha […]
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2014 – Why You Didn’t Have a Double Digit Gain

By Casey Smith- President, Wiser® Wealth Management As you review your annual statement for 2014, you may notice it was a great year for US stocks. The S&P 500 climbed 14%, the Dow was up 13.7%, but when you look at your overall return you see results equal to or lower than the  US market performance. Both results could lead to flawed thinking as it relates to diversification of your portfolio and long-term performance. Diversification has a cost and a benefit A well-diversified portfolio will […]
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Why Dave Ramsey is Wrong

By Casey Smith President, Wiser® Wealth Management There is no denying that Dave Ramsey has done a commendable job of bringing back our grandparents’ financial values into popular culture. Many Americans have been poor stewards of their finances and have been saddled with avoidable debt. Ramsey’s advice has helped thousands get back on the right financial track. Even at my own company, Wiser® Wealth Management, we use the debt snowball of Financial Peace University to help right the finances of our pro-bono planning clients. Ramsey […]
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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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