21 Dec
December 21, 2019

Do you hear what I hear??? It’s new legislation coming out of Washington this Christmas season!  Heading into the New Year the Federal Government has just released legislation that will have far reaching implications for nearly all individuals.  You may have heard rumblings of something called the SECURE Act throughout the year.  It passed with near unanimity in the House back in May but was met with a frosty response once it moved to the Senate. 

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19 Dec
December 19, 2019

You may have spent the last 30 years (or more) working tirelessly and are now beginning to realize that retirement is staring you right in the face. All those years of saving, putting your kids through college, and delaying traveling with your spouse are now over (oh wait – maybe that’s just me and my spouse? Please don’t tell her). It’s now time when these goals, whatever they may be, start to become a reality.

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11 Dec
December 11, 2019

Taxes are complicated and so is retirement. When you combine the two, it can get a bit overwhelming. The silver lining is that people who are retired, or are on their way to being retired, have some incredible opportunities to implement tax savings strategies that could benefit them for the rest of their lives. Here are five Tax-Smart Retirement strategies to consider.

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26 Nov
November 26, 2019

In 1954, renowned management consultant Peter Drucker wrote a book called The Practice of Management, in which he introduced a process known as management by objectives (MBO). MBO was a simple yet groundbreaking way for business managers to define and convey specific objectives to the organization’s team members, as well as to prioritize these objectives and achieve them on time.

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30 Sep
September 30, 2019

As a financial advisor, it’s easy for me to focus on helping people who I perceive to need it the most. These individuals tend to be close to retirement (1-3 years) or already in retirement. Most know them as the “Baby Boomer” generation (commonly born 1946-1964). At the same time, there’s a huge push in the media to discuss, and sometimes even criticize, the millennial generation (commonly born 1981-1996) for loving to spend $8 on avocado toast (crazy, right?!).

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02 Jul
July 02, 2019

What is Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation or NQDC?

Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation, or NQDC, is compensation that has been earned by an employee but has not yet been transferred from the employer to the employee. Because the employer still has ownership of the compensation, it is not included in the employee’s earned income and therefore is not considered taxable income. This allows an employee to postpone or defer compensation and receive it sometime in the future, usually for purposes of retirement income.

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25 Jun
June 25, 2019

According to a recent study done by Fidelity, the average total costs of healthcare for a retired couple, aged 65 and living until ages 85/87, will be $285,000!¹ When people think about their retirement goals, they often overlook the expenses associated with keeping up their health. Being aware of your options and how you can fund this goal in retirement can help mitigate the possibility of having to give up your current lifestyle.

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20 Jun
June 20, 2019

As more women work “side hustles” outside of their regular employment (e.g., Uber, Postmates, Task Rabbit, etc.), there is an opportunity for them to establish their own Solo 401(k) plan, defer taxable income, and save for retirement.

A Solo 401(k) plan consists of an employer contribution and an employee contribution.

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01 Apr
April 01, 2019

Beginning in 2018, many individuals and families lost the ability to fully deduct charitable donations as an itemized deduction. This is due to the doubling of the standard deduction and the limitation of many itemized deductions as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. For those over age 70½, a qualified charitable distribution can be a great way to make a charitable donation in a tax-efficient manner.

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05 Dec
December 05, 2018

Which is a better way to save for retirement—in a traditional or Roth retirement account? At a glance, it may be difficult to know which savings option makes the most sense. Choosing the best account for your stage in life and tax bracket can impact your future account balances at retirement.

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28 Nov
November 28, 2018

Recently I encouraged a female family member, a new college graduate, to take advantage of her employer’s retirement plan at her first “real” job. She responded that her future husband would take care of that. Note that she was single at the time of our conversation!

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04 Oct
October 04, 2018

When people think of retirement, obvious things come to mind: Did I save enough to be able to achieve my goals in retirement?  How much am I able to spend?  What happens if we experience another recession?  Although those are very important considerations, few take the time to examine their emotional well-being and how it will affect their daily life/routine when they retire.

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01 Oct
October 01, 2018

Social Security plays a key role in many Americans’ retirement plans. Understanding the benefits available in different situations is important, especially for women. According to the Social Security Administration, the median earnings for women are approximately 80% of men’s earnings.

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16 Nov
November 16, 2017

Planning a wedding takes quite a bit of time and effort. It involves a good deal of coordination and communication to make sure everything goes smoothly on the big day. Don’t let the organization skills you developed while planning your wedding go to waste after tying the knot. Instead, re-direct them to an important part of your new life together: creating a financial plan for your future.

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17 Oct
October 17, 2017

Retirement plan trigger events (death, disability, separation from service, or reaching age 59 ½) come with an opportunity. If you have company stock in an employer-qualified retirement plan, you may have an opportunity to elect net unrealized appreciation (NUA), allowing you to roll your company stock into a taxable account for potential tax savings.

Potential Tax Savings with NUA

Electing NUA is trading ordinary income tax rates for capital gain tax rates.

When an NUA election is made, only your cost basis (the

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29 Mar
March 29, 2017

There is usually some permanent damage done when you lose someone you love. Most of the time, this comes in the form of grieving for that special person. From the benefit of time, the intense grieving usually fades away. Survivors are left with the burden of surviving, and, financially speaking, sometimes there is little available to help.

When Social Security was passed in 1935 it was strictly a benefit for retirees. It wasn’t until 1939 that a change was added to

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13 Mar
March 13, 2017

The news tends to over-dramatize the subject matter on which it is reporting. All too often this results in strong opinions or flat-out false statements. When it comes to Social Security benefits, the most common opinion I hear is that Social Security is going broke. It’s the elephant in the room as nervous clients jokingly comment that these benefits cannot be counted on any longer.

Social Security benefits are not going bankrupt.

It has been and still is in a

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03 Nov
November 03, 2016

Six out of ten self-employed individuals are not making regular contributions to their retirement savings, according to a 2015 survey conducted by TD Ameritrade. What is interesting is that self-employed individuals have perhaps more retirement options than any other type of worker.

If you are self-employed, there are many options that may allow a tax savings opportunity, as well as a vehicle to reach your retirement savings goal. In many cases, you are allowed to make contributions to your plan under

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01 Sep
September 01, 2016

Retiring or changing employers is a big transition for most people. One way to maximize this time of change is to utilize a unique opportunity to roll your 401(k) monies from your old employer’s plan into an IRA. Doing so provides you with more flexibility and control over your retirement savings.

When leaving an employer you generally have three options for your 401(k) monies:

Leave your funds in the 401(k) plan
Take a direct distribution of the funds (penalties may apply if you

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19 Jul
July 19, 2016

Many in the financial media tout the benefits of the early paydown of the home mortgage as one of the best financial strategies a family can implement. Unfortunately, this is one of those cases in which the rule of thumb can be completely wrong, particularly when it is not adapted for individual circumstances. Similar to consulting with a doctor before starting an exercise regimen, families should consult with a qualified financial professional before launching an accelerated mortgage paydown

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04 Jan
January 04, 2016

Ben Franklin once said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.” The beginning of a new year often leads us to examine our lives and find ways to battle vices.

While many of our goals for the New Year may be physical in nature, there are many parallels between our physical and financial well being. When I think of financial goals, I divide

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24 Nov
November 24, 2015

Yesterday I was in the mood for some good milk on my cereal. You know the kind: the milk that costs more but has that rich flavor. I bought some with a new box of my favorite cereal and returned home to enjoy my breakfast. The second I began to pour, I knew something was wrong. The consistency was off. I looked more closely at the label:
“buttermilk.” How could I have done that? The packaging had looked right;

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09 Nov
November 09, 2015

Have you asked yourself where your paycheck will come from in retirement? Once taxes  are considered, will it be enough to live the way you want? For most of us, starting and ending our career with the same company is a thing of the past, as are the days of pension checks funding the majority of our retirement.  For better or worse, most of us now bear the responsibility for our own retirement planning and determining how our savings will

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12 Oct
October 12, 2015

When the markets decline, it’s natural to want to sell equities. It’s hard to watch your account values go down and listen to your advisor telling you to be patient. Although selling equities when they are down is a bad decision, there are things you can do to make the most of a downturn. A Roth conversion is one possible way to take advantage of declining markets.

A Roth IRA is a retirement savings vehicle that grows tax-free. Withdrawals are also

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