Does your financial planner advise you on the tax impact of your financial decisions as well as help you with tax saving strategies? If not, you should consider finding one who does. Here’s why your tax advisor should be your financial advisor.Read More
Savant offers perspective on a variety of topics. Entries range from current events to timeless insights in the world of finance and investments.
There are a number of important decisions that most people must make when reaching their 60s. One, of course, is when to begin receiving Social Security benefits. Another has to do with Medicare. These two benefit programs, and their claiming strategies, are inextricably linked.Read More
Crafting a great estate plan can be a fascinating exercise, yet most of us never quite get around to it. Perhaps it’s a bit like a challenging recipe: start with a natural reluctance to contemplate your own demise, sprinkle in some unique family dynamics, season liberally with ever-changing tax laws and fold in that one heir you’re not quite sure about. Is it any wonder we procrastinate?Read More
If you split your time between an Illinois residence and a Florida residence one common question is, “Can I change my residency to Florida to avoid Illinois state income tax?” The common answer is, it depends.Read More
At the beginning of every new year, there are many opportunities to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead. Whether or not you have made New Year’s resolutions in the past, consider making at least one this year: Resolve to create a budget and stick to it.Read More
Good money management skills are not something you are born with; rather, they are acquired over a lifetime of successes and failures. Giving your children a weekly allowance is a great way to give them experience with money and get them on the path to successful money management as an adult.Read More
As we enter what feels like an unprecedented new year of volatility, market pressure, and uncertainty, many investors are on edge. Fear can cause many to lose their better judgement. In these moments, it is critical to focus on the long term and resist the temptation to try to time the market. Let’s sort through the noise, and put some of this recent volatility in perspective.Read More
Cost basis is a crucial piece in determining how much gain/loss from the sale of an investment will be reported on your tax return.
Despite cost basis being so important, required accurate reporting of cost basis by custodians has only been in effect since 2011 for stocks (and 2012 for mutual funds).Read More
Certain events in your life are happy and planned – graduations, getting that job, and having a child. Other significant events may be sudden and unexpected – disability, divorce, and premature death. We call these “life’s critical events.” They happen to each of us, albeit not at the same time or in the same magnitude, but the associated financial consequences can be considerable.Read More
If you are anything like me, your friends are a very important part of your life. I am very blessed in that I have a large group of friends from high school.Read More
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.Read More
There you are, in your mid 40’s, working hard and raising your family. Have you had the conversation with your parents yet? Have you received the email from mom and dad telling you that it’s time? When is it time to discuss their finances in preparation for the day when one or both of them are no longer around or able to manage their affairs?Read More
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!Read More
With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday just around the corner, the holiday shopping (and giving) season officially begins this week.Read More
Recently, my family and I watched home videos until 11 PM; these were old snippets of tapes (about an hour and a half’s worth) that we had converted over to DVDs a few years ago.Read More
Bear Market or Not? What To Do
“Panic is not an investment strategy,” says Liz Ann Sonders, Chief Investment Strategies with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.Read More
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.Read More
As a parent, you want to protect your child from harm. However, it is not always easy to foresee what the future may hold for them. As the saying goes, sometimes the best defense is a good offense.Read More
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.Read More
Did you know that women are more likely to give to charity, tend to give more to charity, and are more likely to volunteer compared to men?
Based on survey results published by Fidelity Charitable, women are also more likely than men to seek advice from professionals when making decisions about their charitable giving.Read More
On August 16, 2018, we lost a national treasure. Aretha Franklin, a.k.a. the “Queen of Soul,” passed away in Detroit at the age of 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer.¹ What is not too surprising is that Franklin will join the long list of celebrities who died without a will, including, most recently, Prince.Read More
As the old saying goes, “there are only two things certain in life – death and taxes.” Because everyone has to face these realities sooner or later, taking time to implement certain tax planning strategies and create or review your estate plan, can save you money and provide peace of mind, both now and in the future.
First, let’s talk taxes.
While we all have to pay our dues to Uncle Sam each year, there are several planning strategies that can helpRead More
Becoming a first-time parent is both exhilarating and exhausting. For new mothers especially, it can be frightening. Caring for a newborn adds so many new things to worry about. As a new mom myself, I’ve experienced this firsthand. From the moment we brought our son home, I worried about whether he was eating enough, sleeping enough, and, dare I say it, pooping enough.
In addition to new worries, I oftenRead More
Are you an owner or employee of one of America’s 28 million small businesses? Are you a stay-at-home mom that has a “side hustle”? Do you work full time but have a “side gig”?Read More
We may not consciously think about it, but how we handle our finances from day to day is based on our deeply held beliefs about money. By acknowledging our personal habits, we can open up about our beliefs, our fears, and our dreams.Read More
The financial services industry is having a conversation. At the center of this conversation are women: women in financial service provider roles and women as investing clients.
Depending on which metrics you are tracking, it is reported that only one in four financial advisors are women.Read More
With all the buzz around “tax reform” and changes to the tax code in the last several months, you may be wondering, should I still prepare my own taxes? Or is it time to consult with a tax professional?Read More
At least once a year I like to reflect on my own personal financial planning. I think about what I did well and where I can improve financially. I prefer to evaluate my financial planning at the beginning of the year because I feel more comfortable implementing any needed changes and starting the year off on a strong financial note, but there is never a better time than right now to review your own plan.Read More