Should You Engage in Tax-Loss Harvesting?
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “what if there’s a way to reduce the taxes I owe when I sell stocks or rebalance my portfolio?” then you should know about the tax-minimization strategy called tax-loss harvesting. It’s important to know...Read More
How Taxes Work on Social Security
You may not know it, but Social Security income is taxed! However, your tax burden isn’t simply a gross income tax, and there are unique factors that dictate your tax rate and overall tax liability. First, not all Social Security...Read More
Striking a Balance Between Tax and Income
In retirement, it’s not about receiving as much income as possible. During your working years, it might be, but when you’re the one paying yourself, it’s important not to turn your hard-earned savings into a large pile of income that’s...Read More
Planning Your Investments? Think About Tax
Thinking about investment strategy may conjure thoughts of stock trading, ticker symbols, brokerage accounts, and investment theses. But one of the most important factors in developing an investment strategy is the tax aspect.There are...Read More
Don’t Wait Until the Tax Filing Deadline: April 18, 2023
Don’t wait until April to prepare your taxes! Tax filing preparation is an important process for individuals and businesses. It is the process of gathering, organizing, and submitting tax documents to the relevant tax authorities. The...Read More
The Value of College in a Technocratic World
As the cost of higher education rises and the competition for spots at top colleges and universities steepens, you might wonder if it’s even worth it to make such a large investment in a college degree. The value of a college degree...Read More
College Budgeting Tips for Your Kids or Grandkids
Budgeting is one of, if not the most important life skill one can learn. As they grow up, you may have been able to teach them valuable budgeting and saving skills, but when they leave home for the first time, often to go to college,...Read More
Financial Aid Forms for Your Kid’s or Grandkid’s College Journey
Financial aid is a key piece of the college puzzle for many families. The sticker price of college in the US has gone up in the past decades, virtually across the board. What that means is financial aid is an increasingly important...Read More
Financial Aid and the 529 Plan
This month, the education community celebrates Financial Aid Awareness Month often by sharing information with students and families about access to federal, state, and institutional student aid. College and higher education costs can...Read More
Qualified Charitable Distributions to Reduce the RMD Tax Burden
When you started out saving for retirement, you may have contributed to an IRA or 401(k) through your employer. In addition, you heard that your contributions were tax-deferred, and you’d have to pay taxes when you reached your 70s....Read More
Reducing Taxes on Investments
Achieving a comfortable retirement often comes down to investment performance and tax burden. However, it’s a tricky task to balance investment gains with a tax-minimization plan. If you expect your investments to perform well, you may...Read More
The Roth IRA as a Tax Planning Tool
Taxes may be one of your biggest concerns when it comes to retirement. Whether you’re well into your retirement or just starting to think about it, taxes can be one of the main factors in maximizing your savings to stretch all the way...Read More
Don’t Have a Taxing 2023
You may assume that there are no more tax minimization strategies to engage in after December 31. While most of your tax-lowering strategies do come before the new year, there are still steps you can take now, and all the way up until...Read More
Give Yourself a Boost Towards Your Financial Goals
For some, especially during these tough market conditions, their retirement investments and savings may have declined. Due to this setback, your retirement timeline may have been pushed back, tightening your budget, making you work...Read More
How to Save for a Major Expense in Retirement
Saving for large expenses, whether in retirement or during your working years, is a tall task. It often requires you to cut back on spending and find ways to maximize your income. However, in retirement, there are some key differences...Read More
You Won’t Reach your 2023 Financial Goals Without Priorities
If you search the Internet for tips on financial strategies, you’ll see many general rules and broad advice that may apply to an “average” retirement saver or retiree. But the truth is, those general pieces of advice rarely apply to...Read More
Assessing Your Financial Goals for 2023
For many, the turn of the new year is a time to self-reflect and make resolutions. There’s no better time to assess your financial goals for the new year and beyond by following proper financial goal-setting practices. Setting...Read More
The State of Long-Term Care: Reflecting on LTC Awareness Month
The 2020 pandemic put the spotlight on the in-facility long-term care (LTC) industry. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities experienced woeful staffing shortages and unsafe practices that put people’s loved ones at high risk of...Read More
How to Choose a Nursing Home
Considering a nursing home for long-term care or elder care is one of the most difficult decisions you and your family can encounter. Whether you have a health risk and planning for a future in a nursing home or are considering a...Read More
How Do Medicaid and Long-Term Care Relate?
Government assistance programs are a common option for people looking for healthcare coverage, especially over the age of 65. However, while Medicare covers a lot, even covering emergency hospital visits at no cost, it doesn’t cover...Read More
What You Need to Know About Long-Term Care and Home Care
This month marks Long-Term Care Awareness Month. We have the knowledge and tools these days to live healthily and happily throughout our lives. But as we age, we need to invest more in our health. That’s why it’s crucial to understand...Read More
Preparing for a Wintery Market with A Helping Hand
When the winter seasons come around, you’ll likely have to adjust your routines and prepare. If you’re in colder states you may be looking to purchase a new winter coat or snow boots, skiing equipment for your winter holidays, or you...Read More
Don’t Get Spooked by Common Retirement Mistakes
This Halloween season, you may be thinking about spending time with friends and family and planning fun Halloween events with them. You may not be thinking about all the nuances of your retirement strategy, but when you think about the...Read More
Are You Prepared for The Costs of Retirement?
Healthcare is one of the largest expenses for people in retirement, but it’s not easy to budget for them. Sometimes, accidents happen, or certain health-related concerns can come out of nowhere. Because of how difficult it can be to...Read More
Medicare Open Enrollment is Around the Corner!
With all this market volatility and inflation, talk about investment strategies and portfolio longevity seems to dominate the discussion on retirement. But one of the most important aspects of retirement is often overlooked: Medicare...Read More
Protecting Your Retirement With the Bucket Strategy
The Bucket Strategy is built to account for your needs at different stages of your life. But putting it into action is easier said than done. If you’re looking to build a retirement plan that’s structured to protect your savings and grow your savings over time, the Bucket Strategy might be for you. Get connected with our team today!
Annuities - A Little-Known Retirement Secret
You’re probably familiar with the classic retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions. But did you know there is a financial product out there that is customizable and can be tailored to your specific risks and financial goals?
An annuity is an insurance-based financial product that takes in payments from individuals and pays them back usually over a long period of time in a flow of payments or a lump sum when a certain event occurs, such as a specific time, age, or if an illness occurs. The insurance company can accept payments over time or in one lump sum as well. The money in it is invested by the financial institution and grows until the date that the payments are to be distributed to the beneficiary or account owner.
An annuity can provide regular payments from a fixed-rate, variable, or indexed annuity.
Fixed-rate annuities often take the form of a singular lump sum that is structured to provide you a set amount of income periodically. It’s not exposed to any market risk, its payout rates are fixed, and its principal value does not grow or decline.
Variable annuities are market-exposed annuities. These annuities have more risk involved and their payout amounts usually factor in the portfolio performance. The amount invested in a variable annuity can grow or decline.
Index annuities are market-exposed annuities but track a diversified index of stocks or equities. These types of annuities are a middle ground between some of the riskier assets that go into a variable annuity and the risk-averse, non-market-exposed fixed annuity.
Though annuities may seem complicated, the basic idea is simple. An insurance company receives a fixed or variable income stream for a predetermined period, or for life, in exchange for money in return.
With your retirement accounts, such as your 401(k)s, IRAs, or Roth IRAs, there are annual contribution limits and age restrictions that are meant to have your money used in a specific way regardless of your unique circumstance. With an annuity, the main benefit is that it is structured to be tailored to your unique needs.
It’s important to know that any guarantees, like interest or market protection, are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.
Are Your Retirement Accounts Prepared for Taxes?
Taxes are one of the most important things to consider when it comes to your retirement. You’ll likely have several sources of income in retirement that can be taxed, such as IRA distributions and Social Security benefits. But is your...Read More
Understanding the Different Types of Life Insurance
Ever wonder what type of life insurance is best for you? It depends on various factors, including how long you want the policy to last, how much you're willing to pay, and if you wish to use the policy as an investment vehicle. Let's...Read More
Commonly Overlooked Healthcare Expenses
Long-term care is generally the most significant question mark when saving the optimal amount for your retirement years. According to Financial Professional Barry Bigelow, “statistically, if you're a married couple, there's a 25%...Read More
Stuck in a High Tax Bracket? Try These Reduction Strategies
Let’s talk about tax brackets. They aren’t straight across the board but graduated based on income, meaning most taxpayers fall into more than one bracket. Current tax brackets are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%, and you could...Read More
How to Allocate Assets when Saving for College
Have you ever considered that saving for college is different than saving for your long-term retirement?Let’s start with the fact that, when saving for college, you’re saving for a specific year (the year of high school graduation)....Read More
Multi-Generational Planning and the Impact of Financial Literacy
Investopedia conducted a survey of 4,000 US adults in January and February of 2022 which included 1,000 individuals from each generation to better understand their financial literacy by generation. Side note: Seeing other generations’...Read More
Making the Most of Your HSA
The average couple retiring today needs a whopping $315,000 to cover the cost of health care throughout their retirement.1 You’ll want to plan for those future health costs. Have you considered that your HSA (Health Savings Account)...Read More
Don’t Let Inflation Stress You Out During Retirement
ForbesAdvisor.com recently reported, “According to a 2020 survey from Allianz, nearly half of Americans are worried that rising prices in retirement will cause basic expenses to be unaffordable once they stop working. But there’s an...Read More
Different Generations, Different Financial Viewpoints
Every generation views their situation differently, from fashion to food to finance, and currently, there are seven defined generations. Let’s see how their views differ on finances and if you line up with your generation.1910-1927 The...Read More
Three Life Insurance Myths Young Families Should Research
For young couples just getting started, new commitments, such as buying their first home or having children, bring with them the responsibility of making sure their loved ones are financially covered. Life insurance can help loved ones...Read More
Enlisting the FIRE Movement to Retire Really Early
Are you considering retiring before your full retirement age? Then you’re a part of the FIRE Movement, also known in long-form as "Financial Independence, Retire Early.” The Movement requires you to accumulate enough wealth to support...Read More
Do You Have a Clear Understanding of Caregiving Costs?
Many Americans underestimate the impact that caring for a loved one can have on their lives, marriage, work, and finances. In a column by Michelle Singletary, a Washington Post columnist, an “AARP study found that three-quarters of...Read More
Where is Your Money Going Inside Your 401(k)?
A 401(k) is a common savings tool for many working Americans. It’s an easy way to save and generally comes with the benefit of employer matching. But are you really clear on where your money is invested and if it’s the optimal place...Read More
Does Your Credit Score Matter After Age 50?
We’ve all seen the commercials for checking your credit score, and some even talk about ways to boost it, but if you’re over 50 and well established, does the number really matter that much? According to the FICO® Score model, the...Read More
ANNUITIES – Why this Might be Good for Your Portfolio
According to Annuity.org, there are multiple reasons Americans are investing billions into annuities. There’s much talk around annuities regarding retirement planning, which leaves the conversation open to a lot of questions and...Read More
Interested in Annuities but Myths Holding You Back?
If the fear of outliving your retirement savings haunts you, then looking into income sources that can keep going as long as you do may not be such a bad idea. One way to potentially alleviate this financial anxiety is to consider an...Read More
Why Even the Healthy People Consider Life Insurance
Insurance gets a bad rap and, as policies go, life insurance might be at the top of the list. But we’d like it to be on the top of your list for another reason. We often think of insurance as a means to paying for funeral expenses, but...Read More
Healthcare Industry and the Necessity for Coverage
Medical liability is a pervasive concern for physicians because of the potential effects of a settlement and the costs of fighting a prolonged and costly legal battle. While laws capping tort damages have been effective in some states,...Read More
Educators Considering Early Retirement
Most of the nation’s teachers and K-12 educational employees are members of their state’s public pension plans. After years of service, these plans have promised a secure retirement for educators and support staff. Unfortunately, a...Read More
Asset-Protection Strategies Worth Knowing
Your first line of defense against potential litigation will likely be insurance in the form of an “umbrella policy.” Your financial professional can help with the right coverage but be prepared for a policy that’s at least equal to...Read More
Talking Tax Benefits of Annuities
An annuity is an insurance product that pays out guaranteed income and can be used as part of a retirement strategy. The income you receive from an annuity can come monthly, quarterly, annually, or even in a lump sum payment. But what...Read More
Long-Term Care Insurance Premium Deductibility
According to IRS Revenue Procedure 2020-45, a couple age 70 or older who both have the right kind of long-term care insurance policy can deduct as much as $11,280 in 2021 an increase of $420 from the $10,860 limit for 2020. Essentially...Read More
IRS Tax Suggestions for New Business Owners
According to the US Census Bureau, there were 430,411 new business applications in January 2022.2 Starting a business sometimes comes with a learning curve that can trip you up, so it makes sense to get as many things as right as...Read More
Have You Created Your Retirement Road Map?
One of the most complex parts of preparing for retirement is thinking about life where working and building income isn’t the main focus. At times you may become so overwhelmed thinking about saving for an unknown future that you end up...Read More
The Complexity of the Telemedicine Rollback
During the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, all 50 states and the District of Columbia transitioned to telemedicine, in part due to state emergency orders that mandated the coverage of telehealth visits and waived requirements...Read More
Talking to Beneficiaries About Your Estate Intentions
It’s no surprise that couples disagree throughout their marriage. For the most part, those differences can be resolved relatively quickly, but common ground can feel very far off when it comes to estate planning. A few critical...Read More
Wills Versus Trusts: Which One is Right For You?
Wills and trusts are both estate-planning tools that can help ensure your assets are protected and bequeathed to your heirs. However, the transfer process becomes more involved when passing wealth to a subsequent generation. We highly...Read More
Who’s Stealing Your Identity This Tax Season?
It’s tax season for you and a veritable identity gold mine for thieves! Empowered with a name and Social Security number, crafty thieves can open credit cards, take out loans, wipe out your bank account and even file a tax return in...Read More
Eight Ways Annuities Can Assist Your Growing Financial Needs
Annuities can be mysterious. You might even feel like they come with a hidden agenda, which could explain why you’re not too interested in adding them to your portfolio. But as we get closer to our 60’s and live longer, now might be...Read More
The 2022 Hidden Taxes that Could Impact Your Checkbook
A combination of rising wages and inflation is threatening to push some taxpayers into higher tax brackets this year, which means you could owe more to Uncle Sam come 2023’s filing season. With inflation at its highest level in nearly...Read More
Looking at Both Sides of the Step-Up In Basis Loophole
Since taking office, President Biden has expressed his intention to close the step-up in basis loophole as a means to debt reduction. For some investors, this causes alarm as they were planning to use this loophole to leave investments...Read More
It’s ID Theft Awareness Month, Are You Protected?
Identity theft isn’t a new phenomenon; however, the face of identity theft has changed dramatically. Over the years it’s evolved with the technology and economic landscape that surrounds it. Understanding your exposure and staying...Read More
Social Security and Spousal Benefits
If you’re getting Social Security retirement benefits, some members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your ex-spouse or spouse may receive a monthly payment of up to one-half of your retirement benefit...Read More
Should Parents Wait to Transfer Wealth to Their Heirs?
Many families have plans to give their children and grandchildren financial gifts when they die, but it might make sense to gift earlier. Making financial gifts during your lifetime can significantly impact their lives, sometimes when...Read More
Are You Prepared For The Upcoming Tax Season?
Happy New Year! It’s a new year, a new you, and a new time to do things differently—like your taxes. Tax-filing season is officially here, and there are many things you can do to be prepared and organized. Here are a few simple tips...Read More
Reasons to Buy Life Insurance When You’re Young
The best time to apply for life insurance is when you're young, healthy, and not likely to need it soon. The reason is simple: The younger you are, the lower your life insurance premium will likely be due to your probable lack of...Read More
Understanding the Different Types of Life Insurance
Ever wonder what type of life insurance is best for you? It's going to depend on a variety of factors, including how long you want the policy to last, how much you're willing to pay, and if you wish to use the policy as an investment...Read More