Archive - August 2017

1
Are You Ready To Be A Landlord? Five Questions You Need to Answer
2
Divorced with Children? Social Security Benefits for You
3
529 vs. Life Insurance
4
What is the Best Way to Save for College?
5
Investing Mistake: Paying Too Much In Investment Vehicle Fees

Are You Ready To Be A Landlord? Five Questions You Need to Answer

In the military, we face this decision more than most folks.  We buy a house because we intend to stay in it for a while.  We hope that we can hold it long enough to actually have prices rise over time, then either rent it or sell it for a profit.  Then life gets in the way.  We get an unexpected set of orders.  Exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.  Career-enhancing, but life-altering.  As we get used to the new reality, we start to think:  “Am I ready to be a landlord?”

When real estate prices go down, sometimes …

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Divorced with Children? Social Security Benefits for You

There are special rules that apply for Social Security benefits when you are divorced with children. While the ex-spouse is living, there is a discriminatory effect on benefits, but after the ex-spouse dies, a surviving ex-spouse with children under age 16 has one advantage over a surviving ex-spouse with no children. (The age of the child is not a factor if the child is permanently disabled and the disability began before age 22.)

During the life of your ex-spouse

Beth and Steve are divorced with children, three kids under age 16. Steve, age 62, started receiving Social Security benefits this …

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529 vs. Life Insurance

Over the past few weeks I have been asked (and pitched) the idea of whether cash-value life insurance makes sense as a vehicle for saving and paying for college. By cash-value life insurance, I am including whole life, variable life, universal life and variable universal life policies.

First, in almost all cases, it does not. The very few cases where it may make sense will be covered shortly.

Here are some reasons why a 529 college savings plan is better than cash-value life insurance.

  1. 529 plans have very high contribution amounts. Depending on your state, the total amount you can
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What is the Best Way to Save for College?

As long as you start early or have enough income to pay for college, it doesn’t matter how you go about it, right? No! The method you choose or account type can have a huge impact on your out of pocket costs. Below is a comparison of four different ways to handle college costs.

4 Ways to Pay for College 1. Section 529 Plans

The money contributed to these accounts generally grows tax-free if the funds are used for college expenses including tuition, fees, books and room and board for many students.

2. Investment Savings Account

The earnings on these …

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Investing Mistake: Paying Too Much In Investment Vehicle Fees

There can be great value in the sage advice of a fee-only fiduciary advisor. Even if they brought no value for their investment management, they could still bring great value for their help in comprehensive wealth management.

While a competent financial counselor can bring value, an expensive investment product cannot.

Given two S&P 500 funds, the fund that charges less in fees and expenses allows investors to keep more of the underlying returns. A small difference in returns has a large affect over long periods of time.

Imagine two investors who each take our advice and …

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