Archive - 2017

1
You Not Updating Beneficiaries May Haunt Your Heirs
2
Recharacterizing
3
What Is The Sharpe Ratio?
4
Common Estate Planning Mistakes People Make
5
Five “No Brainer” Moves to Strengthen Your Finances

You Not Updating Beneficiaries May Haunt Your Heirs

Investopedia outlines the many reasons it is so important to update the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts. Whether you update your beneficiaries right after a major life change or go over this information periodically with a Fee-Only financial advisor, this is not something you want to ignore.

You may already know that you need to check to see who your beneficiaries are if you divorce, remarry, or have a child and that if you don’t designate someone, the courts will decide. But have those of you leaving money to charity checked periodically to make sure the charity is still …

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Recharacterizing

For IRA contributions, the concept is simple:  a certain amount may be contributed to the account each year, dependent upon the type of IRA and your MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income).  But what if you find out that you are ineligible to contribute to a Roth IRA due to the MAGI limitation?  How about if you made contributions to a Trad IRA and, upon filing your taxes found out it would be in your best interest to put those funds in your Roth instead?  Enter the Recharacterizing.

Recharacterization of IRA Contributions

This is a relatively simple process, but, …

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What Is The Sharpe Ratio?

The “excess return” is the expected return of an investment minus the expected return of a so-called risk-free, guaranteed investment return.

For example, if you expect an investment or a portfolio to have a mean return of 9% and a standard deviation of 12% in an environment where a so-called risk-free, guaranteed investment has a return of 3%, that investment or portfolio’s Sharpe Ratio would be 0.5. The calculation is simply (9% – 3%) / 12%.

The Sharpe ratio is a quick measure that tries to answer the question, “Am I getting enough extra return for my extra risk?”

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Common Estate Planning Mistakes People Make

“Mortality never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor” – Aldous Huxley

A Rocket Lawyer survey in 2014 indicated that 64% of Americans did not have a will. If you’re one of them, then this is a must-read.

The most common way to transfer assets to your heirs is also the messiest: to have a will that is so out-of-date that it doesn’t even relate to your property or estate anymore, to have your records scattered all over the place, to have social media, banking and email accounts whose …

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Five “No Brainer” Moves to Strengthen Your Finances

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM)

 

Here are 5 “no-brainer” moves you can make before year-end to strengthen your finances:

  1. Taxes: NJ AND NY RESIDENTS ALERT: If Congress pushes through tax reform that eliminates state and local tax exemptions, many NJ and NY residents (along with MA and CA residents) will be hit with tax increases. One estimate says NJ residents, for example, will need to pony up an additional $3,500 per year in taxes. Look into prepaying a portion of your 2018 property tax by 12/31/17 and front load charitable donations intended for 2018 into 2017. Your
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