Archive - November 2009

1
Your Financial Advisor’s Most Essential Trait
2
Oh My, You Don’t Have a Will?
3
Words of Wisdom Still Apply
4
Five Tactics for Required Minimum Distributions
5
Extension for First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit

Your Financial Advisor’s Most Essential Trait

There are some great checklists for choosing a financial advisor.  The good ones include asking about education, professional credentials, how long they’ve been in the business, and what services they offer.  But some of the most important information you’ll need isn’t on a checklist.  And it’s very hard to find.  You can’t ask it in a question and count on a reliable answer.  Your gut or the financial planner’s other clients might be able to answer it.  But some of these planners might not even have clients yet.  So what is it?

Can you trust the planner?

Because if the …

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Oh My, You Don’t Have a Will?

Many folks that walk into my office for the first time don’t have a will in place.  Maybe I should rephrase that….the folks that walk into my office without a will that they have constructed themselves have a will as prepared by their state.  Dying intestate (without a will) will move the state’s plan into action, which more than likely will not coincide with your own plans or wishes.

Let’s look at a few examples of what a state’s will may include (or not include):

Guardianship Provisions

Since most of my clients have minor children, let’s start with guardianship provisions.  …

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Words of Wisdom Still Apply

John F. Kennedy asked of his fellow Americans in his inaugural speech: Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. This is perhaps more appropriate now then it was when he said it almost 50 years ago.

Currently this country is in a sad state of affairs. Housing prices have tanked and 25% of those holding mortgages have zero equity. The stock market has declined substantially and many people have seen their investments go down 20, 30, 40 even 50% in value. Unemployment is higher than it has been in

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Five Tactics for Required Minimum Distributions

So – you’ve reached that magic age, 70½, and now (well not now, IRS granted a reprieve for 2009) you’ve got to begin taking the dreaded Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your various retirement accounts.  Listed below are a few tactics that you might want to employ as you go through this process.  Perhaps one or another will make the process a little less onerous on you.5 Tactics for Minimum Distribution

5 Tactics for Required Minimum Distributions

1.  Take all of your RMDs from your smallest IRA account. If you have several IRA accounts, you can aggregate the amount of your RMD for the… Read More

Extension for First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit

flash I wrote about this credit’s expiration some time ago, (you can see this post for the original article) – and as anticipated, this past week Congress has opted to stretch out the expiration date for 7 months, through June 30, 2010.  Briefly, this credit provides up to $8,000 in credit for first-time homebuyers who have MAGI less than $150,000 (for married couples – $75,000 for single filers). I haven’t seen any numbers to show what impact this particular credit has had on the housing market – but any impact it has had must have been minimal, albeit positive.  The housing… Read More

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