Archive - 2019

1
Teachable Moments at Thanksgiving
2
The Ten Commandments for Strong Financial Health
3
Which Comes First: Student Loans or Retirement?
4
529 Plan Beneficiaries
5
Married? Get into Retirement Planning Before Losing a Spouse

Teachable Moments at Thanksgiving

As people prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, some are looking forward to it and waxing poetic about family togetherness while others are just going to try to grin and bear it. Here is another approach: think about the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to help younger relatives prepare for a better financial future. It can be a teachable moment.

Whether it is your own children and grandchildren or your nieces, nephews, and cousins: “As Thanksgiving approaches, you have the ability to influence young people to save and invest now — not to put that off until some later day.” 

This advice …

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The Ten Commandments for Strong Financial Health

Here are the Ten Commandments for achieving strong financial health.

The Ten Commandments:

  1. KNOW HOW IS YOUR ADVISOR IS PAID. It really does matter because the quality and kind of advice you receive is a result of how your advisor is paid. The best model for receiving investment and financial planning advice is the Fee-Only Advisor model because this kind of advisor has a Fiduciary obligation to put your needs first. Other types of advisors and brokers do not necessarily need to put your needs before their own.
  2. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO PLAN. It’s never too late to benefit
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Which Comes First: Student Loans or Retirement?

People go back and forth debating whether or not to save for retirement or pay down debt. Both are financial priorities and while it is possible to put some money towards both, some people want to know whether or not to concentrate on one or the other.

In “Here’s why you should make paying off your student loans a priority over saving for retirement,” Washington Post finance columnist Michelle Singletary writes:

 “If you’re struggling under the weight of student loans — human behavior being what it is — pay off the debt as soon as you can …

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529 Plan Beneficiaries

Owners (usually parents) of 529 plans set them up for the purpose of funding future college education expenses for beneficiaries (usually their children). However, 529 plans allow for beneficiaries other than the owner’s children. Beneficiaries may be changed on 529 plans at the owner’s discretion.

Who qualifies as a beneficiary for a 529 plan? According to IRS Publication 970, the following may be beneficiaries of 529 plans:

  • The account owner.
  • Son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, adopted child, or a descendant of any of them.
  • Brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister.
  • Father or mother or ancestor of either.
  • Stepfather or stepmother.
  • Son
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Married? Get into Retirement Planning Before Losing a Spouse

Kiplinger.com offered advice for married women who may need to do some retirement planning, mentioning this “sobering reality” – “Most widows feel unprepared to make key financial decisions in their live-alone years.” While it isn’t pleasant to think about death, married people do have to consider they may need to continue without a spouse: not simply emotionally but financially as well. “Thus, it’s extremely important for women to empower themselves with the tools they’ll need to take ownership of their financial future.”

If your spouse is in charge of finances, you need to make sure that you know where …

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