Giving to a charity is easy, right? You write a check and send it off to your favorite 501(c)(3) organization, and get a full deduction for the amount on your tax return, up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.
The big question in Europe this year is how the British people will vote on June 23. Will they vote to leave the European Union (what’s being called the “Brexit”) or decide to continue to be part of the 28−nation economic alliance?
April 24, 2015
By Ben Steverman for Bloomberg News
If you want a consistent stream of income when you retire, you’ve probably heard about a few familiar investment strategies. A dividend-paying stock gets you a regular cash payout from a company while letting you participate in the stock market’s upside. Municipal bonds are safely backed by governments, and their income usually isn’t taxable. But after years of low interest rates and rising stock markets, these once-conservative strategies might actually be putting investors in risky situations. Here’s where these income investors are going wrong: They invest too narrowly.
When online investment firm SigFig analyzed 300,000 investors’ portfolios, it found that people who are focused on income––rather than growth––are getting most of that income from just a few sources. Of income investors over the age of 40, 52 percent are getting their income entirely from three or fewer dividend-paying stocks. Thirty-one percent are relying on only one dividend-paying stock.
October 3, 2014
By Ed McCarthy, CFP
At times it seems like the main focus of retirement planning is on numbers. Consider the frequent surveys that evaluate retirees’ or near-retirees’ readiness—the results usually evaluate how much money the survey’s participants have saved versus their expenses.
Sock away enough dough or cut your expenses sufficiently and you’re in good shape to pursue your retirement dreams; fail to save enough and you better brush up your barista or shelf-stocking skills.
The numbers are important, of course. But what if you reverse the process: Identify the clients’ goals first and then configure the financial resources needed to support those goals? That’s the basic premise of life planning, a financial counseling approach developed by George Kinder, CFP. Life planning has gained acceptance largely through Kinder’s books, seminars and certification training for financial advisors.
December 27, 2013
By Beth Jones, RLP®, AIF®, CFT™
Life is full of changes
What do a lottery winner, lawsuit recipient and a widow have in common? Sudden money ― and sudden, similar emotions. While it may seem their experiences are polar opposites ― one is a “celebratory” experience and another involves deep grief ― both result in shared emotions. Shock, surprise, loss of identity and self-esteem, guilt, confusion, overwhelm, dramatically altered relations with friends and family. Other transitions which can elicit similar emotions are divorce, retirement, sale of a business, loss of money or a loved one. Life transitions are a time of change ― “what was” no longer exists and “what will be” has not yet taken shape. By definition, a transition is a temporary state. One of the keys to a successful transition is to take the time to re-examine your sense of purpose and consider your new choices in light of your highest life goals. Working with a financial planner trained by the Sudden Money® Institute in Financial Transition Planning can provide the needed guidance and structure to handle this time effectively.
August 3, 2013
By Beth Jones, RLP®, AIF®, CFT™
Whether you call it budgeting, or a spending plan, it can be a tedious task that we only do when absolutely necessary. If the word budget makes you cringe, call it a spending plan. Having the “black and white” read on your finances gives you power in your quest for financial freedom. It’s time for each of us to take control of our own financial future. There are some things we can do to protect ourselves and get through hard times. One of the most powerful ways to deal with economic fears is to take action.