When it comes to investing our hard-earned savings, it’s difficult to remove emotion from our decision making, especially as those savings fluctuate up and down with the market. For most people these assets are grown over decades through saving and hard work – how could we not be emotionally attached? Especially when considering retirement assets, a portfolio can feel like a member of the family; they’ve seen the good times and the bad, from the job we loved to the one we didn’t, from our youngest child’s wedding to our first health scare. However long you’ve been invested, it’s likely that you know the feeling of watching the markets drop and the inevitable sinking stomach feeling. Perhaps that feeling and the corresponding worry stayed with us longer than it took for the market and our portfolios to recover and now informs our current financial decision-making. Why then, can few of us mark the moments in time when our investments grew significantly and we celebrated their success?
When winter melts away and springtime flowers start to bloom, your first thought is that tax filing season is around the corner, right?
If that’s just us, that’s ok, because we’re reminding our clients of a few things they can do to reduce their previous year’s tax bill. We prefer, however, to be more proactive with tax planning, so let’s talk about what you can do now and throughout the year to plan for your next tax bill.
Signed into law at the end of 2019, the SECURE Act poses potentially significant changes to most Americans’ plans for retirement and estate planning documents. SECURE stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, and it went into effect on January 1st, 2020. The goal of the bill was to address what some are considering to be a national retirement crisis.
Picture this scene: your child’s friend is over at your house, they’re playing on the trampoline and things are getting a little rowdy. Your child’s friend lands wrong, breaks their ankle and is rushed to the hospital. Their parents, who had always been pleasant and seemingly reasonable, now blame you for the incident and have decided to sue you for negligence. Without an umbrella policy in place, you face significant risk to your assets and financial security.
According to an article by Forbes, the average total cost of a four-year degree is now over $100,000, more than double, even when accounting for inflation, than it was 30 years ago. Perhaps even more shocking, the total college price tag grew nearly eight times as fast as wages over the same period. Working your way through college is nearly impossible and it’s no secret that student loans make up the largest slice of non-housing debt in the U.S.
So how do you plan for and advise your child as they weigh their post high school graduation options?