Long-Term Care Options

November is long-term care awareness month, so we’re revisiting this challenging subject.  The national average cost for a private room in a nursing care facility costs over $102,000 per year. Depending on the level of your assets and income, you may elect to self-insure, spend down your assets and rely on Medicaid, or purchase long-term care insurance.  Traditional long-term care insurance benefits seem to be decreasing while the cost of coverage increases. Often people with more limited assets and income may rely on Medicaid to cover their long-term care expenses. Whether you are single or in a committed relationship, it […]

The Elections

If you’re worried about how the upcoming elections could impact the markets, you’re not alone. This year’s election is likely to be more contentious than the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore (a process that took over five weeks to resolve and saw the S&P 500 drop more than 8%). Numerous lawsuits have already been filed in state courts by both parties and we’re weeks from election night. With an expected increase in mail-in ballots, we won’t likely know the winner until days after the election. Even after that, we could see legal challenges that could take […]

Things to Look for When Buying a Retirement Home

Retirees enjoy the freedom to move wherever they desire without a job or young family tying them down to their current location. Retirees often move during retirement, with a decent portion moving out of state. However, there are many things to consider before you book those movers and sell your house. Before selecting your dream retirement home, consider some of these things to help save you time and money down the line. Your Budget:Regardless of age, amenities play an important part in choosing a new home. Make a shortlist of what you need and want. Think about fitness, community activities, proximity, and maintenance. […]

Spring Cleaning Your Finances

Most of us find ourselves stuck at home while we continue to practice social distancing measures. Consider using your time at home to work on spring cleaning your financial picture. Like many others, you may have several “to do” items that you have been too busy to complete or forgot about entirely. With so much uncertainty about the stock market, employment, and the general state of affairs, you might not want to spend a lot of time looking at your investments, budgeting, or related items. There are, however, plenty of other things you can do to help improve your financial […]

Updates for your Finances due to the Coronavirus

The first day of spring has been the last thing on the minds of many as the country and world brace for the coronavirus. In an effort to provide a financial backstop for individuals and the economy, state and federal governments have been implementing new policies and changes to existing timelines. So far there have been changes to tax filing deadlines, student loan payments, leave from work, and unemployment insurance. Tax Changes The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) have a website in place to help people keep updated with changes to tax deadlines. You can visit the link here. As […]

Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

While the recent coronavirus fears are sending shockwaves throughout the stock market, bond rates have been improving. According to Mortgage News Daily, current rates for 30-year mortgages are 3.34% nationally (rates posted online as of February 24th – Bit.ly/2VWD4Gq). While you may have a low rate on your current mortgage, you may want to consider evaluating your refinance options to lock in potentially lower rates. How do you know if a refinance makes sense? Keep in mind that there isn’t a set amount that rates should decrease before you refinance. Someone with a $200,000 mortgage might need to see rates […]

What the SECURE Act Means for You

As of January 1st, 2020, many changes from the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act of 2019 became effective. Some of the more notable changes that could impact your financial future involve the following: Some of the major changes include: 1) Required minimum distributions (RMDs) Start at 72, not 70-and-a-half 2) Traditional IRA Contributions are allowed after 70-and-a-half 3) changes to the rules on inherited retirement accounts 4) new allowence for adoption / birth expenses 5) changes in 529 plans RMDs starting at 72: The new law only applies to the people who turn 70-and-a-half  after December […]

Estate Planning: the Basics

Estate planning in its simplest terms is passing your assets to your heirs as quickly and tax-free as possible. Assets can be transferred via wills, ownership, by contract (beneficiary arrangements), and trusts. The best way to ensure that you have everything covered is to meet with an attorney. Regardless of the complexity of your financial situation, your attorney will most likely start you with a basic estate plan. The basic estate plan typically includes the drafting of your will, powers of attorney for health care and finances, as well as living wills. Wills – I have encountered many excuses for […]

Holidays Don’t Need to be Bank-Breaking

For many of us, autumn is filled with outdoor activities, spending time with extended family, and the start of an expensive holiday season. Before you hit the mall on Black Friday or make your online purchases on Cyber Monday, consider these tips for getting the most out of your holidays while minimizing your expenses. 1) Setting a budget – Before the holidays begin, consider creating a list of everyone for whom you would like to buy a gift and then assign a dollar amount as a target for each person. Make sure that the total value of all of those […]

Retirement Income Rules of Thumb

If you’re casually wondering if you’re on the right track for retirement, you can use some simple math to help determine how you’re doing. Normally, I’m not a fan of rules of thumb because so many variables are at play and retirement is so personalized. That said, this can give you some idea of what you’ll need for retirement income. How to determine your income needs – Take an estimate of your total expenses and modify those for changes you expect in retirement (such as more travel, fewer commuting expenses, greater healthcare costs, etc.). After you get that total, subtract […]