Whenever I facilitate a conversation about inclusion, I usually begin with this image. If you pictured an “Indian” or an “Eskimo,” you are not alone. This is a frequent response I’d receive in these discussions. One could argue the facial profile seen here does resemble Native American features, but most of us, in North America, quickly conclude the “Eskimo” as our answer because we were taught that Eskimos wear parkas with fur lining. If you glance again at the image above, you will notice, we never do see a face, therefore we cannot conclude anything about who is wearing the […]
Financial Planning in the Internet Age: 5 Tips to Protect Your Money Online
As internet use has taken over our daily lives, there’s been an unfortunate side effect. That’s a vast increase in fraud, enabling scammers to access consumer accounts and money. And it’s not just more of it that’s the problem. Scammers are getting better at it. As part of your financial planning, we want to arm you with our best tips on internet security to ensure that you avoid being the next victim. Over 56 billion reasons to pay attention – Today’s online fraud is big business. It costs Americans about $56 billion a year, according to a Javelin Strategy […]
How Will the New SECURE Act 2.0 Impact Your Retirement?
New laws, new opportunities The 2019 Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act altered the nation’s retirement-saving landscape. A follow-up package, SECURE Act 2.0, takes the changes even further, plus has many new additions. In this article, I’ll discuss how you can utilize these new opportunities to strengthen your own financial preparation for retirement. You’ll have more control over taxes with RMD changes – The SECURE 2.0 Act changed a wide variety of retirement regulations, with many changes impacting Required Minimum Distributions (commonly referred to as “RMDs”). If you’re unfamiliar with this term, RMDs are amounts you must […]
Critical Estate Planning Tips for Same-Sex Couples
If there’s been one silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that it has motivated many people to prioritize estate planning. That’s important because if you die without an estate plan in place, your assets may not end up where you want. The taxman may also take a much bigger bite than needed. These issues potentially impact everyone. However, with fewer children and sometimes contentious family issues, estate planning is even more critical for same-sex couples. Marriage Isn’t a Magical Panacea The recent recognition of same-sex unions has, of course, helped couples realize tax savings and other legal benefits. While it […]
The Trouble with ESG Investing
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing has become increasingly popular. According to Morningstar, over $51 billion flowed into this investment strategy in 2020.[i] That’s not a surprise, given the prospect of no longer having to choose between our values and making money. Unfortunately, while developments are promising, there’s still much work to be done to consider ESG a viable investment strategy. In fact, ESG seems to have more gray areas than green ones, so it’s critical that you know exactly what you’re buying. If you’re interested in ESG investing, here are some issues to consider. Lack of a universal definition […]
With the Stock Market Near All-Time Highs, What’s Your Next Move?
Despite the pandemic and its severe financial shockwaves, the US stock market is up significantly over the last 18 months; however, the economy is still technically in a recession. The Business Cycle Dating Committee, a panel that acts as the official referee on the US economy, has not yet named an end date for the 2020 recession. These contradictory messages, combined with rising inflation and increased government debt, lead many to think that we may be on the brink of a major downturn. As wealth managers for decades, we’ve learned that no matter how strange the market may seem at […]
Talking to Your Heirs About Money
One issue for people as they age is communicating with their heirs about the inheritance they could receive. Some people are uncomfortable talking to their heirs about money while others are concerned that their heirs could become lazy while they wait on a windfall. Talking with your children early about money in general and later about the money they might inherit can help your heirs become more responsible with the money they’ll receive. Here are some resources to get you started: This article from Kiplinger does a good job of outlining the importance of these conversations and some steps to […]
Are You Ready to Retire?
We’ve seen an increase in clients asking us if they can afford to retire. While some could have retired years ago, many are clients who are looking to move up their retirement date. This sudden interest in retirement is likely due to the pandemic; clients have experienced growth in their net worth from reduced spending combined with a strong stock market and are feeling COVID fatigue. If you’re also considering retirement in the near future, know the answer to these questions before taking the leap: What do you want to do in retirement? The first step that I […]
Social Security Income
When considering Social Security income, most people think it best to take the income as soon as possible. In most cases, this would be starting their income at age 62. While this strategy works for some, there are some other options to consider. You can begin receiving individual Social Security benefits anytime between ages 62 and 70. Your benefit amount will differ, however, based on your full retirement age. This is based on your year of birth and ranges from age 66 for those born 1948-1954 to age 67 for those born in 1960+. The maximum benefit depends on the […]
Will this Game Stop?
Summary Smaller investors are making a big impact on Wall Street by joining together to buy companies such as GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, and Nokia. The targeted buying is hurting Hedge Funds shorting these stocks, creating a short squeeze. The “short squeeze” is helping drive up these companies’ stock prices to astronomical heights. Currently, Hedge Funds are the biggest losers, but if stock prices reverse, there could be a ripple effect. If you’ve been monitoring the news recently, you’re likely to have heard something about a company called GameStop. While there have been further developments this past week, this article will […]