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financial planning

Principles of Pollex: The Rule of 72/Rule of 78’s

The Rule of 72 and the Rule of 78’s can be useful rules to know in your financial life. One is useful for investments and the other for loans.

IRAs and Blended Families

How does an IRA fit in with your estate planning when there are blended families? Blended families can complicate the planning process.

How a 401k Contribution Affects Your Paycheck

Do you know how a 401k contribution affects your paycheck? Your take-home won’t go down by the same amount that you defer into the 401k.

IRA Options for a Surviving Spouse Under Age 59 1/2

What options are available for distribution of an IRA if you’re a surviving spouse who is under age 59½? You have 3 options…

Financial Counseling and Marriage

Many individuals who are dating and growing closer together learn more and more about the other person. Habits (good and bad) likes, dislikes, and traits all make themselves known at some point in the relationship. Before getting married, many individuals choose to seek counseling. This can help answer questions about whether they are doing the right thing, religious reasons, etc. Some couples choose to continue this counseling into marriage to further strengthen the relationship. Couples may consider seeking financial counseling before marriage as well. Many couples can be reluctant to talk about money or worse, think that the money problems will solve themselves once the marriage starts. Issues such as debt, poor credit, spending habits (both extreme frugality and frivolous spending) are just some of the many items that should be discussed before entering marriage. They are also good discussion points if they are occurring during marriage. As many readers […]

Just Getting Started

At a point in some people’s lives, they conclude they need some sort of assistance with their financial situation. This could be a recent high school or college grad determined to start off on the right track, or those in their mid to late working careers wondering if what they’re doing is the “right” way of doing things financially. In either case, the hope may be to make as few mistakes as possible along the way. When considering this situation, there are a few things to look at first, before moving on to other planning areas. In other words, think of the follow as a good foundation to have before expanding on or continuing your wealth management plan. Emergency Fund. This is the money set aside to pay for non-discretionary expenses that will not go away in the event of an emergency (loss of a job, medical, etc.). Although the […]

Ah, Sweet Procrastination!

There can be significant benefit if you delay filing for Social Security. It might not be the best option for you, but it pays to understand how it works.

Designated Roth Account (Roth 401k) Distributions

Distributions from a Roth 401k can be very complicated. This article goes into the details you need to be aware of to avoid tax where possible.

Things to Consider as You Set Up a SOSEPP

Do you know how to set up a SOSEPP (72t) plan? It’s got to be done correctly, otherwise you’ll face some big problems and penalties.

Index Funds: The Oatmeal of the Investing World

Index funds are similar to oatmeal – providing the essentials that we need, with low costs and no frills. And they’re surprisingly do-it-yourself!

Social Security for the Self-Employed

As a self-employed small business owner, you have lots of plates to keep spinning, and lots of additional costs that you never dreamed of when you were employed by someone else (if you ever were), like health insurance, for example.  Another cost that you have to deal with when self-employed is Self-Employment tax. Self-Employment tax (SE tax) is essentially where you are paying both the employER and the employEE portion of the Social Security withholding tax.  This means that, for 2018, you are taxed at a rate of 12.4% on your first $128,700 of income (double the rate you’d have withheld if you were employed by someone else).  This doesn’t count the 2.9% that you also have to withhold for Medicare tax – which is another matter altogether. With this in mind, you might wonder if there are ways that you could reduce the Self-Employed tax…?  One way might be […]

The Benefit of a Budget

Having a budget can be an integral part of ensuring your financial success. And it doesn’t have to be a burden, it can turn into a fun process!

Social Security’s PIA – What is this?

Do you know what PIA means, with regard to Social Security? It’s a very important number, the basis of many if not all important calculations.

The Importance of IRA Custodial Documents

Most of us don’t pay attention to or even read the custodial documents that we receive when we open an IRA. It could cost you…

Wash Sale Rules

If you sell an investment at a loss, you need to be careful about how you re-invest the money so that you can avoid the wash sale rules.

Reasons #12 & #35 That You Might Need A Financial Advisor

What are the reasons that you might need a financial advisor? They vary by individual, but there are common needs that many folks have.

Transitioning to a Financial Planning Career

Every once I a while I will be asked to give my opinion on some logical steps to take when pursuing a financial planning career. This post may be beneficial for individuals who are entering the financial planning profession right out of college or are looking to change careers. Some are steps to take and others are questions to ask yourself and others along the way. What is it about financial planning do/would you enjoy? It could be client-facing meetings, technology, back-office work, or a combination. And you may not know until you try your hand at several things. Ask some current planners or even your own. The point is to find an area that you enjoy and work to get better at it. Find the right firm. Will you work for an RIA or broker-dealer? What type of firm do you want to align with? This could mean starting […]

Disclaiming an Inherited IRA

Disclaiming an inherited IRA must be done with caution. There may be many reasons to do this, and there are many ways to mess it up.

Life Moves Pretty Fast…

In the classic 80’s movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ferris Bueller says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” In other words, life happens. That’s why it’s important to meet with your financial planner to see if anything has changed, and if there’s anything that needs to be done to assist with those changes. The reason it’s important to meet with your planner is that he or she can ask questions and propose situations that you might not even be aware of or think about. A recent example would be how the new tax law affects your situation. Another example would be a child that is going to college, a job change, death, divorce, or 2018 being the year you plan to retire. A financial planner will be able to provide another set of eyes to your situation […]

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