Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb
Creating a comprehensive financial plan is not an easy task—if it was, everyone would have one. It's about so much more than setting aside a portion of each paycheck for retirement. It's about creating a plan for the life you'll live after you stop working and covering all the bases so you can feel confident that you're setting yourself up for success. In order to create a rock solid financial plan, we recommend discussing the following topics with your financial adviser. Tax Planning
As financial advisers, we often hear questions from family, friends and new clients about when to start saving for retirement. The short answer is, the sooner the better. So whether that means you can start after getting your first job or 20 years into your career, it's never too late to start preparing for retirement. With that in mind, here are a few things you can begin thinking about today to strengthen your financial plan and begin saving for retirement no matter what your age is. Your 20s: Save, Save, Save
The days are getting shorter and the summer heat is beginning to die down now that Labor Day weekend is upon us. Soon enough we'll be bombarded by pumpkin spice everything, Halloween decorations and holiday gifts will be stacked on the shelves of stores far before we're ready to purchase them. With this weekend being the unofficial start of fall, we thought we'd put together a few ways you can stay financially responsible this fall. Plan Ahead for Holiday Shopping
Earlier this year, anyone with money in the stock market was likely feeling a pinch after watching the S&P 500 drop by over 300 points in February. And then after a brief recovery period, we saw the markets take another hit in March, which led many investors to become concerned that we were on our way to yet another stock market crash. But what exactly is a stock market crash and how is it different from a correction?
Many of our clients have children that they either were able to help, or wanted to help, get an education. And that value on education and helping their families doesn't usually end at the second generation, but continues on to the third, or even fourth. But times have changed since their children were in school. Tuition prices have hiked, savings strategies have evolved and there are hundreds of options for programs and degrees that weren't always available for their own kids.
When we think about saving for retirement, we usually do so by addressing that time in our lives as one, long, happy period. In reality, most people experience retirement in multiple phases. The first phase covers the early years of retirement. Retirees are still young, active and crossing off their "bucket list" items. All that fun tends to come with a bigger price tag so we tend to see new retirees spending go up.
Estate planning is an often overlooked element of financial planning. And we get it. It's easy to put off because it can be morbid and often doesn't kick in until late in our lives, but it's an important piece to be thinking about for those of us who want to make sure our families are provided for.
Close your eyes and picture your ideal retirement. Some of you are probably on a beach, others maybe touring Europe and a good number of people probably are thinking of family get-togethers, surrounded by kids and grandkids. But we'd bet that one thing you aren't imagining is paying a big tax bill.
In our experience, nearly everyone would like to have more money. Whether it's for showering friends and family with gifts, donating to favorite causes or getting around to those projects around the house you've been putting off, everyone could use a little extra cash. It's also been our experience that one of the quickest ways we can help people see more money in their bank accounts is not by creating new income streams, but through tax planning.
Before you get too upset by our headline, hear us out. We are in no way saying not to have an Health Savings Account (HSA) or to never use it, but we are saying to save your HSA dollars for after you retire. To start, here's exactly what an HSA is.