When it comes to getting help with your money, you want to work with someone you know, someone who knows you and your financial needs, someone that you trust. Establishing that type of mutual understanding doesn’t happen immediately; it takes time to discover how advisors and their firms do business. Of course, making those discoveries can be difficult and uncomfortable. How do you know what to ask? What are appropriate questions?
How do you know if you’re on track to meet your financial goals if you do not know your present situation? I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “going from point A to point B”, but most of us will need to pack our bags before we map our course so that we are prepared for the trip and are ready when we arrive.
A little over 1 year ago, I published a blog post right here where I discussed the Dow reaching 20,000 for the first time ever, and some thoughts on how to handle stock market highs.
Here we are a year later, and the Dow recently closed above 26,000. So, according to my math, a rough 23% decline (a true bear market) would take us all the way back to...2017. Last year. If the Dow dropped 23% tomorrow, it would be about where it was just a year ago.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have become a popular extension of health insurance plans over the last 10 years, and will likely continue to grow in popularity. You've probably heard of them...maybe you even have one. But did you know that most account holders vastly underutilize their benefits? If you (or anyone in your family) has medical expenses at any point in the future, and you prefer to pay less in taxes, you may be one of these people.
I've heard countless clients tell me how they 'failed' at retirement. They enjoyed it for the first three weeks or even three months, then yearned to return to work. They were not ready for it. In some instances, I take blame for this as I did not adequately prepare them for this new freedom. The freedom to do what they wanted, when they wanted. The successful ones were ready for this new way of life, as they had already practiced via a trial run what they were going to do. The unsuccessful ones didn’t. They did not plan.
To increase your odds of a successful retirement, here are a few things to keep in mind as you contemplate this new way of life:
My family may be a lot like your family. We have a doctor, nurse, lawyer, therapist, professor, corporate executive, electrician, engineer, project manager, consultant, public employee, designer, and many more across the occupational spectrum. I wrote this article so that it applies equally to all of them.
A bit of background: During our family reunion this year, which we held in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, I was asked to provide some financial planning advice to our family of 35. Unfortunately, this never happened given we were all intent on other activities. Had I had a chance to replay the week, here is a list of 10 items I would consider as financial hacks of sorts that presumes one is already doing the obvious to prepare for retirement:
If you've been following the news the past several months, particularly the financial news, odds are you've heard the word "fiduciary" a few times. Specifically, the Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule has been the subject of much press. As the client of an advisor, friend of an advisor, or simply someone who likes to keep up with the financial landscape, it is important for you to know what this rule means. But the rule is also complex and in a state of flux, so we'd like to share this update from our July newsletter, in which WealthPoint President Brent Walker outlines the DOL's Fiduciary Rule and how it may affect you:
Last Friday, Equifax, one of the major credit reporting bureaus, issued a press release announcing that on July 29 it had discovered "unauthorized access" to data belonging to as many as 143 million U.S. consumers. We have compiled some information that we hope may help you understand what happened and what to do next.