Charitable giving can play an important role in many estate plans. Philanthropy cannot only give you great personal satisfaction, it can also give you a current income tax deduction, let you avoid capital gains tax, and reduce the amount of taxes your estate may owe when you die.
There are many ways to give to charity. You can make gifts during your lifetime or at your death. You can make gifts outright or use a trust. You can name a charity as a beneficiary in your will, or designate a charity as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or life insurance policy. Or, if your gift is substantial, you can establish a private foundation, community foundation, or donor-advised fund. Continue reading “Charitable Giving”
As people move through different stages of life, there are new financial opportunities and potential pitfalls around every corner. Here are common money mistakes to watch out for at every age. Continue reading “Watch Out for These Financial Pitfalls in the New Year”
Women today have never been in a better position to achieve financial security for themselves and their families. What financial course will you chart?
We all know men and women are different in some fundamental ways. But is this true when it comes to financial planning? In a word, yes.
Everyone wants financial security. But women often face unique obstacles that can affect their ability to achieve it. Let’s look at some of these potential headwinds. Continue reading “How Women Are Different from Men, Financially Speaking”
Cash Can Help Manage Your Mindset
Holding an appropriate amount of cash in a portfolio can be the financial equivalent of taking deep breaths to relax. It could enhance your ability to make thoughtful investment decisions instead of impulsive ones. Having a cash position coupled with a disciplined investing strategy can change your perspective on market volatility. Knowing that you’re positioned to take advantage of a downturn by picking up bargains may increase your ability to be patient. Continue reading “Coping with Market Volatility: Cash Can Help Manage Your Mindset”
Financial Peace of Mind in the Age of Coronavirus
The headlines are hard to ignore. Coronavirus (COVID-19)-related cases and deaths are increasing around the globe, supply chains have been interrupted, financial markets are experiencing historic volatility, and businesses are questioning how they will weather the storm.
When it feels like so many things are out of our control, sometimes the best thing to do is focus on the things that are. Here are five questions to ask for some financial peace of mind in the age of coronavirus. Continue reading “Financial Peace of Mind in the Age of Coronavirus”
U.S. savings bonds were once so popular — and so often tucked away — that an estimated $25 billion in matured savings bonds have never been claimed. These bonds have been caught in a prolonged legal battle between the federal government and states that want to take control of the bonds on behalf of their residents.1 Continue reading “Where to Look for Lost Property”
An old rule of thumb said that you could afford to buy a house that cost between one and a half and two and a half times your annual salary. In reality, there’s a lot more to take into consideration. You’ll want to know not only how much of a mortgage you qualify for, but also how much you can afford to spend on a home. In order to know how much you can truly afford, you need to take an honest look at your lifestyle and your standard of living, as well as your income and what you choose to spend it on. Continue reading “How Much House Can You Afford?”
What is it?
If you’re like most consumers, homeownership involves the largest financial transaction you’ll participate in during your lifetime. As such, it’s no wonder that the process of buying or selling a home can be so stressful, frustrating, and, at times, totally confusing. If you want to ensure that you make sound financial decisions and survive the process with your sanity intact, you should first educate yourself about real estate transactions and then engage in careful planning. Your first step should be to ask yourself: “Do I really want to own a home? Continue reading “Homeownership”
You’ve worked hard over the years to accumulate wealth, and you probably find it comforting to know that after your death the assets you leave behind will continue to be a source of support for your family, friends, and the causes that are important to you. But to ensure that your legacy reaches your heirs as you intend, you must make the proper arrangements now. There are four basic ways to leave a legacy: (1) by will, (2) by trust, (3) by beneficiary designation, and (4) by joint ownership arrangements.
Continue reading “Leaving a Legacy”
Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don’t take any money out until you’re ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it? But that’s what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you’re lucky, you may end up with enough money to meet your needs, but you have no way to know for sure. Continue reading “Investing for Major Financial Goals”