Buying a home is a long-term commitment, so it’s not surprising that older Americans are much more likely than younger people to own their homes “free and clear” (see chart). If you have paid off your mortgage or anticipate doing so by the time you retire, congratulations! Owning your home outright can help provide financial flexibility and stability during your retirement years.
Even if you still make mortgage payments, the equity in your home is a valuable asset. And current low interest rates might give you an opportunity to pay off your home more quickly. Here are some ideas to consider.
Continue reading “Home-Sweet-Home Equity”
An estimated 145 million Americans own real estate investment trusts (REITs) in their retirement accounts and other investment funds.1 The primary appeal of REITs is the potential for a consistent income stream and greater portfolio diversification. Of course, like all investments, REITs also have risks and downsides. Continue reading “Real Estate for Income and Diversification”
Financial aid is essential for many families, even more so now in light of COVID-19. How much do you know about this important piece of the college financing puzzle? Continue reading “Test Your Knowledge of College Financial Aid”
In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation included a provision that allowed qualified retirement plan participants and IRA account holders to take penalty-free early distributions totaling no more than $100,000 between January 1 and December 31, 2020. If you took advantage of this measure, here’s what you need to know for tax filing. Continue reading “Tax Filing Information for Coronavirus Distributions”
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”