During certain times of the year specific things are on sale. Here is what is good to buy in May:
There will be a lot of Memorial Day sales on mattresses from all of the big box retailers.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day there will be a lot of big appliances on sale. Do your homework for exactly the features you want and do not want in your appliances before you order. Keep in mind, with the supply chain issues, deliveries may be slow.
Did you get Mom something shiny for Mother’s Day? Jewelry stores stock up but if sales were not what was expected for Mother’s Day, there will be big sales for the rest of the month. After all, June is wedding month and that brings a whole different set of jewelry sales.
Do your homework and shop smart!
I know, you are tired of hearing me harp on about cash reserves. You have heard me say a million times it is more important to cover income vs. expenses when building your cash reserves. I am not talking about that. What I am concerned about is actual paper money in your house.
Hurricane season is a mere 5 weeks away, now is the time to start planning. Many people focus on having enough emergency food, batteries, and water, but what about cash? Here is something to think about; let’s say the power is knocked out, the local gas station is running on a generator and you need something. There is a good chance the internet is also down so paying with an app is not a choice. Neither is using a credit card due to the lack of power. If you have paper money, you can get what you want from that store.
Put your paper crown on and have some paper money stashed in a safe place in your home.
Here is another great acronym submitted by a client!
Update your Password list
Update Photos of items of value
Emergency list current and in your wallet?
Sufficient Emergency funds on hand?
Emergency supplies still usable?
Backup phone, ipad, computer.
Update Budget & savings.
Location of “cloud” items; One Drive, Apple, Google, Dropbox
Location of keys for safe, storage unit.
Location of important papers; will, living will, POA.
I have been getting so many calls and emails from clients stating that they are so happy that their investments have done so well, but also cannot understand why they have to pay so much more in taxes this year. There are actually a couple of reasons why.
First, for my clients that have to take Required Minimum Distributions there was a double whammy. First off was the CARES Act which stated In Section 2203 titled, “Temporary Waiver of Required Minimum Distribution Rules for Certain Retirement Plans and Accounts,” those who are typically required to take minimum distributions from their retirement savings accounts will not be required to do so for the remainder of 2020. So no one had to take the RMD in 2020 which allowed the account to grow. When calculating the RMD for 2021, it was on a larger than expected balance.
Second, in 2021 a large number of mutual funds paid record gains:
604 funds are estimating distributions of over 10%;
• 123 funds are estimating distributions of over 20%; and
• 25 funds are estimating distributions of over 30%.
While capital gains are not taxed at the same rate as ordinary income, the gains were generally larger than previous years.
So I am happy to do my job successfully for my clients and don’t like the IRS any more than they do.
We spend a lot of time planning our weddings, where, when, who will be invited, who will be in the wedding party? Then the honeymoon, then real life. Here are a few tips to make the transition from single to married a bit easier.
Put all your cards on the table.
If you don’t already know your spouse’s financial status, or you haven’t shared your own, it’s well past time to have the money talk. Items to discuss are; salaries, current debts, credit scores, and savings habits.
Get specific about your financial goals.
Discuss your short term and long term goals, where you want to live and in what type of house, how many kids you want, when and where you would like to retire. All of these life cycle goals are very important.
Have an emergency fund.
You never know what life will throw at you, but you’re in it together. Now that there’s twice the chance of a job loss, sudden illness or other disaster affecting your balance sheet, you need to make sure you’re using both your incomes to prepare.
As someone who is approaching my 36th wedding anniversary, believe me, these tips matter.
The past two years have made a lot of people take a long hard look at their lives and careers. Many people that I know are thinking about career changes to something that will either make them happier, or give them more free time. Some people are being aged out of their careers, but are not ready to leave the work force so they must look for something different.
Everyone in the above listed situations are asking themselves which direction should they move in, and what will make them happy. Happiness is a vastly under rated virtue that has a huge impact on our day to day lives. When making a career change by choice, you have time to plan. When the choice is made for you, planning becomes an immediate need.
A solid cash flow plan for current needs and retirement is a must. Planning can help take the worry of life changes off the table. Meet with someone like me to make sure your next move will make you happy.
Because FRA (full retirement age) has been shifting later and later for newly eligible beneficiaries, each new group who has turned 62 in recent years will be forced to wait a little longer to start Social Security checks if they want their standard payment. They’ll also have fewer opportunities to earn delayed retirement credits, which can be earned until 70 for each month you delay claiming benefits after FRA.
But this won’t continue forever. In fact, everyone who turns 62 in 2022 or beyond will have the same FRA.
So for anyone who turns 62 in 2022 or beyond, full retirement age will be 67. These seniors must wait until then to avoid early filing penalties. By contrast, those who turned 62 last year could get their standard benefit at 66 and 10 months, while those who hit this milestone in 2020 were able to claim at 66 and 8 months and not face penalties.
But remember, this is all under the current tax laws – we know those are subject to change.
Q: Why should I move my 401(k) from my former employer to a Rollover IRA?
A: First, I am never a fan of leaving money where you no longer are. There can be material changes to the plan or investments and you will potentially not find out about those changes in a timely manner.
Second, if you need funds from your retirement account, a withdrawal from a 401(k) will have a mandatory 20% withholding for Federal income Tax, you may not be in a 20% tax bracket.
Third, the internal expenses in a corporate 401(k) are generally higher than the fees a Certified Financial Planner™ would charge.
Fourth, you will have more investment choices outside of the 401(k).
Take you hard earned retirement savings with you, do not leave it to chance.
As part of our practice we rebalance our client’s portfolios regularly. Everyone, even my clients with a conservative risk tolerance, has some portion of their portfolio in stock mutual funds. Recently I read an article that stated “You shouldn’t own any stocks as a retiree”. This is the wrong advice. If you plan on living any length of time in retirement, you need equities to stay ahead of inflation. We have not had to deal with much inflation over the past 10 years, but we all know it is here now. Everything is costing more. Retirement money shouldn’t just sit in cash. Rather, it should stay invested so it continues to grow. Now you’ll often hear that owning stocks in retirement is a risky move you should avoid. But actually, not only is it OK to hold stocks in your portfolio as a senior, but you should hold stock mutual funds so your IRA or 401(k) can keep gaining value even as you take withdrawals.
But dumping your stock mutual funds completely could cause your nest egg to dwindle faster than you’d like it to.
We have been hearing how short staffed the IRS is and I now have first-hand experience with this situation. We received a letter the other day stating that they are holding a credit balance for us, but we need to file, or re-file our 2020 tax return.
When it comes to our taxes I always pay our quarterlies early, and file our return before the end of March. I have made copies of our original signatures, the full return, and the priority mail receipt returned to us by the IRS confirming receipt of your 2020 tax return.
It is all very frustrating, but nothing to play around with. One interesting note, the credit they state they are holding for us is a bit more than we paid in tax – did it earn interest?