As a new year approaches, it is important to create yourself a year-end-check list so you can start the new year stress-free.
Let’s ask a question that seemingly has an obvious answer. Why is estate planning important?
First of all, when many hear the term “estate planning,” they quickly envision those who own mansions, various real estate holdings, large stock portfolios, expensive toys and priceless heirlooms.
Please, put that stereotype out of your mind. Everyone should have an estate plan or a will.
There are several reasons, but let’s touch on the most important. Your wishes are carried out, and you can prevent or discourage fighting among potential heirs by spelling out what each beneficiary will receive.
You decide—not a court, and thereby prevent the ugliness that could easily follow.
Many folks understand this, but common mistakes can surface, thwarting your intentions. And they can surface after it’s too late for you to do anything about it.
Capitol Hill is producing more drama than Hollywood.
We've got bold statements, ultimatums, cliff-hangers, and confusing sequels.
We've even got folks paddling up to Senators' party boats to discuss tax reform.
Let's recap what we know with some educated speculation about what could happen next.
In late 2019, the president signed the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act into law.
Required minimum distributions (RMDs) for employer-sponsored plans and IRA accounts were raised from 70 ½ years to 72 years old. It was a welcome change. The act also included smaller changes that aided workers in saving for retirement.
But the SECURE Act also changed the rules which govern inherited IRAs, or so-called stretch IRAs. The change in this provision was more controversial because it required faster distributions, at least in most cases.
Although the changes are recent, Congress is already considering what many are calling SECURE Act 2.0. As the bill winds its way through Congress, there is no guarantee of passage. But it enjoys widespread bipartisan support, and both the Senate and the House have drafted similar bills.
The devil is always in the details, but I am monitoring progress and believe now is a good time to provide a high-level overview.
Please feel free to check in with your tax advisor on tax-related matters.
Are you on track to retire comfortably? What are your financial goals? How much income will you need to generate each month when you have retired? What might be some of your longer-term goals outside the financial arena, but goals that would be aided by a larger pool of savings?
Our regular check-ins with clients are designed to measure progress toward their goals, making adjustments as life’s journey unfolds. Saving for retirement is a long game; It’s a marathon. You could compare it to the fable The Tortoise and the Hare. A sprint won’t get you to your destination. Slow and steady progress will.
Unfortunately, 75% of Americans receive no professional assistance for this long haul. In my view, that’s simply unacceptable. It leaves far too many folks exposed to the many financial pitfalls that are lurking. As Ben Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
Following are seven ideas and concepts we encourage on a regular basis so that you can stay on track.
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