When a Windfall Comes Your Way

When a Windfall Comes Your Way

A first-world problem, and nothing more? Not quite. Getting rich quick can be liberating, but it can also be frustrating. Sudden wealth can help you resolve anxieties about funding your retirement or your children’s college educations, and newfound financial freedom can lead to time freedom – greater opportunity to live and work on your terms.

Annual Financial To-Do List

What financial, business or life priorities do you need to address for 2014? Now is a good time to think about the investing, saving or budgeting methods you could employ toward specific objectives. Some year-end financial moves may prove crucial to the pursuit of those goals as well.

What Women Should Not Retire Without

When our parents retired, living to 75 amounted to a nice long life and Social Security was often supplemented by a pension. How different things are today!  The good news is that life expectancy for women – as measured by the Centers for Disease Control – is now 81.1 years. The Social Security Administration estimates that the average 65-year-old woman today will live to age 86.  Given these projections, it appears that a retirement of 20 years or longer might be in your future.

Legacy Planning for Women

Women often become guardians of family wealth. Many women outlive their spouses, and have the opportunity to have the “final say” (from an estate planning standpoint) about the wealth they have built or inherited. Legacy planning is essential for single women and couples, too, as one or two successful careers may leave a woman or a couple with a significant estate.

Understanding the Markets

Understanding the Markets

If you stopped most people on the street, you’ll find they have only a hazy understanding of what most financial and economic terms signify or reference. If you’ve ever been left dizzy by the jargon of the financial world, here is a brief article that may help clarify some of the arcana.

Setting Up Your Estate to Avoid Probate

Probate subtly reduces the value of many estates. It can take more than a year in some cases, and attorney’s fees, appraiser’s fees and court costs may eat up as much as 5% of a decedent’s accumulated assets. Think tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps more.  So how you can exempt more of your assets from probate and its costs? Here are some ideas.

The Right Beneficiary

Here’s a simple financial question: who is the beneficiary of your IRA? How about your 401(k), life insurance policy, or annuity? You may be able to answer such a question quickly and easily. Or you may be saying, “You know … I’m not totally sure.” Whatever your answer, it is smart to periodically review your beneficiary designations

Annual Financial To-Do List

What financial, business or life priorities do you need to address for 2013? Now is a good time to think about the investing, saving or budgeting methods you could employ toward specific objectives. Some year-end financial moves may prove crucial to the pursuit of those goals as well.

Major Risks to Family Wealth

All too often, family wealth fails to last. One generation builds a business – or even a fortune – and it is lost in ensuing decades. Why does it happen, again and again? It is because families fall prey to serious money blunders – old and new. Classic mistakes are made, and changing times aren’t recognized.

Financial Considerations for 2013

We are now in plain view of the “fiscal cliff”. After the election, Congress may or may not end up keeping income and estate tax rates at their recent levels. Next year may bring some notable financial developments, and it isn’t too soon for households to think about them.

Identity Theft Warning Signs

According to data compiled by Norton, cybercrime hits over 74 million Americans annually. You know you have been victimized when you get that courtesy call or email from a bank or credit card issuer - but is there a way you can tell prior to that moment?1 There are warning signs of cybercrime. Watching out for them just might save you money and headaches. If you notice any of the following conditions, pay attention.

Looking at the New Estate Tax Laws

With 2013 approaching, many families and their financial, tax and legal consultants are weighing major estate planning decisions. A short-term window of opportunity may be closing. The relatively low estate tax rates we have now may soon disappear, along with one of the largest federal tax breaks available in decades.

The Retirement Reality Check

Decades ago, there was a popular book entitled What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School. Perhaps someday, another book will appear to discuss certain aspects of the retirement experience that go unrecognized - the “fine print”, if you will. Here are some little things that can be frequently overlooked.