October 8, 2015

A new survey says yes. Is it telling the whole story?

 

A new study asserts that women feel uncomfortable discussing financial matters. The latest Money FIT Study from Fidelity Investments is generating some conversation within the financial industry. The investment giant commissioned an online poll of 1,542 female participants in its retirement plans, and 80% of the respondents indicated that talking about money matters was “too personal” or “uncomfortable” for them, even if the other party was someone they knew closely.(1,2)

   

If this were 1965, this kind of response might seem reasonable ... but in 2015?

 

Keep in mind that this was an on...

October 1, 2015

Are you underinsured, or not insured at all?

 

When was the last time you looked at your life insurance coverage? Why not do it now? Life insurance can be a remarkable utility as an estate planning and tax-saving tool. Whether you have no life insurance, or you haven’t reviewed your policy in a while, it is always a good idea to be aware of your options and be prepared.

 

About 40% of Americans have no life insurance. LIMRA, an insurance industry group analyzing insurance trends in the U.S., recently found that among men and women, ownership of life insurance policies has hit its lowest level since 2004. LIMRA’s study shows 39% of men without eve...

September 23, 2015

How bad is financial illiteracy today? So bad that your children may be at risk of making some serious financial mistakes. Some are finding that talking to children about finances has become less about the nuts and bolts of money and more about putting money’s importance to our daily lives in the correct context.

 

Women at particular risk. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that only 45% of working women ages 21-64 have a retirement plan. The DOL also notes that more women work in part-time jobs, and are more likely to interrupt their careers to take care of family, whether that be raising children or looking after parents. Some of these pat...

August 14, 2015

Six signs that you are in good shape. 

 

How well off do you think you are financially? If your career or life takes an unexpected turn, would your finances hold up? What do you think will become of the money you’ve made and saved when you are gone?  

 

These are major questions, and most people can’t answer them as quickly as they would like. It might help to think about six factors in your financial life. Here is a six-point test you can take togauge your financial well-being.  

 

Are you saving about 15% of your salary for retirement? That’s a nice target. If you’re earning good money, that will probably amount to $10-20,000 per year. You ar...

June 16, 2015

 

Who should inherit your IRA or 401(k)? See that they do.

 

Here’s a simple financial question: who is the beneficiary of your IRA? How about your 401(k), life insurance policy, or savings account? 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.

 

Your choices may need to change with the times. When did you open your first IRA? When did you buy your life insurance policy? Was it back in the Eighties? Are you still living in the same home and working at the same job as you did back then? Have...

April 1, 2015

It isn’t always top of mind, but it should be.

 

How many of us save and invest with an eye on tax implications? Not that many of us, according to a recent survey from Russell Investments (the global asset manager overseeing the Russell 2000). In the opening quarter of 2014, Russell polled financial services professionals and asked them how many of their clients had inquired about tax-sensitive investment strategies. Just 35% of the polled financial professionals reported clients wanting information about them, and just 18% said their clients proactively wanted to discuss the matter.1

   

Good financial professionals aren’t shy about br...

March 10, 2015

These estate planning tools may also help in exit planning.

 

Discover a pair of underappreciated exit planning vehicles. Charitable remainder unit trusts (CRUTs) and charitable remainder annuity trusts (CRATs) are commonly seen as estate planning tools. What frequently goes unseen is their value in exit planning for business owners. 

  

Does it look like you will sell your company to a third party? Do your “second act” or “third act” goals include financial independence, philanthropy and leaving significant wealth for your heirs? If you find yourself answering “yes” to these questions, a CRUT or CRAT may help you accomplish those objectives...

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