Author: Katherine Plotnik

The SECURE Act Offers New Opportunities for Individuals and Businesses

The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act) is major legislation that was passed by Congress as part of a larger spending bill and signed into law by the president in December. Here are a few provisions that may affect you. Unless otherwise noted, the new rules apply to tax or plan years starting January 1, 2020. If you’re still saving for retirement To address increasing life expectancies, the new law repeals the prohibition on contributions to…
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Closing Gaps in Your Insurance Coverage

Buying insurance is about sharing or shifting risk, but you may think you’re covered for specific losses when, in fact, you’re not. Here are some common coverage gaps to consider when reviewing your own insurance coverage. Life insurance In general, you want to have enough life insurance coverage (when coupled with savings and income) to allow your family to continue living the lifestyle to which they’re accustomed. But changing circumstances may leave a gap in your life insurance coverage. For…
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The Struggle We Face With Aging Parents

Recently we have been helping so many clients deal with their parents and estate planning. Coming to the realization that we need to take extra care of our parents later on in life is one of the most difficult things to deal with. It is hard to talk to anyone about money, let alone your parents. Regardless of whether you and your parents have always talked freely about money or never discussed the subject, there are several considerations you may…
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Hindsight in 2020: What Will You Do Differently This Year?

According to a recent survey, 76% of Americans reported having at least one financial regret. Over half of this group said it had to do with savings: 27% didn’t start saving for retirement soon enough, 19% didn’t contribute enough to an emergency fund, and 10% wish they had saved more for college.1 The saving conundrum What’s preventing Americans from saving more? It’s a confluence of factors: stagnant wages over many years; the high cost of housing and college; meeting everyday…
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How to Give Like a Billionaire When You Don’t Have Billions to Give

Since Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett created the Giving Pledge in 2010, more than 200 of the world’s wealthiest individuals and couples have committed to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropic or charitable causes. Although the Giving Pledge only invites billionaires to join, “it is inspired by the example set by millions of people at all income levels who give generously — and often at great personal sacrifice — to make the world a better place.”*…
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Ten Year-End Tax tips for 2019

Here are 10 things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves between now and the end of the year. 1. Set aside time to plan Effective planning requires that you have a good understanding of your current tax situation, as well as a reasonable estimate of how your circumstances might change next year. There’s a real opportunity for tax savings if you’ll be paying taxes at a lower rate in one year than in the other. However, the window…
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Smart Spending on Christmas Gifts

Tips for Managing Your Holiday Spending

Like almost everything else these days, the holidays have become a barrage of options and choices, with nearly limitless opportunities to overspend. Here are some tips to help you make sure your family’s spending remains in check this holiday season. Develop a spending strategy First and foremost, develop a budget. Involving family members will help you establish and maintain realistic expectations at the outset. Remember to include not just gifts, but also holiday meals and parties, travel, greeting cards and…
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Wrong way road sign

Three Regrets of Retirees

A recent survey found that more than half of retirees have retirement planning regrets. Unfortunately, many of these retirees had to cut back on their lifestyles to compensate for financial shortfalls.1 Considering their most common regrets may help you avoid making the same mistakes. Not saving enough More than one-third of retirees wish they had saved more.2 How much is enough? The amount you need depends on your other sources of income and your anticipated retirement lifestyle. It might be…
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Life preserver

Five Times in Your Life When You Might Need Help With Your Finances

As you move through different stages of life, you will face new and unique financial situations. Did you just get engaged? Perhaps you are wondering how you and your partner are going to manage your money together. Do you have children? Maybe you are looking for ways to pay for their college education. When you navigate through these various life events, you might seek professional guidance to help you make sound financial choices. 1. Getting married Getting married is an…
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Millennials working at coffee shop

Do Millennial’s Need Life Insurance?

The financial challenges millennials face can be overwhelming. Many young adults have to figure out how to pay off college loans, save to buy a home or start a family, and sock away money for retirement. Given these hurdles, it’s no wonder that life insurance as a financial asset gets little to no attention. But it should. There are many reasons to have life insurance at a relatively young age, but here are some common ones. Leaving your debts for…
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