Finances are complex. Trying to navigate the right actions to take can be difficult when there is contradictory advice everywhere you turn. Searching for the right financial advisor to help can be just as overwhelming. You may have a general idea of what you should be looking for, but may not entirely understand why or how to find the right person for you. As a starting point, here are 3 tips to narrowing your search for a financial advisor.
The IRS requires you to pay tax throughout the year as you earn income. If you are an employee, your employer withholds income tax for you based on your instructions on Form W-4. If you are self-employed, you may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid a penalty at the end of the year. It’s usually a good idea to review your withholding at the beginning of the year or after life changes to avoid any surprises at tax time.
Whether by volunteering their time or by making charitable contributions to their favorite organizations, many people start to think about helping others around the holidays. If you are looking to give financially, here are a few strategies you can implement to reduce your taxes.
Open enrollment is the time of the year when most employers allow employees to make changes to their workplace benefits. It can be overwhelming when your employer gives you what may seem like thousands of options with limited time to pick the "best" option, whatever that means. Instead of feeling anxious about all of your choices, focus on the big decisions you need to make and work through them one by one.
When you hear that a firm offers “comprehensive financial planning” what exactly does that mean? You likely know that a financial advisor can tell you how much you should be saving for retirement and how best to pay down your debt. You probably know that your advisor will manage your investment accounts and help you decide when to claim Social Security. But do you know how much else a financial advisor can truly help with? Here is a quick overview of some questions you may want to ask your financial advisor.
In my last blog post, I explained the basics of the different types of retirement savings accounts. You may understand your choices, but which type of account is best for you to contribute to? Should you choose Roth or Traditional contributions? How much should you contribute? Which investments should you choose? It’s impossible for anyone to give you all of the right answers to your questions without knowing your specific situation, but here I'll outline some of the most common questions I’ve heard and some things to think about to help you arrive at the best answer for you.
Maybe you’ve heard that you should be saving for retirement, but you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you are already saving, but you don’t understand all of your options. The general idea of a retirement account is to put away money to grow so that you can use it when you need it for expenses later on in life. Sounds pretty simple, right? Yet there isn’t just one type of retirement account and not everyone has access to all types of accounts. Each account has different contribution limits and some work better than others in certain situations.
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the flowers are blooming. Spring has arrived. It’s that time of the year where all of your clutter seems to have multiplied and you’re ready to grab a duster and get busy. As you are rummaging through your kitchen, you may find the pot you forgot you had, and as you finally organize your closet, you may find that shirt you thought you lost forever. In addition to our homes, our finances could use some spring cleaning as well. In between all of your dusting and organizing, take the time to follow these five tips.
Health Savings Accounts, also known as HSAs, are powerful, triple-tax-advantaged savings tools. Contributions to HSAs are tax deductible, grow tax-free, and can be withdrawn tax-free as long as they are used for qualified medical expenses as defined by the IRS. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Employees love when employers give them a raise, provide unique employee benefits, or pay for perks. The more that your employer pays for, the better, right? No...not necessarily. There is an expense that is more beneficial for you to pay for yourself.
Are you overwhelmed with the many financial decisions you need to be making to get on track in the year 2018? Listen to this video as I review 12 financial goals that you can implement for each month of the year.
There are many valid concerns people have about talking with a financial advisor. Chances are if you aren’t having these concerns now, one of these thoughts has at least crossed your mind in the past. Maybe you’ve heard about negative experiences from friends or family, or maybe you’ve worked with an advisor that led you to think a certain way about all financial planners. Instead of ignoring it, let’s talk through each reason you may not want to talk with a financial advisor.
In this blog post, I will write about why a 529 plan contribution may be the best gift you can give your child. I will discuss the minimum contribution required in the State of Michigan and different ways you can choose to fund your plan. I will also give some advice on how to determine how much money you should be contributing to a 529 plan to meet your goals.
If you read our previous blog post, you'll know that 529 plans offer unique features that make them extremely valuable for college savings. Deciding to open a 529 plan is only the first step; you then have to decide which plan is best for you. There are three fundamental decisions you need to make when first enrolling in a 529 plan.
One of the most important goals a parent has is saving for his or her child's college education. Though there are several vehicles for college savings, the tax benefits of 529 plans make them a tool every parent should consider. Before investing in a 529 plan, it may be helpful to know a few key things.
With our complimentary skill sets (Erik as an investor and me as a planner), we have always talked about one day starting a financial planning firm together. I don't think either of us knew quite how soon "one day" would be.