Things to Consider if You Plan to Retire Before 60

Financially speaking, what moves might you want to make? By choice or by chance, some people wrap up their careers before turning 60. If you sense this will prove true for you, what could you do to potentially make your retirement transition easier? As a start, you may need to withdraw your retirement funds strategically. The I.R.S. wants you to leave your retirement accounts alone until your sixties. To encourage this, it assesses a 10% early withdrawal penalty for most savers who take money out of traditional retirement accounts prior to certain ages. For a traditional IRA, the penalty applies if you withdraw funds prior to age 59½; for a workplace retirement plan, the penalty may apply as

Comprehensive Financial Planning: What It Is, Why It Matters

Your approach to building wealth should be built around your goals & values. Just what is comprehensive financial planning? As you invest and save for retirement, you may hear or read about it – but what does that phrase really mean? Just what does comprehensive financial planning entail, and why do knowledgeable investors request this kind of approach? While the phrase may seem ambiguous to some, it can be simply defined. Comprehensive financial planning is about building wealth through a process, not a product. Financial products are everywhere, and simply putting money into an investment is not a gateway to getting rich, nor a solution to your financial issues. Comprehensive financial pla

Talking to Your Heirs About Your Estate Plan

They should not be left ill-informed or unaware. Talking about “the end” is not the easiest thing to do, and this is one reason why some people never adequately plan for the transfer of their wealth. Those who do create estate plans with help from financial and legal professionals sometimes leave their heirs out of the conversation. Have you let your loved ones know a little about your estate plan? This is decidedly a matter of personal preference: you may want to share a great deal of information with them, or you may want to keep most of the details to yourself. Either way, they should know some basics. Having this talk can become easier when it is a values conversation, not a money conver

When Will the Business Cycle Peak?

As the recovery lengthens further, this is a natural question to ask. This decade has brought a long economic rebound to many parts of America. As 2017 ebbs into 2018, some of the statistics regarding this comeback are truly impressive: *Payrolls have grown, month after month, for more than seven years. *The jobless rate is lower than it has been for more than a decade. *Business activity in the service sector has not contracted since the summer of 2009. *The economy just grew 3% or more in back-to-back quarters, a feat unseen since 2014.1,2 In the big picture, the American economy is booming. These statistics, and others, are so noteworthy that analysts are asking: when will the business cy

Year-End Charitable Gifting

What should you keep in mind as you donate? Are you making charitable donations this holiday season? If so, you should know about some of the financial “fine print” involved, as the right moves could potentially bring more of a benefit to the charity and to you. To deduct charitable donations, you must itemize them on I.R.S. Schedule A. So, you need to document each donation you make. Ideally, the charity uses a form it has on hand to provide you with proof of your contribution. If the charity does not have such a form handy (and some charities do not), then a receipt, a credit or debit card statement, a bank statement, or a cancelled check will have to suffice. The I.R.S. needs to know thre

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