Member Blogs

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  • Rebalancing enforces a discipline to sell when prices are high and buy when prices are low.
  • In “Redefine Retirement with New Lingo” we discussed boomerang entrepreneurs, a term for people who start businesses one the retire from their previous career. While the term may be new, this idea is not new at all.  Many people, including George Washington, the first president of the United States, decide to get into new entrepreneurial ventures [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. George Washingtons Senior Citizen Startup is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Financial life planning matches your values with your money. Many people are discovering that their financial journeys are even more fulfilling when they align their plans with their values. These investing, spending, and giving strategies could help you grow your nest egg while also putting your values in action.
  • Michelle Singletary of The Washington Post offered advice for what may be a tumultuous tax season for some people and a “supersize list of some of the issues people will face this year” in “Tax season 2021: A tornado is coming.”  Really, you do not have to fear if you have already been working with [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Do Your Research to Avoid Tax Season Tumult is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Don't Fall For It

  • Spring is just around the corner, so our minds turn to cleaning up and getting ready for new growth. Moreover, tax documents are arriving daily, bringing a fresh focus to simplifying our financial lives. Here are a few ideas to make your financial life better this year, by cleaning up credit cards, bank, retirement, and The post Spring Cleaning for Your Finances first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • The dream of a debt-free retirement, while compelling, isn’t the norm. Many pre-retirees plan to carry some debt, notably, their mortgage, into their golden years. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies’ 2019 survey found that 46% of homeowners ages 65-79 had a mortgage—a steep increase from 24% back in 1990. While not uncommon, mortgage debt in retirement is an important financial consideration, and as such, requires a reliable plan to help you balance your other financial responsibilities. At Step by Step, we build mortgage debt in our approach to retirement income planning. This line item is always accounted for in the planning process, whether the funds are used for your mortgage or repositioned for long-term care, health needs, or other retirement expenses. Today, we’re exploring the elements that...
  • Meaning. Purpose. Challenge. It's obvious that happiness in retirement depends on a lot more than doing crosswords on the beach all day long. You might focus on building good habits, or on launching your new business. Or you might just decide to give back by becoming a mentor.
  • The Federal Reserve cuts the federal funds rate to reduce the price of money to encourage borrowing and discourage saving. Their goal is to get more money into the economy rather than sitting in the bank.
  • As a champion of holistic financial decision making and financial planning since 2004 that believes in putting the client’s needs first, Clarity Financial Planning wants you to consider both love and money this Valentine’s Day. And we don’t just mean romantic love because there are other types of love that can affect your financial habits. [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. The Connection Between Love and Your Money Mindset is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Lisa Phillips on buy low renting high
  • Finding the right mix of happiness, meaning, and psychological richness is an ongoing process. You might find that the emphasis you place on each shifts as you progress through various transitions, and particularly as you near retirement. Live the best life possible with the money you have.
  • News headlines have been saturated with the story of the rising GameStop stock. Nearly everywhere you turn, one media outlet or another is discussing how it happened and spreading conjecture about its potential long-term impacts. We felt it imperative to address our clients about this nation-wide stock frenzy and help put your mind at ease. Our investing approach at Step by Step is built on a firm foundation, one that carefully assesses your risk preferences, time horizon, and goals . Day trading trends and get-rich-quick methods aren’t in our wheelhouse. It’s critical to understand these fundamental differences so you can find confidence in your investments and your financial plan at large. What happened with GameStop stock and will it affect your finances? Let’s explore these ideas together. The GameStop stock...
  • Cathy Hughes is the first African American woman to run a media company that is included in the U.S. Stock Exchange and her path to this achievement was not a simple one. Hughes’s company, Urban One Inc., houses a number of brands including Radio One, TV One, iOneDigital, and CLEO TV. She is an inspiration [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Women in Business: Cathy Hughes of Urban One, Inc. is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Stock valuations are high by historical standards. At the start of every year, experts come out in force to predict the direction of the stock market in the coming year. For most investors, the best strategy is to have an investment strategy that matches your personal situation and stick with it. This is easier said The post Investing in 2021: Will the Market Be Up, Down, or Sideways? first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • Family is one of the most beautiful and precious gifts given. The bond you build with your family lasts a lifetime and can add meaning, depth, and fulfillment to your life. For many people, their family members are scattered across the country as they construct careers and start families of their own. Many retirees consider moving closer to their grown children and grandchildren, making that move a central component of their retirement plan. While the idea of shared birthday celebrations, cheering from the sidelines, and regular family dinners seem like a natural extension of your life, there are several elements to consider before packing your bags. Today, we are going to explore the intricacies that come along with moving closer to family in retirement. Does the location fit your retirement needs?If your family is there, what else is left to consider? It turns out, there are a whole host...
  • In case this is on your mind, I thought Id write to you about what I see as going on AND explain how/when we use nontraditional investing tools at ProsperiTea Planning. Primarily, you need to know that we are NOT a hedge fund and this does NOT affect you. What makes something a hedge fund? [] The post Market Update: What just happened with Game Stop, and does it affect you? appeared first on ProsperiTea Planning - Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® - Greenfield, MA .
  • Fear of missing out, or, “FOMO,” is one of the biggest traps in the investing world. It’s always been a problem, whether we’re talking about the proverbial, “shoeshine guy,” giving out stock tips right before the crash of 1929, or the country club one-upmanship on the golf course, hearing about other people making what appears to be easy money provokes envy, which reduces our ability to think clearly & make rational decisions. This week we’ve been introduced to a subreddit called, “WallStreetBets,” and how its activity has affected the stock prices of GameStop (GME) & AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC). Now, if you still don’t know what Reddit is, or what subreddits are, count yourself lucky. You are not missing out. My social media has been blowing up with discussions, and I use that term in its loosest possible sense, on how to take advantage of it, how to figure out options trading, how not to miss out the, “next time,” or, probably worst of all, whether there...
  • What are the pros and cons to using a robo-advisor? Who needs a comprehensive financial planner, and what are some alternative options?
  • We don’t have tips on that one thing you absolutely must invest in because everyone knows it is sure to bring big returns. Your investment choices depend on a number of factors including: how much you have to invest, your age, your tolerance for risk, and your values. What we can do is look at [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. What is Your Long-Term Investment Strategy? is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Between two professional credentials that each need a lot of continuing education, plus family vacation time, youll find that Wendy works in weeks-long surges but is frequently out of the office in between. Thats okay, were planners, were good at this! Heres what happens: Wendy is the only one who can create trade proposals if [] The post Wendy’s Vacation Conference Schedule for 2021 appeared first on ProsperiTea Planning - Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® - Greenfield, MA .
  • We just finished one of the most tumultuous years in modern history. A global pandemic. Widespread civil unrest tied to policing and racial justice. A disputed presidential election marked by hyper-partisanship. Despite these challenges, the year demonstrated resilience of people, institutions, and financial markets. The 2020 global stock market with selected headlines*. (Click the graph to enlarge)Investors []
  • Donald Trump was impeached for a second time on Jan. 13, 2021. For investors, could this historical move (plus an impending Senate trial) affect the markets? A look at past presidential impeachments may help determine the answer.
  • Federal and State Income Taxes are often the largest expense for a household. Therefore, we recommend paying regular attention to tactics that will minimize each year’s taxes, as well as strategies to minimize lifetime taxes. The rules about these accounts, and therefore the strategies to use them, are many and varied. In today’s post we The post Tax Planning: Asset Location Basics first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • RealSimple.com answers the question “What is “Phased Retirement?” and points readers to other retirement-related phrases that might be new to them. Exposure to these phrases is not simply a way to learn new lingo; some of these phrases might introduce readers to ways to envision retirement. Boomerang Entrepreneur: A retiree who stops working and starts [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Redefine Retirement with New Lingo is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Financial planning is deeply entwined with nearly every facet of your life. Whether consciously or not, it motivates the way you spend, save, invest, and plan for the future. For married couples, those financial habits assume a deeper meaning because each action impacts both you and your spouse. Financial planning for married couples is a beautiful journey—one that can augment your life and the lives of those around you. Interestingly enough, the central tenets of a healthy financial plan are similar to that of a strong marriage: openness, honesty, transparency, communication, and grace. When both spouses are actively engaged in the planning process, it helps them work toward a shared vision. Each day, each moment, each action becomes a stepping stone toward that vision, which brings you closer to your goals. Married couples must embark on their financial journey together to...
  • Many Americans will be receiving second stimulus checks soon. Discover if you're eligible and get your biggest questions answered.
  • The Washington Post reported on “Six ways your office will be different in 2021, assuming you ever go back to it.” An important part of what may change for some people in the coming years is recruiting and salary negotiation. Solid financial planning can help you weather changes in hiring and compensation. Some employees have [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Are You Ready for Changes in Recruiting and Hiring? is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Most people can start collecting benefits as early as age 62, delay taking benefits (in exchange for a larger monthly amount) until age 70, or chose an option in between. As with most financial planning questions, there is no universal right answer, although you might want to take some time to consider an answer that is most correct for your specific situation. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • There are many factors to be considered before making extra payments or pulling from your savings to pay off your mortgage.
  • If you are someone who has received or will receive a stimulus check from the federal government, you may be concerned that you will need to pay taxes on those funds in the future. Kiplinger.com addresses that and a few other related tax issues in “Is Your Stimulus Check Taxable?”  Although we are taxed on [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Will You Have to Pay Taxes on Stimulus Money? is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Image credit: decoist.com Whenever the market has a good run, as it has lately, people start thinking it may be overvalued and ripe for a fall. Thoughts turn next to other forms of investments, such as real estate or more esoteric alternatives like options, oil or other natural resources, or precious metals.  Real estate is The post Real Estate: Should I Own a Home to Rent Out? first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • At the start of every new year, you might think to yourself, “Is this the year I’m going to retire?” The New Year embodies fresh starts and new beginnings, and it’s no surprise that visions of retirement (not sugar-plums) dance in your head. But before you turn that dream into reality, be sure you can answer these six questions. 1. Are you confident in your retirement number?A top concern for retirees is having enough money to sustain their lifestyle throughout retirement. That “enough” number will shift for each couple depending on their unique needs. Your housing, location, activities, health, debts, and general lifestyle requirements will all factor into your retirement number. A globetrotting couple might need more money per month for flights, insurance, food, and lodging, than someone who takes a more conservative financial approach. How can you discover your number? Start by building a retirement budget. You’ll need to include items like housing, food, utilities, internet...
  • As 2020 finally draws to a close, Bridget, Ari, and I have been finding ourselves extremely grateful to do meaningful work with clients we admire and love to serve. This year has made us more aware than ever before of what a privilege this is.  We've been looking for ways to give back to our [...]
  • CNBC.com offers “Last-minute money moves to make before you ring in the new year” and even if you don’t do these things before the year official ends, you can do still some of these things as the new year starts. You can “reflect on your spending.” In the rush to see the end of 2020, [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Reflect on This Years Finances Before The New Year Starts is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Each year PNC Bank releases a Christmas Price Index that tabulates how much it would cost to give the gifts mentioned in the lyrics of the song “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Each year’s list looks at the prices with costs adjusted for the current economy and this year’s list did factor in the pandemic.  [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. The Value of Giving Gifts is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Can money buy happiness? The answer is complicated – certainly money is important, there is no denying that. But does it make us happy?   My colleagues and I have all worked with wealthy clients who are miserable.  We also have clients of modest means who are not only happy but spread that happiness to everyone []
  • 2020 Year in Review

    2020 was an “interesting” year for the Hoole Family. The kids are getting older and more independent. Carsyn is loving school and becoming quite the social butterfly. Brody on the other hand learned how to ride his bike without training wheels and potty trained himself (surprisingly enough, in that order).
  • Jean Jaques Rousseau, a notable French philosopher, challenged his readers’ idea about the role money played in their lives. He said, “money can buy material things, but real happiness must be truly earned.” He is credited with the earliest written form of the phrase money can’t buy happiness. But is that sentiment true? It turns out, Rousseau knew a thing or two about the role money plays in our lives. Happiness is ephemeral— it’s a state of mind whereas joy and peace are enduring. However, seeing life through that lens can be difficult when there is a pandemic and bills to pay. It’s completely normal to be worried about money, but oftentimes we allow those worries to dictate our lives. How can you change your perspective on the role money plays in your life? Let’s take a look at a few examples. Stop chasing the idea of “enough” It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the idea of finding “enough” money. But we will let you in on an insider secret: there will never be “enough.” Even...
  • Why do so many people experience problems in managing their finances? As Tolstoy famously wrote in his novel Anna Karenina: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. And so it is with our financial lives. Any one aspect of a family’s finances that is not working well can The post On Human Nature and the Challenge of Accumulating Wealth - part 6 of a series first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • There are a lot of great tax resources, for people who don’t have an accountant, or have a problem that their accountant can’t help them with. Below are a few of the IRS tax resources that I’ve used, which are available for free. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Things to consider before you child heads off to college.