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  • The objective is to use the least tax efficient accounts first to allow your tax advantaged accounts time to grow and compound.
  • Photo by Andrea Piacquadio, Being A Good Steward of Your Time In Retirement,
  • Photo by Google DeepMind
  • The decision of whether to buy or lease a car depends on your individual financial situation, lifestyle, and preferences. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider your priorities and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Here are some factors to consider for both buying and leasing: (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Evaluate your retirement income and assets to assess your ability to adequately support your goals.
  • While Medicare is an essential healthcare program for many Americans, an IRMAA determination can lead to increased costs for higher-income beneficiaries. However, the determination of IRMAA is not set in stone. If you believe that your IRMAA determination is incorrect or unjust, you have the right to appeal the decision. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of appealing an IRMAA determination. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Thinking about retiring? There’s a lot to unpack. Lots to consider. Just to get the juices flowing, here are 15 quick ideas.
  • The joint owner will inherit the accounts without going through probate, which may not be your objective. The automatic transfer of assets may contradict your will and your intentions. Other children or heirs would be disinherited.
  • As individuals approach retirement age, they are often faced with many decisions regarding their financial future. One crucial decision is when to begin receiving Social Security benefits, a choice that can significantly impact the overall financial landscape of one's retirement. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • In the worst of times, investing can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. In the best of times, investing can be exciting, but it shouldn’t be. It’s when people get too excited, or too scared that they tend to make the biggest mistakes. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Congratulations, you’ve done the work to figure out when to start claiming Social Security and realized it’s sometime in the next four months. WHEN to claim is a separate issue from how to sign up. It depends on whether you’re claiming under your spouse’s earnings, whether you’re widowed, whether you’re likely to live past [] The post How to sign up for Social Security Retirement Benefits appeared first on ProsperiTea Planning - Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® - Greenfield, MA .
  • I sometimes find my eyes and mind wandering as I roam the aisles in the grocery store and the mall. With so many shopping choices today, it is often too easy to dig a little deeper in our wallets and purses to get something we consider a “must have”. While there is nothing wrong with treating ourselves (if it is built into a spending plan) trouble may arise when the extras get out of hand. Use the following tips to help keep your expenses, and goals, on track. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • ♫ It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world ♫ – Ray Davies, The Kinks Overall, 2022 was one of the worst years for investors.  Bonds had stock sized losses and so did the S&P 500.  Fortunately, some stock indices identified as bonds, suggesting a way to improve return reliability. Normally, 5-year Treasury Bonds… [Continue] (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • A New Bull Market

    It's official. We've entered a new bull market in the United States. At least according to the generally-accepted definition of stocks going up by 20%. Does it matter? What should we do about it?
  • Retirees spent more on travel, eating out, and other discretionary items at the beginning of retirement. As retirees age, discretionary expenses decrease, and health care costs increase.
  • After two posts about spending, specifically spending for joy, I’m back to my regularly scheduled programming: Save, Invest, Repeat. Today, we talk about stock market ‘averages’. Stocks, also known as equities, are the growth engines of investment portfolios. The SP 500 is a group of stocks from the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the []
  • Although Social Security is a political hot potato, it is likely that policy makers will eventually make some adjustments to avoid dramatic benefit cuts.
  • Spencer Financial Planning turned 3 years old this week! In this blog post, I share some facts, non-facts, observations, and reflections regarding three years of providing financial planning services to my clients. Spoiler alert: It has been amazing (still).
  • Money in an HSA is always yours and it stays with you if you change jobs, health care plans, or you retire. Once you are no longer covered by an HDHP you cannot contribute to your HSA, but it remains in place to cover future expenses.
  • In last month’s newsletter, I took a break from my usual “Save, invest, repeat” mantra to talk about spending. In particular, spending for joy. I asked for reader responses to the question “What did you spend money on in the last year that brought you joy?” And wow, I was surprised and delighted by the []
  • Bucket portfolios are designed to provide spending resources during investors’ decumulation periods, usually in retirement. They are made of three buckets, arranged by time horizon – now, soon, and later – and the investment type used in each bucket – cash, bonds, and stocks. Learn more about bucket portfolios by contacting Oasis Wealth Planning Advisors.
  • The SECURE ACT 2.0 provides tax minimization opportunities for some taxpayers and creates burdens for others. Having more flexibility is great, but does that increased flexibility benefit you? We will help you understand and navigate the SECURE ACT 2.0 changes and what it means for your specific situation.
  • SuperAgers are my superheroes in retirement. They maximize their life because they intentionally focus on staying physically active, seeking out challenges that expand their minds, and developing and enhancing their relationships.
  • U.S. Debt Default?

    What happens if the U.S. doesn’t raise the debt ceiling and then defaults on its debts? What about a different type of crisis? Are our investments in danger? Should we sell?
  • If you are a regular reader, you know I talk a lot about saving money. A lot! “Save, invest, repeat, save, invest, repeat” is one of my mantras. It is also the key to reaching financial independence. Another of my mantras is “Capture those dollars”, so much so that clients KNOW what I’m going to []
  • Warren Buffet wrote, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” Sure enough, the recent pace of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve has exposed a few wet noodles among the banks and real estate companies. The way things are heading, we soon may have enough for a… [Continue] (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • How much did we spend on our Emergency Planning supplies? This post also has a downloadable copy of the Emergency Planning Top 10 Checklist, which is a one-page summary that consolidates much of what we covered in this blog series.
  • So yes, it’s true that COBRA is expensive…. because your insurance is expensive. Recently, I was talking with a friend who is planning to leave the workforce and take some time off before looking for a new job. I asked what she would do for health insurance and mentioned COBRA. Her immediate response was “Oh, []
  • In this video, we discuss three tax hazards in retirement and a way to address them. We also discuss useful items from the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and the Secure Act 2.0 of 2022. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • What can we learn from the recent bank failures? Here are three major takeaways: 1) Transfer cash over FDIC limits 2) Match investments with your time horizon 3) Importance of diversification
  • Between two professional credentials that each need a lot of continuing education, plus family vacation time, you’ll find that Wendy works in weeks-long surges but is frequently out of the office in between. That’s okay, we’re planners, we’re good at this! Here’s how we put the Tea in Team: Wendy is the only one who [] The post Wendy’s Vacation Conference Schedule for 2023 appeared first on ProsperiTea Planning - Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® - Greenfield, MA .
  • Last year, a new client and I were reviewing her expenses. I pointed out that her largest expense (by far) was her Federal/State income tax liability at nearly $20,000 a year. In fact for many people, their largest lifetime expense is income taxes. She looked at me quizzically and exclaimed “But I always get big []
  • Figuring out your emergency supplies is important. But this post is about something that is just as – if not even more – important: having an emergency PLAN. The emergency plan we came up with is a compilation of the best ideas and suggestions we found in our research. We felt like it was much more approachable for us as a family than many plans or forms we found online, and we hope you find it helpful. And the best part? The only cost to put it together is our time.
  • Capture Those Dollars!

    Recently, in a meeting with clients, we realized their car loan would be paid off in two months. I rang the and said “That’s terrific and now I recommend you…” and they finished my sentence shouting in unison, “capture those dollars!” I guess they’ve heard me say that before….probably many times! It’s my standard []
  • Do you want to kick Uncle Sam in the groin? A Health Savings Account may indeed offer you that opportunity. Learn the pros and cons of a Health Savings Account and the nuances of implementing this strategy.
  • Do you want to kick Uncle Sam in the groin? A Health Savings Account may indeed offer you that opportunity. Learn the pros and cons of a Health Savings Account and the nuances of implementing this strategy.
  • SECURE Act 2.0

    You may have heard that President Biden recently signed the SECURE Act 2.0 into law. The good news is that there’s a lot in there that should be quite helpful to many of you. The bad news is that it makes the rules around retirement and tax planning even more complex than they already are. Let’s take a look at the SEVEN new provisions that I think may provide the most benefit to people reading this blog. Ready to be bored? Let’s dig in!   
  • We recommend the use of a password manager to improve the security of your access to online resources and generally recommend LastPass for this use.  Some of you may have received a notice of a recent security incident from LastPass, or have seen or heard about it in the news.   Summary:  if your LastPass [] The post Our Take about the LastPass Incident appeared first on ProsperiTea Planning - Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® - Greenfield, MA .
  • {I recently had the opportunity to meet with some people in their late teens to answer their questions. This is the letter I wrote them afterward.} The thing with being an adult is that you generally have to hear the same information from a couple of different directions before it starts to gel. So the [] The post Financial Literacy for Young Adults appeared first on ProsperiTea Planning - Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® - Greenfield, MA .
  • The news has been all abuzz about inflation.  But as is typical with news, the reports may be misleading.  The reason is the inflation reports are 6.5 months out of date the day they are reported. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the November 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) one-year inflation rate dropped to… [Continue] (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • If you properly plan your travel adventures in retirement, it can be epic. Failing to plan your travels in retirement can waste time and money. Learn how to plan your travels and navigate various obstacles in this rich area of your retirement.
  • Travel in retirement can be immensely rewarding. While you do not have to see the world to find fulfillment in retirement, traveling beyond your home into different communities and cultures can provide you with rich experiences to learn, expand relationships, renew, and reach new horizons.