• Planning

    Tax-Savvy Charitable Giving with Appreciated Stock

    Lots of people like to make charitable donations in December. Typically people make their charitable donations by writing a few checks and dropping them in the mail. Which works.  But did you know there is a tax-savvier way to make your charitable donations? If you have a taxable investment account with stocks, ETFs or mutual funds that have increased in value (appreciated securities) you can actually donate those directly to your favorite charity. So instead of selling those appreciated securities and paying a capital gains tax you could simply gift away the capital gain. If you have held those appreciated securities for at least one year you can gift away…

  • Planning

    5 Ways to Maximize Your Charitable Giving

    ‘Tis the season for giving, and we have 5 ideas to help you maximize your charitable donations! These tips are quick and easy to implement, but can have a tremendous impact on your community. Also, if you itemize on your taxes be sure to track your charitable giving as those gifts may be tax deductible. 1. Sign Up For Ongoing Gifts By signing up for an ongoing giving program you help provide some predictability for your favorite charities. When charities and organizations are able to have a better sense of what their cash flow will look like over the year, they can make better plans. They might be able to…

  • College,  Kids and Money,  Savings

    Which Virginia 529 Plan Is Best?

    You’re ready to start saving for college. You go to sign up for a Virginia 529 College Savings Plan, but are immediately faced with a decision about which plan is the right one for you. Or maybe you have been pitched some expensive-looking mutual funds or a life insurance policy from a broker but you just aren’t sure that’s the right path for you. No worries. Today we’re going to dive into the three Virginia 529 College Savings Plans so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your family. In no particular order, let’s get started. Virginia 529 Option #1: Invest529 The Invest529 is the…

  • Cash flow,  College,  Planning

    Do I Qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness?

    Student loans are the bane of many young professionals’ existence. I have worked with several physicians with $200,000-300,000 in student loan debt. Fortunately one of these physicians met the 4 requirements for Public Student Loan Forgiveness. Which means that if he continues working for a qualified employer and makes 120 on-time qualified payments on his Federal Direct student loans, a good portion of that debt will be erased. Tax-free. There are 4 important requirements you must meet to qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness and to stay qualified until your remaining loan balances are actually forgiven. Today we’ll go over four things you need to make sure you’re doing so…

  • Planning

    4 Ways To Protect Yourself Following The Equifax Security Breach

    The personal information of 143 million people was compromised by hackers at Equifax (the credit rating agency). Unfortunately, consumers are only just now finding out that their data may be for sale somewhere on the Dark Web. Take action now to protect yourself! In this video I will go over 4 steps you can take today to help protect your credit.  Since there are a lot of links to remember here is the summary: Go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com click on enroll and then begin enrollment to see if you are affected. If you're married don't forget to check your maiden name as well. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com - this is the only…

  • Lauren Zangardi Haynes
    Budgeting,  Cash flow

    Maximize Your Salary: How to handle the question every job seeker hates!

    Fee-Only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Practitioner Lauren Zangardi Haynes There's one question all job seekers hate- "what is your current salary?" If you are interviewing for a new job I have some good news - in some areas of the U.S. this question is illegal. Unfortunately, a lot of job seekers are still going to have to deal with this tricky question.  This question really bothers me and as a Certified Financial Planner Professional I want to help my clients not only grow the money they have already saved but maximize what may be their largest asset - their earning power!  With that in mind, I spoke with two of my…

  • Cash flow,  Employee Benefits,  Investing

    Hidden 401(k) Loan Risks to Your Career and Finances

    Getting hit with a cash crunch is stressful. What should you do if you need quick access to cash? For many of us who have been working and saving in our 401(k)s, that pot of money can be very tempting. Let’s be honest - 401(k) loans can be relatively cheap and easy to get. They’re kind of like the fast food version of loans. And just like fast food, 401(k) loans can seem like a good idea at first, but they can quickly lead to heartburn.   What you really need to know: there are some serious risks involved with tapping a 401(k).   There are two major risks you…

  • Uncategorized

    3 Ways Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Can Save Time!

    Guest Post from Stephen Reh of Reh Wealth Advisors! I would like to thank Lauren Zangardi Haynes, CIMA, CFP® for inviting me to write an article this month. Lauren and I were discussing challenges facing entrepreneurs and small business owners and ways to overcome those challenges. Entrepreneurs often cringe at the thought of expense reports, income statements, balance sheets and taxes. While these documents are critical to securing financing for future growth, entrepreneurs are looking for the least painful ways to provide good data to their banks and tax preparers. With the rare exception of some accountants, their passion often lies in other areas and to be perfectly honest, the…

  • Employee Benefits

    Do you have kids? Do you have an FSA?

    Fee-Only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Practitioner Lauren Zangardi Haynes Holy cow, medical expenses can eat you alive when you have kids! A lot of people feel nervous about using the flexible spending account that their employer offers. I love flexible spending accounts as a way to save for your ongoing medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. They work really well if you have certain medical expenses you always need - such as contact lenses or a monthly prescription. Or if you have kids who always seem to need random medical care... While these aren't designed as long-term savings vehicles some employers do allow you to roll-over a small amount of money from…

  • Budgeting,  Cash flow

    5 Ways to Save More Money!

    I get it, having kids is not exactly conducive to saving money. In fact, if you aren’t careful, you can spend an unlimited amount on your kid’s 2nd birthday party thanks to Pinterest. Forget saving for college! Today I’m going to share with you 5 ways I save money, despite having kids. You can start using these ideas today to get a handle on your money. Tip #1 to Save More Money: One card to rule them all We use just one of our credit cards and we put as much of our spending as possible on it. Then we pay it off every month. Generally, there are only a…