• Investing,  Planning,  Retirement,  Savings

    Building Long-Term Financial Freedom for Solopreneurs

    As a solopreneur you want to build long-term financial freedom, but there are so many options it's hard to know where to start. Solopreneurs have a lot of choices when it comes to their long-term financial freedom savings (formerly known as "retirement"). Small business owners can use IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, SEP IRAs, and Solo-401(k)s (among other options) for their own savings. In this post I wrote for AthleteBiz I go over three of the most common account types and when you should consider choosing them. I also share some critical questions to ask before you set up a 401(k) plan with a custodian. The cheapest 401(k) plan provider is not…

  • College,  Kids and Money,  Planning,  Savings

    Don’t make this tax mistake: 529 account edition

    A lot of people don't realize this but (real) financial planners review client tax returns as part of the financial planning process. This helps us point out ways to help clients save money on taxes, correct errors, or identify an investment manager that may be churning (trading frequently) or simply generating a lot of taxable gains and dividends.  One frequent Virginia state income tax deduction that many VA 529 account owners forget involves VA 529 plan contributions. Don't make this same mistake!  Check out this video (please ignore the ridiculous thumbnail image...) and find out how you might save more money on your VA state income taxes! https://youtu.be/7lbf9CfF_-A **This is…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • College,  Planning,  Savings

    Is there a college savings rule of thumb?

    Let’s talk college savings. Just when you thought you were starting to get a handle on saving for retirement/your post-career phase now, we have to add college savings into the mix. As if you needed another thing to worry about! Let’s go ahead and ask the hard question. Are you on track with your college savings? No clue? You’re not alone. Most people have no idea. With crazy high inflation and large cost differentials between schools, it can be hard to know if you are in a good place when it comes to your college savings, or if you need to “kick it up a notch.” With that in mind,…

  • College,  Kids and Money,  Planning

    How To Talk About Student Loan Debt With Your Teen

    Feeling overwhelmed about the high cost of college? You’re not alone. A 2016 study Citizens Financial Group survey said that 57% of millennials wished they hadn’t borrowed so much money to attend college. This statistic leaves parents in a difficult position. Selecting a college tends to be a highly individualized and stressful situation for the student (and their family). We want to support our children’s choices, but we also want to make sure our children’s choices are as informed as possible. Talking to our kids about their choice of college can become even more confounding when you consider this tidbit from a 2014 study by Citizens Financial Group: 46% of…

  • Investing,  Planning

    How Do I Know If My Advisor Puts My Interests First?

    Listen, there are a couple of “F” words you really need to know. In fact, you might have heard this “F” word in the news before and thought - that sounds like something only old people care about. I mean...the elderly. [Sorry, Mema] Well, the word of the day is “fiduciary.” And if you are wondering how to know if your adviser has your best interest at heart, it matters to you. In fact, not knowing what the fiduciary standard is could be costing you big bucks and reducing your future wealth. Not good. Curious? Knowledge is power, so read this quick post and protect your wallet. In today’s post…

  • Investing,  Planning,  Retirement,  Savings

    How Much Do I Need To Save For Retirement?

    One of the biggest questions I get, from virtually every client and most of my survey respondents, is: How much money do I need to retire? There are so many things to think about and so many potential options it can be overwhelming to even know where to start. (Trust me, it’s complicated, and I’m a Financial Planner!) This is part of why so many people don’t even start saving for retirement. Let’s spend some time de-mystifying how much to save for retirement. Today we’ll go over some of the most common stumbling blocks to figuring out your target savings rate. We will also discuss how to evaluate online calculators…