Posts by Strategic Financial Planning

7 Tips to Resolve Financial Issues Between Couples

No matter how long you have been together, financial issues can wreak havoc on a committed relationship. According to Investopedia, some of the top money issues between partners include money/personality style clashes, debt, personal spending, children, and extended family differences. When couples don’t agree about spending and saving habits, it can lead to stress, arguments and resentment. Here are seven ways you can address financial issues positively, preferably before they arise. Understand Your Money Styles Think of some extreme examples of money styles in your circle. Like your friend, the foodie, who won’t touch a bottle of wine that costs
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Categories: Financial Planning.

5 Highlights of the New Stimulus Package

What the latest round of funding may mean for you. The $900 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (2021 CAA) was signed into law by President Trump on December 28th as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact employers and employees. The new package resembles March’s $2.2 trillion CARES Act, but will only be $920 billion, with roughly half of that—$429 billion—being paid for with unspent CARES funds.   Here’s a quick recap of five key highlights:   Stimulus Checks The new law authorized a second round of $600 checks for people with income that meets the criteria. The checks start
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Categories: Legislation.

Your Annual Financial To-Do List

Things you can do for your future as the year unfolds. What financial, business, or life priorities do you need to address for the coming year? Now is an excellent time to think about the investing, saving, or budgeting methods you could employ toward specific objectives, from building your retirement fund to managing your taxes. You have plenty of choices. Here are a few ideas to consider:   Can you contribute more to your retirement plans this year? In 2021, the contribution limit for a Roth or traditional individual retirement account (IRA) is expected to remain at $6,000 ($7,000 for
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Categories: Financial Planning.

10 Reasons You Need a Financial Plan

October is Financial Planning Month which serves as a useful, annual checkpoint to make sure you are on track to meet your financial goals. A written, up-to-date financial plan encompasses not only investments, but risk management solutions, tax reduction strategies and estate planning. 10 Reasons You Need a Financial Plan To have one comprehensive document to address your finances. Financial planning provides one summary location for everything related to your family’s financial life. From your budget, to your savings, to your investments, to your retirement, a financial plan helps you consider your finances in a holistic manner, and gives you
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Categories: Financial Planning.

What is a Roth Conversion?

To understand what a Roth conversion is, you must first understand some of the basics about the different types of retirement accounts, called “qualified accounts.” Pensions Also called defined-benefit plans, pensions are paid for by employers. They have largely gone away for Americans in the private sector starting with the passage of three laws during the Reagan administration, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act passed in 1982, The Retirement Equity Act of 1984, and The Tax Reform Act and Single Employer Pension Plan enacted in 1986. The lack of pensions is one reason why it’s important for people to
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Categories: Retirement Planning and Tax Planning.

How Rich Do You Have to Be in Order to Retire?

Even though perceptions have changed during the pandemic with more Americans now saying they need less money to feel rich1, when it comes to retirement, most people are still unclear about how much they will need to have saved before they can quit their jobs. The answer to that question is different for every person. Here are some of the things you need to think about in order to get a realistic retirement number in mind.   What do you want to do during retirement? Where will you live? Different people have different retirement goals and visions. You may not
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Categories: Retirement and Retirement Planning.

How a Furlough (or Layoff) Affects Your Finances…and Retirement

  Here are six things you need to know if you or a family member has been furloughed—or laid off—from their job   A furlough is an unpaid leave of absence. You don’t report to work, you don’t get paid, and you may lose some of your benefits. Getting fired or laid off is different because it is permanent; whereas, being furloughed means your employer wants you back as soon as things get back to normal, typically at the same position and income level as before the furlough. Here are six things you should know:   Filing for unemployment Whether
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Categories: Financial Planning.

The CARES Act: 10 Things You Should Know

The $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill is the single largest relief legislation in U.S. history, aimed at providing help for individuals and businesses affected by the outbreak. It was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act is also known as “Phase III,” because it follows a $104 billion package passed March 18 for workers and families, and a smaller $8 billion bill to increase funding for medical treatments and testing. There is already talk of a fourth and fifth package in development in Congress. Here’s what you should know: Direct Payments to Taxpayers Americans are set
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Categories: Legislation and News.

Stock Market Volatility: It Helps to Look Backward

Obviously, many of our clients are worried about the news, the headlines about coronavirus, and the drops in the stock market happening at the time of this writing. As you know, our firm focuses a lot of attention on protecting your savings as you near retirement. But for some of our clients (depending on their unique circumstances), part of their portfolio—and/or part of their 401(k) or other retirement funds—are still subject to stock market risk. The reason for this is that based on historic return data: the stock market can offer the highest returns over time, and so might still
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Categories: News and Stock Market.

Clearing Up Confusion About RMDs

The SECURE Act has increased the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from 70-1/2 to 72 starting this year, 2020. If you turned age 70-1/2 in 2019, your RMDs were required for the 2019 tax year, and WILL BE required for 2020, 2021 and every year from now on. For everyone turning 70-1/2 in 2020, your RMDs will not be required until the year you turn 72, even if you have received notification from your custodian to the contrary. Because the law was passed and became effective within two weeks of passage, automated computer notifications and settings have not been
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Categories: Retirement and Tax Planning.