Now that we’ve started the new year, this is a great time to take a fresh look at your financial picture and update things that may be stale or outdated. To help you do that, here are eight ways to improve your financial health in 2017.
Recently, while meeting with a prospective client, I was asked what value comprehensive financial planning adds to the wealth management process. It’s a good question—and a common one.
With tax-filing season behind us, I’ve heard a lot of people express disappointment in the way their taxes were done. The complaints are not only from clients – tax preparers are also feeling frustrated with the process.
It’s the middle of April, and the 2015 NFL draft is quickly approaching.
This means aspiring professional football players have made their way to the NFL scouting combine, where talent evaluators have scrutinized their speed, strength, and agility. General managers and coaches are looking at both their existing rosters and the young players hoping to fulfill a lifelong dream by being drafted into the NFL.
At this time of year, many families with college bound children are busy navigating the financial aid application process. A college education, long viewed as a pathway to the American Dream, remains a desirable goal for many, with some studies indicating as much as a 75% increase in earning power over the course of a career through the attainment of a degree. However, the soaring costs of higher education in recent decades have even middle-to-high income families wondering how best to fund this endeavor without jeopardizing their retirement or leaving their children saddled with huge debt. Finding the most efficient and beneficial path involves an understanding of both financial aid eligibility, as administered through the relevant government regulations and University policies, and the savings vehicles and strategies available to consumers.
Governor Martin O’Malley recently signed a new law that will reduce the sting of estate taxes over the next several years for Maryland residents. So how does the Maryland tax compare with the federal version? As defined by the IRS, “The Estate Tax is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death.” The federal government imposes a tax on taxable estates in excess of $5.34 million (the individual federal exemption amount, which increases for inflation annually). Maryland currently imposes an estate tax on taxable estates in excess of $1 million (the state exemption amount).
If you’re a lover of the outdoors and thinking about where you want to live in your retirement, you probably already have some candidates. But have you considered the financial ramifications of living in those areas? While financial implications should not necessarily be your primary focus, you should consider such things as taxes and cost of living when making your decision.
For most Americans, retirement is one of life’s major turning points. We’re no longer required to take part in the work-a-day world, and can turn our attention and considerable experience to family, friends, service, and personal interests.
But it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Many people find retirement jarring, and have trouble adjusting to the new lifestyle. With that in mind, we’ve asked our retired clients for advice for those about to make the leap — what lessons they’ve learned, what they did well and what they wish they’d done differently. The responses are full of fantastic insights, important reminders, and creative ideas. Whether you’re facing retirement now or at some point in the future, you will find something of value here.
Given the time of year, you may well be in the midst of gathering data for your 2013 tax return. As you embark on this project, you should be aware of a few new taxes you may have to pay. While I can’t cover everything, here are some of the bigger changes you might encounter.
(The changes outlined in this article were implemented in 2012 with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Tax Act (ATRA) of 2012, or with the Affordable Care Act).