You probably know that your investment portfolio is being rebalanced on a regular basis, but you might not know why.  Is it for higher returns?  For maintaining the agreed-upon balance of investments that is in your risk tolerance comfort zone?  Does rebalancing help manage portfolio risk? The answer to the above is “yes,” “yes,” and “yes,” but with a qualification.  Rebalancing an investment portfolio is most importantly a form of discipline, a way to reduceRead More
The most common way to transfer assets to your heirs is also the messiest: to have a will that is so out of date that it doesn’t relate to your property or estate, to have your records scattered all over the place, to have social media, banking and email accounts whose passwords only you can find—and basically to leave a big mess for others to clean up. Is there a better way? Recently, a groupRead More
When an investor sells a stock for more than the purchase price, the investor experiences a capital gain (I like to call it a profit, but let’s stick to some technical terms for a minute). For example, if you bought Amazon at $820 back in January of 2017 and sold it for $1,020 in July 2017, the capital gain would be $200. Mutual funds operate in much the same way, although it gets a littleRead More
Even casual observers of financial news know that “Fed watching” is a serious activity in the financial and business communities. Currently, Janet Yellen is Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, commonly known as the “Fed.” However, it’s expected that President Donald Trump will pick Jerome Powell to replace Yellen. Given all the news this pick is stirring up, I felt it important to help you understand the establishment of theRead More
Each year, the Affordable Care Act—popularly known as Obamacare—creates a period when health insurance policyholders can buy or change their coverage through state exchanges or the government website.  This year, many locations will feature fewer carriers bidding for your business, but virtually every county in America still has coverage options.   But pay attention: the government has dramatically reduced the open enrollment period this year; in most states it starts November 1 and ends DecemberRead More
You can be forgiven if you’re skeptical that Congress will be able to completely overhaul our tax system after failing to overhaul our health care system, but professional advisors are studying the newly-released nine-page proposal closely nonetheless.  We only have the bare outlines of what the initial plan might look like before it goes through the Congressional sausage grinder: We would see the current seven tax brackets for individuals reduced to three — a 12%,Read More
If you have a parent with health or mobility problems, you may find yourself helping out with living expenses and the cost of care. Recognizing that eldercare can represent a substantial financial burden for families, the federal government allows taxpayers who provide support to a parent or other adult relative to deduct some of these expenses and claim certain tax credits. To take advantage of many of these tax breaks, you must claim your parentRead More
There are many tax incentives to help you build financial security for retirement, but many government and employer-sponsored programs carry certain age restrictions governing when you can withdraw funds or access benefits without penalty. Two Federal agencies, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), keep an eye on your birthday as you take advantage of valuable tax breaks and retirement benefits. Here are some important age milestones to consider: Age 55.Read More
When was the last time you evaluated your homeowners insurance? Have your needs changed since you initially purchased your homeowners policy? If so, there may be gaps in your insurance coverage. For example, you may have acquired valuable possessions that require extra coverage, or you may have made some home improvements that have increased the value of your home. How might this affect your finances in the event that you need to replace your homeRead More
For many people, crossing the bridge into retirement is a big step. If you’re approaching retirement, it’s time to develop a strategy to facilitate a smooth transition from the more structured world of work to one that’s more flexible. After spending years building your professional career, you’ve accumulated assets along the way. While retirement planning usually focuses on preparing for your financial future, nonfinancial matters may also need to be addressed. When retirees feel dissatisfied,Read More