Retirement Assumptions: What’s Your Legacy Goal?

When you are building out your long term retirement plan, a financial advisor will often have to make many different types of assumptions. I have authored numerous articles around this topic. You need to consider market downside risk, interest rate risk, inflation risk, liquidity risk, tax risk, sequencing risk, and several others. Often, one major mistake made around the discussion regarding building a quality retirement plan is actually having the end in mind. What do you want your legacy to be when you pass on? This is a crucial conversation to have at the onset of your overall comprehensive financial plan. Consider this for a moment. If you tell your financial advisor nothing, he or she will likely build out your retirement plan analysis by using a ‘death age’. From the conversations you have with your planner or from some default number in the financial planning software, you will arrive a set age usually in the 85 to 90 range. ...

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X Series – Three Simple Steps To Managing Your 401K

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979. Pretty much those of you in your early 30’s to the mid 40’s. However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude. Since I am 42 and have had a good deal of financial success, I’ve noticed some big mistakes that I see my generation making with their money and how they think about money. This week I wanted to discuss three simple steps to help you better manage your 401k plan at work. For most Gen X’ers who are not business owners, the 401k plan offered through your workplace will be one of the mainstays for you to build up enough money to make work optional. Next year in April, you will begin to be able to transparently see ...

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X Series – A kid’s birthday party for $500 (or more)?

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    Pretty much those of you in your early 30’s to the mid 40’s.  However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude.   Since I am 42 and have had a good deal of financial success, I’ve noticed some big mistakes that I see my generation making with their money and how they think about money.    This week I wanted to discuss the mistake parents make that have two, three, or four children, and the crazy amount of money they spend on birthday parties. As a Gen X parent with a 14, 12, and 10 year old, I got caught up making some of the mistakes other Gen X parents make.   As you compete with your neighbors and friends for which ...

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Forming the Side-Business: Tax Benefits – LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp?

It is always recommended that you get liability protection if you are engaging in trade or business for the purposes of making money.  And the tax law is surprisingly generous when it comes to classifying a “hobby” as a business, as long as you meet certain requirements. Having a side business has the potential to create substantial tax savings that you can garner against your normal, ordinary income.  Whether you form an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp largely depends on the amount of money you intend to make, how much you’re willing to spend each year on keeping up the company, how much documentation you want to do each year for the company, and certainly the state you live in.  Your long-term intentions can also come into play, though most of the time switching from one type of company to another is a relatively simple proposition. LLC’s are most often the most simple and least expensive of the three.  They require ...

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Personal Finance 101 – Retirement Planning What Are Your Retirement Assumptions

You often see the commercials on television today asking the question, “What’s Your Number”?   What they are really referring to is the notion of how much money do you need in order to be able to retire.  It’s funny that most people I talk to today don’t really call it retirement.  They really think about the term of making work optional.  This means having the ability to do what they want when they want irrespective of money.   Over the next four weeks on Your Smart Money Moves, I am going to share with you how to really think about the personal financial area of retirement planning. I have always thought about my ‘work optional’ number being the amount of money I actually need on a debit card when I retire to maintain my standard of living the way I want it when I go ‘work optional’.   The mistake that I see in many financial plans is that the assumptions made ...

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