Financial Considerations For The First Marriage After 40

You almost gave up hope that you would meet Mr. Right.  Or maybe it is Ms. Right.  However fate struck lightning and you finally met the person that you are convinced you were meant to spend the rest of your life.    At some point, reality sets in as the wedding date gets closer and it starts to dawn on your that there may be real discussions that need to be had around money and financial goals.   Not something you typically discuss when you are enjoying fine dining, front row concerts, and swanky hotels on the beach. Remember, everybody has a financial story.  Especially the person that you are about to wed.   It is important to peel back the artichoke to better understand your partner’s attitudes and feelings around money and planning for overall financial goals.   Here are my five smart money move financial considerations for those that are getting married for the first time after 40. Should you get a ...

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Beneficiary Designations for your IRA

What Beneficiary Designations mean and why they matter… For most people, “estate planning” means drafting documents (such as a Last Will and Testament) that makes sure that your property is managed and distributed according to your wishes.  Drafting documents is the foundation of estate planning, but people who own retirement accounts, life insurance or other assets with beneficiary designations must go one step further.  When you die, the assets in your estate generally fall into one of two categories: probate property or non-probate property.  Probate property is governed by your Last Will and Testament.  Non-probate property, however, passes outside of your Will, and generally passes to a beneficiary named by you when the account or contract was opened. The most common examples of non-probate property are your IRA, 401(k) or life insurance.  These types of assets are non-probate property because they are paid to beneficiaries pursuant to a contract that you create when you open the account or purchase the ...

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The Words We Don’t Want To Hear: “You May Need To Save More”

I really think over the next five years the whole notion of retirement planning is going to change.   The X and Y generation don’t think about retirement the way their parents or grandparents did.   Since so many more people are staying active during their golden years, the next couple of generations will be thinking more about making work option than pulling themselves over to the retirement shelf.    What still holds true for most us is that since companies don’t really often pensions anymore, it’s up to you to figure out how you can save enough money to do what you want when you want irrespective of cost.    No matter what you calculate your ‘work’ optional number to be you should remember that you only have four options should you start falling short of hitting those numbers.  Here are your four choices: Extend your time frame  – If you planned for your ‘retirement’ goal to be at the age of 60, ...

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Personal Finance 101 – This Week: Dying Without A Will

What happens if I die without a Will? First, a little context is required. If you own any property when you die, then your surviving spouse or family will need to go through a legal process called “Probate” in order to legally wind up your affairs, pay off your debts, and transfer your remaining property to surviving family. The Probate process applies whether you have a Will or not. The only way around the Probate process is to own all of your assets through a Living Trust, but that’s a whole different story… If you have a valid Will, then the Probate process plays out according to the specific wishes in your Will, which should include details about who is responsible for administering your estate (the “Executor”), who is guardian for your minor children, who gets your assets, and whether those assets are left outright to people or in creditor protected trusts, just to name a few considerations. After that ...

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5 Important Financial Questions To Ask Your Parents

Talking about money is never an easy subject.  Let alone discussing it with your partner or your kids, it can be incredibly uncomfortable to talk about money and estate planning with your parents. As you watch your parents get into their 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s, there are some key questions that you will want to talk about with them to ensure your parents finances are in good shape.  Good or bad, you will have to deal with these issues down the road. 1. Do you have a will? If they don’t have a written one, then the state they live in will have one for them.  My guess is that you don’t want the state to decide how your parent’s assets should be distributed.  The will has many features to it, but most importantly it allows for your parent’s to essentially say which personal items go to which children along with an orderly administration of the estate.  Depending on the ...

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5 Financial Questions To Ask Yourself Right Now

With a roller coaster economy, high job unemployment, and increasing federal debt, this is the time to take stock and ask yourself some important financial questions to make sure you keep your financial house in order.  Here are 5 important questions to ask yourself now? Do I have an exit strategy with my investments? If the stock market has another free fall or your company stock takes a dive, how will you put some sort of cushion to secure those assets which have grown over the past year?  You should be asking yourself questions such as how far your money may go down before you exit the stock market, or how much it needs to make before you might take some profit off the table.  Learn from the ups and downs you saw in the early 2000’s and in 2007/2008. Do I have enough of a cash reserve? With job market uncertainty, you want to make sure you beef up ...

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