Saving for Life’s Experiences

While some advisors focus only on saving for “retirement”, we believe there are a lot of life experiences that need planning attention along the way. It is important to listen carefully to our clients and learn the specific goals which are priorities for them.  For some individuals it is planning for extended breaks from employment to fulfill goals for bucket-list experiences; or it might be returning to school full-time for an MBA; and for others it might mean stepping away from corporate life to open their own business. Regardless of your goals, you need an advisor who listens well to the things which are most important to you and helps you plan so you can achieve them. Goal planning involves not just accumulating the savings to pay for it, but also considering all the interrelated aspects of embarking on that goal. This may include maintaining health insurance during lapses in employment, ensuring coverage for international adventures, or making sure that appropriate legal filings and compliance are in place before launching a business. Regardless of the goal, it is critical that Read on! →

As the World Turns

As the World Turns from Eric Clark In the almost 3 months since I penned my commentary on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, world and market events have continued to swirl.  Some changed, others not.  Some familiar, others not so much.  What remains prevalent, in my opinion, is a level of anxiety tied to the uncertainty all around us.  Anxiety that for some, barely registers a concern as they plow through their daily lives and activities.  But for others, a level of anxiety that might lead to an inability to act.  A preference for the status quo, and the sense of control this static state of affairs might provide.  If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that if you remain anchored and reluctant to embrace your surroundings, you might find yourself left behind or irrelevant in ways you could regret.  That’s not to say we should follow the herd, but sometimes it can be helpful to be mindful of the situation and reflect on how to effectively navigate.  Being mindful and reflective seem appropriate when viewing the current state Read on! →

The positives of PUSHES

Are you someone who PUSHES through life? If so, the odds are in your favor to age well. Most individuals probably wouldn’t think that pushing through life would be conducive to aging well. In fact, when we think of pushing through life, we tend to think of slogging along, day after day in the obligations of our lives. However, when it is in the context of retirement, the PUSHES are what give our lives meaning and purpose.1 Consider the following: P – Has a sense of Purpose. The idea of having a purpose in retirement is not contingent on a grandiose plan to invent, create or produce something. It is the overarching sense of having a reason to get out of bed in the morning, having the motivation to make the most of your day. This sense of purpose will certainly evolve over time as your desires and abilities change but it gives meaning to your life. U- Uses time to participate in activities, helping others, going to events. The pandemic has certainly taught everyone how important it is to Read on! →

Russians and Fed Chiefs and Covid, oh my!

Well, we have certainly turned a corner as 2021 ended and 2022 has begun. Now that we are a month into the new year, let’s take a moment to see what’s different since we left 2021 behind. One thing that hasn’t changed is that we are still dealing with Covid and most of us are weary of the restrictions. After a few months of relative freedom from Covid’s lockdown during the summer and leading up to Thanksgiving, Omicron emerged. The variant spreads easily but isn’t as debilitating as earlier variants.  This has led to fewer negative economic impacts and a view held by some that we need to begin living with future Covid variants more like a seasonal flu virus.  One sidenote for portfolios; if China sees their infection rates increase steeply with Omicron or future variants, their zero-tolerance policy may result in factory shutdowns and put further strain on the already burdened supply chain issues. 2022 brought the Federal Reserve decision-making on interest rates to the forefront, as they work to reconcile increasing inflationary pressures with their stated policy Read on! →

Medal Winning Savings!

You have probably heard the advice that you should maximize contributions to your employer’s retirement savings plan. Because it lowers your current income taxation by deferring pre-tax dollars to the plan and grows tax-deferred until distributed, you are encouraged to save to your employer plan (401k, 403b, etc.). Employers may also match a percentage of what you contribute. This can be a powerful way to save, but it should not be the ONLY way you save for retirement. The following medal-winning strategies might add flexibility, potential retirement tax savings and a more secure future to your retirement savings mix. Bronze Medal Winner The bronze medal winner for savings might seem too simple to have an impact but can add versatility and flexibility when trying to increase tax efficiency in retirement. Many people step into retirement with inadequate non-IRA savings.  This forces them to distribute fully taxable income from their employer plan/IRA each time they need cash and increases their tax liability. For those individuals with a mix of IRA and non-IRA savings, more control can be gained over taxation in Read on! →