Choosing an Advisor in the Time of Covid-19

If the recent shelter-in-place restrictions were not enough to take you off balance, the March recession and changes to your ongoing employment likely tipped the scale for you.  Amid so many uncertainties, where should you turn and how do you go about choosing an advisor to partner with for the future? Whatever is driving your search for an advisor, there are some important aspects which should be considered before making your decision. Because this is not a decision most people make more than a few times in their lives, consider the following to help you narrow down your search for the right person. Choosing the Right Advisor – A Clearview Case Study example of advisor characteristics you should consider NAPFA Advisor Comparison Tool  – A tool provided by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors to help you compare advisors. If you’re interested in talking with a Clearview Advisor about your situation, click here and we will reach out to see if we might be a good fit as your financial partner.

Retiring to Charlotte?

Cheryl Sherrard was quoted in a recent Financial Advisor magazine article entitled, “Retiring in Charlotte is all about location, location, location“.  The article mentions that Charlotte is ranked near the top of the 50 best metro areas for retirement, according to MagnifyMoney and Bankrate, but the specific area within Charlotte will determine whether you face sticker shock or a pleasant surprise.  

Buckets of Savings!

When saving for retirement, most people save to their employer retirement plans, knowing they are reducing current taxable income, typically receiving an employer match on their contributions, and deferring taxation until retirement.  However, if this is the only place where retirement savings takes place, you can be in for a surprise when reaching retirement.  If all your usable savings resides in a tax-deferred bucket, every dollar you take out to meet expenses will be subject to income taxation at ordinary income rates, thereby forcing you to take additional money out to pay the taxes.  It can also be a shock to find that your retirement income tax bracket isn’t much different than your income tax bracket when you were working.  Additionally, higher taxable income levels in retirement will also impact the amount of your Social Security benefit which is subject to taxation and can also result in higher Medicare premiums. So what should you do differently to give yourself more flexibility and lower overall taxation in retirement?  There is great benefit in having multiple buckets of savings in retirement, each Read on! →

Moving from “tax” prep to “life” prep

At this time of year, everyone becomes a master at document gathering.  There is a shoe box or a filing system or a folder on your laptop to hold all the tax-related documents which are needed to complete your income tax returns.  It requires a diligent attitude to ensure nothing has been neglected or omitted which is important to the outcome of the bottom line.  Once the taxes have been submitted for the year, there is always a sigh of relief in getting to completion. Before you pack everything up and put it away for another year, take a step beyond tax prep and begin your life prep.  What does life prep really mean?  Like tax preparation, the devil is in the details and it is critical to your financial success that you take the time to examine and shore up the other areas of your financial life. You can start with that recently completed tax return.  Did you save to your employer plan and thereby reduce your current income?  If eligible, did you contribute to a Roth or regular Read on! →