Financial Planning

What's a myRA?

 February 2 2016     Anna Pfaehler
President Barack Obama introduced myRA to the nation during his State of the Union address in January, 2014. It was made available in November 2015. The government sponsored retirement plan was designed to help people prepare for retirement through a simple, secure and affordable investment account and is a good option for those who are new to saving.

If I Won the Lottery

 January 15 2016     Anna Pfaehler
Big jackpots generate buzz about dream cars, early retirement and extended trips. I am both one of the worst and best people with whom to have this conversation. I’m not thinking about how to spend the money. I’m thinking about how to preserve and protect it. So if you would like a wistful conversation about expensive toys, I am the worst person at the water cooler. But for practicalit...

Happy New Year!

 January 11 2016     Anna Pfaehler
The holidays always leave me feeling like I’m bleeding cash. I am a saver, not a spender, and even if I earmarked money for certain expenditures, it is not easy to watch it leave my bank account. Plenty of people feel the same way after the holidays and are looking to save more in the New Year.  Here are a few easy ways to increase your savings in 2016:  1. Participate in a Y...

File and Suspend Changes and the Effects on Women

 December 14 2015     Anna Pfaehler
“Social Security was created in a time when many women did not work outside the home. To recognize the value of the work they did and create economic stability for women in old age, spousal benefits were created.”

Financial Planning Potpourri

 November 30 2015     Anna Pfaehler
I often answer one-off questions for our investment advisors. Here are a few I’ve fielded recently.

Budget Bill Has Changed Social Security Strategies

 November 17 2015     Anna Pfaehler
Shifting Social Security StrategiesThe Senate approved a bipartisan budget agreement Friday that averted a government default and ended battles between congressional Republicans and the Obama administration over fiscal policy. The bill is expected to be signed by the President this week.Buried within the budget agreement are changes to Social Security that may affect how and when many retirees tak...

Health Care Power of Attorney for Adult Children

 November 4 2015     Anna Pfaehler
Happy 18th Birthday! Now Sign This… With a child’s 18th birthday comes several “freedoms” of adulthood – from the right to vote to the ability to buy a lottery ticket. The privileges of adulthood are at the expense of some automatic legal protections that children receive. For one, parents are no longer able to make critical healthcare decisions or access healthcare...

Rollovers of Designated Roth Accounts

 October 30 2015     Anna Pfaehler
A designated Roth account in an employer retirement plan, like a 401(k) or 403(b), is in many ways similar to a Roth IRA. It is funded with after-tax dollars and allows for tax-free withdrawals in retirement (with qualifications). There are several differences though, and one very important difference for retirees is Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). 

The Upside of Being Down: Harvesting Tax Losses

 October 6 2015     Anna Pfaehler
When the markets crashed in 2008, my to-do list was a steady stream of rebalancing portfolios. But I wasn’t taking clients out of the markets or drastically reducing their risk (and their chances of a full recovery). I was harvesting tax losses. 

Evaluating Term Life Insurance

 September 4 2015     Anna Pfaehler
Analyzing insurance, no matter what type, starts with risk and expected loss.  You insure against events that are unlikely to happen but would be extremely costly if they do. For example, the probability of your house burning down is low but the price of replacing your home and its contents is high. So you pay a premium, a small known loss, to protect against the potential of catastrophe.&nbs...
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