Member Blogs

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  • Perhaps you had to tap into your emergency fund during the past year or so. Or maybe the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has you thinking that it is time to start an emergency fund. Real Simple offers “5 Rules for an Emergency Fund That Will See You Through (Almost) Anything.” You might wonder why you [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Guidelines for an Emergency Fund is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Supporting your lifestyle over a 35-year retirement will be the most expensive goal you will have, and the burden is squarely on you.
  • Instances of title theft are rare and the chances of a financial institution lending money on a fraudulent title is unlikely. Lenders make every effort to ensure the title is good before they loan money, and the most lenders purchase title insurance.
  • Many people who are looking to implement a Roth conversion strategy also have a regular investment account. After all, retirement account contributions are limited each year, and many people are looking to set aside additional money. Over time, these taxable accounts can accumulate quite a bit of growth in themselves, particularly if you have a sensible, long-term, diversified portfolio. In that case, you might have capital gains that are now part of your tax planning picture. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • In “What Pickleball Can Teach You About Investing,” Jacob Schroeder, writing for Kiplinger.com, demonstrates how you can apply everyday lessons to your investing and financial planning…if you pay attention. Pickleball isn’t tennis but it has some things in common with tennis. In pickle ball, the players use paddles to hit a small plastic ball over a net. [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Investing Lessons from a Fun Sport is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow," sang Fleetwood Mac on their 1977 classic "Rumors." And band member Stevie Nicks is among a handful of rockers who seems to be putting those words into action.
  • When someone uses financial planning services to transfer money or assets to beneficiaries, that is a wealth transfer. Many people believe that in the United States we will see a great wealth transfer as Baby Boomers age and leave money for those who are younger. “The impact of inheritance” on Vox.com ponders whether the anticipated [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Turn to a Fee-Only Financial Planner When You Inherit is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • ESPPs can be a great way to build wealth and more quickly achieve your personal financial goals. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Like much of the world, I was riveted by the mammoth container ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal for 6 days, 3 hours and 38 minutes. The ship, one of the world’s largest container ships named Ever Given is about as long as the Empire State Building is tall! The jam backed up []
  • We are excited to announce that Kathryn Kubiak-Rizzone has joined the Values Added team as an associate financial advisor! Kathryn loves helping women and families navigate the many financial decisions they face on the path to financial freedom, with a specific focus on serving the intersectional needs of women, people of color and LGBT+ folx. [...]
  • This month we have highlighted women in business who have excelled for facing tough challenges and beating the odds. However, we do not want to forget that there are untold numbers of women who do not make headlines that are also doing the same thing within their own households. In “Women’s History Month: From Pin [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Womens History: Saving, Strategizing, and Spending is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • An incentive stock option (ISO) is a company benefit that gives you the right to buy shares of stock at a discounted price with a tax break on the profit. On the other hand, non-qualified stock options known as NSOs (the more common type) are not as advantageous tax-wise as incentive stock options. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Many retirees don't realize that there are limitations to what Medicare covers. The best health care is preventative, especially in the early years of retirement. Here are 4 ways to keep your medical costs from negatively affecting your Return on Life.
  • Transition into retirement is stressful. It requires a significant change in mindset from contributing to your portfolio to taking distributions.
  • Olive Ann Beech (1903-1993), highlighted in the Mental Floss article “8 Daring Female Entrepreneurs from History” demonstrated her interest in financial matters from an early age. This woman entrepreneur had her own back account by the time she was 7 years old. At the age of 11, she was managing her family’s finances too. All [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Olive Ann Beech Took Her Aviation Company to Great Heights is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • As a highly compensated employee you may find that company stock is now a part of your overall salary package. For some, managing these different types of stock grants and planning what to do with them can be frustrating and confusing. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
  • Fewer than 2% of NCAA student-athletes go on to play professionally. But the college sports experience still has strong benefits for those who go on to become business professionals, entrepreneurs, artists and educators. The iconic Vince Lombardi once commented "The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand and the derermination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to task at hand". Regardless of being a student and/or an athlete,
  • Many Americans will be receiving third stimulus checks soon. Discover if you're eligible and get your biggest questions answered in this in-depth guide.
  • Everyone has felt the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic in one way or another—economic, health, social, psychological, or a combination. Retirees, especially, have been deeply afflicted by COVID-19, being most vulnerable to catch the various strains, experiencing deep financial commitments, and being isolated from family, friends, and loved ones. Since March 2020, there have been two significant stimulus packages to help curb some of this loss—the $2.2 trillion CARES Act and the $900 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act. Now, there is another package, the American Rescue Plan. The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package passed with a 220-211 vote in Congress and was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Friday, March 12. What support does this bill provide? Here are the major components. What’s the American Rescue Plan? This package was designed to support individuals, families, businesses, and the economy at large, which has sustained negative impacts due to...
  • The Latin Way saluted women entrepreneurs who are either from Latin America or of Latin descent in The most successful Latina entrepreneurs.  Many of the women mentioned are known as entertainers but they have also had success in business. Columbia’s Sofia Vergara is known for her work on the televisions show Modern Family. She also is [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Finding Success in Entertainment and Entrepreneurship is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • The SEC defines payment for order flow (PFOF) as “a method of transferring some of the trading profits from market making to the brokers that route customer orders to specialists for execution.” This practice has been in the news lately, in part because of the recent scrutiny of trading practices at Robinhood – a firm
  • Lesson 1 from 2020: The Power of Diversification The first investment lesson from 2020 is diversification. Everyone knows that it is important to diversify in order to stabilize your portfolio.  In more technical speak, this means holding some assets that tend to zig when other holdings zag  To accomplish this, many investors hold long-term bonds.… [Continue] (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Bitcoin began use in 2009. It was invented by an unknown person, or group of people, using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Today, the total value of all Bitcoin is over one trillion dollars. Since the startup of Bitcoin, over 200 other cryptocurrencies have been established, with a total value of over $1.7 trillion. A recent The post Cryptocurrencies and Control first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • Roth conversions can be a great way to manage your tax liability over your lifetime. But there are additional considerations about how your retirement accounts might impact the tax liability of your heirs after you pass away. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • The Motley Fool highlighted investment advice from Mellody Hobson. Hobson is known as the the co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, where she had worked for almost thirty years. Late last year, Starbucks names Hobson as its board chair making her the first African American woman to hold that position. The financial difficulties Hobson experienced [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Investing Advice from Mellody Hobson is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Researchers have found that a major threat to the performance of your portfolio is uncertainty. Investors hate uncertainty. Uncertainty leads to stress and anxiety which negatively impacts decision making.
  • Investing can be complex. Building a tax-efficient, diversified portfolio (or several) suited to your risk tolerance and capacity, time horizon, and goals is no small feat. But the process doesn’t simply end with the portfolio’s construction—several elements swirl in the background that often go unnoticed unless you know what to look for: fees. Investment fees come in all shapes, sizes, and percentages, all of which can have a significant impact on your net returns. These fees also live in every investment account you have like your 401k, IRA, and a brokerage account. Understanding these fees will give you more control over your investments and help provide greater context to how the process works. Here’s what you need to know about investment fees, so you can walk into investing with both eyes wide open. Investment fee basics Investment fees are akin to buying tickets online. Have you ever browsed...
  • “Women entrepreneurs reveal lessons from the pandemic and how they dealt with unprecedented times” focuses on women entrepreneurs in India. It highlights their businesses and the lessons they’ve learned as they navigate the pandemic as entrepreneurs. Several entrepreneurs used a word we hear a lot in these times: pivot. Depending on your business and area [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Women Entrepreneurs Overcome Pandemic Challenges is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Congress has officially passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Here's an overview for business owners, families and individuals impacted by COVID-19.
  • A study by Associate Professor of Economics Jason Abaluck at Yale University last year showed discouraging results when it comes to the efficacy of retirement health care plans. The study attempts to approximate a randomized controlled trial, by analyzing the outcomes when people were forced to switch plans due to a plan’s termination. They compared The post All Retirement Health Care Plans are NOT Alike. But Take Charge of Your Own Health. first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • Like many taxpayers, you might get a refund each year when you file your taxes.Last year ≈74% of individual tax returns resulted in refunds. The average refund was $2,476. It’s no secret that taxpayers use the tax withholding system as a form of savings. Too much tax is withheld from your paycheck throughout the year []
  • Mega backdoor Roth IRAs are complicated retirement savings strategies. But for the right person, they could offer a big tax advantage.
  • Rebalancing enforces a discipline to sell when prices are high and buy when prices are low.
  • In “Redefine Retirement with New Lingo” we discussed boomerang entrepreneurs, a term for people who start businesses one the retire from their previous career. While the term may be new, this idea is not new at all.  Many people, including George Washington, the first president of the United States, decide to get into new entrepreneurial ventures [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. George Washingtons Senior Citizen Startup is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Financial life planning matches your values with your money. Many people are discovering that their financial journeys are even more fulfilling when they align their plans with their values. These investing, spending, and giving strategies could help you grow your nest egg while also putting your values in action.
  • Michelle Singletary of The Washington Post offered advice for what may be a tumultuous tax season for some people and a “supersize list of some of the issues people will face this year” in “Tax season 2021: A tornado is coming.”  Really, you do not have to fear if you have already been working with [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Do Your Research to Avoid Tax Season Tumult is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Spring is just around the corner, so our minds turn to cleaning up and getting ready for new growth. Moreover, tax documents are arriving daily, bringing a fresh focus to simplifying our financial lives. Here are a few ideas to make your financial life better this year, by cleaning up credit cards, bank, retirement, and The post Spring Cleaning for Your Finances first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • The dream of a debt-free retirement, while compelling, isn’t the norm. Many pre-retirees plan to carry some debt, notably, their mortgage, into their golden years. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies’ 2019 survey found that 46% of homeowners ages 65-79 had a mortgage—a steep increase from 24% back in 1990. While not uncommon, mortgage debt in retirement is an important financial consideration, and as such, requires a reliable plan to help you balance your other financial responsibilities. At Step by Step, we build mortgage debt in our approach to retirement income planning. This line item is always accounted for in the planning process, whether the funds are used for your mortgage or repositioned for long-term care, health needs, or other retirement expenses. Today, we’re exploring the elements that...
  • The Federal Reserve cuts the federal funds rate to reduce the price of money to encourage borrowing and discourage saving. Their goal is to get more money into the economy rather than sitting in the bank.
  • The Investment Climate

    Every year since the financial crisis of 2008-09, Laurence Fink, the founder and CEO of BlackRock, has written a letter to CEO’s. In this letter, the leader of the world’s largest asset manager outlines the priorities which his organization would like to see in the companies in which they invest. It’s a call to action,
  • News headlines have been saturated with the story of the rising GameStop stock. Nearly everywhere you turn, one media outlet or another is discussing how it happened and spreading conjecture about its potential long-term impacts. We felt it imperative to address our clients about this nation-wide stock frenzy and help put your mind at ease. Our investing approach at Step by Step is built on a firm foundation, one that carefully assesses your risk preferences, time horizon, and goals . Day trading trends and get-rich-quick methods aren’t in our wheelhouse. It’s critical to understand these fundamental differences so you can find confidence in your investments and your financial plan at large. What happened with GameStop stock and will it affect your finances? Let’s explore these ideas together. The GameStop stock...