Successful College Planning

College is one of life’s most important – and expensive investment goals. As a parent of two grade school kids, I know that their heading to college will be here faster than I think it will be. With most pre-college children heading back to school this month, we thought it would be appropriate to talk about pre-paying for one of life’s biggest expenses… college. In this article we talk about the importance of understanding the costs of college, what to expect from financial aid, and how to make the most of your tax-advantaged 529 plans.
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5 Myths About Social Security

As I get older, I’ve become more curious about Social Security.  I’m in my mid 40s and I have been paying into the system since high school. Hopefully, I’m 20+ years out from claiming benefits but  given how fast life goes by, it’s never too early to start thinking about and planning for Social Security. It’s a topic that many people shy away from, but in planning for your financial future, it’s an income stream that needs to be accounted for in a financial plan.

To kick off our series of articles on this topic, I am starting with 5 myths about Social Security:

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Shutdown Lesson - Why We All Need Some Emergency Cash

Politics aside, it was tragic to hear that many government workers ran into trouble paying their bills when they did not have a paycheck for a month.  Unfortunately, this cash shortfall is not unusual, as a Federal Reserve survey last year showed that 40% of American adults would not be able to cover a $400 emergency expense or would do so by borrowing or selling something.

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5 Year End Tax Tips

Submitted by Susan Powers on November 11, 2018

Looking for tips to help you save money on your tax bill for 2018?  Smart tax planning starts now rather than waiting until next year when it’s often too late.  Here are 5 tips to help you take full advantage of tax reform.

1.  Review your investments, ‘harvest’ losses

Given recent market volatility, you may have losses in your taxable accounts.  You can lock in those losses for tax purposes, while still being invested for the long-term by buying something similar, but not identical.  You can use these tax losses to offset capital gains when you file your tax returns.  This is a concept known as tax-loss harvesting.   For example, if you sold one investment and realized a gain of $5,000 and then sold another at a loss of $4,000, you reduce your taxable gain to $1,000.  If your loss is larger than the gain, you can deduct up to $3,000 of the net loss against ordinary income.

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Unlocking the Mysteries of 529 Plans

As a parent I appreciate the saying “they grow up so fast.”  When I was on maternity leave in 2010, I remember how excited I was to fund our daughter’s 529 plan and plan for her future.

Selecting the right 529 plan can be as intimidating as determining how much to contribute each year.  In working with my clients, I have identified several types of 529 plans and funding schedules to meet their needs.

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