Northeast Planning Associates, Inc.

121 Shattuck Way, Suite 16,

Newington, NH 03801

Blog

Hello, and welcome to my blog! Here, I will be posting articles and thoughts relevant to the financial industry, retirement, investments, and financial planning, as well as other related topics. I am also willing to answer questions and respond to any concerns you may have. If you'd like to contact me with a question you want me to address, please email me, and I can either answer directly or in this forum. 

Email me by clicking here.  

Thank you for reading!

Monday, May 20, 2024

Stocks notched a solid gain last week in a mega-cap, tech-led rally bolstered by positive inflation news. Dow 40,000 The week began quietly as market averages traded in a tight range, awaiting fresh inflation news. On Tuesday, markets...

Monday, May 13, 2024

Stocks notched a solid gain last week as rate-cut expectations paced the rally as the Q1 earnings season wound down. Stocks Climb Steadily Monday opened with stocks picking up where they left off the prior Friday. Stocks were still...

Monday, May 6, 2024

Stocks notched a solid gain last week, rallying behind upbeat earnings, a dovish Fed, and mixed economic data. Stocks Pop, Drop, Then Rally Markets began the week with an upward bump as positive news from some mega-cap tech companies...

Monday, April 29, 2024

According to a recent survey from Pew Research Center, nearly half of all U.S. workers fail to use all their allotted vacation days. Why? Too much work to do and reluctance to ask their coworkers to cover for them are among the top...

Monday, April 29, 2024

Stocks staged a choppy comeback last week as investors cheered positive earnings, led by mega-cap tech stocks. The rally came to pass despite fresh data showing a slowing economy and increasing inflationary pressures. Stocks Bounce...

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Monday, April 22, 2024

Stocks fell for a third straight week, as Fed Chair Jerome Powell's mixed but upbeat message could not offset the anxiety caused by the Middle East conflict. Stocks Retreat Markets began the week rattled by further escalation in the...

Monday, April 15, 2024

Stocks fell last week as investors sorted through conflicting inflation reports and assessed geopolitical tensions. Inflation Spooks Markets On Wednesday, the March Consumer Price Index (CPI) report rattled markets, revealing that...

Monday, April 8, 2024

Stocks dropped last week as investors focused on “what's next” for interest rates after mixed comments from multiple Fed officials. Fed Officials Weigh In Stocks struggled out of the gate again last week, ending Monday and Tuesday in...

Monday, April 1, 2024

Stocks were narrowly higher for the week as investors digested mixed economic news about consumer confidence. All three of the major averages posted gains for Q1 2024. Stocks Finish Strong Markets slipped for the first half of the...

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

In the ever more complicated world we live in, it can feel like both our mailbox and email inbox are consistently overflowing with new statements, receipts, account change documents/announcements, and so on. Whether you keep important...

Monday, March 25, 2024

Stocks posted their best week of the year, sparked by news that the dovish Fed decided to keep rates steady and signaled three rate cuts were still possible this year. Stocks Bounce Back As widely expected, the Fed left rates...

Monday, March 18, 2024

Stocks fell for the second straight week on inflation concerns despite a report on consumer prices that was initially well received by investors. Stocks Slide Tuesday was the only bright spot during the week as stock prices rose after...

Monday, March 11, 2024

Stocks were down for the week as investors appeared to take some profits and traders parsed Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Congressional testimony. Markets Wobble  Stocks had a rough start to the week, with the Dow, S&P 500, and...

Monday, March 4, 2024

Stocks extended their tech-led advance last week as signs of a resilient and still-enthusiastic consumer boosted momentum. Nasdaq Sets New High Stocks traded in a narrow band early in the week but ended the five-trading sessions with...

Monday, February 26, 2024

Stocks vaulted to new heights last week on the back of an artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor company, marking investors’ belief that AI has the potential to transform the U.S. economy. Stocks Rally to Record Highs Stocks...

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Stocks fell last week as investors reacted to disappointing inflation updates and other economic reports that fell short of estimates. Stocks Snap Winning Streak Markets were quiet Monday but opened lower Tuesday in response to the...

Thursday, February 15, 2024

The term “estate planning” might call to mind something reserved for the very wealthy who are looking to avoid estate taxes. But estate planning is much more than that: it’s also the process of designating who will receive your assets,...

Monday, February 12, 2024

The stock market experienced solid gains last week, concluding the trading week on a positive note, thanks to robust corporate reports and favorable inflation news; this propelled the S&P 500 Index to achieve a new record high at the...

Monday, February 5, 2024

Stocks pushed higher last week as investors cheered mega-cap tech corporate reports and a better-than-expected employment report. Stocks at New Highs At the beginning of the week, stocks surged, anticipating fourth-quarter corporate...

Monday, January 29, 2024

Stocks continued their upward climb last week as excitement around big tech continued; positive economic reports stoked investors’ belief that the Federal Reserve has pulled off a soft landing. Stocks Power Ahead Big tech was...

Monday, January 22, 2024

While most of the focus this year in planning surrounding education is on provisions of the SECURE Act 2.0 that allow for new flexibility with unused funds in certain education savings accounts, there are six key changes to financial...

Monday, January 22, 2024

Stocks finished higher last week, with big tech again leading amid lingering uncertainty over how continued economic strength would influence the Fed’s rate decision. Stocks Dip, Then Rally  Stock prices dropped early in...

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Stocks pushed higher last week, led by big tech names and boosted by December inflation reports that were mixed but positive enough to shore up investor confidence in Fed rate cuts this year. Stocks Rock and Roll It was a rocky week...

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Stocks retreated in the first trading week of 2024, struggling a bit after a celebratory end to last year as investors second-guessed Fed signals and fretted over lingering inflation concerns. New Year Blues Stocks got off to a rough...

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Stocks posted a slight gain last week amid a shortage of news and light holiday trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.76%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.49%. The Nasdaq Composite index advanced 0.32% for...

Monday, December 18, 2023

On December 23, 2022, Congress officially passed the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) 2.0 as part of a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package, with the bill signed into law by President Biden eight days...

Monday, December 18, 2023

Markets reacted positively last week to cooler inflation and the idea of potential rate cuts next year, adding to the gains of the market’s year-end rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.92%, while the Standard &...

Monday, December 11, 2023

A late-week, two-day rally left stocks higher, adding to November’s gains as the last month of trading for 2023 began. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat (+0.01%), while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.21%. The...

Monday, December 4, 2023

A Friday rally turned an otherwise mixed week for stocks into a solid performance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 2.42%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.77%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.38% for the...

Monday, November 27, 2023

Investor enthusiasm for stocks remained strong last week, buoyed by declining bond yields in a holiday-abbreviated trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 1.27%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 1.00%. The...

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

As we approach the end of another year, we thought it would be helpful to provide a list of opportunities to hopefully help you end 2023 on a financial high note. Tax Loss Harvesting: For those with taxable investments that have an...

Monday, November 20, 2023

Stocks extended their November rally last week as investors cheered lower-than-forecast inflation data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.94%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 2.24%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose...

Monday, November 13, 2023

A powerful Friday rally left stocks higher last week, extending the market’s early November gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.65%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 1.31%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Monday, November 6, 2023

Stocks ripped higher last week on a dramatic retreat in bond yields triggered by easing inflation and a slowing labor market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 5.07%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 surged 5.85%. The...

Monday, October 30, 2023

Amid a busy week of corporate earnings reports, stocks slumped on cautious earnings guidance, fears of higher interest rates, and growing anxiety over the increasing amount of Treasury bonds and notes coming to market. The Dow Jones...

Monday, October 23, 2023

Rising bond yields and uncertainty over whether this was the close of the Fed’s rate-hike cycle dragged markets lower last week despite solid corporate earnings results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 1.61%, while the...

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

According to the Social Security Administration, the 71 million Americans who receive Social Security benefit and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will see an increase of 3.2% next year. This is an average increase of...

Monday, October 16, 2023

Stocks ended mixed last week amid the outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East and higher-than-expected inflation data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.20%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.45%. But the Nasdaq...

Monday, October 9, 2023

A Friday rally overcame a shaky week, sending stocks mostly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.30% for the week. Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.48%, and the Nasdaq Composite index added 1.60% for...

Monday, October 2, 2023

Rising bond yields and government shutdown fears left stocks in mostly negative territory for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.34%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.74%. The Nasdaq Composite index was...

Monday, September 25, 2023

Rising bond yields and fears of a government shutdown hammered stocks last week, with technology shares bearing the brunt of the retreat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.89%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 2.93%...

Monday, September 18, 2023

Stocks ended the week roughly where they began as investors digested a mixed set of new economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.12%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.16%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell...

Monday, September 11, 2023

Many investors are likely to see the recent 5% (or higher) yields in short-term instruments like CDs and Money Market funds as too good to pass up. With interest rates near zero for such an extended period of time, the past 12 months...

Monday, September 11, 2023

Concerns that the Fed may raise interest rates soured investor sentiment, sending stocks lower in a holiday-shortened trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.75%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 1.29%....

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Falling bond yields–spurred by weak economic data–helped lift stocks to weekly gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.43%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 2.50%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Monday, August 28, 2023

Stocks fluctuated last week, jostled by fitful bond yields and headline news, before ending strongly following Fed Chair Powell’s comments on the monetary outlook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.45%, while the...

Monday, August 21, 2023

Stocks extended their August declines last week as higher yields and weak economic data out of China soured investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.21%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 retreated 2.11%. The...

Monday, August 14, 2023

Positive inflation data failed to lift stocks from their August doldrums last week as economic data and a ratings downgrade soured investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.62%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Last month we talked about some practical summer planning ideas: more nuts and bolts. This month, we look at some aspects of the more touchy-feely side of planning. It’s important to remember, financial planning is not just about...

Monday, August 7, 2023

Stocks retreated last week as bond yields increased following the Treasury's announcement indicating “a larger-than-expected funding need” and a downgrade in the federal government’s debt rating. The Dow Jones...

Monday, July 31, 2023

A Friday surge pushed stocks solidly into positive territory last week, ignited by cooling in an inflation gauge closely tracked by the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.66%, while the Standard &...

Monday, July 24, 2023

Stocks moved to the rhythm of earnings season last week, initially rising on positive earnings surprises and faltering later in the week on key earnings disappointments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.08%, while the...

Monday, July 17, 2023

Better-than-expected updates last week on consumer and wholesale price inflation buoyed investor sentiment, driving stocks higher and lower bond yields. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.29%, while the Standard &...

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Summer is officially here. While we of course look forward to rest and relaxation during these warmer months, it can also be an ideal time to check on a few important but less urgent planning items. This is especially true if you were...

Monday, July 10, 2023

Rising concerns about further rate hikes sent stocks lower to kick off the second half of trading.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.96%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 retreated 1.16%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Monday, July 3, 2023

Stocks posted gains for the week to close out a stellar month, aided by positive economic data and reports that all major banks had passed the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.02%,...

Monday, June 26, 2023

Stocks took a breather last week as investors digested the previous week’s surge and the month-to-date solid gains.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.67%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.39%. The Nasdaq...

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

With the 2nd half of 2023 nearly upon us, we take a quick look ahead at some important upcoming dates for which to prepare.September 15th: Estimated Tax Payments for the 3rd quarter are due for the self-employed or those who do not...

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Stocks climbed last week as reassuring inflation data boosted investor hopes that the rate-hike cycle was nearing an end amid fresh economic data pointing to continued economic resilience.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.25%,...

Monday, June 12, 2023

A late-week rally sent stocks into positive territory, with the S&P 500 index closing just shy of the 4,300 mark.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.34%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.39%. The Nasdaq Composite...

Monday, June 5, 2023

Stocks surged higher in the closing days of a holiday-shortened trading week, ignited by a political resolution on raising the debt ceiling and a strong employment report.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.02%, while the Standard...

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Markets moved in sync last week with perceived movement in debt ceiling talks, weakening early in the week and then surging on news of progress. A solid quarterly report and guidance from a mega-cap technology company helped with...

Monday, May 22, 2023

Stocks rallied last week, propelled by growing optimism over reaching a deal on raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a technical debt default by the U.S.The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.38% higher, while the Standard &...

Monday, May 15, 2023

Stocks were mixed last week as good inflation news was offset by mounting debt ceiling concerns and rekindled regional banking fears.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.11%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.29%. The...

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

If you have a certificate of deposit (CD) that is maturing soon, it’s time to make a decision. Your CD has been collecting interest for months or years, helping you to get closer to your financial goals. Now you need to decide whether...

Monday, May 8, 2023

A Friday rebound, triggered by a big tech company’s earnings beat and a strong jobs report, shaved much of the week’s accumulated losses.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.24%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Monday, May 1, 2023

Strong earnings from several mega-cap technology companies offset renewed regional banking jitters and weak economic data, leaving stocks higher for the week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.86%, while the Standard &...

Monday, April 24, 2023

Stocks remained resilient last week amid mixed earnings reports, hawkish Fed-speak, and lingering recession fears, closing out the five trading days with small losses.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.23%, while the Standard &...

Monday, April 17, 2023

The combination of an improving inflation outlook resulted in a week of uneven, albeit positive, performance, in which cyclical and financial stocks rallied while technology, real estate, and utilities lagged. The Dow Jones...

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Last month, we reviewed 529 College Savings plans, why people use them, and how the use of funds has expanded over the last few years.This month, we’ll review options for unused savings in order to minimize taxation or penalty on...

Monday, April 10, 2023

Stocks ended a shortened week of trading mixed amid revived recession fears on Wall Street triggered by weak economic data.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.63%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.10%. The Nasdaq...

Monday, April 3, 2023

Stocks rallied last week on receding fears of a widening banking crisis, led by resurging investor interest in technology and communication services names.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.22%, while the Standard & Poor’s...

Monday, March 27, 2023

Modest gains in major market indices masked sharp volatility amid the uncertainty arising from mixed messages emanating from public officials and revived banking fears. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.18%, while the Standard...

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Most people have heard of 529 College Savings plans and understand their value in relation to saving money for future higher education for young family member. What some may not know is that the qualifying use of these dollars as well...

Monday, March 20, 2023

Amid the reverberations of two U.S. banks being taken over by regulators and the spread of uncertainty to European banks, stocks trended higher last week on the strength of the technology sector.The Dow Jones Industrial Average was...

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Stocks tumbled last week as investors reconsidered their interest rate expectations after Fed Chair Powell’s Congressional testimony that rates may need to go higher. Stocks also were rattled when a west coast bank was placed...

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Growing concerns about further interest rate hikes, prompted by fresh economic data, reversed early-week gains and left stocks mixed for the week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.13%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Do you have 529 college savings funds that may go unused by their intended beneficiary? Your first option is to provide the money to another beneficiary. However, if you don’t have an alternate beneficiary to whom you want to transfer...

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

In late 2022, the SECURE Act 2.0, a bill three years in the making, was signed into law. While there are several provisions in this bi-partisan-supported bill, we’ll highlight just a few that may be particularly interesting with...

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

As we wrap up another year, let’s look ahead to the first half of 2023. Here is a short list of some important upcoming dates to watch for. January 1stThe first of the year is when cost-of-living increases are effective for Social...

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

As we approach the end of another year, a year that has been challenging on many fronts, we thought it would be helpful to provide a list of opportunities that could end 2022 on a positive note.Roth IRA Conversions: When market values...

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The Social Security Administration has announced the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2023. Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2021 through the third quarter of 2022, recipients of Social Security...

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Traffic jams are unwelcome nuisances. Unless we know the cause and what every other driver on the road is going to do at any given time (which is of course impossible), we can’t know the right route to get to our destination quickly...

Thursday, August 11, 2022

ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing involves a set of characteristics used to evaluate potential investments, and their impact on society at-large. These factors generally include how a company cares for and impacts the...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

With the significant increase in property values in many areas of the U.S., if you own a home, now may be a good time to review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Why? Well first off, one in twenty insured homes has a claim each year,...

Monday, June 13, 2022

If you missed last month’s Digital Assets Part I, take a quick read as to why we should be concerned about this area.As we shared in our last post, Digital Assets can include information stored on an individual’s digital devices...

Thursday, May 19, 2022

This is first part of an updated series on Digital Assets, which we hope will be helpful as the things we purchase and memories we store are more and more intertwined with technology.Part I: What is a Digital Asset, and Why Should I...

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Legacy can be a subjective, even philosophical topic. What should be handed down to the next generation and how should a person or family be remembered? When it comes to financial legacy, often a critical part of the definition...

Monday, March 28, 2022

Once you file your tax return each year, it’s a good idea to start planning for next year’s return. Here are a few things you can look at doing today to help set yourself up for success in tax year 2022. Did you owe more than $1,000 or...

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Depending on your tax situation, your investment and tax advisors may have suggested looking at converting some of your Traditional IRA assets to a Roth IRA. Potential benefits of a Roth conversion include tax-free growth and no...

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Each January many people reflect on the past year and set new goals for the next 12 months and beyond. When it comes to retirement, a “bucket list” is a common reference to checking off a list of activities in which you want to...

Thursday, December 16, 2021

This is the time of year for festive gatherings and generosity. It’s also the time of year when we get a glimpse of expected financial changes for 2022. Contribution limits for some retirement accounts will be increasing in 2022. We...

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

As we approach the end of each year, giving is often our minds. However, with close to 90% of US taxpayers now taking the standard deduction on their tax return, is there still also a financial incentive to give to charity? Good news:...

Monday, October 25, 2021

Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness While we wait for possible tax changes coming from Washington, one temporary modification already in place is the expansion of eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. On...

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

As we approach the cooler months, it is likely an important time to check in on your parents and aging relatives regarding their physical and financial health, to ensure they were not derailed by last year’s events. Financial...

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

We continue our two-part series mid-year planning opportunities. Last month, we covered reviewing retirement plan contributions and the new enhanced child tax credit. Manage assets in light of potential tax changes There have been many...

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

As we pass the midpoint of 2021, we thought it would be good to take a look at a few important planning opportunities/updates that are worth considering depending on your situation. This is a two-part posting and this month we look at...

Thursday, June 24, 2021

You may be familiar with the Section 121 Residence Exclusion without really being aware of it. This is the actual name for the tax benefit that protects owners from taxation on the sale of their primary residence, specifically gains of...

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

A surge in consumer inflation unsettled investors, leading to a turbulent week of trading on Wall Street.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.14%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.39%. The Nasdaq Composite index...

Thursday, May 13, 2021

One of the lesser-known impacts of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the act that brought us the second round of COVID-related stimulus payments) is a series of changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)...

Monday, April 26, 2021

We return to our Budgeting series. In February, we explored the importance of savings to building your personal budget. This month, we will look at finding a balance between spending and giving. Spending Besides increased online...

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Part 2 of our Budgeting series started last month, will continue next month. On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package known as the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law. This is the third...

Friday, February 26, 2021

The last 12+ months have likely had a financial impact on everyone. What kind of impact runs the gamut, from those who lost their jobs or some part of their income to those who managed to save additional money due to their limited...

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Stock prices inched higher last week amid declining COVID-19 cases, a pick-up in vaccinations, and progress on a fiscal relief bill. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.00%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 1.23%. The...

Thursday, January 14, 2021

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into a law a new $900 billion coronavirus relief package. This much-anticipated bill was paired with a $1.4 trillion bill to continue government funding into September. We are already in the...

Monday, December 21, 2020

What’s one positive that can come from an unexpected challenge, whether a natural disaster or a health event? We take a step back from the daily grind and look at how well we are prepared if and when another challenge comes. Many...

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Social Security Administration announced that the official Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2021 will be an increase of 1.30%. This is slightly less than the 1.60% bump we saw in 2020, and much smaller than the 2.80% increase...

Monday, October 26, 2020

As we continue to navigate a world with COVID, many parents and students are reconsidering the traditional college experience and, as such, may be wondering what their options are with college savings. The most popular college savings...

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

It’s been quite a year so far, where we saw volatility in the market, a global pandemic that lingers, and significant policy action by Washington D.C. to assist our citizens. For those who have taken advantage of some of these policy...

Monday, August 17, 2020

The rise in identity theft scams continues. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, fraud losses increased 15% in 2019 to $16.9 billion. This was led by account takeovers – ID theft where a criminal gains unauthorized access to an...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Were you on the ball and already took your required minimum distribution (RMD) early? As many now know, as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, RMDs were waived for 2020 for all retirement...

Monday, June 22, 2020

In last month’s blog, we talked through the details regarding the stimulus payments, but there has since been a new development: Pre-Paid Debit Cards.That’s right. Even with all this talk of checks, for some it’s not going to be a...

Monday, May 11, 2020

One of the key components of the CARES Act to help lessen the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was a direct payment to a majority of Americans, called Recovery Rebates or stimulus checks. First, what are these rebates, and...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Recently, there were two key orders from the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the extension of the tax filing and payment deadlines, and the CARES Act. Let’s take a look. Extension of Tax Filing and Payment Due...

Thursday, March 26, 2020

A Roth conversion can be a great way to move retirement savings from tax-deferred vehicles to a Roth IRA, where withdrawals on the earnings are not subject to income tax. The “cost” of the conversion is fairly simple: income taxes are...

Thursday, February 13, 2020

As you may have heard, the SECURE Act was passed in late December of 2019, with what many are calling the most comprehensive changes to retirement in over a decade. SECURE stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement...

Monday, January 13, 2020

It’s a new year and a new decade. There seems to be extra incentive to move towards our goals and resolutions, so we wanted to briefly mention two simple but important tips to help keep you on track. Write out the full year 2020. When...

Monday, December 16, 2019

The holiday season is usually full of reconnecting with family and friends. As you get updates on the lives of those closest to you, it’s a good idea to consider whether the beneficiaries on your investment accounts are up to date. The...

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The last couple of posts we’ve talked about giving to and investing in causes that are important to you. For the next two posts, we’re going to bring the topic of giving a little closer to home. This month, we’re going to cover giving...

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

More and more it appears that people prefer companies to not only have a solid product at a competitive price, but also provide a positive impact on our world. We are also starting to see this spill over into the investing space as...

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

In last month’s post on technology scams, we reviewed robocalls and tips to avoid getting duped by this rampant problem. In our follow-up posting we look at another scam to watch out for: Sweetheart Scams. Research tells us that...

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Technology is great. Think of all the advances in healthcare, communication and transportation just in the past decade. Like anything else, though, you must take the bad along with the good. Advancements in technology open the door to...

Friday, July 12, 2019

That’s a very philosophical question, but important nonetheless, especially when it comes to your relationship with money. Healthy relationships with money can often be illustrated by generosity and charitable intent. This can also be...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

There are a couple of bills that are before each of the two houses that could have small but meaningful impact on personal finances and retirement planning. While they are similar, let’s focus on the bill before the House of...

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Unless you’ve filed for an extension, you now know the impact of the new tax changes on your individual income taxes. Whether positive or negative, many people are noticing that their tax withholding was either too high or not high...

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Spring is here. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming – and families are making college decisions. While college enrollment in the U.S. has been flat for the last few years, the rate still hovers around 70%. College remains a...

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Towards the beginning of a new year is often a good time to review the named beneficiaries on your investment accounts. This is important to do this on an annual basis as life can change quickly and it may not be on your radar to make...

Friday, December 28, 2018

As 2018 winds to a close, it’s a good time for reflection on the past year. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was officially signed in to law on December 22, 2017. 2018 tax returns will be the first time that we all get to see the...

Monday, November 26, 2018

As the year winds down, there are some important actions you may want to take before the clock runs out on 2018. Roth IRA First and foremost, check your eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA. With most of us seeing a tax deduction in...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Beginning September 21, 2018, those concerned about identity theft can freeze their credit and place one-year fraud alerts at no cost. Due to the passage of the new Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act,...

Monday, September 24, 2018

Many recent college graduates find they have a difficult decision to make: contribute to their employer’s 401(k) plan or focus on student loan repayments. The choice between paying down debt and funding retirement can be a tough one,...

Friday, August 17, 2018

In July’s post we covered changes to deductions for IRAs resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For this month’s, we’ll look at the change to the “do-over” option on Roth Conversions. Prior to 2018, those who converted money...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The tax changes that went into effect this year have widespread implications. It will take a while to see how these changes affect larger aspects of our financial system, like the impact on the Federal deficit and economic growth. But...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

As we saw in our last post, Digital Assets can include information stored on an individual’s digital devices (documents, photos, movies, music, etc.), content uploaded to websites (photos, videos, social media posts, blog posts, etc.),...

Thursday, May 31, 2018

This is Part 1 in a series on Digital Assets, which I hope will be helpful as the things we purchase and memories we store are more and more intertwined with technology. Part I: What is a Digital Asset, and why should I care? It has...

Monday, April 30, 2018

You’re 54, you’ve been diligent about saving, and are looking forward to retiring soon. Like most people you have the majority of your retirement savings in your employer-sponsored plan – think 401(k) – and you’ll need to use some of...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Since the president signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law on December 22 of last year, many clients have been asking if they should make and changes to withholding from their paycheck. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made significant...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Last month we looked at a high-level summary of the changes as a result of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. One of the more significant changes outside of tax brackets is the classification of secondary school expenses as qualified. A...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was officially signed in to law on December 22, 2017. This is the most sweeping tax legislation in more than three decades, and it affects both individuals and businesses.The most significant change for...

Friday, December 29, 2017

You might start by asking, “What’s an RMD?” RMD stands for Required Minimum Distribution and refers to the amount that traditional, SEP or SIMPLE IRA owners and qualified plan participants must begin distributing from their retirement...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill As a follow up to last month’s blog on end-of-year planning, here are a couple of ideas for giving, with an eye on what must be done by year-end in...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

“Time moves slowly, but passes quickly” - Alice Walker As winter approaches, it’s again time to look at end-of-year planning that is important to do now before the holidays take over. Here are some key things you may want to take a...

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

There are situations when requesting a “do-over” would be ideal. Think about when you respond to your spouse thoughtlessly – as it leaves your lips you probably immediately apologize and call for a do-over. When you’re playing tennis...

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Most people in the military and their families are familiar with the ongoing benefits afforded to individuals who served our country, like pensions, inexpensive life insurance and retirement plans, tax-free housing allowances, and...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On June 14, 2017 the Fed announced its fourth increase in their interest rate targets in the past 18 months. Are the interest rate increases we’ve been threatened with for the past 5+ years finally here? If so, this this begs the...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The older you get, the more you realize that celebrities are just like us, only rich and famous. They make mistakes like anyone else, and those mistakes are often magnified by the money involved and the attention afforded their...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

One of the key tax initiatives rumored to be part of the new administration’s tax overhaul is a repeal of the federal estate tax. Even if this were to take place, it seems likely that estate planning will remain an integral part in...

Friday, March 24, 2017

If I asked you: “What is the maximum amount you are allowed to contribute to your 401(k) this year?” you would most likely answer either $18,000 or $24,000 depending on your age (50+) and ability to contribute an additional $6,000 as a...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

There’s a bit of administrative business that can have impactful consequences if not dealt with in a timely manner: naming and/or updating beneficiaries and the various types of beneficiary designations. Let’s take a look at a...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Along with a hiring freeze, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will mail fewer paper statements in an attempt to cut costs. You may recall that the most recent change to statements was that those not registered for an online...

Monday, December 12, 2016

Last month I outlined the upcoming cost of living increase in Social Security benefits for 2017. Another recent announcement for 2017 was in regards to estate taxes. While the annual gift tax exclusion ($14,000 per donee) and the top...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Social Security Administration recently announced that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent beginning in 2017. There was no Cost-of-Living...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

For the first time, the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) is available prior to January 1st. Starting in 2016 and going forward, the FAFSA will be made available on October 1st for the following year. How the FAFSA and Data...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Grandparents looking to help their grandchildren defray college costs have a variety of options. But no good deed goes unpunished! Let’s look at a couple of options and some of their pros and cons. Make Payment Direct to SchoolBecause...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

With the most recent estate tax changes, the majority of investors will not have an issue with the federal estate tax due to the high current level of exemption ($5.45 Million in 2016). Unfortunately, in addition to the federal estate...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Whether you have a graduating senior going off to college in a few months or you are planning college visits this summer, you may have begun to consider what you need to do in order to realize the full benefit of your 529 College...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Inherited IRA rules may seem straight forward, when a loved one passes away and you are the named beneficiary, you take over the IRA and have to begin taking distributions. But when the death of a beneficiary occurs or a trust gets...

Monday, March 21, 2016

We are down to a month remaining until your tax returns are due. If you haven’t yet taken action in the following areas, you have up until at least the tax filing deadline to do so: Contribute to a Traditional or Roth IRA for...

Friday, February 26, 2016

The key to saving for an anticipated expense or season of life (i.e. retirement) is starting early. The benefits of the concept of compound interest is well-documented, with the main difference-maker being time. Hypothetical Example:...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

When helping clients plan, one aspect that is becoming more and more important is planning for health care costs. One question I get asked often is: “How much should I plan to spend on Medicare and other health care costs in...

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was recently passed and signed into law as a way to avoid a government shut-down due to previously-imposed debt ceiling limits. Part of this bill results in closing so-called “unintended...

Monday, November 23, 2015

As expected, the Social Security Administration recently announced that there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits in 2016. For those under the income limits ($85,000 single/$170,000 joint) and...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Where has 2015 gone? We are already in the last quarter of the year and with that comes some end-of-year planning that’s important to do now before the holidays take over. Here are some key things to take a look at today:IRA...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

When preparing to send a child to college, there are a lot of things to think about. First, there is finding the right school. But then you have the application process, the aid application process, the supplies, the classes, and the...

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tax-deferral can be a powerful tool. It’s generally recommended to maintain tax-deferral as long as possible. If, however, there is a need to access money saved in a tax-deferred IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan before you...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

From 1982 to 2012, costs of tuition, room, and board for 4-year institutions increased at an average rate of over 14% per year. This increase has been more modest recently (4.65% per year between 2007 and 2012), but still outpacing...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Higher-income Medicare beneficiaries have been paying more for their Parts B and D coverage for several years now in the form of income-related monthly adjustment amounts (IRMAA). A new bill signed into law by President Obama in April...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Social Security Administration recently announced that their mySocialSecurity online accounts now offer the capability to regenerate misplaced 1099 or SSA-1042S forms for tax purposes. In order to access, go to www.socialsecurity...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In October of this year, the IRS announced upcoming changes for 2015 in the area of retirement contributions, income phase-out ranges and Social Security. Below is an overview of the highlights, and if you are interested in learning...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In general to establish an IRA (Traditional or Roth) an individual: 1. Must have compensation (either earned income of an employee or self-employed, or alimony). AND 2. Must meet the following income guidelines: Traditional IRA – Fully...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Your digital assets can include email accounts, social media accounts, music, ebooks, and movie accounts, among others. Unfortunately, problems often arise upon the owner’s death due to fine print in the user agreement for a website or...