Buying a Vacation Home for Retirement

When it comes to retirement,the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is buying a vacation home to spend part of your retirement years.  This article goes into detail about some of the things that you need to consider before you buy – after the question of “Can I afford it?’  A couple of the items that most people don’t consider are things like renting out your vacation home and who is going to take care of the property when you are not there?  Will you have a security system installed to protect the property as well as maintaining the normal protections?  Any person considering a retirement vacation home should read this article before it becomes a money pit during their retirement years. 05.29.19

Safest Sunscreens

We decided to get away from all of the financial articles with this one and focus on summer.  Even though the weather has not been the greatest, we still believe summer is around the corner. With that being said, this article talks about the best sunscreen that you can buy for your money.   Believe it or not, there is a non profit environmental research organization that actually tests all of the products and reports back.  Who is the winner?  You will have to read the article to see.   All of these products can be found on Amazon for under $15.  Enjoy and have a great summer! 05.22.19

Ten Most Versatile College Majors

We have opened hundreds of 529 accounts for our clients’ children or grandchildren so we know that this article brings up a major concern for some people.  Many children who go to college have no idea what they want to major in when they get there.   The article says that nearly one in three first-time college students switch their major at least once within three years.   The major reason for making the switch is that they have no clue on what they want to do once they graduate college.  It takes them a few years to decide what career is best suited for them.   This article takes a look at the 10 most versatile majors for college – degrees that you can have a fighting chance at getting out and getting a job.  If you know somebody in college or getting ready to go, you might want to send them a copy of these versatile majors. 05.20.19


Maxing out your 401k

People believe it is hard to save for retirement but the easiest and best thing you can do is to automate your 401(k) savings.  The maximum limit in 2019 is $19,000 and people 50 and older can add an additional $6,000 to these savings.  Only 13% of participants maxed out their 401(k) in 2017.  The bad thing about this is that most of these investors had higher incomes, were older and had longer tenure at their employers.   The article then goes into some ways that may make it easier for a person to increase their contribution and it also talks about pitfalls to avoid such as going out to eat too much. 04.23.19

How Long Should you Keep Tax Records?

How long should you keep tax records?  This question seems to come up often with our clients so we thought it would be worth posting.  The IRS has a period of 3 years after the due date of your return to initiate an audit, so you should keep your records at least that long.  The article goes into which documents you should keep and for what period of time.  For instance, the article recommends that you keep information about your investments and bad debts for seven years.  The good thing about this is you don’t actually need to keep these statements since you can get them online at any time if you keep the same brokerage firm.  It might be a little tougher for you as time passes and if you change brokerage firms.  If you are a client of ours and feel that you can discard some of your old returns, we would be happy to shred them for you.  Simply bring them into our office and we will shred them the next time the truck service comes around. 04.17.19

7 Deadly Sins of Retirement Planning

Baby boomers were born just after World War II between 1946 and 1964 and are now retiring at the fastest pace in history.   This article talks about a study done by the Insured Retirement Institute and the conclusion is that most baby boomers are not prepared for retirement even as they are entering it.  It states that barely 1 person in 10 has saved enough for retirement.   The study consisted of 804 people and says that only 11% have at least $500,000 saved for their retirement and nearly 50% don’t have any retirement savings at all.   The article takes a deeper look in to the 7 mistakes that people should not make when planning for retirement.  Most seem basic enough but they are definitely worth a review. 04.10.19

Rewards Programs

One of the most popular credit card companies – Capital One – just changed the rules of the game without telling anybody.  At the end of March the quietly updated the number of rewards miles card holders need before they can trade them in for gift cards for popular retailers like Amazon, Apple and Walmart.  Capital One did not announce the change widely but did make a post on its rewards portal.  Our advice is to pay attention to the rewards programs that you are in and always be on the lookout for alternative rewards programs. 04.10.19


What to do when you are dealt the early retirement card.

While most people dream of retiring at age 65 or even earlier, sometimes people are dealt the card of retiring before they are ready to.  This article explores the issues of leaving the workforce before you planned to.  It looks at issues such as the cost of health care which in a lot of cases is the first or second largest expense during retirement.  It always talks about taking a hard look at your savings.  Most Americans will need about 70% to 80% of their working income to cover each year of retirement.  Social Security will fund about 40% of that amount leaving a large gap to fill. 03.26.19