Matt Wright, CFA® |
While the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield had been as high as 3.2% just last November, it has recently fallen below 2% on expectations of slower economic growth. While sub-2% yields have not been unusual in the low-interest rate environment we’ve been in following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, it is without a doubt much lower than we’ve experienced in prior decades. If you think U.S. yields feel paltry, consider this: The Republic of Austria issued...
If you stay current with the news periodically throughout the year, you will have undoubtedly seen one (or several) articles outlining the woes of the current Social Security system. I recently read a good article in the June AARP Bulletin (“Healthy Now, But Outlook is Risky”) and want to share some of the facts provided in that article: Without changes, the Social Security trust funds would begin to be depleted in 2035. What this means...
Bruce Primeau, CPA, CFP®, PFS |
So you did a great job of saving for college for your child and they are finally graduating—yay! In fact, you did such a good job that maybe you saved too much. What can you do about it? Here are some options for you to consider: Change the Account Beneficiary: You can change the account’s beneficiary to someone else. Your options include other children, nieces, nephews, a grandchild or even you or your spouse, should...
Bruce Primeau, CPA, CFP®, PFS |
I’d say once or twice a week I get the question “How much money do I need to retire?” My response is typically, “Well, it depends.” The “magic” amount of retirement dollars that each person / couple needs really depends on a few basic factors: How soon before you plan to retire? How long are you going to live (do you have longevity in your genes)? How much do you plan to spend in retirement?...
A few weeks ago my son was in need of some Cub Scout gear, so I stopped at a local Scout Shop. Our den leader had told me the few specific items that we needed and that everything else was optional. Nonetheless, the Scout Shop employee made a good effort to sell me items that we didn't need. He even pointed out that the amount I was spending was way less than I would spend...
Bruce Primeau, CPA, CFP®, PFS |
Most people want to know how their investments are performing but what really matters is how they are performing on an after-tax basis. This is important because it is what translates into how much you can actually spend from your portfolio. At SWA, we have developed an Asset Location Strategy (ALS) that encourages each client to build a globally diversified portfolio utilizing a passive, tax-efficient investment approach. We do this by advocating that clients build...
Matt Wright, CFA® |
Kanye West recently met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in a highly publicized event. While the general discussion was outside the scope of our role as wealth advocates, one incident during the meeting prompted us to once again remind everyone about the importance of keeping your personal information safe. Mr. West pulled out his iPhone and, on live TV, punched in a password of 000000 to access it. While it's arguably better...
If you have children in or going to post-secondary school for the 2019-2020 school year, now is the time to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly referred to as the FAFSA. The filing period begins October 1 each year of the year prior to attending college. Why complete the form, let alone early? In order to gain access to federal financial aid the student and parents need to complete and submit...
Bruce Primeau, CPA, CFP®, PFS |
Well, Congress took their best shot at tax simplification for 2018 and, by doing so, has changed the way many people will make charitable contributions moving forward. For some, itemizing deductions will no longer be necessary as it will be difficult for them to come up with more deductions that the standard deduction amount affords them. For others that have total itemized deductions close to the standard deduction amount, a new opportunity exists. The opportunity...
Deep down, most of us realize we can't reliably predict future events with much accuracy. But the potential rewards of being right are so tempting that business leaders and investors spend enormous amounts of time and effort trying to get an edge over everyone else, despite the odds. While some people, through luck or skill, will find success doing this, it seems unlikely to us that there is a positive payback in aggregate. Many investment...
Becky Botzet, CFP®, EA |
Selecting the right retirement plan as a self-employed person (or a married couple as business owners) can be confusing and differences between options can sometimes be overlooked. The SEP IRA and Individual 401(k) are the two most common retirement plans chosen by successful self-employed individuals due to their high contribution limits and flexible annual contributions. However, there are key differences that should be considered. The Individual 401(k) and the SEP IRA have comparable maximum limits....
Bruce Primeau, CPA, CFP®, PFS |
I recently read an article entitled, "U.S. Workers Still Lag In Retirement Savings, But Execs See Hope," in Financial Advisor Magazine and I want to share some of the points they provided. According to an Insured Retirement Institute study of 806 people between the ages of 55 and 71: 42% of those surveyed have no retirement savings Of those that have some retirement savings, 38% have less than $100,000 saved Only 38% of those surveyed...