AdviceIQ Articles

  • Asset Caregiver Guides (Pt. 1)

    We almost all seem to know someone who helps older family members with financial affairs. If legally appointed to help someone with their money, find out all you can about the potentially confusing role.

    To help fledgling financial caregivers, the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) publishes four guides for “Managing Someone Else’s Money.” Each guide addresses a specific role:

  • Under-Used College Savings

    Some good news on the college cost front: More parents with college-bound kids are saving for education, some 51%, a recovery from the recession. Trouble is, most of those parents aren’t putting away money the best way. A terrific savings vehicle, called a 529 plan, exists for that purpose, but people don’t use it nearly enough.

  • Countering Bonds’ Rate Drop

    If your portfolio depends heavily on bonds, you may be on an investing path to financial shortfall in retirement. Here’s what you can do about that.

    Bond returns over the next 30 years will probably come in substantially less than such returns over the past 30 years. Given changes in the direction of interest rates and current yields at historical lows, bonds face a strong headwind to generate much return – even in a nominal, non-inflation-adjusted sense. Bonds may actually show net negative returns, depending on interest rates and inflation.

  • Mechanics of 401(k)s (Pt. 1)

    Many folks have a retirement plan, such as a 401(k), available from their employers. It is a relatively straightforward savings vehicle, but can still be very confusing if you don’t know what exactly is under the hood.

    When you sign up for your company’s retirement plan, there are a few things you need to decide. Examine the mechanism carefully, because your livelihood in retirement depends on these decisions you make now.

    Here are some questions you may encounter when you start a 401(k) plan:

  • Biz Owners’ Money Planning

    Your life as a business owner is a long and crowded road. Developing customer relationships, managing employee issues and paying bills consume a lot of your time.

    Unfortunately, if you’re like most business owners you often neglect your personal financial goals.

    Owners like you commonly put off planning for their own financial future. This delay can cost you dearly, just as an undeveloped business plan may harm business growth. Lack of time often causes you to fall prey to two outcomes:

  • High Markets and High Risk

    Easy money policy has its share of side effects. The stock market continues to hit new highs, thanks to the Federal Reserve. But the level of risk that investors and taxpayers are exposed to also may be close to new highs. 

  • Getting Obamacare Subsidies

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, provides subsidies to Americans making up to 400% of the poverty level, about $94,200 for a family of four. Can you juggle finances to best cash in on subsidies?

    Rather than limiting subsidies to only those with a small net worth, the ACA provides aid to all persons with low incomes, including those early or partial retirees.

  • 7 Retirement Considerations

    When helping people get ready for retirement, I find the same issues come up over and over. Thinking ahead can spell the difference between a successful retirement with enough money and a stressful one with difficult decisions that you don’t want to make.

    1. Understand Social Security. The goal with Social Security is not to get the most you can from the government in your lifetime. It is to optimize the amount you receive per month when you finally retire.

  • Bull Market: Room to Run

    Just because we’ve had a five-year rising market doesn’t mean its demise is near. We are in the fifth inning of a nine-inning long-term secular bull market in stocks, comparable to the 1982-1999 run. So declares Joseph Zidle, portfolio strategist for Richard Bernstein Advisors.

  • More Money Isn’t the Answer

    How many times have you heard people say “If only I had more money.”? When you want to purchase a new car or a house, or pay down bills such as credit card debts and student loans, you can easily fall into the trap of thinking that more money is the answer to your problems. Most often, it is not.

    The question to face is how to manage money – not how much you make. Granted, folks need a certain amount of money to survive. Think of it this way: If you are poor at managing the money you currently make, how does an increase in income make you a better money manager?

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