Building wealth is an integral step in many major life goals: purchasing a home, limiting financial stress, supporting loved ones, enjoying retirement, the list goes on and on. But building wealth isn’t always straightforward. What if you’re early in your career and just barely managing to make ends meet? What if you’re nearing retirement but don’t feel you’ve saved enough? No matter your age or stage of life, here are five ways to help you build wealth now.
If taxes confuse you, rest assured that you are not alone. We often hear common questions from our clients around RMDs, 529 Plans, rules around charitable gifts, and more. To help demystify these topics, Carnegie Investment Counsel will host a free webinar on Wednesday, February 23rd, at noon.
- A. Christine Bretz, CPA, CFDA of Singer, Berger, Press & Co.
- Bryan R. Blackburn, CFP® of Carnegie Investment Counsel
Making decisions today that are designed to take effect upon our eventual demise is hardly at the top of anyone’s pleasure list. When it comes to ensuring the financial well-being of your family though, making thoughtful preparations regarding the final disposition of your assets should be a priority. The creation of an estate plan allows you to control how your assets are transferred to your heirs when you die or become mentally or physically incapacitated.
An estate plan will have far-reaching consequences regarding how your financial assets are distributed. A properly designed plan can also make directives about your medical care if you become too ill to make those decisions yourself.
In the absence of an estate plan, a probate court may be making the decisions about your money when you pass away, rather than following your wishes. The lack of a plan may leave your family with an undue hardship, particularly if you have not made it clear to them how you want your affairs to be managed.
Consider the essential components of a proper estate plan:
You’ve got many important documents you keep safe: your Social Security card, your birth certificate, your marriage certificate and, perhaps most important, your will. Though some of these documents can’t be changed, your will can be modified throughout your life so that your estate is handled according to your wishes after your passing. You want to make sure the right people inherit your assets, and those circumstances can change over time in relation to choices and relationships. Here’s a look at some reasons to change your will.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the finish line of your career, and now you’re ready to enjoy the rewards of your hard work and savvy financial planning. Nowadays, retirement looks a little different from previous generations: many retirees are now active and busy, completing their bucket lists and staying excited about tomorrow’s possibilities. You, too, can experience the enrichment of this new chapter.
Retirement looks different for everybody. It’s a great time to think of what goals you made for yourself when you were younger. What have you always wanted to do but never had the chance? Did you want to travel somewhere specific? Master a certain craft, give back to the community, or start a new hobby? Now may be the right time to say yes to all of those opportunities.
You’ve spent a lifetime developing an investing style and compiling ideas about how to wisely manage your personal finances. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to pass along some of that wisdom to your family? Here are a few ideas on how to teach money habits to young people.
Part of any practical education for your children and possibly your grandchildren should be how to effectively manage their finances.
Don't assume your kids are too young to start this process. If you wait until they are college age, you will likely miss a golden opportunity to create an enduring set of guidelines for financial management.
Another assumption that you can readily discount is that these lessons will be taught in school. According to the Council for Economic Education, only 21 states require a course in personal finance for high school graduation.
You may be doing a great disservice to your children by failing to give them an explanation of how the primary aspects of personal finance work. Here are some suggestions:
Topics: Financial Planning
ABLE Act accounts started with a parent. It was Stephen E. Beck, Jr., vice chairman of the National Down Syndrome Society and the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia Board of Directors who proposed a plan to help his daughter, who has Down syndrome, save money. His plan is what became the basis for the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.
In 2014, the ABLE Act was signed into law by President Obama and in June 2016, ABLE programs were launched in Ohio, Tennessee and Nebraska. In Ohio, for example, these accounts are called STABLE accounts.
If you’re a parent raising a child with special needs, you know there are unique circumstances when it comes to managing your family’s finances. In a previous blog post, we outlined eight simple steps for parents to take to establish financial stability for their child. This blog takes a closer and more in-depth look at ABLE Act accounts and answers some frequently asked questions.
By definition, ABLE accounts are investment accounts for eligible individuals with disabilities that allow them to save and invest money while retaining eligibility for public benefits programs (like Medicaid, SSI for example). These accounts share similarities with regular bank accounts, but they function more like 529 college savings accounts.
Topics: Financial Planning
Education savings plans were originally created in the 1980s by various states as a way for students to attain the financial means required for a college education. These plans are still implemented at a state level and are either prepaid tuition or tax-advantaged savings accounts that can be applied to qualified education expenses.
According to the National Association of State Treasurers, more than 12 million families have saved more than $258 billion in these plans over the last 40 years.
While the primary purpose of these accounts has always been to make a college education feasible from a financial standpoint, they should also be considered a valuable estate planning tool. In light of the current tax treatment of these accounts, they may provide a flexible means for parents, grandparents or other family members to transfer assets to a younger generation.
The word fiduciary has evolved from some obscure financial terminology rarely uttered at the neighborhood cocktail party to the in-vogue standard. If your financial person doesn’t meet the standard, you might be deemed a rube.
The term fiduciary seems so commonplace that you might be tempted to take it for granted. Surely, your advisor wouldn’t stoop to anything less than being a fiduciary: a professional who always strives to work in your best interest, even after you are invested. You can check that box. Right?
In their most recent study about stress in America, the American Psychological Association found that 72 percent of people felt stressed about money. Finances can be a constant stressor for some, no matter what significant events influence it. Still, it’s no secret that the pandemic transformed the workforce rapidly and wreaked long-term havoc on the economy in 2020. Many people experienced food insecurity due to the unexpected impact of financial loss, and according to a survey published in November, 2020, about 63 percent of Americans had been living paycheck to paycheck since the start of the pandemic.