Carnegie Investment Counsel Blog

Life Events: Reasons to Change Your Will

Posted by Carnegie Investment Counsel on Jan 27, 2022 2:00:00 PM

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.

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Topics: Financial Planning, Retirement Planning

You Can’t Take It With You Part 3: Living Well With Wealth

Posted by Carnegie Investment Counsel on Jan 13, 2022 1:30:00 PM

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.

In our previous posts in this series, we discussed gifting money to family and charitable giving. In this post, we take a deep dive into enjoying your nest egg. Here are some categories.

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Topics: Financial Planning, Retirement Planning

Kids and Money: How to Teach Money Habits and Investing Concepts

Posted by Carnegie Investment Counsel on Dec 21, 2021 1:30:00 PM

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:

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Topics: Financial Planning

Financial Planning for People With Disabilities: Understanding ABLE Accounts

Posted by Carnegie Investment Counsel on Dec 14, 2021 1:30:00 PM

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.

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Topics: Financial Planning

529 Savings Plans: Can They Be a Wealth Transfer Tool?

Posted by Gary Wagner on Nov 30, 2021 1:30:00 PM

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.

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Topics: Financial Planning, Investment Management, Wealth Management

The Question Isn’t “Will You Act as a Fiduciary?” It’s “Will You Act as a Fiduciary, 100% of the Time?”

Posted by Gary Wagner on Oct 26, 2021 1:30:00 PM

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?

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Topics: Financial Planning, Investment Management, Relationship Management, Retirement Planning

Timeless Investment Tips to Help Prepare for Good Times or Pandemics

Posted by Carnegie Investment Counsel on Oct 14, 2021 1:30:00 PM

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.

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Topics: Investing, Financial Planning, Investment Management

Practical Options for Sources of Retirement Income

Posted by Carnegie Investment Counsel on Oct 7, 2021 2:04:26 PM

We’ve always been told that the only certainty in our lives will be death and taxes. Fair enough. But many of us would like to see a greater degree of certainty when it comes to our retirement, specifically as it relates to retirement income.

However, although there are tools to help determine our income after our work life, it really is a “best guess” and is not guaranteed. Add to that, the amount of time one will need that income is also speculation.

But there are steps we can take to augment traditional income sources. First, let’s define those typical ways of paying for our retirement.

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Topics: Financial Planning, Economy, health insurance

COVID and Healthcare: Lasting Implications from a Financial Advisor’s Perspective

Posted by Shams Afzal, AIF® on Sep 21, 2021 2:00:00 PM

Many among us found ourselves playing armchair epidemiologist at the outset of the pandemic. Casual discussions about rates of community transmission and projectile statistics of a cough in indoor settings, along with a browser tab open consistently to track worldwide COVID tallies, all served as useful distractions.

While the country grappled with this black swan event, healthcare infrastructure strained to accommodate three distinct influxes of COVID-infected patients in just nine short months. As the fourth wave continues to impact parts of the country today, it’s a little premature for a full postmortem on how the healthcare sector fared as a whole, but there are reasons to be hopeful.

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Topics: Financial Planning, Economy, health insurance

You Can’t Take It with You Part 2: Philanthropy

Posted by Carnegie Investment Counsel on Sep 17, 2021 4:00:00 PM

Did you know that 90 percent of high net-worth households give to charity according to the National Philanthropic Trust? It’s an impactful way to ensure your wealth goes to good use. Nonprofit and charitable organizations are fueled by individuals who support their services. Currently, there are about 1.54 million charitable organizations in the U.S., and in 2019, 69 percent of charitable giving came from individuals.

In our first post in this series on living with wealth, we discussed giving to family. [Link to blog when posted] In this post, we concentrate on charitable giving. Outside of playing a pivotal role in helping a nonprofit organization thrive, charitable giving boasts a number of benefits for donors. Making a donation to a qualified 501(c)(3) makes you eligible for tax deductions, and giving a considerable amount can benefit your overall estate planning.

Take a closer look at how you can position yourself for sustainable charitable giving and, in addition, leave an enduring legacy after your death.

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Topics: Giving, Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Nonprofits

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