2018 Arizona Tax Credit Limits

2018 Arizona Tax Credit Limits

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Published: November 24, 2018

The Arizona State Tax Credit program allows you to make a donation to an eligible organization and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit against Arizona state taxes owed. Donating to tax credit eligible organizations will most likely leave you in a tax neutral situation – meaning you’ll pay about the same total amount whether you use the tax credits or just pay the tax. But by donating you get a say in how the money is spent by choosing which of the tax credit eligible organizations you contribute to. You can contribute up to the amount of your expected Arizona tax liability. If you

6 Smart Year-End Tax-Saving Money Moves

6 Smart Year-End Tax-Saving Money Moves

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Published: November 10, 2018

Why is it, every year after Halloween, we are “shocked” to find that we are hurtling towards December 31st? As busy as it may get at year-end, make a promise to yourself. Find a way to steal two hours from your day to focus on something that will help you save money before heading into 2019. Sit down and estimate your 2018 taxes. Once December 31st passes, there is almost nothing you can do about your tax bill. A little planning now goes a long way. When you project what your tax return will look like BEFORE the year ends, you can identify

Our Next Free Online Retirement Planning Class – How to Control Your Retirement Destiny

Our Next Free Online Retirement Planning Class – How to Control Your Retirement Destiny

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Published: October 4, 2018

Our next online retirement planning class, How to Control Your Retirement Destiny,  will be Thursday, January 17th, 2019. About the Class In this one and half hour class, Dana will cover one main topic from each of the 13 chapters in the 2nd Edition of her book Control Your Retirement Destiny. The class will be live and will host a contest to give away a signed copy of book. Class length typically runs about one hour followed by questions and answers. You Will Learn: Why the planning is different once you’re age 50+ The basic planning steps to take What Social Security mistakes to look out for How taxes

When to Start Social Security for Singles, Marrieds, and Survivors

When to Start Social Security for Singles, Marrieds, and Survivors

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Published: August 31, 2018

What would you guess your Social Security benefits are worth; a few hundred thousand, maybe? Would it surprise you to know the average single person living twenty-five years could receive $500,000 or more in total Social Security benefits? Many married couples will receive over a million dollars. According to the Social Security office, in 2018 the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit was $1,413. That’s $16,956 a year. If you were a high-wage earner, the maximum monthly benefit for someone who had reached Full Retirement Age (determined by your date of birth) was $2,788 –  or $33,456 per year. And, you can get

The Scoop on Fee-only Financial Advisors

The Scoop on Fee-only Financial Advisors

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Published: August 24, 2018

Do you know how your financial advisor is compensated? A lot of people don’t. And maybe you don’t care. But you should. It can impact your wealth and the quality of advice you receive. I heard about this first hand from a friend recently. She shared with me that her MBA-degreed 60 year-old-brother, Michael, admitted he didn’t know how his financial advisor Meg, affiliated with one of the country’s top brokerage firms, made her money. Michael, with $3,000,000 in investments, is a pretty savvy fellow. How could he not know how Meg earns her keep? Is she a fee-only advisor that

How to ‘De-risk’ Your Retirement Portfolio So it Doesn’t Take a Big Plunge

How to ‘De-risk’ Your Retirement Portfolio So it Doesn’t Take a Big Plunge

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Published: August 22, 2018

Anybody who has lived in a cold climate knows what de-icing a car is like. If you’ve ever deiced a car you’ll get a chuckle out of this story and see how you can apply it to de-risking your retirement money. When I lived in Colorado I was in a hurry one morning and scraped only a small peephole in the ice on my windshield. I made it about a mile down the road when an officer pulled me over. He poked his head in my car and with an exaggerated slow twist at the neck he made an attempt to

Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

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Published: August 16, 2018

As you near your 60’s, your prime earning and saving years will transition into a period of time where you get to enjoy the “fruits of your labor,” a.k.a retirement. We call this segueing from accumulation to decumulation, the period when you will be drawing from your accumulated nest egg. You need to find the best retirement investments so that you can generate regular income, without having to go back to work. Here’s an overview of the most popular income-producing retirement investments. 1) Immediate Annuities Immediate annuities provide guaranteed income immediately (hence the name). They are a form of insurance rather than

Retire At 55? Maybe. If You’re Up for a Challenge

Retire At 55? Maybe. If You’re Up for a Challenge

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Published: July 25, 2018

It’s you’re 25 years old and contemplating retirement 30 years hence, an age 55 retirement is a possibility – if you start planning now. Put away at least $350 per month and plan on increasing that amount of savings each year. If you’re approaching age 40 (or older) and you’d like to retire by 55, it may be a bit more challenging, although in many cases it is still possible – if you’re willing to commit to the changes needed to make it happen. Of course, there is a third option that doesn’t get considered as often as it should. Find work

How to Build a Retirement Portfolio That Will Stand Up Over Time

How to Build a Retirement Portfolio That Will Stand Up Over Time

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Published: July 5, 2018

When working and saving, the goal of your retirement portfolio is to earn as high a rate of return as you can while not taking so much risk that it will scare you into pulling out of the market during a downturn. Once retired, the goal changes. A different goal means a different portfolio. A retirement portfolio needs to produce reliable cash flows that last the rest of your life regardless of the variety of market conditions that occur over your retirement years. In other words, you need a retirement portfolio that remains standing under all conditions. There are four primary ways you

Sensible Money Ranked One of Best Phoenix Financial Advisors

Sensible Money Ranked One of Best Phoenix Financial Advisors

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Published: June 22, 2018

In 2018, for the second year in a row, Sensible Money was ranked by an independent rating firm, AdvisoryHQ, as one of the top ten financial services companies in the Phoenix area. This reward is special as we were not required to pay a fee or buy an ad in a publication. (Many “top financial advisor lists” solicit expensive ads from the firms they select.) AdvisoryHQ explains their policy as follows, “All of our review and ranking articles are always 100% independently researched and written. Firms do not pay for their ranking or our award emblem. In fact, most firms do not