My 2020 Market Predictions

My 2020 Market Predictions

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Published: December 12, 2019

As a financial planner, my life is about projecting unknowns. I often tell clients the only thing I can guarantee is once we put the numbers on paper, they’re wrong. Life doesn’t work in a nice linear fashion the way projections do. But by using projections, we can establish a range of possible outcomes, and plan based on that range. As many unknowns as there are, I realize when it comes to the financial markets and human behavior, there are some things that are quite certain. Human beings want to believe someone out there knows the future. Normally, I shy away

Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

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Published: December 12, 2019

At some point you will transition from your prime earning and saving years to 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. Before you enter the decumulation phase, you’ll need to find the best retirement investments; ones that generate regular income. 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 an investment (but

2019 Arizona Tax Credit Limits

2019 Arizona Tax Credit Limits

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Published: December 3, 2019

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

5 Smart Year-End Tax-Saving Money Moves

5 Smart Year-End Tax-Saving Money Moves

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Published: October 28, 2019

Why is it, every year as fall approaches, we are shocked to find that we are hurtling towards December 31? 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 2020. Sit down and estimate your 2019 taxes. Once December 31 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

Free Online Class – Don’t Cheat Yourself With the 4% Rule

Free Online Class – Don’t Cheat Yourself With the 4% Rule

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Published: October 18, 2019

Our next online retirement planning class, Don’t Cheat Yourself With the 4% Rule, will be Thursday, January 23, 2020. About the Class Author, MarketWatch contributor and retirement expert Dana Anspach will be presenting on the downfall of using simple rules of thumb to plan for retirement.   For example, the 4% rule says you can safely withdraw 4% of your portfolio each year, increase that withdrawal with inflation, and expect to have your income last for life.   Do such rules work?   They’re useful when you’re age 40 and planning for retirement 20 to 30 years away. But as you get closer to retirement,

Don’t Get Pinged by the Social Security Earnings Limit

Don’t Get Pinged by the Social Security Earnings Limit

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Published: September 4, 2019

I’d like to introduce you to Peggy. Born in 1956, Peggy reached age 62 in 2018. She has worked in retail her whole life, the past twenty-five years spent in management. Peggy divorced from her husband 14 years ago, is still single and has no children. According to the Social Security Administration, Peggy’s Full Retirement Age (FRA) will be age 66 and four months which is when she will be entitled to full Social Security retirement benefits. FRA is a government set limit that varies based on your year, month and day of birth. FRA is gradually rising, and for those

Your Pension – Take the Lump Sum or the Annuity?

Your Pension – Take the Lump Sum or the Annuity?

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Published: August 25, 2019

If your company offers a pension, consider yourself lucky! Pensions are going the way of home phones. When you retire, you’ll have several important and irreversible decision to make on how you want to take your pension. There are three key decisions the most pension earners are faced with. They are: Lump Sum or Annuity? Should you take your pension as a lump sum (you get cash up front that you can rollover to an IRA account) or as an annuity (you get monthly payments for life)? What Age to Start. When should you start your pension? Should you begin at age 55

Inheritance Tax Checklist: Know Before You Sell

Inheritance Tax Checklist: Know Before You Sell

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Published: August 18, 2019

Inheritance taxes are complicated. Many people don’t realize that inherited assets—property, stocks, investment accounts, etc.—may be subject to taxes and that there are specific tax rules for each type of asset or account. So before you start selling off assets, make sure you know the rules. We are not talking here about estate taxes. Estate tax is assessed on the total value of everything you own; real estate, stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, businesses, farms, land, and it even includes the death benefit values of any life insurance policies owned by you. With current estate tax rules, estate taxes will only impact

At What Age Should I Start Making 401(k) Withdrawals?

At What Age Should I Start Making 401(k) Withdrawals?

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Published: August 7, 2019

There are plenty of best practices about how money goes in and grows in a 401(k), but in this article, we tackle the rules related to the age at which you can withdraw from 401(k) plans. By withdrawal, we mean taking money out of the plan (preferably gradually), paying your taxes on the withdrawal amount, and spending it. A rollover to an IRA or a transfer to a new 401(k) plan is not the type of withdrawal we’re talking about here. The object of the withdrawal game is to minimize taxes and get the maximum after-tax income from your nest egg. This

More Frequently Asked Questions About Our Services

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Published: August 5, 2019

Smart planning delivers an increase in retirement income when compared to an unplanned approach*. How do your services work? With each new client, we begin by developing a comprehensive, customized plan delivered over three strategy meetings each spaced about 2-3 weeks apart. We call this going through our Juicing® process – it is designed to help you “squeeze” more out of your money. Your financial plan projects how well prepared you are to meet your retirement goals. A plan is necessary in order to make the appropriate investment recommendations. Once the plan is understood, the majority of Sensible Money clients hire us for an