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

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: July 10, 2019

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

How Much Should I Withhold for Taxes in Retirement?

How Much Should I Withhold for Taxes in Retirement?

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Published: June 23, 2019

Many upcoming retirees aren’t quite sure how taxes in retirement are calculated. It’s not all that different than the way they are calculated while working. What is different is the way you withhold and pay those taxes. You need to have an estimate of the amount of taxes you are required to pay so you know what amount to have withheld from pensions, Social Security, or other types of income. In this article, we’ll look at a series of sample calculations so you can see how to calculate your tax withholding in retirement. We look at scenarios using the 2019 tax

Required Minimum Distributions – Here’s How They Work

Required Minimum Distributions – Here’s How They Work

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Published: June 21, 2019

You’ve been putting money away in your IRA for much of your life. And through some mixture of discipline, good fortune and wits you find that you don’t have to use your IRA savings the moment they become available to you at age 59½. Good for you. Now, upon reaching age 70½ (or perhaps age 72 if the 2019 Secure Act passes) you must completely change your mindset because the U.S. Government requires you to start withdrawing money at that point. It’s called Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). At first, it may feel like a tax on getting old, but it’s not. RMDs

Sensible Money Ranked One of Best Phoenix Financial Advisors

Sensible Money Ranked One of Best Phoenix Financial Advisors

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Published: June 14, 2019

In 2019, for the third year in a row, Sensible Money was ranked by an independent rating firm, AdvisoryHQ, as one of the top ten financial advisory firms in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. This reward does not require us 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, “Firms do not pay for their ranking or our award emblem. In fact, most firms do not even know that they are being reviewed and ranked by AdvisoryHQ until after our reviews

Retirement Planner or Financial Planner – Which Do I Need?

Retirement Planner or Financial Planner – Which Do I Need?

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Published: June 1, 2019

There is a difference between a retirement planner and a financial planner in the same way there is a difference between a cardiologist and a family practice doctor. They both start off with the same basic training, but one has gone on to become a specialist. Financial planners are trained to help you accumulate and invest your money. Retirement planners have additional training to help you figure out how to use this money to generate reliable paychecks in retirement. Just like your heart, you need your retirement money to last the rest of your life; if there was ever a time to

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

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

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Published: May 30, 2019

Our next online retirement planning class, Don’t Cheat Yourself With the 4% Rule, will be Thursday, August 22, 2019. About the Class Many retirees and advisors gravitate to simple rules of thumb, like the 4% rule, which 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? Certainly, they’re useful when you’re age 40 and planning for retirement 20 to 30 years away. But as you get closer to retirement, these rules can work against you. This class will show you what to watch out for,

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: March 7, 2019

We had some scary market moves at the end of 2018. But so far, in 2019, things are recovering quickly. Rather than wait for the next big bear market, why not start a de-risking strategy now? In this article, we correlate reducing portfolio risk with de-icing a car. 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. I was in my 20’s, living in Colorado (Grand Junction on the western