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Goals

How Can You Leverage Your Resources to Help with Hurricane Harvey?

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In recent years, we have seen disasters strike all over the globe. The latest is Hurricane Harvey. Our hearts go out to those impacted by this storm. Most of us look to the profound human suffering and want to help, but also want to make sure our donations are effective. By providing tax savings, certain types of gifting strategies will enable you to give more. The tax code offers two powerful, tax-favored strategies for giving to those in need. They are Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) and Donor Advised Funds (DAF). See below for detailed explanations of each approach. Qualified Charitable Distributions A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) allows an individual over age 70½ to make a donation of up to $100,000 directly from an IRA account to a charity. Here are some highlights: Removes funds from your IRA without increasing your adjusted gross income (AGI). Having a lower AGI can result in: Lower taxes Higher medical deductions Higher miscellaneous deductions – such as the deductions for fees paid to accountants and investment advisors Reduced Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI), which could reduce the taxation of Social Security benefits due to the “Social Security inclusion ratio” For those taxpayers who have Medicare […]

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Review: How you can retire by the time you’re 40

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A lot of people dream about early retirement, but they think it’s an unattainable dream. The truth is, it’s probably more possible than you think. To get there, you need to have a very clear idea of what you want, a plan for how to get there, and the willingness to work at it. Just saying that you want to retire at forty, fifty, or whatever your target age happens to be isn’t all that useful, though. That’s a wish. You need to have a concrete idea of what your retirement will actually look like. Are you going to keep working either as a volunteer or for pay? Will that work be full or part time? Are you going to sit around relaxing (this might get pretty boring after fifty years…)? The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to to build a plan that will take you from where you are today to your (successful) early retirement – and beyond. That plan is likely to call for higher levels of savings than most people are used to. Not only will you (often) be forgoing a paycheck after your early retirement, you will likely be spending from […]

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Review: What if retirement makes you miserable?

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Most people romanticize retirement. It’s really easy to do – even aside from the grass always being greener on the other side, you’ve been working towards retirement for the past 30 or 40 years. But that’s actually pretty dangerous. We may spend 40 years building up our savings, but you have a good 20 or 30 years of life left to live after retirement. Having a lot of money doesn’t mean that you will have a good retirement (though it does make everything a lot easier.) You need to think about what will actually make you happy in retirement. What is it that you are going to do all day? Will that actually be fulfilling? Some people really do want to sit on their porch sipping lemonade and reading a book. But most people will get tired of that pretty quick. So many of us have built our identity around what we do. Retirement means that goes away (at least to a large degree). What comes next? This is probably the most important question in the retirement planning process. Without knowing what you want to do in retirement, you can’t plan properly. The best you can do is simply throw […]

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