Financial Matters

Tips and news from the financial experts at Attentive Investment Managers.
Jul
03

Health Savings Accounts - HSA

health-savings-accounts

Health savings accounts are accounts that are paired with high-deductible health plans. They are also a tax-efficient way to save for retirement offering savers a triple tax advantage, via tax-free contributions, investment growth and withdrawal (if money is used to pay qualified medical expenses). To qualify for an HSA you must have a high-deductible health care plan (HDHP) and must be 18 years old.

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Jun
20

Understanding Medicare

medicare-sign

Retirement is just over the horizon and while most people have making ends meet during that period on their minds there is another extremely important part of aging that should be explored. Medicare! There is a 7-month initial enrollment period that begins 3 months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65 and 3 months after you turn 65. If you do not sign up during that window of time you will be penalized for late enrollment, which comes in the form of higher premiums (typically a 10% increase premiums).

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May
23

401(k) Options After Separation from Service or In Retirement

401k-options

When you have a job change or are facing retirement there are a number of decisions that need to be made. One of the more significant ones is what to do with your 401(k). The choice may seem straight-forward but it is anything but. When making this decision it is critical to weigh in all the factors to your decision.

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Apr
02

In-Service Withdrawals

withdrawal

Many believe that their money is locked in when you are a participant in a 401(k) or profit sharing plan through an employer where you are a participating and current employee. However, certain qualifying events allow employees to access their vested balance to either withdraw and/or roll over money from those accounts and still continue to contribute.

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Aug
28

Designating Beneficiaries & Owning an Inherited Retirement Account

retirement-beneficiary

What happens to your Retirement account if you pass away? Retirement accounts offer an advantage in the way they can be passed to your beneficiaries without a costly Trust or extensive Probate of your estate. A beneficiary designation allows you to allocate your hard earned savings to your loved ones in any manner you choose. But, there are pitfalls that should be avoided when designating beneficiaries.

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Jan
14

End of Life and Incompetency Planning

advance-health-care-directive

There are several planning tools at our disposal to help clients handle the often times very unpleasant idea of what happens to both our finances and ourselves if something horrible should befall you. Ones of particular urgency are executing documents for durable power of attorney and advance health care directives.

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Jan
08

High-Deductible Medical Plans

health-savings-account

If you are in very good health, a high-deductible medical plan is an excellent way for you to cut your healthcare costs. Firstly, (and most obvious) it brings down your monthly premium. But, did you know that most of these plans can be coupled with a Health Savings Account (HSA)? You can save up to $3,450 (as an individual) for 2018. This gives us yet another avenue to save toward debts or toward your retirement. It is critical to any financial plan that individuals take advantage of any and all programs that fit their situation.

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Dec
01

Dollar-Cost Averaging

dollar-cost-averaging

Are you retiring or changing jobs and have a rollover? Getting a bonus or expecting a large tax-refund. Let’s invest it!

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Nov
15

Tax Proposal: What does it mean for you?

tax-proposal

There is a lot of discussion happening regarding the recently released GOP Tax Proposal. With pages and pages of proposed changes the most important thing to note is that this is a proposal, certainly not a finished product and the tax overhaul is far from certain. For you, our clients, not much has changed in the kind of preparation we believe you should be doing. As in every year, we want you to review your expenses, income and last year’s returns and of course, look at any what-if scenarios that may be on your horizon.

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Aug
07

Managing Health Care Costs in Retirement

health-care-retirement

Many people say that their #1 retirement concern is now not outliving their money but the cost of health care in retirement. There is much debate over Medicare and health care costs overall. The important idea to take from this overall concern is that financial planners can be of assistance and bridging this gap can be addressed relatively simply.

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Jun
12

Tax Reduction Strategies

tax-cut

​1. Pay Yourself First

The utilization of company retirement plans (401-k's and Simple IRA's) are the easiest way to build up tax advantaged assets for your retirement goals. Verify that you are contributing the amount required in order to maximize the employer's match. Above that amount it would usually be prudent to try to contribute the maximum amount possible in order to minimize your income tax liability.

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May
30

Retirement Strategies

retired-couple

There are many ways to implement plans for your retirement. The two sides of the spectrum of possibilities are to develop a plan and stick to it no matter what, or just go with the flow and see how things play out. Outlining these two options seems almost ridiculous as they represent extreme polar opposites of one another. The reality is that the best plans are those that are well thought out but also allow for flexibility.

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Mar
24

A Brief Guide to Social Security

A Brief Guide to Social Security

If you're starting to plan for retirement, Social Security may be an important source of retirement income. Millions of Americans depend on Social Security today. For some, it is their primary source of retirement income, and for others, it is supplemental income.

Benefits of Social Security

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Mar
21

Financial Planning is...

Financial Planning is...

Financial Planning is the comprehensive analysis and evaluation of an individual's current financial state and needs used in the development of a strategy to successfully meet your financial goals in the future. Professionals, like Mike, utilize their knowledge of client's future life goals, transfer plans (in life and death) and future expense needs to develop comprehensive Financial Plans.

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Oct
18

IRA vs. 401(k): Which is the better option?

IRA vs. 401(k): Which is the better option?
We can all agree that saving for retirement is a must. The next question is where. Both an IRA and 401(k) can be excellent options for retirement savings. Both offer you tax-advantages, as you don't pay any taxes on the growth of your investments. Typically, costs associated with 401(k) management are higher than those of an IRA plan. However, with many new regulations in the financial industry today, participants are given protection from exorbitant fees. Within an IRA account your investment options can be almost never-ending but many times 401(k)'s limit your investment capabilities to a select offering or have restrictions on investment types. With 401(k)'s most employers offer an "employer match", usually ranging dollar for dollar anywhere from 2%-5% of your salary deferral (depending on the plan). If you elect to not participate you are essentially "leaving money on the table" and forgoing additional monies that are employment incentives – ...
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Apr
26

IRA Options

IRA Options
Almost everyone can have some sort of IRA. There are Traditional & Rollover IRA's and Roth IRA's. Annual contribution limits have increased over the years, making IRA's much more attractive for saving for retirement. Individuals over age 50 can make additional "catch-up" contributions each year. If you are not participating in an employer sponsored 401(k) plan you may contribute to a deductible Traditional IRA at a maximum of $5,500 per year or $6,500 for those over 50 years of age. Additionally, if you do participate in an employer sponsored plan and income allows you may make a non-deductible contribution to a Traditional IRA and then further transfer the contributions to a Roth IRA, making them non-taxable upon withdrawal through the use of a Roth Conversion. The Roth IRA has become a popular way to expand retirement investing for many investors because, although contributions are not tax deductible, Roth distributions can be tax free if certain conditions ar...
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Mar
04

Difference between a Traditional IRA & a Roth IRA

Difference between a Traditional IRA & a Roth IRA

Do you know the difference between a Traditional IRA & a Roth IRA??

IRA accounts, otherwise known as, Individual Retirement Accounts are a way for to save for retirement. A Traditional IRA can be funded with pre-tax contributions and can be a tax deductible (check with your tax advisor) and grow tax-deferred until age 70 ½ (when the IRS requires you to begin distributing the assets).When you retire and draw on the funds, the money would be taxable as ordinary income.Theoretically, you would be in a lower tax bracket during the withdrawal phase.It is important to note, that any distributions taken prior to 59 ½ are subject to both taxes and an early withdrawal penalty from the Fed of 10% and the State of 2.5%. 

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Dec
14

Mike's "Rule of Thumb"

Mike's "Rule of Thumb"
Creating an appropriate allocation in a portfolio can be difficult. Aside from utilizing a risk tolerance profile there are some other methods for determining an appropriate mix of stocks and bonds for investors. One we utilize is Mike's take on the standard "Rule of Thumb" – which uses a factor of 100 minus the client's age to determine the percentage that should be invested in equities (stocks). Mike's "Rule of Thumb" takes into consideration the fact that everyone now, for the most part, is simply living longer. With our longer lives, not only will we need to provide income for a longer period of time we will also have potentially more time to grow that money. With this in mind, Mike uses a factor of 120 minus the client's age to derive the equity allocation. This guideline creates an allocation that is slightly more aggressive to facilitate faster growth accommodating the need for the longer income needs. As an example, with a 48 year old individual&nb...
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Jan
15

Stop Awaiting the Fed

Stop Awaiting the Fed
The first quarter of the new year has brought us small positive returns in many of the U. S. and global indices, and more than the usual amount of anxiety along with them. Meanwhile, global markets are showing signs of life. If you were watching the markets day to day, you experienced a mild roller coaster, what trading professionals refer to as a sideways market. One day it was up, the next down, each day (or week) seeming to erase the gains or losses of the previous ones. The best explanation for this phenomenon is that investors are still looking over their shoulders at interest rates, waiting for bond yields to jump higher, making bonds more competitive with stocks and triggering an outflow from the stock market that could (so the reasoning goes) cause a bear market in U. S. equities. However, investors have been waiting for this shoe to drop for the better part of three years, and meanwhile, interest rates have drifted decidedly lower in the first quarter.This inter...
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