Plan to Get Your Family Off To a Great Financial Start!

family financial planning

Beginning a family is a time of great opportunity.  It is a time when you are starting fresh and can actively make choices about many things, including how you manage finances.  Financial planning may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the practices you set in place early in the life of your family will strongly influence your financial future as well as the financial habits, ideas, and future of your children.  Take these steps to get your new family off to a great financial start.

Read more

IRA, 401(k), or Both? Which Retirement Accounts Are Right for Me?


Choosing among retirement accounts is no simple matter.  Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, and how those affect you depends upon your individual financial situation.  A qualified financial services professional is best able to help you make the most advantageous choice based on your unique circumstances.  It is helpful, however, to understand the basic differences among the most common types of retirement accounts and which are the best fit for your savings.  Having this foundational knowledge before you meet with a financial planning professional will help you to work with your advisor to develop a strategy that you fully understand and in which you have confidence.

Read more

Financial Planning for Your New Marriage


Spring is a popular time for weddings.  If you are planning yours, congratulations!  It’s the beginning of a new chapter of your life.  Although you may be currently caught up in planning the details of your wedding, keep in mind that successfully joining the lives of two people takes planning and organization that reaches far beyond the honeymoon.  Marriage is a legal contract that intertwines your financial lives in a very real way.  You can avoid a lot of common problems that plague married couples by being proactive in your financial planning.  Make some agreements and plans now, before the wedding, to smooth the path you will walk together after the honeymoon.

Read more

The Advantage of Professional Financial Planning and Investment Advice

We all have financial goals, but few have the tools necessary to effectively realize them.  Understanding how to create a realistic plan to meet financial goals requires a detailed understanding of the broad spectrum of financial planning and investment options that are available.  Getting the assistance of a knowledgeable professional can help you clarify your goals and put a plan in motion that places them within your reach.

Read more

The Advantages of Combining Tax and Financial Planning

Financial planning involves more than simply understanding how to invest your money to balance risk and return.  To be truly effective, it must include a tax strategy as well.  Virtually every financial move you make has tax implications, which affect your return on investment.  For that reason, it pays to work with financial professionals who specialize in both tax and financial planning.

Read more

Financial Planning for Buying a Home

Buying a home is an important decision.  It takes a great deal of planning, organization, and self-discipline.  Owning a home can be both personally and financially rewarding, but it requires careful financial planning.  Potential home buyers should ask themselves some key questions before committing to a purchase.

Read more

No Excuses: File Your Income Tax Return by April 15!

Life can often get in the way of our best intentions.  Tasks get put off or pushed aside as more pressing issues demand our attention.  The cost of putting of filing your taxes, however, can be very high.  Whether you are short of time to complete your tax return or money to pay the bill, making a small time investment in jumping through some basic hoops can save you the hefty penalties that the IRS imposes on procrastinators.

Read more

Tax Tips for Last-Minute Filers


If you still have not filed your taxes for 2013, don’t panic.  The IRS estimates that 1/3 of Americans wait until the last minute to complete their tax preparation.  It is not the ideal way to handle your tax return, but it’s not too late to get all of your documentation in order and file an accurate return that includes all of the credits and deductions you are entitled to claim.  The important thing is to get started now and commit to filing what you need by the April 15 deadline.

Read more

What Your Teenager Should Know About Income Tax

A first job can be an empowering and educational experience for teenagers.  It provides them with their own money, which they must learn to manage.  It gives them a sense of what things cost and what it takes to earn them.  It teaches them to prioritize wants and needs and can form the basis for good lifelong financial management practices.  It is also an opportunity for them to begin learning about income tax.  Most teens do not earn enough to have to file a tax return, but in some situations, minors are required to file, and some who are not required will benefit from filing anyway.  When teenagers begin their first jobs, understanding a few basic tax principles will help them to understand their tax obligations and how they might limit the income tax they will owe.  Parents will also benefit from understanding how their children’s jobs may affect their own tax returns.

Read more