eNews

December 2017: 10 Common Financial Mistakes to Avoid in the New Year

By:  Justin B. Dean, CFP®

Published:  December 20, 2017

Everyone makes mistakes. Learning from them is what really matters.  Consider these common money mistakes and tips to move past them:

  1. “I live within my means. If I have anything left over after paying my bills, I put it in my savings account.” If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Develop a well-defined strategy to ensure you are making intentional decisions with your money. Having a plan to follow can help increase your chances of sticking to it.  Continue reading

November 2017: Dual Retirements – The Time In Between

By: Michael Townshend

Published:  November 20, 2017

“We have both been working for many years and our retirements are approaching. Hooray!”

But, we’ve realized that our eligibility dates won’t coincide, often, not even close.  Is that going to be a problem?  Are there ways to prepare for the time in between when one of us is still working while the other is at home enjoying retirement?”

These are not uncommon questions. Many couples with dual careers realize that they will not be able to retire simultaneously.  In fact, most dual retirement horizons will have some period in between.  Continue reading

August 2017: 2017 Tax Planning is Best Completed Before January 1, 2018

By:  Bob Leins, CPA

Published: August 30, 2017

September is an ideal time to project your 2017 income tax liability.

Begin by projecting your 2017 sources of income, deductions and tax withholding:

  • Use the same tax software used to prepare your 2016 Tax Return(s)
  • If your 2016 return(s) were prepared for you – please review them first and then contact your tax professional and ask for a “2017 tax projection”
  • Self-prepared returns should follow the same procedures but use 2017 tax rates (2017 tax rates were determined in late Fall 2016)

Continue reading

May 2017: Mid-Career Retirement Planning

Mid-Career Retirement Planning
Published: May 22, 2017

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”   -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

With summer fast approaching, you may be planning your vacation more diligently than your retirement.   Don’t overlook retirement planning for too long.  Ask yourself these questions:

When will I retire?  Am I taking steps now to save for retirement?  Have I planned for the unexpected? Continue reading

April 2017: Compound Interest – Friend or Foe

Compound Interest: Friend or Foe
By: Raymond Kirk, Ph.D, Federal Benefits Specialist
Published: April 20, 2017

April is the official National Financial Literacy Month.  One of the important building blocks of financial literacy is understating compound interest and its impact on you.

Albert Einstein is alleged to have said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”  Compound interest is interest added to the principal of a deposit or loan so that the added interest also earns interest from then on. This addition of interest to the principal is called compounding. Continue reading

March 2017: Understanding CSRS Offset and Spousal Survivor Benefits

Understanding CSRS Offset and Spousal Survivor Benefits
By: James Marshall, Federal Benefits Specialist
Published: March 20, 2017

Recently I have encountered a few widows and widowers receiving less benefits from OPM due to what I believe to be a communication issue between OPM and Social Security. I’d like to use this article to help begin to explain how spousal survivor benefits are computed for widows/widowers of CSRS Offset retirees. Continue reading

February 2017: Estate Planning Issues for Single Parents

Estate Planning Issues for Single Parents
By: Marc S. Levine, Esq.
Published: February 20, 2017

More and more, we get less and less “straightforward” estate planning scenarios. Clients come to us single, married to their first spouse, married to new spouses, with blended families, married to non-citizens and dealing with children or spouses that are no longer able to deal with their own lives.  One of the more common, not straightforward issues we see, is clients raising children as single parents. Their issues are often almost straightforward, but are occasionally fraught with land mines. Continue reading

January 2017: New Year’s Financial Actions for Federal Employees

New Year’s Financial Actions for Federal Employees
By: John Jilek, Certified Financial Planner
Published: January 20, 2017

Start with a personal budget. Your goal in budgeting is to identify where your expenditures are being made relative to your “bring home pay”. If you do not like the idea of a ‘budget’, view the process as the beginning phase of financial independence. In other words, you are determining your monthly cash flow. Monthly cash flow is the”bring home pay” less your minimum monthly expenditures. Continue reading