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1
Grandparents: Is Your Helping Hurting Financial Aid?
2
Get Your Estate Plan In Order – Even if You’re Only 26
3
Financial Habits and Net Worth
4
SP Finishes Negative For January: Is That A Crash Indicator?
5
Forget to Take Your RMD?

Grandparents: Is Your Helping Hurting Financial Aid?

Grandparents: Is Your Helping Hurting Financial Aid?

As college costs continue escalating, many gladly welcome help from family. With savvy planning, grandparents can ensure their gifts are not impeding a grandchild's ability to access financial aid.

The traditional financial aid assessment tool used by the Department of Education to award grants and loans is called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA determines a family's eligibility for financial aid by counting certain income and assets towards their ability to pay college costs.

Under the FAFSA, grandparent-owned 529s are not counted in the formula but any distributions are counted as income in the following year. …

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Get Your Estate Plan In Order – Even if You’re Only 26

Get Your Estate Plan In Order - Even if You're Only 26

When you are an adult or you experience a major life change, such as getting married or having a child, you should probably look at your Estate Plan documents (or create some, if you don’t have any yet). You might think, “I’m 26; I don’t have an estate!”

While you probably don’t want to think about the end of your life and hope that it’s far away, it is kind to your family to formalize a plan. You don’t want your parents, your spouse, or your child to be in trouble if anything happens to you. Also, the situations that …

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Financial Habits and Net Worth

You already know that our financial habits determine our financial fate.  If we avoid credit card debt, spend less than we earn and create a financial buffer against the unexpected, we tend to thrive financially.  If we carry a lot of debt or live constantly on the edge, with little savings, then our financial future is much cloudier.

Recently, a paper published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis proved these truisms in the real world.  For eight individual years between 1992 and 2013, the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances has posted a series of financial questions to thousands …

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SP Finishes Negative For January: Is That A Crash Indicator?

The SP500 stock index went down 1.3% today to 1,995 points, closing out January with a 3% loss for the month.  January is an important indicator because annual bonus money is used to buy stocks then and so as January goes, so goes the year. This year will have scary debt negotiations with Greece which will probably result in more stimulus from the ECB to Greece which will cheer the stock market but it won’t be enough to break the now developing bear market in stocks. Once the thrill of a new ECB Greek stimulus package becomes yesterday’s boring old… Read More

Forget to Take Your RMD?

6629120915_556a318093_nIn case you forgot to take your required minimum distribution (RMD) for 2014 there’s still hope in order to avoid the 50% (yes, that’s FIFTY percent) penalty of the amount not withdrawn. If you missed taking the RMD for 2014 here’s what you can do. According to the IRS the penalty may be waived if you can establish that it was due to reasonable error that you didn’t take the RMD and that reasonable steps are being taken to remedy the error. That is, take the 2014 RMD right away (or as soon as you can let your custodian know)… Read More

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