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1
Tax Refund Myths Debunked
2
Don’t Give Up on Estate Planning
3
How to Successfully Manage Your Financial Life When You’re Not Financially Savvy
4
To What Benchmark Should I Compare My 2016 Returns?
5
Substantial Earnings Years of Credit

Tax Refund Myths Debunked

Recently the IRS published a Special Edition Tax Tip which debunks some very common myths about your income tax refund. You may find some of these surprising. These myths are pervasive and can lead you astray if you believe them. In my experience the information in the Tip below is great advice for finding information about your tax refund.

The complete text of the Tip (IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2017-02) follows below:

IRS Debunks Myths Surrounding Your Tax Refund

As millions of people begin filing their tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers about some basic …

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Don’t Give Up on Estate Planning

Is Estate Planning Dead?” voices a question some have asked in light of reports that before the election, the incoming president-elect was considering ending what he referred to as the “death tax.” Just as we discussed in “Think Before Changing Investments Because of an Election,” you need to think about abandoning sound financial practices based on what you hear about politics. Changes that may affect your financial planning are on the horizon but you don’t know just what will change. If you move money or alter your estate planning in anticipation of a law changing, you may …

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How to Successfully Manage Your Financial Life When You’re Not Financially Savvy

Distracted. That’s one adjective we’ve all used to describe one another in America today. Technology has made it easier than ever to put information right at our fingertips. This created access to an unlimited amount of information, but also a certain amount of confusion. Tech breakthroughs claiming to solve your latest road block seem to happen daily, and marketers are doing everything they can for just five seconds of our attention. With all of this unlimited information competing for our attention, many people have not taken the time to learn the basics of successfully managing their financial life.

This is …

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To What Benchmark Should I Compare My 2016 Returns?

For most investors, the return of the S&P 500 Index is considered the return of “the stock market.” The S&P 500 index was up 11.96% for the year. But it is best not to think of the return of the S&P 500 as equivalent to the return of stocks. The S&P 500 represents Large-Cap US stocks which is just one half of one asset class. In recent years, the S&P 500 has appreciated more than other stock categories. In other years, the S&P 500 has underperformed those same stock categories.

This year, the S&P 500 underperformed Mid-Cap Value and Small-Cap …

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Substantial Earnings Years of Credit

How does the substantial earnings years of credit work for Windfall Elimination Provision?

In this article I wanted to expand on a question that came in via the comments recently, because it addresses a theme I’ve seen often:

I have several years where I was just under the substantial earnings cutoff and 25 that are way over. Do you get partial credit for the years that did not reach the substantial floor?

Overview of Substantial Earnings

When your Social Security benefits are subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), there is a way to reduce and possibly eliminate the effect …

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