Financially Simple

Getting on the path to simplifying your finances, depends on where you are.
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March 23, 2017
timing the markets

Is Timing the Markets a Good Idea?

Timing the markets, is it a good idea? If you’ve ever thought about timing the markets then you need to watch this video. Hey, guys! This is Justin Goodbread with Financially Simple. I gotta tell you a story. This particular client was looking for someone to help them reach their goals before retirement. With a seven figure portfolio, he’s done quite well for himself. So they interviewed us and some other brokers in town. They decided to go with the broker. Now, let’s fast forward about eight months. I receive a phone call early January of this year, and the now client said, “Hey Justin. And I need to sit down and talk with you because I made a mistake”. Well, that’s not something you hear from a prospect. I said, “In what way did you make a mistake?” He said, “Well I went with another person, a broker in town, and this last year I made no return on my portfolio.” I”m like that makes no sense to me. How is that possible. The S&P is hitting all time highs, the DOW Jones just broke 21,000, you would think the portfolio would be reflecting some gains. Come to find out, […]
March 22, 2017

Just Lost Your Spouse: Now What?

One of the hardest situations anyone faces in life is the loss of a loved one, and when that loved one is a spouse, it can leave you baffled beyond just your emotions. Unfortunately, the financial chaos that ensues can be just as overwhelming as the emotional void when you’ve just lost your spouse. That’s why preparing for the inevitable helps you heal faster, at least when it comes to the financial burdens you face. 1. Stop and allow yourself time to grieve Death is not just emotionally draining, but physically and financially as well. Allow yourself time to grieve. Your emotions will be all over the place. You’ve just lost your life’s mate and quick decisions are the enemy. Processing each emotion is critical to making shrewd financial decisions, especially in such a heartbreaking time as this. Far too often, people make snap judgments on how to handle financial issues after a death because their judgment is so clouded. Definitely, allow time to go through all the stages of grief. 2. Prepare for a new financial future What’s next in life for you? It’s time to begin thinking about how you’ll live your life solo now. Assess your goals. Do […]
March 21, 2017
Charitable Donations

Know these Facts Before Deducting a Charitable Donation

If taxpayers gave money or goods to a charity in 2016, they may be able to claim a deduction on their federal tax return. Know these facts before deducting a charitable donation. Taxpayers can use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool, Can I Deduct my Charitable Contributions?, to help determine if their charitable contributions are deductible. Here are some important facts about charitable donations: Qualified Charities. Taxpayers must donate to a qualified charity. Gifts to individuals, political organizations or candidates are not deductible. To check the status of a charity, use the IRS Select Check tool. Itemize Deductions. To deduct charitable contributions, taxpayers must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions. File Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, with a federal tax return. Benefit in Return. If taxpayers get something in return for their donation, they may have to reduce their deduction. Taxpayers can only deduct the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit received. Examples of benefits include merchandise, meals, tickets to events or other goods and services. Type of Donation. If taxpayers give property instead of cash, their deduction amount is normally limited to the item’s fair market value. Fair market value is generally the price they would get […]
March 16, 2017

How to Adjust Your Financial Plan When You’re Forced Out of Retirement

You picked your goals, set out to accomplish them and then it happened—life. It gets us all at some point. So what do you do when that happens, especially when it comes to your retirement plans? How can you adjust your financial plan when you’re forced out of retirement? Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of the detour. 1. What’s the best way to approach your current retirement withdrawal rate if you’ve got a paycheck coming in again? So you are now earning income in retirement. What’s next? Start by examining your budget. Look at your total income including your new employment income, your social security income, your pension income and any income you’re taking from your investments. If your income exceeds your expenses, try reducing the supplemental distribution. Keep the minimum needed to maintain your desired lifestyle. If you go back into full retirement, you’ll want more put back for you to dip into. 2. Should you restart your retirement savings with a Roth IRA/401(k)? If you’re earning income, then you definitely have the luxury of saving once again. It can give you some much-needed tax relief. It very well could be advisable to start contributing to […]
March 15, 2017

The basic concept of the Bасkdооr Roth IRA

If you’ve ever wondered what the basic concept behind a backdoor Roth IRA is, then look no further. These IRAs are increasingly growing in pорulаrity and have ѕіnсе 2010. That’s whеn the IRS removed іnсоmе limits fоr Roth соnvеrѕіоnѕ. However, there are limitations аnd drаwbасkѕ to this retirement vehicle. So is thіѕ a path worth рurѕuіng? Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Arе уоu interested in rеduсіng your taxes аѕ muсh аѕ possible? Does уоur current іnсоmе mаkе уоu ineligible to contribute to a Rоth IRA thіѕ year? If уоu’rе mаrrіеd, іnеlіgіblе starts at $196,000. If уоu’rе single, уоu’rе ineligible іf уоu make оvеr $133,000. Do expect your taxes to rise in thе futurе? If уоu answered “уеѕ” tо any of thеѕе questions, you might want to соnѕіdеr a backdoor Roth IRA. With a Rоth account, nоt оnlу dо уоu allow уоur hard еаrnеd money tо grоw tax-free, but уоu аlѕо wіthdrаw thоѕе fundѕ tаx-frее in retirement (N.B.: don’t fоrgеt, you do рау tax uрfrоnt in that уоu соntrіbutе wіth аftеr-tаx dollars). On thе оthеr hаnd, thе bасkdооr ROTH IRA соmеѕ wіth limits and hurdles.  Therefore, it dоеѕn’t always beat out оthеr rеtіrеmеnt savings account options. 2017 ROTH […]
March 14, 2017
first year of your new dental practice

Medical and Dental Expenses Impact your Taxes

Medical and dental expenses impact your taxes and can actually trim them. Keeping good records and knowing what to deduct makes all the difference. Here are some tips to help taxpayers know what qualifies as medical and dental expenses: What to Claim Itemize. Taxpayers can only claim medical expenses that they paid for in 2016 if they itemize deductions on a federal tax return. Qualifying Expenses. Taxpayers can include most medical and dental costs that they paid for themselves, their spouses and their dependents including: The costs of diagnosing, treating, easing or preventing disease. Costs paid for prescription drugs and insulin. Insurance premiums for policies that cover medical care. Some long-term care insurance costs. Exceptions and Special Rules Exceptions and special rules apply. Costs reimbursed by insurance or other sources normally do not qualify for a deduction. More examples of what costs taxpayers can and can’t deduct are in IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses. Travel Costs Count. It is possible to deduct travel costs paid for medical care. This includes costs such as public transportation, ambulance service, tolls and parking fees. For use of a car, deduct either the actual costs or the standard mileage rate for medical […]
March 8, 2017

Should you postpone taking your Social Security benefits?

Should you postpone taking your Social Security Benefits? It’s a question many retirees and future retirees are asking today. There are benefits and disadvantages to delaying them beyond 62, which is the age of eligibility. Which is best for you? We’ll look at the pros and cons of both. Should you postpone taking your Social Security benefits? As with most situations when it comes to finances, the answer isn’t always cut and dry. The truth is, it depends. Here are some things to take into consideration: You’re punished for taking Social Security too early-If you decide to receive your Social Security check, even up to 36 months before full retirement age, your benefits are reduced by five-ninths of 1% for each and every month. Also, if you start more than three years early, the benefit is further reduced by five-twelfths of 1% each month. So you’ll forever receive a lower amount than if you’d just waited until full retirement age. Here’s a quick example, if full retirement age is 66 and you start benefits at 62, the reduced benefit calculation is based on 48 months. That means the reduction for that first three years is 20% which is (five-ninths of […]
March 7, 2017

Nine Common Filing Errors to Avoid

The IRS encourages taxpayers to file an accurate tax return. If a taxpayer makes an error on their return, it will likely take longer for the IRS to process it. This could delay a refund. Avoid many common errors by filing electronically. IRS e-file is the most accurate way to file a tax return. All taxpayers can use IRS Free File at no cost. Here are nine common errors to avoid when preparing a tax return: Missing or Inaccurate Social Security Numbers. Be sure to enter each SSN on a tax return exactly as printed on the Social Security card. Misspelled Names. Spell all names listed on a tax return exactly as listed on that individual’s Social Security card. Filing Status Errors.  Some people claim the wrong filing status, such as Head of Household instead of Single. The Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov can help taxpayers choose the correct status. E-file software also helps prevent mistakes. Math Mistakes.  Math errors are common. They range from simple addition and subtraction to more complex items. Transactions like figuring the taxable portion of a pension, IRA distribution or Social Security benefits are more difficult and result in more errors. Taxpayers should always double […]