December 31, 2016

17 Financial Resolutions for 2017

We all do it at the beginning of every year; make resolutions with the intention of keeping them. And while you may be ready to kiss 2016 goodbye, it doesn’t mean you’re ready to tackle 2017, especially when it comes to your finances. So we here at Financially Simple® decided to help you become happy, healthy and wealthy (to some degree) with 17 financial resolutions for 2017. 1. Start an Emergency Fund We’ve all been there. The car breaks down, while a water pipe bursts in your home and little Tommy falls out of a tree breaking his wrist. Misfortunes are in everyone’s future. No matter how you spin it, you’re likely to see an unexpected emergency with unexpected expenses this year. However, that doesn’t have to derail your financial plans IF you prepare. Don’t get caught without extra cash to spare your budget when life does happen, because we all know it will. If you don’t already have an emergency fund, start one today. We’ll help you get started here. 2. Budget! Then follow it!!! When it comes to budgeting, we Americans stink at it. Or at leas the sticking to it part. Just one in three actually take […]
December 29, 2016

Understanding Gift-Tax Exclusions

What are gift-tax exclusions? According to the IRS, a gift must be given with no expectation of receiving anything of equal value in return. Gifts can be cash, property, interest-free loans, payments made to a third party (like a school or hospital) on behalf of the recipient, below-market rate sales, and other types of property transfers. Generally, gifts that meet the following requirements are not taxable: Gifts that are less than the annual exclusion amount for the year ($14,000 in 2016 and 2017) Tuition or medical expenses Gifts to your spouse Gifts to qualified charities and certain political organizations For more information about gifting and end-of-year tax issues, please contact a qualified tax professional. Tip courtesy of IRS.gov
December 29, 2016
How to set a Financial Goal; Should I use a roth or a traditional

How Long Does an Investment Portfolio Actually Last?

With varying rates of withdrawal, how long does an investment portfolio actually last? That’s the question three professors from Trinity University in Texas wanted to know. They decided to examine the returns of various stocks and bonds from 1926 to 2009. Here are the five portfolios, each with different allocations, their study looked at: 100 percent stocks 75 percent stocks/25 percent bonds 50/50 stocks and bonds 25 percent stocks/75 percent bonds 100 percent bonds For each portfolio, the researchers applied various withdrawal rates—ranging from 3 % to 12 %. The researchers made adjustments based on inflation during the period as well. They wanted to know, “How likely it that an investor’s portfolio will last a lifetime?” The Trinity study’s underlying premise, if certain withdrawal rates provide lifetime income based on historical market data and returns, then the withdrawal rate is sustainable for the future. However, there are a few problems with the study. First, there’s a danger in relying on historical data when it comes to returns. There’s no guarantee when it comes to the market’s performance for the future. Next, predicting how much a retiree can safely withdrawal yearly is difficult. Everyone’s situation is different, and there’s no single […]
December 27, 2016
take action on 401k, retirement calculator

Take Action on your 401k to Secure your Future

With Christmas over and a new year around the corner, now is the time to take action on your 401k. In the past, most people found a job and stayed with it until retiring. However, times change. Studies suggest we hold down around eleven jobs from the age of 18 to retirement. Not only are we getting used to new surroundings and new colleagues eleven times, but it also possibly means a new 401k plan with each new company. If you just leave these 401k plans alone, they may not be in the best position for you at retirement, so here’s what you should actually do with them. Take Action on your 401k When considering moving jobs, you’re probably thinking how it will affect your personal life, career, and more. For the most part, your 401k plan isn’t at the top of your list of priorities in making that decision. So it gets left alone. However, now is the time to change that for the betterment of your future. Some people think that the whole process is too confusing to worry with, but there are four simple options you can choose from when it comes to the old plan: If the […]