Year-End Financial Planning Checklist

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to begin organizing your finances for the new year. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of key planning topics to consider.

Savings and investments

Revisit your retirement contributions. Review how much you’re contributing to your workplace retirement account. If you’re not taking full advantage of your employer’s match, it’s a great time to consider increasing your contribution. If you’ve already maxed out your match or your employer doesn’t offer one, boosting your contribution could still offer tax advantages. Now is also a good time to ensure that your portfolio allocation remains in line with your objectives.

Anticipate Roth recharacterizations. If you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA during 2017 and paid tax on the conversion, mark your calendar now to allow plenty of time to recharacterize (i.e., undo) the conversion if you need to. The deadline is your tax-filing deadline plus any extensions.

Take stock of your goals. Did you set savings goals for 2017? Realistically evaluate how you did and think about your goals for next year. If you determine that you are off track, we’d be happy to help you develop and monitor a financial plan.


Volunteering with Passion in Retirement

The retirement years offer an opportunity for those who want to increase their commitment to volunteering. But how do you begin? One approach is to think about volunteering the same way a career counselor would encourage someone in the midst of a career change to think about work.

Having Difficult Conversations with Your Kids

One thing most retirees look forward to in retirement is enjoying relationships with their family. But some interesting situations can arise, especially during the retirement years, which require serious conversations. Here are a few examples.



How to Make New Friends in Retirement

For most people, retirement is a time of significant change. Some changes are eagerly embraced; others require flexibility—often more flexibility than we are used to. Over decades we get comfortable and maybe even set in our ways. We have our routine, our family, our friends, our health. Life has been good. But, in retirement, a host of changes happen in a fairly short period of time. One of those is a change that requires us to renew or increase our skill at making new friends.

The Path to True Happiness

People walk this life day in and day out either on the path of happiness or trying to find it. Remember the movie “Pursuit of Happiness?” Who doesn’t want to be happy? The means of finding happiness will be answered differently but it is something that we all strive for. In relation to working and retirement, the pursuit of happiness is a common denominator.

The Reality of Working in Retirement

Before we get into the core topic for this article, which is “working in retirement”, I want to point out some statistics that explain why most people don’t retire when they had originally planned to:  

Why did 58% of Women and 56% of men retire earlier than expected?

  • 34% Personal Health Problems

  • 26% Sufficient Resources

  • 24% Lost Job

  • 15% Wanted More Family Time

  • 9% Look after Family Member

Money Ratios: Staying in line with your money

Staying on the path to financial independence can be easy with the use of simple ratios as a basis for making financial decisions.  Often, people are overwhelmed by the complexity of financial calculations.  Sophisticated financial planning uses software to assist with these complexities.  However, these simple ratios can give guidance when you don’t have the time or expertise to run the software.  They cover a broad range of topics and should not be used for precise planning.  They will help you quickly make decisions regarding retirement, insurance, investing, sav

The American Dream

As we celebrate our Independence Day, it reminds me just why we have this federal holiday.  It is the celebration and acknowledgement of our society adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.  Imbedded in that document is the powerful second sentence that reads: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The Entrepreneur Retiree: A New Trend

Is this you?

  • You’ve worked hard your entire career and have enough financial security to retire.

  • You have a skill set you’d rather not put on a shelf to get dusty.

  • You have an idea that could become a business but you aren’t interested in doing it all yourself.

These are the typical characteristics that lead someone to follow a new retirement trend called “Retirement Entrepreneurship”. 

Three Tips for the Last 3 Years Before Retirement

I was recently asked by an industry writer for "not so common" recommendations for retirement planning. I typed in "retirement planning recommendations" on google and found the 10 commandments, 7 rules and 5 steps of retirement planning as well as a million other sites telling us the basics. Why do people need to hear the basics time and time again? Because retirement planning is equally a mental and behavioral shift as it is a financial shift. We host two presentations specifically geared towards retirement planning.