A Pandemic of Fear

As February began, most investors were keeping a cautious eye on the coronavirus that was spreading in China. While there were isolated outbreaks around the globe, they were just that—isolated. Some firms began to back away from prior financial forecasts, but a mistaken belief the illness would be contained to China kept markets at inflated levels. That changed dramatically when headlines surfaced that the coronavirus had spread to northern Italy, South Korea and Iran.
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Financial Impact of the Coronavirus

On Friday, January 17 – after a spectacular 40% run-up that started the day after Christmas 2018 – the Standard & Poor’s 500-Stock Index closed at 3,329.62. Two weeks later to the day –Friday, January 31 – the Index closed a little over three percent lower, at 3,225.52. (Indeed, more than half that damage was done on Friday.) We have therefore been invited by financial media to suspect that the blended value of 500 of the largest, best financed, most profitable businesses in America and the world has “lost” three percent – with more “losses” to come – due to the outbreak in China of a new strain of coronavirus.
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Big Tax Law Change Enacted on Your Retirement Accounts

Prior to 2020, when a non-spouse beneficiary inherited a traditional retirement account, that beneficiary was eligible for a planning strategy known as a stretch IRA. A stretch IRA extends the tax-deferred status of an inherited IRA when it is passed to a non-spouse beneficiary. The benefit of this planning technique is that the non-spouse beneficiary would not have to recognize the entire inheritance as taxable income in the year they inherit the money.
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Reflecting on 2019

As a new year approaches, it is only natural for us to reflect on how things went in 2019. Personal and professional accomplishments may take center stage. Or, we may take stock of any disappointments and re-calibrate as 2020 approaches. Yet, I know it’s a busy time. Christmas shopping, holiday parties, tree trimming, family visits, and year-end cheer may already be stacking up on the calendar. Nevertheless, it’s not too soon to start thinking about taxes. In prior conversations, we have talked about tax reform. Some are comfortable with the new rules. Others are still just wading into the tax reform pool, so to speak. Before we jump into our year-end planning piece, I want to stress to you that it’s my job to partner with you. I can’t over emphasize this, and I would be happy to review your options. As with any tax matters, also feel free to consult with your tax advisor.
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6 Reasons To Put Off Retirement Income Planning

As a financial planner who specializes in helping people make sure they have enough money to retire, I’m distressed when people put off their planning. Even though I get it!It’s hard to start planning for retirement. Perhaps you tried and gave up. Too hard. Too frightening to think about not having a job. But I don’t want you to mess yourself up and not be able to retire when you want. So, here are some of the most common reasons I hear for putting off retirement planning and my thoughts on moving past your reluctance. Who knows, you could even wind up enjoying yourself!
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Afraid To Retire? Don’t Let Your Own Thinking Make It Worse

The stock market volatility in late 2018 and early 2019 was quite something, yes? A big crash in December was headlined as “The worst December since the Great Depression” – invoking an event that’s sure to strike fear into any investor’s heart. Then a historical rally in early 2019. It’s enough to make even the most die-hard market fan as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. But if your thinking has made you afraid to retire stop! I’ll show you how to set aside your fear and limiting beliefs and keep your retirement goals on track when the market is crashing. Ready? Let’s go.
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When Can I Retire? 9 Questions To Answer First (Then You’ll Know)

Let me guess. You’re aching to retire, and you’d be counting the days…if only you knew how many you had left until you could afford to stop working. You punch numbers into your calculator. The answers make no sense but you scribble them down anyway. Maybe they’ll look better in writing. Nope. You wad up the piece of paper and throw it on the floor. “When can I retire?” you ask the empty room. You don’t know how much money you’ll need, or if you’ve already saved enough. And what about Social Security, didn’t you read something about maximizing your benefits? But how? Tension jackhammers your skull. Fear sweeps through you as you contemplate a future living out of a shopping cart. “Who can tell me, when can I retire?” you mutter. “And do I have enough money to retire?”
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