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What Is Your Legacy?

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Coming from a financial planning firm, you might be expecting that this article is going to be about the technical and tax-savvy transfer of wealth. You may expect that we will address trusts, important estate planning documents, or even asset protection. While these are inarguably important aspects of your legacy, we believe they don’t paint the whole picture.

Your legacy isn’t just the sum of tangible assets you have to give, but the lasting influence of the gifts that you have received and the gifts you give on the people and the world around you. How can you positively impact your loved ones? Your community? The passions and projects that are important to you?

Ultimately, your legacy is the cumulative difference you and your gifts make in the lives you touch and the world you inhabit.

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The Ins and Outs of Buying a House When You Are Already Retired

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The housing market may have suffered a tough blow last spring when the global pandemic put buying, selling, and moving on hold, but it has shown incredible resilience since then. Homebuyers and low-interest rates have done wonders in keeping the housing market afloat. So much so, in fact, that 2020 was a record-breaking year for new and existing home sales in the US. Big companies like Zillow expect even bigger growth in 2021 as unrelenting demand pushes home values higher and higher.

So what if you want to take advantage of this low-interest rate environment and refinance, downsize, or move, but you are already retired and do not earn a traditional income? Can you still qualify for a mortgage?

The short answer is yes. Absolutely! But, there are some important considerations to keep in mind as you approach the process. Purchasing in retirement is different than purchasing while you earn a traditional income. The way lenders calculate the terms of your loan will be dependent on the type of income you receive and your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. 

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How Financial Life Planning is Different for Women, Part II: The Behavioral Differences

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1. Women are Better Investors

Luckily, women are statistically better investors, which can help to overcome some of the challenges discussed above. Women tend to be less inclined to jump in and out of the market based on “hot tips” or media headlines. As investors, they are typically better at sticking to their devised financial plans and staying the course through market fluctuations. As a result, a study performed by Fidelity in 2016 of more than 8 million clients found that women generated investment returns that were higher by 40 basis points, or about 0.4%. 

Does this surprise you? It surprises many, especially since women tend to be stereotyped as less financially savvy than men. But, the numbers don’t lie. Once women take control of their own finances, they find their probability of success is indeed higher than they expected. 

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How Financial Life Planning is Different for Women, Part I: The Financial Differences

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On the surface, it may look like women face many of the same financial life planning concerns as men, such as managing debt and assets and saving enough for retirement while living a meaningful life that aligns with their core values. But financial life planning for women is very different. Not only do they face unique financial challenges, but their behavior and values are different, as well. 

At the heart of it, financial life planning is about aligning your spending habits with what is most important to you. It’s about utilizing your assets to live an authentic life that you feel good about day in and day out. 

Intrinsically, money has no value. But money can bring happiness and meaning to your life if used wisely and maximized through good financial life planning. Naturally, then, key financial and behavioral differences will make planning for women unique.  

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How Does COVID-19 Affect Your Planning For Long Term Care

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The destructive sweep of the COVID-19 virus which is disrupting our lifestyle and daily lives is significantly impacting those in the throes of a long term care event. They are especially vulnerable. But that is just the short term. 

If you fortunately still have your health and can only contemplate having a major health change down the road, will you be impacted? The answer is YES!

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Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Fever: What’s It All About?

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Have you caught cryptocurrency fever? Or, are you at least wondering what it is all about? Odds are, you had not even heard of the term until around 2018 when Bitcoin began growing in popularity. Now, it seems as if everybody is mentioning cryptocurrency and more specifically, Bitcoin. 

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What Is Sequence Risk and How Could it Affect My Retirement?

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Ideally, leaving the workforce and transitioning to retirement will involve financial and emotional preparation. After decades of saving, it is now time to turn our investments into income that will last throughout our lifetime. Because living comfortably in retirement means never being at risk of running out of money, gaining an understanding of how much retirement income is needed throughout retirement is critical.

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2020 Year End Tax Planning Tips

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Many of the smart tax moves for 2020 are familiar ones—such as contributing to tax-advantaged retirement plans and increasing or "bunching deductions." However, the recently enacted CARES and Secure Acts have provided us with some additional year end tax reduction strategies you may wish to take advantage of. 

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The Psychology of Wealth Creation: How the Brain Influences Financial Decisions

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The creation of wealth and achieving financial health involves more than data driven spreadsheets. There are behavioral risks along the path of wealth creation that can impact both those who have already successfully accumulated wealth as well as those aspiring to increase their personal net worth. 

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You are the Culmination of Your Experiences

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“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, and the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, breath of the fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every day.”   -Jac Vanek

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Using Tax-Loss Harvesting to Improve Investment Returns

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Tax-loss harvesting is a strategy that can help investors minimize any taxes they may owe on capital gains or their regular income. It can also improve overall investment returns. As a strategy, tax-loss harvesting involves selling an investment that has lost value, replacing it with a reasonably similar investment, and then using the investment sold at a loss to offset any realized gains. 

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