NorthstarLogo Update01
Home

Run, Don’t Walk: Utilizing the Triple Tax Benefits of an HSA

AdobeStock 168468789 copy

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are one of the most misunderstood and underutilized opportunities for tax-friendly retirement savings. Many individuals who qualify for these accounts either falsely believe that they are only beneficial for covering medical expenses or are dismayed because the accounts have caps on annual contributions. But, the value of an account that allows assets to grow tax-deferred should never be outruled, even by high-income earners. 

Continue Reading

Print Email

Tips for Managing an Inheritance

8535787f 28ae 4ac8 91cd 27d0dfedb53d

Receiving an inheritance is a unique life transition that places individuals at a difficult crossroad between the familiar life they know and one that is new and seemingly full of possibility. But the new and unknown can also be stressful and cause individuals to make rash decisions and lofty promises that may leave them with regret.

Unfortunately, too, so many inheritors of wealth aren’t aware of the tools, people, or resources that are available to help them make sense of their new situation. 

Continue Reading

Print Email

Top 5 Life Insurance Myths That Can Put Your Family at Risk

 

shutterstock 283528382

Have you ever considered how financially stable your family would be in the unfortunate event you could no longer earn an income due to death, physical disability, or terminal illness? Current statistics indicate that over half of all affluent households (those with an annual household income of at least $150,000) rely on two incomes. This means that for the majority of financially comfortable Americans, losing a primary source of income could drastically impact both their financial well-being and current lifestyle. 

While approaching the topics of death and loss can be unpleasant, having a policy in place for the benefit of both yourself and your family can help to prevent financial devastation in already emotionally taxing circumstances. Don’t let one of these common myths leave your family exposed to unnecessary financial risk. 

Continue Reading

Print Email

Seeking Flow in Retirement

Screen Shot 2019 09 11 at 10.07.44 AM

 

In the not-so-distant past, retirement planning was planning for a financial event—deciding how much you needed to live comfortably for a certain number of years and then figuring out how to accumulate, distribute and sustain that income. Very little attention was paid to a retiree’s quality of life or personal fulfillment in retirement until individuals began living decades beyond their working years. 

Still today, in fact, the majority of pre-retirees neglect to psychologically prepare for the changes that accompany the retirement transition—the change in identity, the change in routine, the change in social interactions (types and frequency), and the change in purpose. These retirees may be left feeling socially isolated, bored, depressed, purposeless, and disillusioned about retirement after the “retirement honeymoon phase” wears off.

Continue Reading

Print Email

The Benefits of the Collaborative Process: A Financial Perspective

2018 1001 Kristina George Bio Pic copy

While marriage may be all about love, it has been said that divorce is all about money. I'm not sure that's always true, but what I do know is that during a divorce, there is an overwhelming amount of personal and financial decisions at a time when most people are already feeling depleted and overwhelmed. 

My role as a CDFA®  in the collaborative divorce process (as the "Financial Neutral") is to help both the clients and attorneys understand how the financial decisions made today will impact the clients financial future. The financial neutral identifies the short-term and long-term effects of dividing property, considers tax implications of the settlement decisions and assists the clients with all things financial. I'm often asked to help determine if one spouse can afford the marital home after the divorce and if not, to help bring a creative approach to outline additional options.

Continue Reading

Print Email

Is Your Adult Child Putting Your Retirement at Risk?

AdobeStock 100945816

As parents, we are hard-wired to help our children—emotionally, physically, and financially. Often, we will do whatever is within our power to grant them as many opportunities as we can afford. But, where do we draw the line? How long is too long to assist in supporting your adult children? Is your current level of financial assistance helping or hurting them? Are you sacrificing your own financial goals to do so?

Continue Reading

Print Email

3 Summertime Tax Preparation Tips

80086806 l

April 15th may seem far off, but once school starts and the holiday season rolls around, tax preparation may be the last thing on your mind. Those who have experienced significant life changes, individuals with Flexible Health Spending Accounts, and high-income earners could especially benefit from the extra planning time to improve their income tax strategy. Why not take advantage of these longer summer days by getting some year-end tax-saving tasks out of the way now?

Continue Reading

Print Email

What Women Need to Know About Social Security and Divorce

shutterstock 440284225

Estimating income and expenses is one of the most crucial steps in building a viable, long-term retirement plan, so having an accurate representation of how your social security benefits will fit into that picture is essential. Maximizing benefits is especially important for divorced women whose ex-spouse’s benefits may trump their own, ultimately providing a higher guaranteed income for the duration of their retirement years.

Continue Reading

Print Email

The Journey Forward: A Widow’s Guide to Taking the First Steps

AdobeStock 84692164

Any widow would likely attest to the fact that the loss of a spouse is one of the most difficult life changes—a change that disrupts the very foundation of your reality and how you envisioned your life unfolding. Whether your spouse’s passing was expected or completely unforeseen, no one can ever fully anticipate the implications of becoming a widow until they are faced with the reality of taking on life’s new challenges alone. At Northstar, we specialize in helping widows emotionally and financially and find the following first steps can help improve your sense of well-being as you navigate through this difficult life transition.

Continue Reading

Print Email

More Articles ...