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Thursday, October 28, 2021

It’s tempting to give up on data security altogether, with all the billions of pieces of personal data – Social Security numbers, credit cards, home addresses, phone numbers, passwords and much more – breached and...

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Have you every wondered how estate planning might fit into your overall, future plans? Even if you are just starting to build your estate and do not need complex estate planning, here’s a quick look at some steps you should...

Monday, October 4, 2021

A lot of trends in the health and wellness space leave you scratching your head, saying “Huh?” but there are some that are worth a deep dive. Bone broth Not everyone wants soup made with heavy cream, meat, and veggies,...

Thursday, September 30, 2021

One of the most important pieces of the college financing puzzle is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Without the FAFSA, a college student is unlikely to be able to apply for or receive certain types of federal...

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Fall is in full swing, and for most families, so is a return to the school year routine. But for some kids, adjusting back to this schedule can be stressful—and can take a little longer than you’d like to find balance. But...

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Thursday, September 16, 2021

When it comes to planning for retirement, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Putting together a financial strategy can be complicated at any time of life, with changing regulations, ups and downs in the market, and disagreements –...

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The bull market continues, with the S&P 500 Index now up seven months in a row. Stocks have impressively gained 20% year-to-date, with the S&P 500 making 53 new all-time highs before the end of August—another new record....

Monday, September 6, 2021

The golden rule of financial planning: if you can plan it, you can pursue it Over the past July 4th, we celebrated our country’s history of declaring independence and guaranteeing basic human freedoms. But true freedom includes...

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

As your life changes, your financial needs often change, as well. Regardless of whether you are just starting out in life, are in mid-career, or are at the peak of your earning years, life insurance can help you achieve a variety of...

Friday, August 27, 2021

Fear-of-missing-out is a very real emotion – but it can derail your portfolio Every day we’re bombarded with reports of what’s hot and what’s not – fueling a fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) on some great...

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The headline Consumer Price Index is important only as a general gauge What will inflation be in the coming years? The real answer is that it varies according to your age and spending patterns. Inflation could wallop someone with kids...

Monday, August 23, 2021

As of 2017, about two-thirds of all nonprofit organizations in the U.S. had annual budgets of less than $1 million.[1] For these non-profit organizations where every penny has a purpose, having the services of a financial professional...

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Dear Valued Cient: Six months and counting. That is the current monthly winning streak for the S&P 500 Index. To take that a step further, this key equity benchmark has posted gains in 13 of the last 16 months—dating back to the...

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Many college students are looking forward to getting back to campus to continue their higher education and resume their normal life post-pandemic. Whether you're a first-year student or well-versed in college life, understanding proper...

Thursday, July 29, 2021

For many people, turning 65 provides one of the keys to retirement: access to affordable healthcare. Whether you're enrolling in the Medicare program for the first time or have been a Medicare enrollee for years, it's important to stay...

Monday, July 26, 2021

Many people associate the term "financial wellness" with things like saving for retirement, paying down high-interest debt, or creating an emergency fund. But when you're living with a disability (or caring for a loved one who is...

Monday, July 19, 2021

Between health, life, auto, disability, and homeowner/renter insurance, paying to insure your belongings--and yourself--can be a significant portion of your monthly budget. However, some of the factors that impact insurance rates are...

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The US economy powered forward faster than nearly anyone had expected in the first half of 2021. As we were writing our Outlook for 2021 in late 2020, our economic views were significantly more optimistic than consensus...

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Members of the "Sandwich Generation"—or adults who have at least one parent over age 65 and at least one child who still requires financial support—often find themselves torn between their dual caregiving responsibilities.1...

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Many parents pay for college with a combination of current income, savings, and financial aid. By learning the basics of financial aid, you'll be able to understand how the aid process works and compare the aid awards your child...

Monday, June 28, 2021

Why doesn’t anyone ever tell you not to buy an umbrella liability policy? It seems like additional overall security for pennies. Sure, you can spend pennies paying for something you don’t need or will never use, but...

Thursday, June 10, 2021

An annuity is a contract between you, the purchaser or owner, and an insurance company, the annuity issuer. In its simplest form, you pay money to an annuity issuer, and the issuer pays out the principal and earnings back to you or to...

Friday, June 4, 2021

A 529 plan is a state-sponsored tax-advantaged plan designed for saving for future education expenses authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. If used for education, the assets grow tax-free. According to the College...

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Grandparents can often find themselves in a better financial position to save for their grandchildren's education than their own children are. The parents of prospective students may still be contending with competing priorities like...

Thursday, May 13, 2021

If you're a small business owner, many of the best practices employed by individual investors are also available to you (of course!), but you also have some additional options and factors to weigh while creating your investment plans....

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Setting healthy financial goals is critical. Even more important is staying committed to those financial goals. Keeping yourself committed to your goals may be difficult, especially when times may be financially tough. But by staying...

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Buying a life insurance policy is something that many people push off, sometimes until it is too late. For many people, the thought of buying life insurance means thinking about their death, which is something that most people wish to...

Monday, April 26, 2021

If retirement is on your horizon, you may not expect to be able to withdraw any funds from your 401(k), 403(b), or other tax-deferred plan until you reach age 59.5—unless you want to pay a 10 percent penalty.[1] However, one...

Monday, April 19, 2021

Social Security is an asset that is taken for granted by many folks. If you are tempted to take Social Security early, when first eligible at age 62, think again: your check will be lower if you don’t wait until what’s...

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

When saving for retirement, it often makes sense to contribute to employer-sponsored retirement plans to take advantage of any available employer match opportunities. However, not everyone has access to an employer-sponsored plan. Even...

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Many have heard Social Security retirement benefits referred to as part of the "three-legged stool" of retirement: Social Security, a pension or defined benefit plan, and personal savings.1 The idea is that with these three sources of...

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Many prospective investors eventually shy away from a commitment when they hear the dreaded “R” word: risk. By itself, risk is innocuous, carrying no special meaning or predictive result. But the idea that investing...

Friday, March 19, 2021

Amidst all the pandemic news and 2020 election drama, many might have missed that the IRS also quietly published new 2021 tax rates in late October and a there are plenty of changes that will impact taxpayers in 2021. While it’s...

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Investors have become increasingly concerned with inflation, and inflation hawks have cited historic stimulus measures and accelerating economic activity as tailwinds that could lead to runaway inflation. February’s consumer...

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax credit that can provide great benefit to families. According to the IRS, in 2019 alone, approximately 25 million workers and families received over $60 billion in EITC payments,...

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Treasury yields started moving sharply higher this past month (remember that as yields go up, prices go down). And while the upward march began in earnest last August when the 10-Year Treasury yield bottomed at an all-time low rate of...

Friday, February 12, 2021

Losing a loved one is one of the most stressful times, even if you've had some time to emotionally prepare for it. And while it can be tough to do more than put one foot in front of the other, losing someone can also bring financial...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

For investors approaching retirement, it is important to begin thinking about retirement income planning. This involves a mindset shift from accumulating an investment portfolio designed for growth to creating a portfolio of retirement...

Monday, February 8, 2021

On Sunday, December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021) was signed into law. A $900 billion emergency relief package is included as part of this omnibus spending bill. It is intended to assist individuals and...

Friday, January 29, 2021

“In the short term, the market is a popularity contest. In the long term, the market is a weighing machine.” -Warren Buffett The incredible action from some of the most heavily shorted names has investors everywhere...

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Investment-grade credit spreads, the extra yield you get from investment-grade corporate bonds compared to similarly dated US Treasuries, have already tightened to a level you usually only see during the middle of the economic...

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

New Year's is traditionally the time to review your life and make resolutions for change. In addition to thinking about working out, eating healthy, and meeting personal and professional goals, you should also think about your finances...

Monday, January 11, 2021

A few years back when I joined a gym, they offered a complimentary personal training session. Just 25 minutes into pushups, pull ups and crunches I was dry heaving in the corner with the trainer asking why I was so out of shape. It was...

Monday, November 30, 2020

From pandemic-related stimulus payments to job losses and furloughs, for many taxpayers, next spring's tax season may be more complex than usual. With the end of 2020 rapidly approaching, you should take some time to review your tax...

Monday, November 30, 2020

By the last third of the calendar year, you're likely to have a pretty good idea of what your annual income will be and whether any major expenses or big life changes await you. This can allow you to engage in more robust tax planning,...

Monday, November 30, 2020

When you donate to a charity, you want to know that your donation is going to its highest and best purpose—which means minimizing the tax exposure of the donated assets. One way to accomplish this, whether you're hoping to donate...

Monday, November 30, 2020

2020 has been one of the most unprecedented years in recent history, but some things—like tax contributions and retirement deadlines—don't change much, if at all. And with the uncertainty surrounding just about everything,...

Monday, October 26, 2020

If you are one of the 90% of taxpayers who don't itemize deductions, you cannot claim a federal deduction for charitable donations. To get past this issue, some people lump their charitable gifts together. Wondering how to claim a...

Monday, October 26, 2020

What are appropriate checklists for year-end tax planning? Tax planners often develop checklists to guide taxpayers toward year-end strategies that might help reduce taxes. Typically, suggestions are grouped into several different...

Monday, October 26, 2020

Any endeavor worth undertaking, especially one that may affect others, deserves our careful consideration before we begin. When contemplating charitable giving, think about the following points: Choose Your Causes. Worthy causes abound...

Monday, October 26, 2020

Year-End Tax Planning As the end of the year approaches, it's time to consider strategies that could help you reduce your tax bill. But most tax tips, suggestions, and strategies are of little practical help without a good...

Monday, October 19, 2020

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional or a CFP® practitioner is a financial professional who meets the requirements established by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. While others may call...

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Steps to take today to prepare your family for when an emergency strikes California and the Pacific Northwest have to contend with wildfire season for six months of every year from May through October, with the last two months...

Friday, October 2, 2020

If you've been wondering how to optimize your finances and ensure your money continues to work for you, a financial professional may be able to help. But the thought of turning over your most sensitive financial information to a...

Friday, October 2, 2020

Your plans for retirement may include travel, home improvements, and more time spent with family. Few people enter retirement with the expectation (or even the thought) that they soon may be unable to live independently. However, this...

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Two years ago my parents were on a Sunday morning walk when they were struck by a ride share vehicle as they crossed an intersection. I got the phone call from the hospital as I was grocery shopping. The nurse on the phone said my...

Friday, August 28, 2020

Like anyone else, you want a life insurance policy that meets your needs and budget. But how do you find the right policy when there are so many to choose from and many of them seem so similar? The key is knowing how to compare...

Friday, August 28, 2020

At a time when your career is reaching a peak and you are looking ahead to your own retirement, you may find yourself in the position of having to help your children with college expenses while at the same time looking after the needs...

Friday, August 28, 2020

Life insurance can be an excellent tool for charitable giving. Not only does life insurance allow you to make a substantial gift to charity at relatively little cost to you, but you may also benefit from tax rules that apply to gifts...

Friday, August 28, 2020

With the coronavirus shutting done educational institutions and moving classes online, the face of education across the country has changed. While the focus has been primarily on completing the educational requirements to get K through...

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

On Saturday, August 15, a dry lightning storm tore through my little mountain community of San Lorenzo Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains. By Monday morning, we could smell smoke from the fires that had been sparked by the lightning...

Friday, July 31, 2020

Women play a central role in establishing and preserving family wealth -- whether nurturing the values of children, fulfilling charitable goals, or making investment decisions that affect the financial security of themselves or their...

Friday, July 31, 2020

You've worked hard over the years to accumulate wealth, and you probably find it comforting to know that after your death the assets you leave behind will continue to be a source of support for your family, friends, and the causes that...

Friday, July 31, 2020

Whether you manage a trust for someone else, are the beneficiary of a trust, or are thinking of creating a trust, you probably have some questions about the "best practices" of trust management. A well-managed trust can help preserve...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Most of us go to see professionals when we’re in trouble or during times of crisis. Think about it. We go to the doctor when we’re sick. We go see a lawyer when we have a pending legal matter. We go see a counselor when...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Today, many people find themselves inundated by a constant stream of financial news from television, radio, and the Internet. Yet, does all this “information age” data really help you manage your finances any better than in...

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tip: How Much? Check your Social Security earnings and see an estimate of your benefits on the website, www.ssa.gov. Social Security’s been a fact of retirement life ever since it was established in 1935. We all think we know how...