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Getting (Mentally) Ready to Retire

A successful retirement is not merely measured in financial terms. Even those who retire with small fortunes can face boredom or depression and the fear of drawing down their savings too fast.   Financial Challenges of Retirement   Practically all retirees have some financial anxiety. It relates to the fact of no longer earning a...
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The Importance of Financial Literacy

 There is a reason why we focus on educating our clients at Smart Financial. We want to ensure our clients understand retirement tools and how they can affect retirement. If only money came with instructions! If it did, the route toward financial security would be clear and direct. Unfortunately, many have inadequate financial knowledge, and...
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Year-End Charitable Gifting

 Are you making charitable donations this holiday season? If so, you should know about some of the financial “fine print” involved, as the right moves could potentially bring more of a benefit to the charity and to you.   To deduct charitable donations, you must itemize them on I.R.S. Schedule A. So, you need to...
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Health Care Costs Are Cutting into Retirement Preparations

You may have seen this statistic before or one resembling it: the average 65-year-old retiring couple can now expect to pay more than $250,000 in health care expenses during the rest of their lives.   In fact, Fidelity Investments now projects this cost at $275,000, up 70% from its initial estimate in 2002. The effort...
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Are Financial Advisory Fees Tax Deductible?

Do you itemize your tax deductions? If so, you might have a chance to partly or fully deduct the cost of the advisory fees you pay for the investment, legal, and tax advice you receive.   Under federal tax law, you may deduct “investment fees, custodial fees, trust administration fees, and other expenses you paid...
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Are Your Beneficiary Designations Up to Date?

Here’s a simple financial question: who is the beneficiary of your IRA? How about your 401(k), annuities, or life insurance policies? You may be saying, “I’m not sure.” It is smart to periodically review your beneficiary designations.   Your choices may need to change with the times. When did you open your first IRA? When...
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Tax Efficiency in Retirement

Will you pay higher taxes in retirement? Do you have a lot of money in a 401(k) or a traditional IRA? If so, you may receive significant retirement income. Those income distributions, however, will be taxed at the usual rate. If you have saved and invested well, you may end up retiring at your current...
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The Many Benefits of a Roth IRA

  The Roth IRA changed the whole retirement savings perspective. Since its introduction, it has become a fixture in many retirement planning strategies. Here is a closer look at the trade-off you make when you open and contribute to a Roth IRA – a trade-off many savers are happy to make.   You contribute after-tax...
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