In a recent study conducted by the ‘National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics’, it was found that the average American family will spend just south of $700 for back-to-school costs in 2019. Is your child soon to be a college student? The same survey reported you should be ready to spend a little less than $1,000 alone for start-up school supplies. While this cost seems large, it’s just a part of your financial portfolio. Back-to-school time is not only a great time to plan a scholastic budget, but also reviewing and reassessing your financial plan.
Below is your Official 2019 Back-To-School Financial Guide to make sure your student, and your financial goals, stay on track:
How has your year progressed in terms of finances? Have you met or succeeded in your goals? Developing a spreadsheet and comparing where you were at the beginning of the year to where you are now can help you asses how aligned you are with your financial goals. Building this report toward the latter of the year will also give you time to adjust your plan (if needed), throughout the remainder of 2019.
Life happens, which is why insurance was invented. Whether you want to provide for your family in case of an emergency or someone forgets to turn off the stove…again; insurance of all sorts can help cushion the blows to your wallet and financial well-being. However, just as life is always changing, so too are your insurance needs and costs. Once a year, you should reevaluate your insurance needs and coverage for any change. While you may not be able to change health insurance in the middle of the year, items like car and home can be changed with a little research and not much effort.
Regardless if you are married, single, with or without dependents, it is crucial to create and maintain a workable budget. Life changes on a regular basis and your budget must coincide with your current income, needs wants, and goals. Back-to-school time is an ideal time to revisit your budget. It’s a relatively slow time on the tail end of summer travels and on the steps leading up to the holiday season. Budgets should be regularly checked throughout the year and especially after any life changes like marriage, death, education, etc.
Now is the best time to make sure you are receiving the most tax breaks you can on income for 2019. Items like 401(k), charitable contributions, and retirement contributions are all fantastic ways to reduce your tax liability. Consider boosting certain contributions to reduce what you’ll pay in taxes. While ‘tax season’ is still months away, it’s important to start looking at your 2019 year from a financial perspective and start looking out other ways to save on taxes before years end.
Back-to-school season signifies the approach of cooler weather, the quick onset of school costs, and the ultimate approach of years end. Make sure you have a great start to 2020 and finish off 2019 by utilizing this guide when looking at the remainder of your financial year. Although these are good recommendations to start with, you should connect with a financial professional to see where you are on your financial journey and how these tips could benefit you.
Disclosure: This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial guidance. Before you make any decisions regarding your personal financial situation, you should consult a financial or tax professional to discuss your individual circumstances and objectives.
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Traveling abroad or living abroad is a new normal for many people, but what happens if the traveler dies while off U.S. soil? Will the life insurance be valid and payout to beneficiaries? Not all life insurance companies view travel outside of the U.S. the same and may not pay out benefits.
Being debt-free is possible for everyone, regardless of income. Learning to manage our debt and spending habits and then focus on saving can be life-changing and positively affect your net worth. Net worth calculates by subtracting your liabilities (debt owed) from your assets (not financed). Both individuals and companies can calculate net worth. It is an accurate determination of how much someone, or something, is worth. In this article, we discuss how you can create a debt reduction plan for 2020.
Once thought of as a single retirement funding source, fixed-indexed annuities are becoming part of a retirement strategy. Not only for pre-retirees and those in retirement. Why? First, the reality of Social Security retirement is at risk. As well as the reduction of benefits is a concern as our population ages. Secondly, fixed-income annuities provide an income stream in retirement that you can’t outlive.
Many people decide to ‘semi-retire’ early and start taking their Social Security Retirement benefit at the earliest age possible. It’s appealing to be able to work part-time or where you have an interest. You may start a small business while making an income and receive Social Security retirement benefits. While early retirement and a part-time job may be of interest to you, it can affect your Social Security Retirement benefits if you aren’t full retirement age. Take the social security earnings test to learn more about your social security benefits.
Effective January 1, 2020, the SECURE Act, a progressive change to retirement savings plans, is now law. The last legislation to retirement savings happened when Congress allowed for the automatic enrollment of employees. Also the addition of Target Date funds to retirement plans in 2006.
While the new law intends to provide additional opportunities for Americans to save for retirement, other changes will affect both estate and retirement planning in these critical areas:
One of the most critical things in retirement is not having enough income to last one’s lifetime. An annuity can help you by protecting retirement income. Retirees need a reliable source of income that protects them from the complex issues of unpredictable market-creating havoc in their retirement portfolio. For this reason, fixed-indexed annuities are becoming a standard solution in financial planning, along with other client-appropriate investments.
The U.S. population continues on growing older, with the baby boomer generation now the largest generation ever. By 2035, one in three heads of households will be someone age 65 and older. The American population will have one in five people age 65 or older, an increase of 30 million people over the next thirty years. Not all people in this group have recovered from The Great Recession, leaving them with lower incomes and homeownership rates than previous generations. As our population ages, the demand for affordable housing connected to accessible services will continue to increase, and many will find their own homes the only affordable option.
Many people refer to their retirement savings as a “retirement nest egg,” but in theory, it should be made up of many sources of retirement income-many eggs. Even if Social Security and a company retirement plan were their only retirement savings sources, likely they haven’t thought about their withdrawal strategy. It’s not as simple as just drawing down retirement income from one or two sources without a plan. Have the following been considered?
The thought the division of joint debt discussed when saying “I do,” to any relationship. For couples that combine both assets and liabilities, a split signals the dilemma of dividing both. About half of all marriages in the U.S. end, according to the American Psychological Association, making debt a significant hindrance to financial security for some divorcees.
In a perfect world, the spouse that acquired the debt would pay if off; however, that is not always the case. Creditors will hold both spouses listed on the note or agreement. This is regardless of the way the court determines the debt is to divide.