4 Ways to Help a Widow

4 Ways to Help a Widow

Losing a spouse and experiencing the accompanying grief is heartbreaking. Life changes overnight.  What was once easy can become difficult. It could be paying the bills, cooking, eating, getting out of the house, or remembering appointments. Widowhood is unlike anything someone has typically experienced.  The brain fog that can come with the death of a […]

2022 Year-End Tax Planning Checklist

2022 Year-End Tax Planning Checklist

Don’t be the person who finds out in 2023 that they paid the IRS too much for 2022! If you haven’t done any tax planning for 2022 yet, now is the time.  While many reactively plan for taxes, proper tax planning is not based on year-to-year numbers. Good tax planning looks at your lifetime tax […]

Why the Dow Doesn’t Matter

Why The Dow Doesn't Matter

“The Dow dropped 1,000 points!”, screams the television financial reporter. So, what?  I don’t know why financial reporters, analysts, and the financial industry continues to reference the Dow Jones. It’s not relevant for many people.  There are more meaningful ways to measure stock market performance and what is happening in the economy than moves in […]

Family or Professional Trustee? Pros and Cons of a Professional Trustee

Family or Professional Trustee - Pros and Cons of a Professional Trustee

While people create trusts during their life, estate plans often include the creation of trusts at death. Knowing who you will put in charge of the trust is vital, including backup options. You have to specifically name them in the documents. They will be responsible for carrying out the terms of the trust, making distributions, […]

Should I Buy An Annuity?

Should I Buy An Annuity

In the financial planning world, annuities can feel like a dirty word.  They are an extremely polarizing topic. Some people shout from the mountain tops about their benefits while others say never to buy an annuity.  You might hear phrases like, “Annuities have high fees” or “I bought an annuity for the high guaranteed rate.” […]

How Much Cash Should I Have in Retirement?

How Much Cash Should I Have in Retirement

One of the common questions I receive from people approaching retirement or people in retirement is, “How much cash should I have in retirement?”  After many decades of saving and investing, it can be a strange experience going the other way. You’ve been taught to save and save, and now you have to start spending […]

The Negative Effects of Caregiving

The Negative Effects of Caregiving

Let’s talk about the impact of caregiving – notably, the negative effects of caregiving.  I’ll spend a little time talking about the positives of caregiving, but I want to give more attention to the negative effects of caregiving because they often outweigh the good.  I’ve experienced it first hand and seen it in other families.  […]

Why You Should Review Your Medicare Plan Each Year

Review Your Medicare Plan Each Year

It’s that time of year where you should start to receive your Medicare “Plan Annual Notice of Changes” (ANOC). It usually arrives sometime in September and lists changes in your coverage and costs of your current Medicare plan. It’s very important to review!  A drug that was covered under the formulary in the prior year […]

Aging In Place – Costs and Factors to Consider

Aging in Place - Costs and Factors to Consider

Many people I meet prefer the idea of aging in place. Unfortunately, aging in place is expensive and not possible for everyone.  Besides the financial costs, there are costs to renovate a home, technology to implement, and the need to coordinate multiple levels of care instead of having it centrally located. Plus, there are the […]

How to Choose Beneficiaries with Taxes in Mind

How to Choose Beneficiaries with Taxes in Mind

Unlike most experiences in life that you can do more than once, you get one opportunity to choose your beneficiaries wisely. Once you die, it’s nearly impossible for your heirs to undo your beneficiary mistakes.  Before reading this article, I recommend reading my article about costly beneficiary mistakes to avoid. It will help make sense […]