Posts Categorized: Financial Awareness

529 Plan – What are Qualified Expenses?

education books
The main tax advantage of a 529 Plan (in a state-sponsored college savings plan) is that distributions for qualified expenses are tax-free. In other words, contributions grow tax-free and earnings won’t be taxed when withdrawn for QUALIFIED EXPENSES.  In certain states, you may also benefit from ...
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Keep or Shred? What To Do with Important Documents

shredded documents
Inspired Financial will host its biennial Shred Party on Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  We have prepared a list of items and timeline to help you decide on what important documents to keep and for how long. Keep for less than 1 year Sales receipts for minor purchases (kee...
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Financial Planning for Women – Part 2 (Social Security)

grandparents
In my previous blog post, Financial Planning for Women – Part 1, I talked about how women will generally live longer than their male counterparts, with less in their portfolio later in life, and with less loved ones available to take care of them. In this post, we look at Social Security and discu...
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What The Tax Bill Means To You

tax calculations
Now that the new tax bill has been formally ratified by the U.S. House and Senate, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will be sent to the President’s desk in the next few days.  As you probably know, the House and Senate versions were somewhat different and you may be wondering: What does the fina...
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Fee Only vs. Commission-Based Advisors

coins and calculator
There are three primary ways that financial advisors are compensated: [1] Fee Only, [2] Commission, and [3] Fee and Commission.  Each has its own set of conflicts of interest (none are conflict free!) but we believe that Fee Only has the least amount of conflicts.  Let’s explore the definitions ...
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Financial Planning for Women – Part 1

Woman on Bench
Since Inspired Financial specializes in working with women, we are often asked, "Why do you provide financial planning for women?" Women's financial needs are underserved and often overlooked in the financial planning profession. Awareness of these needs must be brought to light during the planni...
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What is a Step-Up in Basis? Why should I Care about it?

calculator
(get ready for a whirlwind tax lesson!) A basis step-up is one of the basic concepts of estate planning. When a person dies, we say that their assets get a “step-up” in basis. Basis is short-hand for “income tax basis,” “tax basis,” or “cost basis” and is often shortened simply to...
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Making a Homeowner’s Claim

Rainy House
Suppose you’re the victim of a huge natural disaster like Harvey, or have experienced some more local damage, like a tree falling on your house.  What are the best practices for filing a claim for the damages your home and property have suffered? Recently, the Consumer Federation of America of...
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Benefits of a Professional Fiduciary

couple fight
Family strife when a family member dies is a sad and often tragic thing.  Yes, when funds are short, but I want to talk here about when the funds are plenty but the emotions of greed and fear get involved, or pride and even criminal behavior rear their ugly heads.  What could a good parent do to h...
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Advice for recent graduates: Start saving as a new “adult”

graduation
Since I started working in the financial planning industry in 2013, I heard many people say “I wish I had started saving earlier”. It may be too late for those people to start over, but we can prevent new “adults” from making mistakes by educating them and providing guidance. As a young a...
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