Decorated Christmas tree branch with holiday pastry

A Season of Firsts: Financial Tips for New Widows and Divorcees During the Holidays

As any new widow or divorcee knows, the initial year after her transition is full of firsts—the first birthday alone, the first anniversary alone, the first vacation alone—and among the most challenging of these can be the first holiday season alone. “The most wonderful time of the year” may not feel so great this year and the […]

closeup of electronic calculator buttons

The Complexities of Capital Gains Rates

Most of us know that taxes on capital gains are more favorable than other types of taxable income.  For “ordinary income”, the tax brackets have rates of 0%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%.  Ordinary income is comprised of things like wages, interest income, and IRA distributions, among other things. To contrast, capital gain rates are 0%, 15% or 20%. […..]

saving

U.S. Savings Rate: Better than we thought (but not good enough)

Quick: What is America’s national savings rate?  If you guessed less than 5%, you’d be close, but the scarier figure reported by the U.S. government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) this year was just over 2%. This precipitous decline in savings by Americans has been the source of a lot of hand-wringing especially when compared to their[…..]

US dollar versus China yuan

What to Make of the 2018 “Trade War”

The past few weeks, we’ve finally seen evidence that the investment markets are getting jittery about the escalating tit-for-tat tariffs and threats of tariffs that some economists are calling “America vs. the World.”  Many investors are wondering whether new taxes on items flowing into and out of the U.S. really are something to worry about and the[…..]

graduation

Beware of Scholarship Scams

Figuring out how to pay for college is stressful for most parents and may be out-of-reach for some families. My husband and I have three college-bound teenage daughters, and our oldest will be attending St. Lawrence University in New York this year. Tuition, books, and room and board will exceed $70,000 annually, not including countless round-trip flights[…..]

tax charity

States vs. SALT or “How to turn taxes into charity”

Each year, thousands of CPAs and financial planners—like us—use their creativity and ingenuity to try to determine the best (legal) ways to lower your federal taxes.  You know you’re living in interesting times when state lawmakers join that crowd! The reason state legislators are working so hard to lower your federal taxes is something popularly known as[…..]

old woman

Financial Planning for Women – Part 4 (Helping Widows)

In my previous blog post, Financial Planning for Women – Part 3 (Long-Term Care), I talked about why Long-Term Care is so important for a woman’s longevity. In this post, we will discuss how we help widows through one of the toughest times of their lives. We recognize that the death of a spouse is a traumatic[…..]