Posts Categorized: Financial Awareness

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

tax 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 ...
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Financial Planning for Women – Part 4 (Helping Widows)

old woman
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 spou...
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Emergency Fund: Plan for the Unexpected

stack of 100 dollars
Do you love surprises? What about surprise expenses? I’m with you, no one likes unforeseen expenses but truth is, life is unexpected. To reduce the stress associated with unforeseen expenses, we usually advise our clients to build what we call an emergency fund. What is an emergency fund? It...
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Is That Really Your Money?

Uncle Sam
When you look at your monthly brokerage statement, you see the values and what has happened in your account over the last 30 days.  It’s pretty simple math: “You started there, you finished here, and what happened to cause the changes—dividends (increase), market gains (increase), market decl...
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How to Avoid Scams Targeting The Elderly

elderly hands
Last week I missed a phone call on my cell phone. I called back and I heard, “Hello, this is the IRS.” I hung up immediately. The IRS will NEVER call on the phone; neither will SoCal Edison or SoCal Gas. These are scams designed to trick the elderly. In this technological age, we need to be extr...
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This Is Not What I Expected; Musings of an Unlikely Entrepreneur Celebrating the 15th Birthday of Her Company

woman crossroads
Fifteen years ago in March 2003, I founded Inspired Financial from a home office (in my basement, no less) with only my faithful canine companion, Rusty, on my "team." I had left the cocoon of a secure job with The Vanguard Group to strike out on my own because I thought I could make a greater diffe...
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Financial Planning for Women – Part 3 (Long-Term Care)

elderly happy woman
In my previous blog post, Financial Planning for Women – Part 2 (Social Security), I talked about how the guidance we provide in the early years of retirement places women in the best possible position to live their final years with grace, security, and dignity. In this post, we will discuss L...
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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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