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%. […..]

antiques in market

Are you thinking about donating “big ticket” items of property to charity? Beware of these IRS new regulations

Ten years ago, the Internal Revenue Service proposed regulations that would define how to value (and prove the actual value) of non-cash donations of $5,000 and over to charity.  The regulations involved things like artwork, jewelry, antiques and other possessions whose value is often in the eye of the beholder. Now, a decade later, the IRS has[…..]

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[…..]

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[…..]

Uncle Sam

Is That Really Your Money?

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 decline (decrease), and withdrawals and fees (decreases).  But we are not[…..]

elderly happy woman

Financial Planning for Women – Part 3 (Long-Term Care)

  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 Long-Term Care and why it’s[…..]