Many people spend their lives working hard to accumulate wealth that can be shared with their families. Prudent planning for this wealth transfer goes far beyond the legal verbiage of trusts and wills to encompass deeply held values. This begs the question, “How can one ensure that what they leave behind will etch a lasting impression on future generations?”
We are often asked how much savings are needed to comfortably retire. Thinking about retirement evokes a range of emotions for many people, such as the hope that one will have enough money to retire, and fear that one might out live one’s money. The best way to fulfill those hopes is by focusing on the numbers and the variables that can be controlled.
Tax-loss harvesting is the strategy of selling stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and other investments that have a loss in order to offset realized gains on other investments. While it’s tempting to think that you could sell a stock to claim the loss and then buy it back right away, the IRS has a rule in the tax code to prevent you from doing that. The wash sale rule says that you must wait 30 days after selling a stock before repurchasing it if you want to deduct the loss.
“The number one problem in today’s generation and economy is lack of financial literacy,” according to American economist and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. A 2012 SEC report on financial literacy in the United States found that “American investors lack essential knowledge of the most rudimentary financial concepts: inflation, bond prices, interest rates, mortgages, and risk.”
Social Security is a critical component of retirement planning for many Americans, but people often find the decisions on how and when to apply for benefits daunting. With an estimated 2,500+ rules in the Social Security operating manual, understanding which benefits are available and when to apply for those benefits can often lead to complex analyses of possible scenarios.
While Medicare benefits are an integral part of health care coverage for many in retirement, people often find the costs and benefits unclear and confusing. Below is a guide to the basics of Medicare coverage, costs and options as well as sources of further information on the benefits available.