7 Tips to Help Smooth Your Job Transition

Starting a new job is exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially when it comes to transitioning your benefits package. I've put together a list of tips to help make this transition as seamless as possible and keep your financial plan on track.

Is a Donor-Advised Fund the Right Option for Your Concentrated Stock?

If you have worked at the same company for a long time, or received a large inheritance, it's likely that a significant portion of your wealth is tied up in a concentrated stock position. While this can certainly have monetary benefits when the company stock is rising, it also comes with a certain level of risk. A concentrated position  means that you are reliant on the success of a single company—while the market as a whole might bounce back from a decline, an individual stock might not. Additionally, selling the entire stock position may result in a large capital gains tax bill.

There are several options for mitigating this risk. If you are charitably inclined, a donor-advised fund may be an attractive solution, because of its ease, convenience, and overall benefits.

Should You Consolidate Your Retirement Accounts?

If you're like most people, you've saved for retirement in multiple ways, including employer plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). As you approach retirement, it may make sense to consolidate all of your savings into one account to achieve a coordinated investment plan.

What exactly is a financial plan?

As a Wealth Management Consultant, I'm often asked two questions "What is a financial plan?" and "Is a financial plan different from investment management?" In short, yes—financial planning and investment management are two distinct wealth management tools that work together to help you achieve your short- and long-term financial goals.

Retirement Income Planning: The Total Return Approach Vs. The Bucket Approach

Most working Americans have only one source of steady income before they retire: their jobs. When you retire, however, your income will likely come from a number of sources, such as retirement accounts, social security benefits, pensions, and part-time work.

When deciding how to manage your various assets to ensure a steady retirement income stream, there are two main strategies to consider: the total return approach, or the investment pool—or bucket—approach.

FAQ: Social Security Retirement Benefits

While working with clients, I am often asked about social security benefits. To clarify the topic a bit, I've compiled the following list of my most frequently asked questions. This in-depth FAQ addresses common concerns about collecting social security retirement benefits, including the impact of part-time work and other earnings, the age at which you may begin collecting, and spousal benefits.

4 Tips for Raising a Smart Investor

The sooner the better: it's a saying that applies to many facets of life, including educating children about money. By introducing sound financial habits early on, you'll give your child a head start on the path to becoming an informed investor. Here are some creative ideas, as well as book and website suggestions, for raising a financially saavy kid.

Is Your Income Protected? Answers to Your Top 3 Questions about Disability Insurance

Given today's economy, it's fair to say that we are all more concerned about our financial situation than we have been in the past. Our awareness of the need to save and plan ahead has been heightened, and everyone, it seems, is looking for ways to economize.

As someone who works in the financial services realm, few things could give me more pleasure than this collective impulse toward saving, investing, and planning for the future. The focus on protecting your assets ties in nicely with the idea of protecting your income. You may have considered what would happen if you were downsized, but perhaps you've neglected to plan for what could happen if you became disabled. Understandably, this is not a popular subject, but it is one we must all consider.

FAQ: Trusts

Trusts are a great way to put conditions on how, when, and to whom your assets will be distributed after you pass away. However, there are several options and specific terms to know when it comes to setting up a trust, and many people aren't sure of the best path forward.

To help explain, I've put together some frequently asked questions and answers on the subject.

How to Handle a Financial Windfall - 8 Tips from a Financial Planner

With every news story about the latest Powerball jackpot, it's only natural to wonder, "What would I do if I won the lottery?" Although your chances of hitting the jackpot may be slim, a financial windfall could come to you through more ordinary means, such as the settlement of a lawsuit, a severance package, a family inheritance, or simply a larger-than-expected tax refund. Unfortunately, along with the obvious rewards, a windfall can be accompanied by plenty of potential problems.