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Welcome to the Planning for Good Blog.

Here you will find answers to FAQs, my best tips, and insight into hot topics. Get a taste of my thought process when giving financial advice.

Have a suggestion for a future blog post? Email me at karen@planningforgood.net

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

"LGBTQ parents can face further financial challenges including struggles related to adoption, assisted reproduction, outdated laws and customs, and discrimination." Amy Fontinelle, a personal finance writer contributing to the...

 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month... "All parents face the same financial challenge: Raising a child is expensive. However, the costs can start adding up sooner with the medical expenses leading up to having that child, including in vitro...

 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Frequently Asked Question: Q17. Does this relief provide me more time to contribute money to my IRA for 2019? A17. Yes. Contributions can be made to your IRA, for a particular year, at any time during the year or by the due date for...

 

Monday, June 1, 2020

I'm entering the summer months with a mixed bag of emotions. Just as we begin to see a ray of light at the end of the tunnel, the curtains get pulled back on the long history of deadly inequality in our country.I’m not here to...

 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Professional advisors are asking clients about health in more detail and more often: the client’s personal health, as well as that of their spouses/partners and any dependents they may have (this could be kids or elderly parents...

 

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

In uncertain times, one of the best actions we can take is to follow basic financial planning principals. Here are three strategies to consider in times things feel upside down. These are smart measures as a periodic check-up, too:...

 

Friday, May 8, 2020

An important part of financial planning is anticipating costs in retirement, including potential healthcare expenses. Medicare is one of them. Medicare has four “parts.” Each covers certain benefits for those who are...

 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Frequently Asked Question: Q: Does the CARES Act have a provision for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)? A; Yes. All RMDs for IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs and 401(k), 403(b) and governmental 457(b) plans are waived for 2020. The...

 

Friday, April 24, 2020

One of the best ways to protect the security of your most important data, and to help ensure lenders are seeing your best credit score, is to check that all of your financial information is up to date and accurate.

 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Maybe you’ve heard that retirement spending can increase over time, but the reality is more complicated than many believe. Check out the attachment below to learn more about how expenses change over time during retirement.

 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

It’s imperative to ensure accounts and policies are up-to-date, especially if you’ve gotten to the point of making them part of a personalized financial strategy, because financial planning is an on-going process. I...

 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The CFP Board's Code and Standards requires that all active CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals assume a fiduciary duty; that is to "act in the best interest of the client at all times when providing financial advice." To...

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

You contribute the maximum amount each year to your 401(k), sacrificing a fatter paycheck today for financial security down the road, and for that, you should be proud. But if you aren’t setting additional savings aside to help...

 

Monday, March 9, 2020

The recent market correction has left some investors nervous. Here is a gentle reminder that this is one of those occasions that we've worked together to plan for. A significant part of my job as an advisor is to help coach clients...

 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Let’s begin by defining “retirement”. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines retirement as “withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from active working life.” While this may be the traditional...

 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

As the population ages, the need for caregivers is growing, but more restrictive immigration policies such as those being promoted by the Trump administration could have a negative impact on a caregiving industry that is already facing...

 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

If you have any questions and would like to schedule an appointment with me (by phone or in-person) you may get on my calendar at your convenience here: https://calendly.com/planningforgood If you have found this information helpful,...

 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Frequently Asked Question: Q: Why did I get a 1099-R tax form on retirement assets that I rolled over to an IRA? Will I pay tax on this? A: IRS form 1099-R will be generated for any distribution from a retirement account. To know if...

 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Have you made your 2019 IRA contribution yet? The deadline is April 15, 2020*. There’s a maximum amount you can contribute to your IRA each year, and the deadline to make your 2019 contribution is Tax Day. The earlier you start...

 

Monday, February 10, 2020

We now have details of the new SECURE Act: Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement. If you have any questions and would like to schedule an appointment with me (by phone or in-person) you may get on my calendar at your...

 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

We now have details of the new SECURE Act: Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement. Perhaps the most impactful change due to the SECURE Act is the age in which Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) must begin. You'll...

 

Monday, January 27, 2020

1. Create a budget and track your spending Take advantage of smart phone apps, web applications, Excel or good old-fashioned pen and paper… to keep a detailed log of your expenses. Avoid using cash and consider using a debit...

 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

I heard someone mention that this year, 2020, is the year of clarity. It’s hokey, but I like it! I hope I can help you find some clarity of your goals and financial plan as we work together throughout the year.

 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Are you getting ready to change your name and dreading the process of updating all the various accounts and systems? Perhaps we can help… HERE is a list of the most common places where you’ll want to update your name....

 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Could someone you love be a victim of elder financial abuse? Each year, seniors lose $37 billion to elder financial abuse and more than a third of seniors are affected by financial abuse in any five year period, according to one...

 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Perhaps you're frequently told—by colleagues at work, family members, or friends—that they don't know what they'd do without you. Of course, it makes you feel important. But perhaps you're being given a bit of a...

 

Friday, November 1, 2019

What is it? By definition, a crisis is a turning point, a time when you have to make crucial decisions (often suddenly) that will affect your future. Although smart planning is the key to effectively dealing with periods of crisis, you...

 

Monday, October 21, 2019

For young workers in their 20s or 30s, retirement may seem too far off to give it any serious thought. However, putting off retirement savings should be discouraged; in fact, actively saving for retirement at the beginning of your...

 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

With the recent increase in market volatility, many clients have shared with me their sentiments of uncertainty and confusion. A significant part of my job as an advisor is to help coach clients through periods of unease so that they...

 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Life insurance is, first and foremost, about protecting the ones you love after you’re gone. But some types can actually help you in retirement as well, by providing: A way to accumulate a source of funds. Tax-deferred growth...

 

Friday, September 20, 2019

If you haven’t shown your children how to handle their money, you’ve left them vulnerable to a lifetime of financial insecurity. According to the Council for Economic Education (CEE), which promotes economic and financial...

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Childhood is full of milestones. First step, first word, first day of school, first job, first date. These milestones are important not only in themselves but in what they say about the family's focus and values. Are we paying...

 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Say "summer" and most people think "vacation." The reality is that most adults work year-round, and some seasonal workers may even be busier in the summer than during other seasons. Children of working parents may continue to have...

 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

By Amy FontinelleAmy Fontinelle is a personal finance writer focusing on budgeting, credit cards, mortgages, real estate, investing, and other topics. It’s not something anyone likes to think about, but life-altering illnesses...

 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

In this day and age, we have endless responsibilities competing for our time. Some decisions are complicated and have serious repercussions if we make a poor choice, or neglect to act. Traditionally, we’ve learned to seek...

 

Monday, July 15, 2019

When thinking about how to protect your livelihood or build the financial resources you will need to live life as desired, it often starts with clarifying what you want to achieve, what you value and how uncertainties can affect plans...

 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Prospective clients often tell me that that they feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to share their personal circumstances with me, for fear that they will be judged. It’s likely been the thing keeping them from seeking help when...

 

Monday, July 1, 2019

By June, most children in the US have closed the books for the school year. For some children, summer means camp, or family vacations. For teens, it could mean a job or internship. Perhaps it's just lazy days playing with friends. But...

 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Researching destinations for your next big vacation getaway may be part of the fun, but for LGBT world travelers — especially those with kids — it is also a very important step to ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip....

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Breaking up is never easy, but in the case of same sex couples, it can be complicated considerably by legal landmines. “We have the exact same split-up rates as straight couples,” said D’Arcy Kemnitz, an attorney and...

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Estate planning is far greater than just drawing up a will: it’s a way to make decisions about all kinds of important personal and financial topics, from insurance to real estate to guardianship to financial planning and wealth...

 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

For LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender) kids and young people questioning their sexual or gender identity, the love and support they receive at home makes all the difference. Parents who embrace their child’s journey...

 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

I’m often asked how financial planning for the LGBTQ is different from planning for any other person or family, especially now that we have marriage equality. Here’s one example: members of the LGBTQ community, generally...

 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Retirement is typically one of everyone’s top financial goals. It may be the furthest out, but any good financial plan starts with calculating how much money you’ll need during your retirement years. Many financial...

 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Taking a Closer Look at Target Date Funds

 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

This is a question I get a lot. An opportunity came up, such a finding a new home, or you came into some hard times, and you want to know if you can use assets from your IRA. First thing: these situations vary widely given personal...

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster, and because of its unique challenges, you can find countless articles online about how to get through it. That’s not my goal here. Below you’ll find some of the commonly overlooked...

 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

You insure your most valuable assets like your home, your car and your life. Most people would agree that they’re worth protection; however, disability income (DI) insurance is something people tend to be less certain about....

 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Losing a spouse is difficult, but it can be comforting to know that Social Security survivors benefits could help keep your financial house in order in the years ahead. To maximize the amount you receive in survivors benefits, however...

 

Monday, April 22, 2019

If you are divorced, you may be aware that you can potentially claim retirement benefits on your ex-spouse’s earnings record. As a divorcee, you may be eligible to receive a spousal benefit equal to 50 percent of what your...

 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Single, childless retirees who never married have age based filing strategies available for claiming Social Security benefits: Claim reduced benefits as early as age 62, and receive a reduced monthly benefit for life. Wait to claim...

 

Monday, April 8, 2019

If you’re married and thinking about retirement, you should consider the strategy you use to file for Social Security benefits carefully. The age at which you and your spouse begin collecting benefits will affect not just the...

 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Retirement saving is not on most Millennials’ list of top priorities. But if they continue to delay saving for it, they may not be able to retire until well into their 70s. Despite current expenses like student loans and credit...

 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I love to travel! New places, warm beaches, historical locations and often to international spots. I’m not alone. Most of my clients enjoy travelling and many times I’m asked how to best plan for these costs. Here are a few...