Thinking ahead about how investing can support financial goals is the purpose of planning. Naturally, there’s lots of talk about common planning targets: retirement and college. But there’s also consideration of how to achieve multiple goals at various stages of life — whether covering basic needs or leaving a legacy — and how taxes and tax planning could impact results. Articles in the planning category allow you to clarify how today’s decisions can impact efforts to grow, manage, and maintain wealth.
I had never heard of the Rule of 55 until a couple of months ago when a Certified Financial Planner (Jim Blankenship, CFP) mentioned the possibility in a discussion forum I frequent. I’m not an expert on this rule (or any IRS rule) but here’s what I’ve learned about this penalty-free method of taking a 401(k) withdrawal.
Making the rounds in my social media sphere this week is The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans, an article by Neal Gabler published in The Atlantic. The provocative subtitle reveals the shameful secret: “Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them.” The nearly penniless (or … Continued
Positioning finances to ensure that paying for college doesn’t wreck other plans was a challenge for my family. When my children were babies, I started strong, setting aside money in minor accounts even before the advent of 529 plans. But the day-to-day activities of raising children often distracted me from longer range planning. As a result, there’s a shortfall between our savings designated for college and our college bills.
Fortunately, though, my husband and I are able to cover more expenses from our current income than anticipated. After my youngest left for college, I noticed that my husband and I were suddenly saving more on at-home expenses in these areas:
When I happened upon an article entitled “Maybe You Should Stop Setting Retirement Goals” by Certified Financial Planner Roger Whitney (aka The Retirement Answer Man), I felt validated. I have lots of short term goals but no set-in-stone retirement plans.
For most of my younger life, I failed at envisioning and expressing my long term goals, particularly when speaking with a financial planner. When I was in my twenties and thirties, I feared expressing unconventional goals and hesitated to mention my dreams as they rarely seemed to align with what traditional planners deemed normal.