Dow Jones Industrial Average vs. S&P 500: Knowing the Difference
Both indexes arrive at a number by tracking the price movements of a representative list of stocks.
Understanding Credit Card Balance Transfers
While this offer looks great on the surface, people who take advantage of it might find themselves on the hook for unexpected interest charges.
Five Ways to Control Emotional Spending
While avoiding emotional spending completely is probably not a realistic goal for most people, there are some steps you can take to decrease the damage it does to your wallet.
World's Cheapest and Safest Retirement Countries
More people each year choose to retire abroad to find a change of scenery, new experiences, and a lower cost of living.
Five Things You Need To Be Pre-approved For A Mortgage
Potential buyers benefit in several ways by consulting with a lender and obtaining a pre-approval letter.
When (and When Not) to Refinance Your Mortgage
Refinancing a mortgage means paying off an existing loan and replacing it with a new one.
Ten Promising Job Prospects for 2020
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these are the fields that will virtually guarantee a job for those graduating in the next few years.
SECURE Act Makes Major Changes in IRA Rules
If you are a small business owner, a part-time worker, approaching or over age 70-1/2, a beneficiary of someone's IRA account or the owner of a 401(k) plan, you MUST read about the changes made by the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019.
Collectively, since 1871, the time it takes for the market to recover (top to trough to top again) is a mere 7.9 months.
How Long Will I Live?
The average American now lives to 88. Find out your customized life expectancy based on 400,000 NIH data samples and a short quiz about your lifestyle. In addition to your life expectancy, the results also quantify the effects of changing your lifestyle habits, such as exercise, smoking, health attitude, and alcohol consumption.
Six Ways To Cut The Cost Of Your Car Loan
There are numerous ways to save money on your car payments. A word of advice is to not rush the process of buying a car. From the very beginning, weigh all of your options carefully, and you'll make the choice that's right for you.
Four Important Steps For Choosing Dental Insurance
Dental insurance policies have an annual limit to coverage, from $1,000 to $1,500 a year, along with a $50 to $100 deductible. To avoid getting caught with unexpected expenses, here are some key steps to take when buying dental insurance.
Six Surprising Facts About Retirement
Retirement is a topic that regularly makes headlines, and not all of them are encouraging. Americans are living longer than ever before, resulting in lengthy periods of post-career life.
The Six Worst Student Loan Mistakes You Can Make
No one loves the idea of student loans. But they're often a necessary evil - the only option for financing college, which (despite some debate of late) remains the best route for good jobs and rewarding careers.
Safe and Liquid Investment Options For Your Emergency Fund
When considering where to put your emergency funds, make sure you'll be able to access the money quickly, easily, and without a withdrawal penalty when you need it.
Ignore the Financial Media
The financial media is omnipresent. Whether it’s hearing about what the Dow did today on your drive home or a talking head pontificating about how the markets are obviously about to tank, we are constantly immersed in a miasma of prognostication.
How to Plan for Medical Expenses in Retirement
Health care can be one of the biggest expenses in retirement. According to Fidelity Investments, a 65-year-old newly retired couple will need $285,000 for medical expenses.
Beware, the IRS is Eyeing Your Inherited Money
One of the perils of being well-off is the constant risk that the federal government and/or your friendly state and local tax collectors will figure out new and different ways to snatch more of your wealth, especially wealth that you earned the old-fashioned way: by inheriting it.
Seven Ways To Recession-Proof Your Life
There are many everyday habits the average person can implement to ease the sting of a recession, or even make it so its effects aren't felt at all.
How a Home-Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Can Hurt You
If you don't manage your home-equity line of credit prudently, a HELOC can become very expensive and get you into financial trouble.
Should You Lease or Buy Your Next Car?
Many car shoppers are stymied by the decision to lease or buy. Let's see if we can help you with the decision.
Safe Deposit Boxes: Store This, Not That
A safe deposit box (or safety deposit box) is an individually secured container — usually a metal box — that lives in the vault of a federally insured bank or credit union.
Tips and Ideas for Cutting Car Insurance Costs
Car insurance rates are on the rise across the country. The good news is that there are things that you can do to minimize increases and/or reduce the burden on your wallet.
Mortgage Interest Rates
Buying a home with a mortgage is probably the largest financial transaction you will enter into.
Are Credit Karma Scores Real and Accurate?
Only you can evaluate whether getting a free credit score is really worth giving up your personal information.
What Happens If You Don't Pay Your Student Loans?
Most student loans are guaranteed by the federal government, and the feds have powers about which debt collectors can only dream.
Credit, Debit and Charge Cards
From a financial perspective, debit and charge cards are structured so that they pose little danger to your financial well-being.
When used properly, it can be an effective financial planning solution.
Freezing Your Credit File
Now you can freeze your credit file for free.
Four Unusual Ways to Boost Social Security Benefits
Little-known strategies available that may help you decide when you or your spouse should apply.
What Medicare Covers While Traveling
There are only a few instances where Medicare will cover services obtained in a foreign country.
Property Taxes (And How To Lower Them)
Property taxes are a major source of income for city, county and state governments, and other entities such as school districts.
Qualified Charitable Distributions
If you are over the age of 70-1/2, there is a way to reduce your taxable income, and therefore the taxes you pay, by taking advantage of the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from an IRA account.
Social Security Changes To Expect In 2019
Changes taking effect on January 1, 2019, as announced by the Social Security Administration.
The Average Retirement Savings By Age
A survey of the value of retirement accounts by age group.
Beginner Estate Planning
For millennials, it's never too early for estate planning.
The Top 5 Financial Mistakes Millennials Make
The millennial experience with the 2008 financial crisis may have given them a perspective that can be detrimental to achieving any long-term aspirations they might have.
Withdrawal Of Retirement Assets
Once we start to use those assets to fund our retirement an optimal distribution strategy can minimize the impact of taxes and save you money.
Letter Of Intent Will
While it has no legal standing, and a letter of intent cannot override a will, it can be an invaluable document for your family in any kind of an emergency, not just your passing.
New Tax Form For Seniors
Simplified IRS Form 1040SR to be available for 2019 taxes.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare has always had a problem with its pay-for-service model.
HELOC and Second Mortgage Loophole
You may still qualify for the Home Equity Line of Credit deduction.
Guarding Your Social Security Number
When and why you need to give your Social Security number to someone, and when you shouldn't.
Words of Wisdom Courtesy of Joseph Heller
Authors Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island. Wisdom ensued.
Best Personal Finance Apps
What you should look for when choosing financial software.
Whether you're buying for an investment or for a place to live, here are the 6 things real estate pros know about buying a home.
Building Health Care Costs Into Retirement Planning
There is one aspect of health care and health care costs that is controllable amid many that are not: whether people are in good health or not.
Social Security Administration shortchanges widows and widowers
An Inspector General's report accused the Social Security Administration staffers of reducing the benefits of thousands of widows and widowers.
Qualified Plan Withdrawals: IRA vs. 401(k)
There are differences in how withdrawals from IRA accounts are regulated versus those from 401(k) employer plans.
Surprise! Millennials Are A Generation Of Savers
It appears that Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are going against stereotype, with more than half of them saving for retirement.
Don't Get 'Escheated' Out Of Your Money!
Unfortunately, the English common law on escheatment has evolved from making sure abandoned property does not go to waste, to making sure the state has another source of income.
Catchy title, huh? Well, in this case, it may actually be true.
Turning 65? Here Are Some Pitfalls When Signing Up For Medicare
First, rest assured that, if you enroll in Medicare when you turn 65 and sign up for both Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (doctor visits, equipment, etc.), along with a Part D drug plan, then the only “pitfall” might be choosing the wrong Part D or Medicare Supplement Plan for your specific medical needs.
Like Exercise, Long-Term Investing Requires Persistence and Patience
Dave Rowan, a CFP from Rowan Financial reflects on the parallels between financial and physical wellness.
Proposed Department Of Labor Rules: How They'll Impact Advisors and Investors
Recently, the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new rule requiring just about every professional who deals with retail investors to adhere to a fiduciary standard of practice.
Where Does the Economy Go from Here?
Chief Economist Brian Wesbury of First Trust shares his insights on the state of the U.S. economy in this article written by Matthew Jarrell.
Six Things Every College Graduate Needs to Know About Money
Just getting started? Beyond the relative safety of college sits the stressful and sometimes messy world of adulthood.
Big Changes To Social Security
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, passed by Congress and signed by the President, includes significant changes to Social Security's rules.
Supreme Court Decides That Inherited IRAs Are NOT Retirement Accounts
On June 18th, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that, for the purpose of federal bankruptcy law, an inherited IRA in no longer considered a “retirement account” and is therefore accessible to creditors in a bankruptcy.
Required Minimum Distributions
These are withdrawals from IRA accounts required by the tax code once a person reaches the age of 70-1/2, and every year thereafter.
The Case For Benign Neglect
Carl Richards, who writes a blog for the New York Times, had an interesting entry last year that I thought bears repeating. Titled “What You Don't Know About Your Portfolio May Help You,” Mr. Richards expands on Warren Buffet's statement that “benign neglect, bordering on sloth, remains the hallmark of our investment process.”
Roth IRA vs. Roth 401(k)
If you're lucky enough to have access to a Roth 401(k) through your employer, you probably know that there are a couple of differences, to your advantage, that the Roth 401(k) has over an individual Roth IRA.
Do You Have A Super-IRA?
Well, it's not called an IRA, but an HSA — a Health Savings Account (HSA). Why do I call it a “Super-IRA”? Because like a regular IRA, you get a tax deduction when you deposit money in the account. Like a Roth IRA, when you withdraw your money from the account, it is not taxed as income. And, like both types of IRA, your money grows tax-free; dividends and interest earned in the account are not taxed when received.
Maximize Your Social Security
If, like me, you're over 55 (way over!), you've probably received regular invitations in the mail to attend a seminar on Social Security from an advisor that is just dying to buy you lunch or dinner.
Welcome to Stout Bowman and Associates
Putting trust and integrity first, we make financial planning understandable and comfortable every step of the way. The Financial Planning process that we provide is comprehensive and unbiased. We do not work for a particular company or financial institution; we only work for you.