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  • Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee released their tax agenda on September 13th. The next step is for the proposals to be debated in Congress and finalized in the weeks to come. However, it is likely that the end result will be similar to these proposals, therefore, it is time to review the major changes.
  • Like many of my clients, you may have a dusty pile of paper savings bonds lying around somewhere.  Maybe they belong to you or your children.   Odds are they were gifts from an older relative.  Most likely they are EE bonds, which have their charms.** However,the savings bond I want to talk about today is theI []
  • Are you concerned about your familys future in light of so much uncertainty? While we have been dealing with COVID-19 for a while now and have adapted in some ways, the virus has also adapted, so we cannot be sure about what is ahead. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Financial Planning is Both Defense and Offense is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • By most measures we’re experiencing the longest bull market in our history, starting in March of 2009 and briefly dropping by 30% in March of 2020, before recovering after the shortest bear market ever. As a result, we’re sharing the marketplace with a generation of investors who have never experienced a protracted bear market. These
  • Debt Ceiling Drama

    The ceiling on the US Federal Debt has been reached once again, after Congress suspended it in 2019 for two years. The deal expired on August 1, 2021. Since then, the US Treasury has been managing cash through “extraordinary measures,” shuffling money around between accounts, so it can continue operating. They are hoping to raise The post Debt Ceiling Drama first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • Photo by Avonne Stalling from Pexels
  • IKEA is known for not putting text in its instructions. During my divorce I was assembling a heavy kitchen cabinet to get our house ready for sale. I opened the instruction booklet to a drawing much like this one and the words: […]
  • For tax purposes your investment accounts fall into three major categories, tax free, tax deferred and taxable.
  • There are a lot of proposals, rumors, and ideas floating around out there when it comes to tax reform. The Biden administration and the House Ways and Means Committee recently released their respective proposed plans. Let’s see, at a high level, what’s in there.
  • September 12, which just passed, is National Grandparents Day. In addition to the love and emotional support that grandparents provide, many also offer financial support. And, in some cases, grandparents are actually raising their grandchildren. There is food for thought for all family members when it comes to the financial assistance that grandparents provide and [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Grandparents Offer Great Amounts of Financial Assistance is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Individuals who are over 72 must take their RMD by December 31st of each year. If you are turning 72 this year, you have until April 1, 2022.
  • While people still relaxed from their labors and enjoyed themselves during the recent Labor Day holiday, many of us might say that the world of work has certainly changed, particularly for women. The NPR.org article “Millions Of Women Havent Rejoined The Workforce — And May Not Anytime Soon” points out that not only have record [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Millions of Women Are Leaving the Workforce is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • On Giving Gifts

    “Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.” – John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Giving significant gifts is a way to reduce “income inequality.” We can think of this as “direct action.” While this post is intended to clear up some questions about the tax implications of giving, we will leave promotion of The post On Giving Gifts first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • We like to offer different perspectives on money management, budgeting, and retirement planning so it is evident that there is more than one way to plan your spending and saving. However, if you want a truly personalized financial planning outlook, contact a Fee-Only financial planner. In a NextAvenue.com article, Jim DeGaetano, author of The Fruitful Retirement: [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Tips for A Fruitful Retirement is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • If you have college-bound children or grandchildren, it’s worth learning about 529 plans. These tax-advantaged savings plan for college expenses are named for the internal revenue code section authorizing their use. 529 plans invest after-tax dollars, ideally to grow for several years before the funds can be withdrawn tax-free, if used for qualified education expenses.
  • It may be cliché but there is some truth to the idea of not counting your chickens before they are hatched. A while back, we wrote about a novel called The Nest in which a family of siblings who were counting on an inheritance that they thought was a done deal ended up with a [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Be an Example of Sound Estate Planning is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
  • Bill Starnes was selected as one of five Delaware financial experts interviewed in the August edition of Delaware Today magazine.
  • While people have always taken on joint real estate ventures, the idea of sharing the costs to purchase a property may seem especially attractive now in a time of uncertainty. We are not necessarily referring to when spouses by a house together, although that is also a joint real estate venture. We are talking about [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Real Estate Is an Investment is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • The experience of getting evacuated from our home recently due to a nearby fire got me thinking about the importance of homeowners insurance. What should you look out for when getting home insurance? What's important vs. what's not? Let’s dig in.
  • How to read more

    I’m occasionally asked for reading tips. Here is what worked for me to increase the number of books I buy that I then read. While I notice that I spend less time reading articles when I read more books, there are some […]
  • A Be the Budget article on the importance of saving states there are “countless” reasons to save since savings offer protection and greater financial freedom. However, it can be difficult to take saving from being a notion to it being a regular habit. There are a number of rather serious reasons to save money on [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. The Importance of Saving in Uncertain Times is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • A major trigger of inflation is when supply cannot keep up with demand resulting in price increases.
  • Whether you think we have been in one long pandemic, or you are counting waves or phases, the latest news on the spread of COVID-19 may make you nervous. In some states, children have already started a new school year; in other states, children will start at the end of the month or after Labor [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Back to school jitters—parents, students, and employers is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • There’s no shortage of financial advice to be found on the internet, social media, the 24 hour news, and even from your friends & family. We’re bombarded with new opportunities to save, invest, and yes, even lose money. FOMO, YOLO, crypto, repeat. Surrounded by all the noise, a lot of folks simply don’t do anything. Ironically, in many cases, doing nothing is often the best course of action. As Jack Bogle famously said, “Don’t do something, just stand there! ” But there are a few things we can all do before we just stand there to make sure we’re not leaking money from our financial ship. What are they? Only pay for what you use. Sounds obvious, right? My mom is a member of the Greatest Generation. She’ll be 91 in October, and she still saves every receipt and checks them off against her credit card statements each month. She’s a Depression kid, so not a penny gets...
  • Even though we still think of them as children, under the law when a teen turns 18, they are considered an adult. Being an adult allows them to vote, serve in the military, serve on a jury, sign a contract and get married without your consent. This is a big change from when they were 17. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • What we do is so tied up in who we are that it can be difficult to picture yourself without a 9-to-5 job, even if part of that picture involves daily beach naps and sunset sails. Where some retirees see carefree days and endless possibilities, you might be staring at a blank calendar worried that you're going to go crazy without meetings, deadlines, and tasks that fill you with purpose. Answering these three questions will help you start to fill in those blanks and rethink what your retirement can be.
  • Kiplinger.com outlined retirement killers that could get in the way of you really enjoying life after working hard for so many years and they include: Not putting your plan on paper: The article observes that many people are terrified of running out of money in retirement but just as terrified of writing out a plan [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Dont Stop Your Retirement Before It Starts is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • You may have heard or seen that, as of July 2021, the IRS is starting to send out advance payments for the Child Tax Credit. This short article goes over some of the basics.
  • When you're working, raising kids, and struggling to find time to take a run or read a book, it's common to feel like your days keep getting away from you. Mixing a few of these habits into your schedule can help you take back some control of your time and meet your personal and professional responsibilities with more energy and purpose.
  • The Social Security Administration recently started rolling out newly designed statements. The new statements graphically illustrate the increase in income from delaying benefits. Here’s the retirement benefit information from an old statement: From a different client, the retirement benefit illustration from a new statement: The new design helps workers get a better understanding of the []
  • Set financial goals on what you would like to accomplish with your money.
  • By now, you are probably aware that under the American Rescue Plan parents with children are eligible for a tax credit that will arrive in the form of monthly checks or deposits that they will receive for the rest of the year. Kiplinger.com offered some specifics about the July to December child tax credit payments [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Details About the 2021 Child Tax Credit is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Hitting the one-year mark as a financial planning firm is an exciting milestone. In this article, I share some thoughts and reflections on my first year in business.
  • Not all financial advisors are paid based on a percentage and this makes comparisons among advisors challenging for the consumer. And underneath the “reasonable” part of the question is this: how do I know if what I am paying is worth it? […]
  • Should you buy a home in today's market? Answering these four questions will help you decide if you’re considering the right move at the right time for the right reasons – and at the right price.
  • The Health Savings Account (HSA) is the ultimate savings machine as it is the only type of account with triple tax benefits.
  • When creating a Roth conversion strategy, many people believe that the ultimate goal is to avoid required minimum distributions (RMDs). While that’s admirable, there are many instances in which this goal simply isn’t achievable. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • Nothing says the Fourth of July like fireworks, hot dogs and summer fun. But in honor of Independence Day, spend some time this month working toward your own financial freedom as well.
  • Inflation or Deflation

    Inflation and Deflation Many financial analysts are concerned about possible coming inflation, and even hyperinflation. There may be inflation happening now, and it could increase. But there are also powerful forces operating to limit the effect of inflation. As with any prediction, it is better to take a guarded view and not assume we know The post Inflation or Deflation first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • Financial stress is no joke, and the anxiety you feel about your money can be crippling. If you're starting to experience financial stress, try these 5 tips.
  • Before retiring, you should have a clear idea of your projected retirement expenses.