Entries by Pat

Retirement is important — but don’t forget to save for college!

You might be worried about retirement planning, and of course you should be.

According to one study, only 24% of baby boomers feel confident that their savings will see them through retirement. Another study puts the number at just 21%. Between rising health care costs, low savings rates, and a healthy dose of uncertainty, it’s no wonder if you’re laying awake at night.

But it’s not just retirement that’s getting more expensive: it’s college.

As important as retirement saving is — and it is, or should be, a top priority for most people — college is becoming an increasingly critical part of the family budget.

The secret to improving your chances of financial aid

Navigating the college financial aid world can be complicated. Between all the paperwork, complicated formulas, and rules, it might even seem impossible!

But maximizing financial aid comes down to one thing: the balance between your assets, income, and debts.

To make the most of it, you’ll want to do what you can to reduce your income and assets while using debt as prudently as possible. Here’s how.

5 ways to finance your child’s education

Even in the early days of parenthood, it’s hard not to worry about how to pay for college.

All you need to do is look at the headlines. Inflation rates have declined in recent years, and yet private non-profit tuition at four-year colleges rose 11% since 2010 and public tuition rose 13%.

So how will you pay?

How to Invest a 529 Account

You’re ready!

Money in hand, you’re looking to open a 529 for a child, grandchild, or other family member who you love and have high hopes for.

But the huge variety of options and details might give you pause. Even if you already know which state’s plan you’d like to utilize, you may face a number of choices for how to invest the account.

What’s the Difference Between a Coverdell and a 529?

You’ve made the decision to open a college savings account for your child, grandchild, or other loved one. The next question is, what kind of college savings account should I choose?

If you already started looking, you may have encountered both 529 and Coverdell savings accounts. Both offer tax advantages that can help you put more money towards your child’s education, but they do have important differences. What are they, and how do you choose?

Don’t Forget to Plan for Taxes in Your Retirement Budget

With so many variables to think about as a new retiree, it can be easy to overlook one critical factor in your retirement income: taxes.
While tax planning, like financial planning, is highly personal, there are a few things everyone should know about retirement taxes: specifically, the types of taxable income you might be getting in retirement, how to approach calculating your tax rate, and how to manage account distributions.
Read on to learn more.

The Secret to Tax Planning for Retirement

We’ll admit it: this one’s an open secret.

“Spend less” is the advice you hear time and again in the financial press, and of course it makes sense: the less you need in retirement, the less income you draw, and thus the less tax you pay.

But it’s not the whole story.

After all, not all expenses are equal. No number of vetoed trips to your favorite coffee shop is going to make a significant dent in your tax bill (unless you’re truly a serious coffee drinker).

The secret is a matter of where you reduce your spending — and how.

Here’s what you can do.

5 Ways to Minimize Taxes in Retirement

It can take a lot of legwork to ensure that you’re starting retirement off on the right foot.

A solid understanding of your tax situation — and how to manage it — is a key part of doing so. With these tips, you can help make your golden years more prosperous.

Some of the tips might seem small, but even the little things help add up to big results over time, so don’t forget to take the next step — implement these retirement strategies today!

Avoid These 3 Costly Retirement Tax Penalties

Retirement might seem like it should be all golf carts and leisurely lunches, but making the transition work for your finances can be a challenge. Unfortunately, many retirees find themselves paying taxes and penalties on decisions they didn’t think were all that important — until it was too late.

Let’s take a look at 3 common tax mistakes and how you can make sure to avoid them.

What is a Roth IRA and How Can I Use It?

You’ve probably come across the term “Roth IRA” before, but what does it mean — and how can you use one? These retirement savings vehicles can be a powerful part of retirement planning if used in the right situation, but they aren’t foolproof. Here’s what you need to know about Roth IRAs before you invest.