Family and Money

Getting Out of Town

By |2024-05-16T22:07:38-05:00February 20, 2024|Family and Money, Featured|

In economics, there are lead indicators and lag indicators. But often, the coincident indicators–stats that show the current state of the U.S. economy–tell the best stories. The Conference Board reports that a record-high number of U.S. consumers are preparing to vacation to a foreign country within the next six months. That’s an all-time high for a stat kept since 1967. To my way of thinking, only a strong, confident consumer tends to make such ambitious travel preparations! Financial headlines have warned about growing consumer credit card balances. You may have also seen concerns that U.S. consumers may not be as resilient in 2024. Since consumer spending is about 70 percent of gross domestic product, you can see why those headlines can be concerning. If your household is like mine, you tend to save and prepare before taking vacations. They create family memories that just can’t be replaced. I feel encouraged [...]

Inherited IRA Update

By |2024-03-03T19:44:08-06:00December 12, 2023|Family and Money|

If you have an inherited IRA and/or beneficiary IRA account, you should be aware of some recent confusion regarding the distribution rules in these accounts. The10-year rule that was established in 2019 dictated that all beneficiaries have to liquidate the IRA over a ten-year period. Initially it inferred that distributions could be taken at any time including all at the end of the 10 years. The confusion set it for those beneficiaries that received the IRA from an owner who was ALREADY taking required minimum distributions. These used to occur at age 70 ½ and were amended to age 72 recently. Well, for now (2021 and 2022) the IRS has concluded that distributions ARE NOTREQUIRED even if the original beneficiary was taking required minimum distributions. (IRA Notice 2022-53). “So, we don’t have to worry about it for last year, we don’t have to worry about it for this year. [...]

Tips for Raising Financially Literate Children

By |2024-03-03T19:44:33-06:00December 12, 2023|Family and Money|

Every parent wants the best for their children and strives to prepare them to lead a happy, healthy, and successful life. But, despite understanding the importance of financial responsibility, only 28 percent of parents speak to their children about money.1 It's no secret that money can be a taboo subject for many adults, but it's important to remember that our kids are watching and learning from us. While many parents believe talking about money can be stressful to children or that they are too young to understand financial concepts, these are meaningful conversations to have early. It's easy to underestimate how much kids can absorb and understand. But the truth is, kids are never too young to start learning about money. In fact, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that fourth- and fifth-grade children could understand financial education and retained it after initial coursework. By starting the [...]

Top Considerations to Help Adult Children Be Better Prepared As You Age

By |2024-03-03T19:44:55-06:00December 12, 2023|Family and Money|

As we get older, it’s important that our adult children are prepared to manage any aging-related situations that may arise. This includes everything from having to make medical and financial decisions to determining assisted living and end-of-life strategies. Conversations about aging and the type of legacy we want to leave behind can be difficult to start. Still, they are important to have before they are needed because emotions can run high during an emergency or medical crisis. Below are some key topics to discuss with your adult children to help them better prepare. Remember, estate laws are constantly changing, and it can be challenging to stay on top of all updates and ensure that you are taking advantage of current regulations. For example, rules vary by state, so it’s important to know what rules apply in your situation. That’s why some people choose to work with legal professionals who [...]

The ABLE Act Adjustment

By |2024-03-03T19:46:43-06:00December 12, 2023|Family and Money|

Saving for college is not an easy task, and many people don’t know where to start. There are many different investment strategies that you can use, so which one is right for your family? If you have a child at home with a disability, then a 529A (ABLE account) might be a great choice to help them save for college! ABLE accounts were started in 2014, and they serve as a tax-advantaged savings account for people with disabilities. The participant is the account owner, and the child is listed as the beneficiary. Anyone is allowed to make contributions with post-tax dollars for a total annual limit of $17,000 as of 2023 (the contributions will not be tax deductible at the federal level, check with your state about state deductions). Recently, these accounts have received some favorable treatment by Congress. In previous years, individuals only qualified if they incurred their [...]

3 Lessons From Lincoln Highschool

By |2024-03-03T19:47:27-06:00December 11, 2023|Family and Money|

Will and I attended a “Future Ready” event at Des Moines Lincoln High School recently.  The format is designed to gather graduates from Lincoln to share career, college and general career advice.  There were a number of non-profits in attendance, military representatives and for-profit capitalists like us. ???? We presented our ideas to two different classes.  One was made up of sophomores and the other included juniors.  If you are looking for a lot of positive reinforcement this would not be your audience of choice.  They were respectful but there was a fair amount of indifference, particularly when they heard that I graduated in 1986 (well before any of them were born.) Anyway, we tried to share three key themes.  One – keep your options open when it comes to college, trade school or your field of study.  Things change quickly when you are young.  I shared how I started my [...]

Protect Yourself with a Virtual Credit Card This Holiday Season

By |2024-03-03T19:47:45-06:00December 11, 2023|Family and Money|

It’s the busiest shopping time of the year and everyone is buying gifts for friends and family. It is a perfect time for fraudsters to strike. We all know how inconvenient and time consuming having a compromised credit card can be. Every app and subscription service that has your card saved for automatic billing needs to be updated, urgent phone calls must be made and panic strikes that your identity is at risk. Credit card companies are now offering a new solution. As technology improves, hackers find new ways to breach databases and gain access to your information. Once they have your card number, they can either use it for their own gain, or sell it to someone else to use. Either way it’s a lose-lose for you. Virtual credit cards have been around for years but are just now gaining popularity because of their effectiveness in fighting against [...]

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