Summer Road Trips: Microcosm of Our Financial Lives

Wp_Site_Admin Education Savings Planning, Estate Planning, Financial Planning, Portfolio Management, Retirement Planning, Tax Planning, Uncategorized

Summer road trips have been a tradition for families across the country for many generations. They have changed over time with updated technology (i.e. cars, GPS, lodging, etc.), but the basic concepts of seeing something new while also possibly visiting distant family remain the same. To make this once a year event successful requires extensive planning. Having recently returned from our own summer road trip to the west coast to visit family, I can attest that much goes into the plan!

How Not to Be Wrong and Helicopter Money

Wp_Site_Admin Education Savings Planning, Estate Planning, Financial Planning, Portfolio Management, Retirement Planning, Tax Planning

Hopefully, everyone has been enjoying their summer. Here in Wisconsin, similar to the recent stock market increase in July, our temperatures have recently hit the high mark for the year-to-date. However, the path for both the temperature and investments has not been on a linear path. This newsletter addresses how these non-linear paths are important to be aware of. We see them in reviewing first half investment returns, in predicting future investment returns, and in reviewing future economic scenarios. Being aware of this concept can improve the investor experience and hopefully lessen anxiety along the way.

Start The Senior Living Conversation

Wp_Site_Admin Retirement Planning

It can be awkward, uncomfortable and even depressing to start a conversation with your parents or other elderly loved ones that centers on the fact that they may no longer be capable of living on their own. It’s hard to admit that someone who once cared for you may now need care themselves, and often seniors are not ready to accept this hard fact. However, senior living is above all a health and safety issue, and it’s important to prepare seniors for the next chapter in their lives, even if they’re not yet ready. Up to 75 percent of seniors …

8 Myths of Financial Planning

Wp_Site_Admin Financial Planning

In a month or so, America heads into the summer “vacation” season and it makes sense that people are busy planning their getaways. Having a financial plan is a lot like having a travel plan in that it identifies where you’re going, how and when you’ll get there, how much it’ll cost, and things to do along the way. Like planning a vacation, your financial plan can be loosely structured or highly detailed based on your individual needs. However, having no plan at all could leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. A recent Household Financial Planning Survey conducted …

Economic Review and GDP Spotlight

Wp_Site_Admin Financial Planning

“If owning stocks is a long-term project for you, following their changes constantly is a very, very bad idea. It’s the worst possible thing you can do, because people are so sensitive to short-term losses. If you count your money every day, you’ll be miserable.”- Daniel Kahneman Daniel Kahneman, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of the New York Times bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, has helped investors better understand their thought biases in the hopes of creating a better investment experience. Even though we like to believe our decision making is rational, we are all …

The End of The 4 Percent Rule

Wp_Site_Admin Uncategorized

The "4 percent rule" was a retirement spending approach that became mainstream in the 1990s. The rule suggested that a retiree with an average portfolio distributed between stocks and bonds (approximately 60-40) should withdraw 4 percent of his or her retirement funds each year (adjusting each year for inflation). If the retiree could stay limited to that 4 percent, he or she would be able to fund retirement for at least 30 years. The simplicity of the 4 percent rule made it hugely popular with investors. The method made planning easy and was projected to leave the vast majority of ...

Protecting Yourself From Tax Scams

Wp_Site_Admin Tax Planning

Here at McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group we understand that tax season can be a stressful time of year. It’s annoying and, for many, expensive. But despite its unpopularity, some people are determined to make it even worse: tax scammers. Wherever there is money, there is someone willing to steal it. Tax season provides thieves with several opportunities to fleece people who are just trying to do their civic duty. There have been some recent news stories already this year about IRS-impersonators calling taxpayers and we feel it is important for our clients to understand the issues at hand. Fortunately, being …

Predictions and Investor Psychology

Wp_Site_Admin Uncategorized

“We really can’t forecast all that well, and yet we pretend that we can, but really can’t.” -Alan Greenspan “In order to be successful, an investor has to understand not just finance, accounting, and economics, but also psychology” – Howard Marks, Co-Chairman Oaktree Capital Predictions and Investor Psychology As we put together our 2016 outlook newsletter, a few themes continue to rise to the top and the question of which topic to write about became an easy answer: investor psychology and market predictions. When viewed together, you can see how easy it is for an investor to get caught up …

Tis The Season for List

Wp_Site_Admin Uncategorized

‘Tis the season to review lists that we made either at the beginning of the year or at the beginning of the holiday season (and maybe even check them twice if you are like Santa). Lists are a great tool for many things. They give us a goal. They keep us focused. They give us feedback. Financial planners like goals, focus, and feedback. Financial planners love lists! Perhaps a list’s biggest benefit is the reference point it provides when your plan is under “attack”. We all can relate to walking into the store (or clicking for those internet shoppers) and …

Congress Ends Two Advanced Social Security Strategies

Wp_Site_Admin Retirement Planning

Social Security may be one of your largest assets. What and when you collect will make a huge difference to your lifetime benefits and changes to the program are important to understand. This month's newsletter provides an explanation of recent changes. In November 2015, Congress passed a law that raised the national debt limit and prevented a government shutdown. The law included provisions that removed two Social Security filing statuses: "file-and-suspend" and "file-and-restrict." Read All