Self-Employed Retirement Planning: Individual 401(k) or SEP IRA?

Liz Revenko / Jul 18, 2017 / Retirement Planning

Working for yourself can be pretty great. As the boss, you can set the dress code at “jammies.” While you miss out on having a 401(k) plan set up for you (along with an HR department reminding you to make contributions), you can take care of those things pretty simply yourself. And you should, because as a self-employed worker, you have access to more and better retirement plan options than most people who are working for someone else.

Two of the most popular retirement savings accounts for the self-employed are Individual 401(k)s, otherwise known as Solo 401(k)s, and SEP IRAs. You’ve probably heard of both of these. Which is best for your situation?


Upcoming Women’s Circles: Investment Risk Tolerance

Liz Revenko / Jul 11, 2017 / Women's Events

You take on risk whenever you make an investment, but what is the right level of risk for you? It’s a financial decision, but you can’t ignore the emotional components.

Just how do you feel about risk, anyway?


In The News: Financial Coaching, Earthquake Insurance, ETFs and More

Mosaic / Jul 6, 2017 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts wrote and were featured in financial news in June, weighing in on diverse topics such as:

  • The world's most expensive ETF,
  • Considerations for earthquake insurance, 
  • Financial coaching gaining traction, and
  • An ongoing debate between certified financial planners about who should have control when it comes to defining goals (spoiler: Mosaic says its the client).

 Read on:



Moving In Together - Financial Advice Starts with Money Talk

Sabrina Lowell / Jun 27, 2017 / Women's Issues / Financial Planning

You’ve learned a lot about each other in the time you’ve been dating, and you agree you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level.

You don’t feel ready for marriage or formal partnership yet, however, so you decide to live together. Combining households, whether you're married or not, means you’ll need to address financial questions like shared bills, housing costs and saving for the future.

You’ll need to learn to merge money-management styles, designate responsibilities and establish shared goals—all in close quarters and while keeping the love alive!

When it comes to moving in together - financial advice starts with money talk. Here are four elements to consider.


Unclaimed Money: What To Do When A Good Account Gets Forgotten

Steve Branton / Jun 23, 2017 / Financial Planning

Who forgets money? Sure, we’ve all lost a twenty dollar bill or even an uncashed birthday check from Grandma in our lives, but an entire financial account? Who misplaces or overlooks something that important?


Dating and Money: 7 Tips for New Couples

Sabrina Lowell / Jun 21, 2017 / Women's Issues / Financial Planning

Everyone knows it’s important for married couples to think about and discuss financial issues like saving and spending, credit use, and retirement planning.

What about when you’re first dating? 

Dating and money dont have to be oil and water. Let’s face it: for most people, the ultimate objective of dating is to find a person you want to build a life with. To increase your chances of a great life, get an understanding of how youd like your role as a partner to be defined, as well as an idea of your preferred financial partnership.

And remember: not every date will have life-changing potential. Some will be just fun, others will be disasters. The disasters will give you fodder for a few good stories, and all experiences will lead to lessons about what you do and don’t want. Youll be prepared when you notice sparks that could lead to a genuine connection.



Paying Off Student Loans

Mosaic / Jun 16, 2017 / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

Your student debt may very well be one of the biggest financial obligations you will have. Actively managing your debt is an important part of sound financial health, and there are many strategies that could help you manage student loans efficiently.

Whatever you choose, your plan must fit your circumstances. Here is a checklist to help you weigh and decide on the right course for paying off student loans.


Effective Financial Strategies: The Q2 2017 Edition is out now

Mosaic / Jun 14, 2017 / Mosaic News / Investments / Financial Planning
What's Inside:
  • Learn how combining investing strategies can be beneficial to your portfolio;
  • Hear our “origin story” - how Mosaic came to be, and how we became a fiduciary
  • Find out how to express your preferences and values in your estate planning;
  • Read about tips to keep top of mind when it comes to evaluating earthquake insurance;
  • Get to know new financial planner Stephen Kepler and his why
  • Read about upcoming Women’s Circles and other events;
  • Stay up to date on Mosaic advisors: their speeches given, conferences attended, and books read, with takeaways from each.

To read the new issue of Effective Financial Strategies, please click here


Women's Circle Roundup: Beyond Estate Planning Documents

Liz Revenko / Jun 9, 2017 / Estate Planning / Women's Events

Estate planning enables you to guide decisions affecting your life when you are no longer able to do so. When you’re alive and able, you simply make your own financial and medical decisions.  Core documents for estate planning are wills, trusts, powers of attorney for financial affairs, and advance healthcare directives.

But there’s a big difference between you representing yourself and a piece of paper representing your wishes.

So what can you do to add greater understanding about your wishes—so that your choices and values are represented when you are no longer able to make your own decisions regarding your affairs?

In our recent Women’s Circle discussion series, we contemplated just this question. Here are some strategies we discussed to enhance your estate planning documents, including a helpful list of ways to communicate your wishes, with links to some handy templates to help you prepare. 


In the News: Refinancing loans, Mastering Debt, Goals, and More

Mosaic / Jun 6, 2017 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts wrote and were featured in financial news in May, weighing in on diverse topics such as:

  • When to refinance a loan,
  • Mastering debt, 
  • Recalibrating financial goals, and
  • An Australian profile of Mosaic as a firm, highlighting our COO, Sabrina Lowell.

 Read on:



Does Earthquake Insurance Make Sense?

Geoff Zimmerman / Jun 1, 2017 / Risk Management / Insurance

According to the Los Angeles Times, only 17% of California’s homeowners have earthquake insurance. Knowing you are protected in case “the Big One” hits is a great thing for peace of mind, especially for those of us in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Until recently, available policies have had very high deductibles and very limited benefits for temporary housing and personal belongings.

Now, however, some highly-rated carriers are offering more generous policies that may be well-suited for clients with homes worth over $500,000. These more robust policies offer lower deductibles, a bigger pool of money for temporary housing and personal belongings, and even a cash out option (you can take the insurance money and opt out of rebuilding).

These new policies are expensive—at times quite a bit more expensive than previous options—but their coverage might be very beneficial as a way to protect your equity.

So: does earthquake insurance make sense? This article discusses practical considerations to keep in mind when it comes to evaluating earthquake insurance and your circumstances.


Our History as a Fiduciary

Norm Boone / May 25, 2017 / Mosaic News

For financial advisors, the term “fiduciary” has special meaning. It carries the expectation that an advisor who operates as a fiduciary puts their clients’ interests first. It’s a commitment that I’ve always believed in and I am proud that Mosaic continues to lead the way by acting as a fiduciary for our clients.

You might expect that putting clients’ interests first would be a normal service standard. But it hasn't been in the past and it still is not today. In fact, there has been a divide in the standards of service for decades.


Spotlight on Stephen Kepler, CFP®

Mosaic / May 16, 2017 / Mosaic News

One of the core elements to Mosaic’s success is our team. This post highlights our new colleague Stephen Kepler, CFP®, and how he shapes his focus based on passion and experience:



Money Advice from Mom: Learn Self-Reliance

Mary Ballin / May 13, 2017 / Life Balance / Financial Planning

As busy as women are, they should not completely abdicate the responsibility of making financial decisions to their significant other.  This “traditional” thinking needs to catch up with the times. 

Both parties need to be in the know” because you never know what life will throw at you, leaving you to handle it all yourself.

I look back on my life and I realize that my mother was a strong influence on me.  She was a Depression era woman, born in 1925. She came from a family where daughters weren’t educated because they were simply expected to get married and have babies.  She married my father at 19 just before he was sent off to fight in WW2. It all worked out fine for my mother.  As a couple, they had a typical division of work for their generation.  Daddy took care of the family financially, and Momma took care of the house, my siblings and me.  I am the youngest of four children and my parents had been married for 66 years when my mother passed away. 



What makes a wine collectible?

Mosaic / May 9, 2017 / Mosaic News

Wine collecting has gained stature, especially since the 1990s. But wine is a fragile good that comes with its own requirements, and there is much for the collector to consider.