Should You Let The Government Help Pay Your Advisory Fees?

Mosaic / Aug 23, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Investments

One of the many changes enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) was the elimination of miscellaneous itemized deductions starting in 2018. This category included deductions for investment expenses which allowed you to deduct investment and custodial fees, costs-related trust administration, and other expenses, to the extent that they and other costs exceeded 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

One strategy to deal with the elimination of this tax break is to deduct the investment fee for the management of your IRA directly from the IRA.

Let’s look into how this strategy plays out.


Total Return: A Modern Approach to Retirement Income

Mosaic / Jul 19, 2018 / Retirement Planning

A common goal expressed by clients phasing into retirement is a desire to invest to generate income to live on while leaving their principal intact. Why? They probably saw it used successfully in the past.

When many of our parents invested, they lived off the interest and dividends from their portfolios, replacing bonds as they matured and leaving their stock holdings untouched.

Why is this approach, often referred to as investing for income, or income-only investing, not necessarily the best idea for modern-day portfolios? 

Why might your advisor suggest a different tactic, and what should you keep in mind when it comes to generating retirement income?


4 Ways to Save Your Retirement from Lifestyle Creep

Sheila Schroeder / Jul 12, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

As we become more financially successful, many of us may find ourselves living large without quite knowing how we got there. Sometimes we find that things we once wanted have now become “needs.” As a result, though our paychecks are bigger, so too are our expenses—and this can have a real impact on meeting our personal financial goals.

Lifestyle creep, otherwise known as lifestyle inflation, occurs when your standard of living improves as your discretionary income rises. Like ivy growing up a tree, if it gets out of control, it can choke your budget. 

Read on for 4 concepts to help you navigate the creep.


Strategies to protect your wealth at every stage of your life [INFOGRAPHIC]

Steve Branton / Jun 20, 2018 / Financial Planning / Retirement Planning

“How do I protect what I already have?”

It’s a wealth management question we hear every day.

After all, you’ve worked hard to gain what you have. You’d hate to see it frittered away.

Finalizing your wealth protection strategy is best accomplished when you and your financial advisor build a plan that reflects your risk tolerance and long-term financial goals. At the same time, there are things you can do to put yourself on the best possible path before that meeting. Thats where this article comes in.

Today I want to discuss the strategies you can use, loosely based on your age. We see folks every day that have addressed these issues at all ages; some are proactive twenty-somethings, others are later to the game, and some are addressing them at retirement.


Over 70 & Charitably-Minded? Here's How to Leverage the TCJA

Mosaic / Apr 11, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Charitable Giving / Tax Planning

If you are a charitably-minded investor who is  age 70½ or older, and you have money in individual retirement accounts (IRAs),  the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) may provide some worthwhile planning opportunities to cut your tax bill more so than in prior years. 

How can charitably-minded seniors leverage the TCJA? Let's walk through a few scenarios.


Should high earners make nondeductible IRA contributions?

Stephen Kepler / Mar 8, 2018 / Retirement Planning

When planning for retirement, you need to find ways to maximize the amount of money you put aside for your future. Key to that is finding ways to minimize your tax burden now and down the road.

So if you’re a high earner who isn’t self-employed, beyond contributing as much as the government allows to your employer-sponsored 401(k), what are your options?


10 Tips to Help Retired Couples Use Money Wisely

Sabrina Lowell / Sep 21, 2017 / Financial Planning / Retirement Planning

If you’re like most couples, you’ve dreamed big together about how you’ll enjoy your retirement, but you haven’t really addressed the specifics of how you’ll turn those dreams into reality. A NerdWallet survey found that while 76 percent of couples saving for retirement say they’ve discussed general decisions such as what age they want to retire and where they want to live, 30 percent say they don’t talk about how much money they will need to retire.

Communication about financial matters is important throughout your married life, including when you’re ready to retire. As you approach retirement, your money dialogue will evolve. Now, instead of just saving toward retirement, you’re beginning to develop a strategy for how to manage ongoing withdrawals from your portfolio, understanding how you’ll spend your nest egg, and knowing what you need to do to ensure it keeps growing so that it lasts for your lifetime. Discussions will grow to include health-related planning, and preparation for the possibility of one partner outliving the other.


Navigating Retirement Together: Tips to Help Retired Couples

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, I’ve worked with numerous couples who were entering or navigating retirement. Here are the 10 most important lessons I’ve learned from couples who’ve retired successfully—meaning they have enough money to fund the lifestyle they choose, and a plan in place to sustain themselves financially for the rest of their lives.


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

Liz Revenko / Jul 25, 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?


Retirement Income FAQ

Mosaic / Apr 18, 2017 / Retirement Planning

Your sunset years shouldn’t be spent worrying about money. 

When crafting a retirement portfolio, you need to make sure it is positioned to generate enough growth to prevent running out of money during your later years.

You may want to maintain an investment mix with the goal of earning returns that exceed the rate of inflation. Dividing your portfolio among stocks, bonds, and cash investments may provide adequate exposure to some growth potential while trying to manage possible market setbacks.

Here’s a short list of frequently-asked retirement income questions to get you thinking about your options when it comes to your individual retirement planning process. 



Tax Considerations for Self-employed Consultants

Mary Ballin / Apr 11, 2017 / Tax Planning / Retirement Planning

Nearly 15 million Americans were self-employed in January 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Being a self-employed consultant means you can work for more than one company, direct your own work, balance your own books, manage your business and be responsible for all of your own business expensessuch as technology, transportation, office materials, and the likepretty much, the buck stops with you. You are the employee of the month. Every month.

Under these conditions, the IRS would consider you a self-employed independent contractor.

But before taking your well-honed list of contacts and embarking on a new career as a consultant, you’ll want to understand the tax implications involved. The differences between your tax obligations as an employee and as a self-employed consultant can be significant.

A little knowledge and preparation now can save you a big headache down the road. Let's look into what you need to know.


Effective Financial Strategies: The Q1 2017 Newsletter

Mosaic / Mar 16, 2017 / Investments / Financial Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Retirement Planning / Mosaic News
What's Inside:
  • Tips for the Trump era - what investors should prepare for;
  • Learn how coaching strengthens and enhances client service, from financial planning to investment management;
  • Find out how to craft a personal financial policy;
  • Read about how shared values kept one couple together for five decades;
  • Get re-acquainted with advisor and CCO Geoff Zimmerman 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


Turning 30 and Getting Serious About Finances

Mosaic / Feb 9, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

This article profiles one hypothetical investor in order to highlight the benefits of beginning to pursue important financial goals as early as possible.

Throughout her twenties, Nancy McKinsey dreaded the day she turned the big 3-0. It signified adulthood, closing the door on her young adult years. 

The day finally came—and went. “And it was no big deal,” said Nancy. “It was really sort of a letdown after all that worrying,” she joked.

One thing did change for Nancy, however. After turning thirty, she decided to get serious about her financial life—and her future. “I wasn’t dreading the future anymore. I started to plan for it.”

Here's how she pivoted.


Key Assumptions Make or Break Your Retirement Planning Process

Mosaic / Jan 17, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Financial Planning

In order to effectively plan things like your business, your budget, and your retirement, you need to make a few assumptions. The retirement planning process combines art and science, and creating a sound plan requires making important assumptions.

Mixing qualitative and quantitative data can help you arrive at useful conclusions, but many people don’t understand the critical role assumptions play in a financial plan. Nor are they clear how those very necessary assumptions can affect their retirement savings over time.

As you craft or update your retirement plan, here are three often-overlooked financial planning assumptions you must make — and how to make sure your assumptions are as useful and accurate as possible.


Process of Retirement Planning: Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?

Mosaic / Jan 10, 2017 / Retirement Planning

Investors at any level of income can convert assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Should you convert all (or a portion) of your traditional IRA assets to a Roth account? The answer depends on your circumstances, goals, and taxable income bracket. Let’s take a closer look at your options for this process of retirement planning, beginning with the characteristics of the two IRAs involved in a conversion.

Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

Each type of investment retirement account has its own specific rules and potential benefits. Before we get into the pros and cons, let's look at the characteristic differences between the two, which are summarized in the table below (including the age for IRA distributions).


Effective Financial Planning Tips and More: The Q4 2016 Newsletter

Mosaic / Dec 1, 2016 / Investments / Women and Money / Financial Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Retirement Planning / Mosaic News
What Financial Planning Tips are inside:
  • Discover why long-term exposure to emerging market countries makes good sense; 
  • Learn actionable ways women can close the retirement gender gap, including estimating retirement income needs and investigating long-term care insurance;
  • Find out how to save and pay for college without accruing overwhelming debt;
  • Learn about recommended best practices for handling identity theft;
  • Get acquainted with new Financial Planner George Galat V and his why
  • Read about the 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