What's the risk of living underinsured?

Norm Boone / May 15, 2018 / Risk Management / Insurance

If you’re underinsured, you’re taking an unnecessary risk that could jeopardize your long-term financial well-being and keep you and your family from achieving your financial goals.

If you’re living underinsured, you could be placing your financial health at risk, no matter how diligent you are about other aspects of wealth management. Insurance is a vital component of holistic financial planning.

How so?

Read more...

Tax Reform and the Alternative Minimum Tax for Couples and Individuals

Geoff Zimmerman / Mar 14, 2018 / Risk Management / Insurance

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 has drastically altered the alternative minimum tax (AMT) landscape for 2018 and beyond.

The TCJA completely eliminated the AMT for corporations; while the AMT still exists under the TCJA for individuals and couples, several material changes affect middle and upper-middle class taxpayers, making it less likely for this population to be hit by the AMT. Despite this welcome change, certain taxpayers may end up with a larger tax bill under the new system.  Lastly, some high earners may still find advantages to falling in the “AMT sweet spot.”

Let’s take a closer look at what’s changed.

Read more...

Ask an Advisor: Property Insurance and Rising Home Value

Kevin Gahagan / Nov 1, 2017 / Risk Management / Insurance

Bay Area property value is rising. And rising. Kevin Gahagan, CFP®, Mosaic’s principle and Chief of Investments, has practical advice for curious local homeowners with regards to how this may impact their property insurance, and a few words for dwelling coverage  with regards to Californias recent wildfires.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Is a High-Deductible Health Plan with HSA right for you?

Mosaic / Jan 19, 2017 / Risk Management / Employee and Government Benefits

"Save thousands on health insurance."

"Cut your premiums in half."

We've all seen the ads for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), touting their low rates. But do lower rates mean less coverage? And if they are so good, why do so few workers opt for them? What about a high deductible health plan with HSA? What exactly is this all about?

Like traditional health care plans, HDHPs usually cover a wide range of medical and prescription costs—but only after a steep annual deductible has been paid. Such deductibles can run from as low as $1,150 for individual coverage, to upwards of $7,500 for family coverage, depending upon the plan. These plans seek to drive down health care costs by placing more of the responsibility and cost burden on consumers, in effect, forcing them to be more cost-conscious when deciding on medical care.

HDHPs generally appeal more to healthier people with no chronic ailments that require regular care. That's because high-medical-maintenance individuals are likely to end up burning through the entire deductible, effectively upping the costs above low-deductible plans. For instance, an HDHP with a monthly rate that is $100 less than a low-deductible plan will end up costing more if you end up shelling out over $1,200 before you use up the deductible.

Read more...

Creating a Diversified Portfolio

Norm Boone / Aug 11, 2016 / Risk Management / Investments / Financial Planning

 As a general rule, the more you can diversify among investments that perform differently from one another, the more likely it is that your investment performance will be less volatile and closer to what you were expecting, and thus more fruitful for your financial goals. 

The behavior of any individual investment—its volatility and its return—isn’t reliably predictable. The outcome achieved can vary widely. However, as you combine investments into a portfolio, the collective results of that portfolio’s combined investments become more stable, and more predictable.

Read more...

2 Portfolio Protection Strategies That Don't Work - and 2 That Do

Geoff Zimmerman / Jun 3, 2016 / Risk Management / Investments / Financial Planning

Since the start of the year, the stock market has been swinging wildly, and some investors may be willing to try just about anything to protect their portfolios, including strategies that don’t often work.

Two common portfolio protection strategies — stop-loss and put options — aren’t as good at protecting your capital and maximizing your earnings as the simple methods of diversification and rebalancing. Let's take a closer look at why.


Read more...

Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2016

Mosaic / Mar 18, 2016 / Risk Management / Investments / Women's Issues / Insurance / Financial Planning
What's inside
  • Do Alternatives Help a Portfolio?
  • Umbrella Insurance Protects You From Financial Catastrophe
  • Equity Crowdfunding: Cool Concept, But Should You Invest?
  • Five Things You Should Expect From Your Advisor
  • Mosaic Women's Circles
  • Spotlight on Kyle Morgan
  • Around The Office

Read more...

Mosaic Women's Circle - East Bay, March 8, 2016

Mary Ballin / Mar 1, 2016 / Risk Management / Women's Events / Life Balance

You are invited to our upcoming Women's Circle in Walnut Creek.

Read more...

Mosaic Women's Circle - San Francisco, February 25, 2016

Liz Revenko / Feb 23, 2016 / Risk Management / Women's Events / Life Balance

You are invited to our upcoming Women's Circle in San Francisco.

Read more...

Legacy Letters

Steve Branton / Dec 28, 2015 / Risk Management / Estate Planning

When you die, your legacy with your heirs will include more than just your tangible assets. They will have learned from your values, shared experiences and your spiritual wisdom. Rather than just hoping all this will have meant something, why not be purposeful about what gets carried down the generations? Consider a “Legacy Letter.”

Read more...

Yes, You Need these Health Care Documents in Place. Now.

Liz Revenko / Dec 21, 2015 / Risk Management / Estate Planning / Women's Issues / Insurance

We know the statistics: women are more likely to be single at the end of their lives. This is not a bad thing, as who doesn’t like control of the remote, but it can be scary.  A woman I know, an intelligent retiree with many friends, is divorced and lives alone. Her family members all live in other states. She has saved up an adequate nest egg for her retirement, but because she is on her own she is also aware she doesn’t have a job anymore or the safety net of a husband or kids, she sometimes gets scared. “What if I end up a bag lady” sounds funny when she says it, but she’s scared. Even more than that, though, with a family history of dementia she is terrified of slipping into Alzheimer’s with no one there to notice and or to help.   

Read more...

Stealing your Child’s Identity

Mosaic / Nov 11, 2015 / Risk Management

Identity thieves are targeting children more than ever. The Federal Trade Commission reports that the number of children under 18 who have had identities stolen has doubled over the past three years to approximately 400,000 annually.

Read more...

What to do if your credit card is lost or stolen

Mosaic / May 8, 2015 / Risk Management

If you prepare for the possibility that you might lose your credit card, you will be much more able to deal with the event, if it happens. Here are steps you should take to protect yourself in the event your card is stolen or lost.

Read more...

Mosaic Women's Circle - San Francisco, May 12, 2015

Liz Revenko / Apr 9, 2015 / Risk Management / Women's Events

You are invited to our May Women's Circle in San Francisco. Our goal for the gathering is to usher in a greater sense of calm around our finances.

Read more...