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Running, money, and the importance of practice.

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

When I was a freshman in high school, someone convinced me it would be a good idea to run cross country as a way to get in shape for basketball season. Looking back I don’t believe that was particularly good advice, since there is very little overlap between “cross country shape” and “basketball shape,” but I ran anyway, and it was “fun.” I was not very good at running 3.1 miles in a row at anything approaching a fast clip, and I mostly hated the actual running part, yet I found the whole experience of being on that team to

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7 Important Year-End Money Moves

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Halloween is in the books and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it.  2019 still has some important planning opportunities, and getting ahead of 2020 could pay huge dividends, too. With that in mind, here’s a quick list of seven things you might consider doing before 2019 draws to a close. 1. Revisit your 401(k) contributions: Now is a great time to ensure that you’re on track to contribute your planned amount to your 401(k), 403(b) or other retirement plan.  At a minimum, that should be up to the amount your employer matches. The current annual limit for 401(k)s and

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Please Welcome Liz Glenn

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We are thrilled to introduce you to Liz Glenn, our new Client Services Specialist at Beacon Wealthcare. Some of you have already met or spoken to Liz and agree that she is an excellent addition to our team. If you have not had the pleasure, we look forward to introducing you to her at our Fall Celebration coming up on November 7th. Liz is here to meet your account requirements efficiently and correctly and is working with us to continually improve your experience at Beacon. Please feel free to share with her your thoughts and ideas for ways we can

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The Roth IRA: You’re Using It Wrong (Most Financial Advisors Are, Too)

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Most Roth IRAs are used incorrectly. It’s not only some DIY investors that are getting it wrong, but, based on my experience, a good percentage of financial advisors, too. In order to understand why most are getting it wrong, it’s important to know the three primary types of investment accounts and how they work. Here’s a quick overview (this is a simple overview. Please do not make any contributions or withdrawals based on it. Talk to your financial advisor and/or your CPA first): Traditional IRA/401(k): You receive an income tax deduction in the year you contribute and the funds grow

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This Is Your Brain On (Financial) Drugs

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In 1987, The Partnership for a Drug Free America released one of the most famous commercials in TV history, featuring an egg in a frying pan and the dramatic line: “This is your brain on drugs.” Like most ad campaigns of this genre it didn’t actually prove to be effective at curbing drug usage—and in some cases may have even done the opposite—so don’t worry, I’m not advocating for a money-themed version to be released. (If I did, though, I would probably just show footage of a toddler going through the various stages of a sugar high and subsequent crash.) 

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How to Simplify College Planning

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Planning for your child’s (or grandchild’s!) college education can be stressful and confusing. What schools should they consider? What criteria do schools look at in potential students? What kind of financial or merit-based aid should they expect? Are they more suited for one career over another? What types of extra-curricular activities should they be focusing on? That’s a lot to consider and it’s only part of the process. Fortunately, there are smart people like Lindsey Ringenbach from Advantage College Planning that do a great job of walking students and their families through the college planning process. On Wednesday, October 23rd

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Populism is Tough on Markets

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Just a few years ago, before the populist revolution in our country, the ‘sausage-workings’ of government were largely carried out behind heavy gilded doors by professional politicians, appointees and bureaucrats. Every two, four, and six years we judged their finished products in terms how much better or worse off we were. We mostly left them alone in the interim to do their thing behind those closed doors. Then every election cycle, depending on the job they did, we either voted them another round, or we sent them packing. But in late 2016, with the dawn of a new era of

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How Much Should You Save Each Year?

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There’s ample research about how much you can safely withdraw from your portfolio once you retire. There’s less research about how much you need to save annually so you can retire (this is called your “savings rate”), probably due to the large number of variables that exist. It’s easy enough to say you should be able to “safely” withdraw 4% from your portfolio in your first year of retirement and increase it annually for inflation without fear of running out of money. It’s harder to say how much you need to save each year because you may have started saving

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How to Rescue a Pet and Your Finances

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What would it take for your finances to get better? I mean, you have a life, I have a life (although my friends may object…), we’re all going around doing more or less the best we can, and at every turn we are confronted with decisions that fall at the intersection of money, time, debt, values, priorities, hobbies, and people. Nothing is simple. We know we can do better, that the ways in which our finances interact with the rest of our lives could be healthier, but what would it take? In 2012, if you were a stray dog or

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Kids and Money

By | The Friday Brief | One Comment

You probably aren’t surprised to hear that I’d like to raise my kids to be generous, kind, patient, thrifty and modest–in all areas, including their wealth. I hope they’ll be capable of making smart financial decisions and have a healthy relationship with money. It’s not surprising because we’d all love for our children to exhibit those characteristics. What is surprising is how few of us are actually having intentional conversations with our kids about money. We all have the best intentions but life gets busy and the kids get crazy. We find ourselves reacting to money questions with short, pat

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