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HRWM's - Planning Tip of the Week Archive

Episode 1 - When to begin taking Social Security?

In this inaugural episode of HRWM's - Planning Tip of the Week, Ruben discusses Social Security and addresses the question of "When to begin taking Social Security".

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Episode 2 - Recent Changes to Required Minimum Distributions (RMD's)

Ruben discusses the Secure Act 2.0 and it's impact on Required Minimum Distributions (RMD's).  These changes include the ages in which RMD's now apply and the penalties applied to those who miss their RMD's.

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Episode 3 - Lines of Credit:  Home Equity (HELOC's) & Portfolio Lines of Credit

Ruben discusses Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC's) and Portfolio Lines of Credit, and how they can be positioned in a client's financial plan.  From a liquidity strategy, to short-term financing needs and paying for life's 'unexpected', both HELOC's and Portfolio Lines of Credit can be a valuable planning tool.

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Episode 4 - Qualified Charitable Distributions from your IRA

Ruben discusses the process of donating Required Minimum Distributions to avoid having to claim the taxable distribution as income. This process is called a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), and can be a creative, 'feel-good' way to minimize taxable income, while also contributing to your favorite Non-Profit Organization (501c3).

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Episode 5 - Five Mistakes to Avoid for Maintaining Good Credit

Ruben discusses five mistakes to avoid for maintaining good credit. The importance of maintaining credit worthiness is well known, when it comes to life's major purchases (Home, Car, New Business, etc.).  These five tips that are easy to implement and can assist you in keeping your credit score desirable.

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Episode 6 - Key Differences Between Wills and Trusts

In honor of August being 'National Make a Will Month', Ruben discusses the key differences between a Will vs. Trust. Ruben also highlights the importance of having an Estate Plan in place and what going through the Estate Planning exercise entails.

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Episode 7 - Roth IRA vs. Roth 401(k)

Ruben discusses the difference between Roth IRA's and Roth 401(k)'s. Neither is necessarily better than the other, however, building a pool of Roth assets could be advantageous to you with your long term financial plan.

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Episode 8 - The High Cost of Procrastination

Ruben discusses the 'High Cost of Procrastination' and the potential impacts on your long term financial plan and meeting your objectives. Procrastinating with financial decisions may provide an initial sense of safety. However, the longer financial decisions are pushed out, the more difficult it could be to obtain your financial goals. In other words, successfully investing for the long term, requires long term disciplines.

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Episode 9 - 5 Keys to Long Term Investing

Ruben is joined by Jimmy Luster to help navigate the '5 Keys to Long Term Investing'. Together they discuss the power of establishing disciplines, using time to your advantage and the importance of regular monitoring of your allocations over time.

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Episode 10 - Does the 'Three Legged Stool' Still Exist in Financial Planning?

Ruben is joined by Jimmy Luster to discuss 'The Three Legged Stool' and whether it remains a viable financial planning strategy today.  Corporations have been steering away from Pensions, putting more of the onus the employees to plan for retirement.  In addition, Social Security continues to be under pressure as American's life expectancy continues to increase.  So what does this mean for you?

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Episode 11 - Life Insurance: Term vs. Perm

In this weekly planning tip, Ruben and James delve into the realm of life insurance, focusing on the distinctions between 'Term' and 'Permanent' policies. Life insurance can be a complex concept to fully understand, as it revolves around the topic of mortality, whether it's our own or that of our loved ones. Despite the sensitivity of this subject, it remains one of the most critical financial choices you will ever encounter.

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Episode 12 - Tips for Short Term Investing

This week's discussion highlighted Short Term Investing and the vehicles that are available to maximize cash on the sideline. The importance of strategizing and understanding personal needs is emphasized, as various solutions are covered, such as CD's, Money Markets, Treasuries, and other Bank Deposit Accounts.

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Episode 13 - Wise Words from a Wise Man

In this session, Ruben and Jimmy break down a brief article from NY Times columnist and fellow financial planner, Carl Richards, discussing the shortcomings of traditional financial planning, what clients really want, and how perception can drive both beneficial and detrimental planning decisions. Also, questions are posed such as, "why do I have to wait until some arbitrary age to enjoy life?", and "do I really need a financial planner to help me see my blind spots"?

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Episode 14 - Long Term Care and Its Costs

In a follow up to our recent deep dive into Long-Term Care (LTC), we highlight various types of care and some of the associated costs. In what can be a very emotional time for individuals and their families, we arrive at the conclusion that LTC and its rewards far outweigh the costs for most policy holders, and it can prove invaluable should a qualifying event take place during the course of a lifetime.

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Episode 15 - Presidential Elections and the Impact on Markets

In this week's Planning Tip, we discuss the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election, and the historic impact elections have had on financial markets. As we anticipate a surge in market volatility on the horizon, our primary focus is to equip our clients with valuable insights to navigate potential challenges and concerns that the impending election may bring. Even though the historic returns may be surprising to you, only those investors who remained disciplined with their investment strategy were able to participate in the results. Join us in this eye-opening discussion, and gain a deeper understanding of how markets have performed historically in elections going back to 1928.

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Episode 16 - Seeking Financial Advice and the Role Social Media Plays

This week's tip discusses Social Media and the role it plays in how we educate ourselves and seek advice, specifically that of the financial sort. As we firmly agree that having access to immediate subject matter at our fingertips can be advantageous, we must take caution in how we act upon it, carefully considering the accuracy and validity of what we find. Finally, we arrive at the conclusion that while it can be helpful to become more aware on a certain topic by diving into the web, it is always best to get in front of your financial professional with your notes and questions in order to take action.

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Episode 17 - Year End Planning Tips

As we find ourselves in Q4, we are reminded of some important financial matters to address. In this latest planning tip episode, Ruben provides some timely advice pertaining to year-end financial planning as we prepare to head into 2024. Topics include strategizing around your charitable donations, tax-loss harvesting, retirement contributions, Health Savings Accounts & Flexible Spending Accounts, reviewing insurance coverage and needs, and finally, mapping out major upcoming expenses.

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Episode 18 - Pre-Retirement Checklist

In this episode, Ruben presents the pre-retirement checklist, mapping out key target points while preparing to exit the workplace to embark on life's next chapter. Intended to be addressed 5-10 years before the actual retirement event, highlighted topics include accurate budgeting, defining income needs/sources, estate/legacy planning, and for those thinking of relocating to a special locale, taking a "test drive" is recommended in order to unpack and meet the locals before signing on the dotted line. 'Controlling the Controllables' is the theme here, and working with a professional advising team is key to avoid blind spots while ensuring a smooth and holistic approach to one of life's biggest moments.

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Episode 19 - Addressing Estate Taxes with Life Insurance

In this weeks planning tip, Ruben offers his insights around Estate Taxes and how to protect assets with Life Insurance. In realizing the tax-free death benefit that it provides, Life Insurance may very well prove to be a savvy strategy when addressing estate planning. As living trusts tend to hold the important instructions when dealing with decedent asset transfers, it is recommended to update the trust every 5 years or upon a life-changing event. Additional hot topics include preserving accumulated wealth, sufficiently protecting it, and ensuring that the eventual transfer of wealth is as tax efficient as possible.

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Episode 20 - Spousal Social Security Benefits

Social Security is a benefit that most of us will receive at some point in our lives. As we approach the time in our life that the benefit might actually be relevant, there are many points to consider, specifically, when the most appropriate/opportune time might be to turn it on. But, did you know that you might be able to take advantage of your spouse's benefit as opposed to your own? Ruben presents some key takeaways to ponder when getting ready to navigate the Social Security gauntlet.

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Episode 21 - Charitable Gifting Tips during the Holidays

In this week's tip, Ruben offers some advice about how to strategically approach charitable donations and gift giving during the holiday season. For starters, taking some time to do a bit of due diligence is an easy way to feel confident about our good intentions. The last thing we want is to be robbed of that great feeling we get when paying it forward. While we want to make the biggest impact possible, make sure to stay within your means and consider giving to a local cause. This is a great way to really see your donation at work. And, for those of you who have to take Required Minimum Distributions from retirement plans, consider redirecting them to your favorite cause.

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Episode 22 - Cyber Fraud, Phishing, and Other Scams - Protect Yourself

Most of us have been there...that moment when we realize that we have been targeted and victimized by a criminal. While the type of crime I'm referring to is not particularly violent in nature, that doesn't mean that it won't rock you to the core with fear and cause you to look over your shoulder. In this Planning Tip, we discuss the various ways criminals attempt to compromise us, and some of the ways that we can protect ourselves. While these crimes may never be eliminated, by empowering ourselves with some best practices, we can greatly reduce our chances of becoming a bad statistic.

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Episode 23 - Turning Resolutions Into Intentions

In our first Planning Tip of the year, we discuss common new year's resolutions and how to change the approach to one that might just produce a more positive experience. While resolution implies that something is broken, we dissect what it means to set attainable goals, creating a more optimistic start to 2024. Beyond our personal intentions, some financially driven advice is given to ensure you are able to be the best version of yourself.

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Episode 24 - 2024 Key Financially Related Changes 

In this planning tip, Ruben presents some key changes that have already taken place in this early 2024 that may impact some of the financial planning decisions that you make going forward. Topics include social security, 401(k), 403(b), and IRA contributions, the Secure Act 2.0, Roth 401(k), emergency savings accounts, and 401(k) hardship withdrawals. Some of these important changes might just apply to you personally, so join us for this sit-down and please reach out if you have any questions.

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Episode 25 - IRA Beneficiaries - What You Need To Know

In this planning tip, Ruben discusses some important thoughts pertaining to beneficiary IRA's. Some of the topics included a reminder that the Required Minimum Distribution age is currently 73, soon to be 75, the elimination of stretch IRA's, thus starting the 10 year RMD clock to the year after the RMD owner's death, and the elimination of certain penalties for failing to take RMD's in a timely manner. We urge all related parties to communicate important family financial matters ahead of time to avoid any unnecessarily stressful times when life is starting to unfold.

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