Everything you need to know to do what's best for your bottom line

Bottom Line:

 - The essential point or most important consideration

 - The final line of a financial report 

 - The ultimate outcome

February 17, 2017

Stacy Marcus

Bottom Line: Pay off the debt with the highest interest rate = cost to you first. This assumes you are not in collections on either debt. If start by considering the interest rate on each debt and the amount of the debt. In general, with a fixed sum of money to be allocated to debt repayment each month paying down more on the debt with the higher interest rate will be beneficial. For example, if your student loan debt accrues interest at 7% and your credit card debt has a rate of 20% on an equal...

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February 17, 2017

Bottom Line: Pay off the debt with the highest interest rate = cost to you first. This assumes you are not in collections on either debt. If start by considering the interest rate on each debt and the amount of the debt. In general, with a fixed sum of money to be allocated to debt repayment each month paying down more on the debt with the higher interest rate will be beneficial. For example, if your student loan debt accrues interest at 7% and your credit card debt has a rate of 20% on an equal balance you would be paying much higher interest charges on the credit card than the loan. It is extremely important to also consider the provisions of your student loan debt - consoidation, refinancing and the option to defer may permit you to retire high interest credit card debt - then cut up th...

February 17, 2017

BOTTOM LINE: The best way to know if you are on track is to check how much you spend.

Dear Beverly, in order to answer your question we use a financial software program to allow you to see how much money you will need to maintain, improve or change your lifestyle in retirement and then based on various investment return scenarios how much you would need to invest. The value of such a tool is it allows us to run many, many scenarios based on the weight you assign to each goal. We can look at the scenario from both sides - 1) if your currently investments return a certain amount, how much money will you have available to live on for the remainder of your life after retirement, or 2) if you know you want to maintain a certain standard of living in your retirement costing $ X amount in today's...

February 17, 2017

A Spousal IRA is a perfect gift to show appreciation for a stay-at-home partner and increase retirement savings.

“You just stay at home?”  People often fail to recognize the critical value of the partner who steps out of a career to care for children or support the other’s business launch or climb up the career ladder.

Spouses, however, can recognize each other and add to their retirement savings by setting up a Spousal IRA (The Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA).

A spousal IRA gives a stay-at-home spouse equal footing to invest for retirement. A spousal IRA is a separate IRA set up in the spouse's name and social security number, belonging exclusively to that spouse. It is an exception to the IRS rule requiring earned income to contribute to an IRA.*

Put simply, if your spo...

February 17, 2017

Bottom Line:

529 Plans, a Coverdell, and Prepaid Tuition Plans are all tax-advantaged accounts to help you save for education expenses 

Sarah asks: How is an Education IRA different from a 529 Plan?

An 'Education IRA' is now referred to as the Coverdell ESA.

Like a 529 college savings account, a Coverdell is a savings account with special tax status to encourage and reward saving for qualified education expenses.   

Deposits to both a Coverdell and a 529 account grow tax free until distributed and withdrawals are tax-free when used for qualified educational expenses.   

Very different are the requirements for contributing to and withdrawing funds:

                  Coverdell

- K-12 and college quali...

February 16, 2017

Bottom Line: If you do not put a legal agreement in place setting forth your wishes, state law will dictate your financial fate in a divorce.

Concerned the government does not represent your values?

Before you say "yes to the dress" say "yes" to a pre-nuptial agreement.  

Most couples are unaware that by default their marriage and divorce is governed by state law, and those state laws may not reflect your personal values or intentions with respect to your financial obligations, needs and goals.

Action Plan:

1. Open a bottle of wine, beer or vodka and write down your financial obligations, needs and goals on a sheet of paper.

2. Switch sheets with your partner.  Drink.

3. A few questions to help put things into perspective:

- I expect to put my entire paycheck into our joint account.  Yes / N...

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October 5, 2015

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