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Glen Starr, CFP®

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Changes to Medicare in 2021: What Recipients Should Know

For many people, turning 65 provides one of the keys to retirement: access to affordable healthcare. Whether you're enrolling in the Medicare program for the first time or have been a Medicare enrollee for years, it's important to stay on top of current offerings, costs, and enrollment dates so that you can select the plan that best fits your needs. Learn more about some of the recent changes to the Medicare program in 2021.
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The Crazy Cost of the Olympic Games

Since the first modern Olympic games in 1896, the competition has been a prestigious honor for the hosting country, but also a significant economic and structural undertaking. Billions of dollars are put toward the construction of new stadiums, lodging, and other facilities, not to mention the opening and closing ceremonies, which can bring in millions in additional costs.
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Annuities and Market Risk: What You Need to Know

Market risk is something all investors may worry about, but those close to retirement have limited time to recover from market loss. If you are within ten years of retirement, now is a critical time for your portfolio to continue to gain value and avoid loss.Without thinking through the dynamics of gains and losses, investors leave themselves open to market risk  that could prematurely deplete their retirement assets.One way that investors can mitigate risk is by including annuities in thei
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How Small Businesses Can Stay Competitive

Launching a small business can be an all-consuming prospect. Even after you start to feel as though you have gotten into a groove you could find yourself facing unforeseen challenges—from a new competitor to supply chain issues. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to try and remain competitive regardless of what is being thrown at you. Read on for three approaches that small businesses can take to stay on top in a competitive market.
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5 Tips to Get Started With Tax Aware Investing

Ultimately, the goal of investing is to try to make as much money as possible, and of course, you don't want to let taxes eat into your gains. Tax aware investing helps you minimize the effect of taxes on your investment portfolio. Wondering how to get started with tax aware investing? Take a look at these tips.
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Are Early Retirement and Pension Buyout Offers a Good Deal for You?

In today's economy, offers of an early retirement buyout for a current employee or a pension buyout directed at a former employee are becoming common as companies look for ways to cut costs. Many large employers are offering employees who are not yet at retirement age the option to take an early retirement buyout. For companies that had a pension plan for their employees, pension buyout offers have become standard practice due to the increasing costs of administering pension plans.
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Investing in Your Vacation

Why do most avoid this important investment? Why do so many of us not use our vacation days? Sales people talk about "leaving money on the table." Well, employees leave vacation on the table. And the cost to us is significant. In fact, Americans leave 429 million vacation hours on this proverbial table, according to a report from Forbes. And USA Today reports that, according to their study, over 30% of employees do not use all of their vacation days.
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Are You Aware of the Child Tax Credit Changes?

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) was introduced through the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and it was a $500-per-child nonrefundable credit to provide tax relief to families. And over the past 20+ years, there have been a dizzying number of modifications that have increased the value of the tax credit as well as expanded its availability.
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Market Volatility: A Natural Part of the Investment Experience

Equities (i.e. stocks) represent the ownership of businesses and is the only asset class that, I believe, fully captures human ingenuity. For nearly a century, a broad cross-section of mainstream equities have provided an investment return in excess of three times that of inflation and twice that of comparable bonds. This equity premium is the way an efficient market prices in the unpredictability of equity returns -- i.e. volatility. What is stock market volatility?
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Does a Guaranteed Income Stream in Retirement Make Sense for You?

Everyone’s retirement cash flow situation is different. Some people are prepared with enough retirement savings to last their lifetime, others are not.  Still, others are unsure about the ‘ups and downs’ that can happen to their retirement savings and are concerned about variances in their monthly payments.  If you are one of those people that has concerns about out living your retirement savings, or watching retirement asset values fluctuate as the market fluctuates,
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When’s the Right Time to Retire?

Retirement is inevitable, but knowing exactly when to do so is often unclear. No matter when you actually begin your retirement, you'll benefit from planning your post-work life as early as possible. According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans who expect to retire at age 66 or older has risen dramatically, from 21% in 2002 to 41% in 2018.
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Donor-Advised Funds: A Solution to Gifting with Tax Benefits

Gifting, for many investors, is about the philanthropic support they want to give charities. Gifting to help make the world better by benefitting society is one reason many families choose to donate. The charitable giving tax deduction they received in the past was a bonus. The above-the-line deduction for charitable giving is $300 per calendar year per individual under the CARES Act.
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The Great Wealth Transfer: Is Your Family Prepared?

Over the next twenty years, a wealth transfer will occur that exceeds $30 trillion as the Baby Boomer generation passes the remainder of their wealth to the Millennials and subsequent generations. The Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are considered the wealthiest generation, currently controlling 70% of the disposable income in the United States. It is imperative families develop a plan to transfer assets since the transfer of wealth is inevitable.
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Caregiving: A Decision That May Impact Your Retirement Savings

Many women have been a caregiver while raising children. Still, now many are caring for a loved one out of necessity as the older family member can no longer care for themselves. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies report, The Many Faces of Caregivers, indicates that 42% of Generation Xers and 42% of Baby Boomers care for a parent, and 57% of Individuals born before 1946 are currently caring for a spouse or loved one.
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How Can You Smooth the Intergenerational Transfer of a Family Business?

If you own a business, you may have spent years dreaming of passing along the business to your children, nieces and nephews, or other family members after you retire. However, transferring a family business, and its ability to create wealth to the next generation, can often be fraught with hurt feelings and potential complications. What can family business owners do now to set the groundwork for a smooth transition?
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5 Investment Considerations for Small Business Owners

If you're a small business owner, many of the best practices employed by individual investors are also available to you (of course!), but you also have some additional options and factors to weigh while creating your investment plans. We've outlined five key differences for your consideration.
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Maximizing Military Retirement Benefits

Retiring from the military is a profound accomplishment. For many, this retirement will provide you with positive things, including the time and geographic stability you need to start a new career or simply enjoy leisure activities with your loved ones. But if you're worried about your post-retirement income or just aren't quite sure what your finances will look like once you're no longer an active member of the military, you are not alone.
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4 Reasons to Consider a Life Insurance Policy

Buying a life insurance policy is something that many people push off, sometimes until it is too late. For many people, the thought of buying life insurance means thinking about their death, which is something that most people wish to avoid. Life insurance is not about death, but instead about the future and security of your loved ones. If you have not yet made the jump to purchase your life insurance policy, below are four reasons you should consider one.
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Traditional IRAs versus Roth IRAs

Currently, there are two popular Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) vying for your attention: the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA. While both are long-term savings vehicles with tax benefits, each has different rules concerning contributions, age, and income that may change from one year to the next.
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Key Benefits of a Financial Advisor

Whether you've been wondering about boosting your investments, rates of return or are concerned that your financial affairs are a bit too complicated for your next of kin to handle, it may be time to seek advice from a financial professional. Financial professionals help their clients create strategies to develop their wealth, from optimizing their taxes to setting retirement savings goals. But how do you know whether it is time for you to seek professional financial guidance?
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Contribute to an IRA Before the May 17th Deadline

Taxpayers of all ages may be able to claim a deduction on their 2020 tax return for contributions made to their Individual Retirement Account made through May 17, 2021 (the U.S. Department of the Treasury is delaying the April 15th deadline to file and pay taxes until May 17th, giving individuals and businesses another month to file and then pay the government what they owe). And unlike in past years, there is no longer a maximum age for making IRA contributions.
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Retirement Planning: To Roth or Not to Roth?

When saving for retirement, it often makes sense to contribute to employer-sponsored retirement plans to take advantage of any available employer match opportunities. However, not everyone has access to an employer-sponsored plan. Even if you do, there are reasons you may want to consider using Traditional and/or Roth IRAs to supplement your retirement savings. There are important differences between the two types of accounts.[i]
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Key Considerations as You Start Receiving Social Security Benefits

As your retirement draws closer, you will probably start to have lots of questions such as: How much Social Security will I receive? When should I retire? How will I know when to retire? Do I have enough saved? What will I need to do to maintain health insurance after I retire? The answers to these questions can vary widely depending on your income, your job duties, and your assets. There are a few factors that everyone should keep in mind when you begin making your retirement decisions.
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Tips for Growing (and Preserving) Your Family Business

When you're first starting out with your own business, you're likely to be focused more on staying afloat than on contingency planning. But as your family business expands and grows, it's important to ensure that this is done in a sustainable way. Read on for some tips and tricks to consider to grow (and preserve) your family business.
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Investing for the Future

For years, you have diligently invested in your retirement portfolio, accumulating wealth that you hope will sustain you throughout your Golden Years. To help see that your assets are sufficient to help you support your lifestyle standards, there are important steps that you can take.
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Re-thinking Your Bucket List

When approaching the latter part of life, it is easy to get caught up in achieving every goal on your bucket list. Individual lists vary widely, but often are filled with wild adventures like skydiving and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Bucket list items are the things one plans to do their entire life once they have the time and money to do it. Unfortunately, accomplishing all the items on a bucket list often does not go as planned. Whether it is an illness that gets in the way, a lack
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When to Begin Collecting Social Security

Deciding when to retire and begin collecting Social Security is an important life decision. For some, savings losses may dictate that you delay your retirement plans and continue working, which means postponing when you begin collecting Social Security. Current law allows workers to begin collecting Social Security between 62 and 70 years of age.
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Why Women Need to Save More Than Men

Men and women may not be on equal footing when it comes to investing for the future. On average, women work fewer years and earn less than men, but they also tend to live longer.1 Therefore, women must focus on the concerns that are unique to them when planning for retirement.
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Common Retirement Investment Mistakes

Only one-in-four Americans (27%) feel very confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably when they retire, according to the 2020 Retirement Confidence Survey Summary Report.?11 While there is no single action that can boost the collective confidence of retirees, there are several key investment mistakes that, if avoided, can help maximize retirement savings and provide confidence to those who are entering their Golden Years.
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