Account Access | Client Vault

Our Blog

Welcome to our blog. Here you can find views on the financial world and keep updated on the latest news.

Are You Spending What You Think You Are?

Are You Spending What You Think You Are?

We think we know how much we spend but does what we think actually match the reality of what we are spending?  Sometimes you need to stop and do a reality check.  Keeping close track of your actual spending habits for a period of time not only verifies your spending habits but also makes you acutely aware of just how much we spend each month. 

Just how often do I stop for takeout during the week?  How much does that walk around the mall with friends actually cost me?  Do I actually know how much all my utility bills add up to each month or do I seem to forget about the cell phone bill or the extra Netflix when calculating these monthly charges in my head? 

...
Continue reading
94 Hits

Get Rid of That Nagging Feeling

Get Rid of That Nagging Feeling

Lake-Cook Road, Flat Tire, Rush Hour, Go-Bag—guess what was missing.

At some point in the last six months, I lost my go-bag with my emergency car supplies. I keep one in the back of my car. There were several times when I was hauling things for our perpetual remodel, and my guess is that I left it sitting somewhere–just not in my car–which kind of defeats the purpose of a go-bag.

...
Continue reading
64 Hits

How a Holiday Budget Can Save You From the January Credit Card Bill Blues

How a Holiday Budget Can Save You From the January Credit Card Bill Blues

The holidays will be here sooner than you think.  Just look at the local stores already selling holiday decorations.  Personally, I just love the gift giving holidays, but my budget would say some years I have loved it a little too much.  And when January credit card bills roll in you definitely know you loved the gift giving too much.  But if you start now, you can make the holiday heartburn disappear.

Make a list of all the people you would like to honor with a gift this holiday.  Think of the decorations you might want to add, and the wrapping paper and tape it will take for all those presents.  Are you going to splurge on a large holiday meal with prime rib for everyone?

...
Tags:
Continue reading
68 Hits

Your Social Security Divorce Options Have Just Changed

Your Social Security Divorce Options Have Just Changed

If you are divorced, the recent changes to the Social Security law may mean that you will not be able to collect as much from Social Security as you had thought.  That is because the Budget Act of 2015 eliminated the option for anyone born after 1953 to file what is called a restricted application.

A restricted application allowed you to begin collecting a Social Security retirement benefit from your ex-husband at your full retirement age and then switch to receiving benefits based on your work history at age 70.  This made sense for many divorced women because for every month you delay starting your Social Security benefits, the amount of your monthly benefits increases.  A restricted application would allow you to get paid based on your ex-husband’s Social Security benefits while waiting for your benefits to grow larger.

...
Continue reading
51 Hits

Five Surprising Facts About Divorce and Social Security

Five Surprising Facts About Divorce and Social Security

Not too long ago, a friend of ours gave us a bottle of pure maple syrup from Vermont.  It was delicious.

It got me thinking about the process of how maple syrup was made.  I wasn’t sure how they got syrup from a tree, so I did a little bit of online research.  Apparently, they put what they call a spile into a tree and the tree sap comes out through the spile and into a container below.

...
Continue reading
78 Hits

5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Income Taxes

5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Income Taxes

5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Income Taxes

 

When you filed your tax return, did you think to yourself, “I’m paying too much,” or “What can I do to lower my taxes?

...
Continue reading
186 Hits

Is Your Giving Going Where You Think It Is?

Is Your Giving Going Where You Think It Is?

Is Your Giving Going Where You Think It Is?

One of the greatest feelings comes from being able to give to others.  You want to make sure that as many dollars of your donation as possible actually reach the people in need that you are trying to help.  A few minutes of research can make sure your donation makes a strong impact.

QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT A CHARITY

Is the charity making the most of the money you donate? - While most charities have the greatest of intentions, not all charities are as careful with their operating expenses as one might like.   A rule of thumb is to look for at least 75% of funds to be directed to programs.  A high percentage of giving can be seen at a charity like Donors Choose, a charity that allows individuals to fund specific project requests from teachers in U.S. public schools, which directs 94.7% of all donations directly to the projects.

...
Continue reading
305 Hits

Irmaa Who?

Irmaa Who?

Our team of advisors just spent several hours discussing IRMAA and honing strategies to deal with this pest.

No, I didn’t misspell it, and I’m not referring to Erma Bombeck or a great great aunt of mine. This is the Income Related Medicare Adjustment Amount. Simply put, the more income on your tax return in retirement, the more you will pay for your Medicare Part B and Part D prescription drug premiums.

...
Tags:
Continue reading
429 Hits

The Devil Is In The Details

The Devil Is In The Details

Several years ago I received a call from an acquaintance. They had a financial plan done by one of those salespeople dressed like a financial planner. This friend had sold them an annuity several years prior, and he said, “I can even do a financial plan for you at no charge.” They took him up on the offer and the plan showed they could retire in a couple of years. But they felt uncertain and the planner simply said, “trust me it will all work out,” without reviewing any of the assumptions in the plan. They just weren’t certain they would have the abundance they were hoping for.

They were very uncomfortable. It seemed too good to be true. They had this gnawing feeling that something wasn’t right. They were not certain they could retire without running out of money down the road. They wrestled with that thought for a few months and then gave me a call. They knew I was a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner and since they were struggling with this “everything will be ok financial plan” they decided to ask me for a second opinion.

...
Continue reading
235 Hits

Retirement Planning

Retirement Planning

Is it really possible to retire abundantly? It can seem overwhelming to find the answer. Where do you begin to figure this out? The questions start swirling…

  • Have I chosen the right investments?
  • Am I saving enough?
  • Am I using the best retirement plan?
  • Am I missing some important tax deductions?
  • How do I balance what I need today with an uncertain future?

And if you are younger additional questions pop up like:

...
Continue reading
249 Hits

To learn more about the professional history of our advisors/firm, please visit

Brokercheck

Newsletter Sign Up

Tell A Friend

Featured News

Securities offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance and investment advisory services offered through Phase 3 Advisory Services Ltd., a registered investment advisor not affiliated with Royal Alliance.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the states of AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific state(s) referenced

Copyright © 2019 Phase 3 Advisory Services, Ltd. All Rights Reserved