529 Plans and SECURE 2.0: Now Even Better

In 1996, Congress authorized 529 education savings plans, named for the section of the Internal Revenue Code governing them. Since that time, parents and grandparents have been using 529 education savings plans to help fund college for children and grandchildren. By depositing funds in these state-sponsored accounts, owners can provide funding that grows on a […]

Walking the Talk: More Financial Lessons I Learned from My Mom

In my book, Mom Was Right: Family Tragedy to Financial Freedom—How a Widowed Mother of Seven Retired Debt-Free, I tell the story of how a hard-working, determined single mom was able to maintain financial independence and even build a debt-free retirement while simultaneously raising seven children. One of those seven kids was yours truly, and […]

Passing It On: Tax-Smart Gifting Strategies for Grandparents

Any grandparent can tell you: it’s pretty hard to say “no” to a request from your grandkids. Whether it’s staying up late on a weekend sleepover or making one more trip to the toy store, grandparents are just naturally inclined to let the youngsters have what they want—within reason. After all, it is well known […]

Adulthood Isn’t for Kids: Remembering the “Spiderman” Rule for Finances

It’s a movie scene that has become a meme: Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, not realizing that his nephew is struggling with making the transition into superhero-hood, is worried about some unexplained changes in Peter’s behavior. He looks into the young man’s eyes and says, “With great power there must also come great responsibility.” The proverb […]

Do You Need a Trust? The Answer Might Surprise You

It is likely that many who read the title to this article almost immediately had thoughts like these: “Why would I need a trust? I don’t have that much money!” Or, “I’ve got a will in place, and my estate isn’t that complex. Besides, establishing a trust is probably too expensive.” The fact is, however, […]

Understanding Your Digital Estate (Yes, You Have One)

It’s easy to imagine someone reading the title of this article and thinking, “I wouldn’t touch cryptocurrency with a 10-foot pole; I certainly don’t have a digital estate!” Not to burst your bubble, but there is about a 99.999% chance that your impression is incorrect. For example: Do you use email? “Sure, doesn’t everyone?” you […]

Is Your Financial Advisor a Fiduciary? Should You Care?

For a moment, think back to the last time you or a loved one had a medical problem serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. What was the one thing you most wanted from your time with your physician? Of course, you wanted to know how to get well, and in all likelihood, […]

Why Retire? Your Answers Really Matter

Many of us are familiar with—or at least have heard about—author Simon Sinek and his maxim, which he also used as the main title of his bestselling book : “Start with Why.” The reason Sinek’s book and the idea behind it are attracting so much attention is that many of us intuitively understand that success […]

Three Financial Resolutions for Multigenerational Family Wealth-Building

It is a sad, but true fact that the vast majority of family fortunes do not survive past the third generation. In fact, a particular 20-year study of 3,000 wealthy families discovered that 70% of the families had lost their wealth by the second generation, and 90% had lost it by the third generation. This […]