Author: Zachary Morris, CFP®

Having traveled to over 35 countries, Zach is a believer in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s statement that Life is about the journey, not the destination. Being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ provides Zach the opportunity to help clients define and realize their journey, and co-founding Paces Ferry Wealth Advisors, an independent firm, allows the freedom to define the client experience along the way.

Estate Planning Tips for Small Business Owners

What You Need to Know to Protect Your Greatest Asset

Estate planning for small business owners isn’t always at the top of the to-do list, but it’s one of the most important steps you should take to set up a legacy of success. It may feel overwhelming to think about what happens when you pass on, but it’s critical to have conversations now to ensure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

If you don’t have an estate plan, then your local state law will likely dictate where your business goes after you die. There are many things you can do now to prepare, from focusing on tax efficiencies to drafting up a solid will and estate plan, that will help you secure the proper transition of your company.

Read on for six smart estate planning tips for small business owners.

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Tax-Smart Strategies to Help Your Kids Pay for College

In the Face of Skyrocketing Education Costs, it Pays to Prepare

Even if they’re still quite young, it’s never too soon to begin planning strategies to help your kids pay for college in the future. Higher education is already expensive, and because college costs increase at about two times the rate of inflation each year, it will only get pricier as the years go by. Currently, it’s estimated that today’s toddlers – who will start college around 2038 – can expect to spend around $35,592.339 each year on tuition, fees, room, and board for an in-state public school. For kids who want to go to a private school, they can expect to spend around $81,470.95 yearly for the same.

Luckily, there are many financial aid opportunities, scholarships, and grants that can help your child cover college costs. In addition to these, there are also some key financial planning strategies that can make college costs a bit more manageable.

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5 Small Business Tax Credits to Know

Are You Using All the Tools Available to You?

If you’re a small business owner, you should be using every tool in your arsenal to grow and protect your business. This includes taking advantage of the many federal tax credits available. Since this can be a confusing topic, I’m going to share a primer on how tax credits work, which ones you should be aware of, and the forms you need to file in order to capitalize on them.

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8 Benefits of Your Health Savings Account

When Used Correctly, HSAs Can Be a Great Financial Planning Tool

It’s no secret that healthcare costs are on the rise and there are no signs of prices falling anytime soon. In the face of skyrocketing costs, many people are turning to their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to help pay for current and future healthcare costs. Often, these accounts are offered through an employer, but they can also be opened individually. To qualify, you must be covered under a high-deductible insurance plan, and if you are, you can take advantage of an impressive array of benefits.

If you have an HSA but you aren’t sure you’re optimizing it, read on for eight important benefits.

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Retirement Savings vs. Your Kids’ Education Fund: Which Comes First?

Putting Your Retirement Savings First Isn’t Selfish – It’s Smart

Saving for the future can seem like a herculean task, especially for young families who are still settling into careers and are burdened with an abundance of competing financial demands. It can be difficult to see the big picture, let alone plan for it, when you’re raising children, paying off a mortgage, staying on top of household bills, and the countless other expenses that come with living life. So, if you’re having an internal debate about retirement savings versus college savings, you’re not alone.

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Ask These Five Questions When Selecting a Retirement Plan Consultant

Ask These Five Questions When Selecting a Retirement Plan Consultant

Ensure You’re Getting the Right Professional Assistance in this Complex Area of Your Business

As a business owner, you have enough on your plate without tackling all that’s required of you as a retirement plan sponsor. It’s complex, to say the least, and the growing number of court cases around mismanagement of retirement plans means the stakes are high to get it right. That’s why so many businesses rely on a trusted retirement plan consultant to help them navigate plan governance, design, oversight, fiduciary responsibilities, and more.

If you have determined that you need a skilled assist in this area, it’s critical to select the retirement plan consultant that’s best for you. While every company’s needs are unique, there are a few baseline questions you should ask any consultant you’re considering, and we recommend starting with the five questions below.

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Choosing the Best Retirement Plan for Your Employees

Best Retirement Plan for Your Employees

Review the Options to Determine the Best Employer-Sponsored Plan for Your Company

As a small business owner, you understand all the complexities that come with being responsible for not only yourself, your company, and your family – but for your employees, as well. While it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day details of running your business, periodically taking stock of your company’s overall financial health is a great way to ensure that your business is in a position to thrive now – and for years to come. Consider the options, pros, and cons when trying to choose the best retirement plan for your employees.

Each day, you make decisions that affect your business. How can you be sure that you’re keeping the big picture in mind and that each decision you make is a sound choice for your bottom line and long-term business goals? Below we’ll share a simple but effective financial health checklist for your small business.

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Five Financial Tips for Small Business Owners

small business owner
Having a Firm Hold on Your Finances is Crucial to Your Company’s Success

Small businesses are vital to the U.S. economy, employing half of the private-sector workers in our country. They also create 1.6 million net new jobs annually, according to federal data. As of 2020, there are 31.7 million small businesses in America, which accounts for 99.9% of U.S. businesses.

Despite an integral part they play in the economy, small businesses often struggle to find success. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that 20% of small businesses fail within the first year of opening and only one-third of businesses are able to survive the 10-year mark. The leading cause small businesses cite as the reason they were forced to shut their doors is – you guessed it – cash flow problems.

When it comes to the success of your small business, having a strong wealth management strategy in place and practicing smart money habits can play a significant role in your long-term success. Follow these five tips to help keep your business on track.

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Planned Upcoming Tax Changes for 2021

Tax Changes 2021
The 2021 Tax Year Is Bringing Some Surprises With Itbut Here’s What We Do Know

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the tax plan put forth by the Democrats and the corresponding changes it may bring. While there is still a lot that is unknown, some of the upcoming tax changes are certain and can begin being planned for. Below is a summary of some of the items that will change in the 2021 tax season.

Financial planning provides a plethora of benefits; however, it also comes with many challenges considering it’s impossible to completely prepare for an unpredictable future. Despite the impossibility of being able to fully prepare for what the future holds, a smart financial plan can still provide you with the flexibility and strong financial foundation you need to respond to whatever it may bring.

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7 Steps to Building Your Family Financial Plan

family and finance
How to Develop a Comprehensive Financial Strategy to Set Your Family Up for Success

Every family will experience various stages of life and unexpected events as the members of that family grow. Having a strong family financial plan in place can help ensure that, no matter what your family encounters, you’ll remain on firm financial footing. Developing a comprehensive strategy for managing your money requires that you start with the basics – that means setting up a budget, paying down your debts, and building a solid safety net for emergencies. Depending on the family, it may also mean investing for retirement and starting a special savings account dedicated to future college costs.

Personal financial planning can be complicated enough, so financial planning for your entire family can be especially challenging. However, it’s not impossible. With dedication and deliberate care, you can make a family financial plan that works for everyone. No matter your family’s situation, there are key elements that should be included in any family financial plan. As you get started with yours, here are seven key steps to consider.

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