Legacy Planning: Five Ways to Help Your Heirs Preserve and Grow their Inheritance

legacy planning
Don’t Skip this Often-Overlooked Step as You Plan the Disposition of Your Estate

Legacy planning, also called estate planning, is a long-term process. In fact, you’ve probably been engaged in it for much of your adult life, even if you didn’t realize it in the moment. Things like taking out a life insurance policy and naming beneficiaries on your retirement accounts are important steps in planning the eventual disposition of your estate and ensuring those you care about will be financially secure.

On the formal side of things, it’s important that you meet with an estate planning attorney, write a legal will, draft a durable power of attorney, and execute an advanced health care directive. In this article, however, we will examine an important legacy planning step that is too often overlooked: preparing your heirs to receive their inheritance – and helping them to preserve and grow it, as well.

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5 Tips for Physicians: Paying Off Student Loan Debt

medical school debt
Medical School Comes with a Hefty Price Tag, but Here’s How to Tackle It

Though medical school can be a fantastic investment, it’s no secret that it can be incredibly expensive. Most med school students believe this investment to be worth it due to the estimated income of most healthcare professionals. However, it comes at a high cost. Statistics show that the average student loan debt for college students is $32,731, whereas the average medical school debt is $201,490 – quite a drastic difference.

Having large amounts of debt can seriously impact your finances, as well as your emotional and physical well-being. It can increase stress and tension and contribute to things such as poor judgment, inability to focus, and habitual procrastination. These are obviously not conducive to establishing a thriving medical career.

If you’re a medical student or doctor looking to protect your net worth and quality of life, it’s imperative that you establish a savvy plan for paying off your student loans. Here are five tips to get you started.

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Should You Rent or Buy a Home When You’re Retired?

rent or buy a home when retired
Why More Retirees Are Enjoying the Perks of Renting

One of the biggest financial questions near-retirees must answer is what their living situation will look like in retirement. Many choose to move closer to friends or family, while others move simply to downsize. In addition to location and square footage, however, it’s also important to make the decision between renting or buying. Though it may come as a surprise, renting in retirement has become a growing trend. In fact, since 2005, the largest growing group of renters has been people in their fifties and sixties.

Renting may be a growing trend, but how do you know if this is the right decision for you? There are several factors, both emotional and financial, that you’ll need to take into consideration. To help you explore your options, we will discuss several of these factors below, including crunching the numbers, creating cash flow, and the freedom of movement.

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Fitting Equity Compensation into Your Financial Plan

equity compensation
The smartest move when granted equity benefits is to plan now, not 10 years down the road.

A growing trend in employee benefits is the inclusion of equity compensation to attract the best talent and to recognize top employees. Equity compensation is a form of non-cash compensation that represents ownership in the company, such as stock options or restricted stock. Depending on the company and the type of compensation they provide, employees will either receive company stock upon joining the team or the option to purchase it at a future date into their employment.

Equity compensation can seem complicated, and it may be tempting to let your benefits sit on autopilot, especially if you plan on staying at the company for a while and don’t have immediate plans to sell the stock. This might not be the best move, however, because equity compensation can come with unique tax rules, tax implications, and liquidity challenges. In order to ensure that you’re making the most of these benefits, it’s important to take a strategic approach to manage them and work to incorporate them into your broader wealth management plan. As you do so, keep the following questions and opportunities in mind.

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Cash Balance Pension Plans Can Benefit Doctors, Lawyers and Small Business Owners

cash balance plan
Five Reasons to Consider this Defined-Benefit Plan for Your Business

Many small business owners, including doctors and lawyers in private practice, can benefit from a cash balance pension plan. These plans offer significant tax deductions and accelerated retirement savings, making them especially beneficial for those with retirement looming in the near future. What’s more, this defined-benefit plan with a 401(k) twist can help you meet the needs of your employees, too. Many high-earning professionals are unaware of this option, though it offers benefits from both the retirement planning and tax avoidance standpoints.

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How to Use the S.M.A.R.T. Goal-Setting Framework to Set and Achieve Financial Goals

financial goals
A Savvy Strategy for Meeting Your Money Objectives

If you want to achieve your life’s goals, you must first envision them and then create expectations for yourself. When you begin to see your goals as reality, it can become easier to see how to reach them, too. However, this can often feel like an uphill battle – especially when it comes to your financial goals.

Planning for success in your financial future is a challenge, but you can help yourself stay focused and on track by setting the right type of goals at the outset. To improve your chances of success, set S.M.A.R.T. financial goals.

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Understanding the Pros and Cons of High-Risk Investments

high-risk investments
A Look at Seven High-Risk Investment Options for the Investor with High-Risk Tolerance

There is no one right way to invest. Smart investing takes into consideration the individual and their personal preferences, and these preferences include things like risk tolerance and overall comfort as an investor. This is because there is a broad spectrum of investment options available, and some are inherently riskier than others. As the level of risk increases, so too do the possible gains – and the potential losses. While some level of risk is a natural part of investing, high-risk investments aren’t a good fit for most people. Still, if you have tolerance for it, you may be able to reap great rewards by adding them to your investment portfolio.

Below we’ll discuss the pros and cons of seven of the most popular high-risk investments.

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Navigating Inter-Generational Wealth Transitions When You Run a Family Business

wealth transfer
Guidance for Overcoming Common Challenges

Having something to pass down to future generations of your family is a dream shared by many people, especially those with family businesses. If you’re lucky enough to achieve it, however, you may face some of the common challenges of an inter-generational wealth transition. So challenging is such a transfer, in fact, that 90% of affluent families have greatly diminished wealth by the third generation. Below, we will discuss three common wealth transfer issues and provide guidance to help you navigate these potential challenges and ensure your assets move smoothly to the next generation.

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Tax-advantaged Savings Accounts for High-Income Earners

tax-advantaged savings accoutns

Saving for retirement requires planning and, to some extent, strategizing on a multitude of levels, this is especially so if you’re a high-income earner. If you’re a high-income earner, in particular, one of the most important strategies you’ll need to implement is a tax strategy that maximizes the benefits provided by different types of retirement savings accounts.

These accounts encourage individuals and households to save toward their retirement goals. For more affluent households, however, there are more options available regarding which accounts to allocate savings to. So, the question becomes, how can you maximize the tax benefits of various retirement savings accounts when your high-income status allows you the ability to contribute to several different accounts simultaneously? We’ll discuss your options below.

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