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Tag: wealth management

How to Maximize Your Stock Options

The Key Considerations You’ll Need to Best Leverage this Employee Benefit

Stock options have become a popular way for employers to compensate employees and incentivize high-quality work. Not only are they convenient and cost-effective for the employer, but they provide employees with added value for a job well done. When employees feel valued and do good work, the company’s stock value rises, and everyone wins.

Since stock options aren’t as cut and dry as a normal paycheck, though, many employees don’t fully understand how to make the most of them. Below we’ll discuss how stock options work, when to exercise them, and how to maximize this type of compensation.

The Basics of Employee Stock Options

When an employer offers stock options as part of your benefits package, it means you’ll have the opportunity to purchase a certain amount of company stock for a set price called the “grant price”, and typically within a set time frame. Most often, employers want to incentivize you to stay with the company long-term, so you may have to wait until your stock options vest – that is, until they reach the point in time when they become available to you to exercise. This means new employees usually can’t take advantage of them right away. Once they vest, you’ll have a specific time period in which to use your stock options before they expire.

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Zach Morris featured in Recent Article Published by Statefarm

wealth transfers

In an article published on statefarm.com this month, Co-Founder Zach Morris offered his insight and expertise on wealth transfers.

5 Things to Understand about Wealth Transfers

One reason some people focus on building wealth over a lifetime is to be able to pass along resources and provide opportunities to their children and grandchildren. But it takes time and planning — as well as conversations about expectations and shared values — to have this transfer work well for everyone.

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Planning Assumptions That Should Be Avoided

Even the Most Disciplined of Planners Can Fall Victim to Faulty Planning Practices

Even if you consider yourself an accomplished and disciplined planner – and, perhaps, even more so if you fall into this category – it’s uncomfortable to face unexpected financial hurdles. Since no one can perfectly plan for the unexpected, however, it happens from time to time. It could be that your career takes a turn you didn’t foresee, or maybe your child’s college education ends up far costlier than you expected. All of a sudden, you find yourself facing a future where your savings goals may be in jeopardy.

Although no planning is foolproof, avoiding some common – and faulty – planning assumptions can help ensure your long-term goals won’t be in danger.

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Which Assets Belong in Your Living Trust – and Which Don’t?

Guidance on How to Fund Your Trust

If you’re considering setting up a living trust, know that there is more to it than simply meeting with a lawyer and signing the appropriate paperwork. Your trust won’t have any power until you fund it. To do so, you’ll need to strategize about which assets you’ll put in the trust, and then complete the necessary transfers.

For most people, there are assets that make sense to transfer to your trust, but others that you’re likely better off leaving outside the trust. Below we’ll dig into the details of both. First, though, let’s discuss the basics of a living trust.

Why Choose a Living Trust?

If you’re looking to manage your assets during your lifetime and find a way to easily pass them to your beneficiaries when you die without going through the hassles of the court system, a living trust is for you. This legal structure allows your estate to bypass probate, which is advantageous for several reasons.

Not only is probate complex, time-consuming and expensive, it also means your estate information will become public record. A trust, on the other hand, allows you to keep your finances private. Furthermore, this legal instrument gives you more control over which of your heirs get certain assets, and even when they are able to access them. For example, you could choose to pass some of your assets to your children when they turn 18, with a percentage held back until they reach age 40.

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Small Business Checklist: How to Assess Your Financial Wellness

A Five-Step Plan for Busy Business Owners

Running your business day to day takes all of your energy and focus. Your waking hours are consumed with managing and sustaining it, and you likely spend many a sleepless night on the details no one else thinks about. This is the life of a committed small business owner.

When you’re grinding day after day to keep your business well-positioned, however, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Specifically, it becomes difficult for many small business owners to find the time to monitor the overall health of their business in a meaningful way. The five-step guide below is designed to help you focus on five key elements of your business’ financial health.

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When Spouses Aren’t on the Same Spending Page

Tips for Aligning Your Marital Money Attitude

Many married couples split household tasks and responsibilities, choosing to divide and conquer in an age of unprecedented busyness. For example, one spouse might handle grocery shopping while the other does all the yard work. One spouse might do daycare drop-off while the other handles the kiddos’ bedtime routine. It’s an effective and efficient way to run a household, especially if both spouses work. When it comes to money issues, however, these topics are best tackled as a team.

Spending, budgeting, and other financial issues can cause stress and anxiety, so many couples avoid these topics. However, since money issues are one of the leading causes of divorce, it’s important to work through the uncomfortable topics and get on the same spending page.

Here are five tactics for making sure you and your spouse agree on household spending and avoid money conflicts:

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Are You on Track to Meet Your Retirement Goals?

retirement planning atlanta

Net Worth Goals By Age

Do you find yourself wondering if you’re on track to meet your retirement goals? Are you saving diligently but still unsure whether it’s enough? A valuable benchmark to help you answer these questions is your net worth: that is, the number you’re left with when you add up your cash and other financial assets and subtract all your debts.

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How Can Entrepreneurs and Executives Prioritize Their Financial Objectives?

Everyone strives to be successful in their careers. You may spend long hours working hard to ensure the success of the company you work for or the one you’ve created. Success, however, is not only about what you produce at work and what you earn from that. Giving time to establish goals for your financial future will help you maintain financial security for the long-term. 

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Opportunity Zone Investments

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was the most sweeping tax legislation since the 1986 Tax Reform Act was signed into law.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made small changes to personal income taxes and significantly reduces income tax for corporations. It also increased alternative minimum tax (AMT) and estate tax exemptions. New tax deductions for owners of pass-through entities and changes to the taxation of foreign income were also part of TCJA. For investors, Opportunity Funds promote investing in low-income designated areas, called Opportunity Zones, by offering federal tax advantages.

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The Making of a Successful Retirement Starts with Maximizing Your Contributions

If you have been contributing consistently to your retirement plan, then you are already on your path to a secure retirement. But are you doing everything you can to build your retirement nest egg? Capitalizing on your company retirement benefits package now can help to make your retirement that much more care-free. Here are five tips to help you build your financial future.

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