Kaplan on Your Money

Five “No-Brainer” Moves Before Year-End to Strengthen Your Finances

Here are 5 “no-brainer” moves you can make before year-end to strengthen your finances:

1. Taxes: NJ AND NY RESIDENTS ALERT: If Congress pushes through tax reform that eliminates state and local tax exemptions, many NJ and NY residents (along with MA and CA residents) will be hit with tax increases. One estimate says NJ residents, for example, will need to pony up an additional $3,500 per year in taxes. Look into prepaying a portion of your 2018 property tax by 12/31/17 and front load  charitable donations intended for 2018 into 2017. Your financial advisor or CPA can advise further regarding appropriate actions to take by 12/31/17.

2. Savings: Did you defer the maximum number of dollars in your 401k this year to receive 100% of your company match? Check with your company HR now if you’re not sure. If you have an unattractive 401k or 403b with no match, consider e.g. funding a Roth IRA if your income doesn’t exceed federal caps. The deadline for deferring funds into a Roth IRA for the 2017 tax year is 4/15/18.

Sign Up for E-News

3. Long-Term Care for You and Your Parent(s) – What Can You Both Afford?: Yes, it’s awkward to have “the talk” with your parents about a) where they’d like to live if they can’t care for themselves and b) how they will cover future long-term care expenses. Since most parents aren’t forthcoming about finances with adult children, it’s helpful to loop in a financial advisor to moderate the discussion and provide informed advice. If your financial advisor is a financial planner, he/she can determine if you have sufficient means to cover future long-term care expenses via insurance or savings. Note: promising that you’ll be able to physically take care of your spouse or a parent usually is well-meaning but unrealistic.

4. About Your Broker or Financial Advisor:  How much did your broker or financial advisor charge you this year for his/her services? Schedule an appointment to discuss this, if you’re not sure. Is your advisor a Fiduciary (someone required to put your needs before his/her own)? Or does he/she sell you products that merely need to be “suitable.”  Side note: “Fee-Based” isn’t the same as “Fee-Only” – Fee-based advisors sell products.  I’ve reviewed statements from a Fee-Based advisor that charged a whopping 2% per year (1% management fees AND “C” class mutual funds that generated an additional 1% commission). Stay far away from advisors who recommend you invest in unlisted investments (e.g. gold mines in Ghana or property somewhere)…and avoid investing with anyone who offers you attractive returns.

5. It’s All About You:   A solid financial health assessment not only looks at your ability to cover your own retirement and future medical bills. For example, how are your aging parents doing financially? Will you be on the hook if they run out of funds? Will help to your adult child(ren) jeopardize your own financial future? Information is power and it’s never too late to plot a prudent course of action.

 

Eve Kaplan is a Fee-Only (no products sold) Certified Financial Planner® Practitioner with 30+ years of investment/planning experience. Kaplan Financial Advisors upholds the highest fiduciary standards in the planning industry.  Eve opened Kaplan Financial Advisors in 2004 to provide comprehensive financial planning and investment management services to single women and couples. Eve can be reached at 908-898-0549 or Eve@KaplanFinancialAdvisors.com.  Visit her website at  www.KaplanFinancialAdvisors.com

 

Copyright © 2011-2017 by Eve Kaplan

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Mike Zuko at Salem Roadhouse Cafe

February 19, 2018

Raised on a diet of The Beatles, Buddy Holly and The Doors, Michael Zuko was exposed first hand to the thrilling music of the legendary 70s NYC club scene. Zuko and the band show a skilled singer-songwriter who is backed by solid musical talent, bringing original, fresh and intelligent lyrics to the stage. A true entertainer, Mike engages the audience fully and leaves them wanting more. Mike and ...

German Language School of Morris County Raises $1,000 for Market Street Mission

February, the month of all things red and romantic with red, hearts, roses, and chocolates, is also a time to show our love of friends and community. Students from the German Language School of Morris County (www.njlearnsgerman.org and www.glsmc.org), took that lesson to heart and raised $1,000 for The Market Street Mission (www.marketstreet.org), a Morristown haven for the needy for more than ...

Kick Off for the Relay for Life of Berkeley Heights, Mountainside, New Providence & Summit 

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - There will be a Kick Off for Relay for Life on Thursday, March 1st. It will be held at the Gov. Livingston High School Cafeteria at 7pm.  The theme of Kick Off is Back TO GL - we envision a future that is cancer free. Everything you need to know about Relay for Life will be presented in an interactive setting. Relay ...

Home for Good Dog Rescue's Annual "Taste of Italy" Dinner & Tricky Tray

For the ninth consecutive year, Home for Good Dog Rescue's "Taste of Italy" Spaghetti & Meatballs Dinner and Tricky Tray returns to the Long Hill Community Center in Stirling, NJ. More than 300 guests will gather on Saturday, March 3, for a family-friendly Italian-themed dinner featuring a wealth of prize baskets, including but not limited to gift certificates, pet products and ...

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

February 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward. I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for. Last week, I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county chairman.

Mr.

No One Is More Qualified and Capable to be Our Next Democratic Committee Chair Than Colleen Mahr

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a pillar of consistency in Union County for the last 20 years, having devoted her life to public service. There is no one more qualified and capable to lead us as our next Union County Democratic Committee Chair.

Colleen has mentored, coached and supported countless candidates running for office in Union County, all across our 21 ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, February 19

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Mon, February 19, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21, 2:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

The Underground Railroad Documentary

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, February 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...