Five Tax-Filing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 
I hope you had a wonderful weekend! How about that Superbowl?

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Five Tax-Filing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

It’s time to start thinking about filing your taxes. If you are an early filer — which is smart since early filing reduces the likelihood of becoming a victim of tax filing fraud — or someone who files at the last minute, you will find these tax-filing tips helpful.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

Five Tax-Filing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

From Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

When the IRS is reviewing your tax return, it doesn’t care whether a filing mistake is intentional or inadvertent. Any error can trigger a notice, says Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

While a mistake won’t necessarily lead to an audit, you want to avoid as many red flags as possible — particularly if you’re a high-income taxpayer since they tend to be audited more frequently.

Understating income and overstating deductions are two potential problem areas for filers, Rande warns. But those aren’t the only places where returns can go off the rails. Here are five frequent mistakes people make, and ways to prevent them. [Read more…]

How To Raise Your Financial IQ In 2017

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 
I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Welcome to the Donald Trump presidency. Hang on!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “How To Raise Your Financial IQ In 2017” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

You can make better financial decisions if you know what information is important and use the right financial knowledge base. This piece from Schwab can help you focus on the essential financial knowledge you need to make better financial decisions.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

How To Raise Your Financial IQ In 2017

By Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Want to make smarter financial decisions in 2017? Start by focusing on the key elements that should comprise your financial knowledge base.
  • Help raise your personal financial IQ by zeroing in on just 10 important details of your own financial situation.
  • Instead of making resolutions you might not keep, set up a support system that can help sustain you throughout the year.

It’s that time again. And while you may have promised yourself to be smarter about your finances in 2017, we all know that New Year’s resolutions are notoriously ineffective. Despite our best intentions, the vast majority of us simply don’t follow through. So this year, instead of making an overwhelming list of things to do, I’m suggesting that you focus on a few concrete things you need to know. In other words, if you educate yourself about your finances, you’ll be laying the foundation for success by building the right financial knowledge base.

Improve your financial knowledge base by raising your financial IQ

The financial world is filled with numbers and details, many of which you don’t really need to think about. I believe you can improve your financial knowledge base in 2017 by just zeroing in on the following 10 things — all practical information that only require simple math: [Read more…]

Taxes: What’s New For 2017?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 
I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Looks like we might reach the low 50’s in Wisconsin this week!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Taxes: What’s New For 2017?” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each of the headings below.

As you work on your tax return for 2016, it may be wise to look at what is changing in the world of taxes for 2017. Understanding right now what is different this year ensures that you have ample time to reduce what you pay in 2017 taxes.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

Taxes: What’s New For 2017?

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Tax changes in recent years included an additional Medicare surtax for high-income earners, a new top rate for dividends and long-term capital gains, and the phase-out of itemized deductions for high earners.
  • If you’re subject to higher taxes, it’s even more important to take advantage of whatever tax breaks apply to you.
  • Learn more about this year’s inflation adjustments and common tax breaks, including retirement plan contributions and charitable giving.

Although there are no major tax law changes this year, there are still inflation adjustments and other routine changes to consider. Remember, it’s important to take advantage of the tax break you’re entitled to — it’s not what you make but what you keep that counts. Here are a number of items to consider as you plan for the year ahead. [Read more…]

Get Your Finances In Shape For 2017

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 
Happy New Year!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Get Your Finances In Shape For 2017” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each heading.

Start the new year off right by organizing your finances. This piece from Schwab provides guidance on what to focus on as you begin your 2017 financial planning.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

Get Your Finances in Shape for 2017

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • The New Year is a great time to reevaluate where you stand financially.
  • Consider these five resolutions as you start your 2017 financial planning. They include tips on budgeting, estate planning and more.

It wouldn’t be the New Year without resolutions. But whether it’s trimming your waistline or firming your financial profile, the key isn’t making the list, it’s sticking with it. Here are five steps to get you started on your 2017 financial planning road to financial fitness. [Read more…]

13 Financial Moves To Make Before 2016 Ends

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend! Time to get some holiday shopping done this week?

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “13 Financial Moves To Make Before 2016 Ends” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of financial planner Mary Beth Storjohann. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each tip below in bold.

2016 is quickly coming to a close. Take a look at the suggestions below, maybe one of them can be a game changer for you.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

13 Financial Moves To Make Before 2016 Ends

By Mary Beth Storjohann

The year is quickly coming to a close and there’s New Year’s resolutions aplenty.

However, with resolutions being so open-ended, it’s easy to pile too much on at once and while you may feel motivated at first, fast forward a few weeks or months and you may find that you’ve thrown caution, boundaries and rules to the wind and are in the exact same position you want to get out of.

Rather than resolving to change in 2017, there’s still time to opt for buckling down and getting things done in 2016. In many instances, the end of the year closes a financial window or opens a new door. Are you ready to wrap up your loose ends and set yourself up to take advantage of any opportunities the New Year brings?

Here are 13 financial tips you should consider before the end of the year: [Read more…]

Year-End Tax Tips For 2016

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend! Welcome to the holiday season!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Year-End Tax Tips For 2016” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each section heading below to see if any are of interest.

The end of the year is almost upon us. You only have a little more than three weeks to impact what you will pay in taxes for 2016. Check out the ideas below from Schwab. Maybe one of them can save you money.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

Year-End Tax Tips for 2016

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • These tax tips for 2016 address key areas of your financial life: portfolio planning, retirement, education planning and charitable giving.
  • It never hurts to consult with a tax professional about your unique tax situation.
  • Be aware of changes to cost-basis reporting rules and how they affect different securities you may own.

If tax time brings you stress, read on. First, take heart that you can act before the end of the year to help minimize the pain of April 15 (April 17 in 2017). Then, consider the tax tips below affecting key areas of your financial life — from your portfolio to your retirement and more.

Whether you do your own taxes or rely on a tax professional, these tried-and-true strategies may help you keep more of your hard-earned income and boost your after-tax returns. After all, it’s what you keep that counts. [Read more…]

Taxes: How Trump, Clinton Proposals Compare

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 
MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15

I hope you had a great weekend and you are enjoying the cooler fall weather!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Taxes: How Trump, Clinton Proposals Compare” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share informative and relevant information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

Tax policy differences, and similarities, can be some of the most important criteria we use to judge who we are going to vote for. Take a look below at Schwab’s analysis of the two Presidential candidates current approaches to taxes.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

Taxes: How Trump, Clinton Proposals Compare

By Michael Townsend, Charles Schwab

On Capitol Hill, both parties seem to agree: The tax code needs an overhaul. They just have totally different ideas about what kind of system should replace it.

The last major reform to the tax code was in 1986. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been changes since then. In fact, lawmakers have amended the code thousands of times — resulting in the complicated and confusing system we have today.

So what are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump proposing to do about it? They’re proposing a lot, but beware: tax reform is never easy. Presidents can call for tax changes, but the nitty gritty of writing tax law is the responsibility of Congress. And with Congress likely to remain closely divided along party lines, a tax overhaul, if it occurs at all, will almost certainly look quite different from the candidates’ initial proposals.

But the president has the ability to shape debate on key issues like tax reform, so it’s worth comparing what those proposals look like. Here’s how the two candidates’ plans stack up: [Read more…]

Is Your Teen Financially Fit?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you are having a great Labor Day weekend!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Is Your Teen Financially Fit?” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Charles Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each of the headings below.

Most states don’t require any sort of financial literacy curriculum in their school systems. As a result, parents are responsible for educating their kids on money matters. As your children grow into their teens, they start encountering situations where an elementary knowledge of finance is helpful. Check out the suggestions below from Schwab on how to provide a basic understanding of money related concepts to your kids.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

Is Your Teen Financially Fit?

By Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, President, Charles Schwab Foundation

Key points

  • Kids want to learn about money management, but only 17 states require a financial literacy class to graduate.
  • Parents can fill the gap by giving teens real-life money experiences and responsibilities.
  • Being a good role model and sharing your own money management practices is one of the best ways to prepare your teen for life after graduation.

Dear Parents-of-Teens,

As your child heads back to school, you’re probably looking at class choices and schedules, maybe even beginning a college search. But unless you’re lucky enough to live in one of the 17 states that require completion of a financial education course prior to high school graduation, there may be one area that’s sorely lacking in your teen’s education: money management.

That may not seem like the most exciting topic, but here’s a stat that should get everyone’s attention: Teens spend nearly $260 billion annually! With so little financial education available, that means teens do a lot of spending (and probably borrowing) without understanding the basics of how to manage money or the consequences of mismanaging it… [Read more…]

What Should You Budget For Retiree Healthcare Costs?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend! The kids in my school district go back to school this week!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “What Should You Budget For Retiree Healthcare Costs?” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Charles Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

Funding our retiree healthcare expenses is an important piece of the puzzle most of us forget about. Don’t. Read the piece below to get a better handle on what you can expect in retirement relative to healthcare.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

What Should You Budget For Retiree Healthcare Costs?

By Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz,  Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Even a healthy person will have substantial retiree healthcare costs.
  • Premiums for Medicare and supplemental insurance alone add up quickly, not to mention out-of-pocket costs and services that aren’t covered.
  • Being realistic and planning in advance will help protect both your physical and financial health.

There’s only one thing certain about retiree healthcare costs — you will have them. Even if you’re lucky enough to be consistently healthy, you’ll have to pay insurance premiums plus possible co-payments, as well as costs for things that insurance doesn’t cover. So factoring retiree healthcare expenses into your retirement planning is smart — and absolutely essential.

For a dose of reality, consider this stat from a 2016 report from Health View Services, a company that provides detailed projections of retiree healthcare costs. For an average, healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year, retiree healthcare costs including insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and costs not covered by insurance could total $377,412 in today’s dollars. Factor in inflation, and the figures go even higher.

That might sound a bit over the top, but when you consider that this represents only an annual cost of $6,290 per person over a 30-year retirement, it’s probably realistic. Here’s why… [Read more…]

Healthy And Wealthy: How Planning Can Boost Your Well-Being

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend! Temperature-wise, I think we have seen the last of the 90’s for this year — maybe the 80’s too?

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Healthy And Wealthy: How Planning Can Boost Your Well-Being” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Charles Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each major heading below.

I think most of us would agree that when we take time to plan for something major, like retirement, we have greater peace of mind. Many studies have shown, however, that we spend more time each year planning our vacations than we do our retirements. Schwab has put together a nice piece below that will hopefully motivate you to spend at least an equal amount of time retirement planning as planning for your vacation this year.

Have a wonderful week!

_______________________________

Healthy and Wealthy: How Planning Can Boost Your Well-Being

By Rob Williams, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Researchers have identified interesting links between health and wealth that underscore the benefits of retirement planning.
  • Even if you’re not a born planner, you can still take certain steps to help reach your goals.
  • We discuss four strategies to help you start retirement planning now.

Health and wealth are often related. That may sound intuitive, but the interconnections between the two may surprise you. They can also help shed light on some of the key challenges of retirement planning.

We know that health woes can hurt your finances. For example, a prolonged illness can lead to high medical bills and keep you from working. Researchers have also shown that financial troubles can be bad for your physical health, causing everything from stress, depression and insomnia to headaches, high blood pressure and eating disorders.

There are other connections, as well. A growing body of research has revealed that efforts to preserve your physical and financial health can be hindered by similar behavioral obstacles. Fortunately, it’s also turning up some intriguing options for managing this behavior.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at some insights from the world of behavioral research and discuss how investors can incorporate them into their retirement planning. [Read more…]