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LPF Financial Advisors

If you haven’t drafted your list of 2018 Financial Resolutions, it’s time to get started.

New Year, New Plan

The Starting of the New Year has many of us making resolutions to make changes in some part of our lives.  Whether it is health or money related, starting the New Year off with a plan feels good!  Even though 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the end of first quarter, having ‘resolutions’ is a positive thing; keeping them helps you change. These proven steps will help you in your planning process to keep your resolutions, and meet your goals

Keep it simple.  Make resolutions easy (not complicated) with a simple plan, and take ‘baby steps’ as needed.

Chart it out.  Like a financial plan, write down your resolutions or chart it so you can see your progress.  Secondly, plan a start date and an ending date for your resolution (goal)

 Make relevant and realistic resolutions. If you intend to save more, set up automatic savings options out of your paycheck or bank account.  If you plan to exercise each day, start out with a few days a week that may be more realistic for you until your exercise becomes habitual.

Believe you can achieve your goals.  If you intend to reduce your debt this year, believe in yourself and resolve to quit spending.

Share it.  Sharing your resolutions with someone you trust that will keep you on track makes you accountable.  Tell others about your progress, and you’re failures when you fall away from your plan.

If you haven’t drafted your list of 2018 Financial Resolutions, it’s time to get started.  Without goals being met, it may be difficult for you to achieve long-term financial goals:

1.  Get Out of Debt.  Carrying a balance on your credit cards will cost you in the long run.  The average US household has $8377 in credit card debt, and 38% of households carry that debt long-term.

2.  Follow A Budget.  People that are aware of their spending are aware of how much they need to save for retirement and other financial goals.  Without budgeting you are more likely to ‘splurge spend’ more than you should.  

3.  Save and Invest.  An estimated 69% of Americans have less than $1000 in a savings account, and roughly one-third have zero in retirement savings.  If this is you, make it a priority to increase your savings (and have an emergency fund) and retirement savings.  If you are already saving, increase your savings at your financial institution and your retirement savings contributions.

If you need help or have questions regarding your financial goals for 2018, contact our office for a meeting.  Let’s make 2018 a great financial year!

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Filial Laws: Avoid a Financial Crisis for Your Family

If you’re not familiar with Filial Laws, it’s time you take notice of what they are and how these laws can impact your financial future.  A few decades ago, our US welfare system would cover nursing home and medical costs for someone without the financial resources to so.  Back then the children were ‘off the hook’ to pay, and in some cases, beneficiaries still had access to their parent’s assets and avoided surrendering assets for unpaid bills.  Many people today still think that is current policy; it’s not and the likelihood of you paying for your parents or another family member is a real possibility.  Filial laws take into account the situation of the individual as being ‘impoverished’ and doesn’t always apply to someone who is elderly.

Filial responsibility is ‘A duty owed by an adult child (and siblings) to care for ‘necessities of life’ for their parents.  This means payment of medical bills, nursing home care, and costs to help the individual.  Under filial laws there is the possibility that the duty can be extended to other family members besides the children.  In other countries, these types of laws have been enforced for generations and are a part of culture where ‘family takes care of the family’.  As of December 2017, 30 states in the US have Filial Laws. 

Because you’re planning financially for yourself as you age, you also need to consider planning for your parents.  Have a conversation with them regarding long-term care insurance and/or, if they have the resources to pay for care.  This may lead you to the conclusion to cover the costs yourself to avoid being sued.  If you’re a pre-retiree or retired, you need to plan for long-term care in order to avoid passing the bill for your care to your children or grandchildren.

After decades of this law not being enforced, and with the aging population, our society is seeing more people entering the nursing home that either don’t have the financial resources, or didn’t plan for it. Filial Laws come into play when an individual is already receiving state support, and have a medical bill or nursing home bill they can’t pay, or their cost of care is exceeding their Social Security Benefits, they don’t qualify for Medicaid, and the caregiver (hospital/nursing home) believes that the patient’s child has the money to pay the bill.

As your financial advisor, I recommend discussing your plan to pay for your care or a family member’s care, so your assets are not depleted prematurely due to Filial Laws.


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If you’re not familiar with Filial Laws, it’s time you take notice of what they are and how these laws can impact your financial future.  

None of us know how the new tax plan will affect retirement savings plans, personal deductions, take-home pay, or our country’s deficit in the future.  

The New Tax Plan and You

If you’re like some Americans, you may be wondering how the new tax plan is going to affect you.  To say “the new tax plan isn’t going to affect me” may be an incorrect statement; sooner or later the new plan will change something in your financial life.  It doesn’t matter if you’re on ‘one side of the isle or the other’ or in the ‘middle,’ there will be changes.  None of us know how the new tax plan will affect retirement savings plans, personal deductions, your ‘take-home pay,’ or our country’s deficit in the future.  Here are the new tax plan’s features to take into consideration as you plan for your situation:

401(k) Retirement Savings Plans: Future legislation will determine if 401(k) plans remain pre-tax contribution accounts or become more like current day Roth IRA accounts where contributions are after-tax and grow tax-free.  This is being proposed (and will be considered) as a way for the US government to bring in more money to offset the tax cuts in this new tax plan.

Secondly, House Republicans are considering capping the 401(k) worker contribution limit to $2400 per year when it takes effect.

Retirement Pre-Tax Savings Recommendation:  Max out your pre-tax retirement savings contributions for 2017, 2018, and until this change takes effect (if it does).  Regardless, save, Save, SAVE because you should never rely on the government to take care of you and solve your retirement problems.

Mortgage Interest Deduction:  Currently mortgage interest deductions are limited to deducting interest on a $1 million and under loan.  The new tax plan cuts the maximum loan amount in half to a $500,000 and under loans, affecting mortgage holders that live in high-cost housing markets and millennials as they enter home ownership.

Mortgage Interest Deduction Recommendation:  Avoid multiple loans and re-financing as a tax-saving strategy and get that home loan paid off as soon as you can.  Carrying mortgage debt is not a benefit to you and especially not for those with notes over $500,000 with this plan.

Take Home Pay:  With changes to individual tax brackets, the new plan moves from seven to four tax brackets.  There has been a lot of hype on this proposal; savings will be for child-less, single Americans if they itemize their taxes. Some lawmakers believe this will hurt families who have benefitted under the current tax brackets.  The US doesn’t have a flat tax rate; our taxes are calculated on a progressive scale. No one knows if we will have more take-home pay due to this plan, or will ‘pay in’ when we file our taxes.

New Tax Plan Personal Income Tax Recommendations:  Visit your tax professional to determine how the new tax plan will affect you.  Double check to validate you are maximizing your personal with-holdings or are with-holding enough to avoid paying in when you file.  Until this one takes effect, we really don’t know what it will do to paychecks, which is why it is essential to work with a tax professional.


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Successful Retirement and Healthy Aging

With a one in five chance of living beyond our 90th birthday, planning for a successful retirement and healthy aging should be something we all do.  Retirement is now considered a time to be active where people stay socially connected, continue working in some capacity, and are choosing to be involved in their communities.  Retirement today has changed from what ‘retirement’ meant even fifty years ago.  Retirement use to be the non-active part of one’s life, where you disengaged from your previous lifestyle.

Today,  more and more studies are finding that people in good health have a positive view of retiring and plan for it, while those in poor health don’t think they’ll make it to retirement and don’t save for retirement.  The Transamerica Retirement Study 2017 partnered with AEGON to study the correlation between good health and retirement success. This study identified that financial planning along with staying healthy led to a greater chance of achieving what’s considered a ‘successful retirement’.  Successful retirement and healthy aging has the following components:

Being Ready to Retire.  The individual has the ability to decide when they want to retire from their ‘profession’ and welcomes it once they determine they’re ready.  They feel they have achieved all they want to in their career, and look forward to the next chapter of their life.

Leisure Time and Working.  The retiree balances their schedule of work and leisure and views working as something they choose to do because they enjoy it, not because they have to.  Their work may be a part-time paid position, or volunteering that benefits their community in some way.  Work becomes a leisure time activity for them.

Financial Security.  Because the individual has been saving and planning for retirement, they feel financially secure and don’t stress about running out of money in retirement.  They work with a financial advisor and revise their plan as they age while liquidating their retirement assets.  They have a ‘spending down’ plan and a strategy to offset inflation as they age. 

Health.  The plan to have a healthy aging needs to start long before retirement.  Retirees that are enjoying good health in retirement have taken steps along the way; good nutrition, exercise, no smoking or excessive alcohol use, and monitor their health with yearly checkups while maintaining a healthy weight.  Healthy aging includes insuring your assets will not prematurely liquidated through purchasing insurance solutions prior to retirement and during retirement.  

Having a successful retirement and healthy aging starts long before you’re considering retirement.  Please contact our office to visit regarding your plans for a successful retirement and healthy aging.


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Retirement is now considered a time to be active where people stay socially connected, continue working in some capacity, and are choosing to be involved in their communities.  


SAI January 2018 Newsletter Approval 1977769.1

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Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm. LPF Financial Advisors and the Securities America companies are separate entities.

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