Everything listed under: financial planning

  • Medicare Open Enrollment

    WHAT IS THE MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD?The Medicare open enrollment period is the time during which people on Medicare can make new elections between Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or Medicare Advantage (Part C); and, their Prescription Coverage (Part D) if they are on Original/Traditional Medicare.WHEN DOES THE OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD START?The Medicare open enrollment period begins on October 15th and runs through December 7th. Any changes made during open enrollment are effective as of...  Read More...

  • The Simple and Impactful Tax Savings Behind Gifting Appreciated Securities

    There are probably nearly as many ways and reasons to give as there are organizations and individuals seeking support. Our time, skills and resources are always in demand! The recent hurricanes and other natural disasters have prompted us to remind our clients and our community of one of the most tax efficient ways to give to charitable causes.   Read More...

  • Blocking and Tackling - The Fundamentals of Personal Finance - Let the Games Begin!

    As the summer draws to a close and fall approaches, school supplies are being whisked off the shelves, suitcases are being unpacked from the last getaway and, as importantly, (here in the South anyway!) the sounds of whistles blowing, pads popping, and coaches shouting signal the start of football season. At first blush, football and personal finance may not appear to be similar “games”, however, a closer look reveals some commonalities; a necessity to understand and execute the fund...  Read More...

  • Are You "Old"? And, What Does Work Look Like if You Are? The New "Retirementality" Continued

    With deference to Mitch Anthony, who writes often about this topic, we agree that the idea of institutionalized retirement is nothing more than an Industrial Age social experiment that, for many, has run its course. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in the 1880s in Germany mandated that the age for retirement was 70, while the average German worker didn’t live past 46. The legislation was imported to the United States during the Great Depression as a lever to move older workers out and younger worker...  Read More...

  • The New DOL Fiduciary Rule - Who's on Your Side?

    Friday, June 9th, quietly marked an historic day in the financial services world. Moving forward, all financial advisors are required to forego any sales agenda and give advice that will benefit their clients—or, if they decide otherwise, to explain how and why they intend to give advice that instead primarily benefits themselves and their brokerage company. This new rule only pertains to rollovers from a qualified plan like a 401(k) into an IRA, and to the investment recommendations for t...  Read More...

  • Grads, Dads, Moms, Babies and Brides...tis the Season!

    Spring and early summer are filled with many opportunities for celebrations and are popular times for a variety of planned transitions in our lives.Among the customary transitions, May and early June mark a milestone for many students as they move forward to a new stage of life. In our April article, we talked about education costs. Now let’s move on to the good part…Graduation!Most of us at this time of year have or know an upcoming graduate.   Read More...

  • Starship Medicine

    Technology's Impact on the Future of Medicine, Your Profession, Your Health...and Possibly Your Wealth?As we continue to partner with the medical community by assisting doctors and dentists with developing sound financial plans, we strive to stay abreast of trending topics in the medical industry.  We find the possibilities for the advancement of patient care to be particularly interesting, and it is easy to see that these developments will lead to an industry paradigm shift (perpetuall...  Read More...

  • Education Funding - There's More to the (Authentic) Discussion Than Meets the Eye

    Chances are, you or someone you know is saving for college, has a student applying to college, is in college, or is paying student loans from college. Some of us get to check off more than one of those items!  We hope this article provides some perspective on this significant and complex part of most of our financial lives.   Read More...

  • Attention Residents, Fellows and Attendings - A Primer on Student Loan Repayment

    IBR, PSLF, PAYE, REPAY, Loan Consolidation, Federal Loans, Private Loans, Rates and Tax Deductibility -  this is a complicated but important conversation.   On top of that, the rules are changing as are the lenders by offering new financing configurations.  And, of course, the right answer for you is specific to your circumstances. In residency or upon graduation, you have a lot of moving parts as you navigate your career.  For many medical professionals, student lo...  Read More...

  • Welcome to Your 2016 Tax Season - Qualified Account Contributions

    Getting Started with this Important Piece of your Financial Puzzle…Once Again! Welcome to the beginning of a new tax season! While it may not be your favorite topic, taxes are an important aspect of our responsibility as citizens. Fulfilling that responsibility as prudently as possible is best accomplished by great teamwork among you, your Financial Advisor and your Tax Preparer.As you participate in the annual scramble to pull together requisite data to provide to tax preparers (or ...  Read More...

  • Your Next Vehicle: Buy...or Lease?

    Buy or Lease?Are you finding yourself in any of these situations?It’s going to cost more to fix your old clunker than the book value is worth.Your teenagers can’t quite seem to share the single car you thought would work out just great between them.You need a new vehicle for work – some professions just require the right vehicle (maybe a truck for construction work or a sedan for sales).Your family is growing in number and/or size. The three boys just simply can’t fi...  Read More...

  • Year-End Words of Wisdom

    As year-end approaches, we trust that “lists” of advice will become quite plentiful.  We hope that you enjoy our rendition.  And, as always, we would love to hear from you if you have additional snips of wisdom that have served you well. >> Credit cards aren’t for credit or frequent flyer/sleeper/shopper points! They are for convenience and record-keeping. Outside of rare circumstances, if you are not paying them off every month, you might conside...  Read More...

  • Open Enrollment Season is Here: Time to Give Your Benefits a Check-Up!

    Open enrollment season is your annual opportunity to review your employer-provided benefit options and make elections for the upcoming plan year. To get the most out of what your employer has to offer, take some time to read through the enrollment packets or information before making any benefit decisions.Review your health plan optionsEven if you’re satisfied with your current health plan, compare your existing coverage to other plans your employer is offering for next year. Premiums, out...  Read More...

  • September Volatility - A Reason to Panic?

    The answer to that question at least 99% of the time is resoundingly, "No!"  This time is no different. On Friday, the S&P 500 Index fell 2.4%; and, of course, we heard the usual exaggerations from the press about a possible “panic.” Perhaps, the media had merely been lulled into a sense of boredom as the markets have been relatively quiet over the summer and even into September – historically, the most volatile month for the markets. True, Friday w...  Read More...

  • Audit Triggers, Brackets, Phase-Outs: A Quick Guide to Some Key Numbers

    Is it tax season already? In truth, it’s always tax season. As we near the 4th quarter of the year, however, we are able to take a much closer look at the 2016 and 2017 tax picture for each of our clients.   Read More...

  • To our Medical Professional Community: Would You Counsel Your Children to Follow Your Path?

    No one knows the costs of your profession better than you. The rest of us (non-medical professionals) don’t have to look far to find mountains of studies and statistics documenting what you already know: medical professionals carry many burdens and it can take a large toll.Extraordinary costs (time and money)Extraordinary competitiveness right from the startConstant conflicts between quality patient care and the economics of your practice/hospital/insurance companies/pharmaceuticalsHours &...  Read More...

  • A Quick Look at the Presidential Candidates’ Tax Proposals

    As summer winds down and we head in to the final stretch of the 2016 presidential election, including the first one-on-one debate on September 26th, we thought we might provide some “facts-only” information regarding the candidates’ tax proposals. Though tax policies haven't received top billing in this year's presidential election dialogue, they are still part of the conversation. We all understand that promises and reality may not be conforming, however, what follows is at least what has been ...  Read More...

  • Are Student Loans Hanging Over Your Head?

    You’ve worked hard to secure a spot in college, persevered through the academics and have graduated. However, according to credit.com, in 2015, about 71% of college graduates leave school with an average of $35,051 in debt. This is nearly quadruple the average debt among graduates in 1993.   Read More...

  • Tax Loss Harvesting - "Making Lemonade out of Lemons"

    When is the last time you cheered when the market dropped 5%?  At first blush, a market correction isn't intuitively a reason for a "Woohooo!"  Look again, however, to find that these downturns actually provide great opportunity.  While it's true that they offer an entry point for cash 'on the side' that may have been waiting to be invested, more importantly, they provide the conditions to aggressively Tax Loss Harvest (TLH) your portfolio.   Read More...

  • Work Longer - Live Longer

    One of the first questions many people ask us is, “When can I retire?” While we are grateful that people are asking us this question before they have already retired (versus after and then subsequently wondering if they’ll run out of money), it is important to note that the concepts around retirement are fortunately shifting. Many people instead are asking, “How can I live a longer and more satisfying life?” The answer may be to work past the traditional retirement age that your Social Security ...  Read More...

  • New Fiduciary Ruling - A Better Standard

      An important ruling passed on April 8th, 2016 by the Department of Labor should be considered a major win for investors everywhere. http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/conflictsofinterest.html In a nutshell, many advisors and investment managers currently adhere to what is referred to as a “suitability” rule meaning that their advice has to be considered suitable for a client, however, it is not required that the advice be in the client’s best interest. This new ruling moves the investment world...  Read More...

  • Case Study: Independent, Professional Woman Seeking Second Opinion

    Setting: Our client has been career focused since college. She set her sights on a leadership position within a software company, and has been working steadily to achieve that goal. Fortunately, she has made good decisions over time and has built a solid investment base as her career has progressed.   Read More...

  • Case Study: Divorced and Managing the Transition

    Setting: No one ever anticipates getting divorced, and our client was not an exception. She came to us once her divorce was nearly final. Understandably, she had many questions and areas of concern.   Read More...

  • Case Study: Original Owner of Healthcare Technology Company IPOs - Managing a Windfall

    Setting: Newly-married couple in their early 30’s originally met and worked in New York before moving to Austin where she joined a privately-held, healthcare technology company. She found the work to be both high energy and highly demanding. While the compensation was generous, they knew they wanted to build a home, start a family, and achieve financial freedom at an early age.   Read More...

  • Case Study: OB/GYN Practice Weighing Strategic Options and Decides Not to Sell

    Setting: Our client is a young OB/GYN physician that is one of three partners in a practice in Texas. In this increasingly regulated and challenging Affordable Care Act environment, he contemplated merging his practice with one of two large hospital groups, or another similar sized practice. We had only recently begun to on-board this client when he presented us with this “life happens” consideration, but we prioritized our on-boarding process to  move quickly in analyzing how this might im...  Read More...

  • Case Study: Orthopedic Surgeon Builds Practice, Weighs Strategic Options

    Setting: We first met this orthopedic surgeon when he was a newly minted graduate from his residency program, and we have been partnering with him on his life journey ever since (5 years). He comes from a large low-to-middle class family with a lot of siblings, which perhaps explains his attention to detail and propensity to save. Unlike most of our physician/surgeon clients who have seen the increasingly complex regulatory environment erode their income and take away their autonomy, this client...  Read More...

  • Case Study: A New Resident Gets Started on the Right Foot

    Setting: Our client and her fiancé sought our help about six months after they each began the residency phase of their education. They had made it through the first two rigorous phases with a modest student loan amount ($180K). They were used to living lean, but admittedly had some pent-up spending desires as they watched their non-medical student peers begin to buy homes and nice cars.   Read More...

  • Case Study: Thinking of Getting Married? Maintaining Your Financial Independence

    Setting: Our client came to us in her late twenties as a newly engaged young woman. She had a built a comfortable investment base for her age, was enjoying success in her career, and had managed her finances to date with the help of a robo-advisor. She correctly assessed that her financial planning opportunities were about to get more complex as she looked ahead to marriage and children.   Read More...

  • Case Study: An Oral Surgeon Sells Practice to Younger Surgeon; Lessons Learned as Non-Compete Invoked

    Setting: Unfortunately, we were engaged after the sale of this oral surgeon’s practice and it became a” lesson learned” in the importance of engaging objective resources before consummating such an important transaction. Being a trusting soul and not wanting to incur a number of transaction costs, the selling doctor trusted that the purchasing doctor would be true to his word about retaining him over the subsequent, three-year period. When a disagreement about terms caused friction, the purchas...  Read More...

  • Case Study: Cardiology Group Accepts Buyout Offer from Corporate Aggregator

    Setting: Our client is a mid- career Cardiologist that was a member and mid-level owner of a group practice in Texas. His group became the target of a corporate, practice aggregator (aided by the senior members of the group). Upon learning the terms, he presented the “deal” to us, (the option that was presented to his group practice), to help him evaluate the impact on the financial freedom plan we’d developed and that we were already implementing.   Read More...

  • Case Study: Software Company Takes on Strategic Investor - Planning for Liquidity Events

    Setting: Our involvement with this partial sale (~$40 million) of a software company began by building a defined contribution plan which improved their company’s talent recruitment and provided a tax optimized investment opportunity for both the business owners and employees. The positive result of these efforts resulted in the owners seeking personal finance integration and business planning as they contemplated a partial liquidity event by taking on a strategic investor. How Did We Help? As t...  Read More...

  • Case Study: Widowed and Learning the Ropes

    Setting: Assisting a client through the loss of a loved one and the follow-on difficult transition.   How Did We Help? Client and her husband had been working with us for a few years. We had gone through the initial planning process, implemented their investment plan and were working together to monitor progress on goal achievement. The husband passed away suddenly.   Read More...

  • Case Study: All in the Family - Inter-generational Planning for Oil and Gas Legacy

    Setting: We were approached by a family seeking help to build an inter-generational plan given the substantial monthly oil royalty proceeds from their property in Texas. We partnered with their estate planning attorney and helped them engage an experienced tax firm as we analyzed their new-found wealth. How Did We Help?   Read More...

  • Don't Let These Excuses be a Reason to Not Plan

    I'm too busy to plan Perhaps you're so wrapped up in balancing your responsibilities that you haven't given retirement planning much thought. That's understandable, but if you don't put retirement planning at the top of your to-do list, you risk shortchanging yourself later on. Staying focused on your goal of saving for a comfortable retirement is difficult, but if you put yourself first it will really pay off in the end.   Read More...

  • Kiplinger Interviews Our Own - Blended Family Finances

    Second marriages have all the challenges of first marriages with a few more piled on top.  Step-parenting, "fair vs equal" discussions regarding his kids, her kids, our kids and money, sometimes "crazy" ex-spouses...these are formidable challenges.  The good news?  Theoretically, we are a little wiser the second time around. Money will undoubtedly be a topic that all married couples will need to grapple with.  The sooner you do (and the process may be evolution...  Read More...

  • And Baby Makes Three - What to Financially Expect When You Are Expecting

    So you're going to have or adopt a baby. Congratulations!  Every member of our Pauley Financial team has children, and, without exception, we agree it’s the most challenging yet best experience in our lives.   Read More...

  • A Retirement Income Roadmap for Women

    More women are working and taking charge of their own retirement planning than ever before. What does retirement mean to you? Do you dream of traveling?   Read More...

  • Independent Women - A Concise List of Reminders

    Women and Money - Taking Charge of your Financial Future If you are like many women, most activities get performed under the "mulit-tasking" umbrella.  In this age of partial attention, at-a-glance bullet points are the often the fastest and most comprehensible way to receive key bits of information.  To that end, a few simple reminders follow to help you stay on track financially.  Reasons for Optimism Women represent almost half the workforce The percentage of household income e...  Read More...

  • Moving Forward Financially Afer the Loss of a Spouse

    The loss of a spouse can be a devastating, life-changing event. Due to longer life expectancies, women are more likely to face this situation. According to the U.S.   Read More...

  • Top Tips for Newlyweds!

    Congratulations!  Financial matters are often a source of marital stress. With a little planning and good communication, money matters madness does not have to be part of your life!Establish an Emergency FundThe fund should be large enough to serve as your “buffer account,” enabling you to avoid carrying high cost debt on your credit cards.   Read More...

  • Top 10 Tips for Grads (and The Rest of Us)

    At Pauley Financial, our Principals are 20+ (in some cases 30+) years removed from graduation from college, but as we think about some of the more valuable lessons learned, understanding the time value of money stands out as one of the most useful. We have often said that this concept and other sound financial principles should be required to be taught at the high school level. Unfortunately, in most instances, they are not.Accordingly, we thought the timing was right to focus the following thou...  Read More...

  • Women and Retirement Income

    Women face special challenges when planning for retirement. Because their careers are often interrupted to care for children or elderly parents, women may spend less time in the workforce and earn less money than men in the same age group. As a result, their retirement plan balances, Social Security benefits, and pension benefits are often lower.   Read More...

  • Food for Thought this Thanksgiving Week: Roth Conversions

    Food for Thought this Thanksgiving Week:  Roth Conversions Should you find yourself with some thinking time over the next week beyond the time gratefully spent with family, friends, food and football, the conversion discussion that follows may provide “food for thought” as a welcome break from more eating! The discussion? Roth Conversions.   Read More...

  • Our Perspective on a Market Correction and the Emergence of the “Robo” Financial Advisor Service Model

    Our Perspective on a Market Correction and the Emergence of the “Robo” Financial Advisor Service Model Given the pedagogical origins of our firm, as our Managing Principal taught at both West Point and the University of Texas-Austin, we enjoy educating our community in the areas of financial planning and investments. We are monitoring and watching indicators climbing to new highs this year, volatility picking up, and technological advances challenging the financial planning industry and individu...  Read More...

  • Background on “myRA” – A New Federal Retirement Savings Program

    For those who chose to listen to or watch President Obama’s State of the Union Speech last month, you may recall his mentioning of the new “myRA” retirement savings program.  We thought it might be helpful to expound on what this program is, and how it relates to the array of other retirement savings options you already have--including, of course, traditional and Roth IRAs, 401(k) and/or 403(b) plans, etc. While many of you will not meet the eligibility requirements for th...  Read More...

  • Our Perspective on the Government Shutdown and its Consequences

    As you have undoubtedly heard by now, a U.S. government shutdown started on October 1st. The question for an increasingly skeptical investing public is: how will this affect the U.S.   Read More...

  • Market Glitches and Tax Efficient Retirement

    As we have been thinking through and putting the finishing edits on our periodic thought piece, the news of the NASDAQ market exchange’s halt in trading for 3 hours starting at 12:14 pm yesterday was unfolding. The industry, and NASDAQ in particular, has been grappling with the vulnerabilities of an increasingly digital world, and the incident is another black eye for the NASDAQ market, which you may recall botched the initial public offering of Facebook (ironically one of the companies that has...  Read More...

  • Pot of Gold All at Once or Turning it Into Lifetime Payments?

    An estimated 10,000 people are retiring every day, and this unprecedented surge of new retirees is expected to last for the next 17 years. Many, perhaps most, will roll their retirement plan assets into an IRA account, and that money--plus Social Security and any taxable retirement accounts they may have--will provide their living expenses for the rest of their lives. This is different from retirees in the past, who often received regular payments from their defined benefit plans--their equivale...  Read More...

  • Should I Pay Off My Mortgage or Invest?

    Should I Pay Off My Mortgage or Invest? Given the current environment of historically low interest rates, we have received a lot of questions about whether to pay off one’s mortgage or consider refinancing. We actively track the mortgage market vis-à-vis our client records, and reach out to them when we see potential savings that a re-finance might bring.   Read More...

  • Market Rules to Remember

    As you know, at Pauley Financial we don't subscribe to the sensationalism of the financial press or prognostications about future market returns. We happened upon two of Bob Farrell's rules recently that reinforce some of the rationale behind this philosophy and approach. These rules may help to rationalize volatile sentiments that are increasingly rampant in investor behavior.  Additionally, new tax planning opportunities await us as "Obamacare" moves ahead (new Medicare tax).   Read More...

  • The Great May Swoon

    Bond Anamolies At Pauley Financial, we believe clients’ portfolios should be customized to match one’s risk tolerance as closely as possible, and should take into account one’s years until retirement. Introducing bond exposure to portfolios usually not only can help reduce risk, but also can diversify one’s exposure geographically. As a firm that is rooted in military service, we believe our role is to ensure our clients are disciplined about maintaining their target exposures to U.S.   Read More...

  • Financial Planning in a Complex World

    Financial Planning in a Complex World - Money matters can be a significant source of stress for individuals and their families. News of the recent overwhelming trading losses at JPMorgan (a firm that has heretofore been considered an industry icon in risk management) is a tell-tale reminder of the vagaries of the financial markets. Adding additional stress is the European situation which, again, has cast itself into the limelight as Greece contemplates leaving the EuroZone and Spanish banks are ...  Read More...

  • "Client Last" Attitude

    "Client Last" Attitude I founded Pauley Financial over 16 years ago because of my passion for helping and serving others. I decided early on that the FeeOnly™ approach of aligning our firm’s interests with that of our clients was best suited for the my personality and, more importantly, best for our clients. We remain steadfast in our belief in this approach, as it ensures that no other financial incentive is provided by any institution to our firm - that we do not receive commissions on the act...  Read More...

  • A Focus on IRAs

    Focus on IRAs Individual Retirement Arrangement is the technical IRS term for what most investors have come to call Individual Retirement Accounts or (“IRAs”). [Note: this article does not address SEP-IRAs – simplified retirement plans for the self-employed.] As the tax deadline of April 17th for 2011’s calendar year contributions approaches, we are writing to ask our clients and friends to focus on this annual opportunity before it passes again. Below are some lesser known attributes and compon...  Read More...