They are the conversations no parent wants to have, and yet they are incredibly consequential.
Six in ten adults don’t have a will in place. For couples with young children, a will designates a guardian to care for your children should you and your spouse pass away. Without a will, it is up to the courts to decide who will care for the children, and those decisions may not be the best for your family. It is also important to take the steps to ensure if they will be financially secure. Proper titling of assets and designations in the will can direct personal property exactly as you wish, so your children (and their caregivers) may never have to worry about a financial burden.
Again, these are difficult conversations to have, but planning ahead means you can ensure your wishes are met if the worst should happen, and you can begin by asking yourself five important questions.
Today marked a 7.6% rise in the market, as the Dow rallied over 1500 points! While this is certainly nice to see, we still may continue to see some additional volatility in our portfolios. Staying invested during bear markets can have a long-term positive impact. The video clip below illustrates how difficult it is to time the market. You will be rewarded for “staying the course” and not moving your investments into cash."
Americans Can Defer for 90 Days
As we continue to face uncertain times, the IRS has made a welcome announcement.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced that the IRS has decided to extend the filing and payment deadline for 2019 tax returns, allowing taxpayers to defer until July 15 without interest or penalties. Mnuchin indicated this move will put $300 billion into the economy during a time of great economic concern over the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The payment deferment is subject to certain caps, however. Individuals may defer tax payments of up to $1 million, while corporations may defer up to $10 million. The limits were purposefully selected to benefit small businesses that report income through S corporations, partnerships or other pass-through entities.
Money is a loaded topic, and many people grow up conditioned not to discuss it. It can make for uncomfortable conversations, certainly, and it’s not advisable to disclose all the details of your financial life, but many people are taking the secrecy too far. In fact, forty percent of Americans now admit to lying outright to their partner about money, or to having a secret credit card or bank account. All these acts of “financial infidelity” can be damaging to a relationship because, regardless of the degree to which they are dishonest, they represent a choice to be deceitful rather than truthful.
So, why are people so apt to lie about money? Well, as with many things, being completely transparent with another person can feel vulnerable, leaving us open to judgment. Conversely, deception allows us to avoid discomfort and maintain the status quo in a relationship. With financial disputes consistently listed in the top reasons for divorce, it’s no wonder 15 million Americans are hiding secret credit cards and bank accounts.
Of course, this behavior isn’t healthy. If you find yourself committing some level of financial infidelity, it is vitally important to uncover the source of your dishonesty – shame, pride, fear or otherwise – in order to have a healthy relationship moving forward.
Dimensional Founder David Booth discusses the lessons from 2019 that investors can apply to 2020.
I have worked in finance for over 50 years, and it seems that every January the same thing happens. Lots of folks look back at last year’s performance to draw conclusions they can use to predict what markets will do in the year to come. I don’t make predictions, but I do think it’s worth answering this question: What are the lessons from 2019 that we can apply to 2020?