EWA Blog

April 17, 2024

In this blog, we will delve into the nuances of credit management, its significance, and strategies for monitoring your credit score. We will navigate the essential aspects of this critical financial metric and provide practical action items for anyone looking to improve or maintain their credit scores.

April 10, 2024

In a world where the gap between the wealthy and the less affluent seems to be widening, individuals who find themselves on the higher end of this spectrum face unique challenges, especially when their financial success is different from their loved ones. The common belief that more money equates to more happiness is something that many affluent individuals discover to be far from the truth. Achieving financial success can bring about its own set of complex issues, particularly in maintaining relationships with family and friends who may not share the same level of wealth.

April 3, 2024

Despite the common belief that elections drastically affect market trends, historical data suggests a more nuanced impact. With the election’s shape now more defined, here are a few helpful insights into how it may influence the financial markets and the broader economy.

March 27, 2024

In the modern financial landscape, navigating the complexities of concentrated stock holdings has emerged as a formidable challenge, especially for executives in the fast-evolving sectors of technology and manufacturing. This challenge has intensified as compensation packages increasingly include substantial allocations of company stock, effectively linking a significant portion of an individual’s net worth to the performance of a single entity. Furthermore, the recent surge in certain stocks has placed investors at a crossroads, presenting the opportunity to weigh the options of selling and facing potential tax implications against the benefits of diversification.

March 20, 2024

Visualizing your life in retirement is about more than just financial security—it’s about creating a life by design. With retirement, the transition from having 8 hours of free time to potentially 15 hours daily is significant. It’s essential to contemplate how this increase in leisure time will impact your daily routine. We suggest taking a detailed inventory of a 24-hour day and comparing and contrasting your current daily activities with those you envision for your retirement. This inventory should include categories such as work, sleep, family time, personal hobbies, and rest. This exercise is not just about recognizing the quantity of free time you’ll have but also about qualitatively enhancing your life during these years. Remember, while retirement may turn every day into Saturday, planning ensures these days are enriching and far from monotonous. Our team has created a short list of tips to consider which will help you envision life and finances when you reach financial independence.

March 13, 2024

In the intricate world of financial planning, individuals often find themselves at the crossroads of various paradoxes and complexities that challenge their decision-making processes. While the journey towards financial security involves a series of calculated steps and strategies, it’s the nuanced understanding of paradoxes that can make the path clearer and more fulfilling. The following blog will expand on the critical aspects of financial planning, shedding light on the vital role of strategic guidance in navigating through life’s financial dilemmas.

March 6, 2024

In the vast and ever-evolving landscape of financial investments, private investments have emerged as an avenue for high-net-worth individuals looking to diversify their portfolios beyond the conventional realms of stocks and bonds. The allure of potentially high returns, though enticing, brings with it a set of complexities and risks that are often not present with more traditional investments.

The Diversity of Private Investments

Private investments are not a singular pillar; they encompass a variety of categories, each with its distinct characteristics, potential benefits, and inherent risks. Understanding these categories is crucial for investors contemplating diversifying their investment strategies.

February 28, 2024

In personal finance, understanding the most effective strategies for monitoring financial health is crucial. Many individuals fall into the trap of overanalyzing every single financial transaction, mistakenly believing that meticulous tracking of every expense is the key to financial stability. However, such practices can lead to unnecessary stress without significantly contributing to financial wellness. With a plethora of tracking methods and financial advice available, distinguishing between what genuinely aids your financial health, and what doesn’t, can be overwhelming. However, the essence of effective financial management lies not in meticulous over-tracking but in understanding and focusing on the factors that truly matter.

February 21, 2024

Estate planning, an essential component of comprehensive financial management, often encounters widespread misunderstandings and complexities. Understanding the intricacies of estate planning is crucial for making informed financial decisions that can significantly impact your family’s future. Estate planning is not only for the ultra-wealthy; it’s vital for anyone looking to secure their financial legacy and ensure their wishes are carried out efficiently and privately.

Among the critical choices families face is the decision between revocable and irrevocable trusts—a decision that impacts the financial well-being and legacy of future generations. This detailed exploration aims to shed light on these pivotal estate planning tools and others, providing clarity and guidance to navigate the intricate landscape of trusts. Read on to explore the basics of estate planning, these two pivotal types of trusts, and the essential components of effective estate planning.

February 13, 2024

The implementation of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) and the introduction of the Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) requirements in 2024 mark significant milestones in the ongoing effort to enhance transparency and combat financial crimes, especially money laundering, within the United States. This blog explains the background of these regulations, their implications for businesses, and how they aim to curb illicit financial activities through increased transparency of true ownership of companies.

February 7, 2024

Crafting a robust financial plan is essential for helping to secure a financial future. In this article, we will highlight five crucial missteps that individuals should avoid when evaluating their financial strategies. Drawing from real-life experiences and insights, we will explore pitfalls associated with Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), hedge funds, indexed universal life insurance, asset commitments, and tax-related scams.

January 31, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of personal finance, credit card rewards programs continue to be a game-changer for savvy travelers. The ability to unlock substantial savings on flights, accommodations, and more makes responsible usage of these programs a key strategy for those seeking to elevate their travel experiences. In this revisit, we delve deeper into the nuances of revamping your travel strategy with credit card points, exploring the potential benefits, common misconceptions, and real-life examples that showcase the incredible value these programs can offer.

January 24, 2024

This weeks blog is a written version of our Quarterly Market Update video in which we will review the events of quarter 4 2023 and provide insights into the economic landscape for quarter 1 2024. We are excited to announce some significant changes to the EWA portfolio, to keep you informed about relevant financial planning topics and discuss some exciting internal developments at EWA.

January 17, 2024

Student loans have become an integral part of the educational journey for millions of individuals pursuing higher education. While they can provide access to valuable opportunities, the burden of repaying these loans can be overwhelming. In this blog post, we will explore strategies  to help effectively manage school loans, including options like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, different repayment plans, and considerations for married couples.

January 10, 2024

Married couples are faced with the decision of whether to file their federal tax returns jointly or separately, and this choice can have significant financial implications. While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) generally encourages couples to file jointly, there are specific situations where filing separately might be a more advantageous financial strategy. In this blog post, we will explore several scenarios where it makes sense to file taxes jointly and where it makes sense to file taxes separately, focusing solely on the financial aspects of this decision.

January 3, 2024

The landscape of college athletics is constantly changing, specifically in reference to Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals. There are many topics to consider including how they impact student-athletes’ finances, the need for basic financial literacy and tax considerations that come with these deals.

December 27, 2023

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is a topic that should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, especially when it comes to safeguarding your finances. In this comprehensive guide, we will break down three essential aspects of cybersecurity: what you can do as an individual, how to choose a trustworthy financial advisor, and the importance of a reliable custodian for your assets.

December 20, 2023

An S Corporation, or S Corp for short, blends liability protection with tax advantages for business owners. Although an S Corp can be as large as 100 people, the focus of this article is on single member LLCs that file as an S Corp, emphasizing the strategic balance between W-2 wages and S Dividends. Understanding this dynamic is crucial for minimizing tax liabilities and optimizing retirement contributions within the complex framework of S Corp taxation.

December 13, 2023

As 2023 is coming to a close, the IRS has released its tax brackets for the new year, along with several other important financial planning limits. In this guide, we explain several things that you should know in order to set up your financial plan for success in the new year.

December 6, 2023

In the realm of financial management, consulting a financial advisor can be a smart decision. A proficient financial advisor can assist you in navigating the intricacies of investments, retirement planning, and wealth management. Nonetheless, not all financial advisors are equally trustworthy. There are times when individuals encounter unscrupulous advisors who prioritize their own interests over their clients’. To safeguard your financial health, it’s vital to be cautious and attentive to the warning signs when working with a financial advisor. In this blog post, we’ll unpack some of the crucial warning signs to be aware of.

 

 

November 30, 2023

In this blog, we dive into mortgages to help you make an informed decision for your finances. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, deciding between a 15-year and a 30-year mortgage is a big deal that can seriously impact your financial future.

November 21, 2023

Stock options are a popular form of employee compensation, especially in the tech industry. They offer the potential for significant financial gains, but they also come with complex tax implications. One important decision you may face when granted stock options is whether or not to make an 83(b) election. In this blog, we’ll explore  the 83(b) election, when you should consider making it, and why it can be a valuable strategy for managing your stock options.

November 15, 2023

A good financial plan is not just a document filled with numbers and charts; it’s a comprehensive roadmap to help you achieve your financial goals and secure your financial future. Whether you’re striving to buy your dream home, retire comfortably, or simply manage your money better, a well-structured financial plan is your guiding light. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key characteristics of a well thought out financial plan that can help lead you toward financial success.

November 8, 2023

Starting a new job is an exciting time in your life. Not only does it bring fresh opportunities for career growth and personal development, but it also presents a chance to reevaluate and optimize your financial situation. Whether you’re just entering the workforce or transitioning to a new position, it’s essential to be proactive and deliberate about managing your finances. In this blog post, we’ll explore some key financial considerations to keep in mind when embarking on a new job.

November 1, 2023

Managing your financial documents effectively is essential for both your peace of mind and your financial well-being. From tax returns and bank statements to insurance policies and investment records, keeping these documents secure and organized is crucial. In this blog post, we will discuss some practical steps to help you achieve this.

October 25, 2023

Retirement represents not just the end of a career, but the beginning of a new chapter filled with possibilities. To truly embrace the freedom this phase of life offers, it’s important to lay a solid financial foundation through a well-structured budget. As you embark on this retirement journey, understanding the nuances of budgeting becomes paramount. In this blog, we delve into the essential elements of creating a retirement budget, essential for maintaining the potential for financial security throughout your golden years.

October 18, 2023

Finding oneself nestled between the demands of raising young children and caring for aging parents can place one firmly within the “sandwich generation”, which is a demographic metaphorically sandwiched between financial and emotional stressors on both sides. The dual role of being a caregiver to both parents and children brings an array of challenges, notably in the psychological and financial realms. This blog will delve into understanding these implications and offer a way forward through these stressful situations.

October 11, 2023

Managing your finances can feel overwhelming, especially as your financial goals become more intricate. Whether you’re planning for retirement, saving for a major purchase, or simply aiming to optimize your finances, seeking the assistance of a financial advisor can prove to be immensely valuable. This article will delve into the primary advantages of collaborating with a financial advisor and why it could be a wise decision for your financial future.

October 4, 2023

As you approach retirement, it’s crucial to gain a clear understanding of how your tax situation is about to undergo a significant transformation. Transitioning from the realm of working as a W2 employee to retirement brings a new set of tax considerations. In this blog post, we’ll explore how taxes evolve, moving from federal income taxes, FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare taxes), and state and local taxes during your working years to a new landscape involving retirement account withdrawals, pension income, and Social Security benefits.

September 27, 2023

When it comes to financial planning, having the right credit tools at your disposal is a crucial consideration. Traditional loans and credit cards might not always provide the flexibility and favorable terms you need. This is where secured lines of credit potentially come into play. In this blog, we discuss secured lines of credit, provide examples of their practical applications in financial planning, and lastly offer some pros and cons to be aware of before implementing.

September 20, 2023

Estate planning is a critical aspect of securing your family’s financial future. This blog post will provide a comprehensive breakdown of estate planning, with a specific focus on the differentiation between revocable and irrevocable trusts. Lastly, we delve deeply into the benefits of Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATs), an irrevocable trust designed for married couples.

September 13, 2023

By now, most people are familiar with the various credit card rewards programs available for airlines, hotels, and more. When used responsibly, these cards can become invaluable tools, potentially saving thousands on travel expenses.

September 6, 2023

As financial advisors, many of our clients have asked us questions about real estate investing. This blogpost focuses on important considerations from a tax and financial planning standpoint. Our firm recently released a podcast on this topic specifically, and you can listen to this here:

1.Click here to listen on Spotify.

2.Click here to listen on Apple Music.

3.Click here to watch on YouTube.

August 29, 2023

With Pension plans becoming less common and Social Security payments potentially not meeting one’s basic expenses in retirement, many retirees often wonder how to supplement their retirement income to support a sustained lifestyle. From this perspective, an annuity can seem worthwhile to one’s financial plan.

While often discussed as a guaranteed income stream that can participate in the upside of the stock market but without the downside risk,  many annuities can have certain pitfalls that make them generally unsuitable for most financial plans. This blog (as a follow-up to the podcast we did on the subject), will seek to explore the different types of annuities available in the marketplace and the issues associated with them.

August 23, 2023

For many, tax planning is not a simple filing every April. Many Americans seek a more proactive approach and coordinate their tax planning with their full financial picture. On that note, it is common for many to seek deductions and credits to lower their taxable income, ultimately reducing their tax liability to the federal government. The most common deduction available to each taxpayer is the option to either take the standard, allowable deduction, or itemize their deductions. This blog seeks to break down these two options to help the taxpayer determine the deduction that allows the most on a case-by-case basis.

August 16, 2023

Congratulations!  You’ve done a great job investing and building your nest egg for retirement. You’ve made it to the end of your career and you’re now ready to enjoy some well-deserved free time with loved ones.  Although there’s plenty to look forward to on the horizon, it’s important to ensure the proper planning is in place.

August 9, 2023

In the past few weeks, you might have come across headlines discussing the United States Treasuries rating being downgraded by Fitch, a US credit agency. In this article, we aim to provide you with a clear perspective on the credit downgrade and its potential impact on your financial journey, while also encouraging a sense of calm amidst the noise.

August 2, 2023

Facing divorce can be an unexpected and challenging chapter in anyone’s life, and it’s essential to address not only the emotional aspects but also the practical ones, particularly when it comes to financial planning. In this blog post, we will discuss financial considerations during and after a divorce and share a few tips you should keep in mind throughout the settlement process.

 

July 26, 2023

Sticking to a workout plan or diet regimen involves time, discipline, and progress tracking. Sticking to a financial plan is quite similar. However, there are many different measures out there to “track” the success of your financial plan. Finding a measure to determine how well your financial plan is performing can be quite difficult, even overwhelming. This blog seeks to debunk a few commonly used measures of financial health, while at the same time focusing on a few measures that can be a good sign towards ultimate financial freedom.

July 19, 2023

A recent study by The Williams Group found that seven in ten families lose their fortune by the second generation and nine of ten families lose their wealth by the third generation. With this data in mind, a consistent theme and goal amongst high-net-worth individuals is that of a successful wealth transfer to the next generation. Oftentimes, gifting money to children or grandchildren is a smart way to help strike a balance between helping the next generation without enabling them. An important consideration with this strategy is the avoidance of gift taxes, and gifting as efficiently as possible.

July 12, 2023

Between sharing personal and professional goals, creating a financial plan, and maintaining systematic savings habits throughout the years, building a strong relationship with a financial advisor and their team can take tremendous time and effort. Changing wealth management firms can be a difficult but potentially necessary decision if your needs are not being met, or if the value can be extended even further with a new firm.

July 5, 2023

Effective wealth management involves not only maximizing returns but also minimizing fees. High fees can erode your investment gains over time, so it’s essential to adopt strategies that help reduce these costs. In this blog post, we will explore five practical tips to help you lower fees on your wealth management and enhance your financial success.

June 28, 2023

One of the most impactful decisions an individual or family can make is creating a written financial plan. But ultimately, even the most fundamentally sound financial plans can be thrown off by one mistake. Steering clear of these five mishaps will help ensure you stay on track.

June 21, 2023

In June 2023, a bill that suspended the nation’s debt ceiling was passed by the legislative branch and signed into law by the President– preventing a government default that threatened economic implications for both the United States and the global economy. In this blog, we will explore the details behind the newly signed bill, the United States debt ceiling, and how these changes can impact you and your financial plan moving forward.

June 20, 2023

“Don’t move the way fear makes you move” – Rumi 

In a world filled with uncertainty and occasional turmoil, it’s natural to question the stability of your investments and wonder if you should be making quick decisions in response. However, even when it’s difficult  it’s essential to remind ourselves of the power of long-term investing and the benefits it brings.

June 14, 2023

Often overlooked and misunderstood, disability income insurance is one of the most vital components to a sound financial plan. Without the proper type and amount of disability insurance in place, even the best financial plans can be sent off track in the event of a disability. While most may have a general idea of their disability insurance plan through their employer, it’s important to have a full understanding of what that coverage offers and if there are any gaps in that plan. Here are a few frequently asked questions that are important to understand regarding disability insurance.

June 7, 2023

Long-term care planning is an important consideration for individuals and families as they age, but it can often be a complex process. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of long-term care planning, including the types of care available, the costs associated with care, and the options for financing care. We will also discuss the importance of planning ahead and offer tips for creating a long-term care plan that meets your needs and goals. Whether you are just starting to think about long-term care or are already in the midst of planning, this article will provide valuable insights and guidance to help you make informed decisions.

May 31, 2023

With technology getting more advanced, cybercrime has unfortunately become a pressing issue in recent years for investors across the world. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, cybersecurity complaints totaled 847,376 in 2021, an all-time high, resulting in $6.9 billion worth of consumer losses.

May 24, 2023

Buying a home is a significant purchase that requires careful planning and consideration. From getting preapproved for a mortgage to budgeting for all-in costs, there are many factors to consider when buying a home. This blog post covers a few tips to help you navigate the home-buying process. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or this is a move to an upgraded house, these tips will help you make a sound purchase and potentially avoid costly mistakes.

May 16, 2023

A question clients often have for advisors is, “when is the best time to invest?” Specifically, clients often wonder what is the best way to have their dollars outside of their emergency fund “work” for them in the most efficient matter. As an important aside, investing into equities should be done with a long-term time horizon, specifically earmarked for mid and long-term goals. 

May 10, 2023

Starting the college journey is a significant milestone for both the parents and students. It is a time filled with anticipation and excitement in preparing for such a big change. This blog highlights 5 tips to help your kids achieve a successful transition to college. 

May 3, 2023

As the calendar turned to 2023, the IRS dictated major changes that could be relevant to your financial plan. Here are at least ten adjustments to consider moving forward that could apply to your financial, retirement, and tax planning. 

April 24, 2023

Running a business can be one of the most rewarding, but also stressful things that any entrepreneur has to deal with. Many business owners end up telling us that they are most stressed because they feel like the business is running them, rather than them running the business.

April 18, 2023

Retirement can be a challenge, but with the right tips, you can make sure it’s a smooth transition!  Find out the 5 common mistakes that retirees make, and how to avoid them!

April 11, 2023

Defined and dependable investment principles are the foundation for any successful financial plan. At EWA, we appreciate the ability to discuss our principles in conjunction with Nick Murray– a former financial advisor with over 50 years of experience in the industry. His book, “Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth” is sent to each of our new and existing clients, as it conveys many of our shared investment philosophies and principles. Here are some of the top takeaways from “Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth.”

April 4, 2023

Money is the number one cause of stress in the United States. According to a recent American Psychological Association (APA) study, 72% of Americans felt stressed about money at some point in the previous month.

With the right systems in place, finances can be automated so that you are making decisions for your life out of design, rather than default.

March 27, 2023

For those who are charitably inclined, there are many ways to give to your favorite causes and organizations. In this blog post, we will describe two popular options- Donor Advised Funds and Qualified Charitable Distributions.

March 20, 2023

Many often wonder: How can I best save for retirement? Outside of a workplace retirement plan, there are seemingly many different investment vehicles at one’s disposal to save for the long-term. One of the most tax-efficient vehicles to save for retirement is the Roth IRA, introduced as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. Here are five key advantages to investing in a Roth IRA:

March 15, 2023

One of the biggest paradoxes that exist in a financial plan is simply put: the best savers are often the worst spenders.

This is because they are always looking for ways to save money, even if it means sacrificing their own comfort or convenience. They are frugal, disciplined, and diligent when it comes to managing their finances. And as a result, they are able to put away large sums of money over time. But all that saving comes at a cost.

March 13, 2023

Silicon Valley Bank is all over the news headlines and is the hottest topic in the finance industry this week. Silicon Valley Bank is a normal bank for individuals and businesses. They are the 16th largest bank in the United States. However, as the name suggests, many of their customers are tech companies and startups in Silicon Valley. This blog will help explain the bank run that happened last week and how it could impact your financial planning.

March 6, 2023

Financial planning can reach a lot of areas in life. In this blog post, we will share 10 decisions that you can make to help ensure your finances are working as a support system for you.

March 1, 2023

High net worth families have a unique set of stresses. Seemingly every day, they are faced with a myriad of decisions that could have a long-term effect on their financial stability. In this blog post, we’ll explore the five biggest stressors for high-net-worth families and discuss how to handle them.

February 21, 2023

Do you love to travel but hate the thought of spending a fortune on airfare and hotels? Well, did you know that you can travel the world for free (or almost free) by using your credit card points? It’s true! So, whether you’re planning your next vacation or just dreaming about it, read on for some helpful advice!

February 13, 2023

Married couples have the option to file their federal tax returns jointly or separately. While the IRS mostly rewards couples to file jointly, there are some scenarios where filing separately could make sense. In this blog, we’re going to break down a few examples of where it would make sense to file taxes jointly, and where it would make sense to file taxes separately– strictly from a financial standpoint.

February 7, 2023

It’s tempting to try and time the market. After all, if you can predict when the market is going to go up or down, you can make a lot of money! Unfortunately, this is not something that Is feasible to do on a consistent basis and many studies have concluded that trying to time the market can actually be very harmful to your investment portfolio. In this blog post, we will discuss why it is better to invest for the long term and avoid the urge to ‘do something’ during times of volatility.

January 31, 2023

When it comes to tax planning, one of the most important decisions you can make is where to hold your assets. If you aren’t tax efficient, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

January 23, 2023

Equity compensation is becoming more and more popular as a form of compensation, especially for people who work for publicly traded companies. There are different types of equity compensation, such as restricted stock units, non-qualified stock options, or incentive stock options, but this article is going to focus on how to maximize an employee stock purchase plan (or ESPP).

January 17, 2023

Are you a physician who is about to negotiate your first contract? Don’t worry – you’re not alone!

Many physicians feel uneasy when negotiating contracts, but it’s important to remember that it’s a negotiation process.

January 10, 2023

In order to sustain long-term growth, it’s important for all businesses to develop an internal operating system by which its team members can organize their energy. It’s a way that people inside the organization can meet, solve problems, clarify roles, and plan for the future. EWA utilizes EOS, or Entrepreneurial Operating System, for these purposes.

January 4, 2023

Medicare surcharges can be a huge drain on your retirement savings. If not planned around carefully, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in extra premiums each year. In this blog post, we will discuss how to help avoid Medicare surcharges and keep more money in your pocket during retirement.

December 28, 2022

In 2019, the Secure Act was signed into law– signaling positive changes to the United States retirement system for both employers and employees. As we enter 2023, we could be seeing more positive changes soon on the horizon.

December 20, 2022

Are you nearing retirement age and wondering how to maximize your social security benefits? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans are asking themselves these very same questions. This blog will discuss five tips that will help you maximize your social security benefits. Follow these tips and you’ll be closer to achieving the comfortable retirement you desire.

December 14, 2022

When it comes to saving for retirement, there are a lot of options to choose from. Two of the most popular are the SEP IRA and the 401(k). But which one is better for business owners? In this blog post, we will break down the pros and cons of each plan to help you make an informed decision about which is right for you.

December 7, 2022

One of the most important decisions small business owners make is what type of retirement plan to adopt. There are many options, but one that is growing in popularity is the cash balance pension plan. This type of plan has several benefits that make it a great choice for small businesses that have owners in the highest tax bracket. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key benefits of cash balance pension plans and why they could make sense for your financial plan.

November 30, 2022

Most high-net-worth clients consider a successful wealth transfer to the next generation as one of their highest priorities. Balancing helping the next generation get a head start without being an enabler, or doing more harm than good, is a delicate balance that requires extreme care. With this idea in mind, many often wonder: Should I gift to my children outright while I am living? There are many positives to outright gifting: getting money out of your estate and seeing how your children actually utilize the gift being two of the most significant.

November 22, 2022

For the last few years, it’s no secret that the housing market has been booming in many parts of the country. If you’re thinking of buying a home, it’s important to make sure you do not overspend and wind up feeling “house poor” with no room for fun vacations or savings for future goals. A house should be a place of comfort and stability, not a source of stress. In this blog post, we will discuss two stress tests that will help you consider how much house you can comfortably afford.

With interest rates at the highest they have been in the last 10 years, we have narrowed it down to two calculations to help ensure you do not overextend yourself.

November 16, 2022

One of the most important financial decisions one will make in their lifetime is buying a home. There are many factors to consider when weighing this decision: How much house can I afford? What location makes the most sense? How much of a down payment should I apply to the purchase? What are the financing terms? What are the resale prospects?

November 7, 2022

This week, citizens of the United States will decide which political party controls the legislative branch, as well as several gubernatorial seats. Midterm elections will be held for 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the Senate, and 35 gubernatorial seats. These elections leave many wondering what impacts these elections will have on the equity markets as a whole.

November 1, 2022

The annual inflation rate in the United States has hit a decade-long high of 8.2%. While households may be feeling the impacts of this in their day-to-day lives, there are some positives to note. Looking ahead in 2023, households may see increased tax savings after certain credits and deductions have been significantly increased. In the same light, there are increased retirement savings opportunities.

October 26, 2022

Arguably the most important investment vehicle to help you get on track for your long-term financial goals is maximizing your workplace retirement plan. Whether you have access to a 401(k) or 403(b), here are ten things you may not know about your retirement plan.

October 18, 2022

The standing room temperature of a household is frequently a point of contention. However, whether you prefer the temperature on the cooler side or warmer side, once a number is set on the thermostat, you’ll soon adjust to that specific temperature in the room.

Budgeting on a monthly basis is a very similar analogy. If there is not a set system in place, it is very easy to seemingly adjust to your monthly income and lose track as to how much is saved versus spent each month.

October 12, 2022

Tip 1 Before retirement is “live”, consider how you will spend your time.

Out of the 24 hours in a day, the average American sleeps for 7 hours and works for 9 hours, which leaves 8 hours of “free time” per day.

October 5, 2022

Tax payments are one of the biggest pain points for many business owners. Federal, state, self-employment, and payroll taxes are just some of the obligations that a business owner must plan for throughout the course of the year. Here are a few tax tips that business owners can implement to be as tax efficient as possible.

September 27, 2022

Throughout the first three quarters of 2022, the United States economy has seen significant short-term volatility, with the S&P 500 seeing a 23% pullback in the summer months. While still maintaining sound investment principles of asset allocation, diversification, and having a long-term time horizon for money invested, many investors are seeking ways to take advantage of this volatile time.

September 21, 2022

For some clients, being charitably inclined is at the top of their list of goals with financial planning. Although donating to a charity is generally not done solely for the tax benefits, as the goal is to help a good cause, there are strategies that can be used to make sure that all tax benefits are being maximized when making charitable donations. We always want to make sure that a client’s financial plan is in line with their family’s values, and many clients see philanthropy as a way of living up to their values.

September 14, 2022

If you work for a state or local government, public school, or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit hospital, you may be eligible to contribute to a 457 retirement plan.

Whether you should contribute to such an account depends on a number of factors.

September 7, 2022

The average person will change jobs 5-7 times in their working lives, meaning approx. 30% of the labor force will change jobs every 12 months (Source: U.S. Department of Labor). A job change can be both exciting and stressful, so it is important to have a sound plan to help ensure that your finances are in line before and after making a switch.

August 31, 2022

Target date funds are one of the most popular investment options in retirement plans, especially within 401k plans. Target date funds, also known as life-cycle or age-based funds, are funds (generally a mutual fund) that makes an investor’s asset allocation more conservative as they get closer to a target date or age.

August 24, 2022

Choosing the right financial advisor can be one of the most important decisions that someone makes in their lifetime. A very important note when choosing an advisor is the method in which the advisor is compensated. Clients should be aware of all conflicts of interests. Here are a few compensation related conflicts of interest to consider:

August 17, 2022

If you have ever read financial headlines, I’m sure you are familiar with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but have you ever wondered what it actually is?

August 10, 2022

Trusts are one piece of an estate plan that can help bring some structure to passing assets to the next generation. There are many different types of trusts, but the focus in this article will be around revocable and irrevocable trusts. Which is the “better” option will depend on the financial situation and estate planning goals.

Here are a few key definitions when referring to trusts/estate planning:

August 3, 2022

Next to planning for retirement, planning to pay for children’s education is generally the biggest goal we see clients have, and to some, it is even more important than retirement.

A lot of clients want to work well past normal retirement age, but certain protections end around age 65 (such as disability insurance). We generally recommend prioritizing:

July 27, 2022

Direct indexing is a sophisticated investment strategy that involves directly purchasing a limited number of individual equities that represent a major market index rather than purchasing an ETF or mutual fund that mirror the entire index. In the past, transaction costs through fees or commissions have made it difficult and expensive to implement direct indexing but with the rise of zero commission trading it is now much easier to implement with lower cost.

July 20, 2022

Having a sound investment strategy is crucial to giving an investor greater peace of mind, rather than relying solely on investment returns when making life decisions. At EWA, we follow 4 main investment pillars that help allow our clients to live life by design, rather than default, and make life choices without relying entirely on market returns.

July 13, 2022

There is often a debate between whether 401k/IRA contributions should be made on a pre-tax or Roth basis, but at EWA we generally recommend maxing out all possible Roth accounts each year. Since first allowed in 2010, the back door Roth IRA has become popular for high income earners, that are over the income limit to contribute directly into a Roth IRA, to take advantage of getting money into Roth.

July 6, 2022

With inflation rates hitting a 40 year high in 2022, many investors are looking for investments to hedge against high inflation, or ways to take advantage of the high inflation rates. Many clients have asked us about investing in series I bonds, and if they are a good investment.

June 29, 2022

As you have probably seen through news headlines, the federal reserve announced a 0.75% interest rate hike earlier in June. This was the largest rate hike since 1994, and they are expected to continue to increase interest rates through the rest of 2022.

Before panicking, let’s get a clear understanding of what this means and how it will impact your financial plan…

June 22, 2022

Due to the historically low interest rate environment the past few years, many investors often ask, “why should I ever hold bonds in my portfolio?”

June 15, 2022

A good plan can help you get through the worst of times.

Our main goal at EWA is to help ensure that clients can maintain their standard of living in different markets, and to have the peace of mind during various market conditions.

June 8, 2022

If you have followed financial headlines in the past few years, you have probably wondered if you should be investing in Bitcoin, or some form of cryptocurrency. But have you ever wondered what place it has in your financial plan?