Should you participate in your company’s employee stock purchase plan?
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).
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.
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.
How The Secure Act 2.0 Could Impact Your Financial Plan
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.
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.
Retirement Planning for Business Owners: SEP IRAs vs 401(k)
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.
Does A Cash Balance Pension Plan Make Sense For You?
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.
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.
TWO STRESS TESTS TO ENSURE YOU DO NOT FEEL “HOUSE POOR” AFTER A PURCHASE
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.
Which is a better financial decision: Renting or Buying a home?
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?
HOW MIDTERM ELECTIONS CAN IMPACT YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 often overlooked tax tips for small business owners
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
How to be a tax efficient investor through direct indexing
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.
Principles to follow for maximizing your investment strategy
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.
Do you know if your employer retirement plan allows for “mega” back door Roth contributions?
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.
Should Series I bonds be considered as an investment due to high inflation?
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.
Will rising interest rates impact your financial plan?
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…
Should cryptocurrency be part of your financial plan?
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?
In 15 minutes we can get to know you – your situation, goals and needs – then connect you with an advisor committed to helping you pursue true wealth.
EWA, LLC dba Equilibrium Wealth Advisors, is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm providing investment advisory and financial planning services to clients.
Securities are offered through Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC and National Financial Services LLC (collectively, “Fidelity”), member FINRA/SIPC. Investments in securities and insurance products are not insured by any state or federal agency.
To view EWA’s Public Disclosure, registration, form ADV, and Part 2B’s click here.
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