Rabu, 22 November 2017

This Thanksgiving, Don’t Just Stuff the Turkey

Top of mind for many individuals is whether or not they have accumulated sufficient assets to retire and if they’re saving enough to meet their goals and objectives. While determining an approximate amount is a more in-depth exercise involving numerous variables, here are a few tips to help you build a better nest egg:

 

  • Update your budget Creating and utilizing a budget can help establish spending patterns, reveal inefficiencies, and uncover excess cash flow and opportunities for savings. Usually, budgets should not exceed more than a year and should be calculated on a monthly basis. When putting together the budget, make sure to keep it simple; if there is too much detail, you risk making it too difficult to implement and monitor.
  • Make sure you have a healthy emergency reserve – This account can serve as a buffer to your retirement accounts should something unexpected come up. A general rule of thumb is to keep at least 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in liquid assets to protect against unforeseen circumstances (i.e., job loss, disability, unexpected car or home expense, etc.). This fund may consist of checking/savings accounts, money market funds, or short-term CDs.
  • Save your tax refund If you do overestimate your taxes and wind up with receiving a refund, consider using it to fund your IRA, pad your emergency reserve, or pay down debt.
  • Leverage your employer match – Employees fortunate enough to receive these contributions should increase savings to at least the minimum amount necessary to receive the full company contribution. Outside of that, individuals can contribute up to the maximum that the plan allows.
  • Contribute the maximum amount (if you can) – For 2017, employees can contribute up to $18,000 a year to 401(k)s and $5,500 to IRAs. Upon turning age 50, people can begin to make annual catch-up contributions which are $6,000 for company retirement plans and $1,000 for IRAs. In addition, the tax benefits of these plans can allow for increased growth.
  • Check your credit score – Establishing good credit is important for debt management purposes, since it is integral to obtaining loans and securing favorable interest rates. If you have existing debt, you may wish to consider refinancing. The lower your interest rates on loans, the more money in your pocket each month and the more that can be saved.
  • Invest in the market – Contributing as much as is feasible to your retirement accounts is the first step in savings, but equally as important is investing wisely. Overcoming the impact of inflation, while also growing your money, requires prudent diversification and allocation.
  • Consider a new plan – Self-employed individuals should review their current retirement plan to determine if it’s the most effective in terms of cost and allowable contributions. Some of the more popular plans include SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and the Individual 401(k), each having different pros and cons.
  • Adjust your tax withholding – If you generally overpay your taxes, you are not only reducing the amount you could be saving, you are also losing out on any compounding interest that could have been accrued on those funds. For these reasons, it is wise to estimate your taxes due ahead of time so that you can withhold the proper amount each year.

First Seen right here: This Thanksgiving, Don’t Just Stuff the Turkey

Senin, 13 November 2017

Dunston Financial Group Featured In Chicago Life on How to Prepare for Retirement

 

At Dunston Financial Group, we work with pre-retirees and retirees on a daily basis. If you're preparing for retirement, here's a really helpful article from Tom Groenfeldt, writing on behalf of Chicago Life Magazine, that features some of our own thoughts from the team here at Dunston Financial Group. This is a digital magazine, and you'll find the article on pages 34-35.

 

Originally Posted on: Dunston Financial Group Featured In Chicago Life on How to Prepare for Retirement

Jumat, 10 November 2017

Dunston Financial Group Welcomes Stephanie McElheny, CFP®, ChSNC®, EA to the Team

Stephanie McElheny, CFP®, ChSNC®, EA 

Director of Financial Planning

Dunston Financial Group would like to welcome Stephanie McElheny to the team! A Certified Financial Planner™ professional with more than seven years of industry experience, Stephanie is passionate about identifying opportunities and implementing comprehensive financial planning solutions for both individuals and businesses. As a Chartered Special Needs Consultant™ and an Enrolled Agent, Stephanie’s specific expertise includes special needs planning as well as individual and business taxation.

Prior to joining Dunston Financial Group, Stephanie was the Manager of Financial Planning, and an Assistant Vice President, at PNC Investments. She led a team of 13 professionals who provided financial planning services and solutions to more than 750 advisors across the country. Previously, Stephanie acted as both the Assistant Director of Financial Planning and a Registered Investment Advisor for Hefren-Tillotson, a mid-size wealth management firm. During her tenure with Hefren, Stephanie was responsible for reviewing and auditing financial plans for accuracy and completeness as well as acting as a lead content creator for the blog, newsletter, and radio spots.

A Pittsburgh native, Stephanie served as President and Symposium Chair of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), among other roles. She also spent time on the pro-bono committee, offering financial literacy education to seniors, veterans, and underprivileged families.

Outside of work, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve, and their dog, Myron. She is an outdoor enthusiast who loves hiking, camping, cycling, and snowboarding. Stephanie also takes great pride in cheering on her hometown sports teams and alma mater – the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

 

 

Article Source on: Dunston Financial Group Welcomes Stephanie McElheny, CFP®, ChSNC®, EA to the Team

Jumat, 20 Oktober 2017

New Additions to the Dunston Financial Group Team

Ryan Bowman, CFP®

Associate Wealth Planner

With more than five years of experience helping individuals, families, and business owners with their unique financial planning needs, Ryan thrives on creating customized financial plans that help clients meet their financial objectives. Ryan strives to develop strong, trusting relationships with every client he serves, and he views every relationship as an opportunity to serve.

In addition to being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, Ryan is a graduate of the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and holds a BSBA in Finance. During college, Ryan worked as a research/planning intern at a small registered investment advisory firm, and he developed a passion for personal financial planning. Ryan later went on to become a key team member for an investment advisory firm that managed more than $16 billion in client assets.

Prior to college, Ryan served four years in the U.S. Army as an Infantryman. Serving two deployments in Iraq, Ryan earned the Combat Infantryman Badge. Because of his service in the U.S. military, Ryan is passionate about working with military and veteran families.

Ryan loves spending time with his wife, Stephanie, and their pets: Blue (dog) and Buttons (cat).  Ryan also likes the outdoors, and especially enjoys skiing, hiking, and cycling. He is an avid St. Louis Blues fan and, like all native St. Louisans, he enjoys Cardinal’s baseball. Ryan is also a free agent football fan (former St. Louis Rams’ fan) and is excited to now live in Broncos Country.

Rosanna Sabian

Administrative Assistant

Rosanna brings 10 years of business administration experience to the Dunston Financial Group team. Prior to her move to Denver she was an office manager at a CPA office for the past 7 years. Her love for client relations and servicing makes her perfect for her role. Rosanna strives to provide clients with the highest level of customer service and to form lifelong client bonds. Since joining Dunston Financial Group her goals are to help grow the business and assist her team in accomplishing tasks and projects.

As a recent new resident of Denver, Rosanna loves to spend time with her husband, Kosal, and exploring their new hometown. Rosanna is also a major foodie, and she’s excited that she has a plethora of new places to try. She is also looking forward to experiencing all the seasons, including living in a state with snow, and doing a lot of outdoor activities.

First Seen on: New Additions to the Dunston Financial Group Team

Rabu, 11 Oktober 2017

Moving to Be Near the Kids in Retirement: Dunston Financial Group in Kiplinger Magazine

"The majority of retirees don’t have to move to get more face time with adult children: More than 50% of older households live within 10 miles of at least one child, according to the Health and Retirement Study, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. But for those who live farther away, the arguments for and against moving closer to them can be equally persuasive." Read more...

Article Source right here: Moving to Be Near the Kids in Retirement: Dunston Financial Group in Kiplinger Magazine

Selasa, 26 September 2017

Money Saving Tips via The New York Times

As financial planners, saving money is at the heart of financial success, and we love it when we hear about the creative ways people find to be frugal. The New York Times recently asked its readers to send in some of their favorite money saving tips, and we thought it would be helpful to repost them here.

Article Source over here: Money Saving Tips via The New York Times

Senin, 25 September 2017

Should You Invest in Cryptocurrency? Dunston Financial Group Featured in CNBC

"Last spring, a man walked in to Dunston Financial Group in a jubilant mood. He told the firm's founder, Lynn Dunston, that he'd put all of his savings and retirement funds into cryptocurrency, the digital tokens that can be traded from person-to-person anywhere in the world.

'It's a real concern when you hear about anyone putting all of their money into highly speculative investments,' Dunston said."

Read the rest of the story and our thoughts on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies here.

First Seen right here: Should You Invest in Cryptocurrency? Dunston Financial Group Featured in CNBC