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6 Financial Tips for Couples

By Financial Planning

Money can be a major obstacle for couples. Here are a few ways to overcome it.

Do you remember when you first met your partner? So many things about them might have captivated you. Maybe it was their eyes, their hair or their smile. Maybe you started talking and you fell in love with their outlook on life, their fun-loving attitude or their sense of humor. We’re willing to bet, however, it wasn’t your aligned financial philosophies that initially drew you to each other, even if financial stability was high on your list of priorities for potential partners.

At the same time, maybe that should be something you look for in your other half. Nearly 50% of Americans say they argue with their significant other about money, while 41% of Gen Xers and 29% of baby boomers attribute their divorce to financial disagreements [1]. One of our goals is to give you the stability that can eliminate financial stress, trimming your worries when it comes to your happily ever after. Here are six tips for couples looking to achieve their financial goals together!

  1. Communicate Effectively

Of course, communication is the key to a healthy relationship. It’s no secret. In fact, you’ve probably heard this old adage your entire life, but hearing it is different from comprehending it and acting upon it. Additionally, while it’s important when sharing your needs and overcoming conflict, it’s just as important to have open, honest, confident communication about your finances. In our experience, the majority of the battle is normalizing the conversation. Remember, you’re not just combining finances; you’re combining your entire lives, so this discussion shouldn’t be taboo. To make it easier, it can be a good idea to start with simple topics. Go over things like income, how you feel about different retirement accounts, your experience investing or how comfortable you feel with risk. You can then let the conversation naturally evolve to encompass more complex topics, or you can tackle new problems as they arise. It’s key to consider that you’re equal partners, both in life and in money, and it’s crucial to have these discussions before and during a serious relationship.

  1. Choose a Strategy

Once you’ve broken the barrier to financial discussion, it can be helpful to choose a strategy for how you’ll combine your finances. Some couples, for example, find it easiest to simply combine all their assets, giving meaning to the phrase, “What’s mine is yours.” Others, however, may feel more comfortable keeping their assets separate and handling their own personal expenses. Most commonly, a couple will land somewhere in the middle with a few select combined accounts and some solo accounts. This can help each person maintain some of their individuality and independence while also offering some guidance as to who’s responsible for different financial obligations. Spend some time discussing these options with your partner, and be completely open and honest to foster healthy communication in the present and future.

  1. Set Measurable, Realistic Goals

Identify goals that are important to both of you, especially if you want to achieve them together. Whether those are short- term goals or long-term, this gives you something to work toward, unifying your vision and objectives to keep you on the same page. It can also help you maintain control over your financial decisions and your priorities. Ensuring those goals are measurable and realistic is also important. In addition to the satisfaction that comes with watching yourself climb toward your objectives, reaching measurable milestones can be motivating, pushing you and your partner to continue saving and spending with the future in mind.

  1. Budget Effectively

As a couple, you’re a team. That means working together to reach common goals. There’s also power in finding financial strength together, so constructing a budget, controlling your spending, and expressing your thoughts freely can help you grow as a duo. When building that budget, it’s important to start by having a conversation about your priorities. Lay them out clearly, and work together to determine which expenses are “needs” and which expenses are “wants.” You’ll probably want to prioritize essentials, like food, your home, your transportation, and other necessary living expenses. You may want to move on to outstanding debt, determining how much you can realistically pay down in a given period. As partners, you should also hold each other accountable, knowing that sticking to the budget is what’s better for both. Then, know you can tweak your budget as your circumstances change and evolve.

  1. Choose the Right Financial Partner

The right financial partner or professional can help you develop and work toward your goals. Oftentimes, this means finding someone who understands your current circumstances, is able to read you and your partner as people, and is willing to work in your best interests. This can be tricky, but remember, this is your livelihood we’re talking about. It’s more than understandable if you’re skeptical when choosing someone to control your assets. Additionally, if you think it’s the right time to start working with a professional, ask many questions to determine if they’re the right person to help you achieve your goals. While you may feel like you’re on the hot seat as they ask about your saving and spending, it’s just as much of an opportunity for you to assess how effective or helpful they will be in the construction of your plan or portfolio.

  1. Develop an Actionable Plan

Once you understand your cashflow, habits, budget and goals as a couple, it’s time to develop a plan that offers specific direction and sets you into motion. Oftentimes, this is the blueprint for your future, giving both you and your partner rules to adhere to. It should also be comprehensive, meaning that it accounts for each aspect of your life. Determine how you’ll utilize specific retirement accounts, as well as if you’re comfortable having your money exposed to market risk. You can also explore options for insurance policies, which can be crucial if you want to protect your loved ones in the event of the worst. Furthermore, revisit your plan on a regular basis. Maybe your risk tolerance has changed, you feel you can contribute more to your savings vehicles, your beneficiaries have changed, you need different levels of insurance coverage, or you’re ready to graduate into retirement. Your plan plays a key role in achieving both your short- and long-term goals, and having one that you believe in can make all the difference.

We believe that money should never hinder your relationship. If you have any questions about how you can effectively combine and develop a plan for your finances as a couple, give us a call today at  (303) 771-2700!

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-common-behavior-is-the-no-1-predictor-of-whether-youll-get-divorced-2018-01-10

This article is not to be construed as financial advice. It is provided for informational purposes only and it should not be relied upon. It is recommended that you check with your financial advisor, tax professional and legal professionals when making any investment decisions, or any changes to your retirement or estate plans. Your investments, insurance and savings vehicles should match your risk tolerance and be suitable as well as what’s best for your personal financial situation.

Advisory products and services offered by Investment Adviser Representatives through Prime Capital Investment Advisors, LLC (“PCIA”), a federally registered investment adviser. PCIA: 6201 College Blvd., Suite #150, Overland Park, KS 66211. PCIA doing business as Prime Capital Wealth Management (“PCWM”) and Qualified Plan Advisors (“QPA”). Securities are offered by Registered Representatives through Private Client Services, Member FINRA/SIPC. PCIA and Private Client Services are separate entities and are not affiliated.

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Beyond Numbers: Why Your Financial Advisor Should Be Open & Accountable

By Financial Planning

We’re getting smarter with our money. It’s true!

Recent research shows that Baby Boomers typically started saving for retirement when they were 35, Gen X began around 30, millennials started socking away their coins around age 25 and Gen Z, the oldest of whom are now in their early 20s, beat us all by starting to save at 19. If the average retirement age in the United States is about 64, that’s at minimum 30 years of diligently putting away money for our future selves and as much as 45 years of saving for those Gen Zers among us!

That’s up to 45 years of getting up and grinding despite a splitting headache, or a son or daughter playing in the championship game, or aging parents needing care. More than four decades of balancing your life on the head of a pin so that one day you could enjoy what you built. What type of person earns the privilege of being near something as precious as your nest egg?

Sean Clancy, a Denver native and Wealth Advisor at Prime Capital Investment Advisors, helps individuals, business owners, and families to achieve their financial goals through a comprehensive planning approach. What sets Sean apart is his genuine love for connecting with people from all walks of life. Digging into each person’s unique story and understanding who they are and seeing the challenges they’ve faced to reach success is what truly fuels his passion.

In his role, Sean meets clients where they are, recognizing that everyone’s financial situation is unique, with individual stressors and aspirations. Listening to his clients’ concerns, Sean crafts personalized solutions tailored to their specific needs and goals. Clients appreciate Sean for his confidence in financial recommendations, clear communication, adept handling of challenging discussions, and, above all, his commitment to their best interests.

Read More on 5280 Magazine

If you have any questions, we have answers! To see how we can help you explore your options and build a plan for your future, please contact us!

Call: (303) 771-2700

Your 2023 Year-End Financial To-Do List

By Financial Planning

The end of the year is upon us. Here are some tasks to check off before 2024 arrives!

It’s that special time of the year when the holiday spirit is in the air, good friends are always near, and family time fills up our schedules. It’s also the perfect time to take financial inventory and reassess your plan to see if it still aligns with your goals. You may need to make tweaks, as your circumstances have almost certainly changed. Maybe that’s because of a major life event or an unexpected expense, which most people experience or incur over the course of a year. It’s only normal, but it can be helpful to ensure that you’re still on track toward the future you idealized. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for the turn of the calendar!

  1. Review Your Financial Plan

Your financial plan is never meant to be a “set-it-and-forget-it” type of document. Just like the economic landscape, it’s supposed to change, and the end of the year can be the perfect time to make necessary adjustments that get you back on track toward your goals. Sometimes, those changes can even be for the better or because you had a successful year. For example, maybe you are quickly approaching or have already surpassed a goal you set at the beginning of the year. You can recalibrate your approach for both the short and long term to keep yourself motivated. If you find that you’ve suffered an unfortunate setback, that’s also okay. Your plan is a great place to start when trying to get back on track toward your ideal destination.

  1. Adjust Your Monthly Budget

As we near the end of the calendar year, you may have a better idea of your current income and expenditures. Sometimes, that can help you create a more accurate budget, especially if that budget aligns with your financial plan. Additionally, you might have received a nice annual bonus or raise, giving you some more leeway or freedom in your budget, or giving you extra funds to save or create an emergency fund. On the other hand, maybe you had a baby or accrued unforeseen home, auto or medical bills, forcing you to take a moment and reprioritize. Whether you believe you’ve taken a step forward or a step back, mapping out your expenditures and tweaking your budget accordingly can be helpful as we head into 2024.

  1. Review Your Investments

How did your investments perform this year? If you can’t answer that question, it’s probably a good idea to look, especially if you plan on using that money in retirement. Remember, the years leading up to retirement and the first few years of retirement are the most dangerous times to experience market volatility, as you likely take those losses when your asset totals are the highest. It can also be helpful to further diversify your portfolio or build a new asset allocation that aligns better with your goals. Though diversification certainly doesn’t promise either growth or protection, different asset classes can offer different features, potentially giving you the opportunity to achieve protection through varying and potentially less volatile investment or saving vehicles.

  1. Recalibrate Your Retirement Account Contributions [1,2,3,4]

No matter which stage of your career you’re currently at, it’s important to know how much of your income you can contribute to your various retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s, 457 plans, SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs. For example, in 2023, the contribution limit for traditional and Roth IRA accounts is $6,500. That amount will increase to $7,000 for the 2024 tax year. If you’re older than 50, you can also make catch-up contributions up to $1,000. The contribution limit for a 401(k) participant is $22,500 for the 2023 tax year; however, that will rise to $23,000 in 2024. Catch up contributions of up to $7,500 can also be made to 401(k) accounts for those 50 and older. NOTE: These limits are imposed on individuals, not accounts, so the limits are on total contributions to all of your different employer-sponsored accounts or IRAs. It’s also important to remember that you can contribute to your IRA for 2023 until Tax Day of 2024, which is on Monday, Apr. 15. 401(k) contributions, however, must be made by the end of the year.

  1. Take Your RMDs [5,6]

If you must begin taking RMDs in 2023 or you’ve already begun taking RMDs, those funds must be withdrawn by the end of the calendar year to avoid incurring a 25% excise tax. That makes right now the perfect time to ensure that you’ve withdrawn an adequate amount, as there is still time to pull from your qualified retirement accounts. It can also be beneficial to speak to your financial advisor who can help you calculate your RMDs, as they’re typically determined by your expected lifespan and asset total. To see when you must begin taking RMDs, please refer to the chart below!

Date of Birth RMD Age
June 30, 1949, or Before 70 ½
July 1, 1959, to Dec. 31, 1950 72
Jan. 1, 1951, to Dec. 31, 1959 73
Jan. 1, 1960, or After 75
  1. Spend Money Left in Your FSA [7,8]

Flexible savings accounts, or FSAs, are accounts funded by pre-tax money that allow you to use tax-free funds to pay for qualifying health expenses. They can be extremely helpful for those looking for tax advantages for services that are not covered by their health care plan, including deductibles and co-pays. While you may have a grace period provided by your employer, with most FSAs you must spend the money for qualifying health expenses by the end of the year or risk losing it. Some expenses that traditionally qualify include general wellness appointments, annual physicals, visits to specialists, dental cleanings, eyeglasses or in-home care equipment.

Similar to FSAs, HSAs, or health savings accounts, can be used for medical expenses, but the accounts are permanent and stay with the owner. HSAs are tax-deductible and can grow and build up tax-free to cover a long list of medical, health, dental and vision expenses, usually in retirement. In order to open and begin contributing to an HSA, you must purchase a high-deductible health plan that qualifies, or be offered an HDHP through your employer. You cannot contribute to an HSA when you are over the age of 65.

  1. Review Your Workplace Benefits and Beneficiaries

Most benefits plans change on a year-to-year basis, and those changes are typically outlined by your human resources department during the open enrollment period. If your employer provides benefits packages, be sure to go through your benefits guide to know exactly what you’re entitled to and how you can leverage those perks to your advantage. For example, you may be able to select from different health care packages, or you might be able to opt into an HSA or FSA. It’s also important to review beneficiaries who are on your plan, as their needs may differ on a year-to-year basis.

  1. Talk to Your Financial Professional or Advisor

Your financial professional, planner or advisor is meant to be your personal advocate and consultant when it comes to your financial and lifestyle goals. That means they can help you determine whether you’re on track to reach your goals. If not, they can work with you to set more reasonable expectations, but if you find yourself on the right track, they can help you further purpose your money for both the short- and long-term future. Additionally, your advisor should soon be calling to set up an annual meeting with you to discuss updated options, new regulations, developments in the marketplace and more. As we close out the year, now is the perfect time to have that meeting and prepare for new circumstances and the new year.

If you have any questions about your year-end financial to-do list and how you can prepare for the year ahead, please give us a call today! To reach PCIA Denver, call (303) 771-2700, use this form, or contact an individual advisor. 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-ira-contribution-limits
  2. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-401k-and-profit-sharing-plan-contribution-limits
  3. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-catch-up-contributions
  4. https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2023/09/27/smaller-401k-ira-contribution-limit-increases-expected-in-2024/
  5. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-required-minimum-distributions-rmds
  6. https://www.orba.com/what-is-your-required-minimum-distribution-age/
  7. https://www.goodrx.com/insurance/fsa-hsa/hsa-fsa-roll-over
  8. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/082914/rules-having-health-savings-account-hsa.asp

This article is not to be construed as financial advice. It is provided for informational purposes only and it should not be relied upon. It is recommended that you check with your financial advisor, tax professional and legal professionals when making any investment decisions, or any changes to your retirement or estate plans. Your investments, insurance and savings vehicles should match your risk tolerance and be suitable as well as what’s best for your personal financial situation.

Advisory products and services offered by Investment Adviser Representatives through Prime Capital Investment Advisors, LLC (“PCIA”), a federally registered investment adviser. PCIA: 6201 College Blvd., Suite #150, Overland Park, KS 66211. PCIA doing business as Prime Capital Wealth Management (“PCWM”) and Qualified Plan Advisors (“QPA”). Securities are offered by Registered Representatives through Private Client Services, Member FINRA/SIPC. PCIA and Private Client Services are separate entities and are not affiliated.

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Why Long-Term Care is an Important Part of a Financial Plan

By Financial Planning, Long Term Care
It’s National Long-term Care Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to discuss the importance of preparing for the potential need for care.

Financial planning can be a complex process, especially for those looking for a comprehensive plan that accounts for every aspect of their life. That comprehensive plan traditionally includes budgeting, investing, tax-mitigation, estate planning, and as you get closer to retirement, should even include Medicare and Social Security. One aspect that often goes overlooked, however, is planning for long-term care, or the potential of needing this extremely intricate, intimate and pricey care. Let’s go over why it’s important to include long-term care planning as part of your holistic financial plan, as well as a few ways you might be able to mitigate the potential of it draining your savings.

It Can Help You Preserve Your Hard-Earned Assets [1,2,3]

The unfortunate reality is that seven in 10 of today’s 65-year-olds will need some type of long-term care, and 20% will need it for longer than five years. When long-term care can cost more than $100,000 per year for a private room in a nursing home, it’s easy to see how even a short-term stay be detrimental to a financial plan by draining savings and upending long-term plans. Preparing early for the possibility of needing long-term care can help you avoid the stress and pressure of scrambling for the funds or clearing out the savings accounts you’ve worked so hard to grow.

It’s Not Covered by Medicare

A common misconception is that long-term care or extended stays in assisted living or nursing home facilities are covered by Medicare. It does cover some stays in skilled nursing care if, for example, a medical condition has necessitated that level of service; however long-term care is considered a lifestyle expense rather than a medical expense, so it’s not covered by the federal program. That means that even if you work with a financial professional to find the right Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan for you, you may still be lacking the coverage you need, again forcing you to foot a bill that can quickly deplete funds for even the most diligent savers.

It May be Able to Extend Your Independent Lifestyle

Planning for long-term care is about so much more than just the care itself. It’s about giving yourself the opportunity to make life-altering decisions in any scenario. A clearly defined plan to pay for long-term care can help you retain your agency and decision-making power, even if you’re no longer capable of living on your own. It can also be helpful to know that you have a plan in place in the event of the worst, potentially giving you confidence and saving you from the stress that can come with having to make a decision and arrange for your care at the last possible moment.

You Can Shoulder the Burden for Loved Ones

Just as your plan is about more than the care itself, your plan is also about more than you. If you create a comprehensive plan that determines how you’ll be cared for as well as how you’ll pay for that care should you need it, your family may not be subjected to the emotional and financial burden that can come with making those decisions at a moment’s notice, especially if your health and capabilities have deteriorated beyond being sound of mind. Additionally, a plan can give your family the same assurance it gives you, as they can potentially gain confidence that you’ll be in capable hands should you need high-level care for an extended period.

You May Prepare and Gain Access to Better Care

The flexibility you offer yourself by preparing early can also give you access to the quality of care you need, whether that be at-home care or assistance in a long-term living or nursing facility. It can also help you build the financial resources or secure a spot if you need a specific level of care, such as memory care, that often sees openings fill quickly at the best facilities. Furthermore, depending on the saving vehicle you use, you might be able to build more assets you can use to fund your stay. Those funds might help you relieve the stress of finding new methods of payment, relocating to a different facility or falling into the hands of a family member who likely isn’t capable of providing you with the assistance you need.

There Are Modern Options to Pay for It

Modern times have brought about innovative solutions to pay for long-term care. Long-term care policies of old still exist, giving policyholders the option to pay premiums for a service they may never use, but now, long-term care insurance can be tacked onto other types of insurance products, such as permanent life insurance policies, to combine benefits. This means that your long-term care policy can come with the same features as permanent life insurance. This is important because it can potentially eliminate the “use-it-or-lose-it” aspect of long-term care policies of old. The cash value portion of the hybrid policy that is protected and guaranteed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance carrier can be used to pay for long-term care if you need it or as a death benefit for your beneficiaries if you don’t. It’s still important to work with a financial advisor to see if one of these hybrid policies matches your goals.

If you have any questions about how you can prepare to fund long-term care, please give us a call today! You can reach PCIA Denver at 800.493.6226.

Sources:

  1. https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html/
  2. https://acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/how-much-care-will-you-need
  3. https://www.theseniorlist.com/nursing-homes/costs/

This article is not to be construed as financial advice. It is provided for informational purposes only and it should not be relied upon. It is recommended that you check with your financial advisor, tax professional and legal professionals when making any investment decisions, or any changes to your retirement or estate plans. Your investments, insurance and savings vehicles should match your risk tolerance and be suitable as well as what’s best for your personal financial situation.

Advisory products and services offered by Investment Adviser Representatives through Prime Capital Investment Advisors, LLC (“PCIA”), a federally registered investment adviser. PCIA: 6201 College Blvd., Suite #150, Overland Park, KS 66211. PCIA doing business as Prime Capital Wealth Management (“PCWM”) and Qualified Plan Advisors (“QPA”). Securities are offered by Registered Representatives through Private Client Services, Member FINRA/SIPC. PCIA and Private Client Services are separate entities and are not affiliated.

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7800 E Union Ave., Suite 940
Denver, CO 80237

1800.493.6226