Health savings accounts (HSAs) are one way to mitigate the effects of the ever-increasing costs of healthcare in the U.S.
How much money will you need to retire? Answering this question is a cornerstone of the financial planning profession.
Many employer plans now contain both a regular 401(k) plan and a Roth 401(k) option. The regular 401(k) allows an employee to defer up to $18,000 of compensation in 2017 ($24,000 for folks age 50 or older) before taxes. The benefit of regular contributions is that you reduce your taxes at the time of contribution, allow the earnings in the plan to compound over time, and defer taxes until you withdraw funds during retirement, when you will possibly be taxed at a lower rate. Contributions to a Roth 401(k) are made after-tax, i.e., contributions do not reduce your taxable income/taxesRead More
A donor-advised fund (DAF) is like a mini-foundation that anyone can set up without the expense or a lot of paperwork. For our clients, it can be a great way to donate to charity without hassle, but it comes with other perks. First, how a donor-advised fund works: Through a custodian such as Fidelity or Schwab, you set up your DAF and deposit money or appreciated assets into it. You then direct the fund to distribute cash to any qualified non-profit organization, such as the Sierra Club or Doctors Without Borders. Why donor-advised funds are great, in my opinion: YouRead More
If you’re like many people, the information you receive about Medicare through the mail, from insurance agents, or by talking with friends, family, and co-workers can be confusing. And the abundance of conflicting information can leave you anxious, worrying that you could do the wrong thing—or nothing at all—and miss a key enrollment period or incur penalties forever. Here are some common misconceptions we’ve come across: “I should wait until Open Enrollment in the fall to sign up for Medicare.” “I received a brochure that says I HAVE to enroll at age 65.” “If I have health insurance through myRead More
When you’re in the market for a financial advisor, you want to find one that’s going to be a perfect fit for the long run. Your relationship with your financial advisor is key to your financial health, success, and peace of mind. At Parkside Advisors, we are keenly aware that a good client-advisor relationship is crucial for long-term success. We invite you to interview us before you commit to our services. And even if we do not turn out to be the right fit, we are happy to provide some guidelines for choosing a financial advisor. Here are a fewRead More
There’s an experiment I love to use to explain why Parkside Advisors practices passive management as an investment philosophy. When a group of people is shown a large jar of jellybeans and asked to guess how many jellybeans are in the jar, it’s rare that anyone nails the exact number. Some people will guess wildly high, some wildly low. Yet, if you aggregate all of the guesses and average them out, you will usually arrive at a pretty accurate number. A crowd of guessers is consistently more accurate than individuals. The same is true for investment strategy. While the commonRead More
Recently I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the rise in use of telemedicine companies. These “direct-to-consumer” online medical services provide inexpensive diagnoses that allow consumers to avoid high co-pays or deductibles. Patients instead call an “online doctor” and describe their symptoms. The doctor then makes a diagnosis and, in some cases, prescribes medication. According to the WSJ, the American Telemedicine Association expects more than a million calls to these types of services in 2016 alone. But without access to patients’ medical histories and in-person examinations, many telemedicine companies are issuing incorrect diagnoses. In a JAMA DermatologyRead More
No one can argue with Warren Buffett’s investment prowess. He’s known as the most successful investor in the world, a businessman and philanthropist who is currently the third wealthiest person on the planet. Many people think of Buffett as an active investor who succeeds by picking the best stocks, but I disagree. What Buffett does is actively influence the success of the companies he supports through board seats and management influence. He limits his investments in companies to those industries he understands. Buffett’s success results from his business skills, not his ability to pick stocks. He endorses passive investing, andRead More
Perhaps you’ve heard about Ethan Couch, the 16-year-old boy who killed four people while driving drunk in Texas in 2013? His defense: teen affluenza, a debilitating social condition in which teens with financial privilege fail to develop the skills they need to properly understand the consequences of their actions. We all want the same thing for our kids: we want them to be happy, have their needs met, and be successful in life. Sometimes, though, an overemphasis on those first two things can derail the development of the third. For parents who are fortunate to be able to provide wellRead More