Say it with me now: less than one month left in this election season.

For those of us who do care about policy and the direction of our country, this season, these debates — well, they have almost borne a closer resemblance to something from The Real Housewives of ______ or to Jerry Springer.

I’m also growing increasingly concerned about the aftermath of the election — no matter which presidential candidate is elected. Even just a short amount of time spent on social media reveals to most of us how entrenched and personal these elections have become to so many people.

Makes me almost long for the old days in the early history of our country. You know, when congresspeople acted more “civil“.

Well, actually, perhaps we’ve been here before.

LAST CALL ON A FEW REMINDERS:

* Monday, October 17th is the deadline to ensure your 2015 (extended) tax return is filed.

* It’s also the deadline for contributions to self-employed retirement accounts and for a Roth recharacterization.

We’re extremely busy this week as we handle client work on the above, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t take the time to sit down and offer some thoughts for you. Sure, we do a lot of “tax work” around here, but we see ourselves as much more than simply those who fill out some forms. We would love to be a resource for you, whatever your life stage…

Alan Newcomb’s Three Key Life Milestones And How To Plan For Them
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”  -Les Brown

For planning purposes, remember that each decade of life usually carries with it several big money moments. Major life events like landing a new job or getting married are usually joyous, but they also (obviously) have an impact on your finances. This means the decisions you make (or neglect) can have long-term implications on your personal wealth.

Many of these kinds of decisions seem small at the time, but the consequences of missing them can be large.

So, in the interest of keeping our relationship usefully “big picture”, here are some things to consider for each of these major life milestones — whichever of them may apply to you right now, or to someone you care about (feel free to forward this along to whomever comes to mind):

1. Switching jobs
Consult with a financial planner about rolling your 401(k) account into a new individual retirement account or your new company’s retirement plan.

(Obviously, this is most pertinent for jobs with larger corporations. Small businesses carry different kinds of benefits, which may have led to your switch.)

If your new job brings with it a higher salary, make sure that any significant new purchases you make with your increased income are covered by your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Many policies limit coverage on jewelry, computers, etc., so you may want to look into purchasing a separate floater policy to fully cover those sorts of valuables.

2. Getting married
Write (or rewrite) your will. If you die without a will, courts in most states will decide how to distribute your possessions, sometimes without the consent of your spouse. Include in the will your wishes for medical care, should you become incapacitated. Name a backup guardian for your children.

3. Having a baby
Once you have a child, life insurance should be as important as diapers. Buy a policy at least 4X your salary, plus two years’ salary for each child (minus your retirement and investment assets).

Start a college-savings account. Tuition for a four-year private college continues to skyrocket (despite continued negative publicity), so start saving right away. Consider 529 plans that allow tax-free saving for education — but also realize that there are advantages to other savings vehicles which don’t mark against you as strongly on FAFSA forms.

Warmly,

Alan Newcomb
(618) 532-7223

Bills Tax Service