Quantifying the Value of Financial Advisors

In a successful financial advisor-client relationship, one would hope the value of the advice would be self-evident.  In other words, if clients didn’t recognize a benefit of the relationship, they likely would not remain clients.

However, can that value be quantified?   Some relatively recent studies by prominent financial organizations were designed to do just that.

Review Tax Withholding Now To Avoid Unwanted Surprise in April

Last spring, many people were disappointed when their tax refund turned out to be smaller than they’d anticipated, or when they unexpectedly owed money to the IRS instead of obtaining a refund.

Much of this can be attributed to changes in federal tax laws and changes in federal withholding tables that became effective in 2018 -- changes that many filers failed to account for in their withholding amounts during the year.

Given that the 2018 changes are still in effect, this might be a good time to review the amounts withheld from your paychecks, pensions, social security checks, or other sources of income.  Ideally, you should have enough – but not too much – withheld.

We are happy to welcome Megan Rinaudo to our team

I’m pleased to report that our client base at Thorley Wealth Management has been steadily increasing over the years.  In fact, the rate of growth accelerated in 2018 and 2019.

To continue to provide award-winning financial services, it became clear to me that we needed to add another CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Practitioner (CFP®).  It was also clear that we needed to find “the right fit,” someone who not only had the requisite expertise and experience, but also shared our philosophy of working closely and personally with our clients.

Retirement Confidence Rises For Workers and Retirees

The 29th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, conducted in 2019 by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, indicates that 67% of US workers are feeling confident in their ability to live comfortably throughout their retirement years.

This represents an increase over the 2018 results, which showed 64% expressed the same level of confidence.  In fact, worker confidence now matches levels reported in 2007 – before the 2008 financial crisis.

Social Security Trustees Offer Recommendations to Congress

The Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees recently issued their annual report on the financial health of those institutions, and they offered a number of recommendations for lawmakers to consider.

Since Social Security and Medicare accounted for 45 percent of Federal budget expenditures in 2018, financial analysts and planners always look forward to reviewing the Trustees’ findings.

Health Savings Accounts Can Hold Real Value

A health savings account (HSA) is a savings/investment vehicle established to set aside funds, tax-free, to pay for health care expenses.  I’ve written about them in the past, but I want to re-emphasize what an attractive option these can be for handling health care costs in retirement.

For example, one of my recent blogs discussed the cost of premiums for Medicare and how they can be quite expensive for some – as high as $460.50 a month.   An HSA would allow one to pay these premiums with tax-free money.

Many Factors Go into Decision As to When to Claim Social Security Benefits

On the surface, deciding when to claim Social Security benefits might seem a straightforward matter – reach a certain age and file for Social Security.  However, it turns out to be quite a bit more complicated than that, and at Thorley Wealth Management we spend a good deal of time helping clients make the right decisions.

Not Everyone Pays the Same Premium for Medicare Part B

I suspect some readers will find the headline surprising, if not shocking, because, in fact, until 2007 everyone did pay equal premiums for Medicare Part B.

However, the rules have changed and ever since 2007, one’s income is a factor in determining one’s Medicare premiums.  And I must emphasize that the difference in premiums can be quite substantial. 

Growth vs. Value Investing: Is One Better Than the Other?

Discussions – not to say debates – have long been held as to whether it is better to invest in value stocks or growth stocks. 

I have a firm opinion on this question, but let’s start with two brief definitions. Value stocks are those deemed to be trading below what they are really worth and potentially can provide superior returns once they trade at their true value.  Growth stocks are those that have the potential to outperform the market over time because of their future potential. 

‘Bunching’ Concept for Giving Can Result in Tax Savings

As the last in a series on creative means of making charitable contributions, this blog looks at “bunching,” Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs), and Charitable Checking Accounts.

Given recent tax laws regarding itemized deductions, it well may be that one’s charitable giving in single year would have little positive effect on one’s taxes.  However, if one were to consider “bunching,” or bundling a number of years’ worth of charitable contributions in one year, the tax savings in that year might be significant.