Category: News 2019

Is a Health Savings Account (HSA) Right for Me?

At AFA, we hear our clients express concerns about two financial challenges more often than any others:
• Will I be ready to retire with the lifestyle I want?
• What can I do to protect myself from rising health care costs now and in the future?

Did you realize there is a single vehicle that can help you make progress in both areas? It’s called a health savings account (HSA), which is a government-regulated savings account that combines many of the tax benefits of a Flexible Spending Account and a 401(k), including:
• Your contributions to the plan are pre-tax (if offered through your employer) or tax-deductible (if established on your own). If funded through your employer’s plan, you also don’t pay FICA on the contributions, putting an extra 7.65% back in your pocket.
• Withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free (more about that below).
• The balance in your plan (that you don’t spend for medical expenses) grows tax-deferred and can be rolled over from year to year, supplementing other retirement savings.

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Understanding (and Avoiding) Lifestyle Creep

Over the years we’ve seen plenty of research and studies claim that increases in income don’t correspond to increases in happiness. One such survey, using data from the Gallup World Poll, found that the optimal household income for emotional well being was between $60,000 and $75,000 per year. The research shows that beyond that threshold, the correlation between income and happiness flattens pretty dramatically. For many Americans – especially young professionals just getting started in their careers – this may seem like a bogus finding, but by going beyond the headlines we learn that a common reason for that drop-off in financial satisfaction is lifestyle creep.

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5 Advantages of Revocable Living Trusts: Should You Have One?

In working closely with two separate, long-term clients over the last three months, I saw first-hand how they and their families experienced the benefits of having their assets in a revocable living trust.  Depending on your circumstances, a revocable living trust could be very beneficial to you and your family. For my older clients, it is something that I highly recommend they consider. Below I will highlight five key advantages of having a revocable living trust and how having one may be beneficial for you.

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Retrospective – Practicality and Money as a Young Adult

A few weeks back, I was sent on a bit of a wild goose chase through our garage. We were turning one of our guest rooms into my son’s new “big-boy” room since the arrival of our second child would soon be evicting him from the nursery. I was looking for a specific can of paint so that we could do some touch up work and, as I’m rummaging through cabinets, I come across an old box of DVDs. I couldn’t help myself. Instead of continuing to look for the paint, I start going through the box of movies instead. Near the top was Back to The Future.1 For those unfamiliar, the plot of the film involves a 17-year-old kid named Marty going back in time in a machine built by his eccentric yet insightful scientist pal, Doc Brown. It’s a fictional concept, but it got me thinking. If I had the opportunity to go back in time and mentor a younger me, what would I say? Then it hit me. I’ve actually written this down before.

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Using P.O.D. and T.O.D to Avoid Probate

Like any court system in America, Probate Court is a slow and sometimes complicated process that can delay estate distributions for months, and in extreme cases, years. While Georgia’s probate system is simpler than many across the US, probating a Will can also be expensive, with the filing fees, administration fees, and other court costs. And since it’s a public process, anyone can obtain a copy of another person’s Will. With certain assets, you can easily avoid probate and have the asset(s) transfer directly to the person you choose. Typically, these assets are generally accounts deemed “payable-on-death (POD)” or “transferrable-on-death (TOD).” The terms essentially mean the same thing but apply to slightly different accounts.

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Hear How Atlanta Financial Makes Life’s Journey Richer

Atlanta Financial TV is home to a variety of videos that allow clients and associates to obtain knowledge, insight and experience. Tune in to learn more about our approach to comprehensive wealth management.to comprehensive wealth management.

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