Atlanta Financial Newsroom

Fact vs. Fiction

AFA
April 11, 2018

Fiction: When you empty your computer’s recycle bin, the data is gone for good.

Fact: When you empty your recycle bin, you aren’t removing the data inside. You’re only marking it for overwriting. But there’s a problem: You can never be sure where the data that needs to be overwritten is located, so you never know which remnants are still around and which aren’t. To be sure the data is gone for good, try full disk overwriting software.

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CAN Money Buy Happiness?

For most of our lives many of us have heard the old adage “Money can’t buy happiness.” And we can all think of numerous examples of individuals where this certainly seems to be true – whether among the powerful and famous, or within our own family or group of friends. But is that really true? Research over the last few decades suggests “NO!” In fact, many studies show that in one sense money can buy happiness. But it’s not the amount of money we have, but rather how we SPEND our money that can indeed increase our happiness – although perhaps not in the way Madison Avenue or Amazon Prime would like us to think. First, let’s address the skeptics among you who feel sure that if you simply had MORE money you would indeed be happier. Statistics show that certainly isn’t true, since 70% of all lottery winners or those with a sudden financial windfall end up bankrupt within a few years.1 Carl Jung, famous psychologist, said in fact that the keys to happiness were five things.

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The New Tax Bill: Tallying the Results

“How did the new tax bill affect me?” was the question on everyone’s minds this tax season, and for good reason. Even though this was touted as the greatest simplification of the tax code in my lifetime, I didn’t notice any reduction in time spent preparing returns. Those of you who reviewed your returns in detail noticed that the schedules look drastically different although contain all the same information. The short answer for many is that it didn’t materially change your overall tax liability. The outliers fell into one of a few buckets…

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So, You Just Received a Financial Windfall

What would you do if you received a major financial windfall? Would you buy a new house or vacation home, give some to your family members, donate to your favorite charity, or take the trip(s) that you have always dreamed about?While most people will not receive a major financial windfall during their lives, it is not uncommon. You might receive a financial windfall by:

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To Roll, or Not to Roll?

When I first sit down with prospective new clients to learn about their finances, one of the most common issues we come across is how spread out investment accounts are.  We may have a brokerage account here, an IRA there and, very often, an old 401(K) or two still sitting in a previous employer’s plan.  There are plenty of reasons why a 401(K) may be left behind with a prior employer – it could have gotten lost in the shuffle of beginning a new job, it may have just seemed like too much of a hassle to move the plan, or perhaps you took the time to roll the plan into an IRA but your employer made subsequent contributions you didn’t know about.  These accounts, affectionately referred to as “orphans,” are becoming more and more common given the increasing frequency of job-hopping, especially among Millennials.  So, who do these orphan accounts belong to and more importantly, what can be done about them? 

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