Focus on Planning

  In his latest column, Soundmark Principal Bill Schultheis challenges investors to focus not on sectors and stocks but rather, on personal inflation rates, asset allocations, and saving and spending. He reminds readers that focusing on financial planning decisions that can be controlled, will actually determine whether financial goals are reached in the end.

Don’t Gloss Over Your Will, Trusts, and Beneficiaries

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Just having a will is not necessarily enough to ensure peace of mind about your estate and your wishes for your heirs. Trusts are established in the will to administer your estate properly, to avoid estate taxes and to provide for your heirs over time. Life insurance is included in your estate upon … Continued

Easy to Miss Estate Planning Gaps

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Make sure the title of your bank and investment accounts correctly follow your estate plan. Don’t risk inefficient administration of your estate and missed opportunities. Ensure beneficiary designations for your retirement plans, IRAs, and life insurance policies are properly structured. Beneficiary designations supersede a will and an improper designation could dramatically alter a well-thought-out … Continued

Equifax Security Breach

You may have heard about a recent security breach at the consumer credit reporting agency, Equifax. The security breach affected 143 million consumers. You can find out if your personal information was compromised by selecting the Check Potential Impact button.   MONITOR YOUR FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS We recommend you monitor your bank, credit card accounts and other … Continued

Are You Taking Advantage of this Little Known Microsoft Retirement Plan Benefit?

KEY TAKEAWAYS Microsoft has a 401(k) option that allows employees to contribute an additional $20,000 in after-tax contributions each year. Surprisingly, many Microsoft employees do not take advantage of this benefit, or even know about it. When executed correctly, employees may convert the after-tax contributions in their 401(k) into their Roth 401(k) and only owe … Continued

How to Help Tropical Storm Victims

You have worked hard your entire life to provide for your family and give back to your community and country when they need it most. In light of the recent disaster caused by Tropical Storm Harvey, many of you may be wondering how best to donate to those in need. This is easier said than done, as … Continued

How Much of Your Wealth Is Tied Up in a Single Stock?

Key Takeaways: Having a high concentration of your wealth in a single stock—no matter how great a company, is very risky and does not constitute a retirement plan. A well-diversified portfolio may not always outperform a hot single stock, but it significantly reduces the risk of suffering a catastrophic permanent loss. Diversifying away from a … Continued

The Soundmark Touch

“It’s not about us.” We focus on listening to clients, creating long-term financial plans, and helping execute those plans to reach our clients’ goals. Hear more from Soundmark Principal Todd Flynn on how we implement financial plans and simplify our client’s lives in the most efficient manner.

Magic Investing Tools

In Soundmark Principal Bill Schultheis’ latest column, he discusses the popularity of index funds and the advantages these funds can bring to a portfolio. He reminds investors that relying just on index funds does not lead to successful financial planning, “…index funds are not some magical investing tool that will make your life any easier … Continued

It’s Time to Pay Yourself a Salary in Your Golden Years

            KEY TAKEAWAYS Many successful people entering their golden years have multiple retirement accounts with different tax statuses (IRAs, 401(k)s, Roth IRAs and more). While it’s nice to have multiple retirement accounts to draw from, the order of withdrawals can be perplexing. Managing the tax implications of withdrawals plays a … Continued