Should You Give To A Donor Advised Fund This Year?

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According to the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), Americans donated over $389 billion in 2016. Most of that money, 72% to be exact, came from individual donors like you.

I imagine that most of those donations went directly to qualified 501(c)3 charitable organizations. However, more and more people are using donor advised funds as their charitable vehicle of choice.

If you plan to make a charitable gift before the end of the year, you may wish to consider a gift to a donor advised fund as well.

70-Year Old IRA Owners: Avoid This Expensive Mistake

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In 2017 the first baby-boomers turned 70. Happy birthday! However, if you had your 70th birthday between January 1 and June 30 of this year, the IRS says you must take your first IRA “required minimum distribution” (aka RMD) this year as well.

Well, OK. Technically, you really have until next year. More about that below.

Improve Your Cyber Self-Defense With Stronger Passwords

5 steps to creating stronger passwords

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Prior to the Equifax breach, I admit to being lax in my personal cybersecurity. In my defense, it wasn’t so much that I was careless, I was just naïve to the risks that we face in our digital world.

Sure, I used passwords and followed all the basic rules. I assumed that big companies, the government and other stewards of my personal data, kept it secure in a way that I could count on.

In the past, that may have been enough, but after the recent Equifax breach, I decided to take a much more proactive approach to protecting my family’s personal information and reducing the risk of more serious problems down the road.

Your passwords – how you create them, how you manage them and how often you update them – are at the core of a strong cyber self-defense plan.

What To Do With An Old Life Insurance Policy You No Longer Need

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When you were younger, a life insurance policy with a large death benefit made sense. You had a mortgage. Mouths to feed. Bills to pay. The loss of the primary breadwinner would have been devastating to your family’s financial security.

Today, things are different. The mortgage has been paid, the kids can support themselves, and your financial situation has never been brighter.

In these situations, clients often ask me what they should do with an old life insurance policy they no longer need. Often, it’s a whole life or universal life policy that has considerable cash value and requires a hefty monthly premium that seems to go on forever.

In my last post, I had cautionary guidance: “Are you absolutely, 100% sure you really, really don’t need your old life insurance policy any more?”

If you answered, “Yes!” to that question, then there are at least 7 things you could do to with that old cash value life insurance policy.

Wait! Don’t Cancel That Old Insurance Policy

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Years ago, when your kids were little and your mortgage was big, you probably bought some life insurance. If you had a friend or family member who worked for an insurance company, odds are good that it was a whole life policy. These policies often come with a hefty monthly premium that you are going to pay for… well, your whole life.

Today, however, life is different. Your kids have kids of their own and the mortgage has been paid. Your need for life insurance has gone away, but those hefty monthly insurance premiums; they are here to stay.

A question I am often asked is, “Should I cancel my old life insurance policy?”