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EXPLORING RETIREMENT PLANS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON

Nowadays, almost every employer offers some sort of retirement plan for its employees. Sometimes, the employees may not fully understand or even be aware of what is available to them. We have found that many faculty and staff of the University of Oregon are among those who aren’t aware of all their retirement options. 4 Retirement Plans You Should Know About: 1.  Public Employees Retirement System of Oregon (PERS): PERS is a defined benefit (or pension) plan available to eligible…

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COMMENTS ON: “IS THE FED TIGHT, OR NOT?”

Much has been made of the Federal Reserve Bank’s fight against inflation. Initially thinking that inflation was “transitory,” the Fed was late in raising interest rates (their main tool to rein in inflation). For most of the previous 15 years, the Fed rate was at 0%. When they began bumping it up, they didn’t stop until the rate was well over 5.0% —one of the most dramatic rate increases in history. So economic conditions are much tighter now, right? As…

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PERSONAL FINANCE APPS

Having an easy to manage spending plan is the cornerstone for financial success. It’s important to know your cash inflows and outflows so that you make the most of your hard-earned money. Knowing how much you spend on categories like groceries, eating out, or gas can help you identify areas where maybe you are spending too much. Then, you can direct funds towards something else that has greater importance to you, such as saving for retirement, a new home, or…

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AI OR HUMAN FINANCIAL ADVISORS?

Artificial intelligence (AI) made a dramatic appearance in 2023. As often happens with hot topics, an initial flurry of attention on AI kicked off a cascade of articles, podcasts, interviews, and commentaries on how AI would transform society. This led to a frenzy of buying from investors hoping to cash in on the AI gravy train. While AI is likely to have a significant impact on business, science, and society over the next few decades, we’ve been pondering how it…

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CAN YOU MAKE ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTIONS FOR PREVIOUS YEARS?

As tax time comes around each year, clients often ask us, “can I still make an IRA/ Roth IRA contribution for last year?” The good news is if it is before the tax filing deadline (i.e., April 15, 2024 for the 2023 tax year), yes, you might be able to. Who can make a retroactive IRA or Roth IRA contribution? Roth IRA contribution eligibility is determined by your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) and your age. Traditional IRA contribution eligibility…

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BEYOND THE GRAVE BY JEFFREY L. CONDON

Planning your estate is complicated—both technically and emotionally. This is something that you only do once. How do you make sure you get it right? To start, get educated. Learn time-tested strategies for preserving assets, reducing estate taxes, and giving money in the best way to beneficiaries. Recently, a client asked if we could recommend some books on estate planning. We didn’t know any off the top of our heads, so Jonathan did some online sleuthing, and he found “Beyond…

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WHAT ARE NORMAL INTEREST RATES?

For the last 15 years since the Financial Crisis in 2008 interest rates as set by the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) have been at or near 0%. Home buyers got used to mortgage rates under 3% much of the time. Savers also, grudgingly, put up with paltry rates on their money market accounts, bond funds, and certificates of deposit. Now that the Fed has increased their interest rate from 0% to over 5% to combat inflation, rates have risen in…

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Blue book cover - I'm Dead, Now What?

“I’M DEAD, NOW WHAT?” BY PETER PAUPER PRESS

The death of a loved one is emotional, stressful, and can put such a huge strain on those left behind. Why not be prepared for the inevitable? “I’m dead, Now What?” is an excellent workbook to help you prepare your loved ones for your passing. This book walks you through gathering all the information your loved ones will need to take care of your belongings, financial or business affairs, and your wishes. Instead of leaving them panicking or arguing over…

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MARKET UPDATE: WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

Before last year started, roughly 85% of economists were confident that the U.S. would have a recession in 2023. We didn’t. It is still not clear if or when we will have one. Virtually every other time that interest rates have risen as much as they did in 2022 and 2023 a decline in economic growth has occurred. What was different this time? What many economists did not factor in was the size and impact of the unprecedented government stimulus…

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CAN YOU MAKE QUALIFIED CHARITABLE DONATIONS FROM YOUR IRA?

The last few months of the year are when many people make charitable donations. Did you know that those who are over 70½ may make this donation from their IRA account (also known as a qualified charitable donation (QCD))? Instead of sending a charitable donation via check from your bank account, request that a check be sent out from your IRA to your chosen charity. Why Should I Make a Charitable Donation From my IRA? There are several different benefits…

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