What Estate Planning Documents Do I Need?

Working with clients over the years we have come that realize that a large portion of the value we provide to clients is preparing them for the questions that they do not know to ask, are afraid to ask, or are too busy to address.  Did you know that 66% of the adult population and 59% of baby boomers do not have a Will?  In addition, 70% of adults have no healthcare directive proxy, living will or advance healthcare directives. One of the most important tasks we address and help clients tackle is their estate planning.  Our estate planning...

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How to Easily Track Expenses and Create a Budget

Leave it to us!  No kidding, we’ve implemented a new solution that will allow us to track all your expenses, categorize them, and then create a budget accordingly.  Now you are probably saying to yourself, this seems like a lot of work so why would Elmwood offer to take this task on?  The answer is that it really helps both parties involved.  Below we will lay out both why, and how we plan on accomplishing this task.  Looking back for a moment, it seems like long gone are the days when you’d ask someone what their New Year’s...

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2015 Tax Tips

April 15th will soon be at our doorstep and 2015 brings some tax changes that make planning ahead important.  Employer Plan Contribution Limits.  The contribution limits for 401k plans, 403b and 457 plans is now $18,000 for 2015, a $500 increase from 2014.  The catch-up contribution limit increases to $6,000 in 2015 for a total contribution limit of $24,000 for employees age 50 and older.  If you are maximizing your contribution into your employer plan, make sure you update your payroll deferral amounts to reflect the change.  IRA...

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A Financial Advisor’s Ideas on How to Simplify Your Personal Finances

Consolidate your investment accounts – As life progresses it is almost inevitable that people begin to accumulate different types of investment accounts held in different places. It may be because you had a job change, inherited some assets, or maybe just spontaneously opened a new investment account somewhere when the need arose. Yet as time has progressed you now have multiple investment accounts at multiple locations, and have a very hard time keeping track of them, not to mention what they are invested in. Consolidate these accounts...

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Elmwood’s 2nd Anniversary!

We have had an amazing two years since the launch of Elmwood Wealth Management! Perhaps the most rewarding part of these past two years has been all the personal time we’ve spent with our rapidly growing client base (see chart below) and others whom we have met along the way. Thank you for all your support! So much has happened over the past two years. Inside we share our top insights and observations since the launch of Elmwood. Number of Elmwood Clients Top Insights and Observations since the Launch of Elmwood There is a difference...

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What is behind the stock market’s recent poor performance?

We would like to take a minute and address the recent volatility in the stock market. As seen in the chart below, U.S. stocks are down 2.94% since September 5th, but that is actually a good number relative to all the other categories. Essentially the more risky the asset, the worse it has done with Emerging Market stocks falling the most. Here is what may be bothering the market: First, recent economic data out of Europe and China has been weak. Nothing drastic, but nevertheless enough to raise the question if these areas are falling into...

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Insurance Review

Insurance is a necessary component to all our lives. It is important, however, to review your policies every couple of years to make sure that they are updated to reflect your own life changes. Here is a quick summary of things to consider. Home Insurance Has the value of your house changed? A broad measure to calculate how much coverage you need is to multiply the square feet of your home by the replacement cost to build it again ($300-$400 per sq ft) Do you have a provision that will pay for your rent somewhere else during...

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Quarterly Insights — July 2014

In This Issue: How to initiate a financial conversation between family members, including advice for both parents and children on how to get the conversation going. Mid-year tax planning questions and answers. We reveal the most common questions and answers clients ask us. International conflicts: Friend or Foe? How concerned should we be with all the issues and negative headlines taking place overseas? How to initiate a financial conversation between family members — By Bob Gillooly, CFA Whether you are a parent with grown children, or...

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Lower your tax bill! Incorporate charitable giving into your financial plan

April 15th seems so long ago, yet many of us still remember the surprise we had in the increase of our overall tax bill. For 2013 there were several factors that may have contributed to an increased tax bill. First, there was a tax rate increase that went into effect, which increased the highest marginal tax bracket to 39.6%, along with an increase in Medicare wages by 0.9%. Second, given the robust stock market we experienced last year, an increase in your capital gains may have also contributed to your higher tax bill. While paying taxes...

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Quarterly Insights — April 2014

In This Issue, Elmwood presents a brief presentation that boils everything down to the three most important ideas we wish to make on: The Stock Market Retirement Planning Saving for College The Stock Market As long as 10 year Treasury rates stay below 5%, stock market returns should be positive:  A market correction of 10- 15% during any given year is normal and shouldn’t scare us from investing: As long as we are creating new jobs, our economy remains on solid ground:   Retirement Planning It is prudent to plan and budget for a...

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