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Devon Schoenbohm

Devon Schoenbohm

Devon Schoenbohm is a 2012 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, with a bachelor’s degree in finance. She is an active member of the community, serving as “A Big” for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and ambassador for the Fox Cities Chamber.Working closely with you and your CPA, attorney and other professionals, she can help determine the most appropriate financial strategy for you and your family. Envisioning retirement is your job. Helping you get there is ours. For more information, email [email protected] or call 920-939-3851.

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Saturday, 30 June 2018 02:29

Financial moves for empty nesters

When your children leave home and you become an empty nester, you’ll probably make several adjustments in your lifestyle. But how will your empty nest status affect your financial situation?

Everyone’s story is different, involving a range of variables. But here are a few issues to consider:

Insurance. If your kids are through school, your mortgage is nearly paid off and your spouse has accumulated a reasonable amount of money in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you may not need life insurance to replace income or pay off debts. However, you might start thinking about other goals, such as ensuring your savings will last your lifetime or leaving a legacy to your loved ones or a charity. Life insurance may be able to help in these areas.

Downsizing. Deciding whether to downsize your living space isn’t just a financial decision — it’s also a highly personal one. Still, downsizing can offer you some potential economic benefits.

For one thing, if you still are paying off your mortgage, a move to a smaller place could free up some of your monthly cash flow, which, again, you could use to boost your retirement accounts. Furthermore, if your home has greatly appreciated in value, you might make a sizable profit by selling. (If you are single, you may be able to exclude $250,000 of the gain on the sale of your home; married couples may have $500,000 exemption. Some restrictions exist on this exemption, though, so you’ll need to consult with your tax advisor before selling.)

Estate plans. Years ago, you might have made various arrangements in a will or a living trust that dealt with taking care of your children if something should happen to you and your spouse. For example, you might have established a trust and directed it to make payments to your children at certain times and for certain purposes, such as education. But once your children are grown and have left your home, you may need to review and update your estate plans.

Keep in mind, though, that empty nester status is not always permanent.

You’ve no doubt heard about “boomerang” kids who return home after college and stay until they can afford a place of their own. If your children become “boomerangers,” even for a short while, will it greatly affect your financial situation?

Probably not. However, if your children are going to drive your car, you may want to be sure that they are listed on your car insurance. Also, if they are going to bring guests to your home, you might want to consider an “umbrella” insurance policy, which typically provides you with significantly greater liability protection than your regular homeowners’ policy. (In fact, it may be a good idea to purchase an umbrella policy even if you don’t have grown kids at home, as this coverage offers you wide-ranging protection from potentially devastating lawsuits that could arise from injuries on your property or through an auto accident in which you are involved.)

You may have mixed feelings about becoming an empty nester, but, like most people, you will adjust. And by making the right financial moves, you can get off to a good start on this new phase of your life.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 20:40

Time for financial “spring cleaning”

The days are longer and the temperatures are warmer — so it must be spring. For many of us, that means it’s time for some spring cleaning. But why stop with sprucing up your living space? This year, consider extending the “spring cleaning” concept to your financial environment, too.

How can you tidy your finances? Here are some suggestions:

“De-clutter” your portfolio.

As you go through your home during your spring cleaning rounds, you may notice that you’ve acquired a lot of duplicate objects — do you really need five mops? Or at least some things you can no longer use, like a computer that hasn’t worked since 2010. You can create some valuable space by getting rid of these items. And the same principle can apply to your investment portfolio because over the years you may well have acquired duplicate investments that aren’t really helping you move toward your goals. You may also own some investments, which, while initially fitting in to your overall strategy, no longer do so. You could be better off by selling your “redundant” investments and using the proceeds to purchase new ones that will provide more value.

Get organized.

During your spring cleaning, one of your key goals may be to get organized. So you might want to rearrange the tools in your garage or establish a new filing system in your home office. Proper organization is also important to investors — and it goes beyond having your brokerage and 401(k) statements in nice neat piles. For example, you may have established IRAs with different financial services companies. By moving them to one provider, you may save some fees and reduce your paperwork, but, more importantly, you may find that such a move actually helps you better manage your investments. You’ll know exactly where your money is going, and it could be easier to follow a single investment strategy. Also, with all your IRAs in one place, it will be much easier for you to manage the required minimum distributions you must start taking when you turn 70. (These distributions are not required for Roth IRAs.)

Protect your family’s financial future.

When cleaning up this spring, you may notice areas of concern around protecting your home — perhaps there’s a crack in your window, or your fence is damaged or part of your chimney is crumbling. Your financial independence — and that of your family — also needs protection. Is your life insurance sufficient to pay for your mortgage, college for your kids and perhaps some retirement funds for your spouse? Do you have disability insurance that can provide you with some income if you become ill or injured and can’t work for a while? Have you considered the high costs of long-term care, such as an extended nursing home stay? A financial professional can help you determine if your insurance coverage is adequate for all these needs.

Consider putting these spring cleaning suggestions to work. They may help you keep your financial house in good shape for all the seasons yet to arrive. 

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