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Learn More About Finance!

Budgeting

Using Technology To Build a Budget

 

Balancing a budget while maintaining a busy life can be a challenge. Use budgeting technology like mint.com to automatically keep you on target to meet your goals.

Monarch Plan Advisors recommends building a budget and reviewing the budget with you and your spouse once a month to hold yourself accountable.

Build An Emergency Plan & Pay Off Debt

 

Most financial planners will tell you to save for 3-6 months of living expenses to account for a financial emergency.

Take a look at where you’re spending you money and develop creative ways to save!

Insurance

Life Insurance

 

Life in general can be confusing and even complicated at times.  Buying any type of life insurance can be one of those times, however, it doesn’t need to be. Understanding the different types of life insurance can be easier than you think if you take a few moments to learn from the many options at your disposal, including our expertise.

Watch the video of Suze Orman on Life Insurance:  Term Life Insurance vs. Whole Life

Disability Insurance – Life Happens: Not Me!

 

Disability insurance pays a portion of your income if an illness or injury makes it impossible to work for an extended period (more than just a few sick days).

There are two main types of disability insurance:

  • Short-term disability insurance replaces a portion of your base salary, usually 60% to 70%. It usually pays out for less than six months but can possibly last up to a year after an illness, injury or childbirth. There may be a waiting period of up to two weeks after you become disabled before the benefits kick in.
  • Long-term disability insurance replaces a portion of your base salary, usually 40% to 60%, up to a monthly dollar cap that’s typically $5,000 under most employer plans. The benefits end when the disability ends. Or if you remain disabled, benefits may end after a specified number of years or until you reach retirement age, depending on the policy. A long-term disability insurance plan also has a waiting period. The length varies by policy but a common period is 90 days. The waiting period is typically timed so the benefits kick in when the short-term disability insurance ends.

Long Term Care Insurance

 

Unlike traditional health insurance, long-term care insurance is designed to cover long-term services and supports, including personal and custodial care in a variety of settings such as your home, a community organization, or other facility.

Long-term care insurance policies reimburse policyholders a daily amount (up to a pre-selected limit) for services to assist them with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or eating.  You can select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you need, where you need them.

Making Sense of 401ks & IRAs

Pre-Tax 401(k)s 

 

401k plans are employer sponsored retirement plans that offer the convenience of deferrals coming from payroll. When thinking about a traditional 401k, it’s best to consider it fundamentally as IRS tax code. From a tax perspective when you contribute to a 401k plan, you’re telling the IRS “not” to tax you now (because you’re in a higher tax bracket) and to wait until you’re retired (after age 59.5) and hopefully in a lower bracket. Certain restrictions apply in regards to distributions.

Roth IRAs

 

Roth accounts are the opposite of traditional 401ks/IRAs. You are telling the IRS to tax you now (because you’re in a low bracket or feel taxes are going up) and you won’t pay tax again.

Pre-Tax IRAs

 

Traditional IRAs are very similar to 401k plans.

Understanding Investing

Benefits of Compound Interest

 

Want to figure out based on a rate of return how quickly your money would double? Watch this video to understand The Rule of 72 and the benefits of compound interest.

What Is A Mutual Fund?

 

Inside your retirement plan you’ll have the ability to invest in mutual funds. Watch this video to gain an understanding of mutual fund investing.

Social Security Explained

Social Security: It Pays to Wait

 

Deciding when to take social security is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make in retirement. Until you reach full retirement age, Social Security will deduct money from your social security check if you exceed a certain amount of earned income for the year.

For the year 2017, this limit on earned income is $16,920 ($1,410 per month). Unless, you will reach full retirement age in 2017. In that case, the limit on your earnings for the months before full retirement age is $44,880.  The amounts go up each year. If you are collecting Social Security retirement benefits before full retirement age, and you are under full retirement age for the entire year, your benefits are reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over the limit. In the year you reach your full retirement age, your benefit will be reduced $1 for every $3 you earn over the limit in the months prior to reaching your full retirement age. Once you reach full retirement age, there is no limit on the amount of money you may earn and still receive your full Social Security retirement benefit.