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Financial Symmetry: Balancing Today with Retirement

When considering retirement, do you wonder what financial opportunities you may be missing? Busy lives take over and years pass without taking advantage. In this retirement podcast, the Financial Symmetry advisors unveil financial opportunities, to help you balance enjoying today so you are ready to retire later. By day, they are fiduciary fee-only financial advisors who answer questions about tax savings, investment decisions, and how to save more. If you’ve been putting off your financial to-do list or are just not sure what you’ve been missing, subscribe to the show and learn more at www.financialsymmetry.com. Financial Symmetry is a Raleigh Financial Advisor. Proudly serving clients in the Triangle of North Carolina for over 20 years.
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Now displaying: July, 2021
Jul 26, 2021

Compared to 2020, the summer of 2021 has been exciting for most people. Many parts of the country are getting back to normal and there is plenty of fun to be had.

Video recap: https://youtu.be/aCuc4zsi3SE

But with that fun can come extra spending. Now that we are halfway through the year, this is a fantastic time to check in with your finances. 

This week, we let Chad and Mike have time off to enjoy their summer fun, so Grayson Blazek joins me to discuss 10 financial tasks for you to complete before summer comes to an end. Don’t get caught unprepared, listen to this episode to hear which key financial areas you should focus your attention on before the end of the year. 

10 Key financial areas to evaluate mid-year

  1. How is your spending changing now that we are (somewhat) post-Covid? Now that life is getting back to normal, how have your spending habits changed? It’s important to be aware of where your money is going. Start tracking what you have been spending on eating out, entertainment, and travel. Becoming aware of these expenditures will help you create a post-Covid spending plan.
  2. How has travel impacted your spending plan? Was your travel money previously going towards something else? Can you ease back spending in other areas to increase your travel budget? Make sure to shop around to get an understanding of prices before you rush into a big purchase. Post-Covid, many people are going on ‘one-time’ trips. But ask yourself, is this really a one-time thing? 
  3. How do your childcare spending habits change in the summer? For many families, summer is more expensive since there are summer camps and extra daycare costs. But for private school families, costs may decrease during the summer. If you have a child that is aging out of daycare to start school, don’t let that money simply enter back into your monthly cash flow. Think about how the money could be better spent. Are you maxing out your 401K or Roth contributions? Consider how you could distribute that money to savings. 
  4. Check your recurring services. Many of us increased our subscription services during the pandemic. Now is a good time to reevaluate whether you still need them. Do you still need grocery delivery or Doordash? Consider what you could cancel now that other spending areas are starting to creep back into your budget.
  5. Revisit your retirement savings. It’s much easier to adjust your savings levels now than to try and play catchup in November or December. Make sure that you utilize your full employer match and consider what to do if you have already hit your yearly max in your Roth or 401K.
  6. Are you missing a savings opportunity? Your retirement savings may come directly out of your paycheck, but are you automatically diverting other savings? Think about other areas where you could be saving money: an HSA, college savings fund, or even a brokerage account. Listen in to hear about the changes in the FSA limits.
  7. Consider the child tax credit. Many Americans saw the child tax credit hit their bank accounts in July. Before another one hits, reevaluate where you fall on the tax credit spectrum. Consider how your income will change in 2021 and think about if you should opt out or if you may need to pay that tax credit back come tax time. 
  8. Start constructing your tax plan. Think about how your tax situation may have changed this year. Do you have enough taxes withheld? 
  9. Have your circumstances changed? Did your goals change from 2020? Have you landed a new job? Have you seen a reduction in income or an increase in income? How may this affect your goals?
  10. Review your estate plan. Do you have all of your documents in place? Reevaluate your documents to ensure that they are current and still make sense. 

Focusing on these ten areas now can set you off on the right foot for the fall. Listen in to learn how you can enhance today and enrich tomorrow.

Outline of This Episode

  • How is your spending changing? [2:12]
  • How does travel impact your plan? [3:15]
  • How does summer impact your childcare spending [4:24]
  • Take a look at recurring services [5:45]
  • Revisit retirement savings [7:28]
  • Are you missing a savings opportunity? [8:40]
  • Child tax credit [11:06] 
  • Start constructing your tax plan [13:38]
  • Have your circumstances changed? [14:40]
  • Review your estate plan [16:33]

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

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Jul 12, 2021

With the turbocharged real estate market, buying a house is not as easy as it once was. We’ve all heard stories of houses getting multiple offers even before they are listed or homes selling well over the asking price. Stories like these have many people thinking about moving. 

Short Video recap: https://youtu.be/0GKbITjE9hg

On this episode of Financial Symmetry, we explore whether or not it is worth the effort to buy a home in a seller’s housing market. You’ll learn the reasons why the housing market is so hot, questions to ask yourself, and alternatives to buying a home. 

Why is the housing market so hot?

If you have talked to your neighbors or seen the news lately, you know how hot the housing market is. Everyone has heard stories about bidding wars and people receiving multiple offers on homes. It is definitely a seller's market, but why? 

There are several reasons that home sales are through the roof. As with any economic force, when demand outstrips supply, then the market becomes one-sided. Since people have been spending more time at home and even working from home, they have had an opportunity to evaluate the pros and cons of their place of residence. Couple this with an influx of cash from higher incomes and injections of cash into the economy, and many people are ready for a change of scenery. 

Steps you should take before you consider a move

But just because the Jones’s are packing up and moving, does that mean that you should too? Before you think of selling your home you should stop and consider a few questions. Since this is such a big financial decision you can take advantage of financial planning to help you analyze this choice. 

After you figure out why you want to move, you need to consider what steps you need to take to prepare. Buying a home is not as easy as it once was, so you’ll need to make sure that you have a preapproval letter in hand before looking at any houses. It’s also important to realize that in a hot housing market, contingency offers are off the table. You won’t be able to compete with cash offers if you are trying to buy a home based on the sale of your own home. So if you must sell your current house to come up with a down payment, then you may need to rent for a while after the sale of your home. 

Know how much you can afford

Your housing costs should be between 28%-36% of your monthly income. Many people know this but they only figure in the mortgage without figuring in the other expenses that come with moving to a new home. It is important to watch out for the lifestyle creep that often comes with moving. You don’t want to end up being house rich and cash poor.

One way to ensure that you don’t get roped into spending too much is by coming up with a maximum number that you can afford and telling the realtor a number that is 20%-30% less. Don’t rely on the bank to decide how much you can afford since they will be happy to lend you more.

Where will your down payment come from?

The next consideration is where will you get your down payment? There are 4 primary ways to come up with a down payment. Many people rely on the sale of their home for a down payment. Others have cash set aside in savings.

Another consideration is to use a 60 day IRA rollover. This will allow you to avoid the taxes that come from withdrawing from your IRA if you repay the money in 60 days. Oftentimes, this allows you to close on the home you are selling and replace the money in the account. However, this could backfire if the sale of your home falls through or gets delayed.

The last way to fund a down payment is to take out a HELOC on your existing home. It is important to do this before you put your home on the market. Listen in to hear some alternatives to buying a new home that you should consider before taking the leap and moving. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:07] Reasons why the housing market is so hot
  • [3:10] What considerations should you be thinking about?
  • [11:34] Where will your down payment come from?
  • [15:33] What are some alternatives to moving
  • [17:10] Today’s progress principle

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

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