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Some Year End Thoughts

The end of the year represents a time of renewal. We all like to look at the changing calendar and make resolutions to improve our lives in the new year. What do you want to accomplish in 2016? Is improving your personal finances on that list? If so, we might be able to help!

Do you want to get your financial house in order?
Whether it's keeping better track of your expenses or getting a better handle on your entire financial life, we are using a new software that might help. The product is called eMoney and it allows you to aggregate all your various financial accounts and information under one roof.  It also allows you to share as much or as little of that information with us as you want. This will help us provide you better financial advice more quickly and efficiently. We are offering this product to all of our current investment and financial planning clients free of charge. If you are a client and are interested, e-mail chris@lkbenson.com and he can set you up with an account. If you are not currently taking advantage of the financial planning and investment monitoring services we offer, contact us to find out how we can help you in these areas. 

Do you want to give the gift that keeps on giving?

No, I'm not talking about the jelly of the month club, I'm talking about an investment that can be bought and gifted online in a simple manner. Spark Gift allows you to do just that. This is a great way to get younger people interested in saving and investing. I would recommend gifting the Vanguard funds as opposed to the individual stocks as I believe that will help teach the right lesson of building a diversified low cost portfolio instead of stock picking. Keep in mind there can be some downsides to gifting stock and mutual funds, especially to kids under 18. Laws require that such a gift has to be done in a custodial account that the parent or guardian will need to set up for the minor. 

Do you want to get a head start on your 2016 taxes?
You don't have to wait until we send you a tax organizer in January to start organizing your tax information. Obviously you won't be able to organize your investment statements and W-2 forms yet, but there are other things you can do. For example, if you made charitable gifts during the year you can start organizing what you donated and what the values were. In fact, you might want to download an app from TurboTax called It's Deductible. This app allows you to track your contributions throughout the year to make tax time even easier!

Do you want to start thinking about retirement or a career change?
Are you at the stage in your career where you are either burned out or just ready to move on? Maybe you think you are ready to fully retire or maybe you just want to do something different. Contact us to schedule a meeting. This is a complex decision and there are no easy answers. We can help you think through what you really want to do and how you can accomplish that. There might not be any easy answers, but together we can come up with a plan to help you live the life you dream about.

Do you want to lose weight?
Sorry, but I can't help you there. Eat less and exercise more!