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Tally Up Your Lifetime Earnings Thumbnail

Tally Up Your Lifetime Earnings

In the classic personal finance book Your Money or Your Life, authors Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez outline 9 steps to “transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence.” The book is outstanding. One of those 9 steps is an important reality check for all of us to take: First, tally up every dollar you and your spouse have earned in your lifetimes. Second, compare the cumulative amount you have earned with your current net worth (assets minus debt).

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Goal Setting in the New Year

My wife and I just finished reviewing our 2017 finances, planned our 2018 budget, and set some detailed 2018 financial goals. Those three activities are paramount for quality financial planning: Reviewing, Planning Ahead and Setting Goals. And, they can be exciting! Doing a quick recap of what happened in 2017 allows us time to discuss our actions and decisions that led to 2017’s financial outcome. Can we learn anything from what we did last year? Did we establish a new, excellent financial habit? Did we develop a new, unfortunate one?

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The Most Important Factor in Your Retirement Plan Thumbnail

The Most Important Factor in Your Retirement Plan

One of the most vital services we provide to our clients is helping them understand how much they spend each month. While it sounds trivial, it is perhaps the most overlooked (and critical) piece of the financial planning puzzle. When we ask our new clients and prospective clients how much they spend each month, the spending number they give us is almost always at least $2,000 or more per month lower than their actual spending number. One of the main reasons we ask to review our clients’ tax returns is that it enables us to calculate an accurate spending number for that year.

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"I Max Out My 401(k) Every Year" Thumbnail

"I Max Out My 401(k) Every Year"

It's a phrase we have heard many times during meetings: "I max out my 401(k) every year." We typically reply back with something like this: "Wow, you contribute $18,000 of your pay to your 401(k) each year?" (or for people over age 50, $24,000 per year). Typically, the answer we hear back is no, they are not actually maxing out their 401(k).

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Digging Deeper on Where to Retire Thumbnail

Digging Deeper on Where to Retire

Here at The Wealth Group, we have a number of retired clients that maintain residency in warm-weather states with lower income tax burdens than Minnesota. Florida is by far the most common state to which our Minnesota clients transplant, but we also see clients establish residency in places like Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and Tennessee. For any of our clients considering a change in residency (or domicile), our first piece of advice to them is not to have tax considerations be the primary driver of the decision-making process. In other words, if your children and grandchildren all live in Minnesota, you don't mind the cold all that much, and life in Minnesota is generally quite suitable to you, we would tell you not to uproot yourself for 6+ months a year just to save money on taxes.

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