Donalies Financial Planning helps individuals and families achieve their financial goals.
Here's what you need to know about the SECURE Act.
donaliesfp.com The SECURE Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019. The bill, aimed at strengthening retirement security for Americans, features a mix of good and bad. Here are the most important takeaways, along with some commentary: The Act pushes back the age at which retirement plan participants
I can't take credit for the following passage from Dick Wagner's book "Financial Planning 3.0", but I will share it because the author perfectly articulates how I view financial planning:
“If we consider financial planning to be a liberal arts based profession, we need to know a lot about a lot, and then we need to know how it all fits together. Our client relationships and professional undertakings require us to engage in work and conversation encompassing geopolitical realities, the ever-unfolding miracles of the physical sciences, the anticipated tragedies of global warming, potential pandemics and peak oil as well as the mysteries of the spirit and multiculturalism. They take us all the way into the most intimate details of an individual’s personal aspirations. To work effectively with their money, we must grasp their most cherished family relationships and personal relationship with the divine. Our work requires us to see into the future even as we understand and appreciate the past. It forces to us to understand how intangible forces influence the survival of six and a half billion souls on a vulnerable planet. Face it, this work calls for wisdom and understanding on a par with any other profession or sensitive undertaking. No other profession needs more depth and breadth as essential aspects of its training and daily work.”
GRATEFUL FOR THE EVERYDAY THINGS
This time of year can either feel super festive or super stressful— it’s also the time where people start to feel the pinch of preparing for lots of parties and budgeting for lots of gifts.
Wherever you are in this spectrum, don’t forget to feel gratitude for all that you *DO* have, all that you have made possible up to this point! We are more capable and abundant than we realize. Happy holidays everyone!🦃
AS GIFTING SEASON LOOMS, HERE’S ANOTHER SAVING STRATEGY 💰
"The bucket plan is a way to holistically structure your savings to tackle today's market challenges while meeting your immediate, short- and long-term goals.”
With proper planning and forethought, anything is possible. And like with yoyo diets, the idea is to adopt subtle lifestyle changes vs extreme short term measures. While this is a macro-level plan for retirement , this can also be adopted in a micro-sense of everyday living. 🤯
This plan asks savers to set up "now," "soon" and "later" buckets.
1️⃣The NOW bucket is designed to cover living expenses and larger emergency expenses. This is typically money in the bank.
2️⃣The SOON bucket The soon bucket holds money that you may need to access in years 3-10years. These are typically assets.
3️⃣The LATER bucket is ultimately the leftover ‘profit’ from your long term savings allocation. This would be your cumulative wealth and assets.
GIFT GIVING STRATEGIES 🎁
Because I’m a planner, I get asked *how* we handle buying for the holidays. It’s not the sexiest of answers, but it’s a REAL answer.
We plan and budget first. Go figure 😜 But we also commit to buying one stellar, memorable gift for each of the kids, +/- fun filler gifts.
Our logic is this...we are buying something we know they want, are hoping for, and/or can be seen as a forever memory. We also know that when it’s something they want, it will get some use which is of longer term value. 💵
This is always a touchy subject because there is a lot of joy in the sourcing, wrapping, and presenting of a gift. We don’t discount the value of surprise and thoughtfulness. It’s simply a choice we make that makes everyone involved happy. 🎄
So whether you go big or go with many, the first step is the same — IT TAKES PLANNING & FORETHOUGHT
BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING SOON— WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW 😱
Well the simple first fact is, that when you have a credit card, you spend more...you just DO. But if you know that this is how the holiday season is made possible for you and your family, make sure you’ve got cards that work FOR YOU! ‘The Points Guy’ is a popular site to compare and contrast. 💳
I’ll spend this week talking through the many different ways you can take on the holidays empowered vs deflated. It’s about the experience and being together after all!🎁
HARDEST/EASIEST THING TO TEACH: Preparedness 🛑
I sit down with clients all the time that are looking for help, solutions, and/or strategies to alleviate the dreadful weight of debt. 💵
Coming up with an action plan to get out of it is actually *easy.* The hardest part, the WORK, is changing a lifestyle habit of shortsightedness or fiscal soothing.
I’m here to say that you can have anything you want, all it takes is a little patience and preparedness ( and cheerleader like me 😆) You got this! 💪🏻
HOW THE CHILD TAX CREDIT WORKS 👶🏽
The tax legislation passed in December 2017 doubled the Child Tax Credit, starting with the 2018 tax year until the end of 2025. The new $2,000-per-qualifying-dependent-child credit makes $1,400 of the Child Tax Credit refundable. This means that even if the parent ends up owing no taxes, or owing less than $1,400, up to that amount can be received as a tax (credit) refund if the child and parent both qualify.
Only one taxpayer can claim the Child Tax Credit, even if the qualifying child divided time between more than one household during the tax year. If one parent had primary custody of the child, that parent usually receives the tax credit. In cases of joint custody, the parents must reach an agreement about when each will claim the credit – in alternate years or according to some other formula.
And there you have it— one step closer to being in the know and taking a forward look at how you can understand the system and what it can do for YOU! 💰
Things to Consider Before Making the Homebuying Journey 🏡
• Timeframe for Purchase
• Cost of the Home
• Your monthly/annual spending
• Source(s) of funds for down payment
• Existing debt
• Your credit score
• Potential for Growth
• Other goals
More pearls of wisdom will be coming at you with the help of some of my partners at @onestreetco this evening 6pm-8pm.
THE BAD SIDE | UPSIDE OF CREDIT & DEBT 😱
The downside is that bad credit, and subsequent debt, can FEEL like a stain. There is a shame aspect to it, and it’s not fair — I get it! The current system is not built to support and sustain most people; especially when they don’t have access to proper education and fiscal coaching. 📚
The good news, and perhaps most uplifting, is that anything is workable when you KNOW what short term and long term strategies to engage. ‘Bad credit’ no longer needs to feel like an emotional shortcoming. When you have good people + a will to overcome, everything is possible! Even bad credit and deep debt. 💵
ON MY WAY TO DO A THING...Free Workshop on Finance & Homebuying 🏡
To Rent or To Buy? Sometimes it’s better to rent, and sometimes it optimal to buy. It ALL depends on your personal variables in relation to the regional ‘comps.’
Scroll for event details and come attend something that isn’t just conventional wisdom! @ The ONE Street Company
ITS OUR FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR 🎃
The temperature drops and we get into fall mode. We are kicking off the season with trick or treating, holiday parties, fall getaways, and leading into school breaks. We are happiest when surrounded by friends and family — it offsets the intensity of our jobs. And at the end of the day, LIVING WELL is all we really aim for.
Happy Halloween!! 👻
WE’VE ALL HEARD IT, BUT DO YOU KNOW IT?
When no more investors are willing to buy at the elevated price, a massive sell-off occurs, causing the bubble to deflate.
Who remembers the .com bubble and any takers on what bubble is (or should be) next? As much college debt as we are carrying, some want it to be the education bubble 🤔
BEING A WEALTH MANAGER MEANS...
Being an active LISTENER and taking my clients’ goals and investment preferences into consideration. I have to invest their savings which is a significantly heavy (and rewarding) task. It’s not just about maximizing return — I have to minimize RISK too. 😱
DM or call me I’d you want to know what the new generation of financial services and experiences feel like. 📱
FINANCE STORY: BAD ‘ON PAPER,’ BUT NOT ANYMORE 🏅
One of the first clients I started working with when I launched my firm was an employee at the World Bank (well, he’s still an employee there). 🌎
Initially, he had quite a bit of student loan debt, tax debt, and typically overspent on a monthly basis. Basically, he looked bad ‘on paper.’📉
Fortunately, he was (and still is!) great at delegating. I came up with a repayment plan as well as a budget. He stuck with the repayment plan for the debt and is now debt-free (except for mortgage). 🏠
On the budgeting side, he’s had some ups and downs, but that’s normal. He’s in much better financial shape now and is considering the purchase of a SECOND home. now that’s a win!! 🎉
The secret sauce: I take the time and truly listen to my clients. I take in their needs, goals, fears, and obstacles and spin them into an actionable strategy. Moreover, I do this fairly and honestly. No sneaky commissions, no incentives coming to me — just SOLUTIONS.
Watch me do what I do best, and tell your friends and fam- this will be a real estate and finance workshop that isn't readily available:
eventbrite.com TO RENT OR TO BUY? JOIN US AS WE HOST AN INFORMATIONAL SESSION ADDRESSING ALL THE PROS AND CONS ALONG WITH A ROADMAP FOR SUCCESS
LOVING YOUR WORK...
...makes Mondays much more enjoyable. And there’s always #coffee ☕️
Thanks to @wework for making my space enjoyable, and thanks to YOU ALL for making my work purposeful 💪🏻 @ Washington, District of Columbia
YOU NEED MORE THAN JUST A LOAN 💰
There are (many)great loans out there that make ownership possible without needing the traditional 20% down. You can now get away with 3% down in some cases.
No matter what % you need, there’s a financial term that is critical to know BEFORE you start looking at buying property... it’s the ‘ready cash’ that you’ll have to have while you loan is in-process.
We need to start using this term more so that people can start associating financial jargon with real time context. The worst thing that can happen are surprises and confusion — it breeds mistrust and creates a distance between people.
UNFORSEEN OBSTACLES | REAL ESTATE EDITION 💰
As a financial planner, the biggest obstacle I see time and time again is lack of preparation. People jump into the homebuying process without first knowing what they’re getting into.
🌎 Where do they want to live geographically?
👶🏽Are they planning to have kids? If so, will the home they buy allow them to grow as a family?
🏫 What about schools in proximity to the home? How much home can the buyer actually afford?
💵 Have they considered the added cost of condo fees?
There are so many variables that people don’t think about. I truly believe people will have a better homebuying experience if they “do the hard work early” and answer all of these questions. Keep in mind the answers to these questions will change over time as the buyers priorities and goals change. However, it’s better to have some sort of plan than none at all.
HOW I JOINED A NEW GENERATION OF FINANCIAL PLANNERS 💰
I started working for Bethesda-based Investment Planning Associates, Inc. in August of 2006. I enjoyed the work and interacting with the clients, but over time - as I learned more about financial planning, investment management, and what people actually needed - I became frustrated by what I saw. Specifically, I disliked:
✖️Providing almost exclusively investment advice when what people really needed was financial planning advice.
✖️Turning away prospective clients who didn’t have investable assets of $250K+.
✖️The traditional business model where the firm charges a percentage of assets under management (AUM). For many firms, it’s standard practice to charge 1% of AUM. However, I have seen some firms charge up to 2.20%.
All this has led me to try and innovate— How to lead with fiduciary responsibility and how to make space for new needs, new value sets, and chip away at the collective trust issues. I’ve joined a great group via the #xypn network and have invested my time in leveling up my craft by talking with those who have been in the industry for YEARS. Somewhere in the middle is the new ‘face’ of finance. 🤝
FINANCIAL PLANNING MAY AS WELL BE A FORM OF ‘THERAPY’
While I’m not a traditional, certified therapist...there’s so much personal muck and story and baggage that comes our way. It’s tough. I hear and see evidence of this every day. 😭
So, hats off to all you planners out there who are doing work much bigger than yourselves and an even bigger hats off to all you brave clients who are taking that step to change the odds and transform your futures. 💪🏻
WHAT IT MEANS TO SERVE WASHINGTONIANS...
I love this town. It’s full of passionate, inspired entrepreneurs, makers, politicos, and active citizens. A vibrant community is made up of its residents, so it’s my job to provide as much guidance and service as I can to ensure success. We’re not looking at quick profits, we’re looking at creating GENERATIONAL WEALTH!
Per @forbes “Fee-only advisors have fewer inherent conflicts of interest, and they generally provide more comprehensive advice.”
I do believe that and I like to think so. I have structured my business to be as fair and transparent as possible. What is advice if it isn’t with the other persons’ needs and goals at heart!?
MY DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN FOR PEOPLE SEEKING:
Financial Advice ✔️
Financial Literacy ✔️
Asset Management ✔️
Accessible Pricing Structures ✔️
Debt Freedom ✔️
An Honest, Impartial Advisor ✔️
And best of all 🥁
Savings... real money and stress dollars!
FINANCIAL ENTREPRENEURS KNOW CHANGE & TRANSFORMATION 🍁
This time of year is pretty special. You’re witness to the seasons and the subtle changes that come out of that time period. It’s a literal and mental harvesting of all the work you’ve done across the year(s). In the theme of transformation and subtle change, so too does a business go through its own phases. 🦋
Stay tuned for some updates on financial planning, services, offers, and calls-to-action. We are responding and adapting to the individual and collective pressures. 👀
A FINANCIAL PLANNER THAT DOES 8 Bit ART 🎨
Yep! That’s right. It’s important for me to balance work and play so I can be a better version of myself.
Dealing with money, as a planner, can be an intense vocation. You’re ultimately knee deep in people’s money ‘stories,’ and holding their retirement wellbeing in your hands. This makes you more than a number cruncher...you’re also a de facto therapist! 😱
Painting for me is like a meditation, like going to the gym. What I love about 8 Bit art (also referred to as pixel art) is that it is also tied to numbers and patterns. Not too far off from my work, huh!? So there you have it. A little more about ME and the ‘life of a planner.’
HERE’S HOW IT LOOKS IRL 📉
A bond represents a promise by a borrower to pay a lender their principal and usually interest on a loan. Bonds are issued by governments, municipalities, and corporations. The interest rate (coupon rate), principal amount and maturities will vary from one bond to the next in order to meet the goals of the bond issuer (borrower) and the bond buyer (lender).
Most bonds issued by companies include options that can increase or decrease their value and can make comparisons difficult for non-professionals.
Bonds can be bought or sold before they mature, and many are publicly listed and can be traded with a broker.
FUN FACT ABOUT ME 🎮
I love a good video game. It’s my way of relaxing and/or making space for creative ideas and strategies. I’m a big fan of the classics like Zelda, but my passion is anything from the 8 bit days. So much so, I’ll even take to painting my OWN 8 bit art! I’ll be sure to share those pieces later. For now, it’s just me in my office breaking up the day with some Pac-Man 🕹
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I help moms take charge of their money and get their financial house in order.
The China Business Review (CBR), published since 1974 by the US-China Business Council, and online since 1997, is the leading voice on commercial relations with China.
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