Insight Financial Strategists LLC
Chris Chen CFP® is a Boston, MA area fee-only financial planner serving the entire region and clients across the country. Insight Financial Strategists provides financial planning, retirement planning, investment management, and divorce planning services to help clients organize, grow and protect their assets through life’s transitions. As a fee-only, fiduciary, and independent financial advisor, Chris Chen is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.
Chris Chen CFP® is an experienced fiduciary, fee-only wealth manager providing unbiased financial planning and investment advice. He helps guide executives, physicians, attorneys and retirees with wealth accumulation and preservation, retirement income planning, and family protection strategies.
He is especially adept at successfully navigating clients through challenging life transitions such as retirement income planning, and divorce financial planning. As a fee-only financial planner, and a Registered Financial Advisor, Chris works with your own legal and tax advisers to build individual financial plans that address your unique goals, issues and constraints
Chris also helps clients with divorce coaching and post-divorce recovery, helping clients navigate the financial aspects of divorce, and resetting after the divorce into a financially successful direction.Chris earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Rochester and his MBA in Finance from the Univesity of Texas at Austin. He is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® practitioner, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and is a trained Mediator, having completed mediation training in accordance with M.G.L. ch.233 § 23C
Chris invites you to sign up to start your own financial plan for free at po.st/financialplan
No, you cannot. An inherited IRA is distributed differently from your own IRA. Whereas a Traditional IRA typically distributes for people who are older than 59 1/2 years of age, an inherited IRA can distribute when you are younger than 59 1/2. A traditional IRA must distribute when you have reached 70.
If your inherited IRA is a Traditional IRA, it is taxed as income. Whether it is a Traditional or a Roth IRA, there is a 50% penalty if the distributions are not taken as required.
Congratulations and Welcome back!
First, do sign up for your 401k and contribute enough to get the company match. Not doing it is leaving money on the table, and you don't want to do that. More importantly, the compound growth over 40+ years until you reach retirement is such that you cannot afford not to. Let me know if this is confusing, I will show what I mean. Ideally you would want to contribute more. However you have other issues to deal with!
Second, build an emergency fund: you need 3-6 months of after tax expenses. It might take a while. Save a little every pay period unti you reach your goal
Third, figure out how to deal with your student loans. There is no escaping them. Uncle Sam will be after you unti you pay them off. There are a number of ways to deal with student loans. However, let's assume that you are just going to pay them off.
Most people have several separate loans and loan types. Rank the loans in terms of cost (ie how much interest do they charge). I favor the approach where you pick one loan at a time (the most expensive one) to focus your available cash flow until is is paid off. Paying off your first loan will give you a sweet feeling of satisfaction. It will save you interest payments, and it will increase your cash flow.
Next focus on the next loan and knock it down and so on.
With $35,000 in loan it will take a while. However, I expect that your income will increase when you find permanent employment. I have known a number of Peace Corps alums over the years. They have all done really well. So, I expect that you will too!
I don't see why you would want to refinance a $48,000 mortgage ona $25,000 property. I don't see why a bank would give you such a mortgage.
From what you are describing, the best financail option is to foreclose and buy another condo.
If I misunderstood let me know. I'll be happy to be creative!
Congratulations on a great start to saving and investing!
Because you are in the low 12% federal tax bracket, it makes a lot of sense to contribute to a Roth IRA. You are at the beginning of your career, and there is a good chance that your tax rates in retirement would be higher than they are now. So go on with the Roth.
If you come across an employer with a 401k, consider changing jobs. 401ks usually come with a match, and contributions to it reduce taxes. So that might answer your question for reducing your current taxes.
You may want to target a timeframe for that big purchase that you are planning. Your invesment risk should match the time horizone you are looking at. For instance if you are planning to buy a car next year, you would want the funds that you allocate to it to be risk-free. If you are looking at a house in 10 years, as an example, you may be able to sustain greater risk. The greater the risk that you are able to sustain, the more a taxable brokerage account may fir your need.
Fringe benefits, or perks, are valuable supplements to an employee's salary or other work income, that is not included in the employee's taxable income.
The most common fringe benefit is health care insurance coverage. While most employees pay a portion of their employer provided health care insurance coverage, the major part is usually paid by the employer. That is a valuable benefit that can be considered untaxed, and untaxable, income to the employee.
Potentially the second most important fringe benefit is contributions to retirement plans. Most employers with a retirement plan will match a percentage of an employee's contribution. Eventually, the employee will pay income taxes on these contributions when a distribution occurs. In a minority of cases employers will make contributions to retirement plans that do not require a match by the employee. In any case these are valuable supplement to income.
Other fringe benefits include group life insurance, short term and long term disability insurance.
Also of interest are education assistance, when an employer will susbdize a work related academic program
Increasingly common are fitness assistance programs. Employers will pay for some of the cost of joining a fitness club. Although that is nice perk, it should be noted that it is usually seen as one way to reduce health care costs!
A widely envied perk is one that some large technology companies offer: free or subdized meals. Some companies offer gourmet meals on site. Others will have them delivered.
Perks can include a number of other services that make the employer more attractive, and employee life less stressful.