JA Girlando Financial Planning, LLC
Jim Girlando was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, which is in the northeast corner of the state. Some say they can still, after all these years, detect an East Coast accent. Of course, he does visit relatives there every summer. Having lived his formative years 17 miles from New York City, he became a life-long New York Yankees and New York “football” Giants fan. Hopefully, this won’t deter Broncos and Rockies fans and fans of other teams from seeking out his professional advice.
Jim's Bachelor of Science degree is in Computer Science (yes they had computers back then … and punched-card readers too) with a minor in mathematics. His Master of Arts degree is in Curriculum and Instruction, which he earned as he was transitioning to being a teacher.
Jim's mission is to provide affordable retirement planning to those who wouldn't normally seek out professional financial help; to enable clients to self-manage all aspects of their finances, de-mystify financial processes, and provide the necessary information to make topics such as saving, taxes, and retirement easy, understandable, and straightforward.
Jim has been helping friends and colleagues with their financial questions and financial lives for as long as he can remember. After having careers in large computer system sales and as a high school mathematics teacher, he decided it was a good time to “officially” become a financial planner and help every day folks plan for their retirement.
Jim earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional designation to round out his planning skills and thus became a fiduciary for all his clients.
Being a teacher has always been in Jim's heart, so switching careers from sales to teaching was an easy decision. Although he may no longer be formally teaching in the local high schools, the gift of teaching is still with him and he is always applying this ability while helping people with their finances. Along with the affordable retirement plan that he offers to clients, he will answer all the financial questions they have in a simple and easy to understand way.
Jim and his beautiful wife, Sue, have two wonderful adult sons -Stephen and Joshua. Stephen is married to Brooke and they have been blessed with an awesome daughter, named Coraline, their first grandchild. Stephen will soon have his EE degree from UCCS and works at Samtec Microelectronics in Colorado Springs. Brooke has a Masters in Psychology and works at Focus on the Family. Joshua is matriculating towards a degree in Biblical and Pastoral Studies at Shiloh University, while working in Castle Rock at Aircraft Performance Group.
In addition to being a director on the board at his church, Living Word Chapel in Palmer Lake, Jim is also the treasurer. He is part of making sure that there is integrity in how the finances are handled by the church. He bring this same integrity in working with you and your finances.
You can invest without using a planner who charges you 0.70%. I recommend you invest (and you can use the cash you're holding to invest also) in passively managed mutual funds (index funds).
The best place to invest is in index funds because over the long haul actively managed funds can't beat passively managed (index) funds. Part of the reason is the very low costs that index funds take from your return. They just follow the market as opposed to trying to beat the market, which costs more money.
Vanguard started the first index fund and is the place to contact. Subtract your age decade from 120, 110, or 100 and the answer is the percentage of your invested money to have in stocks. The rest goes into bonds. I recommend using Vanguard's Total US Stock Market Index Fund for your stock percentage and their Total Bond Market Index Fundfor you bond investment.
Each time you reach a new age decade it's time to put 10% more in the bond fund and 10% less in the stock fund so your investments get more conservative as you age. The only other time you touch this money is to re-balance when you get more than 5% out-of-balance. I check every 3 months, because that is when I get a statement from Vanguard. You can re-balance once per year if you like, but you do need to re-balance.
Vanguard will try to talk you into an International Fund, but you don't need it. For one thing the international market used to go in the opposite direction to the US market, but it now tends to go in the same direction. Also the largest US companies (which you'll own in your stock fund) have exposure overseas. Jack Bogle who started Vanguard and index funds and is now 88 and a Vanguard Chaiman Emeritus agrees with me, though those currently at Vanguard may not be trained that way.
If you want to have the money available to you in the near term 1, 2, or 3 years ... check out bankrate.com and pick the money market account that has the highest rate at a financial institution that is at least a 4 or 5 star rated. They are all FDIC-insured institutions. Currently you can probably get around 2%.
By the way ... congrats on contributing 15% to your 401(k). I hope they have a Roth 401(k), you've opted for it, and that there are some matching funds.
You shouldn’t cancel either credit card to have your credit score not be impacted negatively.
15% of your credit score is based on how long you’ve had credit (hence keeping the one from 1999) and your average length of credit. Each source of credit counts as one for the denominator and the years you’ve had each line of credit get added together to form the numerator. The numerator divided by the denomination gives you your average length of credit.
30% of your score is based on your credit utilization, which is the amount of total credit you have available and the amount that you are using. Less than 30% is best, although the lower the better. This is the case for also keeping the card from 2007.
Since you won’t be carrying these cards with you to make purchases, charge at least one thing to each so they have some activity. For instance, charge something like Netflix and/or another monthly automatic charge to each.
Be disciplined about using a credit card and pay off the balance every month to incur no interest charges.
If you and your spouse file your income tax return as MFJ, you get a $500,000 capital gains exclusion on your primary residence that wouldn't be available for your vacation home.
Your second home (such as a vacation home) is considered a personal capital asset. Use Schedule D (Form 1040), Capital Gains and Losses, and Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, to report sales, exchanges, and other dispositions of capital assets.
Since you've owned the vacation home for less than 1 year you owe ordinary income tax on any gain that you have.
This depends on your overall tax situation and if you have the money to pay the taxes on the conversion amount.
Generally in a down market it is a more favorable time to convert. In any market it is best if you only convert the amount that will keep you in the same tax bracket that you would be in without the coinversion.
As yuo know, once the conversion is done the earnings will now grow tax-free and that's one of the reasons that makes a Roth better when it comes to withdrawal time.