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Personal Finance

The 15 Most Popular Advance Capital Articles of 2023

December 26th, 2023 | 3 min. read

By Advance Capital Team

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Thank you for your dedicated readership this past year. It’s been an eventful period in both the market and the broader economy, affecting us all in various ways. We’ve explored numerous topics and shared a wealth of insights throughout the year.

As our annual tradition, we compile a list of our top articles. This year, we’re highlighting the ones that resonated the most with you. If you haven’t had the chance to read them yet, now’s the perfect opportunity to catch up. These selected articles are not just to be read, they’re resources to be revisited and referenced as needed.

Happy reading!

1. Should You Stay Invested in Bonds Now?

It appears the worst is likely over and the Fed is positioned to stop further rate increases, as starting bond yields are the highest in over a decade. For investors, now is the time to stay steadfast on bonds and know that brighter days and better returns are coming.

2. Simple Tax Planning Moves to Avoid Paying Too Much

Remember, taxes are essentially an investment cost. Any time you sell an investment for a profit, you incur capital gains taxes. Therefore, as an investor you want to try to limit the amount of capital gains you realize.

3. Which Financial Documents to Keep, Which to Shred and Which to Scan

Having your financial documents in order can help simplify your finances, save time and reduce stress. But most importantly, it prepares you and your family for unexpected events – forced retirement, disability, incapacitation or untimely death. During these events, you or a loved one will need access to documents.

4. Should You Tap Your Home for Income in Retirement?

Certainly, tapping your home equity is better than taking a consumer loan because the interest rates are generally much lower. So, this may be a good option for retirees who need emergency cash.

5. 5 Good Reasons to Take Social Security Early (Fear That It Will Run Out of Money Isn’t One)

Some people about to retire should consider filing early because they don’t have enough savings to delay claiming benefits. In other words, they simply need the money. Consider the program provides 37% of men and 42% of women with half or more of their income, according to the Social Security Administration.

6. Estate Planning 101: Will or Trust?

The answer depends on your specific set of circumstances. Generally, a trust requires a bit more effort and expense up front, but it can save time and money upon distribution of the property after you pass away. For some, the best estate plan includes the use of a will AND a trust.

7. Pay Off Your Mortgage Early or Save More for Retirement?

One potential drawback often raised is that if you can invest in the market and earn a return greater than the interest rate on your home loan, you’re coming out ahead. However, that is the opportunity cost of paying down your mortgage early.

8. Securing Your Golden Years: Roth Conversions and Backdoor Roths

With a traditional IRA, you must pay ordinary income taxes on the funds you withdraw. Enter the Roth IRA conversion, a process where you transfer those assets to a Roth IRA where they can grow tax-free.

9. Is Long-Term Care Insurance Right for You? Factors to Help You Decide

Typically, those with moderate financial means consider insurance to reduce the risk that long-term care expenses will deplete their financial assets. However, even those with enough wealth to self-fund may still decide to include insurance in their plans as part of an overall risk management strategy.

10. Saving for College: 529 vs Brokerage Account

For several reasons, college savers are attracted to 529 plans, but the tax advantages may be the biggest draw. Your earnings can grow tax-deferred and some states allow you to deduct your contributions. Also, withdrawals for qualified higher-education expenses are tax-free.

11. Is a Pension Lump Sum or Annuity Better?

Choosing between a lump sum and a monthly annuity pension depends on various factors, including your financial goals, marital status, legacy plans, risk tolerance, other sources of retirement income and personal preferences.

12. Travel Insurance: What to Know Before You Buy

The average cost of travel insurance can vary widely depending on various factors, including trip cost, duration, destination, types of coverage and even age of travelers.

13. 4 Social Security Mistakes to Avoid If You’re Married

Unless it makes sense for your retirement plan, avoid the mistake of both spouses simply claiming benefits as soon as you become eligible. This can significantly reduce your overall income during retirement.

14. 6 Ways to Protect Your Money from Persistent Inflation in Retirement

Given the possibility of a retirement spanning over 30 years, maintaining a segment of your investments in stocks is advisable. Historically, stocks have consistently outpaced inflation, providing retirees with growth benefits.

15. Is the 60/40 Portfolio Dead? Not So Fast.

Traditionally, the 60/40 portfolio has been a staple in investment strategies, offering a balance between the growth potential of stocks and the relative stability of bonds.

Advance Capital Team

Advance Capital Management is a fee-only RIA serving clients across the country. The Advance Capital Team includes financial advisers, investment managers, client service professionals and more -- all dedicated to helping people pursue their financial goals.