Financial education & insights

The Collabria Blog

Keeping Mom & Dad Safe From Financial Scammers
Today's seniors have embraced technology in amazing ways, but the combination of incredibly rapidly changing technology and a desire to remain independent and not be a burden on their children can result in increased financial vulnerability.
May 29, 2024
5 Key Components of Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is about understanding how the different areas related to money, work, and life function independently and together. Breaking it down into clear areas and taking consistent action steps keeps you on top of the issues, helps you get ahead, and can lessen stress and worry when bumps in the road crop up. Financial literacy goes well beyond the basic blocks of wealth. As life gets more successful and complex, working with a financial advisor can help you ensure you have everything covered.
May 8, 2024
Do You Need An LLC If You Have Rental Real Estate Properties
Investing in a rental property can be a good way to achieve financial goals. It can be a source of steady income, potentially provide capital appreciation, help diversify your portfolio, and provide tax benefits. Setting up an LLC can limit liability, offer tax benefits, and facilitate investing alongside partners.
May 8, 2024
What Role Does Your Home Play In Your Retirement Plan?
Your home is an important retirement asset, and thinking through what you want and the potential options you have is a good way to get the most out of it. Gaming out various scenarios in the context of your other retirement assets will help you decide what’s best for you.
February 20, 2024
Retirement Planning for a New Paradigm
Retirement planning in our new paradigm is more complicated, but there are tried and true ways to create a plan that will keep you on track.
January 23, 2024
Rethinking Taxes from a Risk Perspective
Taxes, particularly in retirement, are a meaningful part of the risk that you should plan for. There are strategies you can undertake that can help you diversify your tax allocation and set you up to minimize taxes throughout your entire financial journey.
January 23, 2024
Are You Confident About Your Financial Future?
Across all generations, being financially prepared for retirement is the biggest worry. Of Gen Z, Millennials, and still-working Boomers, more than 50% expect to be prepared for retirement. Gen X is the outlier – only 45% of Gen Xers are confident they’ll be ready for retirement. All generations value financial advisors for their professional expertise and for helping them think long-term and stay on track for goals. But Millennials and Gen Z want a more robust relationship with an advisor. For them, aligning finances with values, saving time, and keeping them up-to-date on changes to financial legislation or changes that will impact them are important.
November 29, 2023
How The SAVE Plan Simplifies Student Loan Repayment
The SAVE plan will make it easier to make progress on repaying student loans while also moving forward with the financial and lifestyle goals you’ve set for yourself. Availing yourself of an income-driven repayment plan and combining that with Public Service Loan Forgiveness can get you there much faster.
August 14, 2023
Understanding Alternative Investments
Alternative investments have become much more mainstream in recent years. They are more accessible for today’s investors and may be helpful in creating a portfolio strategy that can meet their financial goals.‍
August 14, 2023
Mid-Year Financial Check Up
How can you keep your investments on track? Is the rest of your financial plan in shape to get through a potential downturn? You have more control than you think. There’s a lot you can do to ensure you are keeping everything moving towards your goals. The mid-year point is a good time to take stock – and then take action. Taking the time to check in on your finances during the precious days of summer may not be at the top of your list, but it makes sense to devote some time to keeping everything in shape. This can help you create the flexibility you want in your life.
June 28, 2023
Achieving Financial Independence
True financial flexibility is closely tied to financial independence; however, you define that. For many people, it relates to flexibility and making choices as an individual and for your family.
June 28, 2023
Healthcare in Retirement – Retiring Early and Bridging the Gap to Medicare
Along with losing a primary source of income, early retirement could also mean losing employer-sponsored healthcare insurance – which can create a significant expense you may not be prepared to cover. How can you bridge this healthcare gap? We outline the various options available between early retirement and Medicare enrollment at age 65.
March 30, 2023
How Do YOU Define True Wealth?
The word that resonates most strongly with investors today is flexibility. Whatever the individual definition of wealth is, it often starts with a desire to have more control over time and work. Understanding the trade-offs that are involved can help you make decisions that are right for you.
March 23, 2023
Women Excel As Long-Term Investors
Over the last few years, several studies have found that women investors outperform men significantly. The first of these, by the University of California at Berkeley, found that women outperformed by a full percentage point over a six-year period. What gives women investors their investing superpowers? It’s a combination of several factors, and the good news is that it isn’t limited to women with a high degree of investing skill or acumen.
March 17, 2023
Special Update On Silicon Valley Bank and FDIC insurance
Last week, Silicon Valley Bank collapsed. The headlines are scary — it's the second biggest bank collapse in U.S. history. But there's a lot of misinformation going around, so I want to walk you through what actually happened.
March 12, 2023
What Is A Donor Advised Fund (DAF)?
Overall, donor advised funds are a versatile tool when it comes to making donations. They provide immediate tax benefits and allow donors to choose where their money goes, all while those donations can grow tax-free until a charity is chosen and the funds are distributed.
March 9, 2023
What is A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)?
If supporting charities meaningful to you is part of your long-term financial plan, creating a strategy around your giving can help you maximize the gifts you give. A Qualified Charitable Distribution can also be tax-efficient across several dimensions of your overall plan.
March 9, 2023
Financial Planning for Women is About Flexibility and Balance
Women have made significant strides in building strong careers in every avenue of the workforce in recent decades. Here’s our round-up of some things women should consider as they work to create lasting wealth at every stage of their financial journey.
March 9, 2023
How To Build a Balanced Portfolio
How you construct your portfolio is very important to meeting your goals. Your financial advisor can help you select investments that reflect your unique approach to risk and return. Working together, you can craft an investment strategy for every phase of your life, ensuring that your strategy keeps pace with your changing goals, and that you keep your financial balance.
March 3, 2023
5 Steps to Address Concerns About an Aging Parent
As your parents begin to settle into their final phase of life, their health, residence, and finances could become a factor in your retirement planning. This is especially true if you are the person your parents have tasked with settling their estates.
February 22, 2023
Avoiding the Big Retirement Risks
Retirement changes your mindset from being a saver to essentially a spender as you begin to live on the nest egg you accumulated. You won’t have income from work, but you will have more freedom. For many retirees, the newfound freedom opens new doors. Ensuring you can make your retirement assets match your retirement lifestyle means mitigating the risks. The first requirement of a good retirement plan is that it needs to be flexible enough to efficiently encompass changes in your life as you adjust to your new situation.
February 8, 2023
Your Investment Portfolio Asset Allocation – The Long and the Short of It
Constructing a portfolio that meets your goals and fits your risk profile requires a combination of skill, knowledge and most of all – a deep understanding of you as an investor. Determining your portfolio goals and your risk tolerance is the first step in creating an investment strategy. The next step is to deploy the investment strategy by mapping out an asset allocation.
February 8, 2023
SECURE 2.0 Act Enhancements Across the Retirement Continuum
It’s not the most imaginatively named legislation, but the SECURE 2.0 Act expands the 2019 SECURE Act to make it easier to have a successful retirement. The legislation tackled retirement savings at several points on the financial journey, with a provision to enhance or facilitate saving and investing for almost everyone. Starting early and taking advantage of the tax benefits – and the power of compounding – are the key features of the years in which you are saving for retirement. The goal is to retire successfully and have enough to live the life you want. But saving is just one piece of the puzzle. Thinking strategically about retirement at every stage can keep your plans on track.
January 16, 2023
Making the Retirement Leap in 2023
Deciding to retire requires careful planning, no matter when you do it. It is a more complex environment now – but over the course of a multi-decade retirement, you’ll see a broad range of situations. Starting off with a plan that is built to smooth your path no matter what lies ahead is a good strategy.
January 3, 2023
Managing Your Stock Options During a Job Transition
Employee stock options have increasingly become a piece of total compensation over the last few years, particularly for people employed in high-growth industries such as technology-related sectors. But what happens if a slowing growth picture results in your firm downsizing?
December 12, 2022
Top Things To Consider If You Lose Your Job
In today’s economic uncertainty, business closures and layoffs are increasingly common. The loss of a job can cause serious stress personally and financially. To help guide you through a disruption in employment, we’ve created the checklist “What Issues Should I Consider If I Lose my Job?”
November 8, 2022
Keeping Your Balance: Lowering Volatility and Managing Risk
Rebalancing an investment portfolio is critical to keeping your investments on track to meet your goals. It’s as much a part of a good plan as determining the right allocation in the first place. Incorporating a discussion of your current situation and any changes to your life that you anticipate coming up should also be part of your portfolio rebalance discussion. It’s necessary portfolio hygiene that will help keep your financial plan healthy.‍
October 18, 2022
How To Create A Retirement Paycheck
Creating a sustainable retirement income stream means building a plan that can adapt and grow with you as your retirement lifestyle and goals change. Identifying guaranteed income, creating an asset management plan designed to mitigate volatility, and being sensitive to taxes are the broad strokes. There are a lot of details and customization that make your plan work for you. Setting a solid foundation and then tracking and proactively making changes will keep your plan on pace with the lifestyle you want.
September 27, 2022
Understanding Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPPs)
A classic investment strategy is “Buy What You Know” – in other words, invest in companies and brands that you are familiar with and believe in. Investing in the company you work for can be part of a solid equity allocation, particularly when your company has an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) that allows you to buy shares of company stock at a 5%-15% discount with after-tax dollars.There are also advantages included in some plans, such as a lookback, that can let employees get an even better deal. We break down what you need to know before adding your company stock to your investment plan.
September 20, 2022
Understanding The Fee-Only Fiduciary Advisor Model
The financial advisor model has changed over the last several decades. From the investor perspective, these changes provide more options, more transparency, and more of the kind of services that used to be accessible only by those with a great deal of wealth.The fee-only fiduciary advisor gets paid to provide advice to their clients, whether in financial planning, asset management, or both. The fiduciary standard is a key piece of this. To act to the fiduciary standard, an advisor must always put a client’s interest above their own. Fee-only advisors get paid exclusively by their clients and don’t receive commissions or kickbacks from recommending certain products or services. Trust is at the heart of all financial advisory relationships. As an investor, you want to find an advisor that you can trust and a transparent fee structure is a critical part of that.
September 16, 2022
5 Big tax challenges of retirement planning
Income and taxes go hand-in-hand in retirement, even more than in your working years. Planning ahead with a multi-year approach to lowering lifetime taxes – instead of taxes in any one year – can keep your retirement on track, lifestyle in place, and legacy secure.
September 15, 2022
Using Equity Compensation in Retirement Planning
Stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs) are becoming more common as part of a total compensation package. But there are differences between saving for retirement from salary and incorporating stock into a retirement plan. Depending on where you are in your career, you may have decades to exercise options and set up a plan to save consistently. Or you may be close enough that you’ll need to carefully plan your retirement date to vest as much as possible before employment termination.
September 15, 2022
Top Year-End Planning Issues
The end of the year provides a number of planning opportunities and issues. Year-end topics can include tax planning, investment and retirement accounts, charitable giving, cash flow and savings, insurance and estate planning. In this checklist, we cover a number of planning issues that you need to consider prior to year-end to ensure you stay on track
September 7, 2022
Should You Consider a Living Inheritance?
Being in a position to create your legacy now – and hopefully see it grow and improve others’ lives – is a modern approach to wealth. Be sure that you have taken care of your own needs, create a formal plan, and allow everyone involved to understand the amount, intent, and timing of the gift.
August 30, 2022
Student Loan Forgiveness: A Primer
For borrowers with lower balances, the $10,000 or $20,000 student loan forgiveness program will mean an immediate, tangible difference in income and standard of living. Borrowers with higher balances that have made payments but were having difficulty getting debts discharged will – until October 31, 2022 – have a chance to cut through the red tape and get relief.
August 25, 2022
Should You Be Harvesting Tax Losses ?
Tax-loss harvesting can be a useful portfolio management tool that can lower your tax costs. It can be part of an annual rebalance, or you may keep the tax benefits in mind as you opportunistically invest throughout the year. Your investment strategy should always be the priority, and to get the maximum benefit, think through the implications of the sales of both gains and losses before you execute. And of course – consulting your financial and tax advisor is always a good idea.‍
August 11, 2022
Is it Time to Hire a Financial Advisor? How Do You Even Do That?
Working with a financial advisor can be one of the most productive professional relationships you’ll have. You can structure the relationship any way you want to reflect your style, needs, and comfort level.Whether you want an advisor who will be a partner for many years to come, who will be your “first call” no matter what happens, or if you like to DIY your money and need some help creating a plan you can implement – there’s an advisor for everyone.
July 26, 2022
More Money More Problems - Understanding Equity Compensation
Depending on the type of compensation you have, the way you need to address it is different. Executives with stock in public companies will have different needs than employees of start-ups that haven’t gone public yet or are in early stages. The type of equity compensation you hold will dictate the strategy you need to put in place. With equity compensation, two things are most important: -Making sure you clearly understand all of the regulations and deadlines you’ll need to meet; -Planning for paying the taxes, and minimizing the impact
July 19, 2022
Tax Planning for Mid-Late Career Professionals
Financial planning used to be something that people did at retirement to convert their savings into income. But lifestyles look different now, and the retirement trajectory is much shorter for many people. Starting early on your financial plan makes sense, and tax planning is a big part of building wealth that will last.
July 14, 2022
Mistakes are Expensive: Mid Career Professionals Embrace Financial Planning
The mid-point is where you are starting to see your work pay off-You're still in the building and growing phase as you get closer to retirement. However, with that increased complexity comes a high opportunity cost of messing up. Is it time to check in with a professional?
July 5, 2022
Bear Market Survival Tips
Tune out the noise and focus on YOUR PLAN --Downturns come and go. The results of a well-designed and faithfully followed plan, on the other hand, can serve you the rest of your life.
June 28, 2022
It’s Not About Inflation, It’s About Volatility
Inflation is driving the headlines and wreaking havoc on budgets. But for long-term investors – mostly everyone – short-term inflation isn’t the biggest risk to financial plans. Volatility is. It’s being fueled by the Federal Reserve’s efforts to balance bringing down inflation with keeping the economy out of recession.
June 13, 2022
Mid Year 2022 Financial Fitness Check-In
Thinking about your financial picture holistically and keeping all the different pieces tuned up is important to make sure you and your family are achieving your goals and staying protected. Taking the time to check in with some of the bigger items before you turn to the lazy, hazy days of summer will have you in great shape when Fall rolls around.
June 6, 2022
Retiring Early? How Volatility Impacts Savings
If retiring early has been your plan, you may be worried if it’s still possible given the recent volatility. Moving from contributing to withdrawing savings is a big step, and when markets are volatile, it’s even more important to have a plan in place to ensure your savings will last.
June 1, 2022
Market Volatility is Rearing its Head. What to Do?
It can be unnerving when it comes to market volatility, but with the right plan and proper guidance, you can navigate it seamlessly without losing sleep. If you don't have a plan, then you're just reacting. When was the last time you had your plan stress tested?
May 19, 2022
Cash Flow Planning When You’re at the Mid-Point of Your Career
Creating a flexible financial plan that protects your family, grows your assets, and minimizes risks and taxes is the foundation of building wealth. At this stage, you are starting to accumulate enough that mistakes and missed opportunities can be very costly. As your financial journey unfolds, it’s important to ensure that it keeps up with your life. As you change and grow, your goals will evolve, and your resources often increase. Ensuring that your planning matches your life stage is critical to growing wealth and staying on track as you move forward.
May 18, 2022
Getting to a Closing in a Red-Hot Real Estate Market
For a buyer, it’s a frustrating time to enter the housing market. Given the likelihood that interest rates will continue to rise and inventories will not increase dramatically anytime soon, you’ll need to be strategic, prepared, and fast-moving. Do your research, set your expectations, and get your ducks in order.
May 11, 2022
The Mid-Point of Your Career: Creating Options in Life and Work
The mid-point is where you are starting to see your work pay off-You're still in the building and growing phase as you get closer to retirement. However, with that increased complexity comes a high opportunity cost of messing up. Is it time to check in with a professional?
May 11, 2022
My Company Stock Just Dropped! Now What?
Stock market volatility can be amplified when a large portion of your compensation is tied to our employer's stock. But remember that stock compensation is a long-term deal, and with restricted stock or RSUs you receive at least some value at vesting, even if the company's stock price has fallen since grant.
May 10, 2022
The New Value of Advice: A Holistic Approach for Everyone
Financial advice expands beyond selecting products for an asset allocation and can include assistance with tax planning, insurance reviews, goal setting and prioritization, and cash flow management. As client needs become less investment-focused and more life-focused, financial advice has begun to evolve and take on a new form. Working with an advisor to re-focus your finances can help bring clarity and confidence to some of life’s most important decisions. In this article, we break down a few ways this new style of advice brings value to clients at all stages of life. 
April 21, 2022