Lupe

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About Lupe Camargo

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So far Lupe Camargo has created 17 blog entries.

End of Year Checklist

Lupe Camargo offers a financial end of year checklist for review.Where has the year gone? Throughout the year we have several ways to help lower our tax bill and save more money. Although most of the year is behind us, there is still time to take advantage of some things that can help put you ahead. Take a minute to review this end of year checklist.

Maximize retirement account contributions.

How much more can you save before year-end in your IRA or company retirement account? Traditional and Roth IRAs have a limit of $5,500 with catch-up contributions of $1000 for those over age 50. The 401K contribution limit is $18,500 with a catch-up contribution of $5,500. These extra contributions may push you into a lower tax bracket, so it’s worth evaluating.

Don’t miss your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).

At age 70 ½ you are required to withdraw at least the required minimum distribution from your IRA or face a steep penalty. Remember the option of doing a Charitable IRA Rollover. This allows individuals to use their RMDs to make a direct transfer of up to $100,000 per year to qualified charities without incurring federal income taxes. Remember though, because taxes are not taken out when you complete a Charitable IRA Rollover, these funds may not be listed on your tax return as a charitable contribution.

Spend your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) money.

Is there money left in your company FSA? Use it before the end of the year, or lose it. Buy those glasses, or get the dental work done, before the money disappears.

Capitalize on tax-loss harvesting opportunities.

At Perspective, we regularly review portfolios for tax-loss harvesting opportunities. This helps to offset taxable capital gains you have had throughout the year by selling investments that have lost value.

Review your spending.

Are you confident you know where your money is going? Begin the process of reviewing your statements and identifying opportunities to save more. By focusing on what you can control, you can help kick off 2019 in the right direction.

By |December 3rd, 2018|Financial Planning|

Plan for Bittersweet Life Transitions

Lupe CamargoIt’s true. One day you’re holding a baby in your arms, and then the next you land where I am today – watching your child walk across the stage at her high school graduation, and entering into a new chapter of her life away from home. It does feel like a flash. How do you plan for bittersweet life transitions like this?

Reflecting back, there were many choices made along the way that helped create a path paved with options for her future. So much planning and preparation is required in raising a child. Ultimately, it is how we use resources under our control that can increase the likelihood of creating opportunities down the road for our child. Those resources include our energy, care, time, money, skills and experience. Success can come when all of these resources are carefully balanced.

The Next Stage

As I think about this next stage in life, I am delighted to see my daughter become a kind, independent and mature young woman. When that bittersweet moment arrives as I drop her off at college, I hope she remembers these life lessons my husband and I have imparted to her:

Only spend what you have. Living on modest means early on will give you freedom and options later.

  1. Be grateful for what you have and, for those things you have, use them wisely.
  2. Success is not measured by status or what car you drive. It is determined by who you are, how you treat others, and how you lead your life.
  3. Pay attention to the things that matter, and don’t get distracted away from your goals.
  4. You are part of a community, so remember to always give back and support those in need.

Shifting from an active participant to a spectator in her life will be challenging; however, I trust she is ready to handle what life throws her way.

I also share with her three things that I have always carried with me, and hope that she carries them forward as well: Be brave, be wise and be kind.

By |May 21st, 2018|Financial Planning|

Year-End Tax Saving Strategies

Lupe Camargo, financial plannerNow is a perfect time to check for any remaining opportunities to help minimize your tax bill before 2017 comes to a close. There are many year-end tax saving strategies for you to consider.

At Perspective Financial Services, we take a proactive approach to minimize our clients’ tax bills through a variety of investment strategies. Selling a security in a taxable account at a loss and replacing it with another security of the same asset class can help offset some of your capital gains tax; this is referred to as tax loss harvesting. We also research mutual funds that may generate a capital gains distribution before making end of year purchases; this helps avoid unnecessary capital gains taxes on new investments.

There are additional things you can do, with the help of your financial planner. Here is a checklist of things to think about.

When possible be proactive about the timing of your income. This can make a significant impact on your tax bill.

  • Defer a bonus or a sale of appreciated property to the following year when it becomes advantageous to avoid the income this year.
  • Pay expenses this year, such as fourth quarter state income taxes or medical expenses. This helps especially when next year’s income will be less than this year.
  • Increase your federal income tax withholding to soften the blow of a significant tax bill.

Take advantage of the vehicles that not only help you plan for the future, but give the added bonus of reducing your income taxes.

  • Max out your IRA contributions, and take advantage of the catch-up if you are over 50 years old.
  • If you are over 70 1/2 years old, or you have an inherited IRA, do not forget to take your required minimum distribution. The penalties are very steep if you do not.

If you are planning to gift money to family or charities, do so before the end of the year.

  • Give $14,000 per individual annually in federal tax-free gifts.
  • Make planned charitable contributions and take advantage of the charitable rollover provision if you are over 70 1/2 years of age.
By |December 4th, 2017|Advisors, Charitable Giving, Taxes|

Influence Change for Personal Success

Lupe CamargoBuilding a foundation for a strong financial life begins with good habits. But what if you don’t have those habits, despite all the efforts to fully fund that 401K, grow that rainy day fund, or become debt free? With almost half the year behind us, how many are disappointed that the New Year’s resolutions lost steam along the way? How can you influence change for personal success?

The authors of Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success offer ways to change our unproductive behavior cycles. Based upon research in a number of psychological and medical fields, they show that traditional will-power is not necessarily the answer and that people are often affected in their behaviors by more subtle influences.

If we’re blind to what influences our choices, we have unseen forces working against us as we strive to move forward. Identifying and understanding those forces can help us turn the tables.

For change to occur, we need both the motivation and the ability to create it. Motivation and ability need to be applied to each of the following three categories (which, according to the authors, creates six sources of influence that drive our behaviors to either change or resist change):

  • Personal: what you do to change (or what you avoid)
  • Social: others who help or hinder your change
  • Structural: elements of your environment that can influence or block change

The authors of Change Anything suggest you design a plan that is adjusted to fit your personality, your situation, your weaknesses and your tendencies. Become a social scientist. Study yourself as the subject, and experiment with what works. Make it homegrown. You know you best.

 

By |June 19th, 2017|Books|