Lupe

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About Lupe Camargo

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So far Lupe Camargo has created 15 blog entries.

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|

Time for Self-Reflection

Camargo-WEBThe last quarter of the year has arrived, and it will likely pass in a flash as we enjoy the cooler weather and celebrate the holiday season with friends and family. despite the hurried pace of life in the final months of the year (or perhaps because of it), I find it helpful to slow down for a little bit and make time for self-reflection.

I like to take stock of my financial life and goals by considering a series of questions. Perhaps this is because of my profession. Still, the questions I ask myself apply to all of us. Making time for self-reflection helps me feel more grounded and in control of my finances. It also tends to recharge my motivation to work and save and achieve my goals.

If you’d like to give it a shot, here are a few questions and ideas to get you started.

  • How much did I save this year? Could I have done more? How much do I want to save next year? One way to make saving easier is to make it automatic, through direct deposit from your paycheck to your savings or investment accounts.
  • Did the money I spent in 2016 reflect my values and priorities? Make a list of five uses of your money that made a significant, positive difference in your life this year. If you have trouble thinking of five, consider outlining a plan for more purposeful spending in 2017.
  • What are my top three long-term financial goals? Reviewing your goals every now and then can help boost your motivation and drive.
  • How much debt am I taking into the New Year? Take an honest look at the number. If the size of your debt is holding you back from saving for your goals, develop an action plan for reducing your debt next year.
  • What are some poor money habits I can squash? We all have at least one or two. Consider the areas in your life where you can make changes, no matter how big or small.
By |October 24th, 2016|Current Affairs, Financial Planning|

Tidy Up Your Finances

Camargo-WEBMany of us feel an urge to tidy up our homes and offices this time of year. Yet, this “spring cleaning” tradition may become obsolete, if Marie Kondo has her way. The organization consultant has captivated the world with her “KonMari Method” and best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Kondo’s promise? If you properly declutter once, you’ll never have to do it again.

Literally millions of readers have attested to the effectiveness and “magic” of Kondo’s method, as well as the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire. But what does all this have to do with your personal finances?

“Tidying isn’t just a physical thing, it’s an emotional thing. You face things around you, and you face your inner self,” Kondo said. Her decluttering method hinges on keeping only those material items that “spark joy” inside you when you hold or use them and letting go of those items that do not.

When you tidy your home, she recently told CNNMoney, you hone your judgment skills. After people shed clothes and items that don’t give them joy, they also become more cognizant of what does give them joy and more deliberate in how they shop and spend their money.

Even if you’re not interested in undertaking a full decluttering and organizing of your life, you can apply the KonMari Method to review and update your budget and financial plan. Just as Kondo asserts tidying is both physical and emotional, I have often discussed with clients that financial planning is both a physical and emotional process.

While you can’t throw out the electric bill if paying it does not spark joy, you can focus your thoughts on the things you enjoy as a result of buying that electricity. Do the ways you spend your hard-earned income day-to-day and the goals you are working toward long-term spark personal joy? If not, let’s meet and discuss how we can tidy up your financial plan and help you revive your motivation.

By |April 20th, 2016|Books, Current Affairs, Financial Planning|