A 30-second read by Victor Cannillo: Whether you are tired of piles of papers cluttering up your home or are trying to go “paperless,” it is important to know what documents you should keep and which you could shred.
Below we list some of the important documents the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests that you should always keep:
Birth certificates/ adoption documents
Social Security cards
Marriage licenses or divorce decrees
Passports or citizenship materials
Familial death certificates
For items like your home and car, you want to hold on to any automobile titles and home deeds for as long as they are in your ownership.
A 60-second read by Victor Cannillo: If you haven’t completed your estate planning documents yet, consider making it one of your goals for the New Year.
The beginning of a new year is a great time to start crossing off tasks on your list. Having your estate planning documents in place can help to prevent issues down the road and ensures that your specific wants and wishes will be carried out. For example, did you know that technically, everyone has a will? The question is do you have a personalized will or the standard state version?
Here are the 3 most basic estate documents you should have:
A Last Will and Testament
A document dictating how you would like your assets to be dispersed after death; to whom do you want your assets to pass? Having a Will safeguards your wishes. If you die without having a Will in place, the State will decide who is to inherit from your estate. The Will can also be useful to save estate taxes, create trusts for children and establish guardians for minor children.
A Durable Power of Attorney
A document in which you give another person the authority to act on your behalf. If you were ever to become incapacitated, who would you feel comfortable standing-in on your behalf when it comes to your finances, signing your checks, etc.?
A Living Will (also known as an Advanced Medical Directive)
A document outlining your end-of-life medical wishes if you are not conscious to make those decisions for yourself. What medical actions do you want to take place? It may also allow you to appoint a Health Care Representative to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself.
For more specific information on these documents and to start the process of completing them, contact an estate attorney. Make sure he or she specializes in estate law. If you would like assistance finding an estate attorney that fits your specific profile, feel free to reach out to your Baron team.
The answer is “no,” as long as you have a long-term globally-diversified
A 45-second read by Victor Cannillo: The simple truth is nobody knows what will happen when the election is over. No matter which candidate is elected President, historically, stocks will continue to rise and fall as they always have. This election will most likely be no different.
Right now, you might be hearing a lot of market commentary like “If Trump Wins…/If Clinton Wins…” We can be swayed to believe that because a certain president is elected, we should be making changes to our investment strategies and portfolios.
The number one thing to remember – always keep emotions out of investment decisions.
Keep in mind that we are not electing a king, but rather someone who will be in office at most 8 years, with a Congress and Senate that will account for checks and balances.
There might be some short-term volatility, but always remember that you are investing for the long-term, not just for the 4 to 8 years of a presidential term.
A 60-second read by James Shagawat and Victor Cannillo: The difference between buying versus leasing your next vehicle can be the difference of tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Auto expenses can be one of your biggest annual expenses, so there is a lot to consider. Most buyers only focus on their monthly payment fee, and therefore lean towards leasing. But it is important to remember that monthly payments are only one part of the cost to having a car. Continue reading The difference between buying versus leasing a vehicle→
A 60-second read by Victor Cannillo: Need more time to compile information for your tax return? Haven’t received all of the documents you need? It will be in your best interest to file a tax extension. This will extend the due date up until October 17, 2016.
How to file a Paper Tax Extension:
To file an extension, you are going to need to fill out Form 4868 [Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return]. You can download the form and instructions from the IRS website.
With the form, you also need to send in at least 90% of your estimated tax liability due for the year.
To pay by check, mail the form with the check together.
Make the check out to United States Treasury. On the memo line, write your Social Security Number, Form 4868, and the tax year (2015). This way, they know that you are sending the check as part of your extension.
When mailing in the tax extension, it is highly recommended that you send it via certified mail or another method that provides you with a tracking number. The envelope needs to be postmarked by April 18th (April 19th, if you live in Maine or Massachusetts). Check the instructions portion of Form 4868 for the correct mailing address (it varies according to what state you reside in).
To Prevent any Penalties:
Carefully read all instructions and follow all directions on Form 4868.
Correctly estimate your tax liability for the year and send in 90% of the amount due.
It is possible to file your extension online. See the IRS website for more details.
If you ever feel unsure or concerned about the process, consult a Tax Professional to assist you.
A 60-second read by Victor Cannillo: Financial doomsayers have been infiltrating the media for many decades, making those who listen to them become trapped by fear, and subsequently, make rash decisions with their money. Many have fallen victim to headlines like “Selling Everything Now!” and later regret it. The simple truth is, alarmists are primarily in the business so that they can sell their books and newsletters. If they really knew all the answers, why would they tell everyone? They prey on people’s financial worries for their own self-interest, so that they can make a profit. They are “selling fear” for their personal financial benefit…period. Continue reading How to deal with the doomsayers during times of volatility in the market→
Liz Skinner of InvestmentNews interviews Laura Mattia of Baron Financial Group, in the July 26, 2013 article “Women-friendly, with the seal to prove it”. Laura discusses why Baron was chosen to receive the Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors, and how the firm helps educate women. The award is based on rigorous research and evaluation applying 17 objective criteria, and at the time of publication, only seven firms and advisers (only 11% of those evaluated) had qualified to receive this premier recognition.
” ‘The stamp says these people do the right thing for women,’ said Laura Mattia, a principal with Baron Financial Group LLC, which has been given the award. “It helps them know we’ll answer every little question they ask.”
Ms. Mattia said her firm didn’t plan to make women the focus of their practice, but it found that women responded well to its focus on educating clients and hand-holding through the financial planning process. Today, Baron Financial helps many single women, divorcees and widows – many of whom have never handled their own finances. It also produces a monthly podcast, “Financially Empowering Women,” which attracts between 800 and 1,000 listeners.”
Baron Financial Group hosted their 6th annual Town Hall Meeting at the Fair Lawn Community Center in Fair Lawn. Attendees listened to the Baron Principals speak about the efficiency of markets and the updates to taxes in 2013. Ed Coyne, of Royce Funds, spoke about small-cap equities and how they can provide both diversification and return for clients’ portfolios. Baron’s clients, friends, and guests enjoyed the event, as well as the famous Baron desserts. Baron Financial Group, in honor of its clients and friends, donated to the Fair Lawn Food Pantry.