What to Buy (and Skip) on Black Friday 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for shoppers. With huge sales and steep savings at nearly every retailer, Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — has long been touted as one of the best times of the year for buying just about anything.

But it won’t be all discounts and deals during the 2017 post-Turkey Day shopping bonanza. Use this guide to steer clear of the duds and get only the best bargains this Nov. 24.

Social Security’s Full Retirement Age Will Rise in 2018

The arrival of 2018 will bring with it several changes on the Social Security front.  

This slow increase in the full retirement age presents a challenge now that Americans are living longer and saving less.  If Social Security is important in your life — or the life of someone you love — you should know about some key changes that will be made to the program coming in 2018.

9 Ways to Build Wealth in Your 50s

Midlife is filled with challenges and opportunities. Yes, you might be in the thick of paying for college, but soon all those other costs that come with kids should be behind you—or so you hope. You're also likely in your peak earning years and when you're making the most is also when you should squirrel away the most.

Some 40% of successful savers—those who built nest eggs equivalent to 10 times pay—did so by saving 15% or more of their incomes for at least 10 years.  Here's how...

4 Post-Work Life Tips

How to have a long and healthy retirement:

It’s a time when we’re supposed to find happiness, but post-work life is often associated with severe health problems. Below are some tips to help you live long and prosper.  

The 'Disgusting' Financial Practice Tony Robbins Wants You to Watch Out For

It sounds simple enough: Make an investment adviser put the interests of his or her clients ahead of his own.  But the rollout of the so-called fiduciary rule, approved by the Department of Labor during the Obama administration, continues to be delayed, as it faces fierce opposition from the financial industry.  For author and business strategist Tony Robbins, this lack of regulation around investment advice can be “disgusting.”

Learn more about this disgusting financial practice by clicking the link below.

What Is the Value of Hiring a Fiduciary Financial Advisor?

Advisors are worth up to four times the 1% fee they typically charge on assets under management, according to Russell Investments’ annual study on the value of a financial advisor.  In the past four years of this study, we have concluded that the value an advisor delivers to their clients materially exceeds the 1% fee they typically charge for their services.  

The way to improve your fiscal behavior, is to work with a qualified fiduciary financial planner.  With improved fiscal behavior an investor is less likely to make the types of mistakes many people make that can sabotage their financial success.  The real value in working with a fiduciary financial life planner goes well beyond investment returns.  Juggling all your financial puzzle pieces can be stressful and time consuming. Having a trusted Financial Planner to help you with all of this can be a huge weight off your shoulders.  

In 2017, we assess the value of an advisor to be approximately 4.04%.  Click below to learn why.  

10 Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions

April brings showers, flowers…and taxes!   You have a little over a month to go before the tax filing deadline, and if you’re in need of motivation, we have 10 money-saving tax deductions (and credits) to keep in mind.  

Millions of taxpayers overpay their taxes every year by overlooking just one of the money-saving tax breaks listed here (click below). 

Test Your Retirement IQ

What's the biggest threat to a comfortable retirement? Ignorance. The decisions you make leading up to retirement, including how much to save, how to allocate your investments, when to take Social Security and how to anticipate your retirement expenses can make a big difference in your old age. 

And the decisions don't stop on Day One of your post-career life. Once you're in retirement, you'll need smart strategies for taking withdrawals and investing your resources so they last as long as you do.

o how well-versed are you on this critical subject? Take this quiz to find out.  Click link below. 

How much money you need to save each day to become a millionaire by age 65

Becoming rich is nothing more than a matter of committing and sticking to a systematic savings and investment plan.

If you want to get rich, start investing- and start as early as you possibly can.  

To illustrate the simplicity of building wealth over time, Bach created a chart detailing how much money you need to set aside each day, month, or year in order to have $1 million saved by the time you're 65.   

Next time you consider running to Starbucks for a $4 latte, think about this chart and consider redirecting that coffee cash to your savings.  Check it out. 

The Big Lesson From 2016 for Your Retirement Planning

Here's what you should take away from the year that included Brexit and Trump's election.

When it comes to takeaways that can improve your retirement planning and investing, I think there’s one big lesson we should all draw from 2016.

The 10 Best Stocks of 2016

Stocks have shot higher in the final weeks of the year, with major indexes breaking new records day after day and the Dow grasping for 20,000. The S&P 500 is on track to return 11% this year.

Trump's victory has helped several sectors rack up.

Click below for the ten biggest winners in the S&P 500, based on total return.

12 Tips to Cut Your Tax Bill

Aside from earning less – which probably isn’t a great alternative – the best way to lower your tax bill is to make sure you claim all of the deductions and credits you deserve.  

Filing your tax return is a once-a-year event but trimming your tax bill is something you can do right now.

Here are several easy moves many people can make to cut their tax bills. 

 

Black Friday Shopping: The 9 Worst Items to Buy

Surprising to some, the average retailer discount for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2015 was 2.5% across the board.  This means that customers should be strategic when it comes to what to buy – the 60% discount may not apply to what you actually need. 

So which purchases should you skip this Thanksgiving weekend? Click below to discover nine of the worst items to buy on Black Friday. 

The stock market has already picked the next U.S. president

Keep an eye on the stock market from August 1 through October 31.  If stocks go up during that three month stretch, expect Clinton to win.  If stocks slide, Trump will likely prevail.  

The stock market has regularly predicted who will win the presidency in an election year. Now, the report for this year is out, and unless something major happens, here's who's going to take the White House on Nov. 8th. 

State of emergency in N.C. over expected gas shortage

Governor McCrory's office declared a state of emergency in North Carolina due to the gas shortage expected from a major pipeline burst in Alabama.

Officials believe six states--North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama--are all facing possible shortages due to the spill.

Throughout the region, gas prices are going up and lines at the gas stations are long as people rush to fill up their tanks before the supply is gone.  

What the Clinton and Trump Tax Plans Would Mean For You

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent Hilary Clinton—offer Americans a stark choice in 2016, especially when it comes to taxes.

The non-partisan Tax Policy Center in Washington has taken an in-depth look of both proposals. Money Magazine has broken out the numbers for both plans and put them side by side to show just how each candidate’s proposals would affect Americans at a range of income levels.

Click below to find out how each candidate's new tax rates and rules would actually affect you. 

Tony Robbins’ 10 Tips for Living Rich

If you want to be happy, but you’re having a tough time in life due to personal or financial issues, it’s important to take whatever steps possible — even small ones — to progress and grow.

This best-selling author’s advice has been featured prominently in magazines, digital media and in national televised media. He travels all over the country every month for events to inspire people in their lives and in business. 

Click the link below for some of Tony's top pieces of advice on how to change your mindset in ways that can have a positive impact on your life and your finances.

National study finds Asheville housing market unsustainable

Housing prices are rising much more quickly than wages in the Asheville area.  Experts agree this is negative, but they don't know what the ultimate consequences will be.

Click below to learn more. 

45% of Americans pay no federal income tax

Many Americans don’t have to worry about giving Uncle Sam part of their hard-earned cash for their income taxes this year.  An estimated 45.3% of American households — roughly 77.5 million — will pay no federal individual income tax.  To learn why, click link below. 

Here’s How Each Presidential Candidate Will Impact Your Tax Bill

Now that most of the 2016 presidential candidates have released their proposed tax policies you may be wondering just exactly how your bank account would fare with Ted Cruz or Bernie Sanders in the White House. Two tax calculators in particular do a nice job of showing how everyday Americans will be impacted by each candidate’s proposals.

All you need to do is plug your income, marital status, and whether or not you have children into this simple calculator, and it will show you how much more or less you would pay in taxes if Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders were elected.

Click below to see how your paycheck will fare with each presidential candidate.