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Wealth Creation

Build wealth doing what you love.

Build wealth doing what you love.

Build wealth doing what you love.

No time like the present to pursue the career of your dreams.

In America’s current job market where there are more jobs than people to fill them, it’s not only easier to find a job but to find one you want.  It’s a job seeker’s market.  Employers are vying for talent. Opportunities abound across most every industry.  There’s no time like the present to pursue the career of your dreams, and to transition from doing a job to doing the work you love.

So, what’s holding you back? 

Fear of failure?  Inertia?  Negative reaction from family or friends?  Lack of support from your spouse?  Feeling ingrained where you currently are employed?  Lacking the confidence or energy to make a change?  Fear of going out on your own?

All are legitimate emotions to experience.  But none are worth enduring unnecessarily or serving as hurdles to the better future you envision, especially in today’s robust business climate.  You have to get beyond the concerns to get on with life as you want to live it –– that is, finding fulfillment in your career, enjoying greater happiness in how you spend each day, and building wealth doing what you love.

You can do this. Lenox can help.

First questions to ask yourself... “What work would you love to be doing that you aren’t doing?” “What field would you enthusiastically switch to if that door opened for you?”

Answer these from your heart, and you’ll be on your way to defining what we at Lenox call your “life purpose”.  And, what if we were to help you take steps to discover how to turn your life purpose into something you act on and achieve.  Something you live.  Something you love. The something you’ve always wanted to be and do becomes your new life work.

Getting clients unstuck and helping them generate income and wealth doing what they were meant to do in life is one of our greatest joys at Lenox. 

Step #1 is to find out “who” you are.  Science can help.  There are quick and proven assessments that reveal this information, specifically how we think about and react to things if we had no other factors affecting us in life.

The Kolbe A® Index, for example, measures what’s known as our conative strengths –- the actions we take that result from our natural instincts.  Simply put, “what makes us tick”. People who learn this about themselves and then build on their instinctive interests learn to position themselves for greater success, wealth and happiness. 

StrengthsFinder® is a simple assessment to help uncover our inherent talents and develop them into strengths.  Having this information can change the way we look at our self, the world around us, and guide us to doing what we naturally do best. 

Kolbe and StrengthsFinder are two of the most powerful life-building, wealth-building tools that we’ve seen have a remarkable impact on our clients –– self-discovery tools that help to turn your personal strengths into financial strengths. 

If you’re already happily building wealth doing what you love, kudos to you.  Job well done.

If not, give us a call.  Why let another day, week or month go by without taking advantage of your inherent talents and today’s marketplace opportunities to attain the career that lets you truly love your work, not just go to work.

If it sounds like we’re here to help at Lenox, we are.  It’s why “we start with you, not your portfolio”, building on your natural interests and inner strengths to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE®.

We can’t wait to tell you more. 

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow.

 

Call us for a complimentary 1 hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.


 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

529 Plans - The Basics

529 Plans - The Basics

529 Plans - The Basics

What you need to know about these tax-advantaged ways to save for college.


Whether you already have children or you’re planning to start a family someday, the sooner you start to put money away for college, the better.  That’s why we encourage you to learn all you can about 529 plans, a college savings plan created to help families save for education expenses and get a tax break in doing so.

 

Here are some 529 plan basics that every family should know.

 

What is a 529 plan?


According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs. 529 plans, legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” were added to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in 1996.

 

How do 529 plans work?

  • 529 plans offer tax and financial aid benefits to the person funding them (account holder). Earnings in 529 plans accumulate on a tax-deferred basis and distributions are free from federal and state income tax when used for qualified education expenses.

  • 529 plans are offered/sponsored by states, state agencies or educational institutional agencies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia sponsor at least one 529 plan. 

  • You can invest in any state 529 plan, not just that offered by the state in which you reside.  Also, the student (beneficiary) is not required to attend a school in the state where the plan was opened.

  • You can change the named beneficiary of a 529 plan at any time.  However, if you change it to someone other than a family member, there may be tax implications.

 

Are there different types of 529 plans?


Yes, there are two types: Prepaid Tuition Plans and Education Savings Plans.

  • There are important differences between the two types –– fees, certain restrictions, expenses, investment options, to name a few.  (For details, ask your Lenox financial advisor, contact your 529 plan sponsor, or visit www.sec.gov.)

  • You can find out more about a particular 529 plan by reading its offering circular. The National Association of State Treasurers created the College Savings Plan Network, which provides links to most 529 plan websites. 

 

How can 529 plan savings be used?

  • A 529 plan can be used to save and pay for higher education costs –– tuition, room and board, computers, and other qualified expenses. The plan also may be used to pay for up to $10,000 annually for K-12 tuition. 

  • In most cases, your 529 plan can be used to cover expenses at any qualified college or university.  There are more than 6,000 qualified colleges and universities in the USA and an estimated 400+ eligible outside the USA –– most anywhere federal financial aid   is accepted. (Check with each individual plan for its list of qualified schools.)

 

Who can open and contribute to a 529 plan?

  • Parents and/or grandparents can open a 529 plan and be the account holder for a student (beneficiary).  (See our prior blog, “Grandparents and 529 Plans” for information on why parents instead of grandparents might want to be the plan’s account holder.)

  • You can even open an account before a baby is born, opening it in your own name and   transferring it once the baby is born and has a Social Security number.

  • Anyone can contribute to a child’s 529 plan –- aunts, uncles, other family and friends –- which makes the 529 a good idea for birthday or holiday gift giving.

  • The account holder will want to name a successor as you would with any other assets in the event of death or inability to continue as account owner.

 

How is your money invested?

  • Generally speaking, 529 plan contributions are invested in mutual fund-based investments.  Some plans also offer FDIC-insured banking options. 

  • You can typically choose from planned portfolios or create your own investment options.

  • To see which investment options are best for you, check with your financial advisor. 

 

Let us know how we can help.  Lenox professionals are here to explain 529 plan fundamentals and to help guide you in your plan selection and investment options.  Give us a call at 513-618-7080.

  

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from education funding, to generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.


If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.


 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

 

Grandparents and 529 Plans

Grandparents and 529 Plans

Grandparents and 529 Plans 

3 important 529 Plan questions to ask

For generations, one of many ways grandparents have chosen to support their offspring is to help fund their grandkids’ education.  They may have done so via designated savings accounts, trusts or simply by writing a check.  Introduced in the mid-1990s were 529 Plans, an education savings plan offering tax benefits to the plan funder as an incentive to help them save for their grandchildren’s college or post-secondary education expenses.

 

The unique tax advantages of 529 Plans have made them an increasingly popular way for grandparents to help cover tuition, room and board, computer software or other equipment needed for the student.  And thanks to the 2017 Tax Laws, savings from a 529 account may now also be used to pay for tuition at K-12 private or religious schools (with certain caveats regarding annual withdrawals for students of pre-college-age).  We would be happy to discuss such details with you at your convenience. 

 

Whether you already have a 529 Plan for a grandchild or are considering opening one, here are three questions you should ask.

 

Who should own the 529 plan?

Anyone can own a 529 Plan –– grandparents or parents –- and the owner can select (and change) the beneficiary of the plan, as well as direct the plan’s investments or trust their financial advisor to do so. However, while the grandparents may be the ones funding the 529 Plan, it might make more sense for the parents to officially own it. 

 

Here’s why. It’s a matter of putting the student in the best possible position for obtaining financial aid, if needed.  When applying for financial aid, the family must complete a form called FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Part of the FAFSA form is something called the EFC (Expected Family Contribution). The EFC takes into account the student’s income and assets and the parent’s income and assets. 

 

If grandparents own the 529 Plan, the savings that come out of the plan are considered part of the student’s income on the FAFSA form for two years after the funds are received.  By FAFSA calculations, income for the student is weighted significantly higher than if it were income for the parents, which means the funds can work against the student in terms of financial aid eligibility.

 

Can grandparents gift the plan to their adult kids?

A better idea might be for the grandparents to gift the plan to their adult son or daughter (parent of the student) and let them, in turn, make the 529 contribution. However, making this switch in ownership of the 529 Plan is not permitted in all states, so you will want to explore your options.

 

Can grandparents continue to deduct the contribution?

If the 529 Plan is gifted to their adult kids, can grandparents continue to deduct the contribution?  In Ohio, you can, but again this rule changes by state so you will want to do your due diligence.

 

Let us know if we can help.  Our Lenox professionals are experts in education funding.

 

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from education funding, to generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

How to Bunch Deductions and Save Money

How to Bunch Deductions and Save Money

How to Bunch Deductions and Save Money

Check out Betty’s blockbuster savings!

 

As part of the new tax bill introduced in 2017, the Federal government doubled the standard deduction from $12,000 to $24,000, and an estimated 30 million US households lost the ability to itemize deductions like charitable contributions, property taxes, and mortgage interest.

For example, our friend “Betty” has $20,000 in itemized deductions each year ($5,000 in property taxes, $5,000 in charitable, $10,000 in mortgage deductions).

 

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Because the new standard deduction is $24,000, it no longer makes sense for her to itemize each year. She can just take the higher standard deduction – right?

Well, if Betty plans her taxes a little more carefully, there is an opportunity to use BOTH the standard deduction and the itemized deduction. As an example, in some cases, Betty can choose to pay her property taxes early/late and control what year in which they are paid. She also can decide to lump her charitable donations in every other year versus every year.

 

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The benefit of doing this, she is able to increase her itemized deductions by $12,000 over four years or roughly $3,000/year. This could save her anywhere between $400 and $1,200 per year in taxes just by being smart about how she uses the itemized deduction.

If you’re in a similar situation as Betty, let’s talk.  At Lenox, we pride ourselves on helping people make smart money moves at every opportunity.

 

At Lenox, we work closely with people of all ages to help guide you in every aspect of your financial life –– from wealth creation, wealth building and wealth management, to career planning and coaching, funds for education, retirement planning, working through financial hurdles, and more.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

What would you be if you could be who you are?

What would you be if you could be who you are?

What would you be if you could be who you are?

drseuss.png

Build wealth doing what you love.  Let us show you how.

It may sound like a rhyme from a Dr. Seuss book, but it’s an entirely serious and revealing question. 

What if you knew what it is you are meant to be and do in life –- your purpose –– and then acted on it?  What kind of difference could it make in your building personal wealth and living the life you dream of for yourself and your family?

Age isn’t a factor to finding out your purpose in life.  It’s never too early, never too late.  We humans are remarkably flexible and resilient about making changes in life (careers, pursuits, habits), especially when we have a good enough reason to do so –– family, money, happiness, personal fulfillment.

The trick is to find out ‘who’ we are. Science can help. There are quick and proven assessments that reveal this information, specifically how we think about and react to things if we had no other factors affecting us in life. 

The Kolbe A® Index, for example, measures what’s known as our conative strengths –- the actions we take that result from our natural instincts.  Simply put, “what makes us tick”. People who learn this about themselves and then build on their instinctive interests learn to position themselves for greater success, wealth and happiness. 

StrengthFinder® is a simple assessment to help uncover our inherent talents and develop them into strengths.  Having this information can change the way we look at our self, the world around us, and guide us to doing what we naturally do best. 

Kolbe and StrengthFinder are two of the most powerful life-building, wealth-building tools we’ve seen have a remarkable impact on our clients –- self-discovery tools that help to turn your personal strengths into financial strengths. 

If it sounds like we’re your champions at Lenox, we are.  It’s why “we start with you, not your portfolio”, building on your natural interests and inner strengths to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE.

We can’t wait to tell you more.  What wonderful things will you discover about you?   Where will they take you?  Or as Dr. Seuss would say, “The more that you learn.  The more places you’ll go.”

If you’re ready to discuss financial planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow.

Call us for a complimentary 1 hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or contact us to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results. This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

What’s New About 529 Plans?

What’s New About 529 Plans?

What’s New About 529 Plans?

The new twist to these education savings plans, thanks to the 2017 tax legislation.

Designed to help parents and grandparents save for their children’s or grandchildren’s college or post-secondary education expenses with tax advantages, 529 Plans now have a new twist.

Previously, expenses covered under the plan included tuition, room and board, computer software or any other equipment needed for the student. Withdrawals used for these expenses were and still are tax free.

So, what’s the new twist?

Parents and grandparents now can use the savings from a 529 account also to pay for tuition at a K-12 private or religious school.  That can be of great advantage to many families. 

HOWEVER, there is an important watch out –– withdrawals for students who are of pre-college-age are limited to $10,000 per year per student.

The risk, as such, is that families may deplete their 529 Plan(s) by the time the student goes off to college.

It is critical that parents and grandparents think ahead and closely monitor the amount in each 529 Plan to pace withdrawals in such manner that necessary funds will be available for as many years as needed.  And if not, the time to figure out another way to help cover education expenses is before those monies are needed.

Let us know if we can help.  Our Lenox professionals are experts in education funding.

If you’re ready to discuss financial planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow.

Call us for a complimentary 1 hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or contact us here to Fund a Life You Love.

 

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Facts presented have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable.  However, Lenox cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information.  Lenox does not provide tax or legal advice, and nothing contained herein should be taken as legal or accounting advice.  Individuals should seek such advice based on their own particular circumstances from a qualified tax or legal adviser