Planned Life Changes in Lincoln – 2019
Once a year, we do an unplanned life changes story about some hard, challenging events that life may throw our way. On the flip side, we also do a planned life changes story to talk about the happy, exciting events in life! These include getting married, having a baby, buying a home, buying a car, starting a new job, going back to school, etc. These events can bring us so much joy, but if there isn’t proper preparation ahead of time, these events can seem overwhelming or even start to feel like a negative thing. We don’t want that for any of you though, so we talked to some local experts who had some advice and resources to share on the topic of planned life changes.
The first person we spoke with was Bethany Arnold, a financial advisor for Edward Jones. She shared some personal experience she has with a life change that many of us will or already have experienced: starting a new job.
“Not too long ago, I took a leap of faith and left my comfortable world working in the healthcare industry,” Bethany said. “I loved my job and the patients I connected with, but I felt the need for more…more autonomy, more lifelong relationships, more time with my family, and more control of my own success. I left the bureaucracy and politics of healthcare and joined Edward Jones as a financial advisor. My husband and I both decided that it was the ‘right’ time to make this leap and, while I had plenty of nay-sayers telling me I worked too hard for my doctorate to walk away from it, I’m glad I did. What I began to realize is that these nay-sayers didn’t have to wake up every day and live my life—I did. I needed to do what was best for my family. With the support of my husband and close family, I have built my business up from the ground by pounding the sidewalks and knocking on doors. I’ve also been fortunate enough to receive referrals from amazing clients and great business partners. Looking back, it may not have been the perfect time, but it was definitely the right time for me.”
With all that in mind, Bethany definitely knows firsthand how necessary it is to keep finances in mind when planning for a big change in your life. “As an advisor for Edward Jones, we will work together as a team to find out what is important to you and determine the best plan to get you where you want to be, and how we are going to get you there,” explained Bethany. “Planning for tomorrow today will help you eliminate stress and worries so you can enjoy these major life events. From retirement to having a baby to changing jobs, there really isn’t ever the perfect time, but mapping out what it will look like will make it the right time.”
Something we also wanted to point out for those of you who are in the market for life insurance for yourself, your spouse, or even your children, it’s never too early or too late to purchase a policy. Kerry Butzke with Aflac informed us that they have an excellent life insurance policy and rates. “It’s not required to have any health screenings done, just provide answers to simple questions,” explained Kerry. “Also, we have a guaranteed issue life insurance policy for businesses to offer to their employees employer-paid or with a percentage of participants in the group. Consider when planning that it is important to have life insurance from birth, but another essential time would be when buying a home.”
Events such as starting a new job, marriage, or having a baby necessitate taking a look at your IRS Form W-4 and withholdings. The 2017 Tax Cut & Jobs Act (TCJA) that went into effect in 2018 lowered withholdings throughout the year and led to some taxpayers having a smaller refund than normal or owing when their return was filed.
“SP Group addresses these planned life changes with our clients during our planning process,” Todd Yorges, team accountant at SP Group, P.C., informed us. “Typically, planning occurs during the fourth quarter, or also referred to as year-end planning. However, life changes can unexpectedly occur throughout the year which requires updating the plan as needed. This proactive plan will facilitate an easy transition forgoing any surprises at the end of the year.”
First and foremost, ask the question, “Do I have the financial resources necessary for the anticipated change?” Ask questions of trusted advisors such as a lender or accountant to see how much you might be able to borrow and the tax consequences of the interest paid. If a job change means starting a new business, you’ll want to talk with an attorney and accountant to select the type of entity to determine what it means for your personal tax situation. Your lender will also be a critical resource as to how much money you’re able to borrow if needed.
“The more time spent in the information gathering/planning stage generally results in better decisions and results that are closer to what is expected,” Todd stated.
Todd can back up his advice with professional experience, but he is also learning along the way himself in his personal life. “Having two teenagers in our household, college expenses will soon be upon us,” Todd shared. “We have used a 529 plan for both of our boys since they were born. While it might prove to be not enough, we have been able to get some tax advantage on the contributions and the earnings are all tax-free as long as the funds are used for qualified educational costs.”
“Planned life changes are a good time to take a look at how income taxes might be affected,” Todd added. “Retirement and starting a new business are two additional changes that are good times to review your tax situation. Our firm takes pride in the relationships we have with our clients working with them as a team to do yearly tax planning. We take time working with clients to make sure the decisions they are making don’t have adverse, unintended tax consequences.”
Another planned event that takes careful financial planning into consideration is buying a home! Maybe it is a first home or you’re family is changing, so it’s time to upsize or downsize. Whether you’re buying or building, you’ll want to work side-by-side with a mortgage lender who knows Lincoln like it’s their own backyard. That is why we recommend working with West Gate Bank. As a locally-owned bank, they will always be nearby to answer questions and offer guidance throughout the entire lending process. West Gate Bank’s mortgage lenders will:
- Meet with you personally and listen to your individual goals
- Recommend a loan structure that meets your goals (they have many options and can customize a solution for you)
- Help you complete a loan application
- Keep you informed during the application, approval, and closing stages
If you’re planning to buy your dream home or refinance your current home loan, West Gate Bank offers a variety of home mortgage financing programs to help you meet your needs. They even have a First-Time Homebuyer Loan program for anyone who is tired of renting or simply wants a place of their own. These NIFA programs offer qualified borrowers competitive interest rates, low or no down payments, closing cost assistance, and government or conventional loans throughout Nebraska. At West Gate Bank, their goal is to give you peace of mind and make the process as enjoyable as possible!
There are some exciting changes that come at us in life—let’s make the most out of them by planning ahead! Talk to local experts who can make sure your check list has everything it needs on it to be as prepared as possible for the events and milestones you’re looking forward to.