Financial Planning and Advice Blog for Syracuse

Want to keep up with the latest news in the financial sector? HighPoint Advisors in East Syracuse, NY makes sure all our clients have the latest up to date financial information to better plan for their future. Feel free to browse the blog below to learn more about the current financial market.
If this blog raises interest or concerns please contact us at info@highpointadv.com.

The Importance of Professional Advice

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By wpadmin December 3, 2014

In an endeavor as critical as managing your investments, it is prudent to handle some situations with the help of a competent professional advisor. Many individual investors simply do not have the time, patience, or persistence to deal effectively with their investments over the long term. Many investors have the motivation to put in the required time to fully address their investments at the outset, but become less motivated as time goes by.

In addition, there are some very common mistakes that individual investors make that a professional advisor can help to overcome, including:

  • Making ad hoc fear-based revisions at the first sign of market weakness
  • Omitting the process of drafting an investment policy statement
  • Emphasizing individual securities rather than the overall portfolio
  • Failing to reevaluate their financial situation at least annually and then revise their investment policy statement
  • Getting caught up in the hype of the market and lose investment focus
  • Chasing the latest investment fads

When to Seek Professional Advice There will be times when you can handle most of the management of your financial affairs. However, there will be other times when you should seek the help of an investment pro. The list below examines some of the situations when it makes the most sense to seek the help of a competent investment advisor.1. When confronted with complicated financial products and strategies

Most of us have heard of disability, liability umbrella, and long-term care insurance, but do we really know the basics, let alone what type of coverage to select? People with employment stock options or business owners with limited family partnerships can also benefit from the help of an advisor.

2. When getting married

Combining your money, and debt, with your spouse can pose significant challenges. These challenges range from deciding to file a joint tax return or single tax returns to taking advantage of all child-related tax benefits. Financial planning advisors and tax advisors may provide you with the best solutions.

3. When buying and selling a house

Although not their traditional work, financial advisors may provide some much needed insights into such issues as capital gains, down payment, mortgage alternatives, and home sale reinvestment options.

4. When buying or selling a business

The complexities of buying or selling a business can be quite significant if not downright grueling. A financial advisor can help with capital gains and proper wealth transfer.

5. When getting divorced

Simply dividing assets could be a cumbersome and very problematic issue. In addition, new financial plans such as wills and insurance policies will probably need to be revised.

6. When you inherit money

Although coming into a substantial amount of wealth is generally a good thing, people who have little experience managing money may run into challenges. An investment advisor can help you allocate your inheritance to ensure it lasts for a prolonged period of time.

7. When rolling over your 401(k)

Although this task is not especially difficult, many investors can get tripped up. A financial advisor can help ensure that your rollover is not taxed as an early withdrawal.

8. When saving for college

There are many p...

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Long-Term Care Insurance: Understand Your Options Before You Buy

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By wpadmin November 3, 2014

With America aging at a rapid pace -- and with the average cost of nursing home care continuing to skyrocket -- long-term care insurance can be a solid investment for individuals who have assets they want to protect or who want to avoid becoming a financial burden to their family.

What exactly is long-term care insurance? Unlike other types of insurance that offer straightforward policy features, long-term care insurance is complex and policies vary widely. In general, long-term care coverage helps to pay for assistance with daily activities such as bathing, eating, and dressing; skilled nursing care or rehabilitative services either in a nursing facility or home setting; and cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Long-term care insurance can be expensive -- so the younger you are when you purchase a policy, the lower the overall premium cost to you. Luckily, there are many organizations and resources available to help individuals research the long-term care industry as well as individual policies. Before making any decisions, compare several policies, paying special attention to the company’s financial stability and reputation in the industry, coverage details, eligibility requirements, and premium costs.

The aging of America is one of the biggest factors contributing to the growing interest in long-term care (LTC) insurance. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the median age in America has been rising and the last of the 76 million Baby Boomers will reach age 65 by 2030 -- doubling the elderly population in America.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 40% of people aged 65 or older have at least a 50% lifetime risk of entering a nursing home. For its part, the Health Insurance Association of America estimates that by 2020, 12 million people may require long-term care.1

At a time when the average cost of a private room at a nursing home tops $90,000 a year,2 long-term care insurance can be a solid investment for individuals who have assets they want to protect or who want to avoid becoming a financial burden to their family. But unlike other types of insurance, in which policies are standardized or fairly straightforward, long-term care policies are complex and vary widely. Virtually every company's policy differs on such matters as who qualifies for coverage, when the policyholder can begin receiving benefits, the amount of coverage, the term of the policy, and premium costs.

Before you begin comparing policies on a feature-by-feature basis, it is important to understand some of the basics.

What Long-Term Care Insurance Is -- And Is Not Long-term care insurance is not life insurance, disability insurance, or health insurance. Instead, LTC includes a range of nursing, social, and rehabilitative services for people who need ongoing assistance due to a chronic illness or disability. LTC insurance can be used by anyone at any age who suffers an accident or debilitating illness, but its most frequently used by older adults who need assistance with essential physical needs, such as bathing, dressing, or eating.

For the most part, those who need long-term care are left to foot the bill on their own. Neither Medicare, nor Medicare supplemental coverage, also known as Medigap insurance, nor standard health insurance policies fully cover long-term care. That leaves most of us with two options when faced with such expenses: pay out-of-pocket or rely on private long-term care insurance.

Most LTC policies are "expense incurred" or indemnity policies, which pay a fixed-dollar amount toward the cost of daily care. Policies tend to cover a variety of care settings, including nursing homes, home health care, assisted living facilities, and adult day care. Since premium costs increase depending on your age at the time of enrollment, the younger you are when you purchase a policy, the lower the premium you'll pay during the life of the plan.

Once you purchase a policy, premiums generally remain the same each year, so experts recommend that individuals start thinking about long-term care long before they need it. Because long term care insurance premiums are based on age at the time of purchase, the younger you are when you purchase a policy, the less expensive it typically will be.

Shopping for Long-Term C...

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