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To Keep or Not to Keep: A Guide to Common Records-Retention Questions

Living in an increasingly paperless world has its benefits, but when it comes to records retention, does it make a difference? Sure, digital recordkeeping on the cloud means more storage space, easy access, and less vulnerability to inadvertent destruction. But the questions of what to keep and for how long feel just as confusing as ever.

Keep or Toss

Whether your files are physical or electronic, the same principles and time frames for record retention apply. Below, we review some rules of thumb to consider for a few common financial documents. Keep in mind, though, this list is not 

Tax Time Preparation Tips

Make preparing for your tax appointment easier, with these 3 tax prep tips:

  1. Keep a folder where you put all of your tax documents throughout the year: donation receipts, property tax bills, etc. This makes tax time easy by having everything you need all in one place.ELL.COM
  2. Maintain separate bank accounts and credit cards for business vs. personal use. This saves a TON of time when your tax preparer asks for your business expenses.
  3. Ask if you’re eligible to contribute to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. You have until April 15th to make your contributions for last year. If you already made a contribution, you should have received tax form 5498 to provide to your tax preparer.

FAQs: What You Need to Know About the Second Round of Stimulus Checks

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, into law. In addition to funding the U.S. government through September 2021, the Act provides additional relief for Americans who have been struggling since the first COVID-19 stimulus package was passed in March. The new law provides $900 billion in assistance to individuals and businesses, as well as funding for testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution. One of its most notable aspects is a second round of stimulus checks that will be sent to many Americans. Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about these checks.

Year-End Financial Planning Checklist

10 Suggestions to Help You Stay on Track
 
Although 2020 has been a year of unexpected changes, one routine has remained consistent: the fourth quarter means it’s time to begin organizing your finances for the new year. To help you get started, here’s a checklist of key topics to think about, including new tax and retirement considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Election Season Heating Up, How Much Volatility Should We Prepare For?

September was a difficult month for investors, as markets dropped. As we head into October, with a contentious election less than five weeks away, it’s easy to see why investors are even more worried about what might be next. How big a drop might we see in financial markets, especially if the results are disputed? Will it be like 2000? Could it be worse?

Charitable Giving Incentives Under the CARES Act

With many individuals and families facing catastrophic hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic, charitable giving to those most adversely affected has become increasingly important. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted in March, includes tax provisions designed to incentivize individuals and companies to make charitable contributions in 2020. These charitable giving incentives do not require that donations be made to charities assisting in the pandemic.

Does the Presidential Election Spell Risk for the Markets?

As the U.S. presidential election draws closer, there are growing questions (from both sides) on whether the outcome will negatively affect the markets. Of course, this is not unusual. As you may remember from the last election cycle, many predicted doom if Trump were to win. In the election before that, we saw similar worries concerning Obama. In both cases, despite the fears, the markets ended up doing quite well. Given this, what risks—if any—does the upcoming election pose for the markets? Let’s take a closer look.

Take Advantage of Challenging Times to Teach Children Financial Literacy

This year many families are faced with unprecedented financial challenges and economic anxiety. Our early experiences with money set the template for how we approach work, spending, debt and our ideas about wealth. The way a family chooses to respond to their unique challenges will impact children the most and endure for a lifetime.

Mid-Year Financial Check-up

While mid-year is always a good time to reassess our finances, it is especially essential this year amid the pandemic.  At Hawekotte Financial Group, we have been working remotely with our clients to help them stay on track with their financial goals.  While social distancing is important for our physical health, it is important to focus on our financial well-being as well. 

2020 Stock Market Declines: Data Vs. Headlines

March 2020 has not been kind to the markets.