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The time is NOW to think about Estate Planning

21 January 2017

The time is NOW to think about Estate Planning

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” This quote, taken from the Lord of the Rings novels by J.R.R. Tolkien comes when the main character, Frodo Baggins, is faced with a daunting task of leading his close companions on a perilous task to save the world as they knew it. While this quote can have many deep meanings, it reminds me of the importance of planning for the unexpected. Frodo, unsure of what was on the horizon, was reminded by his companion Gandalf that while we are unsure of the future, we have the power right now to decide what to do with the time that we do have. Growing up, I pictured estate planning as the rather dreary process of establishing a will that ultimately provided instructions as to the final disposition of one’s estate, or everything one owns. But when I was finally exposed to the topic of Estate Planning in my academic studies and throughout my preparation for the CFP exam, then I truly understood its deep significance and how the estate planning process encompasses so much more than I initially imagined. Even now, as a recent college graduate without dependents, I understand that while I may not “need” to have an estate plan prepared any time soon, the amazing benefits and peace of mind it can provide in the present-day and in the future make it worth the effort. Below are a few reasons why beginning to think about, prepare, or even update your estate plan NOW can both provide peace of mind in directing even more of what will happen upon your death or incapacity, and also ensure that your goals and passions while living can be achieved after death.

Back to the Future

28 December 2016

Back to the Future

I recently returned from a 7-day trip back to my hometown, Shenzhen, China. To say I hadn’t been there in a while would be an understatement.  The last time I was in Shenzhen was in August of 1998 when my husband and I had a beautiful Chinese wedding ceremony at the China Folk Culture Village there, to which I invited almost my entire high school class (numbering 37) to attend. 

Congratulations to Tyler Lodahl!!!

30 November 2016

Congratulations to Tyler Lodahl!!!

We are excited to announce that our newest employee Tyler Lodahl has successfully passed the rigorous CFP® certification exam in November!  Tyler has been with Echo Wealth Management since July 2016, working as Associate Wealth Manager by fostering collaborative relationships with our private and corporate clients.  He assists Echo in delivering personal financial planning service using Echo Dashboard and office operations.  Starting in December, he will increasingly aid in a larger role directly serving clients, taking on similar responsibilities as his colleague Steve Drost. 

Why Would I Want to Defer Compensation?

23 November 2016

Why Would I Want to Defer Compensation?

An old proverb states “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” suggesting one should be content with what they have (or will have shortly) rather than roll the dice on the unknown.  One who wholeheartedly believes in this proverb may react swiftly and decline to enroll in their employer-offered deferred compensation plan.  This could be perceived as a rational decision; why would you want to receive a portion of your salary or bonus in 5+ years when you can receive it now?   What benefits could there be to electing to give up your bird, or compensation, and “roll the dice” on the unknown?

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

27 October 2016

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

The deadline for 2017 benefits enrollment is approaching quickly for many employees.  More and more employers have started to offer high-deductible health insurance plans in addition to the traditional HMO or PPO plans.  You can set up health savings accounts (HSAs) only if you choose one of the high-deductible health insurance plans instead of the traditional HMO or PPO health insurance plans with co-pays.  What do you need to know about HSAs in order to make a wise decision for yourself and your family?

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