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Articles written by Arron Franzen


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  • New Choices For Business Owners

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|May 29, 2024

    If you own a business and you offer a 401(k) or similar retirement plan to your employees, you’ll want to stay current on the various changes affecting these types of accounts. And in 2024, you may find some interesting new developments to consider. These changes are part of the SECURE 2.0 Act, enacted at the end of 2022. And while some parts of the law went into effect in 2023 — such as the new tax credit for employer contributions to start-up retirement plans with 100 or fewer employees —others were only enacted this year. Here are some...

  • How Is Your Retirement Income Taxed?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|May 22, 2024

    Once you’re retired, you will likely need to draw on several types of income for your living expenses. You’ll need to know where these funds are coming from and how much you can count on, but you should also be aware of how this money is taxed — because this knowledge can help you plan and budget for your retirement years. Here’s the basic tax information on some key sources of retirement income: • Social Security – Many people don’t realize they may have to pay taxes on their Social Security benefits. Whether your benefits will be taxed depe...

  • Should Estate Plans Be Equal Or Fair?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|May 15, 2024

    When you’re creating your estate plan and thinking of where you want your assets to go, you also may be thinking about how to be fair to your loved ones — but is that the same as treating everyone equally? In estate planning, “equal” doesn’t always mean “fair.” If you have grown children with different financial needs, you might think it’s unfair to leave them the same amounts. Or if you have a family business, and one of your children is ready to assume control, you might want to leave the business to that child and compensate the other sibli...

  • Financial Freedom: A Gift To Your Family

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|May 8, 2024

    Here’s a sobering statistic: 72 percent of retirees say one of their biggest fears is becoming a burden on their families, according to a study by Edward Jones and the consulting firm Age Wave. If you are near retirement, how can you prepare yourself to become financially free, so you won’t have to depend on grown children or other family members? Here are a few suggestions to consider: • Keep adding to retirement savings. Today, with a greater awareness of healthy lifestyles, many people are spending two, or even three, decades in an activ...

  • Younger Workers Must Balance Financial Priorities

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|May 1, 2024

    If you’re a younger worker just starting out in your career, you’ve got tremendous personal and professional opportunities ahead of you. But this is also when you will need to make some key decisions — especially about your financial priorities. When considering your priorities, you may find it helpful to look at these three areas: • Paying off debts – If you’re like many young working people, one of your biggest debts may be your student loans — and paying these down is, by necessity, a priority, because falling behind on your student loan...

  • Term Vs. Perm: Which Is Right For You?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Apr 24, 2024

    If you’ve been thinking about life insurance, especially if you have family, loved ones, or anyone who depends on you financially, you might be curious about the different kinds of policies available. Which type is right for you? Essentially, you can look at two main categories of life insurance: term and permanent. Term insurance is a pay-as-you-go option that covers a specific amount of time, usually 20 years or fewer. Term insurance benefits are paid to your beneficiaries free of federal income taxes if you pass away during the coverage p...

  • Financial Literacy: It's Important For Everyone

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Apr 17, 2024

    April is National Financial Literacy Month — a good reminder that all of us can benefit from boosting our financial knowledge. But what is financial literacy? There’s no one single definition, but the term certainly covers these areas: • Saving – Most of us would probably agree that saving money is important, but actually doing it can be challenging given all the expenses of modern living. Still, techniques are available that everyone can follow, such as having money automatically moved each month from a checking or savings account to a finan...

  • What Should You Know About Long-Term Care?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Apr 10, 2024

    We all hope to remain healthy and independent throughout our lives – but life can be unpredictable. If you were ever to need some type of long-term care, would you be financially prepared? Long-term care encompasses everything from the services of a home health aide to a stay in an assisted living facility to a long residence in a nursing home. You may never need any of these kinds of care, but the odds aren’t necessarily in your favor: Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care ser...

  • Slow And Steady: A Smart Way To Invest

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Apr 3, 2024

    You’ve probably heard stories about fortunate investors who “get in the ground floor” of a new, hot company and quickly make a fortune. But while these things may happen, they are exceedingly rare and often depend on hard-to-duplicate circumstances — and they really don’t represent a viable way of investing for one’s goals. A far more tried-and-true approach is the “slow-and-steady” method. To follow this strategy, consider these suggestions: • Start small — and add more when you can. When you’re first starting out in the working world, you ma...

  • When Should You Take Social Security?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Mar 27, 2024

    One of your important sources of retirement income will likely be Social Security — but when should you start taking it? You can start collecting Social Security benefits at 62, but your checks will be considerably bigger if you wait until your full retirement age, which is likely between 66 and 67. You could even wait until you’re 70, at which point the payments will max out, except for yearly cost-of-living adjustments. But if you need the money, you need the money, even if you’re just 62 or any age before full retirement age. However, if yo...

  • Time For Financial Spring Cleaning?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Mar 20, 2024

    Spring is almost here, which means it’s time for some spring cleaning. This year, in addition to tidying your home and surroundings, you might want to consider sprucing up your financial environment, as well. Here are some suggestions for doing just that: • Improve your vision. Once the days are warmer and longer, you may want to get outside and clean all the winter grime and smudges from your windows, allowing you to see the world more clearly. And you may want to bring more focus to your financial vision by asking some key questions: Is my...

  • How Can You Manage Student Loan Payments?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Mar 13, 2024

    If you have student loans, you likely received a “payment vacation” over the past few years, due to legislation related to COVID-19. But if you’re like millions of other borrowers, you may have recently been required to resume your payments. How will this affect your overall financial situation? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the effect on your monthly cash flow. But the amount of pressure you feel will depend on your income and the size of the required payments. If these payments do represent a real challenge, you may need...

  • Benefits Of Fixed-Income Investments

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Feb 28, 2024

    When many people think about investing, the first thing that comes to mind is the stock market. And that’s not surprising, as the rise and fall of stock prices is constantly in the news. But if you’re going to achieve your financial goals, you may well need to look beyond stocks and include fixed-income investments in your portfolio. Fixed-income investments offer three important benefits: • Income – When you invest in fixed-income vehicles, such as bonds, Treasury securities and certificates of deposit (CDs), you receive regular income...

  • How Can Business Owners Plan For An Exit?

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Feb 21, 2024

    If you’re a business owner, you always have a lot to do and a lot to think about. But have you put much thought into how you’ll eventually leave it all behind? Even if you’re a few years away from that day, it’s a good idea to create an exit strategy. If you’re like most other owners, most of your net worth may well be tied up in your business — so how you exit that business can have a big impact on your finances and your retirement. As you begin the exit strategy process, you’ll need to examine some basic questions, such as how much you want...

  • Treasury Bonds: Still Safe For Investors

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Feb 14, 2024

    You may have read reports about an impending “debt crisis” in the U.S. Should you be worried about investing in Treasury securities? Part of the concern over debt has been driven by the cost of government borrowing, which has risen because of higher interest rates. But it’s worth noting that while interest expenses have risen to nearly two percent of gross domestic product (GDP), this measure had exceeded three percent in the early 1990s. So, while the upward trend of federal debt could prove problematic down the road, the claims of a current c...

  • How Are Your Investments Taxed?

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Jan 31, 2024

    As we begin the new year, you may be receiving various tax statements from your financial services provider — so it’s a good time to consider how your investments are taxed. This type of knowledge is useful when you’re doing your taxes, and, perhaps just as important, knowing the type of taxes you generate can help you evaluate your overall investment strategy. To understand the tax issues associated with investing, it’s important to understand that investments typically generate either capital gains or ordinary income. This distinction is mean...

  • How Would You Handle Forced Early Retirement?

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Jan 24, 2024

    When you plan to retire at a certain age, you can follow a strategy that incorporates your investment moves, your health insurance and other factors. But what happens if you’re forced to retire earlier than you anticipated? Unfortunately, this situation is not that uncommon. About 40 percent of Americans say they have been forced into retirement, according to a recent survey from Edward Jones and Morning Consult, a research firm. If this were to happen to you because of a layoff, company downsizing or a health issue, would you be prepared to ma...

  • New Year's Financial Resolutions

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Jan 17, 2024

    Now that we’ve reached 2024, you might be thinking about your goals and hopes for the new year. But in addition to whatever personal resolutions you might make — volunteering, going to the gym more, learning a new language and others —why not make some financial resolutions, too? Here are a few to consider: • Boost your retirement savings. If you can afford it, try to increase your contributions to your IRA and 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. The more you put away in these accounts, the greater your chances of reachin...

  • Time: A Key Element Of Investing

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Jan 10, 2024

    Who knows where the time goes? We’ve reached the end of another year, so it’s appropriate to reflect on the nature of time and how it affects us. And time certainly is a key element in the pursuit of your financial goals. As an investor, time can be your greatest ally. If you hold some investments for the long term, you could achieve an impressive cumulative growth in value. Furthermore, if you keep adding shares to these investments, possibly through a dividend reinvestment plan, you could attain “growth on growth” through the power of comp...

  • Avoid Tapping Into Retirement Savings Early

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Jan 3, 2024

    If you want to make a big purchase, such as a new car or a piece of property, or you were faced with a large, unexpected expense, such as a major home or auto repair, would you have the funds readily available? If not, you might look at what may be your biggest pool of money — your 401(k) or IRA. But should you tap into these accounts well before you retire? Maybe not — and here’s why: Less money in retirement – The more money you invest in your retirement accounts, and the longer you keep it invested, the more you’ll probably have when you...

  • Can Life Insurance Help Provide Retirement Income?

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Dec 20, 2023

    If your children are grown and your mortgage is paid off, do you still need to carry life insurance? It depends on your situation, but for many people, a cash-value life insurance policy, such as whole life or universal life, can be a valuable, tax-efficient source of retirement income. And by drawing on the cash value of your policy, you might be able to temporarily reduce the amount you take out from your retirement accounts, such as your IRA and 401(k). This ability could be especially important when the financial markets are down — y...

  • Can You Make Charitable Giving Less 'Taxing'?

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Dec 13, 2023

    Once again, it’s the season of generosity. In addition to considering gifts for your loved ones, you might want to think about charitable gifts as well. But what should you know before making gifts to charities? And what impact might these gifts have on your financial and tax situation? First, you may want to create a gift budget by deciding just how much you will give to charitable organizations over the rest of the year. Next, look closely at the groups to whom you wish to contribute. You can find many reputable charities, but some others m...

  • What Should You Do With 'Side Gig' Money?

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Dec 6, 2023

    As you know, the gig economy has been booming over the past several years. If you’re thinking of using your skills to take on a side gig, what should you do with the money you’ll make? There’s no one right answer for everyone, and the decisions you make should be based on your individual situation. And of course, you may simply need the extra income to support your lifestyle and pay the bills. But if you already have your cash flow in good shape, and you have some freedom with your gig money, consider these suggestions: • Contribute more to...

  • Do Your Investments Match Your Goals?

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Nov 29, 2023

    As you go through life, you’ll have various financial goals — and to achieve them, you’ll need to invest. But just recognizing the need to invest is not as useful as matching specific types of accounts or investments with specific goals. How can you make these connections? Let’s look at some common goals and how they could possibly be met with appropriate accounts and investments: • Saving for a down payment on a house – When you’re saving for a down payment, you want a certain amount of money available at a certain time — so, for this goal,...

  • What Should You Know About RMDs?

    Financial Advisor Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Nov 22, 2023

    You may spend decades contributing to various retirement accounts. But for some accounts, such as a traditional IRA and 401(k), you must start withdrawing funds at a certain point. What should you know about this requirement? To begin with, the rules governing these withdrawals — technically called required minimum distributions, or RMDs — have changed recently. For many years, individuals had to begin taking their RMDs (which are based on the account balance and the IRS’ life expectancy factor) when they turned 70½. The original SECURE Act of...

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