Manuka musings

 

(Our Blog)

Extension of the ACA “Subsidy Cliff?”

Extension of the ACA “Subsidy Cliff?”

One of the biggest challenges with retiring before age 65 (Medicare eligibility) is navigating the complexities of health insurance coverage. In particular, trying to qualify for premium tax credits that help reduce the cost of health insurance purchased on the...

In the News: I Bonds

In the News: I Bonds

If you have not yet heard, there is an interesting investment option currently available that takes advantage of the high inflationary environment: Series I Savings Bonds (also known as "I Bonds"). Last week I was asked by the team at SoundDollar to write about I...

Health Insurance for Retirees before age 65

Health Insurance for Retirees before age 65

Last month I was invited to speak on Twitter with my friend Cody Garrett, a fellow CFP®, on The 7 Options for Health Coverage Before Medicare. Given that over 240 people listened, including many other financial planners, I realized how important of a topic this is for...

In the Media

In the Media

Since launching our firm, Michael (Mike) Powers, a flat fee-only financial planner in Richmond, VA, has been fortunate enough to have been covered in the following media publications: CNBC – “4 tips for saving for retirement, according to a financial planner who helps...

Need a new car?  Now might actually be a good time to buy.

Need a new car?  Now might actually be a good time to buy.

As the pandemic has impacted many parts of the economy, the one area I seem to hear a lot about lately is car prices.  With used car prices up about 31% and new car prices up 11% in the last year, you may think I’m crazy to say right now might be a good time to buy....

Q4 2021 Market Review

Q4 2021 Market Review

US and international developed stocks were up in the 4th quarter, while bond returns were flat.  See how each asset class performed, including an article on "All-Time-High Anxiety" from Weston Wellington:  Read More...     All written content on this site is...

How to Freeze Your Credit

How to Freeze Your Credit

One of the best ways to prevent someone from opening accounts in your name without your consent is to implement a credit freeze.  This blocks access to your credit reports, so when an application is submitted for credit using your social security number, the potential...

Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals

Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals

      Currently all the focus in the tax world is the potential “Build Back Better” bill being debated in Congress.  But without knowing if or when the bill will be passed and what the final version will include, there are still a number of proactive...

Mike Powers featured in CNBC for Retirement Planning

Mike Powers featured in CNBC for Retirement Planning

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jasmin Suknanan at CNBC on the importance of saving for retirement. In Ms. Suknanan's article, one of the things she focused on was calculating how much money you'll need to fund your retirement.  “The 4% rule is this idea...

Should you convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?

Should you convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?

  With the potential tax law changes impacting some popular Roth conversion strategies beginning in 2022, many people are asking whether they should go ahead and convert some of their IRA assets to Roth IRAs before the end of the year. As in most things in...

Q3 2021 Market Review

Q3 2021 Market Review

Global stock and bond markets were mostly flat in the third quarter, with the exception of emerging market stocks.  See how each asset class performed below:   Read More...   Looking for a trusted partner to help you accomplish your financial goals?  Reach...

Elimination of the ACA “Subsidy Cliff”?

Elimination of the ACA “Subsidy Cliff”?

  As part of the recent tax proposals, one potential change that’s not getting much attention in the early retirement community is an elimination of the affordable care act (ACA) “subsidy cliff.” As I wrote back in June, previously there was an income limit based...

Strategies to consider due to the recent tax law proposals

Strategies to consider due to the recent tax law proposals

By now, you probably have heard that the House Ways & Means Committee released proposed changes to the tax code last week.  If you’d like to read the full 881 pages, here is a link. For those of you who don’t have the time or desire to read all 881 pages, you may...

Why I Switched to Flat Fees

Why I Switched to Flat Fees

As Manuka Financial continues to thrive, one thing that I always prioritize is putting the interests of my clients first.  In that regard, there is a relatively new fee structure that I believe is at the leading edge of financial planning / advising: the fixed flat...

How to fully utilize a Donor-Advised Fund

How to fully utilize a Donor-Advised Fund

An incredibly useful planning tool for charitable gifting is a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF).  A DAF allows you to set aside funds for future charitable gifts while receiving a tax deduction now. Donor-Advised Funds are especially useful for charitably inclined individuals...

How to save $1 million completely tax free

How to save $1 million completely tax free

My favorite retirement account is a Health Savings Account, or HSA.  I know, I’m weird.  But hear me out. An HSA is the best of both worlds.  It has the benefits of an IRA (pre-tax funding) and a Roth IRA (tax-free withdrawals) as long as they’re used for health care...

Your Early Retirement Checklist

Your Early Retirement Checklist

  The path to early retirement can be simple:  spend considerably less than you earn, invest wisely and let the magic of compounding do the hard work for you.  But what happens once you reach your own financial independence (FI) goal? Over the past 13 years, I’ve...

Financial Planning Using Your Tax Return

Financial Planning Using Your Tax Return

It’s no secret that taxes can play a large role in your ability to retire early and stay financially independent.  But are you fully utilizing the available deductions, credits, and other tax planning strategies available to you? Here are some financial planning...

Q2 2021 Market Review

Q2 2021 Market Review

Stock and bond markets were up in the second quarter.  See how each asset class performed, including a discussion on inflation from Nobel laureate Eugene Fama, below: Read More...   Looking for a trusted partner to help you accomplish your financial goals?  Reach...

What is Manuka? (mah-noo-kah)

What is Manuka? (mah-noo-kah)

Prior to having children, my wife, Kacie, and I loved to travel internationally.  The last trip we took before our daughter was born was to Australia and New Zealand to visit my aunt and uncle.  Manuka is the Maori name for a common tree in New Zealand which...

A Letter of Gratitude

A Letter of Gratitude

Today is a special day.  Manuka Financial, a firm created to balance my passion for helping others with my passion for family, is officially open for business.  As I begin one of the most challenging endeavors of my career, I wanted to first pause and say...

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