Wealth, Success, and Mental Health: Finding the Balance Between Wealthy and Healthy

April marks Stress Awareness Month, which provides a great opportunity to shed light on a topic often overlooked in the world of high-net-worth investors, which is mental health. For anyone who is used to managing substantial wealth, the pressure to sustain success may take a toll on your mental well-being. Here are some of the mental health challenges that high-net-worth individuals may face, how to address stigmas surrounding the issues, and a few practical tips to help you prioritize your mental health while continuing to pursue wealth and success.

Isolation and Loneliness

Wealthy individuals often find themselves isolated due to the challenges of managing significant assets. Common fears of being misunderstood or taken advantage of may further contribute to feelings of loneliness, particularly for those who grew up in lower-income families and then became wealthy.

Perfectionism and High Expectations

Pursuing success may breed perfectionism and high expectations. Constantly striving for excellence may lead to chronic stress, anxiety, and a never-ending quest for validation along the way.

Fear of Failure and Financial Stress

Even when you have financial success, the fear of an economic downturn or other crisis may be a constant source of stress. The pressure to maintain a certain lifestyle may also create a perpetual cycle of anxiety.

Stigma Around Mental Health

It's common for high-net-worth individuals to hesitate to seek help due to the stigma surrounding having mental health problems. The misconception that money equals happiness may deter people from acknowledging, let alone addressing, their mental health struggles.

Tips to Help You Prioritize Your Mental Health

Here are some tips to up-level how you deal with your mental health.

Break the Silence

Challenge mental health stigmas by openly discussing mental health issues within your social and professional circles. By sharing your experiences, you may also create a supportive environment that encourages others to seek help.

Get Professional Guidance

Just as you consult financial professionals for wealth management and attorneys for legal advice, enlist the help of mental health professionals to navigate any struggles or challenges with your emotional and mental well-being. Therapists and counselors may provide valuable insights and coping strategies you may not be able to discover on your own.

Establish Work-Life Balance

Integrate regular downtime into your schedule to help avoid burnout. Setting aside time for hobbies, family, and self-care may help you maintain a healthier work-life balance and leave work-related stress at work.

Set Realistic Expectations

It's important to understand that perfection is unattainable. Establishing realistic goals may alleviate the self-imposed pressure that comes from trying to maintain unattainable standards.

Practice Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Techniques

Incorporate mindfulness practices like meditation, yoga, and deep-breathing exercises into your routine to help manage stress and promote mental well-being. Wealth, success, and mental health are intricately intertwined. This Stress Awareness Month, we want to encourage a more holistic approach to success that encompasses financial prosperity and mental well-being. After all, true wealth isn't just found in your bank accounts but also in the overall happiness and fulfillment you find in life.     Important Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This article was prepared by WriterAccess. LPL Tracking #540923

A Checklist for Your Retirement Planning

Remember, it is never too early to start planning for your future

The time to begin planning for your financial future is now. So, when it comes to preparing for retirement, the earlier you start, the better. Here are some steps to help you pursue your overall objectives:
  1. Review your current financial situation by assessing your income and assets versus your expenses and liabilities.
  2. At first, determine a realistic amount to contribute regularly to your employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan, e.g., a 401(k) plan. Over time, try to maximize allowable contributions to your savings plan and take advantage of the company match, if offered.
  3. In 2024, you can contribute up to $7,000 into a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Roth IRA. If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000. Depending on your participation in other qualified plans, contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible. Earnings for both traditional and Roth IRAs have the potential to grow on a tax-deferred basis.
  4. Work toward reducing your debt. Pay off large bills as soon as possible. Curb your spending to avoid taking on any new debt that could carry over into retirement.
  5. Consult with a qualified professional about your life, health, and disability income insurance policies to determine the amount of coverage for your current and future needs.
  6. Find out how much you can expect to receive in retirement from pension plans, veteran’s benefits, or Social Security. To get an estimate on your future Social Security benefits, visit
  7. Analyze which expenses are likely to decrease after you retire (clothing, commuting, etc.) and which are likely to increase (medical, travel, etc.), and plan accordingly.
If you adhere to your checklist, you may see your savings increase as you get closer to reaching your retirement income goals. Remember, it is never too early to start planning for your future.     Important Disclosures The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to investing. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor. Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible in the contribution year, with current income tax due at withdrawal.  Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax in addition to current income tax. The Roth IRA offers tax deferral on any earnings in the account. Withdrawals from the account may be tax free, as long as they are considered qualified. Limitations and restrictions may apply. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ or prior to the account being opened for 5 years, whichever is later, may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax. Future tax laws can change at any time and may impact the benefits of Roth IRAs. Their tax treatment may change. This article was prepared by RSW Publishing. LPL Tracking #1-05364826  

How to Keep Your Money Safe from Scammers

Technology continues to grow and evolve, allowing us to stay connected and perform many daily tasks from home. There is a drawback to technology, however. It often leaves us more vulnerable to scammers who hide behind the anonymity that technology provides and find ways to scam us out of our hard-earned money. Work towards keeping your money safe and stave off scammers by following the tips below.

1. Know How to Spot a Scammer

While some scams are apparent, others are more difficult to spot. Most scammers will claim to be from an organization familiar to you, such as the IRS, Social Security, a utility company, or a well-known charity. Many even go as far as mimicking the name of a known company or entity on your caller ID, texts, or email so that you will answer them. Other signs that you may be dealing with a scammer are them pressuring you to act immediately or asking for payment with unconventional or non-secure methods.2

2. Don't Open Emails if You Don't Recognize the Sender

Clicking links through emails is one of the easiest ways for scammers to get your personal information or direct you to a fake site for payment. If you don't recognize the sender or are unsure, you may try contacting the company directly via phone to see if they have sent the email. If an email uses a common company name, you may want to click on the name. This will show you to see the actual address the email is coming from, which will often not have the company tag at the end.1

3. Prioritize Updating Passwords Regularly

Scammers will often work by obtaining your passwords and using them to lock you out of your account, so they may use it or obtain private or financial information from you. Always be sure to choose passwords that are more difficult and take the time to update them every six months.1

4. Keep Up With Operating System and Security Updates

While it may seem like you are constantly getting requests to install updates on your electronic devices, doing them is vital. They often include security patches and updates that are designed to reduce your cyber-attack risk.2

5. Block Unknown Callers and Emails

If you receive unsolicited emails, texts, or phone calls, it may be wise to block them. By blocking them, you will be less likely to accidentally click on links that could be dangerous and also enjoy fewer useless messages.2

6. Don't Give Out Personal or Financial Information to Anyone You Did Not Request Services From

Legitimate companies will not contact you and ask for identity or financial information unless they are responding to a request from you. This means you should not provide driver's license numbers, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers unless you have initiated contact with the company.1     Important Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This article was prepared by WriterAccess. LPL Tracking #526895 Footnotes: 1 Avoiding Scams and Scammers,, 2 How To Avoid a Scam, Consumer,, Sources

Retiring Early As a Couple: A Financial Love Story

Retiring early as a couple is a goal shared by many, and if planned comprehensively, it may provide opportunities for travel, passion projects, and more quality time together. Retiring simultaneously can bring many benefits, such as shared experiences and time together, which may result in a stronger bond. However, it is essential to note that simultaneously retiring means that the couple may stop earning money around the same time, which can impact their income and savings. For this reason, couples must have a plan outlining a systematic approach to saving, spending, and investing. It's also critical to include factors such as their individual and collective needs and goals to ensure that both partners are on the same financial page. As they work toward their goal of retiring early, they must consider these areas as they plan together to work toward their early retirement goal.

Identifying suitable account ownership

When considering the financial intricacies of retirement planning, it is crucial to remember the potential benefits of both joint and separate accounts. Many couples opt for a combination of these two types of accounts. Joint accounts are commonly used for shared expenses like utility bills, mortgages, groceries, and shared savings goals, such as joint retirement funds. Having a joint account can streamline transactions of these obligations, creating a sense of financial cohesion within the couple. Conversely, separate accounts are beneficial for maintaining individual financial independence. Separate accounts can be used for personal expenses or personal savings goals. In retiring early, having different accounts may be particularly useful when one partner must retire before the other due to health reasons or age differences.

The FIRE movement

The Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement is one approach that has been gaining popularity amongst couples aiming for early retirement. The FIRE movement advocates for intense savings and frugality to achieve financial independence and retire early; hence the name – Financial Independence, Retire Early. The principles of the FIRE movement focus on frugal living, aggressive saving, and investing in low-cost, passive funds, suggesting savings rates that can be higher than 50% of the income. The objective is to build a nest egg large enough to support living expenses without needing further employment. Implementing the FIRE movement's principles may help couples work toward their goal of early retirement.

Tips to work toward simultaneous retirement

Retiring early as a couple and striving for financial independence is attainable with careful planning and consideration of both joint and separate accounts, along with following the principles of the FIRE movement. Here are some other tips to help couples work toward their goal of retiring at the same time:
  • Follow a budget
  • Consider passive income strategies
  • Work with a financial professional
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
For many couples, the benefits of retiring early and simultaneously are worth considering. Each couple is unique in their financial situation and goals, and by planning accordingly, early retirement can be pursued. It all comes down to financial discipline, prudent planning, working with a financial professional, and being on the same financial wavelength with your partner.     Important Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This article was prepared by Fresh Finance. LPL Tracking #516734-04   Sources:

Asking for Help Is a Strength, Not a Weakness. Here Are 10 Ways a Financial Professional Can Assist You

Often, there is a misconception that seeking financial help indicates incompetence or lack of financial self-sufficiency. However, seeking help is the exact opposite. High-performing individuals who excel in their respective fields adopt a more pragmatic approach - they understand the importance and benefits of employing a financial professional's services. Seeking the help of a professional to assist in one's wealth planning leaves more time for them to focus on their primary specialty area, thus driving efficiency in managing results. Often, these individuals are focused on their careers, are business owners, or are high achievers with many goals. Here are ten ways a financial professional can assist high-performing individuals work toward improving their financial health.

1. Planning for goals

A financial professional can develop a customized plan considering income, expenses, financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment strategies. This holistic plan considers all aspects of a high-performing individual's financial life and aligns them with their goals.

2. Planning for retirement

It's vital to start planning early to maintain your desired lifestyle while working and after retirement. Financial professionals will work to understand your retirement lifestyle goals and devise a comprehensive plan based on your goals, risk aversion, and timeline.

3. Investment advice based on your situation

Investing can be a complex process. A financial professional can help with investment diversification and recommend suitable investment strategies to help manage financial goals.

4. Tax planning

Efficient tax planning can result in significant financial savings. Financial professionals are equipped to recognize your tax liabilities and objectively propose strategies to mitigate taxes.

5. Risk management and insurance

From health insurance to life and property insurance, financial professionals can help you understand the importance of appropriate insurance coverage. Your assets may avoid early depletion with suitable insurance, making insurance essential to asset preservation.

6. Debt management

Too much debt can hinder financial independence. Financial professionals work with you to determine appropriate strategies for prioritizing and paying off debts, maintaining a healthy credit score, and working toward financial confidence.

7. Estate planning

Comprehensive estate planning ensures efficient wealth transfer to beneficiaries. Financial and legal professionals together will help guide you through complex processes such as drafting a will, setting up trusts, and tax implications based on your situation.

8. Education funding

Whether you're funding your child's education or returning to school yourself, a financial professional can guide you on appropriate strategies for paying for education without jeopardizing your financial goals.

9. Emergency funding

Unexpected situations that require immediate financial resources may arise. A financial professional will help develop a strategy for creating an emergency fund and determine the appropriate amount to set aside as you work toward a fully funded emergency fund.

10. Behavioral coaching

Money decisions often involve a lot of emotions; market ups and downs and other significant life events can derail your long-term financial goals. If your emotions dictate your investment decisions, a financial professional can help you manage them to keep you on track toward pursuing your goals. Remember, financial wellness is not just about acquiring wealth; it's also about managing and preserving it for the future. High-performing individuals must seek guidance in this endeavor, as managing finances requires the help of a financial professional, time, and continuous effort.     Important Disclosures: This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as tax, legal, insurance or investment advice. If you are seeking advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This article was prepared by Fresh Finance. LPL Tracking # 538128 Sources

Why Your Credit Score Matters in Retirement

Regardless of the stage of life, your credit score is an essential component of your financial health when you're in retirement. A consistently strong credit score can pave the way for greater confidence, easy loan access, and lower interest rates. Many retirees overlook the importance of maintaining a suitable credit score after they stop working or that credit scores lose relevance in retirement. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Here's a detailed look at why your credit score matters in retirement.

To Maintain Your Ability to Seek Credit

Retirement does not equate to financial inactivity. Even though you may no longer earn a regular paycheck, you may still engage in financial transactions requiring a credit check. For instance, if you plan to refinance your mortgage to a lower rate, lenders may consider your credit score part of the qualification process. If your score is low, you might be denied the mortgage or offered a higher interest rate mortgage.

To Find Housing

In addition, retirees often consider downsizing their homes, moving to senior living communities, or relocating to different states or countries. Any of these scenarios might necessitate applying for a new mortgage, a process that, once again, requires a solid credit score. Additionally, vacation home landlords often conduct credit checks before renting their property. A poor credit score can limit your options or cause you to lose out on your preferred vacation destination property.

Money for emergencies

Another reason your credit score matters in retirement is the possibility of unexpected expenses. Life is inherently unpredictable, and even in retirement, unforeseen costs can arise. These costs could be due to health complications, housing repairs, or helping a family member financially. In line with these circumstances, having good credit can make borrowing money more accessible.

New Opportunities

Retirees may also want to explore new ventures, like starting a business. Credit scores significantly impact the credit terms under which one can borrow capital to launch a business. An excellent credit score can make acquiring a loan less costly and more accessible. On the contrary, a low credit score could lead to onerous loan terms or a loan denial.

Suitable Insurance Rates

Furthermore, some insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores to determine risk factors and premiums for auto and homeowner's insurance policies. A poor credit score might cause retirees to pay a higher premium or, worse still, reject their policy application outright.

Tip to Maintain Good Credit

A good credit score is essential to your overall financial health. Lenders, landlords, utility companies, and insurance companies use credit scores to evaluate your reliability. Here are some tips retirees can use to help maintain good credit. Tip #1- Pay bills on time. The first and most significant tip for maintaining good credit is ensuring your bills are paid on time. Delayed or missed payments can negatively affect your credit score. Tip #2- Maintain low or no credit card balances. The proverb "the less, the better" holds significance regarding credit card balances. Keeping your credit card balances low and not revolving is essential, and a lower percentage of credit use (below 30%) is positive. Maxing out your credit cards or maintaining high balances can negatively impact your credit. Tip #3- Open new credit accounts only as needed. While having a mix of credit types – such as credit cards, car loans, or mortgages – can help your credit score, it's important not to open too many accounts in a short period. Tip #4- Regularly check your credit reports. Proactive credit report monitoring is vital, especially regarding credit scores. Regular credit report checks are instrumental in maintaining good credit. It helps to promptly identify any inaccuracies or fraud that could harm your credit. Tip #5- Keep old credit accounts open. The length of your credit history is another factor influencing your credit score. If you close an old credit account, you shorten your credit history, which could hurt your score. Tip #6- Negotiate with creditors if necessary. If you've missed payments and your credit score has taken a negative turn, contact your creditors and negotiate to remove the negative information. Tip #7- Diversify your credit. Having a diversity of credit types, such as a mix of installment loans, retail accounts, credit cards, and mortgage loans – can positively impact your credit score. Credit diversity demonstrates to potential creditors that you can responsibly handle different types of credit. Tip #8- Seek professional help. If you are overwhelmed with managing credit or have already slipped into a bad credit score, seeking professional help could be appropriate. Credit counseling agencies can provide invaluable assistance in rebuilding your credit score. Your financial professional can also be a source of help in providing recommendations based on your situation. In conclusion, maintaining a suitable credit score is indispensable in your financial life, even throughout retirement. Retirees must focus on maintaining an excellent credit score to provide them with financial independence in their golden years.     Important Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This article was prepared by Fresh Finance. LPL Tracking #527484 Sources:  

SECURE Act 2.0: What Business Owners Need to Know for 2024

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, passed into law in December 2019, had significant implications for business owners and employees regarding retirement savings and tax rules.   With some of SECURE Act 2.0's provisions starting in 2024, business owners must know how it may impact their situation. SECURE Act 2.0 features a host of potential changes for 2024, including adjustments to RMD rules, auto-enrollment retirement plans, changes to catch-up contribution rules, increased annuity options, and other new provisions to help employees pursue financial independence. Here are the details of each provision to remain compliant with the Act.  

1. Adjustments to Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

The SECURE Act 2.0 would amend the required minimum distributions (RMDs) rules. Under the original SECURE Act, the age at which individuals had to start taking RMDs from their retirement accounts increased from 70 ½ to 72. SECURE Act 2.0 further extends this age to 73, beginning in 2024. This amendment impacts retirement plans and obligations concerning employee retirement benefits and the new RMD age. 2. Auto-enrollment in 401(k) plans Starting in 2024, the SECURE Act 2.0 proposes that employers automatically enroll their employees in their 401(k) plan. While employees can opt out, the objective is to encourage more employees to save for retirement. Additionally, employers must establish efficient systems for automatic enrollment and provide clear information to their employees about this change. 3. Amendments to catch-up contribution rules The SECURE Act 2.0 also proposes that employees aged 50 and older can make additional catch-up contributions of up to $7500 into their employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. Employers must adjust their retirement plan terms to account for this change and educate their employees about the new rules. 4. Increased annuity options The SECURE Act 2.0 also includes provisions to increase annuity options within individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans. This development aims to give retirees an income stream during their retirement years through the annuity option within their retirement account. Business owners must familiarize themselves with new annuity options and potentially roll out new retirement plans or update their plan's strategies to include additional annuity options in early 2024.

5. New Roth 401(k) RMD rules

Participants in a Roth 401(k) no longer need to take required minimum distributions (RMDs), which conforms to the rule that already applies to Roth IRA account owners.

6. Employee student debt relief

Employers can now offer student debt relief through workplace retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, by matching contributions toward an employee's student loan repayments. The employee elects the employer to match their loan versus their employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. However, the employee must continue participating in the employer-sponsored retirement plan to receive the employer’s match toward their student debt.

7. Employee emergencies and savings accounts

Emergency funds provision

Starting in 2024, employees can withdraw up to $1,000 penalty-free from IRAs or 401(k)s for emergencies, regardless of whether the person has reached age 59½.

Emergency savings accounts

Emergency savings accounts within retirement plans can now be offered to employees who contribute (on an after-tax basis) to that account within the retirement savings plan. However, a participant's emergency savings account balance may only be $2,500 at most.

Domestic violence provision

Employees under age 59 ½ who are experiencing domestic violence can take up to $10,000 from their IRAs or 401(k)s without paying the 10% penalty. With the SECURE Act 2.0 in view for 2024, business owners must prepare for and implement the above provisions. Business owners must understand the implications of these changes, educate their employees accordingly, and adjust their retirement plan documents to ensure they comply or face penalties at tax time.

8. Roth IRA employer contributions

Traditionally, employer matches are made with pre-tax dollars that go into an employee’s pre-tax account, such as a traditional 401(k). Starting in 2024, employers can make matching contributions into an employee’s Roth 401(k), where the monies will grow tax-free, with tax-free distributions in retirement. This new provision is optional, and employers may still elect to make pre-tax matches. The proposed SECURE Act 2.0 is still a work in progress and will change in the coming years. Therefore, business owners are encouraged to update their retirement savings plan based on the above provisions for 2024 and work toward more provisions rolling out through 2033. Business owners must work with financial and tax professionals and their retirement plan sponsors to remain informed and prepared for each new year’s SECURE Act 2.0 provision rollout through 2033. In summary, the SECURE Act 2.0 solidifies the need for business owners to prepare for its implications. By understanding the new adjustments to RMDs, auto-enrollment, amendments to catch-up contributions, and the increase in annuity options, business owners can ensure that they comply and that their employees are suitably prepared for a comprehensive retirement.     Sources:     Important Disclosures Content in this material is for educational and general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This article was prepared by Fresh Finance. LPL Tracking #521665  

The Business Owner’s Guide to Social Security: Planning for Your Future

Yes, even if you are a business owner or self-employed, you can receive Social Security benefits as long as you have been paying Social Security tax each year. The Social Security Administration defines you as self-employed if you operate a business, trade, or profession by yourself or as a partner. Here is a business owner’s guide to social security and planning for your future.

Earnings get taxed for Social Security up to $168,000 in 2024

If you work for an employer, both you and your employer pay a 7.65% tax for Social Security and Medicare tax up to $168,000 of your earnings. Of the 7.65%, 1.45% goes toward Medicare. Higher earners may be required to pay an additional 0.9%. If you are self-employed, you pay both the employee and employer amounts, 12.4% Social Security tax, and a 2.9% Medicare tax, amounting to a total of 15.3%. These taxes are also known as the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).

Determining the context of your retirement for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The Social Security Administration will want to know if you are retiring entirely or if you plan to continue working. If you are of retirement age or older, you can receive your Social Security benefits whether or not you retire from your business. You are allowed to get Social Security retirement or survivor benefits and work at the same. The catch is if you are younger than full retirement, there are income limits, and if you are above them, your benefits may be reduced.

If you are a lower earner

A lower earner may be allowed to continue working and receive their full Social Security benefit and not be subject to a penalty.

Earnings test threshold in the year you reach full retirement age

If you reach normal retirement age in 2024, the annual exempt amount has increased to $59,520 for the months you hit full retirement age, up from $56,520. When you reach retirement age, $1 in benefits gets withheld for every $3 above the limit. If you reach normal retirement age after 2024, the annual exempt amount is $22,320. In this case, $1 in benefits is withheld for every $2 of earnings in excess of the lower amount.

Beneficiaries could have 85% of their benefit income taxed

Contrary to popular belief, Social Security benefit income may get taxed. If you are an individual tax filer earning between $25,000 and $34,000 or married and filing jointly earning between $32,000 and $44,000, you could be subject to tax up to 50% of your benefits. If you are an individual filer and your income exceeds $34,000 or married with an income in excess of $44,000, you may pay taxes on up to 85% of your benefits.

Groups exempt from paying Social Security and ineligible for benefits:

Generally, most American workers are automatically enrolled to pay into Social Security; therefore, in time, they will be able to receive them. Some groups are exempt from paying Social Security taxes but can’t receive them either. Here are a few groups that meet the eligibility to be exempt: · Temporary student exemption · Employees of foreign governments · Nonresident aliens · Specified recognized religious groups

Consult a financial professional

Social Security and tax rules change often, and they can be complicated. When applying these rules to your financial situation, your decisions may impact you and your business goals in various ways without even realizing it. Consider consulting a financial professional who can work with you as you strive toward aligning your financial decisions with your strategy and long-term business goals.     Important Disclosures: Content in this material is for educational and general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Sources: Social Security may affect workers in 2024. 3 rules to keep in mind ( How Social Security Works for Business Owners - Due What's New in 2024 ( Who Is Exempt From Paying Into Social Security? ( This article was prepared by LPL Marketing Solutions LPL Tracking # 541156

The Importance of Business Credit and How to Build It

Credit is one of the most important factors of life that impacts all businesses. Having solid credit is necessary for securing a small business loan. Most lenders consider an acceptable business credit score of 75. The U.S. Small Business Administration published a study by the Native American Dream Gap which disclosed that 45% of small business owners surveyed didn’t know they had a business credit score, 72% didn’t know where to locate the information, and 82% didn’t know how to interpret their score. Taking steps to build business credit can offer your business opportunities that wouldn’t be available to otherwise. The importance of building credit can’t be overstated. Here are a few strategies to consider to help build it:

Register your business

Registering your business establishes it as its own legal entity and provides better access to securing loans from banks and capital, which you can use to build business credit. Along with building a solid business credit score, registering your business also offers legal and tax benefits and helps you mitigate personal liability suits brought against you from any business dealings.  

Open a business bank account

A business bank account can help to build a relationship and track record with the bank. This can be beneficial when you apply for a business credit card or a loan. Being an existing customer may help you to build your business credit.  

Apply for a business credit card

Having a business credit card helps to establish your business’s credibility. If the payments are made on time, that also helps build your business credit and acquire a higher score. A business credit card also works to improve business cash flow and to obtain higher credit limits over time.  

Borrow from lenders that report the payments to the business credit bureaus

Borrowing from lenders that report the payments to the major credit bureaus is beneficial as it helps to raise your business credit score and develops your creditworthiness.  

Establish credit with suppliers and vendors

A quick way to build business credit is by applying for net terms with suppliers and vendors. For example, net 30 accounts allow you to buy now and pay later. The accounts extend you 30 days to pay in full after purchasing of a product. This type of practice is known as supplier credit, vendor credit, and trade credit. Suppliers and vendors then, in turn, report the payments made to the three major credit agencies, helping your company build a strong business credit score.  

Regularly monitor your business credit report

There are three major credit reporting agencies, each compiling data about businesses, and it is essential to monitor your company’s credit report to ensure the information is accurate. The credit agencies allow you to update general information about your business. Sometimes, incorrect or outdated information makes its way onto your credit file, and you would want to contact the credit agency to dispute the information and request a revision to your report.  

Consult a financial professional

Consider consulting a financial professional with experience in building business credit who can teach you strategies to raise your business's credit score while also providing guidance on creating manageable goals and financial projections based on decisions you make now.     Important Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.   Sources: How to Build Business Credit Quickly: 5 Simple Steps | U.S. Small Business Administration ( What Are The Benefits Of A Business Credit Card? – Forbes Advisor Consumer reporting companies | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ( 6 Benefits of a Business Bank Account - NerdWallet UK 5 Reasons You NEED to Register Your Business. (   This article was prepared by LPL Financial   LPL Tracking # 523055  

4 Pre-Medicare Strategies for Managing Healthcare Costs

Planning for early retirement is great, but planning for healthcare coverage at the same time is sometimes more difficult. Healthcare costs are high, and finding ways to bridge the gap between the age you retire and the time you are eligible for Medicare may take a lot of planning. If you are close to your desired retirement age but are still a little ways off from Medicare eligibility, below are a few strategies for navigating healthcare costs during that gap period.

1. Consider COBRA Coverage

Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, you may be able to continue your employer-sponsored healthcare coverage for 18 months or longer. To continue the coverage, you must elect COBRA and pay the premiums plus an additional 2% fee. Depending on the type of coverage, this may be pricey, but if you have health conditions that require regular treatment or care, it may be one of the better options.1

2. Look at Your Spouse's Insurance Coverage

If your spouse has not yet retired and they have coverage available through their employer, the most cost-effective option might be adding yourself to their policy. Losing your previous medical coverage will act as a qualifying event, allowing you to go onto a spouse's policy even if it is outside the open enrollment period. It is important to consider the costs, deductibles, and co-insurance to ensure the option will provide you with the coverage you need.1

3. Research Private Insurance Companies

You also have the option of using private healthcare coverage through a local insurance agent or professional organization to secure the coverage you need to bridge the gap. When looking into private healthcare, you will be able to choose from varying coverage options and costs to build a plan to fit your healthcare needs. The main drawback is that these policies are often more expensive than other options if you are looking for lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.1

4. Price Coverage on the Public Marketplace

Before getting new insurance, you may want to price different coverage options on the public marketplace. If you are not eligible for Medicare, you are eligible for healthcare coverage in the public marketplace and will not be denied even if you have a previous medical condition. The coverage cost and types of coverage will vary greatly from plan to plan, which gives you many options to find the coverage you need that will be able to be worked into your budget.1 While it is critical to plan for healthcare coverage from the time you retire until you are Medicare-eligible, it is just as critical to be prepared for when you need to apply for Medicare. Ensure you are aware of all the information you need, documentation, and deadlines you will need to follow so you don't incur any penalties or lapses in coverage.     Important Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This article was prepared by WriterAccess. LPL Tracking #516245-01 Footnotes: 1 Managing Healthcare Costs,, Sources