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Dream Financial Planning Monthly Newsletter

Plan Proactively, Invest Intelligently, Minimize Taxes

February Newsletter

If you have student loans, it may affect your ability to buy a home—here’s how

When young professionals reach out to me for financial guidance, buying a home is usually a top priority. So, I was happy to share my thoughts on buying a home with Megan Leonhardt of CNBC. Most of my clients are in their 30s and interested in buying their first home but are uncertain of how to balance that goal with other priorities such as managing student loans, budgeting to start a family, and planning for retirement. If you're considering buying your first home, read my blog post 4 Common Mistakes Made by First Time Homebuyers.
As a Financial Planner, my goal is to make sure you have a solid financial foundation before buying a home. This includes an emergency fund of at least 3 months' worth of expenses for dual-income couples and 6 months' of expenses for individuals. I work with my clients to develop a detailed budget to make sure a home purchase makes sense for them without jeopardizing any other goals they might have. If it doesn't make sense to purchase a home immediately, we'll work with you on a collaborative basis to outline proactive steps to achieve homeownership.

I always tell my clients a Loan Officer will tell you what you qualify for, and I'll tell you what you can afford. If you’d like to learn more about the Comprehensive Process we use to make your dream of homeownership a reality feel free to schedule a Complimentary Consultation.

I also asked Will Hollister, a local Loan Officer, to share his thoughts on how Student Loan deferments could impact your ability to buy a home.

Does Student Loan deferment affect my ability to buy a home?

If you’re in deferment (as most student loans are during COVID), we are required to use a percentage of the outstanding loan balance as the monthly payment. While different mortgage types require a different percentage, a good rule of thumb is 1% of the outstanding balance as a monthly payment.
For instance, if you have $40,000 in deferred student loan debt, a safe assumption would be your lender counting $400 per month as a liability. Simply put, the presence of active student loans will never disqualify you from a mortgage as long as you can afford to have either the actual monthly payment or a lender’s required calculation added into your debt-to-income ratio. If you have questions for Will, you can contact him here

Disclaimer: The example above is for illustrative purposes only. Everyone’s scenario is different, and every loan program has different requirements that may impact your ability to get a loan. Please contact a lender to see how your student loans will affect qualification based on your unique circumstances.

7 Tax Deductions For The Self Employed
As a self-employed person, you deserve all the tax deductions you are entitled to. There are several valuable tax deductions to be aware of. From conducting business from your home office to saving money for future wealth, here are 7 self-employed tax deductions that can result in less money paid to Uncle Sam!

January Blog Posts from Dream Financial Planning

Biden Has Signed an Executive Order Regarding Student Loan Debt: Here’s What We Know
On Jan. 20, President Biden signed an executive order regarding federal student loan repayments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's what borrowers across America need to know.
What Financial Challenges Could High Earners Face During the Biden Administration?
After a tumultuous 2020 election season, President Biden has officially taken office. If you are a high earner, here are 6 challenges that could arise during a Biden administration.

Read more from Dream Financial Planning on the blog.

I wish you the best as you start planning for your dreams!

Lamar Watson, CFP®
Founder and Financial Planner
Dream Financial Planning
Schedule an Appointment

Complimentary Consultation

With uncertainty surrounding the economic stability of our country, it's okay to have fears and anxieties surrounding your own savings and investments. The most productive course of action from here is to reach out to Dream Financial Planning (or whoever your trusted advisor might be) and discuss your options. It's easy to have knee-jerk reactions when it feels like the bottom is falling out, but it is imperative to make decisions using research-backed data and a level head. If you'd like a Complimentary Review and risk assessment of your investment portfolio feel free to send me an e-mail.


January Newsletter

Will your portfolio allocation lead to a $100,000+ mistake? In my Newsletter, I discuss the benefits of an aggressive portfolio allocation for those in their 20s and 30s. There's also an article from The Wall Street Journal where I discuss the benefits of Flex Spending Accounts. Last but not least, there's a blog post about The Breakdown On Capital Gains & Taxes and Vanguard Portfolio Allocation Models.

December Newsletter

This month's newsletter is filled with information about Stock Options, Budgeting Resolutions, and Tips to Maintain a Work-Life Balance.

November Newsletter

This month's Newsletter is filled with year-end Financial Planning topics you should consider. Including open enrollment, optimizing your 401k, and tax-loss harvesting

October Newsletter

In this month's newsletter, I discuss how the stock market doesn't historically care who's in the White House. I also share a Fox Business Network article, where I'm quoted, about paying down debt or investing.

September Newsletter

I've been getting a lot of questions recently about Insurance, so I discuss in this month's newsletter. Before you buy Insurance, make sure you're working with a Fiduciary and ask about the agent's fees and commissions, which are often very high or hidden for Whole Life Insurance products and Annuities. How do you know if this is what they're trying to sell you? Look out for terms like cash value, guaranteed return, no risk, or tax-free growth.

August Newsletter

In this month's newsletter I discuss why I started Dream Financial Planning and the foundational principles of my firm. I also included two downloadable PDFs. One highlights what you should consider when paying off your student loans. The other provides guidance on Income-Driven Repayment ("IDR") Plans, which can be an attractive option for federal student loan borrowers.

July Newsletter

In this month's newsletter I shared an article that discusses Regulation Best Interest vs. the Fiduciary Standard. I also included two downloadable PDFs. One highlights how to make sure your Health Savings Account (HSA) distributions are tax-free. The other provides guidance on if you should contribute to a Roth or Traditional IRA.  Last, but not least there are articles on the recent jobs report, first time home-buyers, and mortgage refinancing.

June Newsletter

Are you considering a Roth Conversion? I included a downloadable PDF flowchart to help guide you.  I also mention the surging Stock Market and better than expected unemployment numbers. There's also a friendly reminder about the difficulties of trying to time the market.

May Newsletter

What should I do with my 401k?  This is a question I've been getting a lot recently, I answer it in this month's newsletter. I also include two downloadable PDFs.  One is a checklist that outlines the primary issues you should consider when reviewing your taxes.  The 2nd checklist outlines what you should do if you lose your job in these difficult times. 

April Newsletter

I discuss the recent economic stimulus package and what it means for you. I also include two downloadable PDFs with helpful tips to help you navigate these trying times. Lastly, I discuss the Behavior Gap, and how holding your emotions in check is essential for financial success.

March Newsletter

In the words of Warren Buffet. “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Topics include Market Volatility, trying to time the market, and Mortgage Rates.

February Newsletter

Topics include Millennials and home ownership, a tax calculator from the IRS, and January blog posts from Dream Financial Planning.

Disclaimer: Dream Financial Planning, LLC does not warrant that this information will be free from error. None of the information provided on this website is intended as investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as an endorsement of any company, security, fund, or other securities or non-securities offering. The information should not be relied upon for purposes of transacting securities or other investments. Your use of the information is at your sole risk. Under no circumstances shall Dream Financial Planning, LLC be liable for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials in this site, even if Dream Financial Planning, LLC or a Dream Financial Planning, LLC authorized representative has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Please consult with your own advisor before making any changes to your Financial Plan, Investments, or Insurance coverage.