Life Events
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Life Events

Life Events

Life Events explores the role stock grants play in the financial planning for a variety of major personal occurrences.

Browse an overview of this section below, or explore the subsections to the left.

Major topics covered include retirement and retirement plans; paying higher-education costs with stock grants; divorce and its impact; death and the death taxes on your estate; and disability.

Selected Articles


Retirement Planning With Stock Options And RSUs (Part 1: Pre-Retirement)

Stock compensation can help you save for retirement. Understand the issues and explore strategies that can help your retirement funding.

Your Retirement Plan: How To Integrate Stock Compensation This is premium content

Podcast included! Among the many ways to amass the wealth you need to fund the retirement you want, your stock compensation can play a major role. As this article explains, if you combine equity grants with other assets such as a 401(k), retail investment accounts, Social Security, and other savings or benefits, you could find yourself with enough money to fully fund your ideal retirement.

Disability And Death: What Happens To Stock Options, Restricted Stock/RSUs, And ESPP Participation? This is premium content

Disability and death are subjects that few people like to think about, but they are important topics for employees who have stock compensation. Every stock plan has provisions on the treatment of equity compensation in the case of these life events, so you and your family members should understand those plan features just in case they come into play. This article presents the common ways in which stock plans treat grants upon the disability or death of employees.
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Maximize Your Social Security Benefits With Stock Compensation This is premium content

You have been paying Social Security taxes your entire working life. As you near retirement age, there are planning ideas with stock compensation you should know about as you make decisions on Social Security benefits. This article provides core knowledge to inform those decisions.

Stockbrokers' Secrets: Retirement Planning With Stock Compensation (Part 1) This is premium content

Podcast included! Many of my clients do not see stock compensation in the bigger picture of retirement savings and withdrawal plans. Considering net worth, age, and company stock plan, I present the client with these core points about stock grants, 401(k) plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, and IRAs.

The Great Drawdown: How To Optimize Stock-Based Compensation For Retirement Planning This is premium content

Podcast included! When you retire, there may be a gap between your retirement date and the qualifying age for retirement-plan distributions and Social Security. To bridge that gap, stock-based compensation can help, but its complexity can be confusing. This article seeks to help you factor in stock compensation when you sequence cash flows to cover living expenses in retirement.
This is simply a selection of the many articles in this section.
Use the navigation to the left to explore all of the categories in this section.

Selected FAQs


What are the top 10 questions related to retirement planning that I should ask about my stock options, restricted stock/RSUs, or ESPP participation?

Retirement savings can be significantly boosted by equity compensation. When factoring stock options, restricted stock/RSUs, or ESPPs into your retirement planning, you should know the answers to the questions in this FAQ's checklist...

What would happen to my unvested restricted stock or RSUs if I were to die or become disabled before the vesting date? This is premium content

The treatment of unvested restricted stock and RSUs upon death or disability depends on the terms of your stock plan and the specifics of your grant agreement. In its 2019 Stock Plan Design Survey, the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals observed the following related practices among the companies in its survey group...
Death Taxes

After my death, at what times might my stock options be taxed?

Stock options that you hold when you die can be taxed twice...
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Retirement Plans

How do stock grants affect Roth IRA contributions and conversions? This is premium content

The grant itself has no impact. The compensation income generated from exercise or vesting can affect...
College Funding

To seek financial aid for children's college tuition, I report income and assets on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Should I list my stock grants? At what value?

As long as the student is considered a dependent of the parent for financial-aid purposes, the parent does have to report stock options on line...

What would happen to my vested stock options if I were to die before exercising them?

You need to review the terms of your company's plan and your grant agreement. In most cases, the options...

Is my spouse entitled to part of my stock options, restricted stock, and other equity grants upon our divorce?

While there are some general trends, the treatment of stock options, restricted stock, and other equity awards in divorce is far from similar in all states. In general, the outcome depends on four factors...

What happens to my stock grants if I become temporarily disabled?

Under some stock plans, if you are temporarily disabled and your employment is not terminated, you...
Retirement Plans

How do stock options, ESPPs, and restricted stock differ from the company stock fund or contribution offered under my 401(k) plan? This is premium content

401(k) plans are a type of broad-based, tax-qualified retirement plan funded by pre-tax contributions, unlike...

I retired and moved states. When I exercise my options and my restricted stock vests, will I be taxed by the state where I worked or by my new state? This is premium content

The outcome depends on the laws and tax policies of the state you worked in. States are not restrained...
This is simply a selection of the many FAQs in this section.
Use the navigation to the left to explore all of the categories in this section.
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