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Hello, and welcome to my blog! Here, I will be posting articles and thoughts relevant to the financial industry, retirement, investments, and financial planning, as well as other related topics. I am also willing to answer questions and respond to any concerns you may have. I am also willing to answer questions and respond to any concerns you may have. If you'd like to contact me with a question you want me to address, please email me, and I can either answer directly or in this forum.

 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Since the president signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law on December 22 of last year, many clients have been asking if they should make and changes to withholding from their paycheck. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made significant...

 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Last month we looked at a high-level summary of the changes as a result of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. One of the more significant changes outside of tax brackets is the classification of secondary school expenses as qualified. A...

 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was officially signed in to law on December 22, 2017. This is the most sweeping tax legislation in more than three decades, and it affects both individuals and businesses.The most significant change for...

 

Friday, December 29, 2017

You might start by asking, “What’s an RMD?” RMD stands for Required Minimum Distribution and refers to the amount that traditional, SEP or SIMPLE IRA owners and qualified plan participants must begin distributing from their retirement...

 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill As a follow up to last month’s blog on end-of-year planning, here are a couple of ideas for giving, with an eye on what must be done by year-end in...

 

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

“Time moves slowly, but passes quickly” - Alice Walker As winter approaches, it’s again time to look at end-of-year planning that is important to do now before the holidays take over. Here are some key things you may want to take a...

 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

There are situations when requesting a “do-over” would be ideal. Think about when you respond to your spouse thoughtlessly – as it leaves your lips you probably immediately apologize and call for a do-over. When you’re playing tennis...

 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Most people in the military and their families are familiar with the ongoing benefits afforded to individuals who served our country, like pensions, inexpensive life insurance and retirement plans, tax-free housing allowances, and...

 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On June 14, 2017 the Fed announced its fourth increase in their interest rate targets in the past 18 months. Are the interest rate increases we’ve been threatened with for the past 5+ years finally here? If so, this this begs the...

 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The older you get, the more you realize that celebrities are just like us, only rich and famous. They make mistakes like anyone else, and those mistakes are often magnified by the money involved and the attention afforded their...

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

One of the key tax initiatives rumored to be part of the new administration’s tax overhaul is a repeal of the federal estate tax. Even if this were to take place, it seems likely that estate planning will remain an integral part in...

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

If I asked you: “What is the maximum amount you are allowed to contribute to your 401(k) this year?” you would most likely answer either $18,000 or $24,000 depending on your age (50+) and ability to contribute an additional $6,000 as a...

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

There’s a bit of administrative business that can have impactful consequences if not dealt with in a timely manner: naming and/or updating beneficiaries and the various types of beneficiary designations. Let’s take a look at a...

 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Along with a hiring freeze, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will mail fewer paper statements in an attempt to cut costs. You may recall that the most recent change to statements was that those not registered for an online...

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Last month I outlined the upcoming cost of living increase in Social Security benefits for 2017. Another recent announcement for 2017 was in regards to estate taxes. While the annual gift tax exclusion ($14,000 per donee) and the top...

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Social Security Administration recently announced that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent beginning in 2017. There was no Cost-of-Living...

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

For the first time, the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) is available prior to January 1st. Starting in 2016 and going forward, the FAFSA will be made available on October 1st for the following year. How the FAFSA and Data...

 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Grandparents looking to help their grandchildren defray college costs have a variety of options. But no good deed goes unpunished! Let’s look at a couple of options and some of their pros and cons. Make Payment Direct to SchoolBecause...

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

With the most recent estate tax changes, the majority of investors will not have an issue with the federal estate tax due to the high current level of exemption ($5.45 Million in 2016). Unfortunately, in addition to the federal estate...

 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Inherited IRA rules may seem straight forward, when a loved one passes away and you are the named beneficiary, you take over the IRA and have to begin taking distributions. But when the death of a beneficiary occurs or a trust gets...

 

Monday, March 21, 2016

We are down to a month remaining until your tax returns are due. If you haven’t yet taken action in the following areas, you have up until at least the tax filing deadline to do so: Contribute to a Traditional or Roth IRA for...

 

Friday, February 26, 2016

The key to saving for an anticipated expense or season of life (i.e. retirement) is starting early. The benefits of the concept of compound interest is well-documented, with the main difference-maker being time. Hypothetical Example:...

 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Many baby boomers are finding that their aging parents are in need of health care assistance. Luckily, there are many options available today to help your parents grow old gracefully, either in their own home or in a facility, and...

 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

When helping clients plan, one aspect that is becoming more and more important is planning for health care costs. One question I get asked often is: “How much should I plan to spend on Medicare and other health care costs in...

 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

When thinking about a comfortable retirement, most estimates states that you need at least 60% - 80% of your final working year's income to maintain your lifestyle after retiring. So when Planning for the Future – I.D. What Motivates You?

 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Conducting an annual review of your retirement goals and strategy is an ideal way to check that your plans for your financial future remain realistic and on track. With that in mind, taking the three easy steps outlined below will help...

 

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was recently passed and signed into law as a way to avoid a government shut-down due to previously-imposed debt ceiling limits. Part of this bill results in closing so-called “unintended...

 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gifts of cash, investments, and other assets can offer benefits to you as well as your recipients. The IRS allows you to give up to $14,000 in 2015 ($28,000 for married couples) to as many people as you like -- adults or children --...

 

Monday, November 23, 2015

As expected, the Social Security Administration recently announced that there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits in 2016. For those under the income limits ($85,000 single/$170,000 joint) and...

 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Americans have become more informed about certain aspects of their credit scores, but most still don't know enough about the risks associated with low scores and alleged "credit repair" services, according to a recent report issued by...

 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Being part of the college planning process can be very educational for children, as it presents them with valuable financial lessons for the future. Children can earn money, learn about sources of financial aid, research potential...

 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Are You Prepared to Retire? Income is Key - Retirement used to conjure up images of lazy days spent in a rocking chair. Today's retirement is very different. You might plan to open a business of your own. Or perhaps you'll return to...

 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

How times have changed. Only 26% of American households are composed of married couples with dependent children, according to the latest U.S. Census. That number has dropped significantly: In 1970, 40% of households fit in that...

 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The more business we do and information we share online, the more identity theft becomes a growing threat to our financial security. There are ways you can help protect your good name and credit. Here are some tips to help keep you and...