‘Tis the Season

For many of us, these last few months of the year are a time to re-evaluate our financial plans, beneficiary designations, and enroll in corporate benefit programs such as medical and life insurance. For many, this is also when you can enroll in your company’s retirement plan or change your elections – whether it be … Continued

Year-End Tax Planning Considerations

KEY TAKEAWAYS Delaying or deferring income at year-end can be a smart move for most individual taxpayers and business owners. If over age 70 ½, you can distribute up to $100,000 directly from your IRA to a qualified charity and garner substantial tax savings. Consider managing your HSA account as a long-term, tax-free investment alternative. … Continued

Review Market Performance in Third Quarter

The market report for the third quarter is posted and features global market performance and a timeline of events over the past quarter, including a look at the impact of the recent interest rate increase. A great discussion concludes the report focused on evaluating expenses, specifically when it comes to mutual funds and the variable … Continued

Know Where Your Charity Money Is Going

Many of our clients want to include charitable planning in their financial plans and overall goals. Ensuring donation money is given to a responsible steward can be a challenge. Review these important factors when evaluating charitable organizations. Interested in creating a more comprehensive charitable plan? Read our discussion on Donor Advised Funds and other strategies to … Continued

Fall Planning Reminders

KEY TAKEAWAYS Never assume the status quo is okay. Your life is changing faster than you realize. A good time to review plans is when your children approach adulthood. Once updated, ensure your offspring are up to speed on your intentions. Risk profiles and asset protection plans can slip through the cracks with the passing … Continued

Don’t Be Fooled by Common Misconceptions About Gifting

KEY TAKEAWAYS Well-intentioned parents and grandparents can be misled by the gift tax rules. Understand the tax obligation you are transferring when gifting appreciated assets. The recipient of the gift will need to report the gain on the sale of an appreciated asset and may need to pay tax if applicable. Always check with your … Continued

What You Should Do with Your Microsoft Bonus

What if we suggested you cut your paycheck in half for the rest of the year? That’s right, it sounds crazy, but you should consider taking advantage of a lesser known after-tax 401(k) benefit that your company provides. Your 401(k) maximum contribution is $18,500 for 2018 for those under 50, and you may be close … Continued

Look Before You Jump

KEY TAKEAWAYS Don’t neglect your old 401(k) and stock options from your previous employment. Ensure you have adequate health coverage for you and your family throughout your job change. Understand the reasons for moving jobs. From scrappy startups to global behemoths, the technology sector is firing on all cylinders. Competition for skilled workers has never … Continued

Beneficiary Designations – What They Are and Why They’re Important

Here’s a quiz for you: I don’t need to add beneficiary designations to my IRA, 401(k), annuity or life insurance accounts because I have a will. I don’t need to worry about IRA, 401(k), annuity or life insurance beneficiary designations because my spouse will automatically inherit my accounts. If you answered true to these statements, … Continued

Get the Most Out of Your Donations

In the past, you may have itemized your charitable donations to gain tax benefits. However, with the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed, the standard deduction is significantly higher ($12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples who file jointly) and it may not be worth the effort of itemizing. Your new higher standard deduction … Continued