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The Best of 2018

What a year we’ve had! We shared a lot of information over the past year but wanted to highlight our most popular blogs.

1. Are You Taking Advantage of this Little-Known Microsoft Retirement Plan Benefit?

One of the most generous, but under-utilized retirement benefits is called the “After-Tax Contributions.” Microsoft has added a provision to its company 401(k) plan that allows employees to make substantial additional after-tax contributions to their 401(k)s.

2. Don’t Forget About Washington State Estate Taxes

Though the federal estate tax exemption has increased dramatically, Washington state’s estate tax exclusion is significantly lower.

3. Health Savings Account; Better Than a Roth IRA

Thanks to an upfront tax deduction and tax-free growth, HSA accounts are better than Roth IRAs.

4. Washington Launches a New College Investment Program – What You Need to Know

Washington state recently launched the Dream Ahead College Investment Plan as an addition to the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) plan.

5. Year-End Tax Planning Considerations

There have been some significant changes to individual and corporate taxes in 2018. With the year-end approaching, it’s always smart to consider tax planning opportunities. There may be more ways to save than you think.

6. Accentuating Portfolios Beyond Target Date Funds

For younger, less experienced investors, a Target Date Fund can be an easy way to get started in investing. For more accomplished investors, we generally don’t recommend Target Date funds, learn why.

7. Are you Adequately Insured?

If you’re like many successful people, your home is your largest personal asset. But, nearly two-thirds of American homes are under-insured, per Nationwide Insurance, adding that the average homeowner is underinsured by about 22 percent.

8. Helping Family Members as They Age

One in ten Americans over 60 has been a victim of elder abuse – more often than not by a child or spouse. Consider designating a “Trusted Contact” – someone we can contact on your behalf if we suspect something is not right in life.

9. Disability Insurance for Tech Professionals

Your disability coverage from your employer likely covers only your base salary – not your stock awards or bonuses. Is 60 percent of your base enough to cover your living expenses and savings for retirement? What happens when you change jobs and your new company doesn’t offer disability coverage?

10. 2018 Tax Updates

With the new tax bill signed into law, we will see lower tax rates, the elimination of certain deductions, and significant savings for some businesses starting in 2018. Most, but not all people will see a reduction in their taxes for 2018 and beyond. However, because certain deductions have been eliminated, the reduction in taxes may be less than expected, and vary widely between taxpayers.


This report is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation to purchase any security or advisory services. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. An investment in any security involves significant risks and any investment may lose value. Refer to all risk disclosures related to each security product carefully before investing. Soundmark Wealth Management, LLC, its advisors and its affiliates do not provide tax or accounting services. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax or accounting advice. Please consult with your tax advisor prior to engaging in any transaction.

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