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Recent Articles

Jan 23

Coping with Down Markets

By R. Todd Holden | Financial Advisor

In spite of my long-held and deep conviction that stocks and stock mutual funds are an incredibly effective tool for middle-class Americans wanting to create wealth, I feel the strain and stress of down markets just like my clients do.  The difference is I need to assist my clients through these difficult times without them making decisions that will hurt them and their families in the long run. 

Sep 05

How Inflation Affects Retirees

Stay ahead of inflation in retirement

Inflation, a sustained increase in the price of goods and services in an economy over a period of time, averages a little over 3 percent annually.1 For the 12 months ending July 2018, U.S. inflation stood at 2.9 percent.2 As the economy grows, inflation tends to tick upward, and retirees and near-retirees may be especially concerned about how this will affect their finances.

Jul 23

529 Savings Plans: What Qualifies for Tax-Free Distribution?

Whether your child or grandchild is starting college now or in several years, if you are taking advantage of a 529 college savings plan, it’s important to remember which educational expenses qualify for tax-free distribution and which do not.* The IRS gives detailed guidance on qualified expenses in Publication 970. Here are a few important points.
 

Jun 21

Financial Planning in Retirement

The importance of financial planning doesn’t change at retirement

If you’re like many, you may assume that financial planning ends once you retire. After all, retirement is a major life milestone that you’ve planned and saved toward for many years, and it’s often a great relief to finally retire. But the notion that financial planning is no longer needed is mistaken and can lead to financial difficulties down the road.

Feb 14

The ABCs of RMDs and QCDs

Donating to charity can be good for your soul — and your tax bill

RMDs, or Required Minimum Distributions, are the minimum amounts that the federal government requires Traditional IRA (or other qualified retirement plan) holders to withdraw starting the year they turn 70 ½. Uncle Sam doesn’t let us defer taxes on our retirement accounts forever. And if RMDs are not taken, significant penalties will apply.

Jan 31

Trusts—Fulfilling a Role in Your Financial Plan

Many people have heard about trusts, but may not know there are several kinds of trusts, and which, if any, of these legal documents may be of value to them for their personal financial planning. It might be time to ask yourself, “Would a trust help me accomplish an important financial or estate planning objective?” Trusts can be established to address a variety of concerns, including protecting and distributing your assets, managing taxes and achieving your charitable goals. The assets in a trust are managed according to your wishes by the trustee you choose.