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TAX – Calculating the Pro-Rata Rule in 5 Easy Steps

If you hold both pre-tax and after-tax money in your IRA, you’ve likely heard of the pro-rata rule. It’s important to understand how this rule is calculated and how it can impact your retirement funds. In simple terms, the pro-rata rule is used to determine how much of a distribution is taxable when you have… Read More

Market Commentary – Dec. 4, 2017

What will it take to shake investors’ confidence? From the perspective of unsettling events, last week was jam-packed. North Korea claimed to have the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear missile, tax reform continued to travel a controversial path through the House and Senate, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn pled… Read More

Estate Planning: Using Power of Attorney for an IRA

There may come a point in your life where you will need to select a loved one to make significant financial decisions on your behalf. This process is by no means easy, but in the event that you are unwilling or unable to manage your own finances, having someone assigned as a power of attorney… Read More

Market Commentary – November 28, 2017

There was a lot to be thankful for last week. Stock markets around the world may have ripened to full-slip sweetness this year. Emerging markets have delivered the most attractive returns year-to-date. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was up 34 percent year-to-date, last week. The United States and Europe have marched higher, too. The Standard… Read More

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Avoiding Charitable IRA Beneficiary Mistakes

Are you considering donating your retirement assets to a charity? Naming a non-profit organization as an IRA beneficiary may be something you’ve yet to consider, but doing so can benefit both you and your charity, as neither of you will pay income tax on the account. However, using a retirement account for charitable gifting can… Read More

Cyber Security – Protect Yourself

At our recent Fall Seminar, we shared information with you regarding cyber security and protecting yourself against cyber threats.  Here are links to the handouts we shared at that event that you can download for reference. —Ransomware Tips —Secure Your Password —Red Flags–Phishing! —Tips for Using WiFi Safely If you have any questions, please call… Read More

Market Commentary – Nov. 20, 2017

Are investors more like tigers or African wild dogs? It appears investors – retail and institutional – have become rather like predators. They patiently stalk shares, waiting for a dip, and then they strike – buying stocks when prices fall. Consider last week. Barron’s described it like this: “The Dow traded down nearly 80 points… Read More

MAXIMIZE your Social Security Benefits

Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits Retirement and Social Security are inextricably linked. Not only did Social Security help establish the official U.S. retirement age at 65, it also provides a significant portion of today’s retirees’ incomes. Some of the earliest company pension programs began paying benefits at age 65.1 The economics made sense since life… Read More

Market Commentary – November 13, 2017

Selling it overseas. Most of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index have reported third quarter earnings per share (EPS), which is the profit earned per share of stock outstanding during the period. Many have done quite well. With more than 90 percent of companies reporting, the total EPS growth rate… Read More

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Market Commentary – November 6, 2017

“Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s statement is engraved on the front of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C. Some people agree with the sentiment. Others believe it to be a logical fallacy. It’s likely the tax plan proposed by House Republicans last… Read More