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All Posts By

Eric Dostal, J.D., CFP®

lifestyle creep

3 Tips to Help Junior Partners Avoid Lifestyle Creep

By Blog
Lifestyle creep, or lifestyle inflation – when expenses rapidly rise to match newfound income – ensnares countless newly minted partners. Often there are underlying social pressures from peers or colleagues to keep up with new levels of conspicuous consumption. New indulgences and one-time splurges quickly become everyday necessities. It may begin innocently enough with a new car, a small remodel to an existing home, or a generous contribution to one’s alma mater, but it can quickly snowball into completely spending bonus checks before they’ve even been deposited. So, who cares? After all, you’ve sacrificed a lot to get where you…
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mortgage invest estate plan

Financing Your Home: What to Expect When You’re Taking on Debt

By Blog
My wife and I purchased our first home five years ago, which was not nearly as fun as an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters makes it out to be. After actively searching for months and putting offers in and losing out on six different houses, we finally grabbed the brass ring with our new home. To do that, we had to beat out seven competing offers after seeing the home for only 20 minutes during an open house on its first day on the market. Overall, it was a stressful experience, but we ended up with a beautiful home that…
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laddering life insurance

Laddering Life Insurance to Reduce Costs

By and Blog
A Brief History of Life Insurance Life insurance is a powerful tool in wealth management with a long history dating back to Ancient Rome. Roman soldiers participated in “burial clubs,” in which members pooled resources to help pay funeral costs for the deceased. The actuarial tables used by insurance companies today to help determine policy premium costs have their origin dating back to the 1700s. Life insurance, like any type of insurance, transfers a catastrophic risk away from you and your family to an insurance company. Here the catastrophic risk is your premature death and the loss of your earnings…
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child tax credit

The Child Tax Credit: 2021 Updates

By Blog
The Child Tax Credit has existed in many forms over the last 20 years, but the changes implemented by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 have expanded the program significantly. It is estimated that more than 93% of children, ~69 million, will receive benefits under the new plan. The new credit will not impact all families equally and currently only applies to the 2021 tax year. In 2020, each child under the age of 17 claimed as a dependent on a parent’s return could qualify for a credit of up to $2,000. This credit was implemented under the Tax…
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financial planning family

Financial Planning When Starting a Family

By and Blog
Planning for significant life transitions is central to financial planning. As recent first-time parents, we can say with confidence that there may be no greater transition in life than starting a family. Like any new phase of life, this transition brings along an infinite number of decisions and items to remember. Both before the baby arrives and, in the weeks, months, and years after, it can be helpful to understand and plan for some of the financial challenges that lie ahead. Coming from the perspective of both financial advisors and new parents, we’ve provided this checklist of some key financial…
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disability planning

Basics of Disability Planning

By Blog
Currently over 61 million Americans live with a disability, and statistically the average American worker has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming disabled during their career. Nearly everyone can benefit from the creation of a basic disability plan. A basic disability plan should allow your chosen representative to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapable of doing so. It is a position of extreme power and you should consider many factors when choosing your representative. The basic building blocks of disability planning typically involve the signing of a power of attorney, health care proxy…
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healthcare

Approaching Healthcare as an Informed Consumer

By Blog
Effectively Seek Healthcare in a Way that Makes Sense for Your Insurance The level of responsibility being imposed on patients is increasing. We must all begin to view obtaining medical services and healthcare through the lens of the informed consumer rather than the dutiful patient. We should seek out doctors who wish to embark on a collaborative approach to care to help us navigate this new medical landscape. The rise in popularity of high deductible health plans has begun to shed light on the way healthcare is typically provided in the United States and the cost associated with that care.…
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Saving & Investing When You’re Just Starting Out

By Blog
Congratulations! After all the classes, exams, late nights, early mornings, interviews (so many interviews) you actually get to start the career you’ve spent the majority of your life working towards. In addition to the million things you need to keep track of at your first “real” job, you also need to start thinking about putting your financial house in order. You might be thinking: That sounds good, I want to do that – I like the idea of order in my finances. But, what does that really even mean? There are so many terms: Roth, W-4, 1099, dollar cost averaging,…
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property ownership

Basics of Property Ownership

By Blog
The way in which you hold title to your assets can have a major impact on your estate plan. Different property ownership types grant various levels of authority to titleholders and dictate what happens after an owner passes away. Two common types of ownership are “tenants in common” (TIC) and “joint tenants with rights of survivorship” (JTWROS). Tenants in Common, Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship and Tenants by the Entirety Individuals who own property as TIC own a percentage of the property. These percentages can be equal or unequal. When one tenant dies, her percentage interest would generally pass…
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behavioral finance

Our Habits Matter

By Blog
My five month old daughter is just beginning to understand the concept of cause and effect. She is learning that when she shakes her rattle it will make a sound and that when she giggles mommy and daddy will make a big fuss. In these small ways she is starting to form her first conceptions about the world around her. These initial observations will create the foundation for the development of her very first habits. While we have more control over our actions than a five month old, the reality is that our habits evolve in exactly the same way. When we observe…
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