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revocable trust

Pre-tax or Roth 401(k) Contributions—That is the Question

By Blog
The decision of whether to make pre-tax or Roth (after-tax) 401(k) contributions frequently pops up, especially when investors start new jobs. Both pre-tax and Roth 401(k)s offer tax-advantaged investment growth, the same annual employee contribution limits, and both allow the plan participant to receive any available employer match. However, there are key differences between these options, so it is important to understand the pros & cons before electing whether pre-tax, Roth, or a combination of the two is appropriate for you. What is the difference between pre-tax and Roth? There are two primary differences – both of them are tax…
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financial planning for incapacitation

Financial Planning for the Possibility of Incapacitation

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Planning for the possibility of becoming incapacitated can be daunting. While many may have their estate planning documents squared away and have end-of-life plans carefully laid out, they may not have planned adequately for the possibility of incapacitation. Incapacitation, or the physical or mental inability to make or communicate your decisions, often caused by illnesses like stroke or cognitive disease, is a real threat for retirees. Incapacitation presents a unique challenge, in that your family members, designated POAs (Powers of Attorney), doctors or lawyers will need to make decisions for you – and will need access to your documents and…
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prenup

Why Should I Sign a Prenup?

By Blog
It’s not because either of you thinks the marriage won’t last To many, “prenup” (short for a prenuptial agreement) is a bad word. Why would any loving couple want to start off their marriage with a financial contractual agreement? As a wealth manager, I counsel clients who have a large disparity in wealth to execute a prenup. Some are getting married later in life and have built up considerable assets, some started a company, some are getting married for the second time. Some have former children to worry about. Some clients have children with considerable trusts getting married. We have…
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reading list

Wealthspire Advisors Back-to-School Reading List 2019

By Blog
With the start of a new school year just around the corner, we thought some readers out there may be looking to replace their light summer beach reads with a reading list of a little more substance. This edition of our reading recommendations covers books our advisors have found not only enjoyable, but also enriching. Enjoy! “Wealth of Wisdom” by Tom McCullough & Keith Whitaker Recommended by Lauren Martin, CFP®, Senior Vice President Wealth of Wisdom is one of the most relevant books I’ve read pertaining to educating the next generation. It covers everything from values to philanthropy to investing…
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life insurance

The Life Insurance Tax Trap – And How to Avoid It

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A major advantage of life insurance is a (typically) tax-free death benefit. In structuring life insurance, the owner of the policy generally assumes that the beneficiary will receive the death benefit without any tax being due. However, this assumption can prove incorrect in special cases. The 1946 court case, Goodman vs. Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, examined whether the death of an insured party created a taxable gift from the owner of the policy to the beneficiary. Commonly called the Goodman Triangle, the case can inform solutions to assure benefits remain tax free and help you avoid the life…
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back to school iep tips

Special Needs and Special Education Planning: Part 2

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Back-to-school IEP Tips It’s only the middle of August, but your mind is firmly on September. If your child receives special education services, you don’t have the luxury of worrying about ordinary back-to-school stuff like school supplies and new backpacks. Instead, you’re wondering if the services your child is entitled to will be enough this year and, if so, if they will be offered appropriately. Your child will likely need to contend with a new team of teachers, a new mix of classmates, and a possible turnover of crucial special ed staff members. Will these changes be an opportunity for…
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retirement savings

A “How To” Guide to Retirement Savings for the Self-Employed

By and Blog
Recently, we received a call from a client who had previously retired but had decided to get back into the game and provide consulting services as an independent contractor. Part of the conversation was a discussion of the different approaches to consider in deferring income recognition and investing some of these newly earned funds in a tax efficient manner. Below we review some of the most common retirement savings strategies a self-employed person could utilize, and explore the pros and cons of each: Traditional IRA A traditional IRA is a method to save for retirement with tax benefits. Contributions made…
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Special Needs Planning & Special Education Planning

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An Introduction It’s hard to believe that the beginning of a new school year will soon be upon us. However, those of us with children who receive special education services may look upon it with more dread than anticipation. For some, the school year evokes thoughts of PPTs and due process complaints, not back-to-school shopping. The personal aspects of advice around special needs and education — the constant feeling that you must fight tooth and nail to protect your child — combine with my professional role as an advisor to parents in a similar position, moving me to do more…
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new family savings

How to Financially Prepare for a New Baby

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A Checklist for Parents-to-Be Becoming a parent for the first or second or third or . . . time is always an exciting phase of life’s journey. You become responsible for another (very tiny) human. There are an infinite number of decisions and items to remember when it is time to get ready for the new adventure. However, as with most things, a little preparation can go a long way towards smoothing some of the inevitable chaos. Both before the baby arrives and, in the weeks, months, and years after, it can be helpful to understand and plan for some…
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healthcare

Approaching Healthcare as an Informed Consumer

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Effectively Seek Medical Care 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…
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