Category

Blog

gst tax

Basics of Federal Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer (“GST”) Tax – 2020 Update

By and Blog
The bad news is that there is a Federal tax on assets that you give away during life, at death, and to individuals two or more generations below you. The good news is that this tax will only apply to the wealthiest Americans and, even so, there are strategies you can use to minimize or avoid its application. The Federal estate, gift and GST tax only kicks in above a certain dollar threshold. Furthermore, there are additional wealth transfer strategies that do not trigger any tax at all if structured properly. Taxable Gifts There is a Federal estate and gift…
Read More
Executive Risk

Executive Risk Management: Tips for Playing Defense

By Blog
Most executives rightly focus on their offensive strategy—saving and investing—but a defensive strategy is essential, too. As high earners, executives are often in a position to self-insure for some potential needs, but in almost all situations there remain gaps to fill with wisely chosen insurance strategies. Essentially “delegating” your defensive strategy to your HR department—in the form of workplace-provided policies—is unlikely to be wise. Ideally, a risk-aware strategy will include some base components available through the workplace, such as group disability and life insurance policies, augmented by tailored products purchased personally. Across both workplace and personal products, there are subtleties…
Read More
SECURE Act

The SECURE Act: What You Need to Know

By Blog
On December 16, 2019, Congress agreed to a spending bill which included a law called the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act). The SECURE Act was passed only by the House in the summer, but seemed to be falling by the wayside until it was attached to this spending bill. The new law is effective January 1, 2020. Below is some insight into the major implications of this new law, and some thoughts on how to lessen the impact of the most important change: the removal of the stretch RMD provisions on inherited IRAs. What did…
Read More
WeWork

An Important Lesson from WeWork

By Blog
The appeal of the company mission As a millennial, I grew up during the tech era and social media “boom.” Facebook was born in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room in 2004, a story now made famous by the 2010 movie “Social Network.” The first Apple iPhone was launched to market in 2007, after the massive success of the iPod in the half dozen years prior. Uber launched in 2009 as an alternative to expensive and inefficient taxicab options, paired with new technology that made it possible to summon transportation from a cell phone. These companies have changed the way people…
Read More
life insurance

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

By Blog
The prospect of our inevitable journey to the pearly gates is a tough conversation to have in any context, let alone attaching a dollar amount to our existence. However, for many people, life insurance is the backbone of any strong financial plan. Without it, all your other financial goals can easily fall apart. Life insurance can replace lost income, pay off debts, leave a charitable legacy, and create an income and estate tax-free pool of capital, if structured correctly. But how much life insurance do I need, if any? As with most questions, the answer depends on the facts and…
Read More
gifting 2019

Do I need to make gifts before the end of the year?

By Blog
With all of the political uncertainty and recent changes in the tax law, our clients are wondering what to do about gifting. Below are answers to three commonly asked questions that we are getting this time of year. Note that this blog covers non-charitable gifts.* 1. Do I need to make gifts before the end of the year? Only if you are making annual exclusion gifts. You may give away $15,000 per person ($30,000 if gift-splitting with a spouse) each year tax-free. If you want to use your annual exclusion for 2019, the gift needs to be completed before the…
Read More
good credit

How to Make A Good Credit Score Better

By Blog
Do you pride yourself on having a good credit score? In the world of credit, there’s good, and then there’s excellent. Even if you are doing most things right when it comes to watching out for your score, there are several lesser known ways to maintain what you have and take your credit to the next level. Understanding how your credit score is calculated is an important place to start. Six basic credit factors go into calculating this score. While all factors matter, some affect your score more than others. From roughly highest impact to lowest, these factors are: Derogatory…
Read More
wealthspire pathways

Why We Created Wealthspire Pathways

By Blog
Our Approach to the Robo-Advisor Trend If you follow the investment management/financial planning industry, then you no doubt have heard the term “Robo-Advisor”. Robo-advisors are the hot topic right now and some advisors even view these types of digital platforms as the future of the industry. Robo-advisors come in all shapes and sizes, but for the most part tend to be lower-cost, automated investing solutions accessed digitally with minimal one-on-one interaction with a person. Some services don’t provide any contact with a live person while others offer call centers with new people answering each time you call, providing no real…
Read More
reflection

Reflections on our New Name from our Chairman and CEO

By and Blog
Howard Sontag, Chairman As the founder of a firm with my own name on the door, why would we choose a new name? As we officially begin doing business as Wealthspire Advisors, our rebranding makes it clear that our firms are now a single organization with common purpose and consistent values. When I founded Sontag Advisory in 1995, the independent advisor universe was just beginning to grow. The idea of representing the client as their fiduciary, with independence from any product or investment firm, was the crucial ingredient in longstanding growth and client retention. Putting Sontag and Bronfman Rothschild together…
Read More
new york estate tax cliff

Understanding New York’s Estate Tax “Cliff” – Updated October 2019

By Blog
It has been more than six years since some dramatic changes were made to New York’s gift and estate tax law. For many clients, the subject of the New York estate tax “cliff” continues to remain a source of confusion. This is for good reason. The New York cliff is not easy to understand, nor is it easy to know how it may impact your particular situation. The answers below are intended to guide those who remain baffled by the New York estate tax cliff. For a quick snapshot of the 2019 estate and gift tax rates for New York…
Read More