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Lifetime Gifts and Taxes

An individual is allowed to give *$5.49 million without gift taxation while living. Understand this has nothing to do with income tax. Many receive poor advice regarding income tax repercussions – especially when selling an investment(s) to make gifts. Gift Tax is not Income Tax I received an email from a very confused niece helping […]

perfect plan

Why You Don’t Need a Second Opinion

Feeling great financially right now? Are your investments up, job going well, saving a little money, economy strengthening? Many of you are feeling pretty secure where you are and may be thinking you have no reason for a financial review or second opinion. After all, as of *March 2017, the Consumer Confidence is at an […]


Life Insurance – The Dirty Word in Financial Planning

Resistance to life insurance usually begins with, “What if I don’t need to use it.” You could use the same argument with homeowners insurance, auto insurance and flood insurance. You don’t need it until you need it. It is worth noting that as people age and accumulate wealth, the need for life insurance may diminish. […]


What’s Your Retirement Number?

There are numerous retirement calculators available at no cost on the internet. They are interesting and fun to play with but do they illustrate true clarity? In my opinion, they don’t. They can be manipulated by historical returns, unrealistic expectations, the time period before retirement and they don’t anticipate unforeseen events. They are simply a […]

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Your Financial Plan and Rising Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve once again seems committed to raising interest rates in 2017. Although there are estimates and targets published, we cannot predict the timing nor the Federal Reserve’s actual interest rates. All of that is out of our control. What can be controlled is our behavior and financial planning. What a perfect time to […]

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Finances Causing You Anxiety?

If so you are not alone. An astounding *85% of people report feeling financial anxiety leading to increased stress in their lives. Anxiety may rob you of happiness, affect your mood, decrease passion, wreak havoc on health, decrease social life, create depression, impact family and take your career or retirement off course. Anxiety of any […]

financial fitness 2017

New Year Financial Fitness in 6 Steps

Notice that I didn’t call them resolutions. We routinely make New Year’s resolutions with no real intention of keeping them. In fact, how long it takes to break a holiday resolution has become somewhat of a standing joke. Don’t get me wrong, some of you jump right in with excitement, enthusiasm and willingness. That is […]

investment or financial planning

Are You Getting Investment Planning or Financial Planning

I recently stopped a 78-year-old client in Sarasota, Florida from investing $300,000 in two tax-free municipal bond funds that were being offered through her bank. She was being offered an unsuitable, guaranteed loser. Why do I say that? Our country literally has a zero interest rate environment and the Federal Reserve is going to raise […]

What You Aren’t Taught About Financial Planning

Most people don’t think about financial planning in their 20’s. The fact is, many don’t think much about retirement savings until their mid to late 40’s. The best time to actually begin saving is right out of high school. This is not something most kids are taught in school. They could begin their retirement savings […]

buyer beware of poor financial products salesmen

Financial Products – Buyer Beware

I am sickened, disheartened and ashamed. My emotions stem from the lack of character shown by fellow financial advisors. These are the advisors that sell product and make transactions specifically to make the sale, to get the commission, to keep their numbers up. The client’s best interest has nothing to do with the decision. In […]

Couple with no financial clarity

The Real Cost of Poor Financial Planning

Using the Right Financial Tool for the Right Job Financial planning is a valuable tool, but only when properly applied. A comprehensive financial plan will incorporate all your resources, needs and possible life circumstances into one. It is important to remember that this will not be a static plan. One of the big mistakes people […]

financial confusion

Why Get a Financial Planning Second Opinion?

People routinely seek second opinions from medical specialists yet many never consider seeking a financial second opinion. Just as your health decisions are important, the decisions involving your financial decisions are critical. Why the difference in thinking? My opinion is they don’t know anything is wrong or what to check and why. In many instances, […]

Financial security

Should I Convert to a Roth IRA?

Over the past several months clients have called me regarding converting their IRA, 401k, 403b or other retirement accounts into a Roth, but these conversions can have serious tax implications. The Tax Problem One case involved converting an IRA into a Roth IRA. The client was passionate about the idea of tax-deferred growth and tax-free […]

Social Security enrollment decisions

At What Age Should I Begin Social Security Benefits?

Because Social Security planning should be based on the unique needs of the client by a comprehensive financial planner and/or a specialized attorney this report is general in nature. Top Concerns on Social Security: will it still be around what age to file avoiding tax exposure Is Social Security Going Away? Social Security is an […]

Should I retire or continue to work?

When Should I Retire?

The road to retirement can be a complicated journey. Most focus on getting the best return on their nest egg, but retirement or getting to retirement goes way beyond return on investment. Can You Answer the Following Financial Questions? At a life expectancy of 84 years, how much do you need to earn on your […]

stop swearing about annuties

Annuities Are Not a Four-Letter Word

They Overgeneralize, Create Doubt and Scare Investors I remember reading an article about complaints filed against a local financial planner regarding indexed annuities. I do not know the financial planner or wealth management planner in question, nor can I comment on these particular occurrences; however, articles like this make it very difficult for prudent and […]

How do I know if I should rollover my 401k?

Do I Keep My 401k or Roll It Over?

“Why should I roll my existing 401k into an IRA?” I am often asked that question. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. For those who are approaching 59.5 years of age, nearing retirement or who are already retired with a 401k investment, there are many questions to ask during financial planning sessions about whether a […]

Slick salesman or good financial advisor

Slick Sales Pitch or Comprehensive Financial Planning?

The Pitch – Pushing the Purchase of a Specific Product Essentially many financial planners don’t plan. Instead, they are trapped into product pitching and order taking. Financial planning is not like ordering a new car with the latest accessories and the beautiful interior with the rich smell of new leather. Instead, it should be a […]

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