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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Who knew tax reform could be so easy? Less than two weeks after going to conference, Republicans reconciled the differences between the House and Senate bills and released their final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last Friday (12/14) afternoon.[1] The final legislation provides significant permanent tax cuts for businesses, including reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Most individual taxpayers will also receive tax benefits, including lower marginal tax rates, and a reduction in the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 39.6% down to 37%. However, all of the individual tax breaks will expire at the end of 2025 to comply with Senate rules. Read more

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Could Living a Long Life Cause You to Go Broke? Strategies To Make Your Money Last

Published by Scott Ford, Member of the Investment Committee for Carson Group Partners

Have you ever thought about the possibility of living past the age of 100? If you haven’t, you probably should. While there are currently about 75,000 centenarians in the United States, it is predicted that by 2050 that number will rise to 1 million.[1] People are living longer than ever before, and this plays a significant role in how you plan for your retirement. Read more

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Financial Planning is for Everyone

Published by Beth Schanou

Everyone can benefit from some form of financial planning. Not all plans look the same because we are individuals and have unique needs, but the need for some amount of planning is present for every age group and financial status. Often this can be difficult to embrace because in order to plan effectively, there is a need to open up and share personal information including finances and goals. This isn’t always easy. Read more

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Medicare 101: What You Need to Know

An often overlooked aspect of financial planning is considering health insurance options. Health care costs continue to rise, and as you grow older the likelihood you’ll need those services increases. Read more

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Safeguarding Personal Information

Electronic theft of personal information is the fastest-growing crime in the United States, with more than two billion personal records stolen worldwide in 2016. Protecting your personal information is a key component to reducing the potential that your information may be stolen. Read more

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Fees or Foes

Published by Scott Kubie

Recently, a fee-only financial advisor mentioned to me that more clients are proposing to manage more of their own assets and invest in the “S&P 500.” For most who go down this path, this move will likely end badly. These investors, while seeking to avoid wealth management fees, are ignoring the value their advisor brings to them as well as the current market environment. Read more

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How to Avoid the Top 3 Financial Fears in Retirement

You’ve worked hard for your money and during your retirement years, you want to have confidence that you can enjoy it. However, many retirees have common concerns as they move from asset accumulation to asset preservation. “Am I spending too much?” “Have I set aside enough for long-term care?” “Will I outlive my assets?” These are all questions many retirees think about. Read more

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What is goals-based planning?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but still haven’t done it? Maybe time constraints are holding you back or you are unsure if your financial resources will accommodate your plans. Or maybe, like a lot of people we meet, you haven’t taken the time to really think about what you want. Read more

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How to Set up a Trust

Published by Beth Schanou, Director of Wealth and Estate Planning

A trust can be a necessary tool for an estate plan. But, you may ask, what is a trust? Put very simply, a trust is created with a formal legal document to manage assets for beneficiaries. The trust is created by a person called the Settlor or Grantor, and a Trustee is appointed to follow the rules of the trust for management of the trust and its assets for the beneficiaries’ benefit. Read more

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Reviewing and Updating Your Estate Plan

It’s been a couple of years since I last wrote about the need to review and update your estate plan. A lot can happen in only a couple of years – marriage, purchase of a new home, the birth of a child. My particular situation involves two out of the three life events listed above. As a former practicing estate planning attorney, you can bet I have updated my estate plan (including updating beneficiaries on Transfer on Death/Payable on Death accounts) to reflect these life events. Read more