Recent News

What is Sustainable Investing?

Apr 8, 2022

To invest sustainably is an investment approach that pursues financial sustainability or the protection of long-term investment value through identifying and addressing company risks associated with a changing climate, social or demographic...

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Remaining Patient During Periods of Market Instability

Apr 8, 2022

Being a participant in the financial markets over the past quarter was challenging with markets falling into correction territory. Inflation, the war in Ukraine, the interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, and rising oil prices all fed into a...

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Using our Home as a Financial Resource

Jan 11, 2022

What is one of the largest assets we own but do not consider for use as a financial resource?  Our homes! Most people have a significant amount of net worth tied up in their housing but they do not consider the possibilities of tapping into...

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Investment Takeaways from 2021

Jan 11, 2022

There was no shortage of disruptive events to create market declines during 2021. The events of 2021 included the attack on the U.S Capitol, Fed tapering, the delta and omicron variants, China’s housing debt default and rising inflation to name a...

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Highlights of Proposed “Build Back Better” Reconciliation Bill

Oct 7, 2021

The House Committee on Ways and Means has proposed a tax plan intended to fund President Biden's "Build Back Better" $3.5 trillion infrastructure program. Whether or not all of the changes actually pass into law has yet to be determined.  Today,...

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Unexpected Costs of Appreciated Home Values

Oct 7, 2021

You might note that today’s housing market appreciation has added significantly to your personal net worth over the past year which can feel pretty good.   However, what many do not consider is the inevitable increase in the homes’ property tax...

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Inflation Risk

Jul 9, 2021

Inflation, or the erosion of our purchasing power is an important consideration for long term investors. Inflation is normal and even positive up to a certain level which today might approximate 2% to 2.5%.  Recent inflation indicators are...

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Market Impact from Changing Tax Policy

Jul 9, 2021

Investors today worry about the possible impact a tax hike might have on financial markets. President Biden’s proposed tax changes focus on increased corporate tax rates and possible tax rate increases for high income earners over $400,000 to...

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Revisiting Health Savings Accounts

Apr 9, 2021

Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) are tax efficient savings accounts that allow you to put money aside to pay for certain “qualified medical expenses” on a tax-free basis. HSA's can be used if you have a high deductible health plan (HDHP), which is...

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Highlights of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Apr 9, 2021

On March 11th, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The bill is the third enactment of Coronavirus related stimulus spending by the Federal Government and includes many provisions included in prior relief...

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The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 Passes into Law

Jan 9, 2021

On December 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The bill, the longest ever passed by Congress, combines funding for the Federal government through fiscal year 2021 with stimulus relief for the...

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Investment Lessons from 2020

Jan 9, 2021

Who could have predicted 2020 would bring a worldwide health crisis, an economic downturn, a bear market crash, historic government stimulus, civil unrest, falling interest rates, a heated presidential election, disputed election results,...

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Elections and Markets

Oct 7, 2020

There is no doubt the presidential election is top of mind today with many investors worried about how markets may respond in the fourth quarter. With the race to the election underway and the pandemic continuing, there is a significant level of...

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The IRMAA Surcharge

Oct 5, 2020

The Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) requires high-income earning Medicare enrollees to pay a surcharge on Medicare Part B (outpatient services coverage) and Part D (prescription drug coverage) premiums. It is important to be...

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Liability Driven Investing

Jul 3, 2020

If you think about it, retirement is our largest personal financial liability for our lifetime. We need to figure out how to fund thirty to forty years of retirement spending needs and not run out of money. Funding our retirement optimally...

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Proposed Changes to IRS Life Expectancy Tables

Jul 3, 2020

In November 2019, the IRS released its proposal to update the life expectancy tables used to calculate the annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from several tax-advantaged accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s, for both account owners and...

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The CARES Act Extends Relief

May 26, 2020

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act which is designed to help provide financial relief to both businesses and individuals from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Act is very broad in reach and contains many...

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SECURE Act Becomes Law

Dec 31, 2019

Legislation attached to the year-end Spending Bill included some major tax and retirement reforms. With the Spending Bill now passed and signed by the President, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement or SECURE Act also became...

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Taking a Disciplined Approach to Investing

Sep 6, 2019

When financial markets experience a significant decline, a major surge, or a period of unsettling ups and downs, for most investors, it’s difficult to ignore the emotions we feel during those events. Having a financial plan paired with a...

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Medicare Enrollment Pitfalls to Avoid

Jul 3, 2019

Enrollment in Medicare can be difficult to navigate due to its complexity and the unintended financial consequences that result from certain missteps in the process. Understanding the details of enrollment as well as the options available to you...

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Highlights of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Jul 3, 2019

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) represents the most significant update to the U.S. tax code in decades. The reforms were designed to simplify taxpaying for many individuals as well as lower taxes for individuals and businesses. For...

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Understand and Plan for Retirement Risks

Sep 26, 2017

As we transition from pre-retirees to retirees and we begin to spend from our assets, our need for how our wealth is managed also changes. Retirement becomes much less about a focus on return on investments and instead becomes a focus on...

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Health Savings Accounts Reconsidered

Sep 26, 2017

Medical expenses will be growing in retirement. Medicare is not an end all and will not cover all our health-related costs. Health savings accounts (HSA) help offer a creative solution to help meet this gap. To gain the maximum benefit of an...

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Social Security Changes and Retirement Planning

Oct 11, 2016

Social Security rules which provided some planning opportunities for those approaching retirement were restricted with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.  As of May 1, 2016, those who are under age 66 will be unable to use planning strategies...

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Another Perspective on Reverse Mortgages

Oct 11, 2016

You probably never think about the value of your homes as a potential resource for retirement. Conventional wisdom would tell you to preserve the home equity as a last resort option.  If the value of your home did not need to be used it could be...

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Strategize to Ready for Retirement

Sep 9, 2015

Strategize to Ready for Retirement Being ready for retirement is no small undertaking. Taking the time to address questions and concerns about retirement and understanding some of the bigger risks we face as we approach retirement can help...

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Timing Plays an Important Role in Retirement Success

Sep 8, 2014

So you finally reached retirement which you worked so hard to achieve all your life. You have accumulated what you believe is an ample nest egg and you think you are home free to live out your retirement lifestyle by withdrawing 4% annually from...

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Tips and Strategies for Social Security

Sep 8, 2014

One of our biggest decisions regarding retirement involves when to elect Social Security benefits. We can elect to begin the benefit at age 62 but with an early election of benefits comes a permanent discount of 20% to 30% in annual payments for...

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Diversification of Retirement Income Resources

Feb 26, 2014

Never before have so many people retired so early, lived so long, and have been so completely on their own managing their retirement resources. Today, without pension plans as part of many retirees’ income resource pool more reliance is now...

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With a Long Term Care Event; Consider the Unintended Consequences

Jun 27, 2013

As a financial planner, much of my work involves the analysis of numbers and the pictures they paint to help my clients see their global financial situation and make informed decisions about their financial wellbeing. A long term care event...

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The Low Down on the Health Care Tax Laws for 2013

Jun 27, 2013

The new health care laws implement a 3.8% surtax on net investment income starting in 2013. These new laws add a new tax system which can impact your household income tax bill in several ways. First we need to understand what is considered...

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Congress Avoids Fiscal Cliff and Passes Act

Jan 2, 2013

The fiscal cliff was ultimately avoided at the last minute with Congress making some decisions on the Bush era tax cuts and tax provisions which would have lapsed. The deal which was brokered attempted to address the revenue side of the U.S...

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Keeping That Nest Egg

Nov 9, 2012

http://www.maineahead.com/roundtable-personal-finances/

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Watch Those IRA Rollover Rules!

Nov 9, 2012

A little planning advice could have prevented a $400,000 IRA rollover mistake. Have you ever heard of the "once per year" IRA rollover rule? Recently, an IRA owner lost more than $400,000 from his IRA because he violated this rule. To top it off,...

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