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Our Blog

COVID-19’s Impact on Social Security

By Chris Stein M.S., CFP® | October 16, 2020

A reader would like to know about how COVID-19 will impact his Social Security benefits. “I was planning to retire in the next twelve months. I was born in 1960, so I turned 60 this year. I plan to delay my Social Security benefit until age 70. Each year, I use Social Security’s calculator to Read more…

Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT)

By Bob Palechek, CPA | October 2, 2020

Today’s blog is about Net Investment Income Tax, otherwise referred to as “NIIT”.   NIIT came into existence on January 1, 2013, and applies to individuals, estates, and trusts.  The focus for today is on individuals. NIIT is a tax on certain types of investment income applied at 3.8% if the taxpayer has income above certain Read more…

Active Investing vs. Passive Investing

By Scott Roark, MBA, PhD | September 18, 2020

In this blog post, I want to talk about the characteristics of passive and active investing and how those terms relate to activities frequently associated with investing. For a working definition, I am going to consider passive investing as the set of activities and decisions that is consistent with an investor seeking to match the Read more…

Tax Planning With Charitable Donations

By Bob Palechek, CPA | August 7, 2020

This article is to provide you a summary of how charitable deductions work, what is allowed and not allowed, limitations, and new items (see end of article). Charitable donations are deducted on Sch A as itemized deductions.  With the increase in standard deduction amounts (now $24,800 for married filing jointly) along with a $10,000 limit Read more…

Why Investor Returns Usually Fall Short of Benchmarks

By Scott Roark, MBA, PhD | July 17, 2020

In podcast episodes and in past blog posts (10/25/2019, 4/20/2019) we’ve talked about the importance of benchmarking – comparing the investment performance on a risk-adjusted basis to an objective measure. At Jim Saulnier & Associates, we use five Morningstar benchmarks that are adjusted based on risk tolerance.  The benchmarks are for Conservative portfolios (20% equity, Read more…

Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Long-Term Care Insurance

By Thomas "Greg" Darden, CLTC | July 3, 2020

Community care retirement communities, also known as CCRCs (or life-plan communities), are a long-term care option for older people for whom it is essential to stay in the same place as they transition through the various phases of the aging process. It is a form of ‘aging in place.’ An Introduction to CCRCs These communities Read more…

Medicare Part B Benefits, IRMAA, and Tax Impacts

By Bob Palechek, CPA | June 19, 2020

Medicare benefits provided to eligible retirees come in various “parts” that apply benefits to various different health-related services.  Two parts, parts B & D, are funded primarily by general revenues (transfers from the U.S. Treasury) and premiums paid by enrollees.  Premiums paid by enrollees are either deducted from monthly social security benefits or billed separately Read more…

Investing Risks

By Scott Roark, MBA, PhD | June 5, 2020

In all of life, we face risk.  Some of these risks are for possibilities that are extremely remote (lightning strike, shark bite, lottery win).  And in many cases, we can effectively eliminate these risks (don’t play golf in a thunderstorm, don’t swim in the ocean with a papercut and don’t buy lottery tickets). In the Read more…

Why You Might Want a Solo 401(k) Retirement Plan

By Bob Palechek, CPA | May 15, 2020

A Solo 401(k) – also called a one-participant 401(k) — is much like a regular 401(k) plan, and has the same rules and requirements of any other 401(k). But, it is designed for the self-employed or small business owner without eligible employees. It does allow a business owner’s employee spouse to be part of the Read more…

Live Long and Prosper: Have a Plan for Care

By Thomas "Greg" Darden, CLTC | May 1, 2020

Planning, planning, planning.  It seems like that’s all we hear about these days.  Career planning, family planning, financial planning, retirement planning.  Then what?  What do we plan for after planning for retirement? We also need to plan for living a long life.  As a population we are living longer.  A 65-year-old today can expect to Read more…

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