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How to Use a Trust as a Financial Planning Tool

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How to Use a Trust as a Financial Planning Tool

Clients frequently ask whether they should leave their assets in a trust. It depends. Of course, if your net worth exceeds $11 million, putting your assets in specific types of trusts can be helpful for federal estate tax issues. However, for most Americans, federal estate taxes will not be a major concern.

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What Can you Do to Add Happiness to your Retirement?

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What Can you Do to Add Happiness to your Retirement?

By: Doug Gjerde What are the most important items to have ready heading into retirement? Most people list saving enough money, paying off the mortgage, and a way to pay for healthcare. But experience and evidence show there is something even more important when it comes to happiness in retirement. Not Your Grandfather’s Retirement The majority of Americans between the ages of 40 and 79 think they’ll earn a wage in some capacity after their main careers come to a close. In a recent TD Ameritrade survey, 92% of adults in their 40s say they plan to continue doing some type of...read the full article

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How Your Employee Benefits Fit into Your Financial Plan

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How Your Employee Benefits Fit into Your Financial Plan

Your Health Savings Account (HSA) is a cornerstone of your benefits planning. The money is triple tax-advantaged – contributions, growth and withdrawals for qualified expenses are not taxed. This account is like nothing else, and you need to take full advantage of it. 

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In the SECURE Act Era, You’ll Need a New Retirement Strategy. Roth Conversions Could Be It.

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In the SECURE Act Era, You’ll Need a New Retirement Strategy. Roth Conversions Could Be It.

But when the SECURE Act goes into effect – expected on Jan. 1, 2020 – beneficiaries will have to fully distribute taxable accounts within 10 years of the account holder’s death. That could push your loved ones into a higher tax bracket.

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Yes, Social Security Income Is Taxable – But Yours Doesn’t Have To Be

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Yes, Social Security Income Is Taxable – But Yours Doesn’t Have To Be

As you move toward retirement, you can’t be content just to accumulate assets. You need to develop a retirement income plan that can help guide you when it comes time to turn savings into sustainable retirement income.

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The Financial Cost of Adoption

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The Financial Cost of Adoption

By Elizabeth Stangel November is National Adoption Month, a month dedicated to celebrating successful adoptions while also bringing attention to a large number of children still in foster care waiting for their forever families. National Adoption Month was first started as Adoption Week by Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis in 1976. From there President Ronald Reagan started the first National Adoption Week in 1984 which eventually led to President Bill Clinton dedicating the entire month of November as National Adoption Month in 1995. Every November is now dedicated to children and young adults in the foster care system searching for permanent,...read the full article

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Compounding Wealth (and Wisdom)

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Compounding Wealth (and Wisdom)

No single strategy works forever, but you also don’t want to change your approach every time the markets shift slightly. How does investing work – not just for a season or a year or two, but for a lifetime? Time is a major factor when it comes to successful investing.

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4 Tips to Take Your 401(k) to the Next Level

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4 Tips to Take Your 401(k) to the Next Level

The best kind of money isn’t old, new or even tax-advantaged – it’s free money! If your employer has a 401(k) program, they probably have a matching plan. Know what that is and make sure you max it out. They’re essentially giving you money, which you never want to turn down.

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Knowledge Isn’t Enough Anymore

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Knowledge Isn’t Enough Anymore

By Doug Gjerde In complicated fields like financial planning, medicine and aviation being knowledgeable is critical but it isn’t enough. Complication requires a system that ensures the learning is applied and used safely and effectively. Missed opportunities and overlooked threats can happen to the brightest professional when dealing with complex issues if a proper process isn’t in place to support the knowledge. Processes and systems are important in today’s complex world of wealth management. We have adapted a process called Wealth Designed. Life Defined. It was originated by our strategic partners at Carson Group. Are you using a process for...read the full article

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How a 529 College Savings Plan Can Help Make Summer Dreams a Reality

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How a 529 College Savings Plan Can Help Make Summer Dreams a Reality

I have always loved the feeling of summer. Once Memorial Day celebrations kick off, the atmosphere seems to relax. Sunshine, water and sunscreen seem to be everyone’s focus. Long, warm nights are filled with the sounds of lawn mowers and children laughing.

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