Category: Epic Insights

Couples Retiring on the Same Page

Jun 24, 2024

Silhouette of 2 couples under a roof in a hand in front of sunset
Agreeing about what you want from retirement is crucial.

What does a good retirement look like to you? Does it resemble the retirement that your spouse or partner has in mind? It is at least roughly similar?

The Social Security Administration currently projects an average of 18 years for a retiring man and 21 years for a woman (assuming retirement at age 65). So, sharing the same vision of retirement (or at least respecting the difference in each other’s visions) seems crucial to retirement happiness. (more…)

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Estate Planning Checklist for When a Spouse or Parent Passes

Jun 21, 2024

Estate Planning Death Checklist
An overview of some of the fundamental steps to take.

When you lose a spouse, partner, or parent, the grief can be overwhelming. In the midst of that grief, life goes on. There are arrangements to be made, things to be taken care of – and in recognition of this reality, here is a checklist that you may find useful at such a time. If not, estate planning is an important aspect of one’s overall financial picture. It plans for what comes next.

First, gather documents. Ask for help from other family members if you need it. Start by gathering the following. (more…)

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Optimizing Required Minimum Distributions

Jun 17, 2024

Seventy-three is an important age milestone for those in or near retirement, as it marks the time when required minimum distributions (RMDs) begin to be withdrawn annually from IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans (previously, the threshold was 70 ½). The milestone carries with it tax consequences that are not fixed. Rather, there are a few rules to consider that can help you optimize the impact on your bottom-line. (more…)



Market Update – Reaction to Softer Inflation

Jun 14, 2024

Bottom Line at the Top Line

Markets reacted positively to this week’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) release. Softer inflation is good news for the Federal Reserve (Fed). Despite a good report this morning, the Fed will still likely communicate this afternoon their intentions to keep rates higher for longer in their updated Summary of Economic Projections. The updated dot plot will likely signal only two rate cuts this year, a change from the three cuts communicated back in March.

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Cash Flow Management

Jun 12, 2024

An underappreciated fundamental in financial planning.

You’ve probably heard the saying that “cash is king,” and that truth applies whether you own a business or not. Most discussions of business and personal “financial planning” involve tomorrow’s goals, but those goals may not be realized without attention to cash flow, today.

Management of available cash flow is a key in any kind of financial strategy. Ignore it, and you may inadvertently sabotage your efforts to grow your company or even build personal wealth. (more…)

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Market Update – Seasonal Tailwinds and Easing Interest Rates

Jun 10, 2024

After a solid 2023 in which the Bloomberg Municipal Index was up over 6% (including a positive 8% in November and December), it’s been a slow start to the year in 2024. Changing Federal Reserve (Fed) rate cut expectations and already rich relative value ratios (versus Treasury yields) have, so far, offset still high tax-equivalent yields and solid fundamentals for the asset class. But with the unofficial kick-off to summer behind us, the muni market, we think, is set up for a number of potential tailwinds that could help push the index back into positive territory by yearend.

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Market Update – Stocks Benefit From Solid Fundamental Foundation

Jun 7, 2024

April showers brought May flowers as markets placed greater importance on economic growth and corporate profits than the “higher for longer” interest rate messages from the Federal Reserve (Fed). In fact, the S&P 500 ended May above where it ended March. So, as you prepare for summer vacations, how much should you worry about your stock portfolios? (more…)

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Basis: Carryover or Stepped-Up Cost Basis?

Jun 5, 2024

FAQs about cost basis
Answers to some frequently asked questions

Income tax basis can be an important factor in deciding whether to make gifts during your lifetime or transfer property at your death. This is because the income tax basis for the person receiving the property depends on whether the transfer is by gift or at death. This, in turn, affects the amount of taxable gain subject to income tax when the person sells the property.

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Record Keeping for Your Own Business

Jun 3, 2024

Keeping good business records will not only help you stay in business but may also help you increase profits. Your business records let you analyze where your business is and where it’s going. They point out potential trouble spots and serve as a guide to where you want your business to be.

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Asset Protection in Estate Planning

May 31, 2024

Estate Planning
What you need to know when protecting your assets

You’re beginning to accumulate substantial wealth, but you worry about protecting it from future potential creditors. Whether your concern is for your personal assets or your business, various tools exist to keep your property safe from tax collectors, accident victims, health-care providers, credit card issuers, business creditors, and creditors of others.

To insulate your property from such claims, you’ll have to evaluate each tool in terms of your own situation. You may decide that insurance and a Declaration of Homestead may be sufficient protection for your home because your exposure to a claim is low. For high exposure, you may want to create a business entity or an offshore trust to shield your assets. Remember, no asset protection tool is guaranteed to work, and you may have to adjust your asset protection strategies as your situation or the laws change.

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More Insights

Jun 24, 2024

What does a good retirement look like to you? Does it resemble the retirement that your spouse or partner has in mind? It is at least roughly similar? The Social Security Administration currently projects an average of 18 years for a retiring man and 21 years for a woman (assuming retirement at age 65). So, … Continue reading “Couples Retiring on the Same Page”

Jun 21, 2024

When you lose a spouse, partner, or parent, the grief can be overwhelming. In the midst of that grief, life goes on. There are arrangements to be made, things to be taken care of – and in recognition of this reality, here is a checklist that you may find useful at such a time. If … Continue reading “Estate Planning Checklist for When a Spouse or Parent Passes”

Jun 17, 2024

Seventy-three is an important age milestone for those in or near retirement, as it marks the time when required minimum distributions (RMDs) begin to be withdrawn annually from IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans (previously, the threshold was 70 ½). The milestone carries with it tax consequences that are not fixed. Rather, there are a few … Continue reading “Optimizing Required Minimum Distributions”

Jun 14, 2024

Bottom Line at the Top Line Markets reacted positively to this week’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) release. Softer inflation is good news for the Federal Reserve (Fed). Despite a good report this morning, the Fed will still likely communicate this afternoon their intentions to keep rates higher for longer in their updated Summary of Economic … Continue reading “Market Update – Reaction to Softer Inflation”

Jun 12, 2024

You’ve probably heard the saying that “cash is king,” and that truth applies whether you own a business or not. Most discussions of business and personal “financial planning” involve tomorrow’s goals, but those goals may not be realized without attention to cash flow, today. Management of available cash flow is a key in any kind … Continue reading “Cash Flow Management”

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