Category: Epic Insights

Understanding IRAs

Sep 8, 2023

An individual retirement arrangement (IRA) is a personal savings plan that offers specific tax benefits. IRAs are one of the most powerful retirement savings tools available to you. Even if you’re contributing to a 401(k) or other plan at work, you might also consider investing in an IRA.

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Basics of Financial Fitness

Sep 6, 2023

Health and Wealth. Two of the most important things.

There’s a subjective uncertainty associated with financial wellness. Are you financially fit? And if so, how fit are you?

While there is no clearly defined threshold for answering affirmatively, much less grading your level of fitness, there are baseline elements associated with financial fitness. To make sure that you’re on the right track, develop a financial plan that lays out clear goals and timelines. Below are steps to consider to get you started: (more…)



The Behavior Gap and Your Financial Health

Aug 28, 2023

Behavior Gap Brain Synapses
how might it affect you?

“It turns out my job was not to find great investments but to help create great investors,” writes Carl Richards, author of “The Behavior Gap.” From increasing our budget mindfulness to taking a steadier approach to investing, Richards has drawn attention to how our unexamined behaviors and emotions can be to our detriment when it comes to living a happy and financially sound life. In many cases, we make poor financial decisions when experiencing panic or anxiety due to personal or widespread events. 1 (more…)

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The Importance of TOD & JTWROS Designations

Aug 24, 2023

male hand with pen on paper
A convenient move that could ward off probate on your accounts.

TOD, JTWROS – what do these obscure acronyms signify? They are shorthand for transfer on death and joint tenancy with right of survivorship – two designations that permit automatic transfer of bank or investment accounts from a deceased spouse to a surviving spouse.

This automatic transfer of assets reflects a legal tenet called the right of survivorship –the idea that the surviving partner should be the default beneficiary of the account. In some states, a TOD or JTWROS beneficiary designation is even allowed for real property. (more…)

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Cost of Medical Care

Aug 23, 2023

Choosing Medical Care Options
The expense of insuring yourself may be minor compared to the price of surgeries and procedures.

When uninsured people end up in the hospital, “sticker shock” can follow. Just a quick look at the current prices for medical care procedures can be sobering.

How much does a CT scan cost? Between $250 to $1,500, depending on where it is performed. Need a stent in your heart? The average cost of that delicate procedure is now close to $20,000. How about a knee replacement? That surgery may run anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000.1,2 (more…)

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Evaluating a Job Offer

Aug 21, 2023

Free Keyboard Button photo and picture
If you’re considering changing jobs, you’re not alone. Today, few people stay with one employer until retirement. It’s likely that at some point during your career, you’ll be looking for a new job. You may be looking to make more money or seeking greater career opportunities. Or, you may be forced to look for new employment if your company restructures. Whatever the reason, you’ll eventually be faced with an important decision: When you receive an offer, should you take it? You can find the job that’s right for you by following a few sensible steps.

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Making Investment Choices

Aug 18, 2023

Investment Choices Doors Room
Are your choices based on evidence or emotion?

Information vs. instinct. When it comes to investment choices, many people believe they have a “knack” for choosing good investments. But what exactly is that “knack” based on? The fact is, the choices we make with our assets can be strongly influenced by factors, many of them emotional, that we may not even be aware of. (more…)

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Market Update – What a Pullback Could Look Like

Aug 16, 2023

Key Takeaways:

  • While there is strong support for stocks being in a bull market, overbought conditions, weak seasonality, rising interest rate volatility, and ongoing uncertainty over monetary policy suggest a shorter-term pullback in this rally could be underway.
  • In terms of downside, support for the S&P 500 sets up at 4,450 (June highs), 4,432 (50-day moving average), and near the 4,200-4,300 range (uptrend/prior highs). We believe the latter support range is the most likely spot for a bounce given the confluence of support in this area, the degree of record-high cash sitting in money market assets, and the fact many investors missed the first half rally.
  • Don’t panic—pullbacks are normal, even during years with above-average returns. History suggests a 5-10% drawdown between now and year-end is not uncommon, even during years with strong rallies into August. However, even with a drawdown, the S&P 500 has still historically generated positive average returns into year-end.

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Life Insurance and Charitable Giving

Aug 14, 2023

Life insurance can be an excellent tool for charitable giving. Not only does life insurance allow you to make a substantial gift to charity at relatively little cost to you, but you may also benefit from tax rules that apply to gifts of life insurance.

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Personal Deduction Planning

Aug 11, 2023

Taxes, like death, are inevitable. But why pay more than you have to? The trick to minimizing your federal income tax liability is to understand the rules and make the most of your tax planning opportunities. Personal deduction planning is one aspect of tax planning. Here, your goals are to use your deductions in the most efficient manner and take all deductions to which you’re entitled.

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More Insights

Oct 2, 2023

As a business owner, you’re going to have to decide when will be the right time to step out of the family business and how you’ll do it. There are many estate planning tools you can use to transfer your business. Selecting the right one will depend on whether you plan to retire from the … Continue reading “Transferring Your Family Business”

Sep 29, 2023

Incapacity means that you are either mentally or physically unable to take care of yourself or your day-to-day affairs. Incapacity can result from serious physical injury, mental or physical illness, advancing age, and alcohol or drug abuse.

Sep 27, 2023

Bonds may not be as glamorous as stocks or commodities, but they are a significant component of most investment portfolios. Bonds are traded in huge volumes every day, but their full usefulness is often underappreciated and underestimated.

Sep 25, 2023

Life insurance has come a long way since the days when it was known as burial insurance and used mainly to pay for funeral expenses. Today, life insurance is a crucial part of many estate plans. You can use it to leave much-needed income to your survivors, provide for your children’s education, pay off your … Continue reading “Life Insurance and Estate Planning”

Sep 22, 2023

The specter of a U.S. federal government shutdown continues to loom this week as Congress has just 12 days to agree on a budget before the October 1 deadline. House Republicans released a temporary measure on Sunday which could push the deadline out another month, with the hopes of a final solution coming in the … Continue reading “Government Shutdown Looms, Stocks Say ‘Been There, Done That’”

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