Category: Epic Insights

The FIRE Movement

Jun 24, 2019

Man working on his laptop
A radical new approach to working, saving, and retiring.

Retire before 50 and live your best life. That is the message of the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement, which is drawing interest worldwide.

Adherents of the FIRE movement contend that many young adults can pursue financial freedom and retire in their 40s (or 30s) through sufficient commitment, investment, and resourcefulness. Detractors think this idea is not only radical, but also radically unrealistic for many.

Is it really possible to retire so young? Actually, yes – there are people who have done it, and their stories often appear on financial websites. These early retirees tend to have some things in common. (more…)



Making a Charitable Gift from Your IRA

Jun 21, 2019

Retired Couple
Follow the rules and you could get a nice tax break on your reportable income.

Is your annual IRA withdrawal a bother? If you are an affluent retiree, that might be the case. The income is always nice, but the taxes that come with it? Not so much.

If only you could satisfy your yearly IRA withdrawal requirement minus the attached taxes. Guess what: there might be a way.

If you gift traditional IRA assets to charity, you could see some big tax savings. The Internal Revenue Service calls this a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), and you may want to explore its potential. Some criteria must be met: (more…)

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Six Most Overlooked Tax Deductions

Jun 19, 2019

Tax Written on Paper
Deductions you do not want to miss

Who among us wants to pay the Internal Revenue Service more taxes than we have to? While few may raise their hands to voluntarily pay more taxes, Americans regularly overpay because they fail to take tax deductions for which they are eligible. Are you one of them? Let’s take a quick look at the six most overlooked opportunities to manage your tax bill. (more…)

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Tax Moves to Consider in Summer

Jun 14, 2019

Making changes earlier rather than later.

If you own a business, earn a good deal of investment income, are recently married or divorced, or have a Flexible Savings Account (FSA), you may want to think about making some tax moves now rather than in December or April.

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Bad Spending Habits That Can Be Corrected

Jun 12, 2019

Americans have a great deal of disposable income relative to many other nations, yet our free spending can take us further and further away from the potential for financial freedom. Some people fall into crippling spending habits and injure their finances as a consequence.

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Heirs, Value and Family Wealth

Jun 10, 2019

A family at the Beach
Teaching your Heirs to Value Your Wealth

Some millionaires are reluctant to talk to their kids about family wealth. Perhaps they are afraid of what their heirs may do with it.

If a child comes from money and grows up knowing they can expect a sizable inheritance, that child may look at family wealth like water from a free-flowing spigot with no drought in sight. Your child may rely upon your wealth if nothing works out; or simply to whims born of boredom. The perception that family wealth is a fallback rather than a responsibility can contribute to the erosion of family assets. Factor in a parental reluctance to say “no” often enough, throw in a penchant for racking up debt, and the stage is set for wealth to dissipate.

How might a family plan to prevent this? It starts with values. From those values; you can begin to define goals and purpose. (more…)

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Impact Investing: Have You Heard of it? You Will.

May 24, 2019

Smoking Light Bulb
Impact Investing

I’d like to shine a bright light on the ever-growing popularity of impact investing and then define the three types of investors found to have the most interest in what seems to be this relatively new (although it’s actually not) and seemingly unknown (only to the retail investor) area of the investment marketplace. Let’s hop right in.

Impact investing. First, it’s important to know that “impact investing” is merely a subsegment of a more broadly defined investment methodology known as Sustainable, Responsible and Impact … otherwise known as SRI. This is actually a relatively new set of terms or definition for the S-R-I acronym which for a long time stood for Socially Responsible Investing – and that is actually where a lot of confusion comes in when people begin to discuss SRI or impact investing strategies. (more…)



You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Mar 27, 2019

Secrets between girls
Be in the Know

Having attended the 2018 SRI Conference in Colorado Springs, aka: SRI in the Rockies back in November, I remember returning not only inspired to continue the work we do, but reassured that the work we do for our clients is simply the right work to be doing.

SRI is the acronym for investments that focus not only on a financial return, but they also have a social or environmental return component as well. SRI stands for Sustainable Responsible and Impact, and it’s rightly taken claim as one of the fastest growing segments of the investment marketplace. Quite simply, and when looked at correctly, it is the way to have your money “do more”, for you, and for others.

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US SIF Foundation Releases 2018 Biennial Report On US Sustainable, Responsible And Impact Investing Trends

Oct 31, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 31 – The US SIF Foundation’s 2018 biennial Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends,released today, found that sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) assets now account for $12.0 trillion—or one in four dollars—of the $46.6 trillion in total assets under professional management in the United States. This represents a 38 percent increase over 2016.

The Trends Report—first compiled in 1995—is the most comprehensive study of sustainable and impact investing in the United States. From the first report when assets totaled just $639 billion to today, the sustainable and responsible investing industry has grown 18-fold and has matured and expanded across numerous asset classes.

The 2018 report identified $11.6 trillion in ESG incorporation assets under management at the outset of 2018 held by 496 institutional investors, 365 money managers and 1,145 community investing financial institutions. The largest percentage of money managers cited client demand as their top motivation for pursuing ESG incorporation, while the largest number of institutional investors cited fulfilling mission and pursuing social benefit as their top motivations.

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Are You “Wealthy”?

Apr 18, 2017

Community Circle
Your wealth involves your community.

While doing my annual Spring “office clean”, I came across an article that I had printed out from June of last year (Trust & Estates, June 30, 2016 – Patricia Angus). I re-read it and felt that I needed to share it here. It resonates with me on several fronts, and it may very well resonate with you as a reader of our blog and potential fan of the work we do. I hope you enjoy it …

Recently, I took a taxi to the airport after leaving a conference focused on the challenges and opportunities of families with “great wealth” — that is, families with extraordinary financial, business and philanthropic resources that are expected (or hoped) to last several generations. As discussions veered toward questions of “How much is enough (to leave to our children)?” and “How can we prevent the (often adverse) impact of these resources on our inheritors?” I felt a familiar sense of disconnect from those around me. In fact, I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to (more…)



More Insights

Jul 17, 2019

Many people plan their estates diligently, with input from legal, tax, and financial professionals. Others plan earnestly but make mistakes that can potentially affect both the transfer and destiny of family wealth. Here are some common and not-so-common errors to avoid.

Jul 15, 2019

According to Giving USA 2018, Americans gave an estimated $410.02 billion to charity in 2017. That’s the first time that the amount has totaled more that $400 billion in the history of the report. Americans give to charity for two main reasons: to support a cause or organization they care about or to leave a … Continue reading “Trends in Charitable Giving”

Jul 12, 2019

Social Security will be a critical component of your financial strategy in retirement, so before you begin taking it, you should consider three important questions. The answers may affect whether you make the most of this retirement income source.

Jul 10, 2019

Whether your 65th birthday is on the horizon or decades away, you should understand the parts of Medicare – what they cover and where they come from. There are two components of original Medicare, Parts A & B. Part A is hospital insurance. It provides coverage for inpatient stays at medical facilities. It can also help … Continue reading “The A, B, C, & D of Medicare”

Jul 8, 2019

Does your vision of retirement align with the facts? Here are some noteworthy financial and lifestyle facts about life after 50 that might surprise you. Up to 85% of a retiree’s Social Security income can be taxed. Some retirees are taken aback when they discover this. In addition to the Internal Revenue Service, 13 states … Continue reading “A Retirement Fact Sheet”

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