21Oct
The Gift of Experience
Intergenerational Planning

gift-boxThe longer I am in this business, the more opportunity I have to see the results of our thinking and work manifest into clients enjoying a well-planned retirement. I also am privileged to share in the sacred parts of life transitions and the passing on of a treasured legacy.

We regularly talk with our clients about the two legacies we all create…. One is the legacy we live each day and the second is the cumulative result of the daily Living Legacy wrapped up in our Leaving Legacy.

This writing by Wayne Mueller beautifully describes the process we are grateful to share with our clients and their families. (Excerpted from A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough by Wayne Muller)wayne-muller

We make only one choice.

Throughout our lives, we do only one thing- again and again, moment by moment, year after year. It is how we live our days, and it is how we shape our lives.

The choice is this: What is the next right thing for us to do? Where, in this moment, shall we choose to place our time and attention? Do we stay or move, speak or keep silent, attend to this person, that task, move in this or that direction?

Read More
17Oct
Investing for Women
Investing

investing-for-womenThe August-September issue of the Morningstar Magazine for professional advisors has an interesting interview with Sylvia Kwan.  Sylvia is the chief financial officer of Ellevest – a company that specializes in investing for women.

Here are some of their positions with which your Resonate team agrees:

  1. “Investing shouldn’t be unisex.” Women’s investment preferences and goals are often different from men’s.  These preferences need to be heard, acknowledged, and factored into the investment portfolios.

  2. “Women working outside the home experiences more wage losses than male counterparts.”  This is due to taking career breaks to honor family commitments and due to the ongoing gender pay gap. Couple this with women’s actuarially longer lifespans and there is an obvious need for custom planning for women.

  3. “Life changes are a certainty.”  While we may not yet know what will change (health, issues with aging parents, divorce, special needs of children), we are committed to continually building our relationship so that we are there when you need us to again listen and provide appropriate (although different) recommendations.

Read More
12Oct
Seed Planting for Lasting Legacies
Intergenerational Planning

a person holding a small bonsai plant isolated

Over the years, I have worked to develop questions that are hopefully both engaging, compelling and that transcend the usual tax and financial discussion.

When it comes to intergenerational planning and leaving a legacy, we ask our clients to join us in a very special conversation focused on them.

Here are some of the questions we ask:

  1. Other than money and tangible assets, what do you want to leave your children and grandchildren?
  2. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishments?
  3. How is the world different because of you?
  4. What lessons do you still want to teach others?
  5. What knowledge or wisdom do you still have to share? With whom do you want to share it?
  6. What do you want people to say after you leave a room?
  7. What do you want to family to say when you are gone from this earth?

If you are interested in creating a legacy that includes and transcends the technical, then your Resonate team is excited to share a conversation with you.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

Read More
04Oct
Resonate’s Enhanced Services
Intergenerational Planning

Richness of Life

 

 

As a natural result of our clients’ busy lives, it is becoming increasingly clear that planning to meet their life and financial goals is rapidly becoming more complex.

Therefore, to act on our dedication and commitment to our clients, I am pleased to share that we have enhanced our services to include the following:

  1. Tax strategies designed to optimized the tax efficiency of a retirement portfolio both current and in the future.
  2. An annual Medicare check-up.  Whether you are currently covered with Medicare or you know someone who is, here are items that need to be updated each year:
  • A change in prescription medications;
  • Gradual increases in the Medicare gap filler or Part D premiums;
  • If a current carrier has discontinued the Medicare Part C or D plan;
  • A change in legal name;
  • A change of residence.
Read More
22Sep
Rise of the Robo-Advisor
Blogs / Articles

robo-advisors I am increasingly reading about the “Rise of the Robo-Advisor” and thought some recent information might interest you as it did me.

For those of you who might not be familiar with the concept, Robo-Advisors are computers programmed to create investment portfolios.  They tend to be most popular with younger investors.

Did you know that, a “decision to protect its investors by Betterment, (a large Robo-advisor) resulted in Betterment temporarily suspending trading the morning after the Brexit vote?  “This decision, made on only a 2% drop in the market, disappointed and surprised many Betterment users. “

(Source: “Betterment’s Brexit Shock” by Suleman Din Techzone Financial Planning August 2016)

Read More
20Sep
And the Scams Continue
Economy

Wells Fargo  is the latest recipient of a massive fine ($185 million) for fraudulent activity impacting thousands of their customers.  The employees who opened thousands of accounts without the knowledge of their clients, say that the corporate imposed sales quotas were simply impossible to reach consistently.  So they chose to break the law to reach their goals. (The source for this information is the Wall Street Journal September 14. “Wells Boss Says Staff At Fault For Scams” and “Wells Fargo Isn’t Sorry Enough”)

Quotas and sale goals are common throughout the entire banking and large wire-house industry.  Conflicts of interest can be a natural outcome any time there are shareholders to satisfy.

Read More
14Sep
Inherited IRAs for Non-spouse Heirs
Intergenerational Planning

inherited-iraRecently we’ve had a significant number of questions from clients regarding inherited IRA’s for non-spouse heirs.

Here are some of the common pitfalls that sadly trap the unaware:

  1. Not properly dividing the IRA among the heirs.  For example, if the account is not split,  the age of the oldest beneficiary will be used to calculate the Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s). This shortens the number of years the money can grow tax-deferred.
  2. Naming a trust as the beneficiary of an IRA requires special communication with the IRS by October 31 of the year following the year the owner died. Otherwise the trust is considered a non-designated beneficiary which may trigger payout of the entire IRA sooner than planned.
  3. While Roth owners never have to take distributions, non-spouse beneficiaries must take distributions.
Read More
07Sep
Divorced / Widowed Women’s Feelings
Retirement

The feelings associated with divorce often mirror those associated with the death of a spouse because life as she knew it is ending.

Among others, these feelings may include anger, regret, relief, inadequacy, self-doubt, sadness and fear.  It always creates stress.

Resonate understands the parallels in the journey walked by women who are divorced and those who are widowed.

Many of the financial questions are the same:

  • “What will I be able to afford?”
  • “Will my money last as long as I do?”
  • “Can I stay where I am living?”
  • “Do I have enough money to continue to travel and see my children and grandchildren?”
  • “We always said that we would take care of one another; what happens now?”
Read More
30Aug
Retirement Accounts Made Easy! – Part 3
Economy

Retirement Eggs

Welcome to the final in the three part series on “Retirement Accounts Made Easy!”

If you missed Parts One and/or Two, you may read the blogs posted on August 18th with Part 2 posted on August 24th.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions.

 


*** PART THREE ***

Inherited Accounts

Contributions: Generally, you can’t contribute to an account you inherit.  The exception is an account owned by the spouse of the deceased, if that spouse retitles the account in her or his own name.

RMDs: The rules can get complicated, depending on whether you were the spouse of the deceased and whether the deceased was in the process of taking required minimum distributions before he or she died.  But generally, beneficiaries of inherited retirement accounts have three options:

  1. Transfer the assets to their own IRA: This option is only available to the spouse of the deceased.  Once the assets are in the spouse’s account, RMDs and early withdrawal penalties (if any) will be determined by the spouse’s age.
  2. Empty the account within five years: No withdrawals are required in any given year as long as all the assets are distributed within five years of the benefactor’s death.  The distributions will be exempt from the 10% early withdrawal penalty normally applied to distributions made before age 59 1/2.
  3. Stretch the account over the beneficiary’s lifetime: Take RMDs each and every year, starting the year after the benefactor’s death.  While this option would require the beneficiary to begin taking money sooner than the five-year option, the rest of the account can be left to grow for decades.  But it does mean that any beneficiary, of any age, must take an annual RMD.  Even a 1-year-old baby who inherited an IRA from her grandmother would need to take a required distribution each year the account has money in it.  This would be the case even if it’s a Roth IRA.  Fortunately, these RMDs are also exempt from the 10% early withdrawal penalty.

Note that the third option is available only to named beneficiaries of an account.  If the account didn’t have named beneficiaries, or they had already passed away, the account then goes into the overall estate.  Anyone who then inherits the account must liquidate it within five years, which could result in a large tax bill and the loss of future tax-advantaged growth; the option to “stretch” the account over a beneficiary’s life has been lost.  This is why it’s important to name specific people as the primary and backup beneficiaries of your retirement accounts, and to keep that information updated.

Read More
24Aug
Retirement Accounts Made Easy! – Part 2
uncategorized

Retirement EggsDue to a number of increased requests regarding various types of retirement plans, I have created a three part Blog on “RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS MADE EASY!”      This is Part Two of the series.

PART ONE covered traditional and Roth IRA’s. If you missed Part One you can resource it in a previous blog posted on August 18th, 2016.

I’ll conclude the series with Inherited IRA’s.

 

***  PART TWO  ***

401(k)s and 403(b)s

Contributions: As long as you’re working, you can contribute to your employer’s plan, even if you’re over 70 1/2.  If your employer offers a Roth option, you can contribute regardless of your income.

RMDs: Accounts with former employers are governed by most of the same RMD rules as traditional IRAs.  This includes Roth 401(k)s and Roth 403(b)s, which are subject to RMDS — but you can get around them by rolling the money over to a Roth IRA.  (Note: Rolling over accounts with former employers into IRAs has all kinds of other benefits, including potentially lower costs and more investment choices.)

However, there are no required distributions from your current employer’s plan if you’re still working — even if you’re older than 70 1/2 — as long as you don’t own 5% or more of the company.  But once you do retire, if you’re 70 1/2 or older you should take your first RMD from that account by April 1 of the next year; you will then have to take another RMD by Dec. 31 of that year.

If you have multiple 401(k)s with former employers, each RMD must be taken from each individual account.  The total value of RMDs from multiple 403(b)s, however, can be taken from just one account; also, money contributed to a 403(b) before 1987 doesn’t have to be distributed until age 75 if those amounts have been accounted for with separate records.

Read More