Blog

Since we live in a digital age, it is hard to find an area of our lives that has been left untouched by the changes that have occurred over the last 20 years with the explosion of the internet.  Our ability to carry around smartphones and tables provides us with immediate access to all things digital. These changes enable us to share our lives with the outside world through social media...

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We’ve spent the past few months discussing the effects of the new tax law on individuals. But we really haven’t touched on the effects of the new tax law on business income. One of the more common questions I get is, “How does the 20% business deduction affect the income from my partnership or small business on my federal tax return?” The answer is simple and complex all at the same...

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By Rachel McCann, Middendorf Insurance Associates

A common question I answer each summer is “I’m going on a trip and renting a car. Do I need to purchase the rental agency’s car rental coverage?” What should you purchase and what can you forgo? The answers depend on how your personal automobile insurance policy reacts. Not all policies are the same. The first thing I do is determine if the client’s...

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Andrew Farmer

Over your working life, you have paid into Social Security along the way. Now it is time to start thinking about your options and how to benefit the most from what’s available to you. First off, Social Security is an actuarial calculation based on life expectancy. So, if you would let us know when you are going to pass away, we can come up with the perfect claiming strategy...

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Road maps. Battle plans. Lego instructions. Recipes. Failing to follow the stated steps with any of these rarely equates to a successful outcome. The best estate plan ever drafted does nothing if not properly executed. Attorneys often face the uncertainty of never knowing if their clients completely follow through on all of their recommendations. Like a parent waving good-bye to their child as they disappear into school on their first...

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Marcus Iwig

Many of us reach the end of the year and scramble to find a few more deductions for the year. Often times, we prepay our next property tax installment, do some last-minute gifting, or, if you’ve had a big medical expense year, you might squeeze in one more doctor visit. The Tax Reform that passed late last year makes some pretty substantial changes to those deductions. First of all, the standard...

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Bonds serve an important role in the portfolios of many individuals and organizations as they provide income, liquidity, and help reduce portfolio volatility. If your financial plan warrants investing in bonds, what kinds of bonds should be in your portfolio? At Foster Group we focus on two primary characteristics of fixed income investments to help us answer this question – maturity and credit quality. Maturity As a bond holder, essentially you are providing a...

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Joe Bantz, CFP®, AIF®

For nearly my entire life, I’ve been the model of health. I rarely got sick, was free from significant injury (except a dislocated shoulder in college), and rarely missed a day of school or work. I would hear about others’ health challenges and could empathize, but couldn’t really relate. I took for granted feeling good in the morning, going out for a morning jog, and going to the gym for...

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Jon Evans

Most people have heard the saying “buy low and sell high.” Simply put; buy things when they are on sale, and sell them when they are at higher prices. While this sounds like great advice, many investors find it difficult to follow, because emotion gets in the way. In the world of investment management, rebalancing is the process of maintaining targeted asset class weights through time. Because asset classes (stocks, bonds,...

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Kent Kramer

With five-year CD rates averaging 1.56% annually and money market annual yields remaining below 0.29% (Wall Street Journal Market Data – Feb. 22, 2018), investors continue to ask if there is anything they should do to increase the cash flows coming from their portfolios. A popular answer coming from some corners of the financial press is to seek out high dividend paying stocks. Unfortunately, this strategy for increasing cash flow may...

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