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Donor Advised Fund Comparison

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

In our article, Charitable Gifting Using Donor Advised Funds, we provided some insight into donor advised funds and listed some of the many benefits that the charitably-minded could garner from using donor advised funds as a component of their charitable gifting strategy.  As a follow up to that article, we wanted to provide some information that could be helpful when vetting custodians who offer donor advised funds.

View Post

Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

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Market Pulse – First Quarter 2017

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Teaching Your Grandchildren Money Values

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning by Bill Dix

If you’re a grandparent, you likely already offer support in a lot of ways including financial and emotional. But you can also provide practical help. A frequently overlooked area where you can definitely make a difference is with your grandchildren’s personal financial education. Some of us were lucky enough to have a grandparent who we considered a great friend. We …

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Part 3: 10 Years From Retirement, What is Your Financial Focus?

In Asset Allocation, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

This article is the third of a three part series titled: 10 Years from Retirement, What is your financial focus? In Part 1, we discussed the importance of tracking and managing your living expenses, as well as, making projections around how much you will spend in retirement.  We also stressed the importance of making strategic Social Security decisions. In Part 2, we explored pension decisions, …

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2017 Tax Law Changes

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Happy 2017! As we begin a new year, it’s always important to re-examine certain elements of your financial plan – especially things that relate to tax planning. Here are a few of the more common items that may impact your financial situation this year. Social Security & Medicare Part B For those receiving Social Security, there is a cost of living …

View Post

Beacon Has Moved!

In Asset Allocation, Company News by Chip Hymiller

We have recently moved our office.  We are still located on Six Forks Rd., but we are now located about a mile south of our prior location.  The following is our new address: Beacon Financial Strategies 7100 Six Forks Rd., Ste. 135 Raleigh, NC 27615 We are located in the MyEyeDr building.  Enter our office from the lobby – we …

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Market Pulse – 2016 Market Review

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

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Beacon Financial Strategies Welcomes Bill Dix, CFP® and Manuela Meyer

In Asset Allocation, Company News by Chip Hymiller

Chip Hymiller, CFP® and Erin Campbell, CPA/PFS, CFP® principals of Beacon Financial Strategies, are pleased to announce that William “Bill” Dix, CFP®, founder of Raleigh-based Fortune Management, LLC, has joined the firm. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to work alongside an industry veteran with the knowledge, experience and reputation that Bill brings to the table,” said Chip …

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Market Pulse – Third Quarter 2016

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Part 2: 10 Years from Retirement, What is Your Financial Focus?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of tracking and managing your living expenses, as well as, making projections around how much you will spend in retirement. We also stressed the importance of making strategic Social Security decisions. In this article, we wanted to spend some time addressing pension decisions, ideas for strengthening your personal balance sheet and helping you think through how much money you will likely need during retirement.

View Post

Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

View Post

Part 1: 10 Years from retirement, what is your financial focus?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

If you’re 10 years or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about what your life will look like after retirement. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some …

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Tax Free IRA Gifts To Charities Are Now Allowed

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

For those of you who are charitably inclined and over the age of 70 ½, we have great news that could impact your charitable gifting strategy!  In December 2015, Congress made permanent the ability for taxpayers to divert their required minimum distribution directly to a qualified charity. The ability to make this charitable election, technically called a Qualified Charitable Distribution …

See All Asset Allocation Posts
View Post

Market Pulse – First Quarter 2017

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Market Pulse – 2016 Market Review

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Market Pulse – Third Quarter 2016

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Beat Inflation With I Bonds

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Financial Planning by Chip Hymiller

In a prior article, we discussed the importance of maintaining an emergency fund.  We offered our insight into how much is appropriate to keep in cash or savings, as well as emergency fund targets.  As a result of that article, we were asked the question:  “Where can I invest my emergency fund, such that it earns an interest rate that …

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Considerations When Investing in Bonds

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments by Chip Hymiller

One of the most important reasons why investors choose to invest in bonds is for their steady and predictable stream of income through interest payments.  Though they are not risk-free (e.g., a bond issuer could default on a payment or even fail to repay the principal), bonds as a whole are considered somewhat less risky than stocks.  

See All Bonds Posts
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2017 Tax Law Changes

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Happy 2017! As we begin a new year, it’s always important to re-examine certain elements of your financial plan – especially things that relate to tax planning. Here are a few of the more common items that may impact your financial situation this year. Social Security & Medicare Part B For those receiving Social Security, there is a cost of living …

View Post

Part 1: 10 Years from retirement, what is your financial focus?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

If you’re 10 years or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about what your life will look like after retirement. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some …

View Post

Social Security and Medicare Changes for 2016

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, legislation that raises the federal debt limit and establishes the framework for a two-year budget deal. The legislation, necessary to avoid an impending default on U.S. debt, also contains multiple unrelated provisions, including an elimination of two Social Security retirement benefit claiming strategies and a …

View Post

Pension Decisions – Consider Your Options

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

There is no doubt that pensions are an extremely important asset and making decisions regarding these plans can be daunting and stressful. This is especially true since pension decisions are irrevocable! This article addresses common questions that should be considered when making decisions about your pension.

View Post

Long Term Care Insurance—Is it time to consider a hybrid?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Normally, when someone mentions hybrids they are referring to fuel-efficient, money-saving cars. Like hybrid cars, the intention of hybrid long term care insurance policies is to provide cost-saving insurance coverage by combining both life insurance (or an annuity) with long term care coverage.

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Has Investor Complacency Arrived?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

With over 20 years in the investment industry, we have helped clients navigate through a number of economic and market cycles. Through the years, we have developed our own set of descriptive names that are used as an indication of where we are in the market cycle. These names are generally based on client emotions and range from “malaise” to “exuberance”. Currently, we are in what we call the “investor complacency” phase.

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Chip Hymiller, CFP® Interviewed about Financial Wellness

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, College & Education Savings, Company News, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Chip Hymiller, CFP® was recently interviewed on the show Community Matters with host, Bill LuMaye. The topic for the show was financial wellness. Chip’s segment of the show highlighted the need to prioritize financial goals, manage debt and develop a strategic long term plan.

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Highlights of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Tax, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

For the last several weeks, the media spent a great deal of time covering the fiscal cliff and the upcoming changes in the tax code. At the eleventh hour, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that seeks to solve some of the tax questions that have been hanging over our heads for the last several months.

See All Cash Flow and Budgeting Posts
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Donor Advised Fund Comparison

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

In our article, Charitable Gifting Using Donor Advised Funds, we provided some insight into donor advised funds and listed some of the many benefits that the charitably-minded could garner from using donor advised funds as a component of their charitable gifting strategy.  As a follow up to that article, we wanted to provide some information that could be helpful when vetting custodians who offer donor advised funds.

View Post

Tax Free IRA Gifts To Charities Are Now Allowed

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

For those of you who are charitably inclined and over the age of 70 ½, we have great news that could impact your charitable gifting strategy!  In December 2015, Congress made permanent the ability for taxpayers to divert their required minimum distribution directly to a qualified charity. The ability to make this charitable election, technically called a Qualified Charitable Distribution …

View Post

Intra-Family Planning: 5 Wealth Transfer Strategies to Consider

In Charitable Gifting, College & Education Savings, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Through hard work and sound financial planning, some find themselves in situations in which they are contemplating intra-family financial planning. That is, identifying financial planning techniques that can be used to financially strengthen the next generation—children and grandchildren.

View Post

The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

In Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

When we begin new client engagements, one of the first things we review is whom our clients have chosen as their primary and contingent beneficiaries on life insurance policies, qualified plans and IRAs.  There have been many occasions that we discover a serious mistake or oversight during this process.

See All Charitable Gifting Posts
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Chip Hymiller, CFP® Interviewed about Financial Wellness

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, College & Education Savings, Company News, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Chip Hymiller, CFP® was recently interviewed on the show Community Matters with host, Bill LuMaye. The topic for the show was financial wellness. Chip’s segment of the show highlighted the need to prioritize financial goals, manage debt and develop a strategic long term plan.

View Post

Intra-Family Planning: 5 Wealth Transfer Strategies to Consider

In Charitable Gifting, College & Education Savings, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Through hard work and sound financial planning, some find themselves in situations in which they are contemplating intra-family financial planning. That is, identifying financial planning techniques that can be used to financially strengthen the next generation—children and grandchildren.

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Coverdell Education Savings Accounts vs. 529 Plans

In College & Education Savings, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning by Chip Hymiller

Parents have many different options when it comes to saving for their children’s educations.  There are UTMAs, savings bonds, Roth IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings accounts and 529 Plans, just to name a few.  Each person’s savings strategy is different depending on how the money will be used, the income of the parents, the future cost of the education and the …

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529 College Savings Plans FAQ

In College & Education Savings, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning by Chip Hymiller

I can tell you from experience that children grow up fast! It is very hard for me to believe that my sweet daughter, Abbey, will be starting kindergarten soon. Five years have passed in the blink of an eye!

Section 529 College Savings Plans can be an excellent tool when saving for college. While there are many benefits when using the 529 Plan, there are also a number of drawbacks. Here are a number of frequently asked questions:

See All College & Education Savings Posts
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Beacon Has Moved!

In Asset Allocation, Company News by Chip Hymiller

We have recently moved our office.  We are still located on Six Forks Rd., but we are now located about a mile south of our prior location.  The following is our new address: Beacon Financial Strategies 7100 Six Forks Rd., Ste. 135 Raleigh, NC 27615 We are located in the MyEyeDr building.  Enter our office from the lobby – we …

View Post

Beacon Financial Strategies Welcomes Bill Dix, CFP® and Manuela Meyer

In Asset Allocation, Company News by Chip Hymiller

Chip Hymiller, CFP® and Erin Campbell, CPA/PFS, CFP® principals of Beacon Financial Strategies, are pleased to announce that William “Bill” Dix, CFP®, founder of Raleigh-based Fortune Management, LLC, has joined the firm. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to work alongside an industry veteran with the knowledge, experience and reputation that Bill brings to the table,” said Chip …

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Beacon Financial Strategies Celebrates 10 Years!

In Asset Allocation, Company News by Chip Hymiller

It is very hard to believe, but Beacon Financial Strategies recently celebrated our 10th year in business.  While so very much has changed over the last 10 years, one thing remains the same—we absolutely love our “jobs!” We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to those of you who have entrusted Beacon to provide financial guidance to you and …

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Beacon Participates in CPA Day of Service

In Asset Allocation, Company News by Chip Hymiller

On Friday, September 19, 2014, Beacon professionals joined hundreds of CPAs across the state who participated in the NC Association of Certified Public Accountants’ day of service. Erin Campbell and Chip Hymiller volunteered with about 50 other CPAs at the Food Bank of NC sorting and packaging donated foods. It was great to get out of the office and spend time helping others!

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Chip Hymiller, CFP® Interviewed about Financial Wellness

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, College & Education Savings, Company News, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Chip Hymiller, CFP® was recently interviewed on the show Community Matters with host, Bill LuMaye. The topic for the show was financial wellness. Chip’s segment of the show highlighted the need to prioritize financial goals, manage debt and develop a strategic long term plan.

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Beacon Sponsors Charity Golf Event

In Company News by Chip Hymiller

On May 12th, Beacon Financial Strategies was a proud sponsor of the Breathe Deep 1st Annual Golf Classic in Memory of Ray Charbonneau.  The event, held at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary, NC was organized to benefit LUNGevity whose vision is “A world where no one dies of lung cancer.”

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Beacon Sponsors, Erin Campbell Speaks at Local Financial Literacy Event

In Company News by Chip Hymiller

Beacon Financial Strategies feels strongly about the cause of financial literacy.  We believe that it is our responsibility to help educate today’s youth and help make them fiscally responsible contributors to our community.  We were privileged to team with the NC Association of CPAs to help advance this cause and sponsor Making Cents – a financial literacy event targeting young …

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Fiduciary Responsibility FAQ for 401k Plan Sponsors

In Asset Allocation, Corporate Sponsored 401k Plans, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) imposes strict standards of conduct on fiduciaries who have discretion over the administration and investment of 401(k) retirement plans and plan assets. ERISA and its fiduciary rules apply to defined contribution plans like 401(k) plans, ERISA 403(b) plans and also defined benefit plans. Who are plan fiduciaries to 401(k) plans? Basically, …

See All Corporate Sponsored 401k Plans Posts
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Donor Advised Fund Comparison

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

In our article, Charitable Gifting Using Donor Advised Funds, we provided some insight into donor advised funds and listed some of the many benefits that the charitably-minded could garner from using donor advised funds as a component of their charitable gifting strategy.  As a follow up to that article, we wanted to provide some information that could be helpful when vetting custodians who offer donor advised funds.

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An Estate Planning Review Checklist

In Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning by Chip Hymiller

When it comes to financial planning, one of the easiest and most important things to accomplish is an overall review of your estate plan. We suggest that you review your estate plan every couple of years or when there are changes in your family that may impact your estate planning. Here is a checklist of estate planning items to review that may be helpful.

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Intra-Family Planning: 5 Wealth Transfer Strategies to Consider

In Charitable Gifting, College & Education Savings, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Through hard work and sound financial planning, some find themselves in situations in which they are contemplating intra-family financial planning. That is, identifying financial planning techniques that can be used to financially strengthen the next generation—children and grandchildren.

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Be Proactive When Helping Aging Parents with Their Finances

In Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Let’s face it, in today’s world, managing your personal financial affairs can be complex. There are many decisions that need to be made on a weekly or even daily basis. For a large and growing segment of the population, who are trying to help (often unwilling) aging parents with their finances, this can be incredibly frustrating, stressful and burdensome.

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The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

In Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

When we begin new client engagements, one of the first things we review is whom our clients have chosen as their primary and contingent beneficiaries on life insurance policies, qualified plans and IRAs.  There have been many occasions that we discover a serious mistake or oversight during this process.

View Post

Financial Planning for Children with Special Needs

In Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning by Chip Hymiller

Parents with special needs children can face a unique set of financial challenges.  However, like all financial challenges, it is important to take measures early to financially prepare for the future.  Here are a number of financial planning ideas and considerations for those parents who have special needs children:

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At What Age Should I Obtain Long Term Care Insurance?

In Estate Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

A major consideration when conducting a retirement feasibility analysis for clients is how potential long term care costs would be covered.  With the cost of long term care increasing at a projected rate of 5% to 7% for the foreseeable future, in ten years from now a three year stay in the average facility in North Carolina could cost upwards …

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Do you need a Trust for your children?

In Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance by Chip Hymiller

Most parents take certain steps to protect their children in the event of their premature death. Drafting a will or other estate documents, designating a guardian, obtaining life insurance and naming appropriate beneficiary designations on IRAs and 401k plans are all important components of an effective estate plan that serve the purpose of protecting your children. However, most parents should take additional measures to provide guidance on how their financial assets are managed for their children’s benefit.

See All Estate Planning Posts
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Donor Advised Fund Comparison

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

In our article, Charitable Gifting Using Donor Advised Funds, we provided some insight into donor advised funds and listed some of the many benefits that the charitably-minded could garner from using donor advised funds as a component of their charitable gifting strategy.  As a follow up to that article, we wanted to provide some information that could be helpful when vetting custodians who offer donor advised funds.

View Post

Teaching Your Grandchildren Money Values

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning by Bill Dix

If you’re a grandparent, you likely already offer support in a lot of ways including financial and emotional. But you can also provide practical help. A frequently overlooked area where you can definitely make a difference is with your grandchildren’s personal financial education. Some of us were lucky enough to have a grandparent who we considered a great friend. We …

View Post

2017 Tax Law Changes

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Happy 2017! As we begin a new year, it’s always important to re-examine certain elements of your financial plan – especially things that relate to tax planning. Here are a few of the more common items that may impact your financial situation this year. Social Security & Medicare Part B For those receiving Social Security, there is a cost of living …

View Post

Part 2: 10 Years from Retirement, What is Your Financial Focus?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of tracking and managing your living expenses, as well as, making projections around how much you will spend in retirement. We also stressed the importance of making strategic Social Security decisions. In this article, we wanted to spend some time addressing pension decisions, ideas for strengthening your personal balance sheet and helping you think through how much money you will likely need during retirement.

View Post

Tax Free IRA Gifts To Charities Are Now Allowed

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

For those of you who are charitably inclined and over the age of 70 ½, we have great news that could impact your charitable gifting strategy!  In December 2015, Congress made permanent the ability for taxpayers to divert their required minimum distribution directly to a qualified charity. The ability to make this charitable election, technically called a Qualified Charitable Distribution …

View Post

Social Security and Medicare Changes for 2016

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, legislation that raises the federal debt limit and establishes the framework for a two-year budget deal. The legislation, necessary to avoid an impending default on U.S. debt, also contains multiple unrelated provisions, including an elimination of two Social Security retirement benefit claiming strategies and a …

View Post

Understanding Risk—Capacity, Tolerance, Perception & Risk Required

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

This article explores four elements of an investor’s risk profile – risk capacity, risk required, risk tolerance and risk perception. Understanding each type of risk is an essential element of building an investment portfolio that can both meet your specific investment needs, while allowing you to sleep easy during times of personal and financial stress.

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Dementia – Do You Have a Game Plan?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Increasingly, families have to figure out how to best deal with dementia and other memory-related impairments that naturally happen as people age. This is especially true when navigating the complex and often times confusing area of personal finances. So, what can you do to prepare yourself should you, or a member of your immediate family develop dementia? Here are a few ideas that you may find helpful.

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Pension Decisions – Consider Your Options

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

There is no doubt that pensions are an extremely important asset and making decisions regarding these plans can be daunting and stressful. This is especially true since pension decisions are irrevocable! This article addresses common questions that should be considered when making decisions about your pension.

View Post

Investor Beware of Year-End Capital Gain Distributions!

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

It looks like 2014 is going to be a huge year for mutual funds making capital gain distributions. While on the surface capital gains sounds like a good deal, but in reality they can pose a tax nightmare for some investors – especially people who invest in mutual funds in non-retirement (taxable) accounts. This article explains the problem with mutual fund distributions and provides a resource for those performing year-end tax planning.

See All General Financial Planning Posts
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Long Term Care Insurance—Is it time to consider a hybrid?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Normally, when someone mentions hybrids they are referring to fuel-efficient, money-saving cars. Like hybrid cars, the intention of hybrid long term care insurance policies is to provide cost-saving insurance coverage by combining both life insurance (or an annuity) with long term care coverage.

View Post

Intra-Family Planning: 5 Wealth Transfer Strategies to Consider

In Charitable Gifting, College & Education Savings, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Through hard work and sound financial planning, some find themselves in situations in which they are contemplating intra-family financial planning. That is, identifying financial planning techniques that can be used to financially strengthen the next generation—children and grandchildren.

View Post

The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

In Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

When we begin new client engagements, one of the first things we review is whom our clients have chosen as their primary and contingent beneficiaries on life insurance policies, qualified plans and IRAs.  There have been many occasions that we discover a serious mistake or oversight during this process.

View Post

At What Age Should I Obtain Long Term Care Insurance?

In Estate Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

A major consideration when conducting a retirement feasibility analysis for clients is how potential long term care costs would be covered.  With the cost of long term care increasing at a projected rate of 5% to 7% for the foreseeable future, in ten years from now a three year stay in the average facility in North Carolina could cost upwards …

View Post

Is that type of insurance necessary?

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Finance, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

A key component of our one-time financial planning engagements involve assessing how much insurance coverage our clients need while also reviewing the insurance policies that clients have in order to determine if they are adequate or necessary. In doing so, we often find that people have purchased insurance products that are either not necessary or entirely too costly.

See All Insurance Posts
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Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

View Post

Market Pulse – First Quarter 2017

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Market Pulse – 2016 Market Review

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Market Pulse – Third Quarter 2016

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Understanding Risk—Capacity, Tolerance, Perception & Risk Required

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

This article explores four elements of an investor’s risk profile – risk capacity, risk required, risk tolerance and risk perception. Understanding each type of risk is an essential element of building an investment portfolio that can both meet your specific investment needs, while allowing you to sleep easy during times of personal and financial stress.

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Dementia – Do You Have a Game Plan?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Increasingly, families have to figure out how to best deal with dementia and other memory-related impairments that naturally happen as people age. This is especially true when navigating the complex and often times confusing area of personal finances. So, what can you do to prepare yourself should you, or a member of your immediate family develop dementia? Here are a few ideas that you may find helpful.

View Post

Investor Beware of Year-End Capital Gain Distributions!

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

It looks like 2014 is going to be a huge year for mutual funds making capital gain distributions. While on the surface capital gains sounds like a good deal, but in reality they can pose a tax nightmare for some investors – especially people who invest in mutual funds in non-retirement (taxable) accounts. This article explains the problem with mutual fund distributions and provides a resource for those performing year-end tax planning.

View Post

Surviving the Financial Stress Test

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

When making financial planning and investment decisions, we believe that it is important to consider the probability of negative outcomes. We call this “stress-testing” a financial plan. By stress-testing financial planning assumptions, we are able to help our clients identify and protect against financial risks that could derail their financial plans.

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Has Investor Complacency Arrived?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

With over 20 years in the investment industry, we have helped clients navigate through a number of economic and market cycles. Through the years, we have developed our own set of descriptive names that are used as an indication of where we are in the market cycle. These names are generally based on client emotions and range from “malaise” to “exuberance”. Currently, we are in what we call the “investor complacency” phase.

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Chip Hymiller, CFP® Interviewed about Financial Wellness

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, College & Education Savings, Company News, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Chip Hymiller, CFP® was recently interviewed on the show Community Matters with host, Bill LuMaye. The topic for the show was financial wellness. Chip’s segment of the show highlighted the need to prioritize financial goals, manage debt and develop a strategic long term plan.

See All Investments Posts
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Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

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Market Pulse – First Quarter 2017

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

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Market Pulse – 2016 Market Review

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

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Market Pulse – Third Quarter 2016

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

View Post

Surviving the Financial Stress Test

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

When making financial planning and investment decisions, we believe that it is important to consider the probability of negative outcomes. We call this “stress-testing” a financial plan. By stress-testing financial planning assumptions, we are able to help our clients identify and protect against financial risks that could derail their financial plans.

View Post

Has Investor Complacency Arrived?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

With over 20 years in the investment industry, we have helped clients navigate through a number of economic and market cycles. Through the years, we have developed our own set of descriptive names that are used as an indication of where we are in the market cycle. These names are generally based on client emotions and range from “malaise” to “exuberance”. Currently, we are in what we call the “investor complacency” phase.

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2012 Market Review

In Investments, Market Review by Chip Hymiller

Even with the backdrop of many unresolved problems, the financial markets continued strong performance in 2012. Many of the major domestic stock indexes experienced returns in excess of 10% for the year, with the S&P 500 advancing by 16%.

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Teaching Your Grandchildren Money Values

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning by Bill Dix

If you’re a grandparent, you likely already offer support in a lot of ways including financial and emotional. But you can also provide practical help. A frequently overlooked area where you can definitely make a difference is with your grandchildren’s personal financial education. Some of us were lucky enough to have a grandparent who we considered a great friend. We …

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Part 1: 10 Years from retirement, what is your financial focus?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

If you’re 10 years or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about what your life will look like after retirement. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some …

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Understanding Risk—Capacity, Tolerance, Perception & Risk Required

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

This article explores four elements of an investor’s risk profile – risk capacity, risk required, risk tolerance and risk perception. Understanding each type of risk is an essential element of building an investment portfolio that can both meet your specific investment needs, while allowing you to sleep easy during times of personal and financial stress.

View Post

Investor Beware of Year-End Capital Gain Distributions!

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

It looks like 2014 is going to be a huge year for mutual funds making capital gain distributions. While on the surface capital gains sounds like a good deal, but in reality they can pose a tax nightmare for some investors – especially people who invest in mutual funds in non-retirement (taxable) accounts. This article explains the problem with mutual fund distributions and provides a resource for those performing year-end tax planning.

View Post

Chip Hymiller, CFP® Interviewed about Financial Wellness

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, College & Education Savings, Company News, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Chip Hymiller, CFP® was recently interviewed on the show Community Matters with host, Bill LuMaye. The topic for the show was financial wellness. Chip’s segment of the show highlighted the need to prioritize financial goals, manage debt and develop a strategic long term plan.

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Be Proactive When Helping Aging Parents with Their Finances

In Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Let’s face it, in today’s world, managing your personal financial affairs can be complex. There are many decisions that need to be made on a weekly or even daily basis. For a large and growing segment of the population, who are trying to help (often unwilling) aging parents with their finances, this can be incredibly frustrating, stressful and burdensome.

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Donor Advised Fund Comparison

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

In our article, Charitable Gifting Using Donor Advised Funds, we provided some insight into donor advised funds and listed some of the many benefits that the charitably-minded could garner from using donor advised funds as a component of their charitable gifting strategy.  As a follow up to that article, we wanted to provide some information that could be helpful when vetting custodians who offer donor advised funds.

View Post

Teaching Your Grandchildren Money Values

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning by Bill Dix

If you’re a grandparent, you likely already offer support in a lot of ways including financial and emotional. But you can also provide practical help. A frequently overlooked area where you can definitely make a difference is with your grandchildren’s personal financial education. Some of us were lucky enough to have a grandparent who we considered a great friend. We …

View Post

Part 3: 10 Years From Retirement, What is Your Financial Focus?

In Asset Allocation, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

This article is the third of a three part series titled: 10 Years from Retirement, What is your financial focus? In Part 1, we discussed the importance of tracking and managing your living expenses, as well as, making projections around how much you will spend in retirement.  We also stressed the importance of making strategic Social Security decisions. In Part 2, we explored pension decisions, …

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2017 Tax Law Changes

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Happy 2017! As we begin a new year, it’s always important to re-examine certain elements of your financial plan – especially things that relate to tax planning. Here are a few of the more common items that may impact your financial situation this year. Social Security & Medicare Part B For those receiving Social Security, there is a cost of living …

View Post

Market Pulse – 2016 Market Review

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Part 1: 10 Years from retirement, what is your financial focus?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

If you’re 10 years or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about what your life will look like after retirement. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some …

View Post

Social Security and Medicare Changes for 2016

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, legislation that raises the federal debt limit and establishes the framework for a two-year budget deal. The legislation, necessary to avoid an impending default on U.S. debt, also contains multiple unrelated provisions, including an elimination of two Social Security retirement benefit claiming strategies and a …

View Post

Retirement Plans for Small Business Owners

In Asset Allocation, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Small business owners have a number of alternatives to choose from when it comes to establishing retirement plans for their business. Each plan type can vary in their contribution level and matching requirements, as well as their ongoing regulatory and administrative burden. In order to make an informed decision as to the type of retirement plan that works best for you, it is important that you consider the specifics of your business.

View Post

Understanding Risk—Capacity, Tolerance, Perception & Risk Required

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

This article explores four elements of an investor’s risk profile – risk capacity, risk required, risk tolerance and risk perception. Understanding each type of risk is an essential element of building an investment portfolio that can both meet your specific investment needs, while allowing you to sleep easy during times of personal and financial stress.

View Post

Dementia – Do You Have a Game Plan?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Increasingly, families have to figure out how to best deal with dementia and other memory-related impairments that naturally happen as people age. This is especially true when navigating the complex and often times confusing area of personal finances. So, what can you do to prepare yourself should you, or a member of your immediate family develop dementia? Here are a few ideas that you may find helpful.

View Post

Pension Decisions – Consider Your Options

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

There is no doubt that pensions are an extremely important asset and making decisions regarding these plans can be daunting and stressful. This is especially true since pension decisions are irrevocable! This article addresses common questions that should be considered when making decisions about your pension.

View Post

Investor Beware of Year-End Capital Gain Distributions!

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

It looks like 2014 is going to be a huge year for mutual funds making capital gain distributions. While on the surface capital gains sounds like a good deal, but in reality they can pose a tax nightmare for some investors – especially people who invest in mutual funds in non-retirement (taxable) accounts. This article explains the problem with mutual fund distributions and provides a resource for those performing year-end tax planning.

View Post

Long Term Care Insurance—Is it time to consider a hybrid?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Normally, when someone mentions hybrids they are referring to fuel-efficient, money-saving cars. Like hybrid cars, the intention of hybrid long term care insurance policies is to provide cost-saving insurance coverage by combining both life insurance (or an annuity) with long term care coverage.

See All Personal Financial Planning Posts
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Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

View Post

Part 3: 10 Years From Retirement, What is Your Financial Focus?

In Asset Allocation, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

This article is the third of a three part series titled: 10 Years from Retirement, What is your financial focus? In Part 1, we discussed the importance of tracking and managing your living expenses, as well as, making projections around how much you will spend in retirement.  We also stressed the importance of making strategic Social Security decisions. In Part 2, we explored pension decisions, …

View Post

2017 Tax Law Changes

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Happy 2017! As we begin a new year, it’s always important to re-examine certain elements of your financial plan – especially things that relate to tax planning. Here are a few of the more common items that may impact your financial situation this year. Social Security & Medicare Part B For those receiving Social Security, there is a cost of living …

View Post

Part 2: 10 Years from Retirement, What is Your Financial Focus?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of tracking and managing your living expenses, as well as, making projections around how much you will spend in retirement. We also stressed the importance of making strategic Social Security decisions. In this article, we wanted to spend some time addressing pension decisions, ideas for strengthening your personal balance sheet and helping you think through how much money you will likely need during retirement.

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Part 1: 10 Years from retirement, what is your financial focus?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

If you’re 10 years or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about what your life will look like after retirement. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some …

View Post

Tax Free IRA Gifts To Charities Are Now Allowed

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

For those of you who are charitably inclined and over the age of 70 ½, we have great news that could impact your charitable gifting strategy!  In December 2015, Congress made permanent the ability for taxpayers to divert their required minimum distribution directly to a qualified charity. The ability to make this charitable election, technically called a Qualified Charitable Distribution …

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Fiduciary Responsibility FAQ for 401k Plan Sponsors

In Asset Allocation, Corporate Sponsored 401k Plans, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) imposes strict standards of conduct on fiduciaries who have discretion over the administration and investment of 401(k) retirement plans and plan assets. ERISA and its fiduciary rules apply to defined contribution plans like 401(k) plans, ERISA 403(b) plans and also defined benefit plans. Who are plan fiduciaries to 401(k) plans? Basically, …

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Social Security and Medicare Changes for 2016

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, legislation that raises the federal debt limit and establishes the framework for a two-year budget deal. The legislation, necessary to avoid an impending default on U.S. debt, also contains multiple unrelated provisions, including an elimination of two Social Security retirement benefit claiming strategies and a …

View Post

Retirement Plans for Small Business Owners

In Asset Allocation, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Small business owners have a number of alternatives to choose from when it comes to establishing retirement plans for their business. Each plan type can vary in their contribution level and matching requirements, as well as their ongoing regulatory and administrative burden. In order to make an informed decision as to the type of retirement plan that works best for you, it is important that you consider the specifics of your business.

View Post

Understanding Risk—Capacity, Tolerance, Perception & Risk Required

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

This article explores four elements of an investor’s risk profile – risk capacity, risk required, risk tolerance and risk perception. Understanding each type of risk is an essential element of building an investment portfolio that can both meet your specific investment needs, while allowing you to sleep easy during times of personal and financial stress.

View Post

Dementia – Do You Have a Game Plan?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Increasingly, families have to figure out how to best deal with dementia and other memory-related impairments that naturally happen as people age. This is especially true when navigating the complex and often times confusing area of personal finances. So, what can you do to prepare yourself should you, or a member of your immediate family develop dementia? Here are a few ideas that you may find helpful.

View Post

Pension Decisions – Consider Your Options

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

There is no doubt that pensions are an extremely important asset and making decisions regarding these plans can be daunting and stressful. This is especially true since pension decisions are irrevocable! This article addresses common questions that should be considered when making decisions about your pension.

See All Retirement Planning Posts
View Post

Donor Advised Fund Comparison

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

In our article, Charitable Gifting Using Donor Advised Funds, we provided some insight into donor advised funds and listed some of the many benefits that the charitably-minded could garner from using donor advised funds as a component of their charitable gifting strategy.  As a follow up to that article, we wanted to provide some information that could be helpful when vetting custodians who offer donor advised funds.

View Post

Part 3: 10 Years From Retirement, What is Your Financial Focus?

In Asset Allocation, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

This article is the third of a three part series titled: 10 Years from Retirement, What is your financial focus? In Part 1, we discussed the importance of tracking and managing your living expenses, as well as, making projections around how much you will spend in retirement.  We also stressed the importance of making strategic Social Security decisions. In Part 2, we explored pension decisions, …

View Post

2017 Tax Law Changes

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Happy 2017! As we begin a new year, it’s always important to re-examine certain elements of your financial plan – especially things that relate to tax planning. Here are a few of the more common items that may impact your financial situation this year. Social Security & Medicare Part B For those receiving Social Security, there is a cost of living …

View Post

Tax Free IRA Gifts To Charities Are Now Allowed

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

For those of you who are charitably inclined and over the age of 70 ½, we have great news that could impact your charitable gifting strategy!  In December 2015, Congress made permanent the ability for taxpayers to divert their required minimum distribution directly to a qualified charity. The ability to make this charitable election, technically called a Qualified Charitable Distribution …

View Post

Retirement Plans for Small Business Owners

In Asset Allocation, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Small business owners have a number of alternatives to choose from when it comes to establishing retirement plans for their business. Each plan type can vary in their contribution level and matching requirements, as well as their ongoing regulatory and administrative burden. In order to make an informed decision as to the type of retirement plan that works best for you, it is important that you consider the specifics of your business.

View Post

Investor Beware of Year-End Capital Gain Distributions!

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

It looks like 2014 is going to be a huge year for mutual funds making capital gain distributions. While on the surface capital gains sounds like a good deal, but in reality they can pose a tax nightmare for some investors – especially people who invest in mutual funds in non-retirement (taxable) accounts. This article explains the problem with mutual fund distributions and provides a resource for those performing year-end tax planning.

View Post

Long Term Care Insurance—Is it time to consider a hybrid?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Normally, when someone mentions hybrids they are referring to fuel-efficient, money-saving cars. Like hybrid cars, the intention of hybrid long term care insurance policies is to provide cost-saving insurance coverage by combining both life insurance (or an annuity) with long term care coverage.

View Post

Intra-Family Planning: 5 Wealth Transfer Strategies to Consider

In Charitable Gifting, College & Education Savings, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Through hard work and sound financial planning, some find themselves in situations in which they are contemplating intra-family financial planning. That is, identifying financial planning techniques that can be used to financially strengthen the next generation—children and grandchildren.

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Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

View Post

Market Pulse – First Quarter 2017

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Market Pulse – 2016 Market Review

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Market Pulse – Third Quarter 2016

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

View Post

Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

View Post

A Lesson In Investing History: How Will You Respond Next Time?

In Asset Allocation, Investments, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

In our office, we celebrated privately the passing of the four year anniversary of what would be a 13 year stock market low point.
That’s right, it has already been four years since March 9, 2009 when the S&P 500 Index closed at 676—a level last seen in the summer of 1996. As of the date of this article, the S&P 500 Index has surpassed its all-time high of 1565, which was achieved in October 2007!

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Highlights of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Tax, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

For the last several weeks, the media spent a great deal of time covering the fiscal cliff and the upcoming changes in the tax code. At the eleventh hour, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that seeks to solve some of the tax questions that have been hanging over our heads for the last several months.

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Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010

In Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Tax, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

Well, Congress finally enacted the tax reform bill that many have been anticipating for some time. In general, the new law extends the Bush-era tax cuts for two years and provides taxpayers with some certainty during this period. While this comprehensive piece of legislation covers many aspects within the tax code, here is a summary of some of the major points.

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