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Which Portfolio Accounting Method is Best?

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

How do you track the cost basis on investments held in your taxable portfolio? What portfolio accounting method does your broker, custodian or advisor report to you or your CPA? This is a decision that, for some investors, can save thousands of dollars in taxes and ultimately make a significant difference in a portfolio’s after-tax rate of return.

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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.

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Should You Payoff Your Mortgage?

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

One of the major goals that most people have is to, at some point, be debt free.  This is a goal that we (Chip and Erin) strive for in our personal lives and we highly encourage our clients to prudently consider as well.  In fact, research has consistently shown that people with manageable debt levels tend to be happier than …

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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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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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Planning for Retirement and Increasing Life Expectancies

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

Let’s face it, seniors today are healthier, more active and are likely to have longer lives. So what are the financial implications for retirees who will likely live well into their 80s and possibly their 90s? We believe that from a financial standpoint, retirees need to make financial planning decisions that reflect the high probability that they will live longer. Here are a few recommendations to consider.

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Increasing Your Odds

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

As we help clients make long-term financial decisions, we also like to consider the probability of various negative outcomes. While we consider ourselves generally optimistic people, we believe that it is both important and helpful to also think about “worst case scenarios” – those financial uncertainties that have the potential to derail financial goals.

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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:

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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.