Financial Resources & News

What’s Happening in the World of Higher Education?

A 2023 survey revealed a notable shift in public opinion over the past decade about the value of a college degree: 56% of Americans think a four-year college degree isn't worth the cost due to students graduating with significant debt and a lack of specific job skills vs. 42% who believe college is worth it. The survey numbers have almost reversed from ten years ago, while college enrollment has...

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New FAFSA Rules Around Grandparent Owned 529 Plans

By: Henry VanBuskirk, CFP®, Wealth Manager One of the biggest decisions that a person about to graduate from high school can make in life is whether or not they choose to go to college. That’s also why it’s no coincidence that when toymaker Milton Bradley was designing the board game, The Game of Life®, one of the first things you do in the game is to decide whether or not your character will go...

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SECURE Act 2.0 Offers New Options for 529 Plans and Student Loan Payments

In December 2022, Congress passed the SECURE Act 2.0. It introduced two new rules relating to 529 plans and student debt that will take effect in 2024. The first provision allows for tax- and penalty-free rollovers from a 529 plan to a Roth IRA. The second provision allows student loan payments made by employees to qualify for employer retirement matching contributions. The overall goal is to...

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5 Ways to Provide for Grandkids That are not Related to College

By:  Paul Horn, CFP®, CPWA® Senior Financial Planner Most of our clients as they get older want to begin to think of ways that they can take care of their grandchildren. Most commonly the discussion revolves around opening 529 plans and saving for college. Below are five alternatives that are worth considering if you are trying to take care of grandkids: Pay for their first car. Another large...

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Best Account to Open for Your Kids Future

By:  Paul Horn, CFP®, CPWA®, Senior Financial Planner As parents we always want to see our kids succeed and do better than we did. This means many times we want to invest in their future for various things. Most of the time parents want to save for education, but there could be other reasons to save.  For example, helping them buy their first home, seed money to start their business venture, or...

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Gifting Assets from the Estate (Estate Planning Series Part IV)

By:  Henry VanBuskirk, CFP®, Wealth Manager (This is part 4 of a four-part estate planning series) In the previous posting, we discussed how Mark Zuckerberg of Meta Platforms, Inc. had the same strategies available, that you have available in order to reduce or possibly eliminate your estate tax bill.  In this final part of the estate planning series, we would like to review how gifting...

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The Best Strategies for your Required Minimum Distributions

By:  Henry VanBuskirk, CFP®, Wealth Manager The current rule states that you must take your first Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) by April 1st of the year after you reach 72 and annually thereafter by December 31st of each year. When the SECURE Act became law on December 20, 2019, the RMD age was pushed back from age 70.5 to age 72.  Plans affected by RMD rules are: 401(k) plans, 403(b)...

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Tax Planning Opportunities with 529 College Plans

With potential tax changes on the horizon, funding a 529 college plan deserves careful consideration. 529 college plans allow an individual to donate up to $15,000 per year for each beneficiary ($30,000 per year for married couples). With the potential increase in income taxes and capital gains taxes, 529 plans could be favored since invested funds are free of both income and capital gains taxes...

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