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4 Ways to Keep Getting Paychecks in Retirement

Getting a regular paycheck is one of the most comforting things about your working years. Therefore, not getting paychecks in retirement can be a major cause of stress. With all the different investment strategies out there for investing and producing income, the...

How to Navigate the 3 Phases of Your Financial Life

Your financial goals and priorities certainly change throughout your life. These changes result from many factors and are common. In fact, you will experience three distinct phases in your financial life (accumulation, preservation, and distribution). To avoid major...

Why You Need a Specialist Near Retirement

Most people are surprised when I tell them that, even as I financial advisor, I do very little to help people get to retirement. In fact, our clients have done much of the hard work themselves by living within their means, investing in their 401(k), and avoiding...

How to Free Yourself from Financial Anxiety

As the world attempts to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still much uncertainty and financial anxiety in the air. In fact, according to a survey done by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 69% of Americans age 18 and up reported…

Is Cash Really King?

You’ve probably heard before that “cash is king.” I have certainly heard it more during the last few months as we’ve endured the COVID-19 crisis. Volatility, uncertainty, and fear has been high. The value of cash, safety, and liquidity has increased. But, the question...

What is Tax-Loss Harvesting?

The COVID-19 Crisis has had the most profound impact on every member of society, perhaps ever. Investors have been forced to decide what financial moves to make, if any. If you have reasoned in your mind that staying invested and taking no action is the best thing to...

7 Ways to Get COVID-19 Financial Help

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many to look for financial help. With massive shutdowns of non-essential businesses and industries, Americans are in unchartered territory. For those struggling to make ends meet, here are 7 things to consider that could help…

How to Invest During Market Volatility?

With the recent fluctations in stocks, investors have been left wondering how to invest during market volatility. Market volatility causes stress, anxiety, and worst of all, doubt. Doubt is what causes investors to question their previous plan or strategy, if one was...

5 Key Ingredients to a Good Financial Recipe

In my experience, a good dish usually begins with good ingredients and a good recipe. The right amount of those ingredients, mixed together in the proper order, and cooked for a designated amount of time, can turn into something special. The same…

5 Things the SECURE Act Has Changed for Individuals

In December of 2019, the SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) was signed into law, triggering several changes for individual investors and employers that offer or have considered offering retirement plans. The SECURE Act…

Income Plans: Different Than Financial Plans?

Retirement nest eggs do not grow themselves. Getting to retirement typically takes years of hard work, a few good investment choices, and an incredible amount of discipline. But, while the formula for success in the years leading up to retirement, or the accumulation...

Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage

For many, the month of November is the time of year that signifies the end of the year is close and the holidays are coming. For anyone over the age of 65, however, November also signifies another very important season; Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Season…

5 Investing Lessons Football Taught Me

As a former athlete, I’ve had the benefit of being around many great coaches over the years, and with great coaches come great one-liners. Although simple, and sometimes cryptic, these teachable sayings carry much weight. Within them are lessons that are…

How the Financial Media Hurts Investors

Isn’t it interesting how human beings are drawn to drama? For some reason, we watch the news more when there is a crisis, tragedy, or natural disaster taking place. This is precisely why the financial media is always incentivized to create a crisis…

Are Annuities Bad for Consumers?

Q: Are annuities bad for consumers? A: Like many things in the world of investing, it’s almost impossible to make a broad generalization about a specific investment and then claim that the generalization will apply to everyone. That’s the downside of any broad generalization…

What Financial Advice Should I Give My Child?

Q: My children are getting older and one just graduated from high school. What is the best advice I can give them about money? A: First off, congratulations to your child on graduating! This is a great question and a perfect time to explore some key…

Should I De-Risk Near Retirement?

Market volatility is not something investors are typically excited about experiencing, regardless of age. However, volatility can become even more stressful as your get closer to retirement. Because of this, it is generally assumed that you should invest in a more conservative manner…

The Worst Mother’s Day Gift

Our mothers have such an important role in all our lives. They tirelessly care for us from infancy to adulthood, usually sacrificing the things they want to do or have for us. As we celebrate Mother’s Day this year, consider the following situations as things you don’t want to give your wife this Mother’s…

What is Values-Based Investing?

What values do you have that you would never want to violate in order to make a profit? You may have heard investment terms like sustainable investing, ESG, and socially responsible investing (SRI). But, what do they all mean? All are examples of values-based investing, where the investor…

How Many Jellybeans Does it Take to Price a Stock?

Imagine a jar is filled with a large number of jellybeans and you have to guess the quantity that is inside the jar. It would be a daunting task for anyone. But, this exercise can offer valuable insight into how market prices are set, and if they are fair and accurate…

Stop Giving to Charity…in Cash

Before you get the wrong impression of the headline, I think giving to charity is great. In fact, I think people should do more of it. This article, however, wasn’t written to change your attitude about charitable giving, but about the method in which you administer your gifts…

How Can I Get On Track for Retirement?

In my experience, I’ve found that many people want to get on track toward retirement, but don’t take action because they feel overwhelmed. Here are a few simple changes that could end up having a significant impact on your long-term retirement plan…

A Social Security Loophole that Still Exists

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 made some significant changes to a few key Social Security filing strategies. Specifically, the legislation removed some well-known loopholes that were used by many to increase spousal benefits. These loopholes involved…

Here’s the Prescription

Improving someone’s financial health is a lot like improving their physical health. The challenges include diagnosis of the current situation, development of the appropriate course of action, and sticking with the treatment plan. Click here to read…

What Positive Financial Moves Can I Make in 2019?

A new year brings a fresh start and a sense of new opportunities. It’s a great time to set goals and make improvements in all areas of life. Financial goals are, of course, wonderful goals to focus on in any year. But, it can be difficult to know where…

Christmas Cookie Investing

There are many treasured parts of the holiday season, including the lights, gifts, and the joyful atmosphere. But, there is one part of the Christmas holiday that seems to be a favorite for those young and old; Christmas cookies.

Can I Lower My Taxes with a Donor-Advised Fund?

Due to the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Tax Policy center estimates that the number of households claiming an itemized deduction for their gifts to non-profits will be reduced from 37 million to about 16 million in 2018. The result…

Lessons from Vegas on Behavioral Finance

Our firm recently attended a conference on for 401(k) plan advisors and that conference happened to be in lively Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference demanded much of our time, but of course, if you walk just about anywhere in Vegas, you’ll see…

Q&A with a Mortgage Lender

When discussing things like refinancing, home equity loans, new home and 2nd home purchases, there are some common questions that arise. We sat down with Scott Gruber, Senior Mortgage Lender with First Mid Illinois Bank and Trust (NMLS#466924) to talk about…

Lowering Taxes with QCDs

You may have heard that that IRS requires individuals over the age of 70 ½ to begin taking distributions on their tax-deferred retirement accounts, forcing them to pay taxes on a portion of their IRAs, 401(k)s, etc. during their lifetime. These distributions are referred to as…

How to Fix Social Security

The phrase “Social Security is broken” seems to be common rhetoric in today’s financial spheres. In fact, the American public has become increasingly pessimistic about the likelihood of Social Security still being around in the long run. But, is that opinion well-founded?

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

I’ve found that most are rarely excited to allocate any portion of their income toward life insurance. However, most understand that life insurance can provide unique benefits for a variety of scenarios. So while it’s not always fun to add new policies to your financial…

Why Robots Are Bad Financial Advisors

In this age of rapidly advancing technology, more and more investors have opted for “DIY” financial planning and robo-advisor investment management platforms. And, with the increasing capabilities of trading platforms, retirement calculators…

Should I Accept my Pension Buyout Offer?

As employees covered by defined pension plans approach retirement, companies are looking for ways to remove themselves from their obligations by offering pension buyouts. For example, instead of providing the retired employee with…

HSAs: A Best-Kept Secret?

HSAs are somewhat of a hidden gem in the investment world. In many of my own client interactions, I find that people may have a decent understanding of an HSA, but they may not fully be aware of all the advantages that go along with using one. HSA stands for Health...

Did I Prepare Well Enough for Retirement?

After years of conversations with those on the verge of retirement, I’ve noticed a trend that seems to be common among those preparing to step into their golden years. The trend is a need for confirmation that all the hard work, discipline, and saving was enough…

Why Did My Investment Strategy Not Work?

If you’ve been an investor for a while, you’ve probably experienced times where your investment strategy didn’t seem to work like you thought it would. But, what you may not understand is why exactly did it not work? Maybe your strategy didn’t perform as well as the...

4 Things to NOT do After Receiving an Inheritance

Receiving an inheritance is likely unfamiliar territory for most individuals. In some cases, the amount of your inheritance can even be a big surprise. In any case, if you have recently received an inheritance, it’s probably an emotional time…

Sailing with the Tides

Embarking on a financial plan is like sailing around the world. The voyage won’t always go to plan, and there’ll be rough seas. But the odds of reaching your destination increase greatly if you are prepared, flexible, patient, and well-advised. Click here to read the...

Q&A: Should Aging Parents & Adult Children Co-Own Assets?

Taking care of aging parents can be unfamiliar territory for anyone who is put to the task. However, it is something that many in their 50s and 60s are dealing with today. And, part of navigating that unfamiliar territory is trying to find a way to more easily…

Retiring Early? Don’t Overlook These 5 Things.

Retiring early. To most people, that phrase has a beautiful ring to it. In fact, it’s difficult to find individuals who would choose to continue working if the possibility of early retirement presented itself. However, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the position...

Q&A: It’s Tax Season. What Do I Need to Know?

Tax season can be a busy and confusing time of year. With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 being signed into law in late 2017, this year’s tax season is perhaps even more confusing than usual. To help, we have listed 9 things that you’ll want to know about this tax...

How to Frame Investing Near A Market High?

Over the past 5 years or so, some investors have shared a similar question. “With the stock market near all-time highs, should I be investing right now?” At first glance, it seems logical to be hesitant at the idea of investing near a market high…

True or False Diversification?

The old adage, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” has undoubtedly been a simple yet profound guide for investors for decades. The translation is simple; diversify your portfolio so that if unforeseen circumstances negatively affect one of your stocks, it won’t completely derail your entire…

Q&A: How will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 impact me?

December 22nd, 2017 marked the date of our nation's biggest tax overhaul since 1986 as President Trump signed into law the much anticipated Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. But, many Americans are questioning what the new tax bill will do for them, and it's likely the...

Why Investors Should Consider Dividend-Paying Stocks

Based on current economic forecasts, we could be entering a period when market returns lag behind historical returns, meaning investors might want to do due diligence on all investment strategies to find the best way to meet their objectives. If income is a goal…

Stock market naysayers paint an incomplete picture

Some in the financial media say a stock market correction is inevitable. That prediction is intriguing, but it has a few subtle, yet gaping holes. Are we standing at the precipice after a strong uphill climb in the world of investing, or does it just seem that way to...

Your Investments Might Not Be That Important

Many people weigh the success of their financial life entirely on the performance of their investment or retirement accounts. In the past, the world of financial advice revolved around what funds or stocks to pick and when to buy or sell. I’d like to share an idea...

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