Act Now to Capture this Simple $700 Georgia Tax Credit

The following article was originally published in 2015.  Note that an updated explanation of the tax impact under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act exists here. Many of our early-career and mid-career professional clients face the annual reality of alternative minimum tax (AMT), knowingly or unknowingly.  This secondary tax system captures a large segment [...]

Financial Advisors and Conflicts of Interest

Politicians.  Used car salesman.  Mechanics.  There are but a few professions less trusted than financial advisors.  The lack of consumer trust is arguably well-deserved as there is nothing trustworthy about opaque conflicts of interest, hidden fees, or bad advice that lines the advice giver’s pockets.  There is nothing trustworthy about consumers being sold expensive annuities that [...]

Tax Saving Tips for Graduate School and Other Low Income Years

Over the course of a career, many individuals will experience a year or more with limited income prior to retirement.  It could be the result of a multi-month break from employment or simply the decision to temporarily leave the workforce for graduate school.  These situations present powerful opportunities that are generally only available for a limited [...]

The Fallacies of Rising Interest Rates

Buckle up, America.  Higher interest rates are coming.  Forget that we have collectively observed this erroneous warning a dozen times or so over the past decade.  We also had 13 Triple Crown attempts since Affirmed in 1978 and consider what happened recently to that lengthy streak of failed expectations. For the first time since June 2006, [...]

Pros and Cons of Toddler Golf and Target Date Funds

There is a refreshing simplicity to the golf game of a toddler.  I appreciate this because my youngest son’s passion for golf is only superseded right now by that of chocolate chip cookies and his blanket.  He spends long stretches every day hitting a foam golf ball around the yard and occasionally we visit the [...]

Should I Pay off My Mortgage or Invest?

One of the most common questions facing families and individuals is whether to accelerate mortgage payments and forego the potential mortgage interest deduction or borrow as much as possible, make minimum debt payments, and save for retirement.  Simply, is it better to save or pay off debt?  The question comes in a variety of flavors: [...]

Opportunity for High Income Earners – the Backdoor Roth Conversion

This week, five years ago, was a period that financial journalists dream about.  We were ushering in the new year of 2010 and significant impending tax law changes provided a bevy of important topics that consumers needed help navigating.  There was the elimination of federal estate and gift tax, the return of IRA required minimum distributions [...]

The Best Retirement Plan for Self Employed Individuals

In financial planning, the right answer to most seemingly simple questions is nearly always “it depends”.  How much life insurance do I need?  Should I contribute to a traditional 401k or a Roth 401k?  Should I use a will or revocable trust for my estate?  How much can I plan to safely distribute from my [...]

Two Underutilized and Critical Steps to Protect Your Credit

The “Heartbleed” Internet security bug recently brought the important issue of personal information security into the spotlight.  While the Heartbleed bug was widespread and allowed scammers access to personal information including Internet usernames and passwords, it does not cause reason to panic.  Most financial institutions, including Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade, did not use the vulnerable [...]

Important Health Insurance Changes for Small Business Owners

Many Americans are conditioned to treat employer-provided health insurance as an entitlement.  This long-standing attitude stems from a system that, for decades, has precluded a large segment of the population from finding reasonably priced health insurance on their own.  Anyone with a previous victory over cancer or a child with diabetes likely knows from experience [...]