What working parents can learn from the backpacking community

It is a late-April morning and you are standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon, ready to hike down to the Inner Canyon.  The temperature is a few degrees below freezing and an uncomfortably cold wind is blowing.  You have come prepared and dressed appropriately to fend off the bitterly cold wind as you [...]

Why Many Parents Should Reconsider Covering College-aged or Adult Children on their Health Insurance

Parents generally believe that the longer they can claim their children as dependents, the more tax savings they will accrue.  This is a misleading fallacy for most high-income families.  The reality is that most parents with more than $200,000 of annual income get zero tax benefit from their children and may continue to get limited [...]

The Tax Saving Opportunity of a Lifetime for Early Retirees

Like it or not, the Affordable Care Act will again rule the health insurance marketplace in 2018 regardless of what happens in Congress with tax legislation or whether the individual mandate holds up over the coming weeks.  Also like it or not, there has been a dramatic increase in insurance premiums from the onset of [...]

10 Tax Planning Strategies for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

It is November 8th, 2017 as this is written and there is no doubt that a lot will happen with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act before the end of the year.  The current bill is being marked up by the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate is due to release its own [...]

Guaranteed Income and No Risk of Principal – Too Good to be True?

It is difficult to go more than a week without seeing or hearing advertisements for an investment that guarantees zero risk of principal loss, promises an attractive return (5-10% per year), and ensurers lifetime income that never expires.  Admittedly, these promises can sound very attractive on the surface, especially for risk averse investors.  But are they too [...]

Pregnancy and Voluntary Short-Term Disability Insurance

Everyday investors tend to speculate on stocks based on the often ill-conceived notion that they have unique information or better information than the rest of the investment world.  This perception of ‘asymmetric information’ is often the polar opposite of reality.  In fact, institutional investors have an enormous information advantage over retail investors – one that [...]

Dismissing High Deductible HSA Plans Is a Costly Mistake

This time of year means open enrollment season and that means battling a consistent bevy of confusing acronyms: FSA, HSA, HRA, PPO, HMO, POS, and on.  Reorienting every year to the different meanings, rules, and benefits of these acronyms is akin to relearning the scoring rules of curling every four years.  Most Americans are interested [...]

5 Medicare Open Enrollment Mistakes to Avoid

Records show that organ donation elections vary dramatically from country to country.  Even bordering countries with similar cultures have huge differences in the percentage of citizens who participate in organ donation programs.  Consider two countries that neighbor Germany: Austria and Belgium.  99.9% of Austrian citizens and 98% of Belgian citizens are registered organ donors.  In Germany, [...]

Long-Term Disability Insurance – Group vs. Individual Coverage

From an economic perspective, insurance is useful to protect against low frequency, high severity events.  Quite simply, we are well served to insure infrequent events that would be financially devastating like the loss of a home to fire or an untimely death.  This ultimately begs the question of why people purchase insurance to protect against [...]