CFG Planner Blog

Posted by Nancy Hecht, CFP®, AIF®

We always hear of wacky things that people try to deduct from their taxable income – these happen to be deductions that, surprisingly so, worked.

When I was in high school, I was trying to decide between art school and business school. I decided I did not want to be a starving artist – who knew that if I went down that path, I could have this deduction:

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Posted by Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

Many of us are likely familiar with the accounting world’s Rules v. Principles ethics regulation. But you may not be aware that the Department of Labor, since promulgating its fiduciary rule last year, has implemented a similar type of principle-based regulatory approach. Within the financial advisor world much of the debate over the so-called Fiduciary Rule has been centered on this approach.

But as a client, whether you are aware of this debate or not, the question becomes: why should you care?

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Posted by Gary Abely, CFP®, AIF®, CPA

I know, it seems like yesterday we were gathering our documents for our tax preparer for the 2015 tax year.  The 2016 tax filing season is upon us and I thought I would share 10 often over looked tax planning opportunities.

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Posted by Judith Sanborn, CFP®, AIF®

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, and when the stock market volatility gets you down, remember the story of the mayonnaise jar and 2 beers.

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Posted by Denise Kovach, CFP®, AIF®

A reverse mortgage is actually called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) which is government backed. This program enables you to withdraw a portion of your home’s equity. It is a type of home loan that requires no monthly mortgage payments. It does require repayment, plus interest, once you either move out of the house or pass away, and you must continue paying for real estate taxes and homeowners insurance.

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Posted by Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

The “Suitability Standard”, yet another ERISA-based mystery.   Let me endeavor to decipher this term by delving into the often-turgid waters of the fiduciary ocean by asking ourselves if merely meeting the standard of suitability meets the criteria for being a fiduciary. Put another way; is acting suitably a necessary but perhaps not sufficient condition for being a fiduciary? Our goal here is to simplify what can be a rather dense conversation, but one that deserves a fair disassembling in light of the pending activation of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule.

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Posted by Nancy Hecht, CFP®, AIF®

While many taxpayers have payroll deduction retirement plans, it does not necessarily prevent you from making a deductible IRA contribution. If you are married filing a joint return and your adjusted gross income is between $98,000 – $118,000, you can make a partial or completely deductible IRA contribution for 2016. For single tax filers, their phase-out bracket is $61,000 -$71,000. If you are self-employed, the limits are even broader if you open a SEP IRA. For 2016, you can contribute 25% of your adjusted gross income up to $53,000.

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Posted by  Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

At Certified Financial Group, we live by a simple rule: act in the best interests of our clients. This philosophy is also the underpinning for the financial advisory industry’s “Fiduciary Standard.”

But the word fiduciary is truly a sophist’s dream. There’s a veritable alphabet soup of numbers and letters that can allow certain actors to play games with what the meaning of “fiduciary” truly obligates them to do and the way they must act.

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