CFG Planner Blog

Posted by  Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

At Certified Financial Group, we don’t see it as the firm’s goal to be the knight-errant of the fiduciary standard for all financial advisors. Nor do we propose to wag our fingers at those with conflicts. Rather, we simply hope to intimate our firm’s pride at our Investment Advisor, Certified Advisory Corp (CAC), having recently received the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence’s CEFEX designation and to discuss our perspective on the meaning of fiduciary duty.

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Posted by Gary Abely, CFP®, AIF®, CPA

Most of us have heard that in retirement we can withdraw approximately 4 to 5% per year from our retirement accounts without too much worry about outliving these assets.  One of the biggest risks a new retiree faces is sequencing of returns, or a bear market in the early retiree years.  It is generally a good idea to have at least your first several years of needed withdrawals invested conservatively.  While many retirees review where their funds should be invested, few spend adequate time analyzing from which accounts their withdrawals should come from and the order of those withdrawals.

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Posted by Denish Kovach, CFP®, AIF®

The short answer is “Not without paying taxes.” The IRS considers moving money from your IRA to a 529 plan as a distribution included in your taxable ordinary income. Plus you would face an additional 10% penalty if you are not yet age 59-1/2. So rather than opening the 529 plan you might consider using the IRA distribution for the education expense, as distributions from your IRA being used for higher education are exempt from the 10% penalty. These expenses include tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment at an eligible institution. Keep in mind that while these distributions are penalty free, they are still considered taxable income.

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Posted by Aaron Bert, CFP®, AIF®

The one incident that could change your entire future

Whenever you read about important topics like long-term care, health care or retirement, you’re likely inundated with facts and numbers. The cost of care, the likelihood you’ll experience various diseases, how much you’ll need in retirement to live and pay for care — these are some facts you typically come across.

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Posted by Nancy Hecht, CFP®, AIF®

Recently I was listening to a competitor’s radio show and the financial advisor speaking stated that your past life as an employed person, and how you were living it, does not matter for retirement planning. I respectfully disagree with this guy. Your past matters a lot. The crux of his comment was that your personal expenses will decrease so much with your retired lifestyle that you can completely ignore them. Sure, you may not be buying business wear anymore and may pay less in tolls, but there will be plenty to replace those items.

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Posted by Judith Sanborn, CFP®, AIF®

What you should know in order to benefit the most from this type of inheritance.

An inherited individual retirement account or IRA, lies at the tricky 3-way intersection of estate planning, financial planning and tax planning.  One wrong decision can lead to expensive consequences.  The first thing to do if you are a beneficiary of an IRA is to meet with a financial adviser who can explain your options.  The worst thing you can do is to cash out the plan.  Distributions from an inherited traditional IRA are 100% taxable as ordinary income.  Distributions from inherited Roth IRAs are not taxable.

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Posted by Denise Kovach, CFP®, AIF®, NSSA®

Things happen throughout the year that could have a big impact on your taxes, such as changing jobs, getting married, or retiring. Now is the time to ask yourself some questions in order to maximize any potential tax benefit and reduce any additional tax liability.

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Posted by Nancy Hecht, CFP®, AIF®

We were promised that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would provide choice, innovation, lower premiums, and no need to change your Doctor. We have seen that this has not actually been the case. The biggest concern for many of us now is the insurance companies are dropping like flies.

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Posted by Gary Abely, CFP®, AIF®, CPA

“Have you and your child had a frank conversation about college costs and responsibility for payment of tuition, fees, books, room and board?”

In the past, I would ask the above question to individuals attending my “Financial Basics for Life” workshop.  This workshop is designed to teach young adults the basics of saving, investing, debt and general financial management in a two-hour cram course.  What I found: Less than 1 in 3 had discussed this topic with their teenage child.

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