Blog

What’s on our mind? You can read about it in our blog. Whether it’s ideas from the industry or emerging trends, you can read about it here. And once in a while, we may throw in a book review or some other surprise. So keep checking in. We’re glad to have you reading along.

 

Friday, September 17, 2021

A couple of weeks ago we discussed the ways we spend money and the opportunity costs we accept when making those choices. You can read the post here. We now know the basic principles for spending money with the goal of sustainable...

 

Friday, September 10, 2021

I loved going to all of the musical events when my children were young and always felt that we made a good decision in choosing a school that did not neglect the arts. The board should have made a plea for funds immediately after any...

 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Have you ever been to the Park City Museum in Utah? I make it a point to go there every time we take our annual family ski vacation. The museum is housed in the old City Hall, which also housed the Police Department, the Fire...

 

Friday, August 27, 2021

We frequently encounter people who decide to buy a house that is far from where they work. Typically, a larger and more beautiful home, probably with a pool, can be purchased where land costs are a small part of the price. Often, a...

 

Friday, August 20, 2021

The simple fact is that we cannot do everything. When we choose to do one thing, we are also choosing not to do something else. In economics, this is called opportunity cost. Because neither time nor resources are limitless, we need to...

 

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Friday, August 13, 2021

The best way to gauge the happiness bang for the buck is to reflect on our own lives. What memories do you have that make you feel happier just by recalling them? When you think about it, you will certainly find that the memories that...

 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Many, or possibly most, people do not know how to spend money for maximum and sustainable happiness. Worse, too many people spend money in a way that is destructive to their ability to achieve their goals. Lack of familiarity with the...

 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Answers: Answers Citation: Gates, Bill. Essay. In How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, 58. Alfred A. Knopf, 2021.

 

Friday, July 16, 2021

We all know the story of Cinderella, whose mother died and whose father got remarried. When Cinderella’s dad passed away, Cinderella became a servant in her own home. Do you think this is a fairytale? Unfortunately, stories very...

 

Friday, July 9, 2021

After careful consideration, you may decide that you wish to establish a plan that provides for the management of your affairs while you are living, avoids probate, and ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes...

 

Friday, July 2, 2021

In an earlier post, I explained that assets that are solely in our names, or held as tenants in common and community property, will pass to our beneficiaries through the probate process. Some trusts will also pass via probate, but that...

 

Friday, June 25, 2021

The sad fact is that too often our estates do not go to our intended beneficiaries. This is not to say that we have not done all of the right things. We went to the attorney, often several times. We participated in a formal signing...

 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Among the first questions we ask people during our first meeting is “have you done any estate planning?” The response is usually “I/we have a will.” Sometimes we hear “we don’t need that” or...

 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Among the most important services that we provide is the ongoing coaching that clients need in order for their plans to succeed. We never want to see the time, effort, and money invested in planning go to waste. We believe that...

 

Friday, May 28, 2021

My first recollection of “Decoration Day” is watching a parade from the window of our apartment in Queens, New York. Soldiers carrying rifles and uniformed veterans of the First and Second World Wars marched to a small...

 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

How to tax capital gains is a topic of much discussion today. Yet, we find that many people do not understand how we tax gains on assets. Generally, we tax long-term gains (assets held more than a year) at preferred rates. Assets sold...

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

We all have an obligation to make life as healthy, fulfilling, and safe as possible for those who may have physical or mental conditions that make life especially challenging. Fortunately, we have tools available to us to improve...

 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The primary reason that we involve ourselves in tax preparation is that an in-depth understanding of taxes is crucial to providing quality financial-planning advice. This is why we are so proud that Anthony has successfully completed...

 

Friday, February 5, 2021

The fact that we share a common language and have constitutionally-protected rights to interstate trade and travel can sometimes make us forget that each state has its own laws, courts, and legislatures. In our very mobile society,...

 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Congress and the Federal Reserve acted with necessary haste last year to implement rules and policies designed to prevent economic collapse. Among those changes is the suspension of Required Minimum Distributions from retirement plans....

 

Friday, January 1, 2021

The whirlwind that the pandemic unleashed on the world can dampen our appreciation of the amazing technological strides that we made last year. I need to remind myself how miraculous it is that via my iPhone I can listen to live radio...

 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Years ago, when we went camping at Anastasia State Park, one of our children had the brilliant idea of making a bear trap to protect us as we slept. This ingenious contraption consisted of strings tied to sticks hammered into the...

 

Friday, December 18, 2020

If we have learned anything from the events of 2020, it is to remind ourselves of what is truly important in our lives. This year has reinforced for us how much a sense of purpose is essential to living a fulfilled life. The simple...

 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

It hardly seems like 49 years since the song Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who became a big hit. Every election the song comes to mind as I ponder how we do allow ourselves to be repeatedly fooled. We read newspaper articles and...

 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

We can drive a nail with a wrench and we can unscrew a nut with a pair of pliers. When we lack the proper tools that is better than nothing. Still, we should always use the right tool for the right job. This is also true with our...

 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Anybody who grew up in a northern tourist town can relate to the movie Jaws. For the fictional community of Amity Island, the season bookended by Memorial Day and Labor Day represents life or death for the tiny village. The killer...

 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A small group of strangers gathered on Memorial Island at 4:00 AM on February 8, 2010 to watch the last space shuttle pierce the night sky over Florida. Following the launch, we quietly shared our mutual sense of having lost something....

 

Friday, May 15, 2020

By far, the most rewarding aspect of this job is helping clients deal with the challenges in their lives. Helping people work through emotional decisions or a family crisis is especially important in making our jobs meaningful. Asset...

 

Monday, May 4, 2020

As a teenager, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the New Tamiami Air Race, which took place here in Florida. My luck came about because, during high school, I hung around a local airfield owned by the renowned polar explorer,...

 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

So much of what we read purports to tell us what the future will bring. Among the most common admonitions is that we should not expect things to ever be the same. Things are never the same, nor should they be. Extreme challenges drive...

 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Now for the hard part. The disruptions in the financial markets have been largely soothed by the extraordinary efforts of the Federal Reserve. Forward-looking market participants are following the adage “don’t fight the Fed...

 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

This shall be the last of my discussions of developing human capital and charitable planning, for a while at least. Once families have developed their charitable mission plans, they will need to determine the best way to make their...

 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

What happens when the interests of insurance-company lobbyists and politicians converge? The answer is called the Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE). For many years, insurance companies have fretted over...

 

Monday, December 30, 2019

For the first time in many years, Congress has made consequential revisions to the rules governing Qualified Retirement Plans. The Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE) effects many of our clients...

 

Friday, November 15, 2019

We spend a lot of time focused on certain metrics or benchmarks because they are easily measured. Whether we are counting the number of steps we take in a day or our investment performance relative to an arbitrary benchmark, we use...

 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Did you know that how much student debt a person is likely to have varies greatly depending upon which state you live in? According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the highest level is in Connecticut, where the...

 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Perhaps it is wisdom that has allowed me to recognize the fallacy of so many of my youthful beliefs. I truly thought that the economic liberation of the People’s Republic of China, under Deng Xiaoping, foretold a future of...

 

Monday, August 12, 2019

I want to thank all of our clients who responded so well to our water-bottle initiative. Discovering how many of our clients are concerned about the natural beauty of their communities is gratifying. One client alerted us to the...

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

My wife and I love to go sailing in the ocean off of Fort Pierce Inlet during the months of May, June, and July. The water turns that magnificent turquoise color that we see on the Chamber-of-Commerce calendar. The seas tend to be low,...

 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

If you have ever considered ditching your cable bill, you are not alone. In the first quarter of this year, Comcast lost 121,000 pay-TV subscribers while AT&T lost 544,000 pay-TV customers. That means nearly 700,000 “cut the...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Anyone who attends our public presentations knows how much we value all of the quality information that is free to us as Americans. We are much better off than the citizens of Canada, who struggle with terrible gaps in necessary...

 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Some people view tax day as a cause for regret. We think that tax day is the perfect day to rethink our goals and to prepare for the future. This is the first year under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) and some of the...

 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Most retirement planning focuses on the search for the most efficient means to save enough money for something called “retirement.” In other words, retirement planning is planning to quit our jobs. We plan to retire from...

 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

During the tax preparation process, clients often ask us what they can do to lower their tax bill. Unfortunately, as many of you have heard, “April is too late for tax planning.” While we work diligently with clients to...

 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Having The Talk Recently, we presented to a group of clients our new template for crafting letters of instruction to their heirs. We are gratified by the kind and positive feedback from everybody who attended. While still a work in...

 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

When is it appropriate to adjust your investment objective? One thing is for sure; it is never when we are emotionally swept up by market exuberance, or conversely, when we are in the grips of widespread panic. Instead, our objectives...