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Congress passes the SECURE ACT, what do the changes mean for me?

Attached to the large spending bills that Congress passed just before the end of the 2019 legislative session were some last-minute provisions that will have an impact on personal finances in 2020 and beyond. The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” (SECURE) Act includes some important changes to the rules regarding Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), as well as some narrower changes to other aspects of the tax code. The following is a high-level update on a few of the items that are likely to have the widest and largest impact.

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Social Security Adjustments for 2020

Each year the Social Security Administration announces cost of living adjustments that impact the monthly benefit to recipients for the following calendar year. As the New Year approaches, you can expect the following changes to apply to those enrolled in Medicare and receiving benefits from Social Security in the 2020 calendar year.

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Choosing a Financial Advisor – Part 4

In the final installment of our four-part Choosing a Financial Advisor Series, we explain why the “right” fit when it comes to choosing an advisor can only be found after gaining an understanding of exactly what you want and need from an advisory relationship.

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Choosing a Financial Advisor – Part 3

In our previous posts, we’ve explored the importance of determining fee structures of advisory firms, and the differences between a suitability standard and a fiduciary standard.

When evaluating the ability of an advisor to deliver the needed level of services and solutions, however, few topics are more important than understanding the collective capabilities of the team of individuals comprising a firm.

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Choosing a Financial Advisor – Part 2

In our four-part Choosing a Financial Advisor Series, we provide information and perspectives to clarify the distinctions within the financial industry, which will help you understand how to think about choosing the right advisor for your specific needs.

In Part 2 of the series, we highlight the importance of making sure your interests come first, and explore the fiduciary standard.

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Choosing a Financial Advisor

In our four-part Choosing a Financial Advisor Series, we provide information and perspectives to clarify the distinctions within the financial industry, which will help you understand how to think about choosing the right advisor for your specific needs.

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Lessons from Sending My Son to College

By: Chris Link, CFP®, CPA, Accredited’s Director of Tax Planning

“The Best Day” by George Strait played on the radio the day we brought our first born home from the hospital. Thinking back to that day, it felt like we had arrived at the college conversation all too quickly. Much like the moment when we were no longer a family of two, watching our fledgling jump from the nest raised emotions and introspection.

It began to feel ‘real’ one week before my son’s college departure date. A mix of excitement and anticipation came over me thinking about the opportunities that lie ahead, and pride for the person he’s grown into. At the same time, thoughts of not seeing him every day and knowing that we’d all be moving into a new normal created a sadness. “The Best Day” holds a different meaning now; and listening to it again the morning we dropped him at college helped shift my focus back onto his excitement for this new journey.

Before we could send our son off to college, we had to cross the bridge of finding the “perfect one,” agree as a couple how to fund this new expense, and communicate funding and expectations to our college freshman.

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Cybersecurity: Protecting Yourself & Your Personal Information

Every year, more and more aspects of our lives become inextricably linked to the digital world – our finances, our personal communications, our health records, and increasingly even our household appliances and electronic devices are all dependent on internet connectivity. While these connections can offer convenience and previously unimaginable levels of detailed information, they also subject us to new risks. And just as the web of digital connections to our personal lives continue to expand, so too do the efforts of cyber criminals to exploit these new connections. We offer some tips and best practices to help mitigate online risk and provide resources for additional information and tools.

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We hired a nanny. Now what about the taxes?

As the kids settle in to the first couple weeks of summer break, many parents have gone the route of hiring a nanny to supervise the kids while parents work over the summer. Although this is a common practice, what often isn’t fully understood are the tax implications that can arise when someone chooses this option for summer daycare. The details can seem daunting, but a few key points can help to clarify a potentially complicated requirement.

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Navigating the Retirement Transition

Transitioning to retirement can be a complicated process both financially and emotionally, as new routines and perspectives are created.

One of the most significant adjustments encompasses both of those dynamics: the shift from earning a regular paycheck to living off savings that have been accumulated.

Establishing a cash reserve for near-term expenses may help to alleviate some of the potential stress of the retirement transition – enabling more of retirement portfolio to remain invested for the long-term, and allowing for more focus on how to best to spend time in retirement.

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