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Who is NextWave Wealth?

NextWave Wealth helps Working Professionals and their Families Organize & More Effectively Manage their Finances.  You're making money and taking care of your family.  More often than not you're going to need help getting organized and executing a plan to get the most out of the financial resources you have coming in; then you can have your peace of mind and live the life you want.  The challenge is balancing the need to save for the future with handling your current obligations; all the while trying to enjoy today.  NextWave specializes in helping you get organized and Find that Balance in your life.
Hi, my name is Nate Goldenberg...

I founded NextWave Wealth because there is a need for Professionals in their 20's, 30's and 40's to have access to the same level of Advice and Resources that many "High Net Worth" and Institutional clients do.  Also, think of this as an avenue to help change your perspective of money and the financial planning profession.  Money is simply a tool, and as a planner it's my job to help coach and guide you on how best to use it, helping you put the right habits in place to create the life you want both now and in the future.

My Passion for What I Do...
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
- Jackie Robinson
How We Help

Find Your Financial Balance
The Cornerstone of our entire Philosophy, this program is Holistic Planning at it's finest, with a modern twist for today's world.  Click to see our program overview and see what we can accomplish together.
Investment Advisory Services
If you do have investable assets and either don't have the time, the understanding, or the desire to manage them yourself, we can help you with that too.  Click here to find out more.
Project-Focused Planning Services
Sometimes there are specific events or milestones that happen which require a more specialized approach.  In times like these, our Project-Focused Planning services are a good place to start.
News & Resources

Please use this part of the site as much as possible, I am the offspring of 2 teachers and believe in educating yourself and keeping yourself informed.  Please don't hesitate to contact me regarding any follow up questions you may have about anything you see or read here.
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The Money Feed

By nategcfp 20 Jun, 2017
The solo 401(k) plan is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs to save money for retirement and reduce their current tax bill. These plans are often ignored and overshadowed by the more popular corporate 401(k) and SEP IRA plans. In fact, there is a lack of widely available public information about them. Simply put, not many people know about it.

Solo or one participant 401(k) plans are available to solo entrepreneurs who do not have any personnel or staff. If a business owner employs seasonal workers who register less than 1,000 hours a year, then he or she may be eligible for the solo 401(k) plans as well. The solo plans have most of the characteristics of the traditional 401(k) plan without many of restrictions. (For more, see: 401(k) Plans for the Small Business Owner.)

Maximize Your Retirement Savings
A self-employed 401(k) allows a business owner to save up to $54,000 a year for retirement, plus additional an $6,000 if age 50 and over. How does the math work exactly?

Solo entrepreneurs play a dual role in their business - as an employee and an employer. As an employee, they can contribute up to $18,000 a year plus a catch up of $6,000 if over the age of 50. Further, the business owner can add up to $36,000 in contributions as an employer. The company’s side of the contribution is subject to 25% of the compensation, which the business owner must pay herself.

Example: Jessica, age 52, has a solo practice. She earns a W2 salary of $100,000 from her S Corporation. Jessica set up a solo 401(k) plan. In 2017 she can contribute $18,000 plus $6,000 catch up, for a total of $24,000 as an employee of her company. Additionally, Jessica can add up to $25,000 (25% x $100,000) as an employer. She can save up to $49,000 in her solo 401(k) plan.

One important side note, if a business owner works for another company and participates in their 401(k), the above limits are applicable per person, not per plan. Therefore, the entrepreneur has to deduct any contributions from the second plan in order to stay within the allowed limits.

Add Your Spouse
A business owner can add his or her spouse to the 401(k) plan subject to the same limits discussed above. In order to be eligible for these contributions, the spouse has to earn income from the business. The spouse must report a wage from the company on a W2 form for tax purposes.

Reduce Your Current Tax Bill
The solo 401(k) plans contributions will reduce your tax bill at year end. The wage contributions will lower your ordinary income tax. The company contributions will decrease the corporate tax.

This is a very significant benefit for all business owners and, in particular, for those who fall into higher income tax brackets. If an entrepreneur believes that her tax rate will go down in the future, maximizing her current solo 401(k) contributions now can deliver substantial tax benefits in the long run.

Opt for Roth Contributions
Most solo 401(k) plans allow for Roth contributions. These contributions are after taxes. Therefore, they do not lower current taxes. However, the long-term benefit is that all investments from Roth contributions grow tax free. No taxes will be due at withdrawal during retirement. (For more, see: SIMPLE IRA vs. SIMPLE 401(k) Plans.)

Only the employee contributions are eligible to be Roth contributions. So the solo entrepreneur can add up to $18,000 plus $6,000 in pre-tax Roth contributions and $36,000 as tax-deductible employer contributions.

The Roth contributions are especially beneficial for young entrepreneurs or those in a lower tax bracket who expect that their income and taxes will be higher when they retire. By paying taxes now at a lower rate, plan owners avoid paying much larger tax bill later when they retire, assuming their tax rate will be higher.

No Annual Test
Solo 401(k) plans are not subject to the same strict regulations as their corporate rivals. Self-employed plans do not require a discrimination test as long as the only participants are the business owner and the spouse.

If the company employs workers who meet the eligibility requirements, they must be included in the plan. To be eligible for the 401(k) plan, the worker must be a salaried full-time employee working more than 1,000 hours a year. In those cases, the plan administrator must conduct annual discrimination test which assesses the employee participation in the 401(k) plan. As long as solo entrepreneurs do not hire any full-time workers, they can avoid the discrimination test in their 401(k) plan.

No Annual Filing
Another benefit of the 401(k) plan is the exemption from annual filing a form 5500-EZ, as long as the year-end plan assets do not exceed $250,000. If plan assets exceed that amount, the plan administrator or the owner himself must do the annual filing.

Asset Protection
401(k) plans offer one of the highest bankruptcy protection than any other retirement accounts, including IRAs. The assets in a 401(k) are safe from creditors as long as they remain there. In general, all ERISA eligible retirement plans like 401(k) plans are sheltered from creditors. Non-ERISA plans like IRAs are also protected up to $1,283,025 (in aggregate) under federal law plus any additional state law protection.

You can open a self-employed 401(k) plan at nearly any broker like Fidelity Investments, Charles Schwab Corp. or Vanguard. The process is relatively straight forward. It requires filling out a form, company name, tax ID, etc. Most brokers will act as your plan administrator. As long as the business owner remains self-employed, doesn’t hire any full-time workers and plan assets do no exceed $250,000, plan administration will be relatively straightforward.

As a sponsor of your own 401(k) plan, you can choose to manage it yourself or hire an investment advisor. Either way, most solo 401(k) plans offer a wider range of investments than comparable corporate 401(k) plans. Depending on your provider, you may have access to a larger selection of investment choices including ETFs, low-cost mutual funds, stocks and REITs. Always verify your investment selection and trading costs before opening an account with any financial services provider. (For more from this author, see: Financial Planning Tips for Small Business Owners.)

Read more: 8 reasons why entrepreneurs should open a solo 401k plan
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By nategcfp 18 May, 2017
From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2017

You could save a bundle if you make major purchases at times when prices are most likely to be at their lowest levels of the year.

Car. In early fall, dealers are trying to clear their lots to make room for the new models, so you’re likely to find generous discounts, cash rebates and extra-low-interest financing on the outgoing models. It can also help to wait until the end of the month, preferably a weekday, when dealers are eager to meet their sales quotas and even more willing to reduce prices. (See: How to Get a Great Deal On a New Car.)

Home. House-hunting in February can save you some serious cash. The median selling price of a home was 6% less, on average, compared with the rest of the year, according to a recent study from Attom Data Solutions, which tracks real estate data. (See our quiz: How Smart a Home Buyer Are You?)

Major appliance. Wait until September or October to buy a new dishwasher and dryer, and other major appliances. You can expect to find discounts of about 20% or more on older models as retailers make space for new arrivals. (See our quiz: How Long Should It Last?)

Smartphone. New phones typically drop in price a few months after their release date—which varies by manufacturer—but the previous-generation phone’s price falls immediately. For example, when Apple released the iPhone 7 last September, prices on the older 6s dropped by almost $100, according to

By nategcfp 16 May, 2017
Max Osbon May 16, 2017

Budgeting is like dieting, when it’s too strict it quickly falls apart. Fortunately there are simple ways to get around the challenges linked to budget discipline. Lead by example and teach your family members to follow these habits and you’ll ensure their financial stability in any environment. Here are three tried and tested habits:

Save First, Ask Questions Later
This is often the most successful habit for wealth creation. Save first means separating a portion of all of your income as soon as it comes in the door and before anything else happens. Ten percent is a good amount to save first. Store that portion in an investment account or even a simple savings account.

Why first? Budgets expand to their limits the same way gas expands to fill a room. It’s not an official law of physics, but it very well could be. Make saving first a habit so you are free to spend whatever’s left however you see fit. Reinforce this habit early and often with your family. (For related reading, see: Pay Yourself First.)

Track Your Spending
Too often we hear people have no idea how much they spend or where they spend it. How can we expect to make smart spending decisions when we have little to no insight into our own spending habits? Fortunately technology has an easy solution. I recommend using Quickbooks. Test out creative spending categories like “Social Meals,” “Self Improvement” and “Family Experiences.” Memory is a poor storage place when it comes to numbers. Instead, leverage software to gain insight into your spending habits, the same way a company would review its profit and losses on a monthly basis.

Make More or Spend Less?
One well-traveled path to financial stress is regularly spending more than you make. Competitive type-A personalities often retort that they solve this issue by simply always making more than they spend. They’re not wrong because that can work temporarily. However those people often feel that they’re under considerable pressure to perform. Try out both methods for a period of time if you’re unsure about committing to one or the other. (for related reading, see: Downshift to Simplify Your Life.)

Talk About Budgeting
It’s easy to find many examples of what works well and what doesn’t when it comes to budgeting. One of the best ways to pass on good financial habits to the next generation is to have regular conversations about the above habits. Budget habit conversations of the truly wealthy is something you owe yourself and your family.

(For more from this author, see: Establishing Rules for Family Wealth.)

Read more: 3 Budgeting Habits Used by the Truly Wealthy | Investopedia
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By nategcfp 16 May, 2017
Russell Wayne, CFP® May 15, 2017

1. Know Your Advisor
One of the basic rules for investment advisors is to know your client. In theory, the reason for that rule is to ensure the advisor is providing appropriate advice to the client. But it's equally important for the client to know his advisor.

There's a considerable difference in credentials among advisors. The gold standard for advisors is that of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®). The process of getting that credential is a multiyear program of education and a challenging test of 170 questions given in two three-hour sessions. The pass rate for this test generally runs between 60% and 65%.

Those who have earned this designation are trained across the broad range of areas most concerned with the finances of the public, such as investments, income taxes, insurance, education planning, retirement planning and estate planning.

The program for becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is even more rigorous, but unlike those who have earned the designation of CFP®, the CFA focuses primarily on in-depth analysis of investments rather than the wider scope of topics of interest to the public.

Then there are designations such as Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), which is earned by those seeking in-depth knowledge of the insurance needs of individuals. Although insurance and the concept of risk transference is a common need among individuals, it would be inappropriate to think insurance is the answer to all of the financial concerns most folks have.

There are many other designations, including some that are available online for a small fee. The bottom line, however, is most of the others are little more than meaningless alphabet soup following the advisor's name. Caveat emptor. (For more from this author, see: Finding the Right Financial Advisor is Important.)

2. Help for Fund Buyers
Sorting through the mountain of information about mutual funds is a daunting proposition, yet funds are essential components of most portfolios. So here are several suggestions that may smooth the process.

First, when considering mutual funds, make sure to insist on no-load funds, those with no sales charges. Regardless of the argument your advisor makes, do not buy a load fund. When doing so, you usually begin with a 5% loss. That makes no sense.

Second, whenever possible, buy an exchange-traded fund (ETF) instead of a mutual fund. Why? Because the expense ratios of ETFs are typically half that of mutual funds. When expense ratios are lower, returns are higher. It's as simple as that.

Third, whenever possible, buy mutual funds or ETFs on your broker/dealer's no-transaction-fee list. Most of the major houses have these lists, which means there are no commissions for funds or ETFs that are included. (For more from this author, see: Investors: Don't Let Fees Reduce Your Returns.)

Fourth, if you do choose to buy mutual funds, insist on those with the lowest expense ratios, typically 1.00% or under.

Finally, for equities you will usually be better served by funds that passively follow major indexes. Fixed-income funds that are actively managed, however, may be superior to those that are passive.

3. With Rare Exception, Annuities Should Be Avoided
Annuities are rarely the answer to the investor's dream, though they may well be bonanzas for the insurance folks who are selling them. The commissions are high, the details are complex and words like "guarantee" are often used to close the sale. Unfortunately, what sounds too good to be true usually is.

The two main kinds of annuities are fixed and variable. A fixed annuity requires an initial deposit of money in return for a guaranteed periodic payment over a specified period of time. It's intended to provide steady income in the future. If you live longer than the insurance company expects, you can end up ahead on the deal. If you don't, the insurance company wins. But in today's world of unusually low interest rates, it seems likely that only the most risk-averse people will travel this route.

A variable annuity is a different beast. It's a close cousin of a mutual fund portfolio that's sold primarily for its tax-deferral benefits. No taxes will be due until you make withdrawals, so you can move funds around from fund to fund within the universe of choices without tax constraints.

Most variable annuities are quite expensive. Some cost as much as 3% per year. In these days of low returns, that burden could wipe out half or more of whatever gains you have. One exception is the Monument Advisor variable annuity from Jefferson National. Its monthly cost is $20 and there are more than 350 investment options available. If you are out of other tax-deferred options, this one may be worth considering. (For related reading, see: Who Benefits from Retirement Annuities?)

4. Watch out for Petty Fees From Broker-Dealers
As transaction commissions have come down, some broker-dealers have come up with nickel-and-dime fees to help take up the slack. Some of the better-known houses charge extra for paper statements. Others charge for the privilege of speaking with their advisors. There are also fees you don't see, such as the 12b-1 fees, which in essence are sales reimbursements. When individuals buy bonds, typically in small quantities, the markups may be excessive. The list goes on.

The key is to arm yourself with information. Proceed with the understanding that becoming well-informed and asking the right questions will help you avoid the annoying and costly surprises that stand in the way of investment success.

(For more from this author, see: Bonds: A Look at the Returns and Risks of Investing.)

Read more: Avoid Costly Mistakes With These 4 Investing Rules | Investopedia
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By nategcfp 16 May, 2017
By Janet Fowler | Updated May 12, 2017 — 6:00 AM EDT

That first summer job is often a rite of passage for many teens. It's the signal that you're on your way to adulthood, and it's also a way to money to pay for activities, save for a car or put away cash for college. Some jobs will draw on skills you already have. Others may help you test out your ultimate career goals, especially jobs you get once you have a year or two of college under your belt. But you don't have to wait that long to start testing out the job market and even opening your first IRA. It's never too early to start considering the future.

This summer, there are fewer H-2B visas available for temporary foreign workers – and a tight domestic job market – both of which are putting a squeeze on resorts and other seasonal employers looking to staff up, according to the Wall Street Journal. That should be good news for American teens seeking summer jobs in 2017. Here's a list of opportunities to investigate.

SEE: Summer School or Summer Job? How to Decide

1. Camp Counselor
Are you interested in leadership? For teens who are natural leaders or educators, a summer job as a camp counselor is an ideal pick. This job will allow older teens to spend time outdoors, mentor younger kids and help them to develop new skills. A great perk of this job, aside from being paid to spend plenty of time outdoors, is developing loads of transferable skills that will be useful throughout life, such as leadership abilities, communication and conflict resolution skills. This job also requires teens to live away from home, which can help them to become more independent as they transition into adulthood.

2. Golf Caddy
Perfect for teens who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, caddying can be a great choice of summer job. This job does require an understanding of the game and some physical endurance, as there is a lot of walking involved as well as carrying a heavy bag of golf clubs. However, the pay isn't bad considering that you can expect to earn anywhere between $50 and $100 for about four hours of work. More generous golfers may also reward their caddies with a tip.

SEE: 6 Tips For Finding A Summer Job

3. Retail Salesperson
Perhaps one of the more diverse job options for teens, retail sales offers a great deal of opportunity for teens that are looking for work. This type of work can pay anywhere in the range of $11 to $13 an hour depending upon the duties involved. Inventory, stocking shelves, product demonstrations, handing out samples in grocery stores, customer service or operating a cash register are all options when it comes to retail sales. If you find yourself working somewhere like a bike shop, it could also draw on your mechanical skills. This type of work can be great for teens who are particularly sociable, as they will often have to interact with the public in addition to working as a part of a team.

4. Food Service Worker
Here's an opportunity to develop social skills while earning an income. A job in the food service industry is another natural fit for teens who enjoy interacting with the public. This job allows employees to work as a part of a team while learning about following instructions and conflict resolution. This job also comes with an opportunity for high earnings since food service jobs usually come with an hourly wage of about $9 or $10 per hour. Many restaurants also allow their staff to earn tips. Keep in mind that food service jobs are not limited to wait staff. There are also jobs available as hosts or hostesses, busboys or busgirls, and cooks. Regardless of the position, the team needs to function properly in order to keep the business moving, so teens will learn valuable life skills in this type of job.

5. Intern
Internships give teens a chance to try on a potential career choice. They also provide an early chance to gain industry experience that will look great on a resume and even provide the first links in a future job network. Because many of these positions are unpaid, applicants may need to show that they will gain school credit for taking the job – one reason they are generally limited to college students. But it's worth checking with a high school guidance counselor to try to locate internships that accept younger teens. Being bold and approaching the target companies directly is another way to attempt to gain an internship.

6. Lifeguard
A great choice for teens who are strong swimmers, lifeguarding is a challenging position that comes with significant responsibility. Completion of certification courses is required to be a lifeguard – and you typically need to be over the age of 15 – so pre-planning will definitely be required if this type of job appeals. This job requires a high level of maturity and professionalism, but it is a rewarding job that can help teens to develop their decision-making skills and confidence while earning somewhere between $9 and $10 dollars per hour.

7. Nanny
Teens with a nurturing spirit who enjoy children could consider taking on a summer job as a nanny or babysitter, a position that is in high demand during the summer months when working parents need to secure childcare for their young children. This job requires someone who is highly responsible and can resolve conflicts. Though this job pays reasonably well, generally in the range of $10 to $15 dollars hourly, it can require a great deal of patience. This is a great choice for teens who wish to pursue a career in teaching, childcare, social work or any other field that makes use of social skills or requires interaction with kids. Working for some families, you could find yourself spending weeks in a beach town or other resort setting.

8. Housekeeper
Though teenagers may be often viewed as having a difficult time keeping their bedrooms clean, there are some teens that do well in the housekeeping field. This type of work can bring in about $10 an hour and will allow teens to learn responsibility and develop their organizational skills. This job is also in demand in a variety of industries and settings. The summer sees an upswing in the tourism industry, so hotels are often looking for dependable housekeeping staff, and malls and parks often need people to assist with keeping public areas clean and organized.

9. Gardener
Whether you join a landscaping business, or set out to offer your landscaping or lawn care services yourself, this seasonal job is a great choice for teens who love to spend time outdoors. Since many people don't have time to care for their lawns, this job is often in high demand through the summer months and can extend into the fall. Teens who aren't afraid to get dirty can cash in on this demand. Along with cash, you'll stay in great shape physically.

SEE: Can't Get A Summer Job? Be Your Own Boss!

10. Tutor
Teens who are academically inclined or aspire to work as a teacher might enjoy spending their summer months tutoring. Kids in summer school often need the extra help, and this presents a real opportunity for teens who are particularly talented in certain subject areas. Teens who opt to take on a job as a tutor can earn about $15 an hour when they first start out, though this rate can increase depending upon their skills and experience.

11. Computer Guru
Technology is transforming the way we do virtually everything and one of the side effects is a career opportunity for tech-savvy teens. Depending on your level of expertise, you may be able to find work as an online programmer or coder, a freelance website developer, an app developer or a theme creator. Other possibilities include launching your own computer repair business or creating a web-based tutorial showcasing what you know via a platform like Skillshare. For example, you may be able to help small businesses in your area set up websites or social media programs, or help older adults master the computer or learn social media skills.

12. Freelance Writer
If you get straight As in English class, a freelance writing career may be your calling for the summer, and potentially beyond. Teens who have a PayPal account can join OneSpace, an online platform that offers daily payments for approved writing assignments. You'll need to be 18 to create an account. Once you've gotten a few clips under your belt, you can look for websites that accept freelance submissions, such as Rookie. If you're feeling even more ambitious, you could launch a blog and try to monetize it with advertisements, or write and sell your own ebook.

13. Plant-/Pet-sitter
Summertime is when many people head out on vacation but if you'll be staying close to home, you could earn some spare change by acting as a plant- or pet-sitter. Determine whether to set your rates by the hour or by the job and discuss what you'll be responsible for while your charge's owners are away. Consider drawing up a contract outlining what you will and won't do so you and your clients know exactly what to expect before you take over plant or pet duty.

14. eBay Seller
If you've got some unused items lying around and you're at least 18, you can set up your own storefront on eBay. Firtst, you choose between the Buy It Now or Auction format,. Then you upload pictures of your items from your smartphone, add a description and, voilà, you're up and running. Just remember that eBay does charge its sellers a fee for listing and selling items on the site. You'll also have to decide whether to offer free shipping for the items you sell or pass those costs on to your buyers.

15. Movie Theater Worker
Teens who love the movies may find the air-conditioned atmosphere of their local theater appealing when the summer weather sends the temperatures shooting up. You can man the concession booth, be a ticket-taker or clean up after moviegoers. You'll earn a steady paycheck and as an added perk, you may be able to snag an employee discount to see all the summer blockbusters.

The Bottom Line
Finding the perfect summer job requires planning. Examine the opportunities that are readily available to you and also consider what you hope to get out of the position. Working as a gardener or landscaper isn't much fun if you hate getting dirty, while being a nanny won't bring much joy if you don't like kids. Keep in mind that many summer jobs provide workers transferable skills that come in handy later on in your career. That's just one of the reasons why it's wise to start building up your resume while you're still in school. Earning some extra spending cash never hurt anyone either.

Read more: 10 Great Summer Jobs For Teens
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By nategcfp 16 May, 2017
Andrew Cashman, JD, LLM Taxation May 12, 2017

There are many benefits of utilizing tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Most notably, they allow your contributions to grow on a tax-deferred (traditional) or tax-exempt (Roth) basis and the accounts provide significant asset protection from creditors. What’s more, the tax benefits can be significantly increased by naming proper beneficiaries for the accounts. This article will help you make an informative beneficiary-designation decision.

What Happens to My IRA, 401(k), etc. After I Die?
For many Americans, their retirement accounts are their biggest asset other than their home. Retirement accounts require account owners to name beneficiaries of the accounts which supersede your will and other estate planning documents. Unfortunately, the retirement account beneficiary designation decision is typically made very quickly when completing questionnaires required to open the account. Not only is the initial decision made hastily, but people often never revisit the designation as life changes. This lack of care can be a very costly mistake. (For related reading, see: Mistakes in Designating a Retirement Beneficiary.)

Naming Beneficiaries of Retirement Accounts
The options for naming a beneficiary of a retirement account generally fall into five categories:

a spouse, if married
children, grandchildren or non-family members
your estate
a trust
The option you choose will have significant consequences on your estate and your heirs. Below is a summary of the pros and cons of each option:

1. Spouse as Beneficiary
Many married people name their spouse as beneficiary to provide for the spouse after the owner’s death. Although this is very practical and oftentimes the best decision, you should consider naming other beneficiaries if your spouse has sufficient other resources to use after your death. A significant benefit to naming your spouse is that he or she is not required to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) unless and until he or she reaches age 70.5. Another is that your spouse could name grandchildren or great-grandchildren as beneficiaries who may not be alive at your death, which will benefit them and could stretch the tax benefits for much longer than would have been possible at the time of your death. On the other hand, your spouse takes complete control of the account after your death—he can withdraw the money completely or name beneficiaries of his choosing. Either such decision may impede the tax, estate and other planning you completed prior to your death.

2. Someone Other Than Spouse as Beneficiary
Spouses have the option to combine an inherited IRA with their own IRA and can delay RMDs if they are not yet age 70.5 at the time of the owner’s death. Everyone else:

must keep an inherited IRA separate from their own retirement accounts;
cannot make additional contributions to the inherited IRA; and
must begin RMDs in the year following the owner’s death or agree to withdraw the entire account within five years of the original owner’s death.
The most common reasons to name a child, grandchild or non-family member as beneficiary are because the account owner has no spouse, does not want to name that spouse as beneficiary for some reason, or for estate planning purposes. (For related reading, see: Designating a Minor as an IRA Beneficiary.)

Naming a non-spouse as beneficiary may increase tax benefits because the retirement account can continue to grow tax-free (Roth) or tax-deferred (traditional) for the life of the beneficiary. This is a powerful estate planning tool and could significantly increase the benefit to the child or grandchild as the RMDs will be based on their life expectancy. The downside is that the original owner has no control of the account after he dies. Not only can the beneficiary use the money immediately in whatever way she chooses, but the account may also be exposed to the beneficiary’s creditors.

3. Distribute Funds Directly to Charity
The tax on distributions from traditional (non-Roth) retirement accounts can be avoided by distributing the funds directly to charity. Therefore, persons wanting to give to charity at death should consider naming a charity as one of the beneficiaries of their retirement account. The charity’s portion of the account must be distributed prior to September 30 of the year following the owner’s death to reserve stretching options for other designated beneficiaries. (For related reading, see: Gifting Your Retirement Assets to Charity.)

4. Distribute Funds According to Estate Plan
People with detailed estate plans may want to name their estate as beneficiary so that the funds in the retirement account are distributed pursuant to the estate plan. Proceed with caution, however, as this may increase probate costs, remove the stretching options mentioned above and increase taxes. In this case the retirement account must be distributed in full within five years if the owner died before her RMD start date or over the plan owner’s remaining life expectancy if she died on or after her RMD start date. The estate must remain open while the funds are distributed. Because of this, only people with very complicated distribution schedules in their wills should consider naming their estate as beneficiary.

5. Protect Funds in a Trust
You cannot put a retirement account into a trust during your lifetime, but you can name a trust as beneficiary of the account. Trusts are a great option if you have concern as to how your beneficiaries will use the money after your death. If you name a trust as beneficiary, the IRS will treat the beneficiaries of the trust as the designated beneficiaries for purposes of determining RMDs if: (a) the trust is valid under state law; (b) the trust is irrevocable at or before the owner’s death; (c) the beneficiaries of the trust are identifiable from the trust document; and (d) the trustee meets the account custodian’s requirements. If these requirements are met, the life expectancy of the oldest trust beneficiary will be used to determine RMDs. If the requirements are not met, the account is considered to have no designated beneficiary and the estate rules above apply. The same asset protection and spendthrift clauses used in other trusts can be used in an IRA trust, making trusts the best option for many retirement account owners.

(For more from this author, see: The Pros and Cons of Your Retirement Account Options.)

Read more: Who Should Be Your Retirement Account Beneficiary? | Investopedia
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By nategcfp 03 May, 2017
The White House recently announced its tax reform plan — a broad outline of policies, with details expected
to be worked out as discussions with Congress progress.1 The administration's tax reform proposals
include a reduction in the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. The announcement seemed to indicate
that the 15% rate would also apply to business income that is reported on individual income tax returns; for
example, income that passes through to individuals from entities like partnerships, S corporations, and
limited liability companies.

In order to help pay for business tax cuts, both Congress and the administration have proposed changes to
how U.S. corporate taxes reach beyond the national border. This is likely to be a focus of future

Taxing Worldwide Profits

Under existing corporate tax rules, when U.S. companies sell goods outside the United States, they are
generally taxed on profits returned to the United States, with a credit for foreign taxes paid. When
companies sell imported goods in the United States, they can deduct the cost of goods when calculating
income tax. This system has contributed to some companies moving production overseas, as well as
leading some multinational companies to keep profits overseas and/or execute "inversions" to establish
corporate headquarters in more tax-friendly countries.

Border Adjustment or Territorial Tax

In a 2016 tax reform "blueprint" released by House Republicans, companies — foreign and domestic — would
be taxed on all goods sold in the United States and would not be able to deduct the cost of imported goods.
(Companies that buy or manufacture in the United States would still be able to deduct the associated cost
of goods.) Goods sold outside the United States would not be subject to U.S. taxes.2 The distinction
between goods sold inside or outside the country is one reason that this tax structure is considered "border
As an alternative to the border adjustment tax, the tax reform plan announced by the administration
indicates that the lower 15% corporate rate would be implemented as part of a new "territorial tax system,"
explaining that U.S. companies would pay tax only on income related to the United States and would no
longer be subject to tax on worldwide income. In addition, a one-time tax (rate to be defined) would apply to
overseas dollars repatriated to the United States.3 Based on the announcement, it's unclear how this
system would differ from the border adjustment tax.

1, 3 Briefing by Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce, and Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council,
April 26, 2017,
2, June 24, 2016

Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
By nategcfp 01 May, 2017
James Brewer, CFP®, CFPC®, AIF® - May 1, 2017

An investment policy statement may be better named an emotional policy statement. However, most finance types don’t want investing to be seen as touchy feely. Finance and economics have historically been considered logical disciplines. But times have changed and there’s a new branch of economics called behavioral finance.

I find that at the beginning of an investment voyage many people are focused on investment returns. In fact most financial professionals like to tell you about the previous history of the investments they are recommending. However, many financial professionals omit the conversation about what the ride was like along the way to achieve the returns.

What Is an Investment Policy Statement?
Simply stated, an investment policy statement guides the question of what you should invest in and when should you get out: “Should I stay or should I go?” There are those that simply get out when the market turns down or their specific investment has a lower return than they hoped. Sometimes it is simply seeking the greener pastures of an investment you heard about from a friend or a financial pundit. Investment policy statements typically are associated with large institutional investing. I say, if investment policy statements are good for them why not for you? (For related reading, see: Profit With Investment Policy Statements.)

Think of an investment policy statement as guidance for the decisions made about your portfolio. You may liken this to having a boutique store.

What should the store sell? Should it sell hats or hardware?
If it sells hardware, what kind of hardware should it sell?
Should it provide high service with fewer items or lower service with many items?
From a Life Values Perspective
Are you bothered by investments in fossil fuels?
Can’t stand the idea of supporting human trafficking, abortion or tobacco?
Your investment policy statement determines what investments you will tolerate. This requires working with an investment advisor who understands environmental, social and governance investing and is not limited in the investments they can bring to the table. Your investment policy statement should incorporate your values. (For more from this author, see: Are Your Financial Goals Values-Based?)

From an Investment Perspective
What is the purpose of the money being invested?
How much money needs to be accumulated?
When is the money needed?
Might there be some cash needs along the way?
Are there any types of investments that should be avoided such as tobacco and abortion?
Are there preferred types of investments such as sustainable?
Are you concerned about international investing or small companies you’ve never heard of?
There may be areas where you don’t have concern. However is it wise to give your financial professional carte blanche to invest in anything? What risk tolerance are you comfortable with regarding this money? While you may have an aggressive risk tolerance, if you need the money in a short time, it may not be wise to be aggressive by being in all stocks. (For related reading, see: Investing Within Your Risk Tolerance Zone.)

Investment Policy Statement as Emotional Policy Statement
Long-term investing will likely be turbulent. How can you try to not have it be so nerve-wracking? Investment policy statements help address what the expected ride is likely to be. Some grouping of investments (asset classes) historically have had different risk return patterns. While bonds have typically been seen as more safe than investing in stocks, they often come with lower return. Depending on your goal and time frame, you may have to save more. If that is not possible, your goal may require adding assets with more risk to increase the expected return. Even that has its limits.

Do You Need an Investment Policy Statement?
Does this sound like you?

“People want an allocation strategy with a pattern of historical returns. An investment advisor should choose an allocation strategy for a client that:

Has an attractive pattern of returns based on the strategy’s longevity and historical risk and return results throughout the life of the strategy;
Has downside risk that will allow the client to stay with the strategy at all times; and
Has a strong possibility to repeat the attractive pattern of returns in the future.”1
If so, an investment policy statement can help you and your advisor steer your investment journey. A journey that is likely to have some turbulence. The investment policy statement will help act as the “emergency preparedness” plan, to keep you calm when the emergency occurs. The statement will help you stay the course.

(For more from this author, see: Does Mixing Faith and Finance Work in Investing?)

1. Chuck Self, iSectors Chief Investment Officer, public comments

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Read more: Stay the Course With an Investment Policy Statement | Investopedia
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By nategcfp 01 May, 2017

Kathryn Vasel - CNNMoney

If you're thinking of starting a family, you might be in for some sticker shock: Raising a child could cost you nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

A middle-income, married couple with two children is estimated to spend $233,610 to raise a child born in 2015, according to a report released by the Department of Agriculture Monday. And that number only covers costs from birth through age 17 -- so it doesn't include college expenses.

Families can expect to spend between $12,350 and nearly $14,000 a year, on average, to raise a child.

Housing was the biggest expense for middle-income families, taking up an average of 29% of the total cost of raising a child ,driven mostly by the cost of an extra bedroom.

Food is the second biggest budget eater.

Another big expense is child care, which costs parents an average of $37,378 per child, according to the government.

Despite the endless cycle of diapers, children tend to be less expensive in their younger years. While child care and education expenses are higher for children under six, those expenses often dissipate as kids get older and enter school full time. Transportation, food, health care and clothing costs all rise as children age.

For example, parents with teenagers can expect to fork over the most money on food. The annual average cost to feed a 15-17-year-old came in at $2,790 in 2015, 22% more than the cost to feed a child between the ages of 6 and 8.

Transportation costs can also weigh heavily on a family's budget, but they dropped 7% from 2014 to 2015 thanks to lower gas prices.

Costs vary by family income level and location .Lower-income families are estimated to spend an average of $174,690, while high-income households will pay around $372,210 over the years.

By region, families in the urban Northeast face the highest child-rearing tab with an average of $253,770, followed by the urban West at $235,140. Those living in rural areas throughout the country pay the least, at an average of $193,020, according to the government.

Parents in the urban Northeast also spend the most on housing and child care and education.

Siblings can reduce some budgetary pressure. Married-couple households that had three or more children spent 24% less on average per child compared to those with two kids.

"There are significant economies of scale, with regards to children, sometimes referred to as the 'cheaper by the dozen effect,'" said Mark Lino, author of the report and economist at the Department of Agriculture, in a press release. "As families increase in size, children may share a bedroom, clothing and toys can be reused, and food can be purchased in larger, more economical packages."

The good news is that growth in child-rearing costs slowed a bit. Costs rose 3% -- or $380 -- in 2015 from the year before, short of the 4.3% average since 1960.

CNNMoney (New York) First published January 9, 2017: 11:01 AM ET

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