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Margins Within a Financial Plan

A commonly known quote says that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  In the course of financial planning, I do my best to help people financially …

Is It Wise to Trade Your Pension for a Lump Sum?

Most private employers have already replaced traditional pensions, which promise lifetime income payments in retirement, with defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s. But 15% of private-sector workers and 75% of …

More Than a Financial Advisor

If you’ve read my past articles, you know that I’ve focused on financial education.  Not surprising, since I’m a financial planner, right here in Bloomington-Normal.  I believe smart money decisions …

Nearing Retirement? Time to Get Focused

If you’re within 10 years of retirement, you’ve probably spent some time thinking about this major life change. The transition to retirement can seem a bit daunting, even overwhelming. If …

Six Potential 401(k) Rollover Pitfalls

You’re about to receive a distribution from your 401(k) plan, and you’re considering a rollover to a traditional IRA. While these transactions are normally straightforward and trouble free, there are …

Where’s My Refund?

Once you have filed your Tax Return, you may be wondering the status of your Refund! The IRS has an easy tool you can access from their website or download …

Is a Gift Taxable?

I just made a gift. Do I have to file a gift tax return? I am asked this question a lot.  For most people, the answer will be no due …

What is the Roth 401(k) five-year rule?

The Roth 401(k) five-year rule determines when you can begin receiving tax-free qualified distributions from your 401(k) plan Roth account. While it’s similar to the five-year rule that applies to …

Is your retirement savings at risk?

As life expectancies increase, longevity risk–the risk of outliving retirement savings–is a concern for a growing number of people. In response, recent federal regulations created qualified longevity annuity contracts (QLACs), …

Reviewing Your Finances Mid-Year

You made it through tax season and now you’re looking forward to your summer vacation. But before you go, take some time to review your finances. Mid-year is an ideal …

Retirement Withdrawal Rates

During your working years, you’ve probably set aside funds in retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and other workplace savings plans, as well as in taxable accounts. Your challenge during …