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Best Planning Ideas 2021

Since March 2020, when the world learned just how dangerous the COVID-19 virus could be, we have all been mostly in reactive mode. Offices and schools were closed so we learned to work from home while the kids learned remotely. The markets plummeted so we harvested tax losses and rebalanced portfolios. Tax deadlines changed and stimulus bills were passed, so we sorted through pages of new legislation to help our clients navigate the new rules. With significant potential changes looming in the tax and estate planning areas, now is the time to shift back into proactive mode. We might not know exactly what changes will be implemented, but it is critical to start thinking about how the proposals might impact you and what you will want to do to prepare.

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Climbing a 14er

We had the opportunity to spend a week in the Colorado Rockies earlier this month with our oldest daughter, Michelle, and her family. Being an avid hiker, she thought it would be “fun” to climb one of the 58 peaks in Colorado that rise above 14,000 feet, which hikers refer to as a “14er”. I’m always up for a challenge so I agreed to join her...

Secure Act 2.0

While the focus in Washington right now is on infrastructure and the American Families plan, there is another piece of legislation that has drawn much less attention, but which has significant bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House and is being dubbed the SECURE Act 2.0.

Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

Recently, there were changes made to the child tax credit that will benefit many taxpayers. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act that was enacted in March 2021, the child tax credit amount has increased for certain taxpayers; is fully refundable (meaning you can receive it even if you don’t owe the IRS); and may be partially received in monthly payments. The new law also raised the age of qualifying children to 17 from 16, meaning some families will be able to take advantage of the credit longer. The IRS will pay half the credit in the form of advance monthly payments beginning July 15. Taxpayers will then claim the other half when they file their 2021 income tax return.

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2021 Q2 Market Commentary: Riding The Wave

Summer is here and as we look back over the past year in the investment markets it might feel as though we’ve been on the ocean riding a neverending wave. Let's review the markets and see what we can learn about finance from a surf lesson!

The Psychology of Money

I’ve been a fan of Morgan Housel’s writing for years and frequently share his blog posts in our monthly newsletter. In my opinion, he has joined Jason Zweig as an absolute must-read for all investors. So when his new book, The Psychology of Money, came out last fall, I couldn’t wait to read it. While it’s a book about money, it won’t bore you with details about stocks and bonds or insurance and taxes. Instead, Morgan focuses on what drives our behavior around money and how you should think about money to have a successful financial life. As he puts it, “The premise of this book is that doing well with money has a little to do with how smart you are and a lot to do with how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people.”