What Happened to My Social Security COLA?

The Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) increased 2% for 2018. However, some recepients will be surprised to find that this COLA was actually offset by higher Medicare Part B premiums, which are deducted directly from benefit payments. Higher income retirees can see their Part B premiums increase due to a surcharge known as Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. Depending on one's income, the Medicare B surcharge may exceed the COLA.

We review our clients tax returns and potential tax changes each year for these type of traps and to help you keep more of your money.

Five Financial Mistakes to Avoid in 2018

Have you resolved to get your financial house in order in 2018? Here are five financial mistakes to avoid in the new year.

  1. Roth or not? The new tax laws make Roth IRAs and 401ks more appealing. Make sure you take advantage!
  2. Let it run? The equity markets were good to most investors in 2017. However, don't overlook the importance of rebalancing your portfolio.
  3. Are you taking unnecessary risk? Most investors view bonds as the "safe" part of their portfolio. Make sure you understand the risk in your bond investments.
  4. What's your number? How much do you need to save for a secure retirement? If you don't know, now is the time to find out.
  5. Who gets it when your gone? Nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will. Others wrongly assume their will determines who will get their IRA and 401k accounts. Make sure your legacy goes to those for who you intend it.

A Summary of the New Tax Bill

President Trump is expected to sign the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 later this week. We've prepared an overview of key provisions of the bill.


Financial Book Recommendations for the 2017 Holidays

So many books, so little time! Here's a list of books to help the special someone in your life with their financial literacy.

Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth by Nick Murray

The Investment Answer by Dan Goldie and Gordon Murray

Make Your Kid a Money Genius by Beth Kobliner

The One Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards

Holiday Gift Guide


Working on One's Craft

One of the benefits of working with Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) is the firm's commitment to upping their game. That ethos flows to their community of advisors as well. Yesterday I traveled to Charlotte along with 80 plus other financial advisors for a DFA sponsored workshop. The workshop had nothing whatsoever to do with investments. It was solely focused on improving communication with clients, with a variety of experts sharing research and ideas to help me improve my game, and by extension, the work I do on behalf of clients.

One of the similarities I love between the advisory profession and athletics is the constant of improving your game, never being satisfied with where you are, a constant striving to #getbetter (as a coaching ...

Our Most Recent Column in Kiplinger

Do you find the process of buying and servicing your car daunting and intimidating? You are not alone. Read our most recent column in Kiplinger.

Can You Relate?

Being able to empathize with clients is paramount in the wealth management business. Knowing the depth of a client’s concern helps an advisor internalize the importance of a particular financial goal. Financial security to someone with a $1 million net worth is far different than financial security for someone with a $15 million net worth.This fact hit home with me several years ago with one of my colleagues at a previous firm, who I’ll call Will. Will’s multi-generational family business had been very successful. They’d long ago sold the company (long before Will graduated from college) and Will’s inherited net worth was in the tens of millions of dollars. Will wasn’t dependent on his advisory positio...