Latest Posts

529 Plans

by Ray Sagner on May 24, 2018

Started in 1996, 529 plans provide tax incentives for those saving for post-secondary education. The plan allows funds saved to be used at any eligible education institution, which typically includes colleges, universities, vocational schools or any post-secondary educational institute that is currently eligible to participate in U.S. Department of Education student aid programs. Operating much like at 401(k) or IRA, funds deposited into a 529 plan are not taxed, either by the federal government or the state in which the participant resides.

A Summary of 2018 Tax Changes

by Ray Sagner on May 17, 2018

The Trump administration’s new tax reform bill was signed into law in December of 2017, representing the first major tax change in over 30 years. The changes are significant and are likely to affect nearly everyone in some measure; some positively, while others may find themselves with a higher tax bill in 2018. All of the changes represented in the new tax bill will be in effect through 2025.

A Quick Guide to Planned Giving

by Ray Sagner on May 3, 2018

Almost any large nonprofit organization has a planned giving department that will guide you through the maze of giving options available. While planned giving can be very beneficial – and profitable for organizations, it’s also an effective way for you to realize significant tax benefits, have income provided, and be assured that the organization or charity that you’ve supported for years will continue to be provided for in the future.

Know Your Credit Score

by Ray Sagner on Apr 26, 2018

Credit Management in the 21st Century

In today’s world, good credit is a necessity. Today, our credit score affects much more than our ability to buy a house or finance a car. Our credit score can also affect our insurance premium, our ability to rent an apartment, and even our ability to get a job.

Retirement

by Ray Sagner on Apr 19, 2018

It’s never too early or too late to start planning for retirement. However, in the U.S., when it comes to retirement savings, later seems to be the standard. According to RothIRA.com, only 56% of today’s workers in the U.S. are currently saving money for their retirement, and 38% of those currently saving have less than $10,000 saved. With one-third of Americans admitting that they have no retirement savings at all, it’s clear that many U.S. workers will reach retirement age with little to no resources to count on.

How Costly Gaps in Disability Insurance Coverage Can Be Avoided

by Ray Sagner on Apr 12, 2018

A big mistake many professionals make with disability insurance coverage is that they take what is offered, and then buy and forget it. If they purchased it from one of the top insurers for disability insurance, they have probably been assured that they have the best possible protection with an “own occupation” definition of disability. If they work with a good agent, they’ve probably chosen a benefit amount sufficient to meet their personal income needs, and an elimination period that matches their ability to cover a short-term disability.

Six Questions about Buying Mortgage Life Insurance

by Ray Sagner on Apr 5, 2018

You’ve worked hard and after five years of disciplined savings, you’ve been approved for a 20 year $200,000 mortgage. It’s an exciting time and amongst the financial decisions ahead of you is determining if you should buy the bank-sponsored mortgage life insurance policy recommended by the loan officer.

Bank mortgage life insurance is not required but you both agree that if either of you dies, you want the survivor to receive a life insurance benefit so he/she can pay off the mortgage. 

How Your Social Security Survivorship Benefit Affects Your Life Insurance Needs

by Ray Sagner on Mar 22, 2018

Generally speaking, conversations about life insurance revolve around whether you should buy term or permanent insurance. However, every decision to buy life insurance begins with deciding what is the right amount of life insurance. And, integral to determining the right amount of life insurance is understanding the role of your Social Security Survivorship Benefit (SSSB).