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Donor-Advised Funds

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Donor-Advised Funds
In conjunction with our tax advisors at DHG, we have helped many clients over the years fulfill their goals for charitable giving while enjoying a reduction in their tax obligation during the calendar year of the donation.  A Donor-Advised Fund is one way to accomplish that goal.  It works particularly well during a year of a significant positive change in circumstances; such as an unexpected bonus or a large deferred compensation payment.  For example, an individual may make a regular donation to a specific charity each year.  In the year of a significant bonus, they may choose to fund 5-10 years of charitable intent at once, by making a deposit to a Donor-Advised Fund.  It allows an individual to take a deduction for the whole amount contributed; but doesn’t require the donor to distribute the funds to charity right away.  Instead, they’ve created a “charitable checkbook” allowing for the funds to be paid out to qualifie...
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Tax Reform

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Tax Reform
Congress recently passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts in late December with most provisions being effective for tax year 2018. Our DHG Tax Advisory professionals have been following the legislative process and have recently outlined the most relevant provisions for individual taxpayers in the attached document below. In addition to these changes primarily affecting deductible items and tax rates, the estate tax threshold has almost doubled to $11.2 million for individuals and $22.3 million for married couples.Tax law remains a complex set of rules that affects all of us differently, thus requiring attention to your individual situation. As a firm focused on providing comprehensive financial planning advice, we are uniquely qualified to assist in this evaluation, alongside our DHG Tax Advisory professionals.We welcome a conversation in 2018 regarding these changes and how they may affect you.DHG Tax Advisory: How You Could Be Affected by Tax Reform DHG Tax Advisory Website (Save...
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Stretch IRAs

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An IRA in and of itself provides for the significant benefit of tax-deferred growth during the owner's lifetime.  The funds in the IRA are only taxed when they are removed.   They can be removed and used without penalty beginning the year the owner turns 59½.  Later on, during the year that the owner turns 70½, the IRS requires withdrawal of a Required Minimum Distribution.  For most participants, this first distribution is equal to 3.65% of the IRA’s value, with the percentage distribution required to be distributed by the IRS rising as they age.What many individuals don’t realize is that the benefits of tax-deferred growth can extend to an individuals’ heirs through a Stretch IRA (more formally called an Inherited IRA).  The IRA can become a Stretch IRA without significant effort on your part; it’s part of the tax law.   Upon death, the  specifically named heirs will inherit the IRA as an Inhe...
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Letter From the Chairman

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As a client or professional partner of DHG Wealth Advisors you’ve been part of a wealth management experience focused on your goals and objectives, not one focused on products.   As a part of implementing an appropriate solution for our clients based on their needs, risk tolerance, and feedback; our Investment Policy Committee seeks out investment solutions that have stood the test of time.   A long standing part of our client portfolios has been Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA).   We’ve attached this year’s “Letter From The Chairman”, penned by DFA Chairman David Booth for your review.The article outlines how DFA’s long term investment success has been built on a philosophy which takes advantage of academically proven risks and remains committed to them during cycles that have not been favorable.   These are similar to the tenants of long-term individual investing success; selecting an investment strategy that ...
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The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, commonly referred to as ERISA, sets standards of conduct for those who manage an employee benefit plan and its assets. Such a person or entity performing many of the duties required in operating and managing a plan is known as a fiduciary.
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The Seven Roles of an Advisor

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June 15, 2015Many investors initially seek out a financial advisor in hopes that they will have some secret knowledge of future economic events or superior research that will help them beat the market. In fact, the first question we are often asked is “What do you think the market is going to do this year?” But market predictions and forecasts (even if they are occasionally accurate) do not equal a good financial advisor, and “Fortune Teller” is a hat we never wear. Instead, we believe our job is more aligned with the roles of an advisor as outlined in the article below. At the end of the day, it is our responsibility to educate our clients, offer objective advice to help them achieve their goals, and hold their hands through market turmoil, all things which are built on a foundation of trust. We hope you will take a few minutes to read this article as a reminder of the true purpose of a financial advisor. 
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Are You Covered?

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April 16, 2015We are pleased to let you know that Maria Tobin CLU, ChFC, LUTCF has joined W. Talbot Carter, CLU, ChFC and the DHG Agency team in an effort to provide more comprehensive service to our clients. Maria and Talbot have extensive experience and can assist you or a family member in reviewing or considering the following:Life Insurance Solutions Term and permanent coverage for families, estate planning and business applications like funding buy/sell agreements, key person policies and deferred compensationLong Term Care Solutions including single premium hybrid policies that eliminate the “What if I don’t use it?” concern and traditional LTC policiesDisability Income ReplacementAnnuity Contract ReviewsBecause circumstances and needs can change over time, it’s always prudent to review your policies and to make sure that they are performing as intended and providing the correct solution.Please let us know if you have an interest in meeting with Maria or Talbot. Their service...
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Remember The Lost Decade?

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February 05, 2015Remember The Lost Decade? It wasn’t that long ago that investing money in an S&P 500 index fund would have yielded a negative rate of return. Specifically, between January 2000 and December 2009 the S&P 500 had a total return of (9.1%), hence The Lost Decade label for that 10-year period.As financial advisors, we don’t think in 10-year increments. We don’t even think in 20-year increments. We think long term, big picture so what happens in any rolling 10-year period doesn’t shake or change our fundamental beliefs.We remind you of The Lost Decade because over the last few years, the S&P 500 has done well. Really well. And when that’s the primary index reported in the U.S. financial media, and you are repeatedly bombarded with its outperformance, it’s hard to ignore. So we’d like to go back to basics and remind you of a few key things:1. Different asset classes are in favor at different times and it’s impossible to predict when a specific asset class ...
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November 25, 2014Recently, I overheard a friend of mine having a phone conversation. He said, “I heard Schwab is rolling out their version of a Robo-Advisor….yeah and it’s gonna be free if you have $50 thousand with them.”Once I got over my feelings about the prospect that my career was going to be taken over by robots, I got to thinking. “How will advisors like myself compete with the proliferation of online robo advisors? How can I add enough value for my clients over online services to justify them keeping me around?” Thankfully, noted financial planning author/speaker Michael Kitces has already written a thorough explanation of how financial advisors must change to coexist with “robo advisors." Kitces notes that robo-advisors like Wealthfront, Betterment and FutureAdvisor can effectively replace “commoditized” functions of investment management such as: utilizing low-cost, tax efficient investment vehicles, setting up an “optimal” asset allocation, auto-rebalancing and t...
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Passing the Stress Test

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November 04, 2014The headline jumped from the TV screen, “After Record Highs, the Fall is Here.” Being the good investment advisor that I am, I of course stopped to see what had triggered the latest round of market selling only to learn that it was a weather report! What if this had been a stock market report instead? Just how should we react upon hearing of volatile stock market moves? Think carefully now, because your answer likely will determine not only your portfolio returns but your very ability to enjoy your retirement years.European banks underwent a Stress Test in October to determine the soundness of their financial system. Perhaps we as investors could look upon the Stock Market Pullback of September as a Stress Test of sorts to assess the soundness of our own personal financial system. After crossing 2,000 for the first time in history, the S&P500 Index reached a closing high of 2,011.36 on September 18, 2014. Less than one month later, we had dropped almost 7.50% to ...
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