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How Much Do I Need to Retire?

Most people plan to leave the workforce at some point in their life.  While some have a desire to maintain a sense of purpose by working well into their seventies, we more often find ourselves helping people plan for an earlier departure. Achieving financial freedom, or the ability to work because one wants to and not because one needs to, takes time and thoughtful retirement planning.  Read more

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What Does Your Retirement Look Like?

Published by Jake Bleicher

When I think of retirement, I think of spending a month traveling throughout Asia tasting exotic cuisines. I want to go fishing in Alaska with my buddies and send my grandchildren to college. I want to surprise underprivileged children with presents on Christmas, donate to cancer research and leave an inheritance to my children. More than anything, I want the freedom to do what I want to do. I want to enjoy retirement. It is a goal I am working diligently towards. Read more

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Know The Risks

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

While I’m an optimist at heart, I don’t wear rose-colored glasses. I recognize that there are risks that must be addressed in financial planning, specifically:

  • Inflation risk – Inflation has always been, and always will be, the number one threat to a successful retirement. And the only proven way to combat this risk is to have a healthy dose of stocks in your portfolio to provide the potential for longer-term growth needed to outpace inflation.

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Seven Sins of Divorce

Published by Mark Petersen

Divorce is one of the most emotional experiences people may contend with in their lives. With the exception of Ross Geller on Friends, most people may only experience divorce once or twice in their lifetime. With limited exposure to the process, it may be easy to get caught up in the moment and fall victim to one or more of the seven sins of divorce. Read more

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Unabashed Optimism

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

It seems sometimes that we go out of our way to find things to worry about. Whenever I hear talk about how bad things have become, I understand that, yes, some people are hurting and need our help, but the vast majority of Americans wake up each day with a roof over our heads, clean water and more than enough to eat. Read more

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It’s Never Different This Time

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

Most of us remember exactly where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. That horrific day not only changed the lives of thousands of families in New York; it also set our country on a complicated path the outcomes and implications of which are still being debated. We will truly never forget.  Read more

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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Who knew tax reform could be so easy? Less than two weeks after going to conference, Republicans reconciled the differences between the House and Senate bills and released their final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last Friday (12/14) afternoon.[1] The final legislation provides significant permanent tax cuts for businesses, including reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Most individual taxpayers will also receive tax benefits, including lower marginal tax rates, and a reduction in the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 39.6% down to 37%. However, all of the individual tax breaks will expire at the end of 2025 to comply with Senate rules. Read more

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Could Living a Long Life Cause You to Go Broke? Strategies To Make Your Money Last

Published by Scott Ford, Member of the Investment Committee for Carson Group Partners

Have you ever thought about the possibility of living past the age of 100? If you haven’t, you probably should. While there are currently about 75,000 centenarians in the United States, it is predicted that by 2050 that number will rise to 1 million.[1] People are living longer than ever before, and this plays a significant role in how you plan for your retirement. Read more

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Rebalancing

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

Rebalancing is an important discipline in portfolio management. At least annually you should compare your current portfolio to your original investment plan and make sure the portfolio is still on track. Why is this important? Because a particular style often will go through a cycle of three, four, even five years when it is in vogue and has a great run. For example, for three years in the late 1990s, it seemed you could do no wrong in the tech space.The NASDAQ Composite climbed from around 1,300 in late 1997 to 5,048 in March of 2000, an incredible gain of 288 percent in a little over two years! But then, just a year later, it fell to 1,900 and eventually dropped to just above 1,200 in September of 2002. All of those spectacular gains achieved in two years were totally wiped out two and a half years later. Read more

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Diversification – Another Perspective

Published By: Erik Christman, CFP®, CPA 

We look at diversification in two ways—across asset classes and within them.

The three major asset classes are stocks, bonds, and cash. You can divide your holdings across those classes for a level of diversification. In diversifying across asset classes, we may determine, for example, that 15 percent of your overall portfolio should be in large US stocks. Now, that’s still a big portion of the portfolio, but we actually have several holdings making up that 15 percent.

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