Q&A: How Do You Address Issues Outside Your Area of Expertise?
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We see ourselves as your primary care provider for finances and strive to become experts in every specialty that you need while accompanying you on any referral to another firm we need to make.

Help! I Inherited a Nondeductible Basis!
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If you inherit a traditional IRA from a person who had a basis in the IRA because of nondeductible contributions, that basis remains with the IRA assets as they come into your ownership.

Lessons from Medicine: Reporting Can Lie
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There is an incentive to lie when your methodology is bad.

Q&A: What is Your Client’s Average Portfolio Size and Life Stage?
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We have a large distribution of clients at all portfolio sizes and, surprisingly, have all life stages near equally represented.

#BestOf2019 – How to Do Everything at Schwab
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Four separate Schwab Tutorials made the top ten articles of 2019 with nearly 12K views each. Perhaps one day Schwab will write their own tutorials, but until then, I’m glad we can help so many people.

Q&A: Which Products Do You Buy and Which Do You Avoid?
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The selection of what products we purchase or avoid for clients is based solely on what we believe gives our clients the best chance to meet their goals.

Lessons from Medicine: “Doing Something” Is Often Worse
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Even if all four of these sentimental or pragmatic justifications are true, doing the wrong thing is still worse than doing nothing.

Q&A: Should I Donate QCDs When I Have a Nondeductible Basis?
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Luckily for the charitably-inclined individuals with nondeductible balances, QCDs are excluded from your Form 8606 taxable and nontaxable calculations.

The SECURE Act of 2019 Becomes Law
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The SECURE Act was merged into the 2020 budget bill which is now law.

Q&A: How Does Your Faith Affect Your Investment Philosophy?
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There are several ways that I see my faith influence my work.

How To Spend: Take Care Of Your Things
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The thrift of taking care of your things is a wealthy mindset that pays off every year you don’t need to buy a replacement.

Lessons from Medicine: Compensation Matters
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“It is, of course, hard to get people in any profession to do the right thing when they’re paid to do the wrong thing.”

How To Spend: Learn To Do Without
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The first lesson in learning how to spend is learning how to not.

Financial Planning as a Profession Turns 50 Years Old Today
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Most professions do not know the exact day they were conceived. However, on December 12, 1969, financial planning was created and today in 2019, the profession turns 50 years old.

#TBT Gift Ideas for Minimalists
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This 2018 article details some of our best gift ideas for some of the hardest people to shop for.

How to Spend: Add It To Your Wishlist
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A wishlist is a force of thrift both for you to defer your consumption and for your family and friends to ensure that all the value of their gift makes it to your heart.

#TBT The Happy Habits of Appreciation and Gratitude
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This 2016 article reminds us that “there is a very simple place to start the process of changing our destiny: Each day notice the things that make you happy and try experiencing more of them.”

Q&A: Can Single Filers Benefit From Roth Conversions?
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There are several ways that a Roth conversion benefits people regardless of their filing or marriage status.

How to Spend: Wait a Week
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When my desires can endure the distance of a week, I buy it.

#TBT The Economics of a Thanksgiving Turkey
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This 2014 article changed the way we enjoy our Thanksgiving turkeys. Turkeys have always been an interesting study for economics. Because of the consistency of their demand in America, the price of a Thanksgiving turkey can be used as an indicator of inflation. This article should give you something fun to discuss this year.

Save More Even If It Is Less Than You Should
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No matter how small your savings, those small changes have large effects over time.

How To Spend: Take A Photo Instead
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It is easy to find yourself browsing the store when you spot a t-shirt with a phrase that you can hear your friend saying. Avoid making a purchase by taking a picture.

#TBT How Not to Go Broke at Thanksgiving
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As the season of holiday shopping approaches, this 2018 article reminds us, “Before you throw your money at various companies, squirrel some savings away for your future self.”

2020 Contribution Limits
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This year was a good year for Roth loving folks like us.

How To Spend: Use Only Just Enough
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Most of our regular use of items is habitual. Developing a mindset that uses less requires changing our habits.

Gift Ideas for Your Grandchildren: 2-Year-Olds
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As the proud mother of a now three-year-old daughter, I thought I’d record some of my and my firstborn’s favorite things from this past year as helpful ideas for gifts from grandparents.

Keeping Your Roth 401(k) Balance Separate During an IRA Rollover
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Having a 401(k) plan with both pre- and post-tax balances is quite common, but mistakes are common as well.

Q&A: Why Not Invest Only in the U.S?
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Diversification among many different countries provides a more consistent return than investing entirely in the United States.

Q&A: Where to Stash Extra Savings?
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“After all this savings, I have about $3,000 per month left to save somewhere. Where should I save it?”

No One is Alone (Financial Lessons from Into the Woods)
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Your choices now change the course of your future in significant ways. “Into the Woods” is a cautionary reminder of that.

Complete Guide to Your Schwab Debit Card (2019)
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I think my second favorite feature of Charles Schwab’s banking service is their debit cards.

Children Will Listen (Financial Lessons from Into the Woods)
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Your child may be in the thick of feeling out a boundary line by testing all your limits, but it pays off to be patient and trust that they will learn and they will listen.

Nice is Different Than Good (Financial Lessons from Into the Woods)
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Nice is different from good. You want a good financial planner not just a nice one.

Retirement Wisdom (The Series)
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In 2004, David Marotta wrote a seven part series originally titled “Retirement Wisdom.” The series explained the the seven principles to reaching your retirement goals.

Do You Know What You Wish? (Financial Lessons from Into the Woods)
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Knowing what you want is important to directing the course of your life. To have a better life, you need to have a purpose for both you and your money.

How to Switch to Paperless Delivery at Schwab
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To avoid a higher trading fee at Schwab, it is in your best interest to turn on paperless delivery for everything that you can.

Q&A: Can I Reimburse More Than My Actual Room and Board Expenses From My 529 Plan?
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Every school sets a budget or allowance for room and board, referred to as the cost of attendance. Are you allowed to reimburse yourself for the entire amount of Room and Board even if you did not spend that much?

Avoid the Christian Financial Planners Directory
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I cannot imagine any consumer who, if they understood how such a select list of advisers was actually compiled, would use this list. Why limit yourself only to firms willing to pay a referral service to endorse them?

Q&A: How Do I Use a 529 to Reimburse for Housing at a School Abroad?
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The first step to answering this question is to check that the school you want to attend is an eligible educational institution.

How To Update Your Address at Schwab and Why It Is Not Straightforward
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Luckily, you can update your address online. Unfortunately, it is not as straightforward as the average investor suspects it will be.

What is Cost Basis and How Do I Calculate It?
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The process of correcting cost basis problems, although time consuming, is worthwhile.

Q&A: Should I Get a Car Loan To Stay Invested?
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With these moderate interest rates, the only clearly wrong decision in my view is buying a car on loan because you cannot afford it outright.

Charles Schwab: How to Order More Checks or Deposit Slips (2019 Update)
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Schwab used to have a streamlined service for ordering more checks. Now as of 2019, they have outsourced their check ordering to a third party.

How to Implement Basic Investment Strategies
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In 2009, David Marotta wrote a five-part article series for the Charlottesville Business Journal covering basic investment strategies. Its advice is still relevant today.

Schwab’s 3 Myths of Responsible Investing Are Actually True
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In reality, all three “myths” are cause for real concern about SRI, ESG, and other so-called impact investing.

How to Budget for Emergencies: Divorce, Separation, or Widowing
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Although this is the least common financial shock studied, it is one of the most difficult because at its core it is a problem money cannot solve.

Core Values Budgeting: One Strategy to Identify Budgeting Changes
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Here is a strategy that can both help you identify what you value and help you start your budget.

How to Budget for Emergencies: Other Large Expenses
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Financial shocks can come in all shapes and sizes. This strategy of budgeting should increase your chance for success over the long haul.

How to Budget for Emergencies: Pay Cut
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Whatever technique you use to smooth your income, providing for the possibility of having a sudden reduction in income can help your family self-ensure against this potential financial shock.

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