July 24, 2017

When You Should Not Do a Backdoor Roth

When You Should Not Do a Backdoor Roth

Like how diner coffee gets more bitter as the waitress tops off your cup with more coffee from the pot, so too the growth on your nondeductible assets increases your tax owed by decreasing the percent post-tax assets in your cup.

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How to Readjust Your Retirement Plan

How to Readjust Your Retirement Plan

Sometimes the change can be in a direction you did not expect.

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Invest Even When Afraid

Invest Even When Afraid

You can’t invest for the future in the future. Don’t let your fear of the future ruin your future.

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How to Save for Retirement

How to Save for Retirement

Every pay period, pay yourself first. You won’t miss what you don’t see.

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The Biggest Mistake You Can Make With Your Backdoor Roth

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make With Your Backdoor Roth

Yikes! This is a costly mistake.

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How to Plan for Retirement

How to Plan for Retirement

Failure to plan for retirement is the primary reason why retirement plans fail.

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Why Trusts Are So Confusing

Why Trusts Are So Confusing

Trusts are like Calvinball except that the government is trying to play referee. It is quickly confusing.

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Retirement Assumptions Are Critical

Retirement Assumptions Are Critical

Retirement doesn’t give you a second chance. Measure twice and retire once.

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Generational Financial Planning Within The Kiddie Tax Limits

Generational Financial Planning Within The Kiddie Tax Limits

Families that consider generational financial planning techniques can reduce the burden of taxes on the family as a whole.

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Age Restriction on Qualified Charitable Distributions Limits Inherited IRA Gifting

Age Restriction on Qualified Charitable Distributions Limits Inherited IRA Gifting

Unfortunately the age restriction makes the charitably-inclined young, who are more likely to be in the 0% capital gains bracket, unable to make QCDs.

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Our Customized Roth Conversion Recommendations

Our Customized Roth Conversion Recommendations

I have learned there are so many more wise plans than just “top of the bracket” conversions.

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Morgan Stanley Is A Terrible Choice

Morgan Stanley Is A Terrible Choice

I normally try to refrain from “bashing the competition,” but in this case, the competition’s practices are, at least to me, a moral issue.

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How much do you need to save this month?

How much do you need to save this month?

Find out today how much you should be saving and investing this month! If you think a $1 million dollar portfolio is overkill, you haven’t really run the numbers.

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An Overview of Robo-Investing

An Overview of Robo-Investing

A few years ago, there was a great rise of so-called robo-advisers, computer programming that enabled setting a simple asset allocation on the security level and then automatic rebalancing to those targets for each security.

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An Asset Allocation For Your Health Savings Account

An Asset Allocation For Your Health Savings Account

You are unlikely to need funds for any long-term care episode until about age 85. Given the long time horizon, we suggest investing your HSA for appreciation.

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Marotta’s 2017 TD Ameritrade Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

Marotta's 2017 TD Ameritrade Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

This portfolio uses all TD Ameritrade no-transaction fee exchange-traded funds with the exception of Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE).

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Mailbag: How Do I Replenish A Bond Laddering Strategy?

Mailbag: How Do I Replenish A Bond Laddering Strategy?

When you use a bond laddering strategy with funds, rebalancing to your asset allocation naturally buys and sells bond funds as appropriate.

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Radio Interview: Health Savings Accounts

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David John Marotta was interviewed on radio’s The Schilling Show discussing Health Savings Accounts and the recent Healthcare bill.

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Not All Financial Advising Firms Rebalance Client Portfolios

Not All Financial Advising Firms Rebalance Client Portfolios

You would think that rebalancing a client’s portfolio would be standard in the industry. Unfortunately, it is not.

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How Your Tax Is Calculated: Understanding the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains Worksheet

How Your Tax Is Calculated: Understanding the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains Worksheet

The 27 lines, because they are so simplified, end up being difficult to follow what exactly they do. So, for those of you who are curious, here’s what they do.

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Q&A: Can you be my executor?

Q&A: Can you be my executor?

Sadly, we have to say no. Even though we won’t be your executor, we are still here to help your executor, trustee, and loved ones through the estate maintenance and settlement process.

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Five Things You Can Control: Taxes

Five Things You Can Control: Taxes

A dollar saved on taxes is worth more than an extra dollar of income because the extra dollar of income is in itself taxable.

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Asset Location Can Significantly Boost After-Tax Returns

Asset Location Can Significantly Boost After-Tax Returns

Exact asset location depends on the percentage of a portfolio held in each of the three types of accounts as well as the percentage of the portfolio which is to be allocated to each selected sector. But the boost in after-tax returns is well worth the effort.

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Five Things You Can Control: Investment Costs

Five Things You Can Control: Investment Costs

We do not believe that investing should be expensive.

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6 Ways To Prevent Your Estate Plan From Ruining Your Roth IRA

6 Ways To Prevent Your Estate Plan From Ruining Your Roth IRA

Many executors, trustees, or even estate plans make careless mistakes which end up in Roth IRAs being distributed too quickly. Here’s a list of ways to prevent your estate plan from ruining your Roth.

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Five Things You Can Control: Goals-Based Asset Allocation

Five Things You Can Control: Goals-Based Asset Allocation

An advisor’s job is to recommend the optimum asset allocation regardless of how the client might answer a survey about risk tolerance.

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Radio: Tax Planning Season

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When you finish your tax preparation, it is time to begin tax planning.

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Five Things You Can Control: Commitment to Saving

Five Things You Can Control: Commitment to Saving

Saving money is not enough. You need to save and invest.

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How to Calculate Your RMD: a Uniform, Inherited, and Joint Divisor Calculator

How to Calculate Your RMD: a Uniform, Inherited, and Joint Divisor Calculator

There are different tables and formulas used to calculate your RMD divisor based on your particular circumstances. Here is a calculator for the three most common.

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Five Things You Can Control: Spending Discipline

Five Things You Can Control: Spending Discipline

“Develop spending discipline. People too often forget that the real enemy of investment is consumption.”

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How You Take Your Inherited IRA RMD Is the Exception to the Rule

How You Take Your Inherited IRA RMD Is the Exception to the Rule

Inherited RMD rules demonstrates the power and importance of beneficiary designations and why it is so important to set them.

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What is the 5-Year Roth Rule?

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You can’t touch the earnings on your contributions until you’ve had an account open for 5 years and you’re either over age 59 ½ or you meet special exceptions.

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How to Deduct U.S. Debt Obligations on State Tax Returns

How to Deduct U.S. Debt Obligations on State Tax Returns

Dividends and interest received from U.S debt obligations can be deducted on many state tax returns.

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Radio: What Does “Trickle-Down Economics” Mean to Liberals and Conservatives?

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David John Marotta was interviewed on the Schilling Show discussing trickle-down economics and taxes.

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What Good Are Morningstar Stars?

What Good Are Morningstar Stars?

Do mutual funds with 5-star Morningstar ratings have better future returns?

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T-Share Class Mutual Funds Are Not “Fiduciary-Friendly”

T-Share Class Mutual Funds Are Not "Fiduciary-Friendly"

Less gouging doesn’t make T-shares meet the high principles-based fiduciary standard.

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RMD Mistake: Missing a Spousal Rollover

RMD Mistake: Missing a Spousal Rollover

When a spouse inherits retirement account assets, they have the right to do what is called a “Spousal Rollover” or “Spousal Transfer.” It is almost always the right option.

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Invest Your Health Savings Account For Appreciation

Invest Your Health Savings Account For Appreciation

HSAs have so many advantages over traditional IRAs that you should continue funding your HSA as long as possible and build as large an HSA investment balance as you can.

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RMD Mistake: Not Using the Joint Divisor

RMD Mistake: Not Using the Joint Divisor

If you are a mixed-decade couple, take advantage of the Joint divisor by making your spouse your primary and sole beneficiary for your IRA and use the Joint Life and Last Survivor Expectancy Table to find your RMD.

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Radio: What’s the Difference Between Obstruction and Resistance?

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David John Marotta was interviewed on the radio 1070′s Schilling Show discussing the difference between obstruction and resistance.

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Commission-Based Firms Admit They Don’t Provide Advice

Commission-Based Firms Admit They Don't Provide Advice

Commission-based firms want either to be exempt from the Fiduciary standard or else given the title anyway.

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Are Democrats Or Republicans Better For The Stock Market?

Are Democrats Or Republicans Better For The Stock Market?

Politics matters less to our financial success than the ordinary decisions we face every day.

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Marotta’s 2017 Gone-Fishing Portfolios

Marotta’s 2017 Gone-Fishing Portfolios

A gone fishing portfolio is a portfolio of just a few stocks which should weather the ups and downs of the market fairly well while only rebalancing twice a year. Here are three hand-crafted gone-fishing portfolios for 2017.

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Marotta’s 2017 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

Marotta's 2017 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation. This year I limited myself to 13 investment vehicles with two changes from 2016′s calculator.

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Marotta’s 2017 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

Marotta's 2017 Vanguard Mutual Fund Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation. This portfolio uses all Vanguard mutual funds.

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Marotta’s 2017 Schwab Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

Marotta's 2017 Schwab No-Transaction Fee Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation. This portfolio uses all Schwab no-transaction fee exchange traded funds.

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US Large-Cap Exchange-Traded Fund Choices

US Large-Cap Exchange-Traded Fund Choices

In anticipation of adjusting our yearly gone-fishing portfolios, I reviewed the performance of five US large-cap Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

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RMD Mistake: Failing to Take Your RMD

RMD Mistake: Failing to Take Your RMD

The key to getting the waiver though is showing that “you are taking reasonable steps to remedy the shortfall.”

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Bond Investing In 2016

Bond Investing In 2016

Bonds had positive returns for the year despite returns peaking at the end of July and falling for the rest of the year.

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RMD Mistake: Depositing to Your Checking Account

RMD Mistake: Depositing to Your Checking Account

Although legally fine, this strategy often causes you to accidentally increase your spending every year and decrease your savings. Don’t let the IRS rules about IRA withdrawals tempt you into spending money you had planned to save.

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