Gift Ideas for 3-Year-Olds
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As the proud mother of a now four-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.

Q&A: Can I Make a Prior-Year Roth Conversion This Year?
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Alas, the year you move the funds from traditional IRA to Roth IRA is the year that those assets are taxed.

Q&A: Are There Any Restrictions on How Much or Who Can Convert to Roth?
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Taxpayers of any income level, age, and employment or retirement status can convert their pre-tax individual retirement assets to Roth IRA.

#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.”

The 2020 Joint Charitable Standard Deduction: $300 or $600?
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The draft 2020 Form 1040 instructions clarify: the $300 limit is per form.

How to Spend: Convenience is a Surcharge
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Choosing the right moments to buy convenience with your money brings value to your life.

Q&A: Can You Be My Investing Back-up?
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An important part of the family’s emergency plan is to make sure you have a plan for when the financial spouse can no longer serve the family in that way, either because they are no longer interested or because of their incapacity.

#TBT Our Customized Roth Conversion Recommendations
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This 2017 article reminds us that there is not one best Roth conversion plan that you can apply to everyone.

Q&A: Should I Name My Heirs or My Trust as Contingent Beneficiaries After The SECURE Act?
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Depending on your situation, outright beneficiary designations could be a cleaner estate planning solution.

Q&A: Why Do You Pick Such Weird Images for Your Articles?
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We have an almost secret code behind the images we select.

The Full Complexity of All Required Minimum Distribution Divisors Explained (2020 Update)
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The SECURE Act of 2019 changed several things, so here is an updated review of this complex subject.

Marotta Family Saying: Parental Reminder Number 42
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“Parental Reminder #42” reminds us that goodness is something bigger than we can articulate but, even though we cannot express it fully, it is very important.

Roth IRAs, 529 Plans, and Financial Freedom (Megan Russell on FamVestor Podcast)
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On Monday, October 26, 2020, Megan Russell was interviewed by Sunny Burns and Sunmarie Burns of the FamVestor podcast.

2021 Contribution Limits
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Most stayed the same while HSAs and employers saw increased contribution limits.

Mortgage Escrow Shortfall: 12-Month Spread or One-Time Payment?
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If you are a responsible saver, keeping the liquidity in your pocket until the bill deadline expands your options for both growth and savings.

This Month, We Removed the Energy Overweight from Our Allocations (October 2020)
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We believe that holding on to Energy and waiting for it to recover might mean missing out on greater gains elsewhere.

A Guide to Your In-Plan Roth Conversion at RiversEdge
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The form is amazingly straightforward. Once the paperwork has been processed though, it can be difficult to find out how much was converted.

How to Inherit a Roth IRA Outright From a Trust at Schwab
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Beneficiary designations directly to your heirs are a cleaner estate planning solution.

The Most Tax-Efficient Method of Leaving Assets to Charity in Your Estate
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If you have a charity among your heirs, there is the possibility for tax savings.

#TBT Vote Early Instead of Voting Absentee (Virginia)
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Voting early is as easy as voting in-person. You can vote whenever is convenient for you including right now and until October 30.

Using Complex Beneficiary Designations to Give Your Heirs Flexibility
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Not every custodian is willing to accept the complexity, but I am grateful that Schwab is.

#TBT Where is Your Priority: Tax Preparation or Tax Planning?
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Tax planning is very different than tax return preparation. The goal of tax preparation is to minimize your tax owed this year. The goal of tax planning is to maximize your after-tax net worth by minimizing your taxes owed over your lifetime.

How to Use An Efficient Frontier Graph
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While an efficient frontier graph cannot hand you a perfect asset allocation, it remains a useful tool in analyzing what the past can tell us about a wide variety of investments.

Marotta Family Saying: Hit by the Bus
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We pride ourselves on regularly and seamlessly offering our services regardless of who is working and who is taking time off.

#TBT Marital Harmony with a Few His and Her Budgets
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Each spouse has different spending habits and values different things in life. It’s okay for your budget to reflect that.

How to Cash Your Paper Treasury Bond
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Here is a guide for how to find out what your bond is worth, decide whether you should keep it until maturity or cash out early, and how to get money for your paper.

Our Answers to Paladin Registry’s 27-Question Interview
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Regardless of the usefulness of their questions or their website, I enjoy answering every set of advisor questions I find.

Can a College Drop-Out Reimburse for Expenses Out of a 529 Plan?
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Hopefully this simple guide helps you get started in the right direction for correcting these surprise excess distributions.

Vote Early Instead of Voting Absentee (Virginia)
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Voting early has the same process as voting in-person.

Q&A: Can a 529 Reimburse for Last Year’s Expenses?
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Unfortunately, neither “yes” nor “no” is a correct answer to this question.

#TBT Diversify and Rebalance More Than Just Your Investments
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During this season of uncertainty, this 2018 article reminds us that diversification and rebalancing in our non-financial portfolios can help as well.

How to Save for Retirement When You Are Old And Broke
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No matter how small your savings or when you start accumulating them, those small changes have large effects over time.

Where to Find Paperless Shareholder Materials on Schwab.com
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The best way to find old shareholder materials is to search your own email inbox.

Before the Estate Tax Exclusion Sunsets in 2026
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Individuals with more than $5M may be served well from gifting to utilize the higher estate exclusions before they sunset.

How to Transfer 529 Funds From One Family Member To Another
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You can transfer up or across the family tree. However, if you want to transfer down a family tree, you can run into taxation problems.

Socially Responsible Consumption Instead Of Socially Responsible Investing
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Even if you are just a tiny piece of the puzzle, all the pieces are essential.

Marotta Family Saying: Be a Bad Poet
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The phrase “bad poet” reminds me of that day when I was in elementary school. It is a lesson for each of us, regardless of our income level.

#TBT Do Investors Deserve to Make Money?
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This 2013 article explores whether the person who sits idly by while their stocks increase their net worth deserves the money they make.

Four Reasons to Rebalance
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In these ways, rebalancing can be of great value to a long-term investor’s portfolio.

The S&P 500 Recovered Today from the 2020 COVID Bear Market
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Those who flat-lined to cash or who waited to invest their cash until the markets looked better missed out on the recovery.

How to Change Your IRA Beneficiary Designations After the SECURE Act
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Now non-nuclear family or friends who are more than 10 years younger than the decedent and in good health are never eligible for stretch provisions and must distribute the whole balance over 10 years.

A Surprising Lesson from the COVID Quarantine
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Yes, we are merely human, but our ideas and our analysis are powerful.

Who Should Own My Child’s 529 Account to Assist the FAFSA?
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With the grandparents as the owner rather than the parent, the student may have a better chance of receiving financial aid.

Can I Deduct a 529 Contribution to an Account I Don’t Own?
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Unfortunately, the answer is that you cannot. The 529 account owner receives any state tax deductions for contributions make to their account.

We Added 2 New U.S. Stock Sectors to Our Allocations
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We decided to add two new sectors after generating several hundred efficient frontier graphs of various United States classifications, industries, and sectors over a variety of time periods.

How to Claim Your Virginia State Tax 529 Contribution Deduction
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Form ADJ of the 760 lines 8a – 8c are where you report miscellaneous deductions.

Risk-Return Analysis of Freedom Investing
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In this article, I am reviewing the quantitative measurements and performance metrics of Freedom Investing to see how its risk and return compare to the EAFE Index, its benchmark.

How to Designate Your Donor Advised Fund as a Beneficiary of Your IRA
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You may or may not want to leave anything to your favorite charity. However, if you do, there are often advantages to using a Donor Advised Fund over designating the charity directly.

Virginia 529: What Counts as a Unique Account for Per-Account Deductions?
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Oddly enough, what qualifies something as a unique account is both a unique account registration and investment portfolio selection.

How to Add, Edit, or Remove a Trusted Contact at Schwab
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This designation gives both Schwab and your financial advisor the permission to contact the named individual if either of us were ever concerned that you or your finances were being taken advantage of.

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