How to Implement The Automatic Millionaire Technique at Schwab
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By decoupling your standard of living from the size of your income, you have taken the first step toward financial freedom.

#TBT How Long Should I Keep Financial and Tax Records?
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Whenever the IRS challenges you, the burden of producing evidence that your claims are true rests entirely with you.

Life Lesson #2: You Are An Adult Now
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Graduate yourself from a childish mindset to that of an adult.

#TBT Do Children Need To File A Tax Return To Fund Their Roth IRA?
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Don’t let stress about tax filing requirements keep you or your child from a powerful opportunity to provide for their future.

An Overview of Our Allocation Changes (March 2021)
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We are constantly reviewing our portfolios’ asset allocations in order to bring them more in line with our Investment Committee’s best practices. Here is a summary of our recent changes.

2021 Index of Economic Freedom: Taiwan
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This means that in addition to the overall Emerging Market funds, we will have country-specific Emerging Market allocations to both Taiwan and Chile.

2021 Index of Economic Freedom: Hong Kong
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No one knows what the future holds for Hong Kong, but we needed to make a decision on whether it has a place in our Freedom Investing.

#TBT No One Tells the IRS You Did a QCD Except You
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Be sure to remember to tell your tax preparer that you did a QCD.

Funding a 4-Year-Old’s Roth IRA
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My favorite part of my daughter’s Roth IRA is that she has earned it all. I have seen her work hard, learn valuable lessons, and truly earn her wage.

Raising the Minimum Wage Hurts The Most Disadvantaged
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We need to go beyond good intentions. The underprivileged among us deserve good results.

#TBT Do I Need to Pay Tax on This 1099-R?
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The given numbers on a 1099-R are insufficient to be able to fill out your tax return correctly. Knowledge of what was actually done is required in order to file your taxes accurately.

Life Lesson #1: You Shouldn’t Need Saving
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No limp arms. Keep your hands up. Budget for emergencies.

How Should I Vote My Shares?
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You are not obligated to vote just because you own shares.

#TBT How to Report a Backdoor Roth or Nondeductible Contribution on Your Tax Return
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This 2020 article is for tax preparers of the world. If you did a backdoor Roth this year, send it to yours.

The Case for Investing in Foreign Health Care
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When reviewing our Foreign allocations, we discovered that the foreign Health Care sector has shown high risk-adjusted performance.

The Market Isn’t Made Up. It Is Made.
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The value of a stock is simply what people are willing to pay for it.

2021 Performance Report for Marotta’s Gone-Fishing Portfolios (2012-2020)
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Our Gone-Fishing Portfolios are free to use portfolios that take advantage of the no-transaction-fee, low-cost ETFs or mutual funds of each major custodian. Over the years, we’ve changed the funds and the allocations as new research or securities reveal improvements.

An Overview of Marotta’s 2021 Gone-Fishing Portfolios
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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.

We Added Individual Stocks to Our Foreign Allocations (January 2021)
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We believe these 26 companies will be an effective weight to add foreign healthcare to our portfolios.

2020 in Review
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Looking closer into each asset class, here’s how our top six asset classes performed between January 1 and December 31, 2020.

A Financial Planner’s Review of Instacart Grocery Pick-Up
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After trying Instacart again a handful of times, I finally decided that in-person shopping was cheaper and more effective for my family.

The Complete Guide to Funding a Custodial Roth IRA
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Here you can find our article series detailing how and why you should fund a custodial Roth IRA for your children.

Account Funding Priorities for 2021
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Which account you should fund depends on your circumstances. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to make your decision.

Two Charitable Tax Savings for Spontaneous Donors
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Utilizing tax-smart spontaneous giving only requires the smallest amount of planning ahead.

Q&A: What are the Tax Rates for an Inherited IRA?
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The short answer is that most taxable distributions from inherited IRAs are taxed at the the child / beneficiary’s income tax rate. The longer answer is that there are multiple chances for inheritance to be taxed.

How Do You Report Withdrawals from Roth Contribution Basis?
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To take advantage of tax-free penalty-free Roth withdrawals of contribution basis, you need to keep careful records of your Roth contributions.

Q&A: Can I Fund My HSA with Appreciated Stock?
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Sadly, the IRS is very clear about this; contributions must be cash.

#BestOf2020 Should I Pull Out of the Stock Market Now?
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A timeless question with a consistent answer, this article helps you determine if your asset allocation is appropriate enough that you should continue to stay the course.

SRI Equivocates on The Word ‘Invest’
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Instead of changing your investment strategy, you should focus on changing your spending habits and charitable giving to help further the social good you want in the world.

Do I Want To Give My Financial Advisor Discretion on My Account?
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Having a financial advisor who has discretion over your accounts is only a good idea if your financial advisor is covered under the fiduciary duty and is fee-only.

#BestOf2020 Who Pays Taxes and Penalties on 529 Distributions and How?
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Step by step, this article shows how you can determine what taxes and penalties are owed on non-qualified distributions.

Q&A: How Much K-12 Tuition Can I Reimburse from 529 Plan?
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By flowing money through a 529 account, a Virginia tax payer could receive a $575 discount on their private school tuition.

Q&A: Should I Be My Brother’s Power of Attorney?
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Interestingly, being a fiduciary though is not a job description as much as it is descriptive of the kind of job that you do.

How to Avoid an IRMAA Medicare Premium Surcharge 2021
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Depending on your particular case and Social Security agent, you may get your surcharge waived, lowered, or upheld.

Q&A: If I Close My Oldest Roth IRA, Do I Change My 5-Year Clock?
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Fortunately, closing a specific account doesn’t reset your Roth clock.

How to Turn Monthly Returns Into an Average Annual Return in Excel
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There are three clear options: future value schedule, a product array, or a large table.

#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.”

How to View Realized Capital Gains and Losses on Schwab.com
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Sometimes you may want to check in on your current running total of net capital gains during the current tax year. Luckily, there is a page on Schwab Alliance which shows you just that.

We Added a Sector Tilt to our Foreign Dynamic Tilt (November 2020)
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We hope this small increased exposure to foreign healthcare will help capture some of the efficiencies we believe to have found.

The Haunting of Bob Cratchit: An Interview with Brendon Marotta
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A new book by David John Marotta and Brendon Marotta makes you rethink what is happening in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

The Haunting of Bob Cratchit: A New Book from David Marotta
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In the same night in which Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted, the spirits also visit Bob Cratchit.

Q&A: Can I Convert an Inherited IRA to Roth?
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Roth conversions can only be performed during the IRA owner’s lifetime.

How to Pick Your Charitable Giving Target for State Tax Credits
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Which of these three methodologies you prefer depends on your reason for giving.

Pay Your State Tax By Donating to Charity
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If you have a tax credit eligible charity where you like their work better than the state government, then consider redirecting your state tax to fund the charity instead.

How to Report NAP Credits on a Virginia Return
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Luckily, the form is organized by type of tax credit and the NAP credit section of Schedule CR is only five lines long.

Five Ways to Thrift Your Empty Gearharts Chocolates Box
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I cannot throw away such a delightful box.

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.

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