#TBT Remembering June 5, 2013
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There is an illusion that the executive branch will handle the collection of all our data with respect and care. I hope that current times can shatter that illusion for you.

Access $1,500 Per Child for K-12 Students in Virginia
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These grants are called “K-12 Learning Acceleration Grants” and must be used to pay for “qualifying education services.”

Federal Debt Burden May Settle 2026 Tax Uncertainty
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I have difficultly imagining a likely outcome where I would regret a Roth conversion.

#TBT Keep Track of Your Roth Contributions
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If you made a Roth contribution this year, here is a reminder to update your contribution basis records.

A Thoughtful Reply to the Debt Ceiling Crisis
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While there can be a lot of uncertainty, the conclusion is normally anticlimactic.

#TBT Do I Want To Give My Financial Advisor Discretion on My Account?
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This is only a good idea if your financial advisor is covered under the fiduciary duty and is fee-only.

The Best Way to Plan for Inflation is to Discount It
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By discounting portfolio returns to only real returns, we have already considered inflation in the planning targets.

Freedom Investing in Review (April 2023)
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This quarter, we saw that in 1-year returns ending April 30, 2023, Developed Freedom Investing had a -2.99% disadvantage, Emerging Market Freedom Investing had a +1.85% advantage, and Overall Freedom Investing had a -0.4% disadvantage.

2023 Index of Economic Freedom Update
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Last year, thirteen countries made our cut-off. This year, eleven do.

No Guidance on 10-Year RMD Stretch Despite Headlines
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We recommend waiting for the final guidance but being prepared for some sort of required distribution this year.

Real Return of Stocks and Bonds by Inflation Type
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If you are expecting high inflation, it may be stocks which offer the greatest security against the diminishing dollar.

Did the 2022 Bear Market Continue Into 2023?
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The incongruity between feeling like we are in a bear market for 61.66% of trading days and actually being in a bear market for only 24.81% of those days unfortunately makes bear markets feel longer than they really are.

Employer Matching Student Loan Payments Starting in 2024 (Secure 2.0)
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This amendment applies to 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, SIMPLE IRAs, and governmental 457(b) plans.

An Overview of Marotta’s 2023 Gone-Fishing Portfolios
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While our 2022 update saw a number of changes, this year we only have one change.

Marotta’s Gone-Fishing Portfolio: Review of 2022 Returns
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This past year, our 2022 Gone-Fishing Portfolio beat its benchmarks.

#TBT 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.

2026 Tax Cliff on Horizon
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Why create tax rules which expire so soon after they are made? The answers are as frustrating as the uncertainty the sunsets create.

How Our Current Tax Brackets Compare to Historical Ones
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How do our current tax brackets compare to historical ones? Are our taxes higher than the past? When was the most expensive time period for the U.S. income tax?

Is It Better to Give to a Strong Link or a Weak Link?
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Malcolm Gladwell establishes two opposing types of problems: a strong-link problem and a weak-link problem. Which type of problem can charitable giving solve?

#TBT The Complete Guide to Creating an Investment Plan
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This is a summary of the six steps required to create a well-crafted investment plan.

More People Eligible for ABLE Accounts in 2026 (Secure 2.0)
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This amendment raises the ABLE account age to 46 starting in 2026.

New Catch-Up Limits for Ages 60-63 in 2025 (Secure 2.0)
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Seniors born between 1962 and 1965 will be the first to be able to take advantage of these plus-sized limits.

Retirement Plans Allow Roth Employer Contributions Now (Secure 2.0)
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For those who run a retirement plan, the next step for implementing this change is to email your plan provider.

High Wages Limit Catch-Up Options to Only Roth in 2024 (Secure 2.0)
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Hopefully over all this amendment encourages employer plans to offer Roth options, which will be good for taxpayers, even if this additional wealthy discrimination is unwelcome.

Contribution Basis is Prorated for Roth 401(k) Withdrawals But Not Roth IRA
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In a designated Roth account like a Roth 401(k), each early distribution is treated as coming part from contribution basis and part from earnings.

No More Roth 401(k) RMDs in 2024 (Secure 2.0)
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This update amends the Roth-side of employer retirement plans to behave more like Roth IRAs prior to death.

Freedom Investing By Quarter in 2022
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Here is a review of the performance of Freedom Investing in 2022.

Virtual Class: Success and Significance in Retirement (OLLI 2023)
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The class will be held April 13 through May 4, 2023 each Thursday from noon to 1:00 PM on Zoom.

Freedom Investing in Review (December 2022)
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This quarter, we saw that in 1-year returns ending December 31, 2022, Developed Freedom Investing had a +0.13% advantage, Emerging Market Freedom Investing had a +0.45% advantage, and Overall Freedom Investing had a +0.77% advantage.

Even Down, Biotechnology Still Had a Place in Efficient Portfolios (2022 Analysis)
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Biotechnology’s low correlation, the very thing that makes you dislike it, is specifically what gives it a place in efficient portfolios.

#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.

Changes to RMDs for Those Born in 1951 or Later (Secure 2.0)
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Later required beginning dates are generally advantageous to seniors, although the complexity surrounding RMD rules is nothing to celebrate.

At 65, Does the 5-Year Roth Rule Matter?
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For those over age 59 1/2, you would need to withdraw all funds attributable to basis before your withdrawal would be sourced from Roth IRA earnings and the age of your Roth IRA would matter for taxation.

#BestOf2022 How to Change a 529 Plan Account Owner
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While you may think that the account owner needs to stay the same, you can easily change the account owner.

Q&A: What is Your Strategy’s Expense Ratio? (2022 Analysis)
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You can tell a lot from the expense ratio of an advisor’s preferred funds.

Q&A: Are IRMAAs for Life?
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A reader asks: When you are issued an IRMAA, does the IRMAA stay for one year only or does it stay that way for life?

#BestOf2022 An Updated RMD Calculator
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There are different tables and formulas used to calculate your RMD divisor based on your particular circumstances. This is a calculator for the three most common.

Account Funding Priorities for 2023
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A savings waterfall is a tool to help investors prioritize savings goals and allocate funds appropriately.

Q&A: Can You Do a One-Time Review of My Plan?
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We do our best work when we are a lifelong financial advisor to the client.

#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.”

Steps to Reduce IRMAA Medicare Premiums
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Sophisticated tax planning can be effective at any age. However, with great complexity comes great opportunity.

Nontaxable Social Security Thresholds Are Not Inflation-Adjusted
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Social Security has a number of flaws, to which these static tax brackets can be added.

Q&A: Recurring Charitable Grant from an Insufficient Donor Advised Fund?
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What does Schwab do when your Donor Advised Fund has insufficient funds for a recurring grant?

How to Avoid an IRMAA Medicare Premium Surcharge 2023
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To avoid getting issued an IRMAA, you can proactively tell the SSA of any changes your income has seen in the past two years using a “Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount – Life-Changing Event” form.

The Haunting of Bob Cratchit: A Book from David Marotta
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Did you know David wrote a Christmas novel? This 2020 book by David John Marotta and Brendon Marotta makes you rethink what is happening in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Easily Calculate the Fair Market Value (FMV) of a Security in Excel
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With the help of Yahoo Finance and a one-cell formula, you barely need to do any work.

Q&A: Wash Sale: VFIAX and VOO?
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The IRS has very limited case law on what constitutes a substantially different fund. However, here is what we do in our own trading.

#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.”

How the Wealthy Can Take Advantage of Health Insurance Subsidies for 2023 Onward
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You may be surprised by the amount of subsidies you can receive.

2023 Contribution Limits
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Twelve-month inflation for all items ending in September 2022 has been 8.2%, so it is not surprising that the 2022 contribution limits have seen more increases than normal.

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