A Legacy of Burden

The Consulate Journal

A Legacy of Burden

My grandmother loved history, especially our family history. As a genealogist in the time before computers, she painstakingly researched our family tree, taking trips to the birthplaces of our ancestors, collecting history, and compiling it in her library. She was well-known not only for her research on our family, but also on the first families…

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Opening an Online Savings Account: Is It for You?

This article discusses a matter that we at the Financial Consulate recommend for nearly all of our clients. The subject matter will differ from what we have discussed in previous articles, in that as the author, I am going to describe my own recent experiences with transitioning from doing business with a brick-and-mortar bank to…

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Retirement Options: Lump Sum Versus Pension

When preparing for retirement, you may be faced with a decision that will launch you into the next chapter of your life: your company retirement plan may offer a lump sum or pension option upon retirement. Choosing the right option can seem like a daunting decision with no perfect answer, but it serves as a…

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Protect Your Children from Identity Theft

With the growing prevalence of technology in our daily lives, identity theft is becoming an increasingly more common occurrence. The Financial Consulate strongly recommends mitigating the risk of identity theft by utilizing the following recommendations: Check your credit report at Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion on an annual basis. You can obtain a free credit report…

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The Snowball Effect: Investing in a Roth IRA

As a financial advisor, I know of no reason (other than lack of funds) why one should not invest in a Roth IRA. If you have available cash in the bank, then it would be a good idea to transfer it to a Roth IRA account. If you have funds invested in stocks or mutual…

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Enhancing Your Auto Coverage

As fiduciaries, we often see the common mistake of auto policies with liability coverages that are too low. One such problem with low liability coverage pertains to uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which is insurance that protects you if you are injured by another driver who has no liability coverage or limited liability coverage. To obtain…

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Temporary Guardianship

There is a certain legal document that is often frequently overlooked. Most people are ignorant to its importance, and most lawyers do not discuss it. The document is called the temporary guardianship/custody form and associated copy of a minor’s insurance card. Temporary guardianship is when a person (or couple) is designated with the care of…

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Roth Conversions

There has been a lot of talk about Roth conversions so I wanted to help bring greater clarity to the issue. First, we will discuss the differences between a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and a Roth IRA. Second, we will address what a Roth conversion is. Lastly, we will consider why and when would you…

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The Confusion of Mortgage Interest Deductibility

When clients provide me with a mortgage interest statement, they assume that all of the mortgage interest will be tax-deductible. This assumption was somewhat true under the tax laws before 2018, but since 2018, it will be true only on occasion. To understand why, you must comprehend the definition of acquisition indebtedness.    Acquisition indebtedness is…

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Charitable Giving in Light of the New Tax Law

There is a new tax law that has changed everything for a while. One of the biggest changes is the new expanded standard deduction and the elimination of many itemized deductions. Before we discuss these changes, a good understanding of the standard and itemized deductions is necessary. The standard deduction is a reduction of taxable…

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