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Essential Financial Strategies
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New Blog Post: Money and More© January 12, 2019 - Your Taxes and the Government Shutdown The current federal government partial shutdown is affecting the IRS and your taxes.  On January 7th the IRS announced that they will accept tax returns starting on January 28th.  The IRS will issue refunds on schedule.  There are other issues that might hold up returns.   The IRS has recalled… [Continue] The post Money and More© January 12, 2019 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies.
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New Blog Post: Money and More© December 15, 2018 - Charitable Giving under the Tax Law Changes The sweeping tax laws changes  from year ago have a great effect on charitable giving.  These are likely to be even more profound in 2019 as taxpayers better understand the law.  The new law  increases the amount a taxpayer can deduct from 50% of adjusted gross income (AGI)… [Continue] The post Money and More© December 15, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies.
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New Blog Post: Money and More© December 8, 2018 - Retirement Pension and Social Security Sweet Spots Coordinating the timing of pensions and social security can create greater wealth during retirement.   Often folks want to take their pensions and Social Security as soon as possible.  Social Security which can be started as early age 62 is penalized for each month taken prior to the Full… [Continue] The post Money and More© December 8, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies.
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New Blog Post: Money and More© December 1, 2018 - Black Friday Discount Strategy that works on other days too! I’ve looked at Fitness Trackers for awhile now and have narrowed it down to the Fitbit Charge 3.  I was happy that stores marked it from $150 to $120 on Black Friday.  I discovered that several stores offer additional store benefits as well.   For example,… [Continue] The post Money and More© December 1, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies.
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New Blog Post: Money and More© November 17, 2018 - Holiday Spending Is January a painful month financially?  For many people, January it is a not great month for their finances.  One reason folks struggle in January is because they overspent in the December holiday season.  Gifts, meals out, parties and more all take a toll on personal finances.  Having a spending plan for the season can help smooth out the bumps.  When I have a deliberate amount to spend on a person or function it helps me...
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New Blog Post: Money and More© November 10, 2018 - What is Retirement The retirement years, for many, no longer exists the way they use to be for the early baby boom generation.  Pensions are no more for many people.  As a result, they must live on Social Security and the savings from a life time of working.  Some folks continue to work into their seventies and beyond.  Some folks work for the money and others to stay busy and feel fulfilled.  Retirement in the past often meant reaching a c...
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New Blog Post: Money and More © Orland Park, November 3, 2018 - Maintenance While cleaning up and doing tent maintenance after a recent Orland Park Cub Scout camping trip, I thought about how important it is to perform maintenance on many items including my investment accounts.  This part of financial planning is necessary yet a very unexciting chore.  I perform such cleaning tasks as making sure beneficiaries are up to date, the account address is still correct, check if the account still ...
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New Blog Post: Money and More ©, Orland Park, October 27, 2018 - Funding a Trust My financial planning training and estate planning lawyer suggested I create a living trust for my estate planning situation.  I went through the process of creating and signing legal documents with my wonderful attorney, Amy Delaney.  After that, the real work began. I needed to fund the trust.  That means I worked to re-title accounts and real estate into the name of the trust.  If not, the trust will not fun...
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New Blog Post: Financial Planning Weekly Thoughts for October 20, 2018 - Sunday ACP Conference My most important professional organization is the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP).  ACP’s tax-focused model and financial planning philosophies align with my own.   I, very much, look forward to the conference each year.  It has been my pleasure to be part of the conference committee for this National level conference for the past 4 or 5 years.  This year I am excited to be a panel moder...
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New Blog Post: A Week of Thoughts for October 13, 2018 - 10/7/18  Sunday Simplifying Some days are just not good ones to be dealing with personal finances and that is OK. Though I am passionate about financial planning, there are those days when I just don’t want to deal with my own finances because other things are going on in my life or I am just plain tired. I can afford to go through days like this because I batch my financial efforts. Tasks like bill paying, reviewing investments, chec...
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