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Pandemic Put a Pause on the Sale of Your Agency – Now What?

Weddings, graduation parties, and dentist appointments were not the only things put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has changed the course of all our lives regardless of whether our personal health was impacted or not.  Over the past few months, I have seen firsthand the impact it has had on agency owners who […]

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Blog

Best States to Retire In

Many factors influence the decision of where to retire.  Family, familiarity of surroundings, climate, and cost of living are just a few to consider.  What about state taxes?  They are often overlooked and just “accepted” as an expense.  In the current environment, the trend of where taxes could go based on the financial stability of […]

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Blog

Stock Options and Restricted Stock – Key Things to Consider In this Downturn

If you are an executive working for a public company, it’s likely that a big portion of your wealth is tied to your company stock. As stock prices fall, obviously the value of your stock-based compensation also drops. This can be paralyzing. Amid the chaos, how do you answer the simple question: “what should I […]

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Lessons Learned: “This Time is Different”

The COVID-19 outbreak has created stress and uncertainty in all phases of our lives. Worrying about our family’s health, learning to work from home while trying to educate and entertain children, and watching our income decline or for some completely go away has understandably caused many to panic. This stress and panic can lead many […]

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Blog

FDIC Insurance – Have You Maximized Your Coverage?

During the Great Depression, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, was created to instill confidence in the banking system.  On January 1, 1934, the first deposits were insured with a limit of $2,500.  FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the US government.  How well do you know FDIC coverage? […]

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Blog

Gifts to Children – Making Them More Effective

Gifts are made to loved ones for many reasons.  Parents may just want to give their children financial help or accomplish other worthwhile objectives.  Well-planned gifts can reduce a donor’s estate for estate tax purposes and shift income taxation to or away from the recipient of the gift.  Many objectives can be addressed in a […]

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Blog

Top 5 Mistakes in Estate Plans – Does Yours Have Any?

The primary purpose of an estate plan is to provide for the thoughtful transition of asset ownership to intended heirs.  After a plan is drafted, mistakes can creep in and upset a carefully-drafted plan.  Below, are five of the more common problem areas to consider. 1. Misusing Joint Ownership Joint tenancy is a common form […]

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Blog

Should My Agency Be an S Corp or a C Corp?

Recently I spoke at the Independent Insurance Agents (IIA) of Illinois annual conference on financial planning for agency owners. After the presentation which included a discussion on taxes, an owner approached me about the tax structure of his agency. He is currently structured as a C Corporation and wanted to know if that was the […]

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Blog

Updating an Estate Plan – Organizing Your Thoughts

Preparing an estate plan can be an intimidating process, since final instructions for a family’s assets are memorialized.  Upon death, those instructions are fixed – forever.  Estate plans should be reviewed frequently as family circumstances change – children mature into adults and in-laws are introduced into a family.  When children are very young, parents focus […]

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Blog

Solve the 4 C’s Before Selling Your Agency

Last month I had the opportunity to moderate an M&A panel at NAHUs (National Association of Health Underwriters) Annual Conference in San Diego. The panel was focused on what agency owners should look for when considering buying or selling an agency. Panelist Mike Deagle of Benaxis and Lily Lam of OneDigital did an excellent job […]

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Blog

Child’s UTMA is Ending – What Protection Exists?

Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, or UTMA, accounts are a popular way to hold investments and bank accounts for minors.  Such accounts are owned by the minor but controlled by a designated adult custodian.  The minor becomes the outright owner of the account assets when he or she reaches the age of majority specified in […]

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Wealth Watch

Picking Up Pennies

In investments, there’s not much more boring than cash.  Sure, it provides immense comfort when the markets go south, but in the long-term, cash is the piece of your portfolio which is basically set up to fail versus inflation.  By that measure alone, it’s exposure should be limited. Even so, cash still plays a critical […]

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