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Estate Tax Exemption – Use it Now!

Federal tax law levies a tax on the value of assets you own at death.  The estate tax is levied at a 40% rate and can severely impact the transfer of wealth to future generations.  Many business owners are simply unaware that the value of their business exposes them to the tax and that may […]

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Top 4 Biden Tax Changes That May Affect You

Presidential Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, recently released more information on his proposed tax agenda. While there are a number of tax changes that Joe Biden has mentioned, we will focus on four potential changes that would impact individual taxpayers. Of course, these changes are contingent on Vice President Biden winning the election and also being […]

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Stock Options and Restricted Stock – What You Need to Know About Taxes

Executive compensation plans, including stock-based compensation, are a great way for companies to attract and retain top talent. Understanding the tax implications, however, can be a daunting task. Many variables come into play, including plan type, qualified or non-qualified status, holding periods, etc. and for busy professionals, just finding time to focus on this can […]

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Exiting Your Business? 3 Critical Considerations

Selling a business is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to a way of life.  The seller has one opportunity to get the sale “right” to maximize retirement wealth and preserve that which will be transferred to future generations.  Of course, there are many detailed considerations, but the early focus should be […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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