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On The Horizon Blog

The financial planning and investment landscape changes at a dizzying speed – and often with conflicting messages. Read our team of experts’ advice on saving, spending, investing, retirement, taxes, giving and more to help you enjoy a full life.

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Spring Cleaning Your File Cabinets

With warmer weather, more sunshine, and opening day baseball (Go White Sox!) on the horizon, I was feeling ambitious last weekend and decided to get a jump start on my Spring cleaning. As I sifted through file cabinets I was shocked as to how many statements, bills, and receipts can pile up over 12 months, […]

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Stress Testing as a Risk Management Tool for Financial Professionals

Heads or Tails In 1979, two behavioral economists, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, ran a famous experiment to understand how averse to loss humans truly are. The experiment involved the ultimate game of chance, flipping a coin. The two economists simply asked their subject if they would accept certain terms of a bet based on […]

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What’s your burn rate?

Recently I wrote a blog about “The Big Five of Retirement Planning” which are the five factors that most impact how successful your retirement will be… at least financially.  These are: How long you work How much you spend How much you save How hard your money works for you How long you live Other […]

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3 Reasons to Change Your Estate Plan After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created many planning opportunities.  The Act raised the per person estate tax exemption to $11,200,000.  Therefore, the estate tax will apply to very few people – that is until at least December 31, 2025, which is when the new law “sunsets.”  Estate planning has changed to focus […]

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Two Ways to Still Improve Your 2017 Taxes

Although most of the significant tax saving opportunities needed to be done prior to December 31, 2016, there are still several tax beneficial contributions that can be implemented before April 15th to ease your tax burden. Listed below are a couple items you should consider when preparing your taxes: Make an IRA Contribution – You […]

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Working Wealthy – Unlucky or Unprepared?

This January that peculiar little light lit up on my dashboard and, sure enough, my driver’s side rear tire was flat. Fortunately, when this happened I was only blocks away from a gas station. I was in luck! The gas station had an air pump (and it was working), but that’s where the good news […]

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Tax Reform Is Here, But Make Sure You Catch These Items…

With 2018 finally here, the new tax law is in full swing.  While much of the mainstream discussion was around the tax rates and certain deductions, there were other items included in this bill that should be considered when thinking about your 2018 tax situation.  Here are a few of the key provisions that weren’t […]

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3 Lessons Learned From Failed New Year’s Resolutions

Every January 1st approximately four out of ten people make New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, a third of resolutions are broken by February 1st. In discussing this trend with an insurance agency owner over lunch this past December, he confided with me that he and his team did not have sales goals and he was using […]

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In the Middle of a Divorce? Move Fast to Control Taxes

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 impacted all families, but the ramifications for families in the middle of a divorce are greater than most. Alimony Historically, alimony (often referred to as spousal support or maintenance) has been deductible by the payor and taxable to the recipient.  This benefited the family because the recipient […]

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This is Your Brain on Love

I am about to celebrate the first year of marriage to my beautiful wife. In just a short year, we got married, traveled throughout southeast Asia on our honeymoon, purchased a home, and had a lot of fun along the way. Naturally, we also started to combine our finances and think of ourselves as a […]

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4 Critical Issues Facing Law Firms Today

Over the past couple of years our firm has conducted over 200 interviews to better understand the challenges facing lawyers and law firms in today’s environment.  The most commonly-cited challenges I hear from law firm leaders and individual lawyers are (in no particular order): Rainmaking Attracting and retaining talent Succession planning, and Retirement planning and […]

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4 Critical Estate Planning Considerations – Keeping Your Plan Current

Estate planning documents receive very little attention after they are drafted.  Why?  People find the process emotional and burdensome and that is motivation enough to put off updates until next year – or several years from now! Family and law changes often make estate plans fall far short of intended goals.  Here are four critical […]

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