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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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Working Wealthy – You Are In Control

Our three-year-old son, Nate, is a cannon-baller. If you’re not familiar with that term, it just means that he’s a mini-lunatic when it comes to bodily safety and decision making. For example, last weekend, as my daughter and I reclined on the floor reading a book together, Nate decided to run at us full speed […]

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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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Medicare 2019 – Key Enrollment Dates and Important Changes

The leaves are changing colors and a cool breeze is in the air, which means many retirees are securing their winter travel plans. However, before jumping on the plane to escape the cold winter months that lie ahead, it is also time for Medicare participants to decide if changes should be made to their health […]

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The Cobbler’s Children Paradox Affects Financial Professionals Too

The cobbler’s children have no shoes and financial professionals (private equity professionals, investment bankers, asset managers) have no financial plan. This paradox seems to consistently plague the individuals I meet who work in the finance industry. One would think that those in the industry are buttoned up in terms of their own financial needs; however, […]

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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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What happens to your belongings when you die?

As Financial Advisors, we put a lot of thought and effort into making sure that we have the proper beneficiary designations and titling on accounts for clients so that they are passed on appropriately someday in the future.  Much of our focus is on investment accounts, bank accounts, houses, etc. – but what happens to […]

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Year-End Tax Planning – Strategies to Save

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) put into place new tax legislation for Americans, officially taking effect for the 2018 tax year.  The full effect of the changes was not felt by most individuals and families until they filed their returns in April of this year. If proactively planned for, below are […]

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Working Wealthy – Accumulation to Consumption

We get the opportunity to work with BDF clients in all stages of their personal financial planning. Those stages include building wealth, accumulating wealth and eventually consuming that wealth. That last stage is probably the most interesting as it appears to be the most difficult from a behavioral level. That’s right—spending one’s retirement savings is […]

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Yours, Mine, Ours – Financial Considerations for Blended Families

When I decided to get remarried, it was an exciting time for me and my (now) husband. What we quickly found, however, was that decisions we had made prior to our previous marriages, such as where we would live, financial decisions and now, disciplining and raising kids from our previous marriages, were not as straightforward […]

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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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What’s the Big Deal with Interest Rates? 3 Ways You Will Feel Changes

Markets go up. Markets go down. We’ve seen interest rates increase and we’ve seen interest rates decrease. Let’s assume you are not a big purchaser of Treasury Bonds – why would interest rates matter to you? The on-going saga of interest rates around the world continues to lead headlines across news outlets. With buzz words, […]

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How and When to Invest That Bonus Money

To invest or not to invest? That is the question. For financial professionals (private equity professionals, investment bankers, and asset managers) this question surfaces on an annual basis as bonuses are paid. After determining your saving priorities, a decision must be made about how to deploy the cash. Since bonuses and carry are such a […]

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