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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 specialists’ advice on saving, spending, investing, retirement, taxes, giving and more to help you enjoy a full life.

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College Costs – Where Are They Going?

The cost of college may arguably be the most expensive item parents plan for during their child’s life.  The sticker shock of tuition, fees, and room and board charges may cause a sense of panic for parents when thinking about how to save for college or wondering how much college will cost in the future.  […]

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Top 3 Year-End Planning Tips for Lawyers

As I’ve spoken with many lawyers throughout 2020, I’ve been impressed by how resilient most law firms have been.  Most lawyers have seen their firms hold steady, and some have even seen growth in 2020.  I consider that an amazing testament to the long-established truth that nothing of any importance gets done without the input […]

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Business Considerations for Your Start-Up

Getting a business off the ground can be stressful, and the need to decide which entity structure to use amid all the chaos can be overwhelming.  There are many different factors to consider, such as ease of administration, liability protection, legal requirements and income tax implications.  In this blog, we’ll take a high-level look at […]

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The Widow’s Tax Penalty and How to Plan for it

If you are a couple filing your taxes jointly, one of you will likely file as an individual one day. Some statistics say as much as 80% of wives will outlive their husbands. The widow’s “tax penalty” or “tax trap,” as some call it, refers to the situation many surviving spouses face with having to […]

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Watching the Sunset – Current Estate Tax Laws vs New Proposals

With the presidential election behind us and Joe Biden entering the Oval Office in January, questions and uncertainties still exist regarding his proposed tax package. With the “Blue Wave” of Democratic control over the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives seemingly less likely, major tax reform that was a pillar of Biden’s presidential platform […]

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How to Lower Your Tax Bill With Deferred Compensation

Non-qualified deferred compensation plans are an area of increased activity, with year-end planning and tax uncertainty. Executives and key employees can take advantage of managing today’s still-low tax brackets while staging a custom payout plan in retirement at potentially lower rates. First, it’s important to understand how these plans work and what the pros and […]

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Working Wealthy – Time Passing, Fast and Slow

I’m guessing Daniel Kahneman will never read this blog, so he won’t be offended by my riff on his Thinking, Slow and Fast book title. Pardon the term, but in these days of COVID-19, time seems to have taken on a very different meaning and reality. And, being a relatively new parent, I’m acutely aware […]

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3 Tips to Achieve a Tax-Smart Divorce

Divorce is expensive – time, energy, emotion, and of course, legal fees. And while transferring assets between spouses due to divorce does not generally result in a tax consequence, repositioning assets to create cash flow and a strategy to align with each spouse’s individual goals likely will. Avoiding these three mistakes will enable both spouses […]

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Good Bye 2020, Hello Taxes

Good news: The year 2020 is coming to an end. Historians will look back at 2020 as an epic year for chaos in the United States. We will not miss the Covid-19 Pandemic, the social unrest across the country, or the contentious presidential election.  Bad news: now that the election is over, and we have […]

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Potential Changes to the Illinois Tax System From JB Pritzker’s Fair Tax for Illinois Proposal

In March of 2019, information was released regarding Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s proposed tax plan, otherwise known as the Fair Tax for Illinois. Here are a few of the key items included in the proposal that would impact both individual and corporate taxpayers in the state of Illinois: Individual Changes Tax System Structure:  The current […]

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Don’t Rock Climb Without a Rope

You wouldn’t go rock climbing without a rope – would you? Sure, it may not be quite as exhilarating, but if there is a tool to help you from falling to your death, it would make sense to invest in it. The rope helps to manage risk just like various types of insurance in your […]

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Retirement Benefits for Lawyers

I have the privilege of working with many law firm partners as clients.  In my experience, law firms often have some of the best benefits for their partners and associates.  I have also found that many times lawyers don’t take the time to fully comprehend all of their firm-provided benefits and how those benefits impact […]

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