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Considering Real Estate as Part of Your Estate Plan

One of the most significant assets that people own at death is real estate – whether that be a primary home, vacation home, rental property, or any combination. For the most part, a basic estate plan and a family that gets along should be enough to deal with these assets upon death, but that is not always the case. Very frequently, people die without considering the financial, legal and family implications of owning real estate upon death.

Financially, real estate is essentially treated like any other asset you own upon your death and is taxed accordingly. For real estate located…


Business Owners: Do You Know You’re a Fiduciary?

The Secure Act 2.0 proposals regarding retirement programs and savings plans for employees have brought the administration of employer-sponsored retirement plans to the forefront of many business owners’ minds. This new legislation will elevate the need for small business owners to understand the role and responsibilities they have as fiduciaries to their employees as a retirement plan sponsor.

What does it mean to be a fiduciary on employer-sponsored retirement plans?
Being a fiduciary means business owners must act in the best interest of their employees and make decisions that will put their employees in the best position possible for…


Do You Know Where All Your Money Is?

When you think about where your money is located, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A bank checking account? An online savings account? An investment account? A workplace 401(k)? The motorcycle collection slowly growing in your garage?

Many people don’t realize their money is so spread out. When asked where they keep their money, automatic answers tend to be a bank checking and savings account, plus a workplace retirement account. But as you dive deeper into the conversation, many people come to realize that they are tied to more financial institutions than they initially thought — it’s…


How Risk Tolerance Influences Your Financial Plan

This past year, market volatility prompted many investors to think about how much risk they’re willing to tolerate. An investor’s risk tolerance is how comfortable they are with potentially losing money in hopes of higher gains, depending on market performance. Whether or not last year has inspired a more aggressive or more conservative approach, investors should work with their advisor to align their risk tolerance with a comprehensive and personalized financial plan.

How is risk tolerance determined? The first step we utilize at Girard to establish risk tolerance is to have each client complete a questionnaire, so we can get a…


Benefits of Working with a Professional, Community-Based Trust Group

Part of any complete estate plan is the naming of a number of important positions. Whether that be a Guardian to raise your minor children, an Agent to act as your Power of Attorney when you cannot act for yourself, an Executor to administer your estate, or a Trustee who is charged with managing any trusts that you create as part of your overall plan; these are important decisions to make.

Some of these roles can be filled by a trusted individual (family member, friend, attorney, etc.), but the role of an Executor and Trustee may be best filled by…


Should You Get Out of Debt Before Entering Retirement?

Many people headed towards retirement are faced with endless “Should I?” questions: Should I move to a warmer climate or stay closer to family? Should I take Social Security now or delay it a few years? Should I pick up a part-time job or take up a few hobbies to stay active?

One of the most common and important questions we hear at Girard — and see debated throughout the industry — is, “Should I pay off debt before entering retirement?” While there are many schools of thought on this, we’re here to share our insight and provide best-practice tips…


Should You Consider Using the Backdoor Roth IRA Strategy?

Should you consider converting traditional IRAs to Roth accounts? With individual tax rates at a low by historical standards and a pending reversion in 2026 to the higher rates that preceded the current tax law, it could be an opportune time. Roth IRAs can potentially produce significant income tax savings over years, or even decades, and can represent a valuable investing, tax planning, retirement income planning, and estate planning strategy. In this article, we will explore the Roth IRA and a strategy known as the backdoor Roth IRA that allows individuals with high incomes to utilize a Roth IRA.

The Appeal…


Investment Currents – March 2021

What’s been driving volatility in the market? In this video, Timothy Chubb, Chief Investment Officer, shares his insight on the economy, interest rates, the bond market and inflation. He also provides his thoughts on the importance of having a diversified portfolio.

If you’re looking for guidance or assistance with your financial plan, the advisors at Girard are here to help. Contact an advisor to have a conversation about your plan.

This material represents an assessment of the market and economic environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future…


Navigating Love and Money

The topic of finances can be difficult for couples and families to talk about, but creating a plan together should be a top priority. In this video, Jordan Sowhangar, wealth advisor and Certified Financial PlannerTM, and Brian Hungarter, wealth advisor, share their advice for how to navigate discussing money with your loved ones so you can create a plan for your financial future.

The topic of finances can be difficult for couples and families to talk about, but creating a plan together should be a top priority. In this video, Jordan Sowhangar, wealth advisor and Certified Financial PlannerTM, and Brian…


Adapting Your Financial Plan Ahead of Changing Policy

Many people are unsure how the incoming administration’s economic policy will impact them and are concerned about the potential for rising taxes. While Biden has committed to not raising taxes for individuals earning less than $400,000 per year, it may be a good idea to adapt financial plans to accommodate shifting tax policy.

Two key tax changes planned by the Biden administration include:

  • Taxing long-term capital gains and dividends at the ordinary income tax rate of 39.6% for annual incomes greater than $1 million.
  • Reducing the amount of funds an individual can transfer tax-free to…
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