social security check

A “Costly Retirement Surprise” In Retirement

File this one under “what you don’t know can hurt you.” Many clients are surprised to learn that they are likely to owe taxes on their Social Security income. Social Security benefits are tax-free only to recipients at lower income levels. Once your income exceeds a certain amount, the IRS starts assessing income tax on up […]

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Coral Springs, Florida (Courtesy of City of Coral Springs)

Weston and Coral Springs Among “America’s Best Places To Live”

Congratulations to all our clients in Weston and Coral Springs, for helping launch your towns into the top 100 of America’s “Best Small Cities” in Money magazine’s annual Best Places To Live list! Weston (seen at right) won points for its top-quality schools and plentiful sports and outdoor activities. Coral Springs (seen below) ranked tops for home affordability and its young demographics (forget everything […]

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Quote Of The Week: Who’s Responsible For Your Retirement?

“Who’s responsible for your retirement? You are.” SmartMoney magazine, September 2012, calls this one of the eight “most important lessons” of  personal finance they’ve learned over the last two decades. Retirement Insight: In 1980, 80% of private sector workers were covered by pensions. Today, that figure is only 32%. That makes it even more essential for you to take […]

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Muni Bonds: Time To Get Worried?

Muni Bonds: Time To Get Worried?

Some of our clients are calling to talk to us about what’s happening in the municipal bond market.  They read that Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway terminated contracts it had written insuring $8 billion of  municipal debt. Does this mean, they ask, that Mr. Buffett is souring on the muni bond market? The short answer is […]

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5-Minute Fix: Picking The Right Mortgage Term When You Refi

Many of our clients are taking advantage of incredibly low mortgage rates to refinance. But how do you decide between a traditional 30-year fixed mortgage and a shorter 15 or 20-year term? A shorter-term mortgage, like one lasting only 15 years, will offer a lower interest rate and will, of course, be paid off sooner due to […]

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Test Your Knowledge: How Long Must Your Funds Last in Retirement?

Are you on track to get an “A+” in retirement, or do you risk flunking out? Here’s a deceptively simple question posed to working Americans in the New Retirement Mindscape II survey sponsored by Ameriprise Financial: How many years do you estimate you’ll live on your retirement savings? Answer: A).  15 years B).  20 years C).  25 years D).  30 […]

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In The News

We actively participate in a variety of media projects with the goal of helping clients and consumers learn more about financial issues. Here are some of the recent articles to which we contributed (for a full listing, please visit our website): Sun-Sentinel, Donna Gehrke-White, August 12, 2012, “Some boomers to their mortgage: ‘Til death do us […]

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Five Things You Need To Know About Your IRA’s “Required Minimum Distribution”

It’s the kind of subject that makes most people’s eyes glaze over. But those pesky little “required minimum distributions,” or RMDs, aren’t really that complicated, and they are truly of critical importance.  Mess one up and the IRS will charge you a whopping 50% penalty. Here’s five things you really ought to know about your RMDs. 1.  What are they? […]

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college cost

Boomers Shifting Cost Of College To Kids

Among our clients, even the well-off are cutting back on what they are willing to shell out for college. This isn’t because parents or financial planners like us have lost faith in the power of higher education. In fact, since our doors first opened for business almost twenty years ago, we have never stopped stressing the critical […]

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presidential election 2012

Millionaires Say Next President Needs “Financial” Not “Political” Skills

Here’s an intriguing study from the Spectrem Group, a consulting group specializing in opinion surveys of affluent individuals. More than half the millionaires surveyed by the Spectrem Group in July 2012 said the most important skills needed by the next President of the United States are the “financial skills that come from a corporate executive background.” Only 30% ranked “political skills” […]

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