Author - Forrest Baumhover

1
3 Reasons To Consider Hiring a Tax Professional
2
Five Little-Known Services Your Financial Planner Should Be Offering
3
Why I Became a Financial Planner
4
12 Lessons Learned From My Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
5
5 Tax Planning Considerations of a Roth Conversion for Your TSP Account

3 Reasons To Consider Hiring a Tax Professional

For a lot of military households, tax preparation is simple, straightforward, and free.  Every year, just collect the paperwork and head down to the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) office, and the staff can help you do your taxes.  Or, if you’d rather do it on your own, you can either use a software provider such as TurboTax, or go to the IRS FreeFile website.  The IRS also has a link to find free state filing options, based upon certain eligibility criteria.

However, you often get what you pay for.  Over the course of your military career, you …

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Five Little-Known Services Your Financial Planner Should Be Offering

The financial planning landscape can be pretty confusing.  Not only is it difficult to figure out who has your best interests in mind (as the debate over the fiduciary standard is pretty confusing), but it’s also difficult to figure out who is in the business of EARNING their fee, vice collecting it.  This article should serve as a quick snapshot (and starting point for discussions) on what a consumer should consider to be the minimum standard for hiring a financial planner.  Meeting these criteria doesn’t necessarily mean success, but failing to do so should prompt you to keep looking for …

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Why I Became a Financial Planner

As my financial planning practice grows, I’ve noticed that people are asking me how to become a financial planner.  The other day, I answered an email from someone asking how to become a financial planner.  It was at that point that two things occurred to me:

  • At the time of this writing, I’ll have written about 150 articles on this website. None of them talks about why I became a financial planner.
  • Military in Transition contains an “About Me” page, but it doesn’t really explain my journey from the military to becoming a financial planner.

This article is a first …

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12 Lessons Learned From My Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

Executive Summary

This story is about my personal experience in dealing with a homeowner insurance claim for a roof replacement.  Although virtually every other home in my neighborhood experienced the same damage (from a freak hailstorm), my insurance claim became a long, drawn out affair.  While the settlement terms are beside the point, I hope this story will help steel someone for the challenges they might face if they’re dealing with a particularly tough insurance company.

Disclaimer:  Sorry, but I have to put this up front.  I’m a fee-only financial planner.  My firm, Westchase Financial Planning, is a registered investment …

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5 Tax Planning Considerations of a Roth Conversion for Your TSP Account

Introduction

Many people have taken advantage of the Roth TSP option since its inception in 2012.  However, there are still many federal employees and service members with most of their retirement savings in traditional accounts.  Naturally, this begs the question: “How do I convert my traditional account to a Roth account?”  This is also known as a Roth conversion.

The more appropriate approach should be to ask two questions:

  • Should I convert my traditional account to a Roth account?
  • If so, how do I do this in the most effective manner?  Effective manner indicates minimal loss of money through fees,
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