Author - Joel Shaps, CFP®, CIMA®

1
The Family Meeting
2
The Pros & Cons of Annuities
3
The 5 Best Ways to Save For College
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4 Ways to Save For College & Save on Taxes

The Family Meeting

I am shocked at how many of our clients do not have a working knowledge of the financial circumstances and legacy goals of their parents. Nor have many of my clients shared any of their wealth plans with their adult children. Sure, many of our clients hold regular family social gatherings, meet for the holidays or have reunions and even participate in family business partnership meetings, but that is where it ends.

I propose one way to remedy this information void is to hold formally structured family meetings. In addition to opening lines of communications between generations these meetings can …

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The Pros & Cons of Annuities

Based on client concerns over market volatility over the last couple market cycles, I once again investigated immediate annuities as an alternative investment strategy for a portion of some retired clients’ portfolios. For full disclosure, as a fee-only planner I have never recommended an annuity to a client—other than rolling an existing annuity into a better choice—as we always felt there were alternatives that were a better deal for them.  For background, annuities are sold by insurance companies and are designed to give a stream of income for the balance of one or both of a couples lives.

An immediate …

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The 5 Best Ways to Save For College

The choices for college funding are varied and no one solution is right for everyone.  Depending on your time horizon, tolerance for risk, income and estate tax situations, cash flow restrictions and what level of higher education you want to fund any of the following may be viable choices:

529 College Savings Plan

529 college savings plans are state sponsored but you can invest in a plan sponsored by any state. The advantage of “529” college saving plans is that they allow the investments to grow tax-free as long as they are eventually used for approved education expenses.  These include …

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4 Ways to Save For College & Save on Taxes

Many clients want to better understand what options they have to fund future college expenses for their children or grandchildren and there are several options available to you that help can you save on taxes as well.

Below are 5 possible ways to start funding a child’s or grandchild’s college education.

1.      529-College Savings Plan—These plans are state sponsored but the money can be invested in any state plan. The advantage to “529” college saving plans allows the investments to grow tax-free, as long as they are used for approved education expenses that includes tuition, room and board, travel …

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