Donating IRA Assets to Charity

This week’s The Distillery builds on last week’s Charitable Giving theme, but focuses on a different way to give and save on taxes. Everyone charitably-minded should find the strategy interesting, but for those of you who are over 70.5, taking RMD’s, and don’t itemize, this should excite you about as much as anyone is allowed to be excited about financial planning.   Enjoy!     Donating IRA assets to charity: The provision allows retirees age 701/2 and older to donate up to $100,000 tax free from their IRA each year. Generally, when you take a distribution from your IRA, it is treated as taxable income. Under this provision, made permanent in the 2015 federal spending and tax package, those assets are excluded from income if the distribution is made directly to charity... Read More >

Why Donating Stock to Charity Beats Giving Cash

This week’s The Distillery is an excellent kick-off to “Tax Season.” No, not the filing of tax returns, but the proactive tax planning that’s involved prior to year-end in order to minimize the taxes you pay over your lifetime. If you’ve been a client of ours for a while, you know what we’re talking about. If not, one of the most needle-moving tax planning strategies at year-end involves the timing and character of charitable giving. The author in the following article does a great job of summarizing the benefits of donating stock to charity, over cash. We hope you enjoy, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to discuss year-end strategies in more depth! It’s that time of year: The air feels crisper, the leaves look redder, and pumpkin spice futures suddenly seem like a good investment. But it’s also a key time of year for something that’s actually a thing: charitable donations. Why now? According to a study by the Network for Good of donations made through its platform, in 2015, 29% of all giving occurred in December, and more than 11% took place in the final three days of the year. That’s some pretty stellar procrastination. However, if investors want to make the biggest impact on the cause of their choice.…read more Read More >

Pretirement: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

This week’s The Distillery presents one of the best summary perspectives on Retirement I’ve read. It succinctly covers our past, present and possibly future shifts in Retirement paradigms, which in my opinion, leads us to just about the same conclusion for any modern day societal trend. That conclusion is that there is no such thing as standard or normal, and instead of checking the “Retirement boxes,” one must truly decide their own definition for themselves. My favorite quote from the article:   “Anyone actively planning and saving toward a secure early retirement is not normal. Normal in our society is to spend most or all of what you earn and save little toward retirement. And this normal occurs among a population that accepts the traditional idea of retirement.”     Enjoy!     Pretirement is a term being proposed to describe a phase of life between career and retirement. Pretirement is a process that takes place over years, even decades, versus a single decision to retire. It is characterized by cutting back on work earlier in life, but continuing some work indefinitely. Why do we need this new word? What’s wrong with the current paradigm?... Read More >

The Advocates Quarterly Letter

Please enjoy our most recent Quarterly Letter that highlights The Advocates’ thoughts on markets and portfolios.   Have a great week! Read More >

Why Being Financially Independent Or Retiring Early Won’t Make You Happy

For all those that participated in our blog survey, again, thank you. We are reviewing your responses and aim to adapt our content towards your collective voices over the coming weeks and months as best we can.   This week’s The Distillery is a link to a thought provoking piece, picked up in Forbes, which discusses the latest acronym in vogue (at least to my knowledge): FIRE (Financially Independent Retiring Early). We hope you read the entire article, but if your time is limited, I’ve include my favorite quote from the article below.   “While financial independence may provide you with financial cushion and peace of mind to comfortably pursue paths outside your current career, you don't need to be financially independent to start experimenting now.”   Enjoy!     There has been a growing interest in the financial independence, retire early movement, or FIRE for short. According to the movement, all you have to do is save 25 times your annual living expenses, and then you'll be financially independent and have the ability to retire early. Best of all, when you become financially independent, you can do whatever you want with your time, and don't have to worry about making money. It sounds amazing, right? While there are some good aspects of the FIRE movement, becoming financially independent or retiring early won't make you happy, and here's why... Read More >

Blog Survey (last chance) – $50 Amazon GC

We’re leaving the blog survey open for one more week, so for all those who would like a chance to win a $50 Amazon GC, the deadline is Thursday, October 11th! For those that have already taken it, thank you, and we apologize if you received a follow up message stating that you “failed the survey.” For those of you who haven't taken the survey, we have modified the settings so that you’ll feel better emotionally after clicking submit :)   In the meantime, check out this visual provided by RW Baird. 2018 has been a fairly flat to negative year across the globe….oh yeah, except for the US! Read More >

Blog Survey – $50 Amazon GC

This week you may be interested to know we have actually not posted anything to our regular blog! Instead, we ask that you take less than 1 minute of your time to complete our 2 question survey about The Distillery itself. Doing so will help us improve your future blog experience, as well as put your name in a hat for a $50 Amazon gift card drawing. The link to the survey is below. We appreciate your honest feedback! Read More >

7 Facts That Will Free You From the Fear of Stock Market Crashes

This week’s The Distillery is brought to you by a combination of Visual Capitalist and Tony Robbins, leveraging data and talking points from his #1 Best Selling book Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook. I’m not certain these 7 Facts will actually “free you from the fear of stock market crashes,” but I have to admit, even I felt better after reviewing them! It’s only human to focus on our most recent experiences (Availability Bias: The Great Recession), but pausing to reflect on a broader data set of stock market experiences throughout history has a way of humbling us.     Enjoy!     The current bull market in stocks is closing in on an astounding 10 years in length, making it the longest bull market run in all of modern history. Understandably, this makes many people very nervous. Everyone remembers the mayhem of 2008 – and with stock prices at all-time highs, the fear of a market meltdown is a valid concern for many investors... Read More >

Gold, What is it Good For?

Ohhhh Gold, our elusive chameleon of a friend. At times, we create a mania around it, while at other times we wonder why we would ever own it! This week’s The Distillery takes a look just this dilemma.   Enjoy, and please remember that we’re here for you every day to answer questions such as these.     It has been 2,555 days since gold peaked in September 2011. The S&P 500 meanwhile is within half a percent of its all-time high. Gold investors have good reason to be frustrated, as the precious metal currently sits 40% below those highs..… Read More >

The Origins of Labor Day

This week’s The Distillery reflects on the origins of this weekend’s upcoming holiday, as interpreted by Geopolitical Futures’ George Friedman. As always, I learn something new every day.   Enjoy!     Labor Day became an American Federal Holiday in 1894.  Most other countries celebrate Labor on May 1st. That date had been a pagan celebration, but in the late 19th century, European socialists adopted May 1st as the annual holiday devoted to labor with marches and riots.   Industrialization brought labor problems to the United States with some nasty consequences. American workers wanted more money, better working conditions, and recognition.  Money and better conditions were hard to give. So labor suggested a holiday, and management and Congress was enthused. A holiday not built around an armed uprising was just the thing. But May 1st was a reminder of everything they wanted the workers not to think about.   So, the first Monday in September was chosen. Being the last weekend before children returned to school, this created a.… Read More >