Savant Blog

Savant offers perspective on a variety of topics. Entries range from current events to timeless insights in the world of finance and investments.

11 Feb
February 11, 2015

Was your estate plan drafted five or more years ago? If so, recent changes in the Federal and Illinois estate tax laws should prompt a review and update of that plan.

Effective January 1st of this year, each U.S. citizen can transfer during life or at death up to $5.43 million of property free of Federal estate tax. Transfers in excess of this amount are subject to Federal tax at a flat rate of 40%. For Illinois

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10 Feb
February 10, 2015

Brainstorming topics to write about this month, I kept thinking about all the changes that happen during the transition from college into the real world for the first time. Being at this point in my life, I know firsthand about the learning curve that comes during this time. Questions that pop into my head often are: Am I spending too much on rent? Am I saving enough? Do I even know how much I am saving per month, if

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13 Jan
January 13, 2015

The season is upon us and those of us at Savant thought it would be a good idea to repost the following article on IRS phone call scams occuring across the nation. We’ve heard from numerous victims in the last couple months and we want to spread the word to keep people on guard and as safe as possible.

By this time of year, most people have received their tax-related documents. As more and more returns are filed and received by

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12 Jan
January 12, 2015

Is saving more money for retirement one of your New Year’s Resolutions? Well, good news awaits you! The IRS has increased the contribution limits to many retirement savings plans for 2015, providing additional opportunity for tax savings. Contributing to a tax deferred retirement plan can be the single best way to reduce your tax liability while saving for your future.

Here’s how:

401(k), 403(b), TSP, and most 457 plans:

- Maximum deferral (contribution) has increased to $18,000 from $17,500

- Catch-up contribution limit for those over

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06 Jan
January 06, 2015

As part of recent tax-extenders legislation, Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. The ABLE Act created a new Section 529-ABLE account that can be used for certain expenses of special needs beneficiaries. The new 529-ABLE accounts will be modeled using the existing 529 college savings plan framework. States will be responsible for establishing their own plans, similar to 529 college savings plan accounts.

Distributions will be tax free when used for

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