In early 2000 I knew I wanted to be a financial planner. It merged two of my favorite loves: working with people and math. (I loved math so much that I took classes over the summer of my teenage years so I could finish Calculus in my sophomore year of high school. I know, I know…youth is wasted on the young.) The problem was that my university did not offer a degree in financial planning, so I was on myRead More
Savant offers perspective on a variety of topics. Entries range from current events to timeless insights in the world of finance and investments.
At the outset, I need to tell you that prior to joining a fee-only wealth management firm in 2000, I sold an investment/insurance product back in the mid-1990s. The product is called an Equity Indexed Annuity (“EIA”). The very first EIA was developed in 1995 by Keystone Life, so it’s still a relatively new product. It has a very appealing feature: earn stock market returns without any downside risk.
Who wouldn’t want that? Invest in the stock market – the S&PRead More
Here at Savant, we have many clients who live in Illinois for half the year and Florida for the other half. Often we are asked, “Can I change my residency to Florida to avoid Illinois state tax?” The answer is usually, “It depends.” So what does it really depend on? The State of Illinois looks at many different items to determine this, but the main ones are domicile, time spent in each state, and past court cases.
When I first learned to drive, my father taught me how to jump start a car. When attaching the jumper cables, he instructed, always match the positive cable to the positive side, and the negative cable to the negative side. Failure to align the charge could result in serious damage to the car and a shower of sparks. The same can be said when designing your estate plan. Once your estate plan is properly drafted and signed, it is imperativeRead More
Tax day has just passed and most of us have recently filed our 2015 tax returns. Now is the perfect time to take inventory of your tax situation and make sure you are fully utilizing opportunities to minimize your 2016 tax bill next April. Proactive planning and good recordkeeping now can go a long way in helping reduce your future tax burden.
Congress recently made permanent and extended several important tax breaks as part of the PATH (Protecting Americans from TaxRead More