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.

01 Oct
October 01, 2018

Social Security plays a key role in many Americans’ retirement plans. Understanding the benefits available in different situations is important, especially for women. According to the Social Security Administration, the median earnings for women are approximately 80% of men’s earnings.

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26 Sep
September 26, 2018

Did you know that women are more likely to give to charity, tend to give more to charity, and are more likely to volunteer compared to men?

Based on survey results published by Fidelity Charitable, women are also more likely than men to seek advice from professionals when making decisions about their charitable giving.

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19 Jul
July 19, 2018

As the old saying goes, “there are only two things certain in life – death and taxes.” Because everyone has to face these realities sooner or later, taking time to implement certain tax planning strategies and create or review your estate plan, can save you money and provide peace of mind, both now and in the future.

First, let’s talk taxes.

While we all have to pay our dues to Uncle Sam each year, there are several planning strategies that can help

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09 Jul
July 09, 2018

This blog is brought to you by Savant’s Women’s Wealth Initiative

Becoming a first-time parent is both exhilarating and exhausting. For new mothers especially, it can be frightening. Caring for a newborn adds so many new things to worry about. As a new mom myself, I’ve experienced this firsthand. From the moment we brought our son home, I worried about whether he was eating enough, sleeping enough, and, dare I say it, pooping enough.

In addition to new worries, I often

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06 Jul
July 06, 2018

This blog is brought to you by Savant’s Women’s Wealth Initiative

We may not consciously think about it, but how we handle our finances from day to day is based on our deeply held beliefs about money. By acknowledging our personal habits, we can open up about our beliefs, our fears, and our dreams.

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02 Jul
July 02, 2018

The financial services industry is having a conversation. At the center of this conversation are women: women in financial service provider roles and women as investing clients.

Depending on which metrics you are tracking, it is reported that only one in four financial advisors are women.

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25 Jun
June 25, 2018

At least once a year I like to reflect on my own personal financial planning. I think about what I did well and where I can improve financially. I prefer to evaluate my financial planning at the beginning of the year because I feel more comfortable implementing any needed changes and starting the year off on a strong financial note, but there is never a better time than right now to review your own plan.

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04 Jun
June 04, 2018

If you are a business owner who receives “pass-through” income, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included a major provision that you need to be aware of and start planning for. The largest take away from the new legislation might be the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. However, this does not help you if your business is set up as a Sole Proprietor, S-Corp, Partnership, or certain LLCs. So, in an effort to ensure some

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07 May
May 07, 2018

With the new tax reform, now is a good time to re-evaluate your current and future tax strategies. With the ultimate goal of increasing after-tax return, the focus here will be less on items like standard deductions, personal exemptions or child tax credits and more on investment tax tools

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03 May
May 03, 2018

If you are one of the lucky ones, growing up, Mom always looked out for you, offered you advice, and was there for you in good times and in bad. This Mother’s Day, it’s time to look out for your mom or another mom you love by offering financial education that can help her, both now and into her future. You may have picked up your current beliefs about money from someone in your family growing up.

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24 Apr
April 24, 2018

Yes, that is Pease, not peace.

Donald Pease was a Congressman from Ohio who inserted a “stealth tax” into the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1990. The purpose of this Pease limitation was to raise revenue by limiting itemized deductions for high income earners.

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23 Apr
April 23, 2018

You may have heard that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the shared Federal Estate Tax Exemption level to over $22 million for a married couple. It is estimated that this increase will reduce the number of estates subject to Federal Estate Tax in 2018 from 5,500 to only 1,700, which represents approximately only 0.1% of the estates to be filed in 2018.

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09 Mar
March 09, 2018

The tax on a child’s investment and other unearned income (i.e. the Kiddie Tax) has gone through some major changes with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This article will provide guidance on how the changes may affect you.

The Kiddie Tax is the method of taxing and reporting unearned income of certain children.

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21 Feb
February 21, 2018

Home ownership has changed from the way it used to work for prior generations. Fifty years ago, many people bought a home and stayed in it for 30 years or longer. Far fewer take that approach today. As a result, many past “rules of thumb” need to be reevaluated. The answer to “How should I finance my home purchase?” is, as with so many financial planning questions, “It depends.”

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12 Feb
February 12, 2018

It’s time for some real talk about a few unpleasant topics: divorce and alimony. No one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced, but the reality is that a large number of individuals will sadly become a statistic. We want to think that our relationship is different, we are different, and we will beat the national odds that 41% of first marriages, 60% of second marriages, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.

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06 Feb
February 06, 2018

Your 2018 tax return (filed in spring 2019) may look quite different from what you are used to seeing.

For starters, there will no longer be any personal exemptions (the old tax law allowed $4,050 per person in deductions, subject to income limitations). These were taken out with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), enacted in late December 2017, and “combined” with the standard deduction.

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10 Jan
January 10, 2018

Now that the dust has settled a bit from the new tax law, it’s time to talk about tax planning strategies moving forward into 2018. There certainly are a number of changes packed into the latest legislation; however, we will be focusing on the new, increased standard deduction and how that will impact your charitable donations.

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22 Dec
December 22, 2017

In the 1630s in Holland, tulips were a relatively new flower. (The first tulips came to Europe from Turkey in 1554.) The flowers were perceived as a luxury, so they were in high demand across Europe and there was a limited supply. In the mid-1630s, speculation entered the market. The price for tulips began to rise beyond the “rational” price of a flower. By early 1637, the highest valued tulip bulbs were selling –singly – for more than ten times

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21 Dec
December 21, 2017

Congress is enacting the biggest tax reform law in 30 years, one that will make fundamental changes in the way you, your family, and your business calculate your federal income tax bill, and the amount of federal tax you will pay.

Since most of the changes will go into effect next year, there’s still a narrow window of time before year-end to soften or avoid the impact of the new provisions and to best position yourself for the tax breaks that

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20 Dec
December 20, 2017

For the first time since Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Tax Reform Act, major tax reform has been enacted. Republican lawmakers worked until Friday, Dec. 15 on blending the House and Senate proposals into how the law currently stands. After some minor changes due to parliamentary exceptions raised by the Democrats, the Bill cleared both the House and Senate on Dec. 20 and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump.

The overarching goal of Republican lawmakers was to simplify the

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27 Nov
November 27, 2017

Tax filing season is fast approaching and with that will come another barrage of attempts at tax return fraud. The attacks on your information and your refund continue at an alarming rate. To help prevent becoming a victim, it’s crucial you stay aware of possible scams and safeguard your personal information. A common scam that startles tens of thousands of us each year is receiving a call from an IRS impersonator.

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16 Nov
November 16, 2017

Planning a wedding takes quite a bit of time and effort. It involves a good deal of coordination and communication to make sure everything goes smoothly on the big day. Don’t let the organization skills you developed while planning your wedding go to waste after tying the knot. Instead, re-direct them to an important part of your new life together: creating a financial plan for your future.

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26 Oct
October 26, 2017

Savant has always valued organizations and programs that align with our corporate values. Philanthropy is part of our culture; we believe it is good business to support the areas in which our clients, employees, and offices are located through charitable giving, corporate sponsorships, and volunteerism. One specific organization we are proud to sponsor is Badger Honor Flight. Through this sponsorship, Brent Lindell, a financial advisor in our Madison office, was given the opportunity to serve and honor veterans from WWII, Korea,

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