Blog Posts

By Marc C. Shaffer

With a new year peeking around the corner, now is a good time to review the financial strategies that are working well for you, your goals for the future, and take inventory of where you stand financially.

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Did you recently add a second comma to your bank balance? Has a recent financial event raised your net worth to the next level? It's an exciting time, whether it's the result of your long-term goals such as diligent saving and investing, the sale of a business, a windfall transfer of wealth, or a key promotion.

You're probably already considering how to protect and manage your wealth.

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The federal estate tax threshold rose to $24.12 million in 2022 for married couples and $12.06 million for individuals, as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Like several TCJA provisions, the higher estate tax limit is due to sunset in 2025. Barring congressional action, the exemption amount will return to about $6.2 million, adjusted for inflation, in 2026. Similarly, the current 40% maximum gift and estate tax rate will increase to 45%.

For high-net worth individuals, this could influence wealth transfer strategies. Although this sunset is coming, the good news is that it's still a few years away.

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By Marc C. Shaffer

Life does not go as planned. It’s a wonder I survive as a financial planner who lives by a calendar and a process, because this statement rings true for everyone, even me. I have seen it in both my personal life and in the lives of the people we help every day. It’s probably the biggest reason I get asked, “So, what happens if…?”

You could have a plan for retirement that includes contributing to your employer-sponsored 401(k) account, only to decide to start your own business. You and your spouse may plan to have one child, only to find out twins are on the way, or you may plan to have several children, only to find out the costly process of IVF is your only option for natural childbearing. You could plan to use a vehicle you purchased for several years before passing it down to your teen only for it to be totaled the very next day. You could create a financial plan that sounds good on paper but does not fit with your lifestyle or financial behaviors.

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