The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) raised the standard deduction for taxpayers to $24,000 for couples ($12,000 for singles), reducing the marginal tax benefit of giving to charity by more than 30% and raising the after-tax cost of donating by about 7%.  For charitably-minded taxpayers, the effect can be discouraging, but there is a work-around to these limitations for taxpayers who qualify.

Inter-family loans can come with IRS strings

by Casey Bear on
Categories
Loaning money to family members is a common and often informal affair: parents front a mortgage down payment for an adult child, for example, with an expectation that it’s repaid over time (or not).  Aside from the emotional risks of loaning money to a family member who may or may not be expected to repay the debt, the Internal Revenue Service could be a vested third party whose involvement could complicate the transaction.

One billion reasons to be grateful

by Casey Bear on
Categories
Our firm crossed a big milestone today, one that many in our industry chase for decades.  And while managing $1 billion in client assets is remarkable, it's only possible because of the trust our clients continue to place in us, to execute their financial plans with discipline and competency and...
Complex employment contracts, with untraditional benefits packages and a myriad of equity grants and options, are commonplace at the upper echelons of corporate leadership. It is crucial that these employees understand the facets of the contract, can manage the tax and cash flow implications that could be triggered by some elements of the package, and plan for wealth-building events and milestones accordingly. At Cranbrook Wealth, our investment professionals are seasoned in reviewing corporate employment contracts and setting a wealth management strategy that aligns with your current lifestyle needs as well as family legacy goals. We typically encourage executives with employment contracts to carefully consider the following areas:
The magic of compounding means anyone who starts saving at a young age, say in his or her early 20s, and lives until old age, can built wealth by saving relatively little each year compared to someone who starts much later.  If you’re a young person who has established an emergency fund, owes little-to-no debt, and can easily afford your monthly living expenses, you may be ready to begin a lifelong investing journey!   Here are the first three accounts we typically point young investors to as they gain experience and accumulate assets and income...
Sending a child off to college is rarely easy, but for parents who have spent 18 years actively involved in caring for their child, the autonomy college students need can make the transition even harder to manage.  While this new independence aids in the development of the young adult, rare medical circumstances could arise and leave the student unable to handle his or her own affairs. In advance of their departure, parents should prepare for the unlikely event that their college student may need their hands-on care once again with these three legal documents.
Get over the psychological hurdle of moving from an external income source (from a job) to an internal income source (from your retirement savings) with these tips to help focus your mindset on appropriate spending of your retirement savings.

Preparing for an Early or Unexpected Retirement

by Casey Bear on
Categories
A once-in-a-generation event like the COVID-19 pandemic can encourage those near retirement age to evaluate their preparedness for an early or unexpected retirement. Here are some items to consider should you find yourself in this position.

Saving Smart for College with a 529 Plan

by Casey Bear on
Categories
With more investment options being added each year, and relatively low costs, 529 plans have many attractive features for college savers, notably offering significant tax advantages while also giving investors flexibility and high contribution limits.