A New Beginning Must Always Start with an Ending

Message from Christine & Royal

A New Beginning Must Always Start with an Ending

 

This is such a true sentiment on which to reflect, in the beginning of a new year.  As one year ends, a new one begins.  So, as we usher in 2019 with new hopes, new resolutions and new beginnings, we must also say a few goodbyes.

At the end of 2018, our family said goodbye to Royal’s father, holding his hand as he ended his life here on earth, and began a new one.  We also had to say goodbye to some very dear clients, as they too left this world for a new one, and yet, left it all the better for their presence, honoring us with the task to help take care of their loved ones and heirs, going forward. Continue reading “A New Beginning Must Always Start with an Ending”

Charitable Giving

Charitable Giving

Charitable giving can play an important role in many estate plans. Philanthropy cannot only give you great personal satisfaction, it can also give you a current income tax deduction, let you avoid capital gains tax, and reduce the amount of taxes your estate may owe when you die.

There are many ways to give to charity. You can make gifts during your lifetime or at your death. You can make gifts outright or use a trust. You can name a charity as a beneficiary in your will or designate a charity as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or life insurance policy. Or, if your gift is substantial, you can establish a private foundation, community foundation, or donor-advised fund.

Making outright gifts

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ABCs of Financial Aid

 

ABCs of Financial Aid

It’s hard to talk about college without mentioning financial aid. Yet this pairing isn’t a marriage of love, but one of necessity. In many cases, financial aid may be the deciding factor in whether your child attends the college of his or her choice. That’s why it’s important to develop a basic understanding of financial aid before your child applies to college. Without such knowledge, you may have trouble understanding the process of aid determination, filling out the proper aid applications, and comparing the financial aid awards that your child may receive.

But let’s face it. Financial aid information is probably not on anyone’s top ten list of bedtime reading material. It can be an intimidating and confusing topic. There are different types, different sources, and different formulas for evaluating your child’s eligibility. Here are some of the basics to help you get started.

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How can I safely shop online this holiday season?

Shopping online is especially popular during the holiday season, when many people prefer to avoid the crowds and purchase gifts with a few clicks of a mouse. However, with this convenience comes the danger of having your personal and financial information stolen by computer hackers.

Before you click, you might consider the following tips for a safer online shopping experience.

Pay by credit instead of debit. Credit card payments can be withheld if there is a dispute, but debit cards are typically debited quickly. In addition, credit cards generally have better protection than debit cards against fraudulent charges. Continue reading “How can I safely shop online this holiday season?”

The Tech Sector Could Be Dominating Your Portfolio

The biggest names in technology powered stock market gains and bouts of volatility in 2017, and the trend continued into 2018. The S&P Information Technology sector index posted a 13.19% total return from January through July 2018, compared with 6.47% for the broader S&P 500 index.1

Wall Street analysts and the business media often refer to well-known technology companies Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (now officially Alphabet) collectively with the acronym FAANG. Others use FAAMG, which substitutes Microsoft for Netflix. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, respectively, are the four most valuable companies by market capitalization in the S&P 500 index; Alphabet is ranked eighth and ninth (based on two different share classes).2

These tech giants are household names because they already play a huge role in everyday life, but they are also bold innovators with lots of cash on hand. They aim to expand their influence further by developing new products (such as self-driving cars and virtual reality) and disrupting established industries.3

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Fall Is Here

“ A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye”  author unknown  

As we wave goodbye to summer, we are “spicing” and sprucing things up here.  We are excited to say that if you are reading this article, our new website is finished and we are officially rolling it out.  Christine has been so busy writing content for the website, that she almost ran out of words for the newsletter, but not quite!  We simply shortened it this quarter, sending it to many of our folks along with their quarterly reports. But, we are now be able to share so much more on the website, and through this new “Straight Talk” Blog, as well as an IPI Facebook page, and perhaps, even a Twitter account.  Our teenagers are proud that we are finally improving our technology, and they are, of course, giving us pointers.  Continue reading “Fall Is Here”