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Thursday, January 14, 2021

If you are like many of the people I know, you are VERY glad to see 2020 end and to turn the page to a new year. It is my wish for all my friends and clients that 2021 be a year where the best day of 2020 is the worst day of 2021. I...

Thursday, December 31, 2020

As the year draws to a close. I want to take a moment to offer some perspective as we move forward. The COVID-19 pandemic continues and the impact on our economy and our communities is still unfolding. I expect that 2021 will hold a...

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

I am writing this before the polls close on Tuesday. So, who knows how things turned out? We had record voter turn out and a high degree of engagement from both Republicans and Democrats. And, most folks are at least a little concerned...

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Roth IRAs have been with us for more than 20 years. That’s about as long as we’ve had Google, and the same amount of time since the last presidential impeachment hearings. Some things have changed a lot in that time, and...

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2021-2022 year opens on October 1, 2020. The FAFSA is a prerequisite for federal student loans, grants, and work-study. In addition, colleges typically require the FAFSA...

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Well, of course, this is one of those questions that depends. Most everything in financial planning depends on your particular situation and your overall goals. One thing is for sure, over the next few weeks leading up to November, we...

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Any plan you make is outdated as soon as you finish it. Planning is a PROCESS not and EVENT. To be truly effective, any good plan monitors progress and adjusts to changing conditions. It’s very easy for families who commit to a...

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Once upon a time, a deposit to a traditional 401(k) gave you a powerful wealth building tool. Today, things are a little different. First, let’s review all the good reasons to participate in the 401(k) when it’s offered at...

Friday, July 31, 2020

In these crazy times, we have lots to think about. With the Great Pandemic raging and unemployment soaring, some of us find ourselves thinking about mortality and about the fragility of good health.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Have I Missed the Pandemic Rally? This has been a crazy year. Markets fell about 34 percent in 33 days bottoming out on March 23, 2020, then rebounded to post the best 50 days in history. And as of July 1, the markets celebrated the...

Thursday, July 16, 2020

As July kicks off, we mark the half-way point of the year, and I’m reminded of the Grateful Dead song that says, “What a long, strange trip it’s been . . . .” – Robert Hunter in the Grateful Dead song...

Thursday, July 2, 2020

These days there is no shortage of news and commentary about the Covid-19 pandemic and what it means. If you are like me, it can get to be a bit much sometimes. But, with unemployment around 14.7 percent and business profits disrupted...

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Most of you know that the S&P 500 Index fell from an all-time high on Feb. 19 into bear market territory (a close down 20 percent from the high) in a record 16 days. And in less than five weeks, it closed down 34 percent from the peak...

Monday, June 22, 2020

When the market falls 6 percent in one day, it most likely feels like you need more cash on hand than usual. Conversely, when the market is climbing 45 percent in roughly 60 days you may decide you want to dump everything in the...

Saturday, June 20, 2020

One of my favorite quotes is: “If you ask great questions, you’ll get great answers.” To get the best experience from a financial planner, you really need to know what questions to ask. Whether it’s your...

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

As a professional retirement planner, I go through the process of retiring approximately 12 times a year with my clients. I see firsthand the process and hazards that families deal with as they shift from working for a living to...

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Regular readers of this space know that one of my favorite answers to financial planning questions is, “It depends.” And, of course, the answer to “How much cash is enough?” is “It depends.” Cash...

Saturday, May 9, 2020

As I write this, the U.S. stock market is continuing the crazy swings we’ve been enduring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the market has continued sideways in May, we have just ended a historic market period. We had one...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

On April 29, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released an advance estimate of U.S. economic growth in the first quarter of 2020. The estimate showed a decline of 4.8 percent for the quarter. Remember that this analysis is based on...

Saturday, April 25, 2020

As a financial advisor, I don’t think it’s ever too early to start planning for retirement. Ideally retirement planning starts as soon as an individual starts earning money, even on their very first job. However, specific...

Friday, April 24, 2020

It continues to be crazy time in America. In Minnesota, we have a “stay at home” order in place. No school for the kids. No face-to-face meetings. No in-person church. Things are challenging. We still don’t know...

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Warren Buffett is one of the most famous investors in America. The first week of May, Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway holds its annual shareholder’s meeting. Buffet writes an annual letter to shareholders...

Friday, April 3, 2020

I’m sure that you are dealing with ongoing uncertainty due to the global impact of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Whether you’re concerned about your health, your employment, your loved ones, your retirement, or all of the...

Friday, March 6, 2020

I’m hearing more about telephone scams where the scammer is pretending to be a government employee. Scammers will try to scare and trick people into giving them their personal information and money. The scammers may threaten...

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Regular readers of this space know that the economic experts I trust are confident that we are on the cusp of a recession. The coming recession is a real challenge to your financial goals over the next 12 months. A recession is...

Thursday, January 23, 2020

We are about three weeks into 2020. If you are like most Americans, you may have already given up on your New Year’s resolutions. About 40 percent of Americans set a resolution and about 60 percent of them fail within six months...

Friday, January 17, 2020

We’ve been hearing conflicting reports about whether a recession is looming. A recent survey of 500 Americans shows many are worried about a recession and plan to adjust. If you’re in that category—or even if...

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 was passed by Congress and signed into law at the end of 2019. The SECURE Act, as it’s known, represents the most sweeping set of changes to retirement...

Thursday, January 2, 2020

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” –The Dalai Lama As the year winds down, I find myself thinking of the year ahead and how to make it better. Regular...

Friday, December 20, 2019

In preparation for the new year, let’s think about getting our financial house in order. A great place to start is to organize your accounts. Here are the six financial accounts you need: 1) Master checkbook. This is where your...

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A few families I’ve met with lately have seemed uncomfortable and even embarrassed as we talked about their situation. I see this a lot. Many people think that they are supposed to have a certain amount saved or have achieved...

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Is it possible to have too much stock in your mix of retirement investments? A recent Fidelity Investments analysis suggests maybe so. Fidelity is one of the largest retirement plan custodians and its analysis looked at more than 30...

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Regular readers know that I expect the economy to slip into recession within the next 12 months. This is based on the expert analysis of veteran economists whom I trust. However, I’ve been thinking this for the last two years,...

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Humans make mistakes. And the Required IRA Distribution rules can be tricky, especially if you’re new to retirement distributions. So if you are better than 70 ½ years old and you own an IRA, you may want to review this...

Thursday, November 14, 2019

When you decide you need a financial planner, it’s hard to sort through them all to find the one that makes the most sense for you. I’ve put together a list of things to look for—and things to avoid—when...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

In recent years, the financial planning profession has changed a lot. Technically the profession is 50 years old, so you would expect some changes. But specifically, I’m thinking of all the changes I have seen since I started in...

Thursday, October 31, 2019

There are lots of ways to think about retirement, from excitement to dread to worry, to all of the above at various times. With my clients, I find it helpful to provide some wisdom that can guide their thinking as they approach this...

Thursday, October 24, 2019

As we think about retirement, one common goal is to make sure the money lasts as long as we do. With that in mind, here are five tips to help make sure your money lasts. Calculate your net worth. If you look at everything you own and...

Thursday, October 24, 2019

As we think about retirement, one common goal is to make sure the money lasts as long as we do. With that in mind, here are five tips to help make sure your money lasts. Calculate your net worth. If you look at everything you own and...

Thursday, October 10, 2019

If you are thinking about leaving your long-time employer and wondering about whether to move your retirement savings away from their retirement plan, there are a few things to consider. Saving into a company-sponsored retirement plan...

Thursday, October 3, 2019

When the Social Security program was initiated in 1935, the full benefits began at age 65. At that time, the average man could expect to live 12.7 years more (age 77.7) and the average woman could expect to live 14.7 (age 79.7) years...

Sunday, September 29, 2019

I was asked about the coming recession at the soccer field this weekend. For people in the real world like my clients and the parents of my son’s soccer team, the economy is not an important topic unless they lose their job or...

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A big scary question for many folks is, will they have enough money in retirement? You might think that if everybody is worried about it, then somebody might come up with a solution. Well, they have . . . sort of. Maybe you have...

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Have a Target Date Fund retirement account? You still need to plan. If you participate in a company-sponsored retirement saving plan, you very likely own a Target Date Fund (TDF). Based on the date you plan to retire, a TDF will own a...

Thursday, September 12, 2019

If you are getting Social Security benefits, you are signed up for Medicare. If you are not taking Social Security, you should sign up for Medicare about 90 days before your 65th birthday. Do not skip it. There are late-enrollment...

Thursday, September 5, 2019

For some, Social Security benefits are only a small part of their retirement income plan. But even so, we all pay into the Social Security system and the benefits will continue as long we live, so it’s a valuable benefit we...

Thursday, August 22, 2019

It was 40 years ago last week that BusinessWeek magazine proclaimed the end of stock investments. Stock markets have gone up and gone down since then. But mostly up. S&P 500 closed at 42 on Aug. 13, 1979 2,926.32 on Aug. 13, 2019...

Friday, August 16, 2019

For most families, saving for retirement is their largest financial goal. It’s become part of the American dream to quit working and just have fun someday. However, as we wind down the second decade of the 21st century,...

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The current market volatility is distressing. Any time we see the markets fall by more than 3 percent in a single day, it can be pretty unpleasant. But the news isn’t uniformly bad. A few things to note: Volatility is always...

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Data shows that a majority of Americans are losing thousands of dollars each year because they chose to start taking Social Security at the wrong time. One national study shows that retirees as a group will lose $3.4 trillion in...

Friday, July 26, 2019

Part of my job is to help families think about—and prepare for—bad things. It can be tricky because humans mostly don’t like to think about bad things. After all, they’re bad and it’s unpleasant to think...

Friday, July 19, 2019

For many families, the entire point of saving for retirement is to create an “income engine” that produces income to pay for life in retirement after the wages stop. But creating that engine can be tricky because of how...

Friday, July 12, 2019

It’s easy to look at people around you who seem to have accumulated more wealth than you and believe they know some big secret that you don’t. Actually, when you break down what people do to build and maintain wealth, it...

Friday, July 5, 2019

This week brings us U.S. Independence Day. It’s a reminder of several conversations I’ve had with clients and friends lately. In each case it was mostly the same conversation with different details: What will retirement...

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Since the S&P 500 index of the 500 largest U.S. stocks set a record high on June 20, many people are wondering how much longer the bull market can last. Markets started their climb in March 2009, and we have not had a bear market...

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Last week, I buried my father. He died at home, in his sleep, at age 85. For most of us, we’d call that a pretty good deal. But it’s hard to say good-bye to your father. Above is a picture of him holding me as a newborn....

Thursday, June 13, 2019

My daughter graduated from high school on June 2. This fall will be the start of a special year in our family’s financial life: I will have two college students at the same time. These are the days. With graduation at the top of...

Friday, May 31, 2019

If you are better than 50 years old and your parents are still alive, you have probably wondered from time to time if they might get caught in a scam. It’s a reasonable concern. Seniors are commonly the victims of financial...

Friday, May 24, 2019

Over time, we all face choices about where and how we live as we age. Below are 10 options for retirement living options. Aging in place The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) says that 87 percent of retiree homeowners...

Thursday, May 16, 2019

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, I will tell you that deciding whether to take Social Security benefits early is a big decision. It’s important to get professional advice to be sure you make the correct call...

Thursday, May 9, 2019

I refer to most financial broadcasting as “financial pornography” because the majority of this information is based on fantasy that’s all very exciting and engaging. There are flashing visuals about stock price...

Thursday, May 2, 2019

If you’re thinking about looking for a financial planner, you may be wondering what exactly a financial planner does and what value he or she can bring into your life. The answer I give when people ask me what a financial...

Thursday, April 11, 2019

If you are talking with an investment representative, a stockbroker or a financial advisor, you most likely will talk about “risk tolerance.” Risk tolerance is a term used in the investment business to talk about the...

Thursday, April 4, 2019

I bet you have seen some cool marketing about great “guaranteed income” retirement products. Conversely, I will also suppose that you have seen a few marketing messages that talk about annuities being the spawn of the...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Many parents wonder whether they should use retirement funds to pay for college for their children. If your child is looking at attending college in the near future and you’re looking for ways to help your child with their...

Saturday, September 24, 2016

When is the last time you reviewed your estate plan? If it has been any longer than about 3 years ago, it is time for you to dust off the cobwebs and evaluate your existing estate plan. Although it is easy to forget about your estate...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sometimes as we think of moving out of the workforce into retirement, we think that we won't need much to live on. It's easy to be wrong, especially when it comes to health care costs. Recent studies show that retirees will need $130...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

When you get serious about retirement, one important question is, "How much savings will I need?" Even if you plan to rent out farmland for retirement income, you still need a nest egg. Part of the challenge to answering the "how much...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

When you decide you need advice to meet your financial goals, be sure to keep these keys in mind as you select your advisor. Currently there are very few common standards in the financial service industry, so it's easy for someone to...

Thursday, September 8, 2016

In order to be successful in retirement start early and count it down carefully. 10 Years Out from Retirement When you get within 10 years of your target retirement date, it's close enough to be real. You can actually imagine...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Whether you are 65 or 35, these keys will help you lay the groundwork for a retirement plan that wins for you. Things just aren't like they used to be. No more of simply graduating high school and off to the factory. Then 40 years...

Friday, September 2, 2016

When is the last time that you reviewed your estate plan? Here at Dunncreek Advisors, we believe it is important to take a look at your plan at least every 3 years, or any time an important life event has occurred in regards to any...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

When you have a family business, there are plenty of decisions to make. In all honesty, your employees rely on you for their well-being. Their wellness is in your hands. So as you make your day-to-day decisions within your business,...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Farm business transition requires careful consideration. These questions help. This is part two of our list of questions that can help you decide if the time is right for a farm business transition. Are the parents willing to provide...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

When you ask good questions, sometimes you understand the issues better. Am I ready for a farm business transition? When is the best time to start? How do I know when I'm ready to start?When you ask good questions, sometimes you...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The passing of a close family member is never easy. While our focus should be on the enjoyable memories that we had with our loved one, our mind often gets overwhelmed as one deals with a loved one’s estate. The best way to...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Legacy planning is a part of the financial preparation process that seldom gets enough attention. Individuals are taught from an early age the importance of a legacy plan. When you ask your friends or coworkers about if they have a...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Recently my dad and I were discussing the amazing advances in crop production he’s seen over his lifetime. It’s something many of us take for granted. People outside agriculture don’t even see it. But it’s truly...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

With any small business, one significant measure of long-term success is exiting the business on your own terms. Many people are surprised when they learn that exiting a business was unsuccessful. Others are surprised when they learn...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Whether it’s the 4th of July or President’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Memorial Day, there is a lot of discussion about legacy and what each of those days and people mean to our country. We think there should also...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

As we talk about transitioning the business to new management, we must create income for the outgoing owners. The retirement income plan needs to provide adequate income for rising needs over time.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Life is funny.Today, by chance, I was reminded of a speech I heard in November 1978 in Kansas City, Missouri, at the National FFA convention when I was a Junior in high school and an FFA officer.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

As we talk about transitioning the business to new management, we must create income for the outgoing owners.