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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Hello April! Tax Day is behind us. Spring is here in West Saint Paul, sort of. It's a time for renewal and maybe setting some financial goals. Isn't it time you talked to a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minnesota?

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

As tax season winds down, many of us are thinking about how to improve our tax situation next year. One topic I hear get asked about from friends and clients is the sunset of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Currently, many of...

Monday, April 1, 2024

For those of you beginning to imagine “retirement” here are a few thing you have probably not thought about. You might find it helpful to talk with an experienced fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Most of us probably own, some money market funds that are paying 5% interest. Is this a growth investment? Will this help you reach my retirement goals? Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, March 18, 2024

If you are of a certain age, you may be getting invitations to learn about how to MANAGE and AVOID probate. If you have questions about trusts, or probate, maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minn.

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Sunday, March 10, 2024

Tis the season. Most of us have started preparing our taxes. Many of my clients have all their investment account form 1099s by now. If you have questions about your capital gains call a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minn.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

I often get the question, is it too late to invest? Or, should we change our investment mix because stocks are too expensive?   Maybe you would like to talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The tax filing deadline is fast approaching, which means time is running out to fund an IRA for 2023. If you had earned income last year, maybe you should to talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Are you wondering if you can retire? Thinking about reaching out to a financial planner? Are you worried that you will pick the wrong person? Maybe you should talk with an experienced fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

It’s not prudent to let your politics drive your investment strategy.   Maybe you should talk with an experienced fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul about your financial goals and the Presidential election.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Time to start gathering tax-related documents for tax time. Here are some things to consider if you are collecting Social Security and Medicare benefits. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

For many folks, hitting age 50 can be a bit jarring as retirement gets closer. The good news is that you have plenty you can do to improve your retirement plans. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Every family has plans and goals. Having these goals is different than having a plan to bring those goals to life. That’s financial planning. Maybe it's time to talk to an experienced fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

It’s a new year. A time for a fresh start. And maybe, a time for New Year’s Resolutions. If you are thinking about what to do to improve your financial life, I offer you a New Year’s Financial Planning checklist for West Saint Paul.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

There is a difference between investment returns and investor returns. I call it the behavior gap. If you would like to understand how to change your behavior gap maybe you should visit with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

With Christmas behind us, it's time to think about New Year. Are you ready? Maybe a conversation with an experienced, highly-trained, fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul might help.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

At Holiday time, we often see our extended family, and sometimes it’s the only time all year when everybody is gathered. Maybe it's time to give your heirs the gift of clarity about your final wishes for your funeral or inheritance.

Monday, December 11, 2023

For some, retirement is a reward at the end of a race. A destination they rush to reach. If you want a better picture of your retirement, maybe you should talk with an experienced, fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

The longer I am a financial planner, the more I am reminded how LITTLE any of us knows about the future. Have questions about the economy and your financial goals? Maybe you want to talk to a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Today, I pause to give thanks for my blessings and the people in my life. It is also a time when charitable giving often comes to mind. Maybe you would like some charitable giving advice from a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul

Saturday, November 18, 2023

I'm grateful at Thanksgiving. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. If Thanksgiving gets you motivated to visit with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul I would love to have a chance to get to know you.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Here are 10 reasons you may need an estate plan. Questions? Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

As the year winds down, I’m getting questions about how to reduce income tax for 2023. Maybe you would like to talk about tax-smart investing with an experienced fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Would you like a financial planner to place your interest first, ALWAYS? Maybe you should talk with an experienced fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

We have all seen the news of the traumatic events in the Middle East. It’s another reminder of the Certainty of Uncertainty. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the Consumer Price Index for September 2023. The CPI is used to set the annual Cost of Living Adjustment for Social Security. Maybe you should talk with an experienced fiduciary financial planner

Sunday, October 8, 2023

What would you say if I suggested that you have a portion of your retirement income in the form of an AA+-rated, government-backed, life-time annuity? Maybe you should talk with an experienced, fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul

Monday, October 2, 2023

These 7 tips will help you make sure you get great advice in pursuing your financial goals. Maybe you want to talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Most folks ask this question from time to time. But the answer is trickier than you think. Maybe you should talk with an experienced fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

The one thing to has the most effect on your investment results is . . .   your behavior. Regular readers will remember that I recently added the Behavioral Financial Advisor designation to my resume. I did this work because...

Sunday, September 10, 2023

I’m having a lot of Roth IRA conversations with clients these days. Do you have enough retirement savings in Roth accounts, or too much? Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, September 4, 2023

How Much Will You Need to Retire? Prices historically rise. Do you have enough? How will you know? Maybe you should talk with an experienced fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, August 28, 2023

You might have noticed that so far in August, the S&P 500 has declined 4.8% while the Nasdaq has fallen 7.4%. What should you do? Maybe you would like to talk about it with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Five Things Most Families Need to Know About Student Loans will help you as you consult with an experienced, well-trained, fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, August 14, 2023

For most of us born after 1960, retirement is ahead of us. Many of us are confused. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Monday, August 7, 2023

For most of us born after 1950, our largest financial goal is to stop working for money. We might not call it retirement, but we might benefit from talking with a fiduciary retirement planning advisor in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

For most retired couples, required IRAs distributions are a big deal, AND it’s an opportunity to manage their income tax burden in retirement. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Monday, July 24, 2023

So, your thinking you may, or will, retire in the next three years. Here are four things to know. And maybe you want to talk about your process with an experienced fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, July 17, 2023

For most of us born after 1950, our largest financial goal is to stop working for money. Maybe we call it retirement or maybe we call it something else. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, July 10, 2023

If you clarify your financial planning destination, it’s easier to chart an efficient course to get there. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul about your situation.

Monday, June 26, 2023

If you're like many Americans, the meaning of "wealth" goes far beyond having a lot of money. It's more about what money can do for you. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul about your financial plans.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Summer is here. Many of us have kids headed to college in the fall. A big part of the college planning process is financial aid. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Monday, June 12, 2023

My youngest child graduated high school this weekend, the year I turn 61. Sometimes, life is not what you expect. Maybe it's time to talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul about how to manage uncertainty in your life.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

If you are like most of us, you consume a fair bit of business and financial media. Sometimes, I bet it makes you crazy. Maybe it's time you talked with a fiduciary Certified Financial Planner professional in West Saint Paul

Monday, May 22, 2023

For those of you seriously considering retirement, here’s some advice on how to make it better. Maybe it's time to talk with an experienced, well-trained, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional in West Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Monday, May 15, 2023

One of my core beliefs is to be grateful. My family and I have it pretty good. I work hard to remember that to appreciate it. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul about your financial future.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Once again, the debt ceiling is in the news and is a cause for concern. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner and Certified Financial Planner™ professional in West Saint Paul.

Monday, May 1, 2023

If you are like me, you are hearing plenty of talk about a recession. There's much to think about. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner, or a Certified Financial Planner professional in West Saint Paul

Monday, April 24, 2023

If you are like most of us, you filed your income taxes last week. I always find it a bit of a relief. Now 2022 is done and we can focus on the future. Maybe it's time to talk to fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minnesota

Monday, April 17, 2023

Markets have been pretty jumpy all year. Seems like we always get big moves in the daily prices. This might have you thinking about updating your investments. Maybe it's time to talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, April 10, 2023

If you are like me, you are hearing a lot of speculation about the markets these days. Maybe it's time to visit with a fiduciary, fee-only financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Most families today, do NOT plan to live on Social Security alone. But, it's a government-backed, guaranteed annuity with a cost-of-living increase, so maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul

Monday, March 27, 2023

It’s tax season, so some of you are winding up your taxes. If you are a business owner and want to save more for retirement next year, you might want to talk to a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Most of us have heard plenty in the media about the U.S. debt ceiling. There is friction with politicians about what to do about the debt ceiling. Maybe you want to talk to a financial planning fiduciary in West Saint Paul.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Nobody likes to see market prices fall. But it’s a normal part of the market cycle. Maybe dollar cost averaging would help you reach your financial goals. Maye a visit with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul would help.

Monday, March 6, 2023

It’s very common when clients talk about estate planning for them to speak about “treating all the kids equally.” But sometimes, your situation is different. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, February 27, 2023

If you are like most folks, you started to get some of your tax filing documents. If you are due a refund, you are probably eager to file and get your money back. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul

Sunday, February 19, 2023

This week is National FFA Week 2023. I grew up the son of a high school agriculture instructor and FFA advisor in Newark, Illinois. My dad worked with high school ag students and FFA members. I remember my dad fondly this week.

Monday, February 13, 2023

If you are approaching retirement, you might be asking yourself where you should get money to pay your bills after your paycheck stops. It’s so easy as it sounds. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, February 6, 2023

It was 10 years ago that Ram Trucks ran a Super Bowl Commercial celebrating farmers. The commercial always moves me. And it reminds me of calling to be a fiduciary financial planner for families in West Saint Paul who embodies farm values.

Monday, January 30, 2023

 In these volatile times, with the markets down about 18% over 2022, and large changes in investment prices hitting screens more often, it’s easy to worry about your investments. But how often should you check your account...

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Everybody born after 1967 knows that the IRS requires distributions (RMDs) from tax-deferred retirement accounts when the owner reaches a specific age. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul about it.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

The SECURE 2.0 Act is now law. It changes quite a few rules about retirement savings and might even help you move toward your goals faster. Maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul about how it affects you

Sunday, January 8, 2023

As the saying goes, “Money can’t buy happiness.” But in our modern American society, money does provide the ability to do a lot of things. Maybe a visit with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul could help you clarify your plans

Sunday, January 1, 2023

As the year draws to a close, you may find yourself reflecting. How did this last year go? Really? Maybe to figure it out some advice from a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul would help.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

I have often observed that humans are crazy. We are often irrational investors. It’s part of what makes us humans. A fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul might help you better manage some of your irrational investment choices.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

One of the most challenging personal finance issues we all face is an ever-expanding definition of “need.” As we try to prepare to retire, Maybe it would help to talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul, Minnesota

Saturday, December 10, 2022

One of the most common reasons for people to engage with a fiduciary financial planner is to improve their chances of a successful retirement. So maybe you should talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Today is the 81st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I invite you to remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed on December 7, 1941. A further 1,178 people were injured in the attack, which per

Sunday, December 4, 2022

If you are better than 50 years old, you are probably thinking about retirement. You might be asking yourself, “when should I retire?” You might benefit from the help of a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

For many folks I talk with, this is a common question. And my answer, for those who know me, is a bit predictable. Maybe you should talk with Richard Dunn CFP fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul

Monday, November 21, 2022

Markets continue to be volatile. If you are like most people, you find yourself thinking . . . “What should I do?” Maybe a visit with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul would help.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

November is Long-Term Care Awareness month, and most of us will need some kind of help as we age. So you might want to talk with a fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Regular readers might remember when I wrote about inflation in May. The rising cost of goods and services continues to be a challenge for many families, maybe it would help to talk with a fiduciary financial planner.

Monday, October 31, 2022

For those taking Social Security benefits, the waiting is over. Benefit checks will be going up by 8.7% in January. If you have questions about how to maximize your Social Security benefits, talk with a fiduciary financial planner in St Pau

Monday, October 24, 2022

One big thing that annuities offer, is a guaranteed outcome. Most folks know that guarantees NEVER come free. Ask your fiduciary financial planner in West Saint Paul how much predictability you need and how much you should pay for it.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

If you have college-age kids like me, you may be asking this question. One of my favorite resources for the college planning process is the team at College Inside Track. Below is an update for them on the new Student Loan Forgiveness...

Monday, October 10, 2022

If you are better than 65 years of age, you should be signed up for Medicare. If you are not, you need to check with a Medicare expert to confirm what’s best for your situation. Everybody needs to keep a few deadlines in mind.

Monday, October 3, 2022

There is lots of talk about interest rates in the media these days, “How much will the Fed raise rates?” “How many times will the Fed raise rates?” “Will rising Fed rates cause a recession?” So,...

Monday, September 26, 2022

President Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a sweeping energy, tax, and healthcare law that is partly designed to reduce the deficit. The legislation includes $80 billion in increased IRS funding over ten years. The...

Monday, September 19, 2022

Your student loans might be forgiven, maybe. On August 24, 2022, President Biden announced a plan for additional student loan debt relief. Below are some details as we know them so far.

Monday, September 12, 2022

If you have lost a spouse and both of you have a work history, then you have several choices for claiming Social Security benefits as a survivor. It's important to carefully consider your options to be sure your get all the benefits to...

Sunday, September 4, 2022

If you are like most families, the rising cost of living has been a challenge. How much will the Social Security COLA help you in West Saint Paul? Maybe a visit with a financial planning fiduciary will help.

Monday, August 29, 2022

As with my financial planning questions, my answer to the question: “Do I Own Enough Stock” will be predictable, and probably irritating, but . . . it depends. Maybe a visit with a fiduciary in West Saint Paul will help you decide.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law on August 16, 2022, includes healthcare and energy-related provisions, a new corporate alternative minimum tax, and an excise tax on certain corporate stock buybacks. Additional funding is...

Monday, August 15, 2022

Some of my readers might know that I turn 60 this year. So, this question is interesting to me just based on my age, but it’s also a common question. How do you compare?

Monday, August 8, 2022

This calendar year has been pretty challenging for most investors. As I write this, the value of the S&P 500 index, the 500 largest US companies, is about 4,130. It’s been as high as 4,819 and as low as 3,637. Is now the time to invest?

Monday, August 1, 2022

Generally, I believe that politics in general and elections in specific don’t have a lot to do with your real, long-term, financial goals. The data shows that over the course of 20 to 40 years, politics wash out. And for most of...

Monday, July 25, 2022

As you work toward financial goals, you will find no shortage of “great ideas” you need to consider. There are always people happy to tell you about “the next great thing.” Usually, they are being paid ...

Sunday, July 17, 2022

I saw this over the Independence Day Holiday and thought I would pass it along. Maybe your family is like mine. It seems we hear a LOT of bad news lately. So, I was VERY happy to see this item that reminded me to be grateful . . .

Monday, July 11, 2022

The IRS has a proposal pending that could be a big deal for heirs inheriting retirement accounts. Heirs who received retirement accounts used to have the option to stretch out spending down the account. Not any more. . .

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Experts tell us that stagflation is defined by stagnant economic growth and elevated inflation. So, people can find it hard to get a raise. They might get laid off. And everything costs more when they go to a store. Stagflation is...

Monday, June 27, 2022

It’s been a difficult year in the investment markets. And most people feel like they should “do something” when markets are down 20% from their peak. I am a fiduciary and I counsel clients that if their goals have not changed,...

Sunday, June 19, 2022

The school year is just about finished in Minnesota. For those of us with kids in High School, our thoughts turn to the college selection process. What do we need to do before school starts? What should we do next? Here are FIVE tips...

Monday, June 13, 2022

You have no doubt heard much talk about the risk of a coming recession. Yes, I think we can expect a recession. The only question is when. Maybe a conversation with a fiduciary financial planner would be good.

Monday, June 6, 2022

If you have been thinking about retirement for a few years, you might remember a big financial service company that ran an advertising campaign about finding your retirement number. Maybe a fiduciary financial planner could help you.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

With inflation at recent historic levels, many folks are asking whether they should buy Series I Savings Bonds Well, the answer, of course, depends. Each situation is different, you might want to talk with a fiduciary

Monday, May 23, 2022

Most of us have noticed that it’s more expensive to fill our cars with gas and to fill the cart at the grocery store. But, really, how bad is inflation biting your family? It depends on where you live and the choices you make....

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The investment markets continue to be volatile. It seems likely that very soon, the S&P 500 will fall below 3,840 and into a bear market. What does the bear mean for you? Maybe a fiduciary financial planner could help you find out.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Most families find they gain a ton of insight and power when they track their spending and reflect. With the help of a fiduciary planner, you can make fabulous progress toward your goals.

Monday, May 2, 2022

There is lots of talk about interest rates in the media these days, “How much will the Fed raise rates?” “How many times will the Fed raise rates?” “Will rising Fed rates cause a recession?” Maybe a bit of fiduciary perspective will help.

Monday, April 25, 2022

As a financial planner who is always my client’s advocate – a fiduciary advisor – I work hard to help my clients identify their financial priorities and make plans to reach their goals safely. But things can change . . .

Monday, April 18, 2022

From time to time, I get the question: “Hey, how are we doing compared to your other clients?” It’s funny, other people’s experience has nothing to do with your experience, but humans are just like that. They...

Monday, April 11, 2022

We are clearly in a volatile market cycle. We should expect to see more large moves – UP and DOWN in the coming weeks. Fiduciary perspective will help keep things in perspective.

Monday, April 4, 2022

The markets have been doing some crazy things lately. And we are hearing plenty of crazy news. As a financial planner who is always focused on my clients’ best interests – a fiduciary advisor – I try at times like...

Monday, March 28, 2022

I suppose you have heard about the March 16 Federal Reserve announcement. The Fed increased interest rates for the first time since December 2018 with a 25-basis point hike (0.25%). Several more hikes (up to six) are expected later...

Monday, March 21, 2022

Some of us remember INFLATION from the 1970s and 1980s. I graduated high school in 1980, so I remember some of it. Does the recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) report we are going back to the 1970s again? While nobody knows for sure,...

Monday, March 14, 2022

Whether you’re fully or partly retired, you may find that your assets are sufficient to cover your lifestyle for the remainder of your retirement. Maybe you should consider helping a charity with your distribution.

Monday, March 7, 2022

It's been a pretty stressful week in the markets. There's been plenty of ugly "news" Here is a summary of the weeks' markets with a bit less excitement. I hope you like it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

We all woke up this morning to the terrible news about Russia and the military invasion of neighboring Ukraine. While none of us knows for sure how things will play out, investors are understandably watching closely to see the impact...

Monday, February 21, 2022

When Do I Need to Take a Required IRA Distribution?   \Most retired folks know that IRS rules require owners of retirement accounts to take distribution when they reach a certain age. It’s called the Required Minimum...

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

As you think about moving from working for a living to living comfortably in retirement, there is a lot to consider. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Now that the Holiday Season is behind us, I suggest you take a minute to review a...

Monday, February 7, 2022

If you are like many of my clients, from time to time, you get to feeling that maybe you need a trust. Typically, this feeling is the result of something you saw on cable, read in a book or article, or perhaps advice from a neighbor or...

Monday, January 31, 2022

My practice is focused on helping families move from “saving to get retired” to “living comfortably in retirement.” Part of that process is understanding your retirement goals. As you reflect on what’s...

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

If you are like me, you may be hearing a lot of exciting speculation about the year ahead for investments. Of course, what you are hearing will depend on your sources of information. Some folks are more excited about the year ahead and...

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

If you are an American of a certain age, you find yourself beginning to imagine retirement. I find that for most people this happens around the 50th birthday. The good news is that for most of us, if we get serious about retirement...

Monday, December 20, 2021

  You may have noticed news items on November 10 about the Consumer Price Index rising by 0.9% for the month of October and posting a 6.2% increase over the last 12 months. This is probably not a surprise if you have been to a...

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Now that we are in the Holiday season, it’s time to think about gifts for your family. If you are interested in a Holiday gift that helps a grandchild learn about money and investing, here are five ideas to consider.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Regular readers know that my standard answer to most questions is the same, “It depends.” But in this situation, there is a bit more. Whole life insurance and Roth IRAs both have a place in a family’s financial...

Monday, November 29, 2021

I was talking with a client recently and the subject of annuities came up. They said that they had heard that, “you should stay away from annuities.” So, I mentioned that, like most everything in financial planning, staying...

Sunday, November 21, 2021

It’s been a long time since we had “serious” inflation. More than 30 years. In the 1990s we averaged about 2.9% inflation, in the 2000s we had averaged about 2.5% inflation and in the 2010s the average was about 1.8%...

Sunday, November 14, 2021

As we settle into November, thoughts turn to the end of the year. As they year winds down, there are still things you can do to reduce your 2021 tax bill. 1.) Check Your Withholding If you were hit with a big tax bill last April it...

Monday, November 8, 2021

I often get clients and friends asking about “good” investments or “bad” investments . . . or ESG investments. Generally, my answer is always the same. It depends on your goals. Some investments might be great...

Monday, November 1, 2021

In planning conversations, this question comes up a lot. Many folks have heard a lot of talk about how the Social Security system is “broken” and won’t be there for future generations. There is a lot of debate about...

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

It’s that time of year again, when many company-provided insurance policies allow open enrollment.We’d like to piggy-back on that concept by offering you an open enrollment of another kind. If you give us a call or reply...

Monday, October 18, 2021

For many Americans, the question of when to retire is hard. There used to be a “standard plan” for many families. Most folks stayed at one job for a career. The company provided a pension. You understood what you needed to...

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The FAFSA process starts each fall on October 1. If you have children in high school, you very likely are thinking about college for them. And, if you are even thinking about college for your kids, you need to complete the FAFSA (Free...

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Target date funds are often found in retirement savings plans at your work. The description “target date” comes because these funds are described as designed for a specific time frame. Maybe for retirement, maybe for your...

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A key concept to understand as you work to secure your financial future is the difference between saving and investing. When I work with clients, I am always a fiduciary. I’m an advocate for my clients’ best interests at...

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

If you are like many Americans thinking about retirement, one of your biggest worries may be: “Have I got enough money to retire? What if I run out?” Research shows that you are not alone. Worse Than Dying. A research...

Monday, September 13, 2021

We have hit more than 50 new stock market highs in 2021. It seems the markets have been rising for A Long Time. Does this mean the end is nigh? Should you panic? Regular readers know that I believe the most reliable way to grow wealth...

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Risk tolerance is a measure of how much fluctuation in value you can stand in order to receive growth of your principal over time. Sound simple, right? Or maybe is just sounds like financial mumbo jumbo. The term risk tolerance is used...

Monday, August 30, 2021

If you are like many of my older clients, you have heard that “you have to avoid probate, it’s horrible and expensive.” So, what is probate? Specifically, probate is a legal term for a process in which a will is...

Monday, August 23, 2021

If you are like most Americans, you don’t have a great handle on your progress toward financial goals. One of the reasons may be that most folks DO NOT use outside help to create a financial plan or to manage their investments....

Thursday, August 12, 2021

What are the 6 Key Components of Financial Planning? The traditional description of holistic financial planning looks at all these areas of your financial Life: Cash flow and net worth. Risk protection strategies. Property casualty...

Monday, August 9, 2021

Like so many topics in the financial world, the answer to “What is the Meaning of Financial Independence?” depends on your situation. Most of financial planning is highly personalized. Your goals, your priorities, your...

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

As your fiduciary financial planner, I am your advocate at all times. So, I'm always watching for factors that might threaten your financial goals. I recently came across this article and thought you might find it helpful. As always,...

Monday, July 26, 2021

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...

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The financial service industry is full of fancy titles and complicated terms. It’s easy to get confused. The good news is that the definition of a fee-only financial advisor is pretty straightforward. Fee-only advisors are...

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The financial service industry is famous for a lot of labels and certifications. So it can be confusing. What’s the difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner? Financial Advisor is generally anybody who works...

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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 29, 2021

One essential part of all my financial plans for EVERY client is estate planning recommendations. There are two primary reasons for this: FIRST – In order to assure that your financial priorities for your family are achieved, you...

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

People often ask why I recommend that their first financial planning priority should be an emergency fund. The answer is that “life happens.” There is always an unexpected expense that pops up. Maybe it’s a fender...

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

I recommend that all my financial planning clients have updated estate planning documents as part of their holistic financial plan. Often, those documents include some amount of elder law planning. The estate planning attorneys with...

Sunday, May 30, 2021

You own property and casualty insurance for the same reason you own any insurance, as a way to manage risk. Insurance is a contract that allows you to transfer risk to the insurance company for an annual fee. The fee makes sense when...

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Regular readers of this space know that financial planning is not a black-and-white process. Advice on how to build wealth really depends on what you consider wealth. Maybe that means having enough savings so that one day you can stop...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

If you are like some of my clients and friends, you have seen some cool marketing messages about great “guaranteed income” retirement annuity products. And, maybe, you also have seen a few marketing messages that talk about...

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Some clients and friends have been asking about the difference between whole life insurance and a Roth IRA. Usually, the question comes to me after a visit with a “financial planner” who works for a life insurance...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Regular readers of this space know I LOVE Roth IRAs and their stepsister Roth 401(k)s. They are an outstanding wealth building tool that I believe most people do NOT use enough. Lately, I have been getting lots of questions from...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Regular readers know that that I LOVE Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s. The opportunity to save money for retirement into a bucket where it grows without tax and can be removed without tax is FABULOUS. So, you and your spouse each max out a...

Sunday, April 18, 2021

If you’ve ever wondered about whether to trust your financial advisor, you are not alone. Only one in three people are confident their financial advisor always puts their interests ahead of the advisor’s, and about half of...

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

On Thursday, March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA 2021) was signed into law. This is a $1.9 trillion emergency relief package that includes payments to individuals and funding for federal programs, vaccines and...

Sunday, February 14, 2021

As people move from working to retirement, they face a number of challenges in adjusting to their new life. But most don’t expect spending money to be one of them. Many families have been saving for retirement for decades. And...

Wednesday, January 13, 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...

Monday, November 2, 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...

Monday, November 2, 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...

Wednesday, September 30, 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...

Tuesday, September 8, 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...

Wednesday, September 2, 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...

Wednesday, August 26, 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...

Wednesday, July 29, 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.

Tuesday, July 21, 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...

Wednesday, July 15, 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...

Wednesday, July 1, 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...

Monday, June 22, 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...

Sunday, June 21, 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...

Friday, June 19, 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...

Monday, June 1, 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...

Wednesday, May 13, 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...

Friday, May 8, 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...

Wednesday, April 29, 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...

Friday, April 24, 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...

Wednesday, April 22, 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...

Thursday, April 16, 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...

Wednesday, April 1, 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...

Thursday, March 5, 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...

Wednesday, February 5, 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...

Wednesday, January 22, 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...

Thursday, January 16, 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...

Wednesday, January 8, 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...

Wednesday, January 1, 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,...

Saturday, November 16, 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...

Wednesday, November 13, 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...

Wednesday, November 6, 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...

Saturday, November 2, 2019

It's the American Dream to own your own home. But, it's not always the best financial choice.I’ve received several calls lately from the children of clients who were looking to buy a house. They wanted to talk about taking money...

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...

Wednesday, October 23, 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...

Friday, October 4, 2019

If you participate in the retirement savings plan at work such as a 401(k), 403(b) or Simple IRA, you own an IRA, or you own life insurance, you have been asked to fill out a beneficiary form. But why? If you are married, you might...

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...

Wednesday, September 11, 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,...

Wednesday, August 7, 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...

Monday, July 29, 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...

Thursday, July 18, 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....

Wednesday, June 12, 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...

Wednesday, May 22, 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...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

If you are asking this question, you are not alone. A new survey from PWC, a global tax and business services firm, shows that baby boomers want to retire soon, but many have doubts about how to make that happen. Almost 60 percent of...

Friday, March 22, 2019

Many people nearing retirement age wonder whether they would benefit from securing the services of a professional financial planner. The answer is, most likely, yes. A good planner, who is your advocate (a fiduciary advisor) in all...

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The new federal tax law takes effect for tax year 2018. One of the biggest changes is a near doubling of the standard deduction to $12,000 on single returns, $18,000 for head-of-household filers and $24,000 on joint returns....

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Risk is a topic that gets a lot of attention in the financial planning business. But it’s a term that’s not really well understood. There are many technical definitions of financial planning risk. And there is the...

Thursday, February 28, 2019

One way to be sure you don’t run out of money in retirement is to carefully plan in advance. I like to talk about the Retirement Red Zone, the five years before you retire and the 10 years after. This window is when a lot of...

Friday, February 22, 2019

If you are a regular reader, you can predict that my answer to the question of when you can retire is, “It depends.” That’s because it does depend what exactly you want out of your retirement and what exactly you...

Thursday, February 14, 2019

For most Americans, their 401k savings program at work is their single largest retirement asset. According to a recent report from Transamerica, “Thirty-nine percent [of baby boomers] expect their primary source of retirement...

Thursday, February 7, 2019

From time to time, I hear people say something like, “Thinking about financial goals gives me a bellyache. Why would I pay somebody to talk about them?” If that’s how you feel, you’re not alone. Most Americans...

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Lately, I’ve been hearing some confusion on the part of folks I’ve been talking to about their financial goals. For example, a person said to me, “I’m not sure I want to save money into my IRA this year because...

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Sometimes a client tells me that they have a portion of their savings “invested” in savings bonds. Usually I get a bellyache when I hear this. Here’s why: Savings bonds are savings vehicles, like money market...

Thursday, January 17, 2019

You probably hear from different sources that you should consider funding an IRA, but you may be wondering, why bother? Here are four good reasons: You can still contribute for tax year 2018 up to $5,500 or $6,500 if you’re...

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Best new year greetings to all my friends and clients who take the time to read this. Thank you for your part in making 2018 one of the best in my professional career. I am blessed to work with wonderful clients, wonderful business...

Friday, January 4, 2019

Markets rise and fall over time. With the current bull market stretching back to March of 2009, it can be easy to forget the part about falling. But history shows that the S&P 500 index averages a 13.8 percent decline at some point...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Now that you are a “certain age” you may find yourself thinking about retirement, or as I like to call it, the day you quit working for money and start working for fun. These days, retirement is trickier than it used to be...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

I’m reminded today of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. I think we have all seen the movie. It’s a story about George Bailey, who resides in the fictional town of Bedford Falls and runs the family business, the...

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Your first meeting with your new financial planner is an important event. This is the person you’re trusting to advise you on matters that will materially affect your life and the lives of your family members for years to come. A...

Thursday, December 6, 2018

At year end, it’s time to think about topping off your IRA and most people should be thinking about their Roth IRA. Choosing between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA can have major tax and estate planning implications. A...

Friday, November 30, 2018

Year end marks several important deadlines that you don’t want to forget. If you fail to meet these deadlines, you will lose out on the benefits for this year. Here are eight important tasks to take care of before Dec. 31, 2018:...

Thursday, November 15, 2018

If you ask me, my services to my clients are priceless, but I know that’s not a very satisfying response. The true answer for your family of how much return on investment you get from a financial advisor will, of course, depend...

Friday, November 9, 2018

With the recent volatility in stock prices, many people are wondering about their financial future. Stock prices are down from the highs. Since prices have moved around dramatically from day to day and even within the day, it’s...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

I have three kids. We are in the midst of college planning for my middle child, Peggy. October 1 was the first time you could complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It’s one of the important steps in...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

While you may be thinking about the kind of tricks mischievous kids play on houses that don’t give out Halloween candy, now is also a good time to consider how your taxes for 2018 will shape up. With two months left in the...

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Retirement accounts are often the largest asset a person owns, so it’s no surprise that they routinely get split as part of a divorce settlement. But under law, a retirement account is the property of the “worker” and...

Thursday, October 11, 2018

As always, whether or not you can retire early depends on your situation. How do you want to live in retirement? How much do you have saved today? How long do you plan to live? When I was a young person just starting out in my career,...

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In Minnesota we are accustomed to paying lots of state income tax. We have the 20th highest state tax. Typical state and local taxes in Minnesota amount to 11.57 percent of adjusted gross income — about 7.56 percent more than the...

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Most people have a lot pre-conceived notions about retirement—some of them true, some of them false. I put together a list of 10 of the most common ones I hear on a daily basis so you can test your knowledge about how to put...

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Most retired folks know that IRS rules require owners of retirement accounts to take distribution when they reach a certain age. It’s called the Required Minimum Distribution or RMD. But sometimes people get some of the details...

Thursday, September 13, 2018

If you’re thinking about retirement, you should check your Social Security benefits. One ingredient in every financial plan I do for clients is to run a Social Security maximization analysis to evaluate options. Making the...

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Traditionally pension plans paid out at age 65. You can thank the “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck of Germany for that. When he introduced a social security system to appeal to the German working class and combat the...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Financial planning is about thinking ahead, prudently planning for the future. With that in mind, it’s only natural that from time to time you might ask the question: “What happens when my financial planner retires?”...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

When you visit a Ford dealership and look at cars, do you ever expect the new car advisor to suggest that a Toyota might better meet your needs? No. Everybody knows that the “advisors” at a car dealership work for the...

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Many people wonder if they are at risk to outlive their money. Nobody likes the idea of running out of money in old age. Based on 91 years of market history and some reasonable assumptions, if you have been doing a good job of saving...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

On July 5 the Trump administration placed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports . Then on July 10 it placed an additional $200 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods, from clothes to refrigerators. How large tariffs could affect the...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

If you are 56 today, you will likely live to age 86, according to the Social Security Administration life expectancy calculator. That is an average, so half my readers will live longer than age 86. How can you be sure that you have...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

So your youngest kid just graduated from college. You just realized you have 30 years of work history. You found a notebook from your first year at work and you notice a goal you wrote down: “Retire by age 50.” This year...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Twelve things you can’t control about the next market decline, and 13 things you can control. As we near the half-way mark of the year, the MSCI world stock index is up about 1 percent for the year. So far, not a great year for...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

In the Revenue Act of 1978, the 401(k) retirement savings plan was born. This law gave employees the choice to receive a portion of their earnings as deferred compensation held in a special account. The employees did not pay tax on...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

“How am I doing on my investment or retirement goals?” is a question I get pretty often, most often from acquaintances, not clients. The questioner is usually looking for a comparison to other people her age to gauge...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

"A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry With Father’s Day coming soon, I reflect as a father, and a son, on the opportunity I have to help my children have a better life. So I thought I...

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The stock markets have been rising since March 2009. The average market expansion lasts about five years, so many experts believe we are due for a pull back. It’s all part of the normal market cycle. The current market phase is...

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Do you and your spouse disagree on investment strategy? If you are like a lot of married couples, the answer is probably “Yes.” And, there’s a reason. As with many things, men and women come at investing differently...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Many people wonder why they would ever roll out of their 401(k) into an IRA. Whether it’s a good idea or not depends on the details of your situation. If you work with an advisor who has extensive training in all aspects of...

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I often get the question from friends and clients: “What should we do about the coming market crash?” The long-term clients I’m blessed to work with already know my answer: “Nobody can predict a ‘coming...

Thursday, May 10, 2018

After a long period of study and successful completion of six different examinations, I am proud to say that I am now a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.So as you, your family or friends begin to wonder about the...

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Growing up on the farm, we would get a surprising number of unwelcome visits from insurance salesmen. One of the least complimentary things you could say about somebody was that they reminded you of a life insurance salesman.Of course,...

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The answer to this question is the same as to many financial planning questions: “It depends.” It depends on how much you’ve saved so far and how much you will need to spend during retirement. But if you are like most...

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Many of us never got any formal financial training, so there’s a lot we think we know that we don’t actually know. As Mark Twain once put it, “It’s not what you know for sure that gets you in trouble. It’s...

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

After one of the most exciting tournaments in recent memory, March Madness has sadly come to an end. If you’re like a lot of parents, watching the men’s college basketball tournament can give you dreams of watching your kid...

Thursday, March 29, 2018

You may have heard of the CFP® certification. The letters stand for Certified Financial Planner™ professional. It’s probably the most widely recognized professional designation in the personal financial planning...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

I was talking with a client recently and she mentioned a dear friend who had recently lost her husband. While the friend was working to settle the estate, to her surprise she found that she was not listed on some accounts and that she...

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Almost 12.5 million Americans change jobs every year, according to Retirement Clearinghouse via Forbes, and have to figure out what to do with a company-sponsored retirement account. If you are like a lot of people, most of your job...

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Working independently, on your own schedule, for Uber or another “gig” job can be a great source of supplemental income. But one key difference between this work and a traditional job is the retirement savings options....

Thursday, March 1, 2018

It’s a simple question with a not so simple answer. Today, as most workers approach the Retirement Red Zone (the 5 years leading up to retirement and the 5 years after), they are faced with challenges. No longer can they count on...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Sometimes I get asked by friends and clients, “What should I do about the market decline?”I often tell them that, unfortunately, by the time the markets have declined, it’s too late to do much. Imagine you just bought...

Thursday, February 8, 2018

It’s a good question. But the answer is like a lot of financial planning advice: unsatisfying.That’s because the only truthful answer is: it depends.So how do you know if you need a financial advisor? Here are some...

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Now that we have an updated tax code, what should you expect from the markets and the economy overall in the coming year? It’s always been true that changes to the tax code create unexpected benefits and consequences. This time...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Roth IRA is turning 20 this year. For some of us, it’s still a new idea while for others, it’s been a fixture of their entire investing life. Whatever your perspective, it’s a great tool and it’s been used a...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Imagine a client who is very conservative--a risk-averse investor. It’s 1999, and she has watched from the sidelines as tech stocks have skyrocketed. Year after year, she’s seen tech equities beat cash and bonds like...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2017 was certainly an interesting year in the world of finance. The gains in the stock market surprised nearly everyone. But will the good news continue in the year ahead? How will things change?We don’t know what the future...

Friday, January 5, 2018

Classic rock fans may remember the Grateful Dead song that goes, “. . . when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.” Those lyrics sound like they were written for 2018. It seems everybody is asking when...

Friday, December 29, 2017

Congress just passed a controversial tax bill. There has been much discussion about what it “could” mean, but now it’s passed, let’s look at what we know. New tax brackets The number of brackets remains the same...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

We all know somebody who thinks they’re the smartest person in the room. They know the best vacation spots, the hottest bands—and the best wealth building ideas. But just because they know the difference between echidnas...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I remember the time my sales training coach said, "We are not trying to make friends. I got all the friends I need. What I need is more clients." He was urging us to be more direct in asking a prospect to buy our products. Like a lot...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I’m a baby boomer. I was born in 1962 during the trailing years of the baby boom and I was raised by parents who can remember the Great Depression (the one from the 1930s, not the one from 2008). My parents are savers. They saved...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Most folks don’t have a financial goal at all. Many feel their true financial goals are unrealistic, or they don’t see a path to achieve them. But putting goals into words can be the first step toward a sound financial...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Imagine if on Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by 5,326 points. Or if the S&P 500 Index was down by 585 points. That's about 22 percent in a single day. Stock market crashThat's exactly what happened on Black Monday,...

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Many clients have been asking about the new tax overhaul. They are concerned it might have a negative impact on them and are wondering what action to take right now to protect themselves. There’s no need to panic about the tax...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On November 10, 2017, we will observe Veteran's Day. In honor of this national holiday, I want to take a moment to thank America's military veterans.There are roughly 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces as of 2014,...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Have you ever opened up your investment account statement to find yourself disappointed in the numbers you’re seeing? Many investors are surprised, and often dismayed, by the performance of their investments. The problem might...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

One of the great things about the Social Security retirement benefit is that is pays you each month for as long as you live and it has a Cost of Living Adjustment each year to keep pace with living expenses. Recently announced changes...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

You’ve probably seen the headlines about 143 million credit records being leaked at Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency. Before that, more than a billion accounts were exposed at Yahoo, and 110 million records compromised...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Some investors are concerned about the volatility of the stock market, yet all retired investors do better with investments that grow faster than the rate of inflation. Stocks have historically been the best asset class to keep ahead...

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

You don't get a haircut just once. Things change and evolve, adjustments need to be made on a regular basis. It’s the same way with your financial game plan. Financial planning is a process, not an event.Let me tell you about...

Friday, September 22, 2017

My client asked me recently about "credit insurance" to protect against the recent Equifax data breach. My answer was no. But a credit FREEZE is a good idea.You have probably seen the headlines about 143 million credit records leaked...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Once upon a time there were jobs that could sustain you for your entire working life. Many of those jobs had valuable pension plans. If you worked there for 30 years, you could quit, take the pension and pay all your bills without...

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It’s usually a pipedream people entertain to explain why they aren’t working on their financial plan today: “As soon as I win the lottery…” “When I get my inheritance…” “If only I...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

If you have ever changed jobs, there is a chance you left your retirement account behind. If you are changing jobs right now, you have some options about the company retirement account. You might want to get some good advice.Are you...

Sunday, July 2, 2017

You are eligible to receive reduced Social Security income benefits as early as age 62. What does it take to quit work and live off your investments at age 62? Most Americans start receiving Social Security checks at age 62, according...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

There is no time like today to start planning for retirement. Times flies when you are having fun, so start your retirement planning now, because "someday" is closer than you think.When it comes to retirement, it may seem like...

Friday, June 9, 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...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nobody likes to think about it, but there will come a day when each of us needs some help as we get older. Having a plan to get that help and a plan to pay for it makes everything easier when that day comes. Nearly all assisted living...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Many people work for a firm with an employer sponsored retirement plan. Often those plans offer matching money to increase your savings. Don't miss out.Planning for retirement can be a very intimidating thing, and oftentimes it may...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Even in the busiest time of the year, you can still take a moment to cut your tax bill.As the year winds down, many folks are thinking about the family and holiday celebrations and might not be thinking of tax day on April 15. Here are...

Friday, April 21, 2017

If you’re worried about living longer than your partner, you might wonder whether women really do live longer than men. Although it’s not the same for every couple, on average, women outlive men by five years, which means...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Are you properly planning for your retirement? The reality is that most people in America aren’t doing enough to prepare for life after retirement. The average 50 year old person has just over $40,000 saved for retirement. This...

Friday, April 14, 2017

Everyone hopes that at some point in their career, they’ll have enough financial stability to retire. Unfortunately, individuals are having to work longer than ever before because daily life is so expensive. There always seems to...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

No one wants to think about needing extended healthcare after retirement, but it’s an important factor in planning for retirement. Without setting aside funds for extended healthcare now, you may find that, when you’re in...

Friday, March 31, 2017

If an investment is successful, many people assume that they should stick with it and watch it grow. However, that is not always the best strategy if you’re looking to have a well-rounded, successful portfolio that fits the...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Seeking advice when it comes to finances is a good idea, as long as you are seeking advice from the right individuals. Obviously, asking a gambler what you should do with your money is not the brightest of ideas. Instead, asking...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

When it comes to planning for retirement there are a variety of ways that you can go about saving. If your employer offers a retirement plan and match, you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity. While becoming less...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A recent study shows that more than 90 percent of investors do NOT know how much their 401(k) costs. You can often reduce the cost of your retirement investments.According to a NerdWallet study, roughly 92 perent of Americans have no...

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Dow reached the 20,000 mark recently. What does it mean? What should you do?It's been hard to miss the news that the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 U.S. companies recently hit the 20,000 mark. It's been almost 8 years since the...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

At Dunncreek Advisors, we feel as though we get this question a lot. If you are wondering when the best, or right, time to start saving for retirement, the answer is yesterday. We say this not to worry you, but to stress the importance...

Friday, March 3, 2017

For many couples, the idea of living longer than a spouse can be challenging to think about, but it is often the case that one partner will live longer than another, at least for some small amount of time. For women, it may be...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

While many people in St. Paul, MN, don’t necessarily enjoy getting old, the thought of retirement is sure to put a smile on the face of a lot of individuals. Some people in this country may choose to never retire, but for many of...

Friday, February 24, 2017

A recent study shows that more than 90 percent of investors do NOT know how much their 401(k) costs. You can often reduce the cost of your retirement investments.According to a NerdWallet study, roughly 92 percent of Americans have no...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When you’re thinking about your life in 10 year, 20 years, and maybe even in 30 years, you probably like to avoid thinking about your healthcare needs. For many of us, we want to focus on the life we’re living now, and we...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Part of an effective legacy plan usually includes at least one off-farm job. The supplemental income and benefits are often key to a successful transition from one generation to the next. Good News! The USDA says that there are more...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

With the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President there has been a lot of talk about his family and their role in the family business. For many farm business owners this is common. Is it always good for the business? We have seen a...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

One of the most common frustrations we hear at Dunncreek Advisors has to do with sticking to a budget. While budgeting isn’t always fun, it’s a critically important way to live within your means, and to prepare yourself...

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

At DunnCreek Advisors, we’re invested in helping you have a successful retirement; that’s why we provide retirement advising services in St. Paul, MN. Our retirement financial advisors can help you formulate a retirement...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

We are all getting older. Maybe you noticed. One rite of passage is the arrival of your AARP application on your 50th birthday. It's a great wake up call to get your retirement in order.It came in the mail. Just another envelope to...

Monday, January 30, 2017

Annuities are a very popular retirement tool. Since they are contracts with an insurance company, they can sometimes be complicated. Here are 8 Tips to Find the Right Annuity.When you reach a certain age, you are likely to get...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

It seems like college tuition continues to rise year after year. For those of you that have toddlers currently, who knows what a year’s tuition will be for your children when they reach college. While you can’t control...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Estate planning is one part of a farm families finances that often gets overlooked. In fact, research has shown that approximately 60% of American farmers do not have an estate plan in place. Not taking the proper steps in planning for...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Are you looking for someone to manage your money, but not sure where to start? Sure, you would assume that any financial advisor would do, but unfortunately that is not always the case. It’s important to keep a keen eye on the...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Depending on the state that your farm resides, there may be legislation in place that could help your homestead property financially. For instance, in the state of Minnesota, a special law provides an estate tax exemption for...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

When planning for retirement, there are several factors to consider when creating a realistic retirement plan. While it used to be easy to predict how your retirement would work, these days, it’s not so simple. Many of us have...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they can no longer function in the same manner than in their earlier years. While this can be extremely sad for a family, it can also be financially devastating as well. Not only does...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

If you are a farm owner who would love to see your farm passed down for generations to come, it is important that you pay attention! Simply coasting through your last decades of life, not updating your farm transition legacy plan may...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

For any farm owners, it is imperative that some financial planning takes place. While we understand that growing up on the farm may mean that you don’t have much of an interest in financial planning, it still is very important....

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Once a business owner, specifically an owner of a farming business, decides to team up with Dunncreek Advisors and create a legacy transition plan, it’s important that they determine if added legal protections, like an operating...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Many successful people make the same mistakes with their money. It's hard to make great choices and be truly ready for retirement. Here are nine mistakes to avoid.If you are a farm business owner, an urban professional, or a farmer,...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Retirement income is critical to any business transition or retirement plan. Social Security income benefits account for 52% of all income for Americans older than 65 and most people are not aware of all the benefits to which they are...

Monday, November 21, 2016

Whether the transition you face is a transition out of the farming business or just the transition from full-time employment into retirement, beware some common blind spots. When faced with an important life transition, most people...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

You may have heard about the new rule from the Department of Labor that requires retirement accounts to be managed consistent with a fiduciary standard. Here's what's up. The Department of Labor has issued a rule in April of 2016 that...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

As you approach your transition out of the working world you will face your one-and-only retirement. Here are four things to beware about.As a fiduciary, fee-only financial planner in St. Paul, I have helped dozens of people prepare...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Are you at the point where you’ve got to decide: do we stay or do we go? Do you struggle with making the decision of selling the family farm versus keeping it? At Dunncreek Advisors in Minnesota, we can explain your options to...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Does your family have a family farm that lately has been causing more headaches than happy memories? Let’s face it. Managing a farm on a daily basis is no easy task. While it may have been successfully run in the past by other...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A critical link in the chain that makes a smooth and productive transition to the next generation is an effective estate plan. Here are a few things to review to be sure you are on track. Will based estate plan, or no plan -- Wills can...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

For your farm business to successfully transfer to the next generation, you will need enough cash flow to support two family units at least for a time.Commodity harvest is in full swing across the Corn Belt. Prices are low, as usual...

Friday, October 28, 2016

Poet Robert Browning said "less is more." As we work toward our financial goals, we should stay focused on less things.Many humans, like me, have a tendency to make things more complex than necessary. As we work toward financial goals,...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Have you ever asked yourself life’s most important question, “what is the point to what I am doing?” Or maybe it’s more like, “why am I am doing what I am doing?” For our farm clients at Dunncreek...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lots of folks have life insurance. Often they got it a long time ago. Mostly they think that it's handled and they don't need to think about it. But, often, they are wrong. A quick check is worth the trouble.If you got "hit by a grain...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Death is not easy. Sure, a passing that is expected is a little bit easier to swallow than one that suddenly occurs, but either way you can be left heartbroken. When financial stress around a legacy plan adds to the stress during this...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

If the land that you own has had a consistent tenant year after year performing operations such as farm work or running a business, chances are that you probably have a close relationship. When reviewing your estate plan, the question...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

It might surprise you the mistakes that can derail your retirement plan.Retirement planning can be a tricky area to navigate because it involves hundreds of rules, and violating them can result in unnecessary taxes and penalties. It's...

Friday, October 7, 2016

With so much going on in our daily lives, it is difficult to keep up with things like your estate plan. However, if you sit down and think about it, staying up to date with your estate plan should actually be a top priority. Rather...