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Financial Topics of Interest:


Non-Spousal Inherited IRA Distribution Rules

When inheriting IRA assets, non-spousal beneficiaries have several different options, which can have drastically different tax implications. Don and Donna discuss how you can use these rules to your benefit.





Planning on retiring this year? Not so fast. Don discusses some key items that you should check off your retirement to-do list before hanging up the gloves for good.


Should I Retire Early?

When early retirement is on the table, it can be difficult to turn down. However, before you start planning your move to Palm Beach, there are some important considerations that could bear long term consequences.


 Stress Testing Your Retirement Plan

Knowing how much income you’ll need to draw from your investments in retirement is critical to your planning strategy. Don discusses the importance of stress testing your retirement plan.


Avoiding Inherited IRA Pitfalls

Among the various types of retirement accounts, few carry the complex rules or steep penalties of the inherited IRA. Donna Allard offers tips on how to avoid the costly mistakes with inherited IRAs.


Market Historian Series: Learning From Financial Bubbles

From "Tulip Mania" in the 1600's, to the Housing Bubble of the last decade, the markets have watched countless financial "bubbles" throughout history. But with some analysts predicting the bursting of another market bubble in the near future, what, if anything, have investors learned?


Investing in the New Trump Economy

After the surprise election of Donald Trump, investors will be watching as new opportunities emerge throughout the financial markets. Hear the MoneyTalk team's take on investing in the new Trump economy.


Market Historian Series: The Continuing Reign of Standard Oil

The oil industry will forever be defined by the rise of Standard Oil. In this edition of our Market Historian Series, Nathan and Steve Beauvais explore the oil giant's breakup, and eventual reunification as Exxon Mobile.


Social Security Planning

When should I begin claiming my social security benefit? Timing your benefits properly can have a significant impact on your retirement income. Don & Donna discuss some important factors to consider when making your decision.


Transition Planning: The Housing Decision

Our Transition Planning series explores the process of preparing aging parents for life's transition. Part 2 addresses the transition in living situation as we age, and the issues that are often unaccounted for when planning for this emotional shift in independence.


Market Historian Series: The Japanese Asset Bubble 

In the 1980's Japan's GDP had grown ten fold from its level just two decades earlier, and its 16 largest commercial banks held a combined market cap that was 6 times larger than the 50 largest US banks, at the time. This segment of our Market Historian series delves into one of history's greatest, and least discussed financial bubbles.


The Post-BREXIT Market Environment 

After Great Britain's unexpected exit from the EU, where does that leave investors? Don & Donna discuss the negative impact being felt in the UK, as well as the opportunities taking shape domestically.


Britain's Breakaway from the EU 

With Great Britain voting on their potential exit from the European Union, Don & Donna look at the possible global economic ramifications of such a decision.


529 Estate Planning Strategy 

Investors are always looking for opportunities to minimize their taxable income, however many are unaware of the unique tax advantages of 529 college savings plans.1


Building Your Retirement Budget 

Budgeting can be a daunting task for individuals in any stage of life, however, retirement can present unique budgeting challenges as retirees are often forced to adjust to new income limitations, and unanticipated expenses.


Transition Planning: Getting Your Ducks in a Row 

Our Transition Planning series explores the process of preparing aging parents for life's transition. Part 1 focuses on the legal side of protecting your estate, and the benefits of early planning.


When Family Members Ask for Money 

When helping a family member in financial distress, seniors often turn to their retirement savings. Don & Donna explain the potential impact that over-generosity can have on your retirement income.


To Rollover,  or NOT to Rollover 

Debating what to do with your old 401(k)? Don & Donna weigh the options, and highlight some key factors to consider when making your rollover decision.2


Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule 

The Department of Labor passed a new rule designed to protect retirement account investors. Don and Donna break down the language and reasoning behind the rule.


Roth IRA Five-Year Rule 

Smart investors take the time to understand the rules that govern their retirement accounts. Don and Donna discuss key elements of the Roth IRA five-year rule.


Impact of the Fed Meeting 

When the Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman speaks, the markets listen. Don Sowa discusses the focus of the March, the Fed board meeting, and the potential impact on investors.


Dollar Cost Averaging 

With so much volatility in the financial markets, what are some strategies that I can use to manage my risk/return?3


401(k) Loans 

When does borrowing from your 401(k) plan make sense? Don Sowa discusses some of the long- and short-term considerations.


1 The fees, expenses, and features of 529 plans can vary from state to state. 529 plans involve investment risk, including the possible loss of funds. There is no guarantee that a college-funding goal will be met. In order to be federally tax-free, earnings must be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. The earnings portion of a nonqualified withdrawal will be subject to ordinary income tax at the recipient’s marginal rate and subject to a 10-percent penalty. By investing in a plan outside your state of residence, you may lose any state tax benefits. 529 plans are subject to enrollment, maintenance, and administration/management fees and expenses

2 If you are considering rolling over money from an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), you may have the option of leaving the money in the current employer-sponsored plan or moving it into a new employer-sponsored plan. Benefits of leaving money in an employer-sponsored plan may include access to lower-cost institutional class shares; access to investment planning tools and other educational materials; the potential for penalty-free withdrawals starting at age 55; broader protection from creditors and legal judgments; and the ability to postpone required minimum distributions beyond age 70½, under certain circumstances. If your employer-sponsored plan account holds significantly appreciated employer stock, you should carefully consider the negative tax implications of transferring the stock to an IRA against the risk of being overly concentrated in employer stock. You should also understand that Commonwealth and your financial advisor may earn commissions or advisory fees as a result of a rollover that may not otherwise be earned if you leave your plan assets in your old or a new employer-sponsored plan and that there may be account transfer, opening, and/or closing fees associated with a rollover. This list of considerations is not exhaustive. Your decision whether or not to roll over your assets from an employer-sponsored plan into an IRA should be discussed with your financial advisor and your tax professional.

3 Systematic investment plans do not assure protection against loss in declining markets. Such plans involve continuous investment, regardless of market conditions. Markets will fluctuate, and clients must consider their ability to continue investing during periods of low price levels. Investments are subject to risk, including the loss of principal. Because investment return and principal value fluctuate, shares may be worth more or less than their original value.

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