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Should You Rethink Your Retirement Income Strategy?

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Should You Rethink Your Retirement Income Strategy?

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor Most people work their entire lives saving money in their 401(k) plans or other employer retirement plans with the goal of having enough to retire comfortably. The goal is to replace their net take-home pay with Social Security, pensions and the income and growth off of their retirement investments. If they can live comfortably throughout retirement off the income and growth from investments, they want to leave something to their loved ones as their legacy. Sounds logical and obtainable for most people, so what is there to rethink? New Legislation In the past...read the full article

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Why Estate Planning isn’t a One-and-Done Scenario

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Why Estate Planning isn’t a One-and-Done Scenario

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor Death and taxes are life’s two great “unavoidables,” so why do we always avoid discussing them? I was looking at our estate planning infographic that indicated that 42% of all adults have a will or living trust in place. The breakdown of that statistic was: 81% of adults 72 or older 36% of Gen Xers 22% of Millennials I guess the older we get, the more we feel the urgency to get our affairs in order. However, when we sit down and meet with clients to discuss their estate plan, we often sense...read the full article

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6 Planning Opportunities for 401(k)s in Light of the SECURE Act

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6 Planning Opportunities for 401(k)s in Light of the SECURE Act

By the very name, the SECURE Act – or Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act – is designed to enhance retirement savings. There are several provisions in the new law to help accomplish this goal.

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Is Your Financial Advisor All About You?

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Is Your Financial Advisor All About You?

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor There are a lot of investment firms out there and they all say the same thing in different ways. They all say they have great customer service, get to know you, your goals, and they put a plan together. Some firms may tout their expertise in investments, combined years of industry experience, their holistic planning approach, their long-term approach, and how long their firm has been in existence. Firms advertise words like their trust, integrity, wisdom, experience, longevity, superior approach to investing, peace of mind, and the list goes on. They’re forgetting one...read the full article

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How to Choose Between Brokers or Registered Investment Advisors

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How to Choose Between Brokers or Registered Investment Advisors

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor Recently, we had a prospective client visit us to discuss retirement planning. They had no idea if they were ever going to be able to retire and were concerned they would have to work until the age of 70. We had a pre-meeting to gather all their financial information: income tax returns, retirement plans, 401(k) accounts, social security information, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, any debts, and other items. Once we determined the net amount that the clients are currently living on now, the amount they were saving annually, and determined they’d like to...read the full article

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Teaching Kids about Money from Childhood Through Adulthood

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Teaching Kids about Money from Childhood Through Adulthood

Teaching kids about money is especially complex – you aren’t just passing on a few bucks to go to the movies, but an array of attitudes, values and assumptions regardless of whether you mean to. Your kids watch, in a way not even they are aware of, how you interact with finance and how you model it for them. 

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7 Questions to Ask When Looking for a Financial Advisor

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7 Questions to Ask When Looking for a Financial Advisor

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor There’s a list a mile long on what people are looking for regarding financial advice and a financial advisor. So, I decided to write this guide for you – “7 Questions to Ask  When Looking for a Financial Advisor” – based on my 30-year experience in the industry. 1.   Are they qualified to be giving you advice? Does the advisor have the proper designations that qualify him or her to give advice? In some cases, your advisor may be a veteran of 20 or 30 years and has many security licenses under their...read the full article

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When the Unthinkable Happened – Phase 2

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When the Unthinkable Happened – Phase 2

By Jackie Heater, Director of Operations   In my previous blog, “5 Tips I Wish I’d Known When the Unthinkable Happened,” I talked about the immediate things that need to be taken care of: funeral arrangements, bills, insurance, bank accounts, investment accounts and various other financial and estate matters. However, as time moves on, I realize there are many things I’ve had to navigate, especially in the last few months, that I just took for granted because my husband took care of them. Let’s talk about some tips for moving forward when your spouse dies. Mowing the Lawn We have...read the full article

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Why Advising Investing are Both Important for your Comprehensive Financial Plan

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Why Advising Investing are Both Important for your Comprehensive Financial Plan

By: Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor Most investors are very concerned about the markets, the economy, their health, their family’s health, whether they’re going to lose all their money, and will we ever get back to the good old days? Of all the things we worry about, which of them are we really in control of? Most people we meet with have most of the above concerns and our job as financial advisors is to help them realize they do have control over more than they originally thought. Our focus is on their financial future and taking advantage of...read the full article

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Why Does my Financial Advisor Ask for My Income Tax Returns?

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Why Does my Financial Advisor Ask for My Income Tax Returns?

By: Nick Gertsema, AIF®, RICP®, Vice President & Wealth Advisor When we are preparing and updating financial plans for clients and prospects, we like to look at prior years’ tax returns. Ideally, we like to see returns for the last few years. There are very important pieces of information in your tax returns that can help give us some insight so we can provide better advice. We are not tax preparers, nor do we want to be, so why would a financial advisor review income tax returns? There are a few questions we are trying to answer, and some important...read the full article

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