Give and Get: Qualified Charitable Distributions

Key Takeaways With Scottie Scheffler donning the green jacket Sunday, it’s no longer Masters week.  Now, we move on to everyone’s second favorite spring tradition, tax week!  We all love Augusta, GA, where cellphones are not permitted, and pimento cheese sandwiches are still only $1.50; they have a great formula, and it won’t change anytime […]

Give and Get: Qualified Charitable Distributions

Key Takeaways Tax reform has decreased the households who itemize to about 10% of taxpayers. Those who don’t itemize may not realize tax benefits from charitable donations. Qualified Charitable Distributions help donors above age 70 ½ realize a tax benefit. Donors younger than 70 ½ should consider the timing of their contributions. With Scottie Scheffler […]

Optimizing Required Minimum Distributions

Key Takeaways The IRS made a retiree-friendly tweak to its RMD schedule for 2022 When to best take retirement distributions can be opposite for two similar investors Engage Us: We do our best work when we know your updated situation     We’re only a week into 2022 and I have already spent a few […]

Planning Opportunities with SECURE Act 2.0

SECURE Act 2.0 is good for retirement savers. Key Takeaways:   RMD Age Delayed from 72 to 73, then 75 for those born in 1960 & later Expanded Roth savings opportunities Expanded savings opportunities, especially for pre-retirees   It’s becoming a holiday tradition.  On the morning of Christmas eve, I sat down to a cup […]

Year-End Financial Planning & Investments Among Market Volatility

By: Andy Reynolds, CFP®, MBA COO/Partner – Ballast, Inc. With the recent stock market volatility, many investors have, and understandably so, buried their heads in the sand, shredding investment statements without looking and focusing outside of their financial life. While many choose to simply not look, the volatility provides significant opportunities for financial improvement, several of […]

End of Year Financial Planning

As we officially enter the month of November, it is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just three weeks away.  Hopefully, this year brings back the celebration of holiday traditions and family gatherings.  However, before the sugarplums start dancing, we need to stay diligent and focus on year-end planning to ensure we are making sound […]

Giving Strategy for Charity Gala Season

Fewer than 15% of taxpayers itemize deductions since 2018 tax reform. Timing the donations you already plan to make can maximize tax deductions. Your charities can still receive stable monthly income via a Donor Advised Fund. This week marks the first official week of summer and, at least for my family, this change of season […]

Entrepreneurs & Business Owners

COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES “…The professionals at Ballast, with their expertise and knowledge, were able to prepare our businesses for a safe and secure transition…” This testimonial is from a client of Ballast, Inc. Clients are not compensated for sharing their opinions and experiences with our firm.  Any compensation creates a conflict of interest and any client’s […]

Balancing Saving and Giving

Most of our clients aspire to be financially self-sufficient.  As those clients age, we notice some amount of transition into wanting to benefit others with accumulated resources.  This giving can range from donations to charities of interest to paying for a grandchild’s education to helping a friend in need.   We have been fortunate since the […]

The Importance of Tax Diversification

When most people think of diversification, they primarily focus on a proper mix of portfolio assets.  As we have noted in the past, we target an asset mix of non-correlating assets for our clients.  This could include stock, exchange traded funds, mutual funds, REITs, etc.  However, one area of diversification that is often ignored is […]

Trusts as Estate Planning Tools

The topic of estate planning is one that many would like to avoid for as long as possible and the reason is pretty simple: most people are reluctant to discuss what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the only two certainties in this world, death and taxes.  This is where a common misconception lies — estate […]

Alternative Uses of Social Security Income

Key Takeaways:   Many unique situations could justify taking Social Security earlier. The psychological benefits of a new income stream can relieve anxiety around a new planning strategy. To take Social Security before age 70, the financial and non-financial benefits of claiming Social Security early should outweigh the benefits of deferral.     If you […]