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What’s on our minds? You can read about it in our blog. Whether it’s ideas from the industry or emerging trends, you can read about it here. We love all the new financial planning and investment technology tools and keeping adding them to our "tool box." In this blog, we'll be introducing them to you so you know what is available to help you plan your secure future. So keep checking in. We’re glad to have you reading along.

 

Friday, July 24, 2020

For those of you with children that have attained their 18th birthday and, especially, for those with children that may be heading off to college in the future, it is important that they have a health care power of attorney (HCPOA) in...

 

Monday, July 20, 2020

We are adding a new fund, Vanguard FTSE Social Index Admiral VFTAX to our portfolios valued over $50,000. This move will support the cause to make our world better and provide enhanced performance to our portfolios. VFTAX is one of the...

 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Key highlights U.S. growth will turn positive in the third quarter, but significant risks to the economy remain. Vanguard expects that the U.S. unemployment rate will fall to around 10% by year's end. Continuing U.S.-China tensions...

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

One of life's challenges seems to be calculating what you'll owe in taxes the following April. There are several tools available for you to use including one of favorites right from our friends at the IRS: https://www.irs...

 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Maryland isn't very tax-friendly for retirees, and many seniors are moving to more tax-friendly states as a result. Maryland exempts some types of retirement income from state income taxes, including Social Security. But it fully taxes...

 

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Thursday, June 25, 2020

As you may have heard DOL and shareholders approved merger of TD Ameritrade and Schwab. We see it as a positive development

 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March 2020 suspended Required Minimum Distributions during 2020, with some limited allowance for individuals to return unwanted RMDs that were already...

 

Monday, June 15, 2020

As we begin rolling out eMoney, our newest financial planning software and client portal, we wanted to highlight some features that you’ll definitely need to know about. The Vault First and foremost- the Vault! This is a secure...

 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

IRS raises HSA contribution limits for 2021 The IRS has issued annual inflation-adjusted limits for contributions to health savings accounts permitted to participants in high-deductible health plans. Most amounts have increased...

 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

First it is important to discuss the record low interest rates. According to the latest market survey data on primary mortgages released by Freddie Mac on April 30, 2020, the 30-year fixed rate average fell to 3.23 percent. Last year...

 

Friday, May 8, 2020

One of the most compelling illustrations of the benefits of diversification is known as the periodic table of investment returns, originally introduced by Callan Associates in 1999. It’s called the periodic table because it...

 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Inspired by the reading and deep thinking I've done during COVID-19, I've realized that my financial planning and investment advisory business can be a pivotal part of channeling resources toward bettering our families and our clients'...

 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who hold federal student loans, chances are you’ve heard about the 6-month payment and interest waiver as a result of the legislative response to COVID-19. As of right now, federal...

 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Several higher education institutions are issuing partial refunds for tuition and other expenses because of closures due to COVID-19. If you’ve taken a distribution from a 529 account to pay for tuition or other qualified...

 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Increasing in funds that follow practices consistent with one's values Increases the amount of satisfaction from the investment Maximizing client satisfaction is the goal in the first place The origins of responsible investing, also...

 

Friday, May 1, 2020

From our favorite financial blogger and researcher, Michael Kitces, comes an easy to follow flow chart on whether you can put back an unneeded/unwanted Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your IRAs this year: Let us know if you...

 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Key highlights The global recession will be short, with growth turning positive in the second half. Developed economies will not return to normal until later in 2021. Labor markets in face-to-face sectors such as leisure and...

 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

There are many variations of how to fund long term care. Educating yourself on these can help you determine the approach that is best for you. We can help you personalize your plan and how to fund it.

 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Some interesting facts about funding long term care:

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Cybercriminals have been taking advantage of the novel coronavirus pandemic to bombard people with phishing emails, spam, and malware since the disease was first reported around the beginning of the year. The goal is to try to ensnare...

 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Congress has passed another stimulus law that provides many positive benefits to businesses and individuals. The most recent law (Friday, March 27) includes student loan payment and interest waivers for 6 months, no RMDs required in...

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

With the stock market on a wild ride and many Americans out of work due to COVID-19, it’s easy to be discouraged by the economic outlook. The federal government has stepped in and made changes to try and boost the economy. While...

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

On Monday US stocks declined 7% at the market open which triggered the fail-safes that paused trading. Stock markets have been extremely volatile recently making many investors nervous.People are panicking because they don't have a...

 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

 

Friday, February 28, 2020

In your investing lifetime, you may only see a situation like the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a few times. This is a circumstance where complete candor is necessary. The truth is that we can’t yet gauge the full economic...

 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The same is true today as it was when this article was written in May 2018.

 

Monday, February 24, 2020

There is even more flexibility in how you can use money saved in your Maryland 529 college savings plan. As of January 1, 2020: You can now use 529 accounts to repay student loan debt - A 529 Account Beneficiary's student loan payments...

 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Vanguard suggests that by waiting until April 15th to make the prior year's IRA contribution, investors are losing 15 months of compounding investment returns on their money. Instead, contribute as early as you can afford to do so,...

 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Maryland Pension Exclusion If you are 65 or older or totally disabled (or your spouse is totally disabled), you may qualify for Maryland's maximum pension exclusion of $31,100 (for 2019) under the conditions described in Instruction 13...

 

Friday, January 24, 2020

If you have student loan debt, we are very well qualified to help clients navigate through the ins and outs of setting up a payment plan. See our other articles about techniques student loan repayment. Other debt, particularly credit...

 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

So you have a good job with good benefits- congratulations! Chances are these benefits include long-term disability coverage that will provide you with 60% of your income if you were to become disabled. Great, right? Maybe not. While...

 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The new SECURE act, which passed in late December, pushed back the age in which individuals had to start their Required Minimum Distributions from retirement accounts (if they hadn't already reached the previously required age of 70...

 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The new SECURE Act included changed to how inherited IRAs much be distributed, resulting in accelerated distributions (and larger annual tax bills each year) and less control over how and when to take money out of an IRA for many...

 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

As almost half of American millennials know, the burden of student loan debt can be a daunting cloud over your financial life. Carrying this debt has an impact on major life decisions such as when to have kids or whether to buy a home....

 

Monday, December 30, 2019

The last few days of 2019 brought a new law with sweeping changes to the retirement savings landscape. And lots of opportunities for financial advisors to learn new rules to ensure optimal outcomes for our clients. Financial expert...

 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Just before Thanksgiving, my younger brother passed away after a long illness complicated by depression. Both made it hard for him to plan for his family's future and for him to receive advice from others. While he had been sick for a...

 

Monday, December 30, 2019

We were excited to hear the news that Schwab plans to purchase TD Ameritrade, the investment custodian where we manage our client's accounts. Both companies are top notch providers of services to both clients and independent Registered...

 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

One of the most significant changes made by the SECURE Act to impact retirement savers is the elimination of the ‘Stretch’ provisions for most non-spouse beneficiaries of defined contribution plans and IRA accounts. Under...

 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Below are the five things that may apply to our clients and we'll be focusing our attention to these in the first part of 2020. [There are lots of exceptions and provisions to many of these rules but I want to keep this readable, so I...

 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Schwab acquisition of TD Ameritrade: This week we've learned about Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade agreed on the deal. We want to assure you we are working proactively in communication with TD Ameritrade to understand what this may...

 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The IRS has proposed new life expectancy tables that reflect that Americans are living longer (and therefore their money needs to as well). The IRS tables that may go into effect in 2021 will slightly reduce the percentage of the...

 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The air is crisp and we are heading toward the end of the year, a busy time here at GFP and surely in your household as well. What’s on your to-do list? Perhaps it’s home maintenance projects. Are your gutters ready for the...

 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

We were excited by the news that our newest client Quinn was born the last week of August. Quinn was a "surprise" in that his new parents had only 48 hours notice that they'd been selected by the birth mother to adopt this precious...

 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

To support our "boomer clients" and those clients who have parents or family members near or in retirement, we have three specialty software tools that we use in conjunction with our core financial planning and projection software that...

 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Conferences, vacations, new professional designations, and new tools and services. We have been busy this summer!

 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Whether you’ve been investing for decades or are just getting started, at some point on your investment journey you’ll likely ask yourself some of the questions below. Trying to answer these questions may be intimidating,...

 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Ongoing Education Debbie has enrolled in a post-CFP educational course for a new designation called Retirement Income Certified Professional®. This program will enhance our knowledge of the latest academic and industry thinking...

 

Monday, May 20, 2019

As a continuation of our Insurance Issue, read on for more about homeowner, auto, and umbrella policies. Homeowner’s insurance policies vary in what they cover and the premiums you pay, so it is important for you to know whether...

 

Monday, March 25, 2019

At the end of February, our team member Courtney went to an insurance conference with the folks at LLIS to learn more about their products and services to better serve our clients. LLIS is an insurance broker out of Tampa, Florida with...

 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

After a December that marked the worst month for U.S. equities since the Great Depression, the U.S. equity market (as measured by the S&P 500® Index) experienced a robust rebound in January 2019, returning 8.01%—its strongest month since ..

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Debbie is having fun with the 15-minute “Jump Start” calls, kicking off 2019 on the right financial foot for our current clients. This turned out to be a popular event and our clients are keeping Debbie...

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Markets Back in our February blog post we commented on the stock market plunge after a surge in January, and here we are again. Unfortunately, the back-and-forth market swings and uncertainty are a new normal. For all the market growth...

 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Retirement contribution limit updates (2019) The IRS just announced the 2019 retirement contribution limits. In 2019 you can contribute $6,000 to your IRA, up from $5,500 with the same $1,000 catch up when you are age 50 and above, for...

 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

New online meeting scheduling tool We are excited to roll out an online meeting scheduling tool right on our website and in our email signature to make scheduling easier. We offer a variety of meeting options, including a quick...

 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Market Overview What a nice change of pace to see interest rates steadily increasing, with every indication that they will continue to do so. This is great news for consumers who hold CDs, as you’ve been able to see your money...

 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

New service: TD Ameritrade CD and bond ladders We have recently started offering an enhanced service for our clients whose money we manage at TD Ameritrade. As interest rates rise, CD rates are increasing and are becoming a more...

 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Health Savings Accounts in Maryland not IRS approved: UPDATE: On April 30, 2018. The IRS indicated that it would accept $6,900 as the 2018 HSA Family contribution maximum. This is a reverse decision from what was released in March...

 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

It looks like the U.S. stock market will finally get something that happens, on average, about once a year: a 10+% percent drop—the definition of a market correction. The last time this happened was a whopper—the Great...

 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 1,175 points today—an all-time record. In Dow points, the loss was more than twice the 508 points the average plunged in the 1987 crash. Yet because of the much greater valuation of the Dow...

 

Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 HSA UPDATE: Individual: $3,450 (up from $3,400 in 2017) Family: $6,900 (up from $6,750 in 2017) On April 30, 2018. The IRS indicated that it would accept $6,900 as the 2018 HSA Family contribution maximum. This is a reverse...

 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

MoneyGuidePro is a goal-oriented software. The MoneyGuidePro planning philosophy’s five key points are: (1) Begin saving by setting goals based on what is most important to you (2) prior to retirement, focus on savings and the...

 

Friday, December 29, 2017

After interning with us last summer, Courtney is now our newest employee and continues providing her energy and enthusiasm for finance to the high-level services we provide to our clients. Using skills gained from academia and prior...

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Update as of December 28th 2017: Yesterday the IRS advised: “In general, whether a taxpayer is allowed a deduction for the prepayment of state or local real property taxes in 2017 depends on whether the taxpayer makes the payment...

 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Sounds hard to do - plan for tax reform - when the news changes daily on different bills and deals that the House and Senate are putting together. And yet a large part of what we do for our clients is to help you plan for your future...

 

Monday, September 11, 2017

In between Irma and Harvey updates, we’ve all heard of another “hurricane” where a Equifax, a major consumer credit reporting agency, had a security breach. Hackers were able to retrieve names, birth dates and...

 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

We are evaluating a new Medicare planning process. Our goal is to help you make better decisions when the time comes to apply for Medicare. We can guide you through a series of questions to develop a “road map” of when it...

 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gallant Financial Planning is pleased to announce the newest additions to our team! As a financial planning firm, we desire to offer exceptional service, a high level of fiduciary care, and focused, personal attention. We believe that...

 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

It’s a new year, and a fresh opportunity to reevaluate your investments. Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned investor, it is helpful to take a step back and review what makes up your portfolio. Taking into...

 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Believe it or not, but the first quarter of 2017 is already over! 2016 was marked by tumultuous politics, but Trump’s surprise victory resulted in a market surge that has continued into this year. In fact, the economy has been...

 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

For most people, it’s hard enough to find the time and resources to confidently build and manage their assets. It can be even more difficult to know how to integrate your personal values into your financial plan and feel...

 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

It’s amazing how the smallest of moments or decisions we make in life can impact our entire lives. I remember clearly in 1984 picking up an issue of Money magazine. I was fascinated by financial planning and the strategies people...

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

As you look forward to starting a new job, it's important to consider how you will manage your finances while making the transition from one employer to the next. The checklist to use before starting a new job: Proactively manage your...

 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Who needs a pyramid scheme or a crooked money manager when you can lose money in the stock market all by yourself. If you want to help curb your loss potential, avoid these 10 strategies. Go with the herd. If everyone else is buying it...

 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Throughout her 20s, Nancy Corwin dreaded the day she turned the big 3-0.1 Then the day finally came—and went. "And it was no big deal," said Nancy. "It was really sort of a letdown after all that worrying," she joked. One thing...

 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Many of us may live well into our 90s, especially if one or more of our parents did so. Most of my clients have at least a 20% chance of living to 90, with a 10% chance of living to 100! With a retirement that may last from 20 to 30...

 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. —Benjamin Franklin That saying still rings true roughly 300 years after the former statesman coined it. Yet, by formulating a tax-efficient investment and distribution strategy,...

 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

When should I begin thinking about tapping my retirement assets and how should I go about doing so? The answer to this question depends on when you expect to retire. Assuming you expect to retire between the ages of 62 and 67, you may...