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WALSH & ASSOCIATES BLOG

Bitcoin – it’s a hot topic right now, and more than a few of our clients have inquired about its legitimacy. Are cryptocurrencies, like the popular Bitcoin, experiencing a major bubble that’s doomed to burst? Or could they actually be a great investment on the cutting-edge of a new technology? While we can’t see into the future, our gut tells…
As a business with one of our locations in Florida, we are all too familiar with the ways a hurricane can flip your life upside-down. This year has already been devastating, with both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma ripping through Texas and Florida.   Thankfully, for those affected by natural disaster, the IRS offers some relief. It is important for anyone…
A trust can be a powerful estate planning tool – protecting your assets from creditors, shielding your estate from loss, safeguarding benefits for the disabled, avoiding probate costs – we could go on. And yet, many trusts fail to work the way they were intended to! So what makes a trust fail? We’ll talk about some of the most common…
The old saying "knowledge is power" applies to many situations in life, including retirement planning. The more you know about the benefits your plan offers, the more likely you'll be to make the most of them and come out ahead financially when it's time to retire. Here are some questions to test your knowledge about your plan. How much can…
Though not an unusual request, we realize that estate planning for a pet or pets is not all that common. For many people, their pets are viewed as members of their family, and are treated as such. So even though you can’t leave money or property to your pet as you could a normal beneficiary, you can still plan to…
When preparing for our financial planning meetings, we occasionally ask clients for various financial statements - be it insurance statements, tax returns, etc. At times, we’ll request to see documents that go a few years back. And during tax season? If you’ve ever been audited by the IRS, you better believe they’re going to ask for anything and everything they…
Thinking about risk in investing can elicit a number of emotions. Does it mean the opportunity for great returns? Or does it bring up thoughts of being left with nothing? Or to you is investment risk not exciting at all, just an inevitable part of the investment process? Asking these types of questions can help you better understand what your…
Let’s take a step back in time – where were you in 1980? Remember it like it was yesterday? In 1980 the average cost of a new car was $7,210. Today on average you’ll pay about $33,000! And we’re sure you’ve noticed the substantial change in gas prices. These staggering price differences are due to inflation – and it can…
At Walsh & Associates, one of the most valuable services we offer is our Red Flag Audit® (RFA®). Just as a red flag indicates that conditions are unsafe, our Red Flag Audit® is an opportunity for us to show our clients those things in their financial environment that could be “unsafe”. Over the years of providing this service, we’ve come…
The IRS has released a new rule that will simplify the method for estates to obtain an extension of time to make the estate tax portability election.  Known as Revenue Ruling 2017-34, this new rule will ease up on surviving spouses who failed to take advantage of their deceased spousal unused exclusion amount (DSUE) in a timely manner.  Background on…
Though oddly named, a QTIP trust is used by many wealthy couples to protect their assets and provide for the surviving spouse. The catchy QTIP acronym stands for Qualified Terminable Interest Property, which is property in a decedent’s estate that can still qualify for the estate tax marital deduction (with certain restrictions). QTIP can also be property that is given…
The Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule will officially kick into effect on June 9, 2017, with full implementation by January 1, 2018. As of June 9, all advisors to retirement investors must adhere to “impartial conduct standards”, meaning they must give investment advice that is in the best interest to the client, charge for reasonable compensation, and make no misleading…
Before diving in, we’ll start with the basics of a health savings account, or HSA. A health savings account offers those who have health insurance with high deductibles the chance to save pretax funds to use for medical expenses. If there are any unused funds in the HSA at the end of the year, they roll over to the next…
In today’s high-tech world, technology has produced a new form of property that we need to think about in our estate documents. Digital assets are now an essential part of the estate planning process, but some people may still overlook them! It’s important to not only remember your digital assets when working with your estate planner, but also understand the…
Some potential charitable donors are faced with quite the dilemma: how to give to charity while still maintaining wealth and financial security for their own family. The concern is that a substantial charitable gift could end up depriving their family members of funds they may need for future emergencies. But the longer the potential donor stalls, the longer their charity…
According to conventional, or modern, financial theory, people are generally rational and predictable investors. Some popular conventional finance theories are the Capital Asset Pricing model, which explains the relationship between systematic risk and expected return, and the Efficient Market Hypothesis, a theory that claims it is impossible to beat the market because stocks always trade at fair value. And while…
Free Financial Planning Classes – Money Smart Week 2017 You can’t afford to miss this opportunity! As proud participants in this year’s Money Smart Week, Walsh and Associates will be offering free courses on four different personal finance topics. Money Smart Week is coordinated by the Federal Reserve and Northern Illinois University – taking place April 22nd through April 29th…
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