Blog

Reducing the AMT

By Dan Madden, CFP®

Which of the following tax planning ideas would help Beth the most if she currently has to pay AMT taxes? Pay her $1,000 January mortgage payment before the end of the year. Pay her $2,000 January alimony payment to her ex-husband before the end of the year. Recognize a $3,000 short-term capital gain on her…

Read More

CFP® Certificants in the News: Where Will Tomorrow’s CFP® Certificants Come From?

By Bruce Starks, CPA, CFP®

CFP Board Center for Financial Planning – Workforce Development Initiative CFP Board reports1 a “growing number of financial planners [will] retire” and sounds the alarm to avoid a “shortage of CFP® professionals to serve the increasing demand of the public.” One of the ways CFP Board is “building the talent pipeline” is through the Financial…

Read More

Internal Rate of Return Comparisons

By Dan Madden, CFP®

Course: Fundamentals of Financial PlanningLesson 5b: Using the HP 10b-II Calculator Student Question: For number 2 (below), should there be a CF of zero for Company B year one? It appears the explanation skips this cash flow. Bobby is investigating the cost of an alarm system for his home, which he thinks he will own for three years. Company A will charge him an…

Read More

Good to Know: Act Now to Take Advantage of Disaster Relief Provisions

By Bruce Starks, CPA, CFP®

The property and emotional damage left in the wake of a natural disaster may be compounded by financial stresses. For qualified disaster losses, recent legislation by our federal government could soften the financial impact. First, we’ll define what losses may qualify and then we will summarize key provisions of the legislation. A qualified disaster loss…

Read More

Sale of Home by Surviving Spouse

By Dan Madden, CFP®

April’s husband Jay died 5 years ago when their home was worth $600,000. Due to the soft real estate market, April kept the house until the housing market recovered. She finally sold the home this year for $950,000. What is the amount of April’s taxable gain or loss if she bought the home jointly with…

Read More

CFP® Certificants – Strong Growth in 2019

By Bruce Starks, CPA, CFP®

The results are in. According to CFP Board’s January 15, 2020, report entitled CFP BOARD REPORTS STRONG GROWTH IN 2019, the Board summarized the results of key diversity programs as follows: “The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards finished the year [2019] with very strong numbers, reflecting the results of CFP Board initiatives as well…

Read More

Interest Rate Risk in a Bond

By Bruce Starks, CPA, CFP®

Course: Investment PlanningLesson 10: Fixed Income Securities Analysis Student Question: I’m not clear why holders of long-term bonds are subject to interest rate risk. If a 20-year bond is purchased at par with a coupon rate of 6.25% ($62.50/year), it seems to me that the investor would still receive $62.50 a year regardless of interest rate changes. What am I missing? Michael…

Read More

Like-Kind Exchange

By Dan Madden, CFP®

William found someone to buy his rental property in Maine. Which of the following properties that William would like to purchase as rental property would allow him to complete a like-kind exchange? A golf course rental property in Arizona that William identified 30 days after selling his Maine property. A beach rental house at the Cape that William identified 60 days after selling his Maine property. An apartment building in California that William identified 90 days after selling his Maine property. A ski cabin in Denver…

Read More

Reprieve from the Student Loan Debt Warden: Student Loans in Default Can Look to 529 Plans

By Bruce Starks, CPA, CFP®

Good to Know 5.2 Million The number of student loans in default in early 2019 according to the Ascent’s Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2019 That’s the bad news. The good news is that there may be a way out for students with balances remaining in their 529 Qualified Tuition Program. Before the SECURE Act, distributions…

Read More