4th Quarter 2016 Newsletter

Alpha Financial Management

Here's a collection of news items and some blog posts we've made over the past quarter. We hope you will find these useful in your financial life.  

Please use the "Share" "Tweet" or "Forward" button if there's an article here you'd like family or friends to read.

Note from Michael:

FEE-ONLY Financial Planner: What's the Difference?

This article describes why FEE ONLY, and warns you "Fee-Based" was intended to be confusing.

Alpha Financial is FEE ONLY.  We belong to NAPFA, the flagship organization of FEE ONLY advisors in the US.

We are Fiduciary in everything we do. 

Tax Planning for end of 2016 --
Planning for the Trump tax proposal

Wondering what tax moves wealthy Americans are making at the end of 2016?

Donald Trump proposed $9.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade with the top 1 percent by income getting almost half the benefit. (Source: Tax Policy Institute)

Even if you’re not wealthy, some of these tactics might be appropriate for you. 

  • Small business moves
  • Investor moves
  • Employee moves
  • Retiree moves
  • Individual taxpayer moves

Click on this link to my blog for the full article.

paraplanner certficant, Rebecca Dayoub

New Years Resolutions

2016 is coming to a close and it’s time to start planning our goals for 2017. Let's set goals in the hope of changing our lives in the year to come. Whatever your plans, you may want to add a few small financial changes to your resolution list to help you turn 2017 into an even better year.

Are you looking for a resolution?  How about one or more of these?
  • Pay down debt
  • Increase your savings
  • Develop a budget
  • Review your credit report
  • Protect your identity
  • Start a college fund
  • Assess life changes
  • Further your financial knowledge
Here's an article about how these resolutions can make next year even better.  LINK
Michael and Becky volunteered at the Girls On The Run 5K on Hutchinson Island this November.  Becky is better at selling merchandise.  Michael's better at setting up tables and concessions..
You can support Girls On The Run Of Coastal Georgia Inc at AmazonSmile. 
You shop. Amazon gives.
When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of your AmazonSmile purchase price to the charitable organization of your choice. Who will you support? Choose from almost 1 million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations and support your favorite charity every time you shop. Learn more
Equity Compensation Illustrated

Employee Stock Decisions

Just a reminder I wrote a book about how employees (and job recruits) can evaluate and manage the stock and options offered by their employers.  

If you know someone who has a large part of their portfolio in their employer's stock or options, let me know and I'll send them a complimentary copy of my book, or they can order it themselves on Amazon for a very low price.


Dimensional Video:
Why steady behavior gives the best returns.  The importance of not missing the best days each year.
Our new advisor, Wayne Jordan, introduces the following article for high-income earners who want to use a Roth IRA


Backdoor Roth conversion for 2017?

You may have heard the term Backdoor Roth Conversion before, In its simplest terms it allows for otherwise ineligible high income earners to contribute to a Roth IRA. There have been talks recently to close the ‘loophole’. Give this article a read to see why we’re likely to see the provision continue into 2017.

Wall Street Journal: "You Can Still Do a Backdoor Roth IRA Conversion—for Now"

Should I Use a Will or a Revocable Living Trust? Separating Facts From Fiction    

Blog post from morgandisalvo.com ·

"Revocable Living Trusts are often said to provide income tax or estate tax benefits... "

(Click link for more)

This above article refutes some of the commonly recited reasons for using a Revocable Living Trust.

It also presents some legitimate reasons, such as
- real estate in multiple states
- possiblity of diminished mental capacity
- more difficult to contest than a will
- privacy
- if you have no good choice of power of attorney, and prefer to use a trust officer
Alpha Financial's paraplanner has some notes about Medicare.

Donna Krohn, Paraplanner

When is the right time to enroll in Medicare?  It depends.  Are you still working after age 65?  Are you receiving disability benefits?  Here's an article with some answers.  LINK.  

Want to do more reading on your own?  Here is a Medicare tip sheet.  LINK

If you still have questions, please give us a call. We'd be happy to point you in the right direction and talk more about your situation.

One of the things Alpha does for all clients is to help make good healthcare coverage decisions, such as what types of coverage to get before you are Medicare eligible and what types of additional coverage you may need such as Medigap or Medicare Part C.
Note from Wayne Jordan about 401(k) fees.

While 401k’s are the most widely used retirement vehicle today, few take the time to understand what they’re paying in fees. Would you be surprised to know that Fidelity, America’s biggest provider of 401(k)’s, advisory fees start at 1.7% for 401(k)’s? Or that on average only 98.6% of your contributions find their way into the designated investments? Just like taxes, you can’t avoid paying them, but you ought to try and mitigate them.

Read more HERE

Call us to discuss what you can do to reduce your 401(k) fees.

Retirement Update from Iris

Going back to school has added to my understanding and appreciation of gratitude. Taking two classes — Drawing I and Introduction to Photography — may not have been the smartest way to enter retirement. Lots of homework has kept me very busy. 

While learning basic techniques and new perspectives, I am being exposed to art of all forms; and often a step in one direction leads to a whole new aspect of art. This happened recently when a google search led me to discover a wonderful book, The Soul’s Palette, Drawing on Art’s Transformative Powers by Cathy A. Malchiodi.  Making art, according to the author, may be as important to your physical and spiritual health as balanced nutrition, regular exercise, or meditation. Expressing yourself creatively—through drawing, painting, sculpture, photography—allows you to tap into a source of inner wisdom that provides guidance, soothes emotional pain, and revitalizes your being. 

The Soul’s Palette reveals art’s transformative powers. Exercises include working with materials for drawing, painting, sculpting, and collage; simple drawing and journal projects; self-guided meditations and affirmations; ideas for cultivating intuition, inspiration, and spontaneity; exploring personal symbols; and making art a spiritual practice.

I am grateful for the positive feedback from my instructors and classmates that has given me the courage to share my art with others. You will see some of this in greeting cards from your Alpha Team this coming year. 

Jazz musician Lionel Hampton once said, "Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind." Neuroscience might argue about the actual storage, but a growing body of research on positive psychology tells us that gratitude is good for body and mind. Making art is an example of the true purpose of imagination — making day-to-day life special through creativity and in doing so, sharing our thanks. In making art for others, I am also doing a service to myself because it gives me the grace to find forgiveness and understanding and to let go and move forward in gratitude.

Holiday Hours

Alpha Financial will be closed the Friday after Thanksgiving and will be closed the week between Christmas and New Years.  We will check phone messages and emails daily so please leave a message if it's urgent.

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