Retirees: Miss this April 1 tax deadline, and you won't be laughing

As the end of tax season looms near, it is a good time to remember that not all deadlines are equal. We make every effort to contact clients who are required to take a minimum distribution from their ARS portfolio's prior to year end. If you are unsure if you have taken the appropriate amount of funds, please give us a call. We are always happy to assist and this is a deadline you do not want to miss.

Retirees: This looming April 1 tax deadline is no April Fools' joke.

Keep Health Care Costs Down While Caring for a Child with Special Needs

As with your retirement planning, insurance planning is complex and every situation is unique. We are here as a resource to you and have helped many clients create a plan that meets their families needs.

There is no getting around it—health insurance is complex and complicated. You have to have it and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. And, when your child is living with a special need it makes the whole process even more complicated. Finding in-network specialists, scheduling exams, and keeping track of copayments and deductibles can be exhausting. This struggle is all too real for the families and guardians of the 10.2 million U.S. children (14% of all American children), who have special health care needs, according to a Health Resources and Services Administration survey. Because some needs are not identified until the child is of a certain age it can mean a drastic change in the health insurance you’ve always had. Here are a few health insurance elements to consider to best care for your child with special needs.

ARS Client qualifies for the Boston Marathon

The ARS Team wants to wish a special Congratulations to one of our clients, Raymond Church, who ran the BMO Harris Phoenix Marathon last week in just over 4 hours. At 72 years old, he hit a new PR for himself and qualified for the Boston Marathon! Nice work, Mr. Church!

Questions for your financial adviser

You may recall an article in our Quarter 3 Newsletter discussing the Fiduciary Rule and the impact that would have on the type of guidance offered by financial advisors. The beginning stages of this rule were set to roll out this year and many financial firms had already begun restructuring their business models to adapt. However, it now appears that rule may not go in affect after all. The article we are sharing with you today suggests some great questions to ask when looking for the right person or firm to partner with on your investments. We have added in our answers to the questions as well. As always, if you have any questions about your portfolio or specific situation please give us call.

Tampa Bay Times, Jill Schlesinger

Now that the Trump administration has declared its intention to delay and potentially roll back the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which would force financial professionals (and their firms) overseeing the nearly $3 trillion in retirement savings to work in their clients’ best interest, it may be a good time to review your relationship with your adviser, stockbroker or insurance salesperson.

Prince didn't have a will and neither do nearly 60 percent of Americans

Today's article serves as a reminder to many of us that we never know how much time we will have. If you have been putting off your estate planning or it has been a while since your last review, please give your portfolio manager a call. We can assist you with identifying the next steps and getting you set up with a trustworthy estate planning attorney. There are also many no cost items that you can do to better protect your estate that we can walk you through.

CNBC, Tom Anderson

Prince shocked estate planners everywhere when it was revealed after his death that he didn't have a will. The Purple One was not alone. Only 42 percent of U.S. adults have a will, according to a survey by, a website for family caregivers. The top reason people gave for slacking off when it came to estate planning was that they "just hadn't gotten around to it," according to the survey of 1,003 adults conducted in late January.

An account that can keep your retirement savings healthy

CNBC, Kelli B. Grant

Using your health savings account just to cover current medical expenses could be short-sighted.

How to Keep Your Life Insurance Costs Down

With rates as low and competitive as they have ever been, it’s as close to a “buyers” market in life insurance as you’ll see.  Still, in these cash-strapped times, curbing all costs and expenses is a priority for most people, and buying life insurance is no different. While the cost of life insurance is predicated upon several factors over which we have little control, such as age, gender, and health, there are many ways in which the overall cost can be reduced.  It helps to have an understanding of how life insurers base their rates and the extent to which some of the factors can be influenced when applying for a policy.

Common investment mistakes to watch for

Cheang Ming, CNBC

Relying on common sense and market conventions are among the causes of a list of seven mistakes often made by investors, according to the investment house AMP Capital. "In the upside-down world logic that applies to much of investing, there are ... mistakes investors often make which make it harder for them to reach their financial goals," Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, said in a note.

Annuity Illustrations aren't always what they seem

CNCB, Jeff Rose

Not too long ago, a new client visited my office with a variable annuity illustration obtained from another financial advisor. The illustration itself used some fairly fuzzy math to paint a perfect picture for this client's retirement. But once I dug into the details, I could see this annuity illustration showed a potential lifetime payment of $22,000 per year and a guaranteed payment of $17,000.

How the Next President Could Save Social Security

The problem

Since 2010, Social Security’s funding mechanism has been taking on water. The number of workers supporting a growing number of retiring baby boomers is not sufficient to pay all the benefits they are due.

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