Submitted by Susan Powers on April 25, 2018
We are pleased to announce that Kate Hennessy is now a partner at AssetGrade. Kate joined the AssetGrade team as an Investment Advisor in 2016 with the opening of our Chicago office. Kate's depth of experience and strong client advocacy are seen in the personal and professional service she provides clients every day. It's been an exciting and busy time as our business continues to grow.
Kate is a CFP® and is highly active both in the investment industry and her community through activities such as serving on the Board of Directors of Oak Bank in Chicago and her recent appointment as Trustee to the Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI).
Submitted by Patrick Cote on January 31, 2018
Most of us have been impacted by the new tax law. You have probably already heard of the major provisions, such as lower rates overall and the reduced ability to deduct state and local taxes. If you are a business owner, particularly of a pass-through like an LLC, there are more significant changes that are quite relevant.
At AssetGrade, taxes play a critical role for most of our clients, so we work very closely with our clients and their CPAs to maximize their after-tax investing performance.
At 1,097 pages, the new tax law is a large document - realistically, it will take a while for everyone to absorb and think through the implications. There are already some immediate implications emerging for 529 accounts and Roth IRAs that we will be addressing shortly.
We are dedicating a new section of our website to keep all of the key information and investing ideas/implications we develop or come across from other people. We encourage you to check in on it from time to time, as we will keep adding to it throughout the year.
Submitted by Kate Hennessy on December 12, 2017
As a parent I appreciate the saying “they grow up so fast.” When I was on maternity leave in 2010, I remember how excited I was to fund our daughter’s 529 plan and plan for her future.
Selecting the right 529 plan can be as intimidating as determining how much to contribute each year. In working with my clients, I have identified several types of 529 plans and funding schedules to meet their needs.
Submitted by Pat Cote on October 11, 2017
We are pleased to announce that Kate Hennessy has been appointed as a Trustee to the Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI or Board). ISBI has fiduciary responsibility for managing the pension assets of the General Assembly, the Judges' Retirement System of Illinois and the State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois. As a trustee, Kate along with fellow trustees, manage a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan with combined assets of $21.6 billion as of June 30, 2017.
Kate was appointed to the Board on June 2nd and her appointment is pending a Senate confirmation hearing. Kate's term as Trustee will expire in June 2021.
Submitted by Patrick Cote on August 23, 2017
How to avoid “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations”
Congratulations! You are on track to accumulate enough wealth to consider yourself wealthy (or maybe you are already there)! Now what? If you have kids (or nieces and nephews), one of your biggest concerns is likely to be to ensure that they, as well as future generations of your family, are able to benefit from the wealth in a positive manner. Even if you don’t think the amount you will leave to future generations is going to be that substantial, many of the tips below will still help.
At AssetGrade, we have had a number of clients ask for help with multiple generations of their family. In particular, we are focusing on ensuring that the priorities and goals of each generation are aligned where possible. We have seen our clients be most successful when they have kept the multi-generation goals specific and manageable.
For most folks who are the original creators of wealth for their family, whether they are HENRYs (High Earners, Not Rich Yet) or already wealthy, they want to see their children and future generations benefit from the family wealth by getting a great education and helping them with a head-start to lead fulfilling, productive lives. They want to avoid scenarios in which the wealth becomes a negative influence on the family. A good financial plan can help define these specific goals for your family.
Submitted by Susan Powers on June 6, 2017
When you can retire is more dependent on how much you’re spending than how much you’re earning. Here’s why:
With interest rates low and people living longer, the correct rule of thumb says you’ll need to save 33x the amount you spend annually to reduce the risk of running out of money.
First figure out your monthly expenses. For example, if they run $10,000-$15,000 a month, that’s $120,000 - $180,000 a year you’ll need to fund in retirement. However, you may live in a part of the country where the cost of living is much higher.
A married couple (both collecting their maximum Social Security benefit) will collect about $30,000 each annually. That leaves them a gap of $60,000 to $120,000 annually to cover from other sources.
With interest rates and people expected to live longer, the correct rule of thumb says you need to save 33x that amount (that’s $2 million-$4 million) to reduce the risk of running out of money.
Don’t panic. Instead, take these three steps now to avoid being forced into difficult decisions later.
Submitted by Susan Powers on May 1, 2017
There are many rewards to running your own successful business. The flexibility to customize a retirement plan tailored to your goals is just one of those rewards. You need a plan that works well today - and in the future as your business grows. Whether you’re a sole proprietor, LLC or S Corp, there’s an option for you.
All of the options we lay out reduce your current taxes while your assets grow tax-deferred. You’ll begin paying taxes when you take money out later in retirement, but only on the actual dollars withdrawn.
Which best describes you or how much you can save?
Submitted by Kate Hennessy on April 10th, 2017
Many of you have seen the commercial on television where a son asks his father about his advisor’s compensation. After a short pause; the father responds “I don’t know…” There are many similar advertisements and hopefully they resonate with investors because it is important to know how your advisor is compensated.
Is your advisor truly working in your best interest or are they receiving a large commission for a recommendation you were not aware of? It’s important to choose your advisor wisely and understanding what it means to be a fiduciary is the first step.