Before Sending Your Student Off to College, Do This

Imagine the following situation: It’s 10:00 a.m. on a beautiful spring day. The birds are singing. The sun is out – finally! Everything seems right with the world. Standing in line at your favorite coffee shop, you receive a phone call that your daughter was found unresponsive in her dorm room. She has been rushed to the emergency room at a hospital that you have never heard of before.

When you get there the hospital’s medical team refuses to give you any information about her condition or what kind of care she is receiving. They won’t even tell you what is wrong with her. As an adult she has a legal right to privacy that prevents the hospital from disclosing any personal, medical information.

While this may seem unlikely, it can happen. Do you know what you need in order to be involved in her care, now that she’s a legal adult?

One Way to Remember Those Who Served

USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

Coming from a military family, Memorial Day never goes unnoticed in my family. Last year we recognized Memorial Day with a visit to the Fort Snelling National Cemetery where several family members are buried. This year I am considering a trip to the Minnesota History Center where they currently have an exhibit that focuses on WWI.

One of the best ways to recognize those who gave their lives in service to our country as well as to get a better understanding of how war has shaped the lives of the people who lived through them is to read a book of historical nonfiction – especially one set during the war years.

A Small Investment With Big Returns

My colleague, Katey McCabe, and her son, Fritz (age 6), volunteering at the packing event for Feed My Starving Children.

My colleague, Katey McCabe, and her son, Fritz (age 6), volunteering at the packing event for Feed My Starving Children.

Years ago I used to provide clients with a year-end gift during the holidays. Like most financial advisors I would order dozens packages of cookies or nuts and ship them out to clients as a holiday treat to let them know how much I appreciated them and their business.

These gifts were expensive, took a lot of time to box up and half my budget went to the Post Office to pay shipping costs. What’s more, I don’t think anyone really cared.

And I don’t blame them. How many packages of cookies, tins of popcorn or baskets of stale snacks do you need at the end year anyway?

I thought I was making an investment in my business and doing something nice for my clients, but the more I thought about it the more I realized my investment and efforts probably weren’t really making a difference to me, to my clients or to anyone.

As with any unproductive investment, I decided to switch gears and try something else.

DOL Delays Implementation of Fiduciary Rule

zac-nielson-113313In 2016 the Department of Labor enacted new rules and regulations that will affect financial advisors who work with retirement assets like IRAs. In case you were wondering, that’s pretty much the entire industry.

On April 10th those changes were to go into effect.

Well, that was the plan anyway. Less than a week before the new rules were set to become law, the DOL delayed implementation of the fiduciary rule by 60 days.

Looming IRS Deadline May Not Come as Soon as You Think

brooke-lark-194254Most years the deadline to file your Federal income tax return is April 15th. This year you have a little extra time.

Since April 15th falls on a Saturday this year, you have until the following Monday to file your 2016 Federal Income tax return. However, this year Monday, April 17th, is a holiday known as Emancipation Day in the District of Colombia where the U.S. Department of Treasury is located.