Are Qualified Charitable Distributions Right For You?

How to use IRA RMDs to maximize the tax deductibility of your charitable donations.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 doubled the standard deduction eliminating the need for many taxpayers to itemize their tax deductions. It also made permanent an IRA distribution strategy known as the Qualified Charitable Distribution or QCD.

If you are over 70 ½, own an IRA, and make financial contributions to qualified charitable organizations, the QCD may have a role in your IRA distribution plan.

First some basics… 

A Financial To Do List for 2019

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Most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned or forgotten by the end of the month.

If you need confirmation of this fact, just count the cars are in the parking lot at your local YMCA this Saturday and compare that to the number of cars you see a month from now.

Odds are parking at your local Y or gym will be a lot better in a few weeks.

Rather than tell you to save more, spend less or to get your finances in order (a wishy-washy goal list in the first place) let me suggest a short list of specific action items to check off your financial to do list before the year is over.

But why wait? If you apply yourself, you can probably cross these items off your list in the next couple months.

Five things to check off your financial to do list in 2019:

Happy Holidays!

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It’s probably no coincidence that the year ends at the same time we experience the longest nights and coldest days; a perfect excuse to spend a little extra time with family, reflect on the past 365 days and consider what may be ahead in the coming New Year.

If you are reading this, it is likely during those quiet days between Christmas and the New Year holiday where time seems to slow just enough for us to count our blessings and prepare for the coming new year.

A new year brings uncertainty, but also hope for a better future.

In the weeks and months that lie ahead I will roll out major changes to my website, update how we communicate with our people, and possibly even add some new people to my team. I can’t wait to share all this and more with you in 2019.

My blog posts will resume their regular weekly schedule in January. Until then, I wish you and your family a safe and blessed holiday season.

Happy New Year!

Mike Branch

Consolidate Charitable Gifts To Make The Most of End of The Year Giving

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Americans are a generous bunch. According to Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy,  Americans gave more than $400 billion to charity last year. 70% of that number was from individuals; people like you and me.

This year, however, that could change.

For the 2018 tax year the standard deduction rises from $12,000 for a married couple filing jointly, to $24,000. This is good news for many people, but it also means that you may not receive a tax deduction on your charitable donations if your itemized donations (which includes charitable gifts) total up to less than $24k.

But there may be a workaround.

The Best Way To Handle A Volatile Market

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Markets go up and down. Sometimes a lot in a short period. When markets will go down, when they will rebound, and why is anyone’s guess. But you knew that already.

The question on everyone’s mind is what to do about it.

Below are five ways to handle a volatile stock market.