The Right Legal Documents Play a Key Role in Your Financial Road Map

Banff, Canada

In this very personal letter to his clients, estate planning attorney Cory Wessman, shares why a well thought out healthcare directive is such an important part of your financial road map.


Posted with permission from the offices of Erickson & Wessman, Attorneys At Law:

In the early morning hours of Friday, November 30th, I received the most unwelcome call from my father.  “It’s your brother, Scott….he was found unresponsive and is in a medically-induced coma.  We don’t know if he will make it.”

How To Remove Luck From Your Financial Plan

Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash

Too many people rely on luck or chance to meet their financial goals.

As if being in the right place at the right time or getting lucky with a hot investment was the missing ingredient to cashing in on the pot of gold at the end of their financial rainbow.

To be sure, it helps when the stars align in your favor. And if a lucky charm in your pocket makes you feel better, I am all for it.

But if you are serious about your financial well-being it’s going to take a lot more than a lucky roll of the dice to help you meet your goals.

Below are five ways you can stack the odds in your favor and reduce the role of luck in your financial life. Hint: The last one will surprise you.

10 Things To Know About the Required Beginning Date For IRAs

This article, written by Ed Slott IRA Analyst, Sarah Brenner, originally ran on The Slott Report.

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Adding money to an IRA is easy. Knowing when and how to take money out of an IRA while complying with all the rules and regulations surrounding IRAs and retirement plans — that is the tricky part.

All IRA owners must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions or RMDs from their IRA by April 1 of the year after the year they turn 70 ½.

But the rules don’t stop there.

This article, written by Ed Slott IRA Analyst, Sarah Brenner, originally ran on The Slott Report.

You can learn more about IRAs from Ed Slott and his team, by clicking here.

Does Your Child Need To File An Income Tax Return?

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As parents, we encourage our children to work so they can learn important values about work and independence. At what point, if at all, do children need to file an income tax return for the money they earn?

The IRS does not exempt anyone from the requirement to file a tax return based on age, even if your child is declared as an independent on your tax return.

Your dependent children must file a tax return when they earn above a certain amount of income.

Dependent children with earned income (that is, income from a job or self-employment) in excess of $12,000 must file an income tax return.

Dependent children with unearned income (interest, dividends, capital gains, etc.) of more than $1,050 must also file a return. And if the dependent child’s earned and unearned income together total more than the larger of $1,050 or a total of earned income up to $12,000 + $350.

Here’s an example. Kyle is a 20-year old college student who’s claimed as a dependent by his parents. He received $400 I unearned income and $5,500 for a part-time job on campus. He does not have to file a tax return because both his unearned and earned income fall below the thresholds. Kyle’s total income if $5,900 is less than his total earned income + $350.

If you decide to prepare a separate tax return for your child, the same reduced standard deduction rules detailed above will apply.

These thresholds are subject to change, so please consult a professional with tax expertise regarding your individual situation.


The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2019 FMG Suite

Affordable Alternatives To A High Priced College Education

Photo by Claudio Hirschberger on Unsplash

The total cost of attendance at some private colleges now exceeds $70,000 a year.

Even state colleges and universities can come with a hefty price tag. The University of MN Twin Cities has an all-in annual cost of about $28,000.

Today, more and more parents scratch their heads and ask, “Is it really worth it?”

Perhaps a better question to ask would be, “Is a traditional 4-year college education really necessary?”

For some students, another path may be the smarter career (and financial) move to make.

While many career fields require a traditional college education and even advanced degrees, many do not. Healthcare, the building trades, and mechanical industries offer many career opportunities that require less than a 4-year college degree, but also offer reasonable pay, a high level of job security and advancement opportunities.

Consider this: Tuition, fees and books cost just under $7,000 at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College and other similar schools in our area. That’s less than half of what students pay at The University of Minnesota, and a fraction of what many private schools charge.

Wondering how much the schools on your list cost? Click here for a complete listing of tuition and related fees at every school in MN.

Not surprisingly, graduates of 2-year community college or vocational programs tend to graduate with less debt than their friends at 4-year colleges; $10,000 total student loan debt on average compared to over $28,000 for the typical college grad.

Not only do students spend less per year for fewer years at community and tech colleges, but they get into the workforce sooner and start saving earlier than most traditional college grads.

A 4-year college degree isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, today there are many other options. To learn more talk to your school counselor or attend a career and college fair at your high school, if one is offered.

Career and College Fair. On February 26, Centennial High School will host its first annual Career and Technical College Fair. It’s an opportunity to learn more about various community and tech colleges, explore different careers, and talk to experts who understand that a 4-year college degree isn’t the only path to a secure future.

For more information: click here.