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What the $2 Trillion CARES Act Means for You

By Lineweaver Financial Group
April 01, 2020 Category: General, CARES, CARES Act, Stimulus

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27th, 2020, and is designed to ease the financial burden placed on individuals, businesses, and other organizations created by the coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. The bill separates into two distinct areas programs and protections for individuals, and programs and protections for businesses and other organizations. Below, well outline the main outcomes of the bill in each area. Keep in mind that this legislation has just passed, and everyone is rushing to interpret the 830-page bill. Its likely that the outcomes and interpretations by the various government agencies may change in the coming months, but heres what we know now. Programs and Protections for Individuals Direct Payments: Americans who pay taxes will receive a one-time direct deposit of up to $1,200, and married couples will receive $2,400. In addition, you can receive $500 per child. For individuals, payments are phased out starting at $75,000 in adjusted gross income

The Black Swan and Your Portfolio

By Lineweaver Financial Group
March 12, 2020 Category: Black Swan, Portfolio,

Earlier in the year, we talked about the backdrop being favorable as we entered 2020. However, we noted that 2020 would be like every other year in that it would include unpredictable or surprise events. It didnt take long for that to materialize. The Coronavirus is the black swan event for 2020. You hear the term black swan often on the news, or when the pundits talk about the financial markets, but what, exactly, do people mean when they talk about a black swan? A Black Swan Event is one that is completely unexpected and cannot be predicted. It also has significant consequences. A black swan event can have a tremendous effect, positive or negative, on societies, economies, financial markets and of course on investment portfolios. The term Black Swan originates from the belief that all swans were white because these were the only ones ever seen or accounted for. However, around 1700, black swans were discovered in Australia. So, this unexpected, unpredictable event in (scientific) history

Is Your Tax Plan Working for You?

By Lineweaver Financial Group
February 12, 2020 Category: General, Tax, Tax Planning, Tax Strategies

Its that time of year again - tax season is upon us, and we want to remind everyone of some strategies you may be able to take advantage of on your 2019 tax return. A strategy that many find helpful is bunching deductions, which is essentially accelerating your write offs into one year to try to get above the standard deduction. Last year was the first time for all of us filing under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which doubled the standard the previous standard deduction from tax year 2016. But this year the only change is a slightly increased standard deduction over last year - $24,400 for Married Filing Jointly, and 12,200 if youre single. By bunching charitable gifts, medical expenses, or even your state and local taxes into one year, you may be able to realize significant savings. However, just keep in mind real estate and state and local taxes are still capped at $10,000. Many people also take advantage of gifting appreciated securities. For example, even if you only paid

Market Outlook 2020

By Lineweaver Financial Group
January 07, 2020 Category: General

What a difference a year makes! A year ago, at this time the market was coming off a 20% correction in the fourth quarter reflecting prevailing headwinds of rising interest rate, escalating global trade tensions between the US and China, uncertainty on Brexit, and growing concerns of slowing global growth. Today conditions have calmed. Central banks around the world are dovish, including in the US, where the Fed moved to make mid-cycle adjustments in the midst of uncertainty and raised chances of extending the cycle. Likewise, around the world central banks seem accommodative with negative interest rates prevailing in several key countries around the globe. The US and China have apparently reached a Phase I trade deal and while the situation is tenuous and large structural hurdles remain in the areas of intellectual property, leaders of both countries seem to be more motivated to move toward more substantial agreements into 2020. With this backdrop, conditions appear favorable for economic

Economic Commentary: Q1

By Lineweaver Financial Group
January 07, 2020 Category: General, Economic Commentary

Our reference to the classic Toots and the Maytals song comes as we see a de-escalation in trade tensions with China, diminishing risks of a no-deal Brexit and few signs that the record U.S. economic expansion is ending or reversing. Still, persistent trade uncertainty is denting business confidence and spending, particularly the longer-term risk of an unravelling of the global supply chain. Our take on the major investor themes for the weeks ahead: U.S. Equites: Sector Steering Defensive sectors have outperformed cyclicals this year against a backdrop of slowing growth and falling interest rates. However, we expect central bank easing could provide a floor for growth in the coming months. Among cyclicals, we remain constructive on technology, while we prefer less rate-sensitive sectors. Developed Markets: Winter of our discontent? Trade uncertainties and slowing growth have taken a toll on developed world stocks outside the United States. But not all DMs are created equal, and

Looking Forward and Giving Back

By Lineweaver Financial Group
January 06, 2020 Category: General

As most of you know, we have partnered with Harvest for Hunger since 2012, collecting food for the Cleveland Foodbank. Since partnering with Harvest for Hunger and the Cleveland Food bank in 2012, the food collected at our WealthWATCHSM programs, client appreciation, and other events has provided more than 43,000 meals. Thanks to all of our clients and friends who have helped us reach this amazing milestone. This year, we also had the unique opportunity to partner with Ben Curtis, the 2003 British Open Champion, and the Ben Curtis Foundation. Bens Foundation provides similar services to the food bank, but works exclusively with children in need in Kent, Ravenna, and Barberton. One in five children struggle with hunger, and Ben and his foundation are able to help more than 2,440 children in our own backyard. We also had the opportunity to partner with former Browns Coach Sam Rutigliano, and his Inner Circle Foundation. Coach Sams Foundation, a member of the International Literacy Association,

The New SECURE Act: 2020

By Lineweaver Financial Group
January 06, 2020 Category: General

We know that many people enjoy the HealthWatch segments, and dont worry, theyll be back next quarter. This quarter, however, we had a unique opportunity to update you about the SECURE Act, which stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, and was signed into law by President Trump on December 20th. There are 29 provisions to the new law, but here are the top five, which we think are most likely to affect people. 1. The Act changes the age for Required Minimum Distributions from 70 to 72, which will allow additional time for IRAs to grow. 2. Allows contributions to traditional IRAs after age 70, which will help people who want to work longer to continue to contribute to their IRA. Coupled with number one, these can both help you grow your money for longer. 3. The Act also allows for expanded benefits for part-time employees, and means that long-term part time employees may now be eligible for employer qualified plans like 401(k) plans. 4. It also allows

Foresight is 2020: Year-End Tax Planning and Beyond

By Lineweaver Financial Group
December 27, 2019 Category: Tax Planning, End Of Year Taxes, Taxes

It can be challenging to think through all the tax planning you need to do by the end of the year. Theres a lot to consider, and although it may seem early to think about taxes, now is the perfect time to make changes for tax filing after the new year. I always tell my clients, call me well before the new year, so we have time to plan ahead. After the new year, theres nothing you can do about last years taxes. One of the strategies our clients find most helpful are bunching deductions. Essentially, that means accelerating your write-offs into one year to try to get above the standard deduction. That was a challenge for many people last year since it was the first time for all of us filing under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, but this year the only change is a slightly increased standard deduction over last year - $24,400 for Married Filing Jointly, and $12,200 if youre single. And, by bunching charitable gifts, medical expenses, or even your state and local taxes into one year,

Economic Commentary: Q4 2019

By Lineweaver Financial Group
September 24, 2019 Category: General

Autumn breezes: Change in seasons and markets The return of fall offers cooler temperaturesbut a shifting market environment. Dovish central bank policies may extend the long economic expansion, but against a backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions and trade disputes contributing to slower growth. Investors are responding by seeking to boost portfolio resilience to withstand volatility. Our take on the major investor themes for the weeks ahead: U.S. equities: Technology: The cyclical versus the secular With the economy in the late stages of the business cycle, we continue to favor a moderately pro-risk posture in U.S. equities. Technology remains one of our preferred sectors, but it is important to recognize that some sectors are more tied to the business cycle (like semiconductors), while others may benefit from long-term tailwinds (like software). Developed markets: Upgrading Europe We are upgrading the region from underweight to neutral. The European Central Banks fresh monetary

HealthWatch: Avoiding Healthcare Scams

By Lineweaver Financial Group
September 24, 2019 Category: General

Shopping for health insurance is a daunting process that has gotten more confusing, as plans that do not meet the Affordable Care Acts benefit requirements for comprehensive insurance become more available. If youre shopping for full health insurance, your best bet is to be a smart and cautious shopper. Here are some tips: 1. Check the URL The best way to know youre in the right place is to double (triple!) check the URL, which is the website address. The federal marketplace website is healthcare.gov. Search engine ads often use healthcare.gov in the hyperlinked text that people click on to get to the website, but look closely at the URL just below to see the actual website address. 2. Check for a Disclosure Insurance quote websites are required to note that they are not affiliated with the government, though this detail is often in small print at the bottom of the page. The privacy statement at the bottom will give more information about who owns the website. 3. Dont Give Out Your Phone

Letter From the President Q42019

By Lineweaver Financial Group
September 24, 2019 Category: General

Many of you may have seen our special Financial Quarterback Episode (with special guest, my daughter Delaney) about helping your kids and grandkids get started investing. We look at investing as a great way to reinforce the ideas of goal setting, saving, and budgeting. And it can help your kids or grandkids on the long-term path to financial independence. We always start our investing with a family meeting. The first thing we do is look at companies we like who make things were familiar with and use. For example, we use Apple phones, watch Netflix at home, and my kids wear clothing from Lululemon and Nike. I have three kids, so each of them was able to pick four stocks. Instead of fighting over the stocks, we decided to take a pooled approach to the money. I didnt want one child to substantially gain or lose more than the others, so we decided to have them all share in the total gains. We get together several times a year, which keeps us focused on what we chose and how well its doing. It

Tax Planning Before the Holidays

By Lineweaver Financial Group
September 24, 2019 Category: General

As the days get cooler and shorter, October is also a time when many people consider tax planning before the holidays and the end of the year. With 2018 being the first year under the sweeping changes made under the of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, there were some lessons learned and some positive steps that you may be able to take for this tax year. One thing that caught many people off-guard last year was the withholding tables under the new Trump Tax Law, and we found that people were generally under-withholding. So, while people may have been used to getting a certain amount back as a refund, they received less last year. However, this wasnt because taxes increased overall, they decreased for most people, but because the IRS over-compensated for the new tax law it therefore may have felt as though you had a higher tax liability. This year, make sure you double check. To help with this, the IRS has developed an online tool called the Tax Withholding Estimator to help you withhold

The Pros and Cons of Charitable Gift Annuities

By Lineweaver Financial Group
September 19, 2019 Category: Charitable, Annuities, Annuity, Charity, Donations

In past articles, weve discussed the pros and cons of private foundations and donor advised funds, but there are other options that can help people support their favorite charity while also providing income for themselves as well. One option is a charitable gift annuity, which is essentially a contract between a donor and a charity. As the donor, youd make a sizable gift to charity using cash, securities or possibly other assets, and in return, you become eligible to take a partial tax deduction for your donation, plus you receive a fixed stream of income from the charity for the rest of your life. When you make a donation to a single charity, the gift is set aside in a reserve account and invested. Based on your age when you make the gift, or ages if its both you and your spouse, youd receive a fixed monthly or quarterly payout for the rest of your life. Then, at the end of your life (again, as well as your spouses, if youre giving as a couple), the charity receives the remainder of

Planning for Long-Term Care

By Lineweaver Financial Group
August 29, 2019 Category: Longterm Care, Healthcare, Elder Law, Estate Planning, POA, Power Of Attorney, Retirement

Many people dont know that over 69% of people turning 65 this year will need some sort of long-term care at some point in their retirement. Our firm specializes in planning for and managing retirement for private and institutional clients, and our clients often require advanced planning to protect their assets. First of all, its important that you have an elder law attorney. Elder law is a niche area of legal practice covering estate planning, wills, trusts, retirement healthcare planning and protection of assets. A good elder law attorney can help advise you on all these areas. The right planning starts with the right documents, especially the Power of Attorney. The power of attorney law changed in Ohio in 2012 to the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, and many powers of attorney documents dont conform with this legislative change. We highly recommend for anyone with a power of attorney written prior to March of 2012, that you have that document reviewed to determine if it meets the new

Credit Unions vs Big Banks

By Lineweaver Financial Group
July 26, 2019 Category: Credit Unions, Pse, Big Banks, Savings, Checking, Banking

Often times, credit unions grow up around a community, or a place of business, and the PSE credit union is no exception. The PSE Credit Union has been around since 1955, and originally started as the Parma City Employees Credit Union, and now, anyone can become a member. Many people understand the difference between credit unions and big banks, but what is it specifically that sets them apart? At the PSE Credit Union, its that they are a not-for-profit business, as opposed to the big banks, which are for profit. Instead of having to appease their shareholders, their goal is to serve their members. In their eyes, whats best for a banks shareholders isnt always best for the customers as a credit union, whats best for theircustomers their primary goal. This can often translate to better service and member satisfaction. For example, according to the most recent annual American Customer Satisfaction Index, credit unions scored an average of 86% for customer satisfaction, while the average

Economic Commentary: Q3 2019

By Lineweaver Financial Group
July 02, 2019 Category: Economic Commentary, Review, Q3

Investment Directions - Staycation or Vacation? Sell in May and go away is an old maxim for investors. Evidence is mixed on its validity, but given this years rally, the temptation now is understandable. Our take: consider taking some profits and rotating into exposures that offer more resilience if volatility returns. Think of it as the investor version of a staycation and catch up on chores. With that in mind, our take on the major investor themes for the weeks ahead: U.S. Equities: Reverting to Technology We remain overweight U.S. equities, and one of our favored sectors is technology. Even with strong performance this year, we believe the sector remains appealing. Technology firms tend to have strong balance sheets and enjoy support from longer-term trends, attractive qualities in a late economic cycle. Furthermore, tech stocks have historically fared well through various yield curve regimes. Developed Markets: Europe Poised for Revival? Investors in Europe have had little reason

Healthwatch: Tips for Lowering Your Risk of Dementia

By Lineweaver Financial Group
July 02, 2019 Category: Dementia, Healthwatch, Health, Q3

Theres no effective treatment for dementia, which affects 50 million people worldwide, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says theres much that can be done to delay or slow the onset and progression of the disease. In May, WHO issued the following recommendations to reduce the risk of dementia globally, and combat cognitive decline: Regular physical exercise Dont use tobacco Drink less alcohol Maintain a healthy blood pressure Eat a healthy diet, particularly Mediterranean foods Avoid dietary supplements such as Vitamins B and E WHO said there are 10 million new cases of dementia every year, and this figure is set to triple by 2050. The disease is a major cause of disability and dependency among older people and can devastate the lives of affected individuals, their careers and families, the organization said. Although the report stressed that social participation and social support are strongly connected to good health and individual well-being, it said there was insufficient

Bipartisan Support in Congress to Make Retirement More Secure

By Lineweaver Financial Group
July 02, 2019 Category: Congress, Retirement, IRA

by LFG Tax Director, Mark Sipos On May 23rd, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of the SECURE Act, which stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement. Most of the provisions in the act are designed to make it easier for more people to save for retirement, and for more employers to offer retirement plans for their employees. One notable provision in the bill would essentially end whats known as the stretch IRA. Under the current law, when a beneficiary inherits an IRA, the beneficiary can choose to have the IRA balance distributed in two ways: either in required minimum distributions based on his or her life expectancy, or during the five years after the original account holder passes. Making maximum use of the IRAs taxdeferred compounding like this is known as a stretch IRA. Under SECURE, in most instances an inherited IRA would have to be fully distributed within 10 years of the original owners death, although there are some exceptions. Some

Sell in May and Go Away: Two Market Myths to Avoid this Summer

By Lineweaver Financial Group
July 02, 2019 Category: Sell In May And Go Away, Market, Stock, Buy, Sell

by Jim Lineweaver, CFP, AIF Theres an old saying youve probably heard that says Sell in May and Go Away. But is that good advice? Whats the best thing for you and your investments over the historically slower summer months? The phrase sell in May and go away is thought to originate from an old English saying, and it turns out it did have some validity, at least from 1950 to around 2013. During that time, the Dow had an average return of only 0.3% during the May to October period, according to Forbes. But, since 2013 theres good reason to believe thats no longer the case. For example, the SP 500 rose nearly 7% from the beginning of May 2017 through the end of October, according to YCharts. The blue-chip index was up 5% during May through October of 2016 as well. Another common myth is the October Effect, which is the perception that stocks tend to decline during the month of October. Most statistics go against the theory. Some investors may be nervous during October because the dates

Utilizing Roth Conversions as Retirement Tools

By Lineweaver Financial Group
June 13, 2019 Category: Roth Ira, Roth Conversion, Traditional Ira

Many people close to retirement are unaware of the many reasons why a ROTH Conversion can be a great retirement strategy. A good example of someone who successfully used a ROTH conversion as a retirement tool is Max Levchin, one of the Founders of Paypal, and later Yelp. He placed around 3.9 million shares of Yelp into his ROTH IRA. The share values have previously been higher, but recently its been trading at about $36 per share, meaning he has over $140 million in the ROTH alone. That isnt just impressive because of the amount, but because a ROTH will allow it to continue to grow tax-deferred, and to later be accessed tax-free as well. A lot of people are asking themselves well why dont we have ROTHs too?, and it absolutely is something everyone should at least consider-- but the process itself isnt quite that simple. When it comes to choosing between a ROTH or Traditional IRA, there are a few things you should consider. One of the biggest concerns is your tax bracket. With a ROTH

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