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Category: General

Cracking the Medicare Code

By Lineweaver Financial Group
October 01, 2020 Category: Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Retirement, General

Open enrollment for Medicare and Medicare Supplements is right around the corner. Medicare programs are notoriously challenging to navigate, but its a crucial decision that most of us will have to make at some point in our lives. The question most people start with is one of eligibility. There are two essential parts to Traditional Medicare, Parts A and B. Part A has to do with hospitalization, and you become eligible on the first of the month for your 65th birthday. If you become eligible for Part A, its recommended to enroll immediately because there is no premium. This remains true even if you are still working and have health insurance through your job. It will get you into the system, and youll start receiving Medicare You. On the other hand, part B has to do with doctor visits and bills, including medically necessary services or preventive care. Its recommended that you enroll with the Social Security office about 2-3 months prior to when youll be looking to receive the full

Market Challenges and the Coming Election

By Lineweaver Financial Group
September 10, 2020 Category: General, Market, Election

Key Points Challenges include elevated virus transmissions, high unemployment levels, the Presidential election and stretched valuation metrics Monetary and fiscal policy combined with vaccine developments are likely to continue to support risk assets 2020: A Historic Year 2020 will be remembered as the year the coronavirus severely tested the basic freedoms and tenets of capitalism in the United States. The virus has proven to be highly efficient in disrupting many of the daily routines we typically take for granted. Like an engine needs clean oil to operate smoothly, the free movement of people, goods, and capital are key lubricants capitalism needs to operate smoothly. The virus is near-perfect friction to this free movement. As we have witnessed, businesses and education systems have difficulty functioning without free movement. Unfortunately, we have also felt the human tragedy the virus has created with nearly 775,000 deaths globally,5 a number that will sadly go higher. For

Q2 and Three Steps to Take

By Lineweaver Financial Group
August 06, 2020 Category: Strategies, Volatile Market, General

The second quarter of 2020 is unlike any other. Weve been in the midst of a global pandemic that led to the stay-at-home mandates that caused a sharp, deep recession and left nearly 20% of Americans unemployed1. In May and early June, after many thought the curve of new coronavirus cases had been successfully flattened, economic reopening occurred across the country. However, within weeks the virus spread and the US entered the July 4th weekend reporting record numbers. With some progress reportedly being made on several treatments and potential vaccines, many people have started pricing risk assets as if the worst of impact from COVID-19 is over. This was before the onset of what many are calling the 2nd wave of new coronavirus cases, causing many to question the pace of any economic recovery. With expectations that the Federal Reserve will do whatever it takes to support the economy and risk assets investor attention has turned to Congress, as the $600 weekly unemployment benefit

5 Steps to Transitioning into a Successful Retirement

By Lineweaver Financial Group
July 14, 2020 Category: Retirement, General, Steps

Are you looking to start the transition into retirement? If so, we have prepared 5 critical steps to take into consideration when transitioning into this new chapter of your life. When preparing for retirement there are plenty of important decisions running through your mind. We have compiled these steps in order to help guide you along the way. Step 1: Plan for Increasing Healthcare Cost When it comes to healthcare, you have to be prepared for what could happen in the future. Fidelity does a study every year into the average cost of healthcare for a couple who is aged 65 and retiring. In 2019 it was estimated they will need $285,000 for healthcare and healthcare-related costs. This cost, unfortunately, will only increase significantly each year. Step 2: Consider Long-Term Care According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people aged 65 or older are likely to need long term care at some point. With such a high percentage of people in need of long-term care,

4 Helpful Strategies During this Volatile Market

By Lineweaver Financial Group
June 18, 2020 Category: Strategies, Volatile Market, General

Since the onset of COVID-19 in February, weve seen record volatility in the financial markets. But, its time in the markets, rather than timing the markets that will ultimately help set you up for success over the long-term. Here are a few strategies to help you keep your cool, remain invested, and weather the storm. First, consider using income-focused strategies to help weather todays uncertainty. When investing in individual stocks, its important to use caution for growth purposes or when you are nearing retirement. Normally, its best to employ a combination of different tools, including bonds or fixed income, based on your financial goals and time horizon. Secondly, remember that planning now could save you and your family hundreds of thousands of dollars later. One of the major changes of the past year is the elimination of the stretch IRA. This rule changes the way your heirs are able to receive inherited funds. Before the change, you were able to spread the inherited money

Strategies to Help Maximize Income and Minimize Taxes

By Lineweaver Financial Group
May 21, 2020 Category: General

Were all going through a situation with no precedent right now, and it can feel challenging to take any action. But, we believe that there are some important tax strategies that can help you navigate during these challenging times that may not only help you weather the current storm but set you up for success down the road. One strategy we recommend for our clients is tax-loss harvesting, which involves selling an investment that has lost value, replacing it with similar investment, and then using the investment sold at a loss to offset any realized gains. This can help investors minimize any taxes they may owe on capital gains or their regular income. It can also improve overall investment returns. This strategy, however, can only be applied to taxable investment accounts, including retirement accounts like IRAs and401(k). Another strategy can be a Roth conversion. Converting retirement savings from pre-tax to Roth accounts has become less expensive for many investors because of the

HealthWatch: Health and Nutrition Tips

By Lineweaver Financial Group
April 07, 2020 Category: General, Health, Nutrition

With the media being such a large part of society, its hard to know when information is accurate orwhen its a fabrication. This is extremely common in the world of health, and we often receive conflicting information about the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Below are just a few health and nutrition tips backed by science for these difficult times. 1. Avoid sugary beverages Its often convenient to grab a sugary drink when we are in a rush, or even when we are out to dinner. But consuming these drinks can have consequences, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Its best to drink something that is low in sugar. 2. Dont fear coffee While too much of anything is never a good thing, coffee is actually high in antioxidants and can help reduce the risk of Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases. 3. Get enough sleep Sleep is extremely important for our mind and body in order to function properly. When our bodies dont get enough sleep it can drive insulin resistance, disrupt appetite

Letter from the President

By Lineweaver Financial Group
April 07, 2020 Category: General, Letter From The President

First, let me say the obvious: these are truly unprecedented times we are living through. Second, we appreciate how calm our clients have been. While everyone is feeling the anxiety and challenges of these times, I am truly impressed by everyone that I have spoken with. Please know that we will continue to closely monitor the markets, the economy, and your portfolio, and take action when we need to in order to best protect your hard-earned money. One of the conversations I am having with many of my clients is simply a reminder that the equities part of your portfolio is really meant for a 3-5 year timeline. For immediate money needs, weve layered in other strategies that are much less volatile, and which should offer you protection in the short term. We often hear from clients that other advisors that theyve had are more reactive, while we strive to be more proactive. We think that was the case this time as well. To take advantage of the strong market in 2019, we rebalanced in early January

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

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

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

Your Retirement Income and The New Trump Tax Plan

By Lineweaver Financial Group
October 04, 2018 Category: General

As many of you know, Congress has passed a sweeping overhaul to the U.S. tax code just a few months ago, the largest change to the U.S. tax code in 30 years. The new rules do not change long-term capital gains tax rates themselves for the 2018 tax year theyre 0%, 15% and 20%, the same as for 2017. But the thresholds have changed, as you can see below: 2018 Capital Gains Tax Rates Long-term capital gains tax rate Single Married, filing jointly Head of Household Married, filing separately 0% $0 to $38,600 $0 to $77,200 $0 to $51,700 $0 to $38,600 15% $38,601 to $425,800 $77,201 to $479,000 $51,701 to $452,400 $38,601 to $239,500 20% $425,801 or more $479,001 or more $452,401 or more $239,501 or more * Short-term capital gains are taxed as ordinary income. Essentially, that means if youre married and file jointly, and you can keep your income below $77,201 you will pay nothing in capital gains. Real Estate Tax Benefits Investment

Q4 2017: Letter From the President

By Lineweaver Financial Group
October 09, 2017 Category: General

Protecting Yourself and Your Family When Natural Disasters Strike Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have no doubt left many of us thinking about how well were prepared for a natural disaster. Although we dont see many hurricanes here in Cleveland, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 is probably the most recent example that comes to mind. The first thing to remember to do is to keep important records safe and easily accessible in case of an emergency. These can be anything from birth certificates to bank records. You may also want to make sure you have some cash on hand, in case you cant access an ATM or get to a bank. Its also a good idea to regularly review and update your insurance. Depending on the nature and duration of a disaster, it may be a good idea to have a copy of your credit report and contact information from your creditors you want to protect your credit score if you are unable to make regularly scheduled payments. Likewise, its a good idea to keep a list of passwords, or to use a service

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