3 Estate Planning Secrets for Investment Properties

In the game of Monopoly (™), the person with the most properties in the end usually wins. In real life, having the most properties in the end could also mean paying the most in taxes. Let’s take a look at how to maximize your investments in real estate while minimizing your taxes. Catch 22 Investment… Read more »

Municipal Bonds: Finding a Better Way

Municipal bonds

Some of the effects of the recent tax reform remain to be seen. However, one thing is for sure.  It has generated a lot of volatility in the municipal bond market (munis). Consider this – December 2017 saw the greatest issuance of municipal bonds in history, while January 2018 was the worst January since 1981… Read more »

Life Insurance: To Keep or Not to Keep?

If you have high insurance premiums, carrying life insurance can feel like a burden. So the recent increase in the estate tax exemption limit to $22 million (for couples) seems like a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Certainly, if life insurance was purchased simply to cover estate taxes, and there will not be any… Read more »

How John Amassed a Million: A Private Placement Case Study

Let’s walk through how someone could amass millions more through Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) than through most other investment vehicles. For a definition, benefits and other considerations for PPLI, read our blog, “Why You’ll Never View Life Insurance The Same Way Again”. Let’s say John reads an article, and realizes that for PPLI, funds… Read more »

How Millionaires Pay for Life Insurance

In 2016, the University of Michigan and Jim Harbaugh came to an agreement in which Michigan would loan Harbaugh $14 million over the course of several years to pay his insurance premiums. He doesn’t need to repay the loan until he dies, at which point the death benefit will cover the loan, and remaining funds will… Read more »

How to Solve Your Annuity Problem

Fixed Annuities can be cut in half

What Annuity Problem? Let’s use an example to explain. Clara and Thomas have conservatively purchased a fixed annuity with a flat rate of return. Over the years, they have watched their initial investment of $2 million grow to a sizable $5 million. A fixed annuity is tax-deferred, and the principal and interest are guaranteed. Sounds… Read more »

Saving Your Qualified Retirement Plan

Military team working together

In Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks played an army captain for a band of men whose mission was to find Private Ryan and escort him safely home (because his 3 brothers had already lost their lives in World War II). Though your qualified retirement plan is not a matter of life and death, it may… Read more »

How to Have your Cake and Eat it Too

Grandparents sharing cake with grandchild

The recent tax reform has left some people wondering whether estate planning is still necessary. It is (we discuss this in detail here). If you die after 2026, the estate tax exemption goes back to 2017 limits (around $5 million or so).  Above that, your children will see 40% of your wealth go to the federal… Read more »