Fisher Financial Group, LLC

Below are a number of helpful articles for your benefit. Please browse the articles to see if your questions are answered or give us a call at 847-205-9300.

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There are many kinds of trusts. A living trust (also called an inter vivos trust) is simply a trust you create while you’re alive, rather than one that is created upon your death under the terms of your will. All living trusts are designed to avoid probate. Some also help you save on estate taxes, while others let you set up long-term property management. A trust, like a corporation, is an entity that exists only on paper but is legally capable of owning property. However, a live person called the trustee must be in charge of the property. Further, you can actually be the trustee of your own living trust, keeping full control over all property legally owned by the trust. Note: Property held in trust that is actually “owned” by the t…Read More

Tax reforms seem to be a back-burner issue at this time, but we should be aware of changes that may tax place after 2012. The Federal Appeals Court judges are still in disagreement if the Health Care Reform is really “unconstitutional”, and keeping up-to-date is challenging. Let us take a look at Estate Tax reforms, if there are any coming up pretty soon. The truth is, nothing lately has been said about its reform. What we know is that after 2012, the $5 million exemption for gift and estate taxes for each spouse is scheduled to go down to $1 million. The maximum tax rate is expected to rise again to 55% (currently it is at 35%). The transfer of the unused exclusion to the surviving spouse is set to expire after 2012. It is also likely …Read More

The great recession ended over two years and yet, economic growth remains sluggish, labor market is still moribund, and consumer confidence has barely budged since June of 2009. So, what’s missing?. Economics and central bank policy will most likely play second fiddle to the ongoing debt ceiling debate in the United States, the fiscal woes in Europe and the heart of the second quarter earnings reporting season for the S&P 500 companies. Housing data (home-builder’s sentiment, housing starts, building permits, existing and pending home sales) will also be under the microscope. But the key report will be the July reading of the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index. Overseas data on June consumer spending in Japan and July manufacturin…Read More

College tuition and fees are on the rise. Shockingly, the cost for 4-year private schools now tops $36,000 per year on average.  But the investment is well worth it. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn more than double those with just a high school diploma. The two most popular college savings programs are 529 plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. Whichever you choose, be sure to start when your child is young. The sooner you begin, the less money you will have to put away each year. Example: Suppose you have one child, age six months, and you estimate that you’ll need $120,000 to finance his college education 18 years from now. If you start putting away money immediately, you’ll …Read More

Probate is the process by which a Last Will & Testament is declared valid. When an individual passes away the named executor of the Will must file a Petition, along with the original Will, with Surrogates Court in the county where the decedent resided. Included with the Petition, the Executor must satisfy certain requirements. One such requirement is to serve notice upon all lawful heirs of the decedent. The heirs are asked to sign a Waiver of Process and Consent to Probate. By signing this form, the heir is consenting to the appointment of the Petitioning Executor – but is not forfeiting any rights to their inheritance. The lawful heirs are the closest relatives – starting with the spouse, children and grandchildren and if there a…Read More

Retirement funding can be a challenge, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the negative impact of these challenges. Retirement funding challenges and what we can do about them Optimism, however, should not be an escape from the reality of what we should do to secure the financial future of ourselves and our family. It is perfectly fine to say the glass is half-full as long as that is followed by the quest to find out what needs to be done so that the glass does not break. The financial realities the aging baby-boomers face are very different from that of the previous generations.  The followings are few of the most important factors that make the financial security of this generation more challenging. After describing each one…Read More

With so many variables to consider, how can you reasonably assure you will have sufficient funds to last for your retirement years?  Make sure to use conservative assumptions. Use conservative financial assumptions How can you ensure you’ll have sufficient funds to last your entire retirement? So many of the variables used to calculate this amount seem uncertain. What is a reasonable rate of return for your investments over the long term? How long will you live, knowing life expectancies are increasing? How much can you count on from Social Security and pension plans? If you’re concerned about running out of money during retirement, you need to be very conservative with your assumptions. Some tips to consider include: Assume your ret…Read More

One of the few things you can control about Social Security is when to start collecting it. Should you take it when you become eligible at age 62, wait until “normal” retirement age (a function of your birth date) or consider delaying your benefits past normal retirement age? To help you make this decision, consider that, on average, Americans are living longer than ever before. Clearly, the longer you expect to live, the more sense it makes to delay taking Social Security. But of course, each person’s circumstances and needs are different—here’s a look at how timing can affect the benefits you receive. Early Benefits. The soonest you can collect Social Security is age 62. But taking payments at 62 will result in a permanently re…Read More

Many people focus on tax planning at the end of the year which is one important issue.  However, the end of the year is also a good time to give some thought to other planning issues that should be considered.  It may be worthwhile to meet with your lawyer, accountant, investment advisor, insurance agent and similar professionals to consider if your plans need updating in some of the following areas: Estate planning – periodic review of estate plans are important to be sure changes have not been overlooked in how your estate will be handled, planning complies with current laws or your financial situation has had a dramatic change. Are gifting programs for charities and transfers of family wealth in need of review? Should intra-family a…Read More

One of the most misunderstood of all Veterans Affairs programs is the veteran’s benefit for a non-service connected disability.  There is a “pension program” available for individuals who are disabled due to the complexities of old age, and need assistance with activities of daily living.  Basic activities of daily living (ADL’s) include:  bathing, dressing, grooming, incontinence care, transfer, ambulation, etc.  Instrumental ADL’s are items such as transportation, laundry, housekeeping and meal preparation.   This VA benefit is also defined as an Aid and Attendance benefit, because an individual requires the regular aid (help) and attendance (presence) of another person in order to avoid the dangers and hazards incident to…Read More

Lawyers are continually asked by clients whether they need a Power of Attorney. There is no universal answer to this question, as everyone’s financial situation and relationship with others is different. A meaningful response requires that the client understand what a Power of Attorney (commonly referred to as a “POA”) is and what it can and cannot do. In general, we recommend that our clients execute Powers of Attorney, but only after discussion of several considerations, outlined below. The utility of a POA can be best described by the old saying, “Never has so little done so much for so many.” We will explore the benefits of a POA later in this article, but we will begin with a basic understanding of what a POA is. Definition o…Read More

Throughout its history, the investment market obviously has experienced volatile years, going in both positive and negative directions. Such dramatic swings in stock returns typically provide invaluable lessons-and also raise a question all investors should answer every year: Do I need to rebalance my portfolio? Rebalancing a portfolio involves periodically readjusting its mix of assets. Smart investors start by establishing an initial asset allocation, assigning percentages of the portfolio to assets such as stocks, bonds and cash, and perhaps other types of investments, such as real estate and commodities. The allocations are further broken down by subcategories, such as different types of stocks and bonds. The target allocations should b…Read More

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Daniel is a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) and an Investment Adviser Representative with his firm, Fisher Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

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