Alex Freund, CFP®, CLU®, CPA

Financial Advisor

Our Current Thoughts

What to Do If Your Identity Has Been Stolen

Making sure your personal information is secure should always be top of mind.  This article gives some good tips on how to keep your personal information safe along with what to do should your identity be stolen.  In today’s world, take the time to make sure you are taking the right steps to keep your personal data from falling into the wrong hands.  


4 Things You Should Do When Your Child Turns 18

As kids head off to college this month, please realize that once your child turns 18, it is important to have a Medical Power of Attorney in place. This article gives some great information about the Medical Power of Attorney and other items you might want to consider for your 18+ year old. While they may still a child in your eyes, they are considered adults in the eyes of the law.  Will you be able to help your college-age child in a medical emergency? Without a MPoA, the answer is likely NO. Make sure you are prepared.


What Asset Diversification Looks Like, In One Chart

After a 10 year bull market in stocks, it is even more prudent than ever to be diversified. It is easy to assume that you won’t be bothered by the next bear market when it hits, but when the storm rolls in, emotion often takes over. Emotional decisions in investing can be portfolio/goal killers. This article does a nice job of explaining the reasons why. Feel free to reach out to me at any time to discuss or if I can help in any way.


Last Minute Tax Strategies for Tax Day 2019

This year, April 15th will look much different than previous tax-filing seasons. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 implemented significant changes to federal tax laws – rejiggering tax brackets, capping some tax deductions and eliminating a few others. Here are some last-minute tips that may help you get ready for Tax Day.

Tip #1. Understand how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) will affect your 2018 filing status.

The TCJA nearly doubled the standard deduction amount for all filing statuses.

The new 2018 standard deduction amounts are:

$12,000 for single filers / married couples filing separate tax returns

$18,000 for those filing as head of household

$24,000 for married couples filing jointly / qualifying widow(er)

While it may be quick and easy to take the standard deduction, it may be worth the extra time to itemize, especially if you are self-employed, own a home or live in a high-tax area.

Tip #2. Understand how the TCJA will affect deductions for homeowners.

The TCJA limits the amount of state and local tax deductions (SALT deduction) you can deduct. The maximum deduction amount is now $10,000, ($5,000 for those married filing separately).  In previous filing years, it was possible to deduct ALL state and local income taxes and many state and local property taxes, or state and local sales tax could be deducted in lieu of state and local income tax. This is only available for itemized deductions.

Tip #3. Contribute to an IRA

Get your IRA funded by April 15. This can be a traditional IRA, deductible or not, and a Roth IRA. A deductible contribution for 2018 will help to lower your tax bill this year and contributions will compound tax-deferred. It’s a win-win.

For 2018, the maximum IRA contribution you can make is $5,500 ($6,500 if you are age 50 or older by the end of the year). If you are self-employed, the maximum annual addition to SEPs for 2018 is $55,000 ($61,000 for those 50 and older).

Looking ahead to 2019? Now is the time to consider increasing your monthly contribution to your 401(k) and IRA accounts. The total contribution limit for 2019 for both traditional and Roth IRAs is $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re 50 or older) and $19,000 for 401k ($25,000 if 50 or older).

Tip #4. Changes to Business Income

This is known as the pass-through deduction, or qualified business income deduction. Business owners who have either a sole proprietorship, a limited-liability corporation, partnership or an S-corporation could benefit from tax law changes with additional opportunities to deduct income. Under the new tax code, small business owners may be able to deduct 20 percent of their income. A qualifying factor is that the taxable income on their personal return must be under $157,000 for singles, and less than $315,000 for married couples filing jointly. This is a very complex law with many restrictions and qualifying criteria, so don’t assume you can or cannot take the deduction. Please consult your tax advisor for details on your own situation.

This publication is not intended as legal or tax advice. Financial Representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

 

To learn more about Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC and its financial representatives, visit: FINRA BrokerCheck