Lemmings, following the pack

The Consulate Journal

Lemmings, following the pack

We have all heard the story of lemmings following the pack, even to the point of running over a cliff to their death. Whether or not it is true of lemmings, we use this metaphor to draw attention and care to the dangerous place media and politics can take the American public if not considered…

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Covid-19, Working from Home and 2020 Tax Consequences

What an unusual year 2020 has been for tax preparers, business owners, employees, and their families! Businesses have been forced to close, allowed to re-open under varying restrictions, and had to struggle with decisions that greatly impacted their employees. Negotiating loan and grant options and their paperwork and requirements have added to the challenges of…

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The Best States to Retire In

I have seen many articles about great states to retire to and wondered how they developed their list. So, I decided to write my own article on the best states to retire. The greatest benefit of financial independence is that it enables you to live anywhere you desire. The quality of that financial independence is…

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MD Now Allows a Beneficiary Designation on an Automobile Title

In 2018 MD began to allow a beneficiary designation on an Automobile Title.  If you own an auto in just one spouses name, then I strongly suggest you put a beneficiary on the auto title.  It is very easy and can be done online at this site: https://securetransactions.mva.maryland.gov/emvastore/(S(gliilmpow5mrd41fljq50nep))/MustHave2.aspx  Many times when the first spouse passes…

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Zero-Cost Commission Trading and the Power of Independence

This article is not designed to address the reasons behind zero-commission stocks trading, but instead to make the case for an advisor being independent from brokerage firms, insurance companies, and banks. Recent news banners have heralded zero-cost stock trading from the likes of Fidelity, Schwab and TD Ameritrade.  When we saw that, we did not…

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The New World of Charitable Giving

There are many cool ways to get the greatest bang for your charitable giving buck, and this article will explore two techniques that are simple, relatively new, and effective. First is the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from an IRA. Unfortunately, this technique is only allowed if you are at least 70.5 years of age. Yes,…

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Investor Poison

If you are an investor and you want to make good investments, make sure you know how to deal with Investor Poison. Investor Poison is the media that throws story after story at you to elicit a response from you. Why would they do that? The answer is to addict you to their information. An investor must know the difference…

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Equifax Data Breach Settlement – What do you need to do?

Equifax Data Breach Settlement What do you need to do?             147 million American’s data was stolen from Equifax in 2017.  The data maintained by a credit bureau is immense and put all people affected by this breach at serious risk of Identity Theft.  Identity Theft is when someone takes your personal information and uses…

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What to Do With an Existing 401(k) Balance

On a weekly basis, we answer many personal finance questions, either for our clients or for radio listeners. The most common question asked is what to do with an existing 401(k) balance that was accrued when working for a former employer. General rules about rolling over 401(k) balances can help guide you through this process,…

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The 5-Year Roth IRA Rule

Most people know that Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs) have a “5-year rule,” that is, you must have owned your Roth IRA for at least 5 years and be over the age of 59.5 years to withdraw earnings tax-free during retirement; however, very few seem to truly understand the details surrounding this rule. It is…

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