The Business of Being an Artist
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Financial planning is simply doing what it takes to give you the means to do what you want. The poorer you are the more you need financial planning. You don’t have any margin for mistakes.

Value of a Roth Segregation Conversion Strategy
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While most investment advisors do one total conversion or partial conversion here or there, we have a dedicated Roth segregation strategy, which adds real value to our clients accounts.

How to Lower Your AGI and Why You’d Want To
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Here are 8 reasons you’d want to lower your AGI and 8 methods to lower your AGI.

When You Should Not Do a Backdoor Roth
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Like how diner coffee gets more bitter as the waitress tops off your cup with more coffee from the pot, so too the growth on your nondeductible assets increases your tax owed by decreasing the percent post-tax assets in your cup.

Why Trusts Are So Confusing
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Trusts are like Calvinball except that the government is trying to play referee. It is quickly confusing.

Age Restriction on Qualified Charitable Distributions Limits Inherited IRA Gifting
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Unfortunately the age restriction makes the charitably-inclined young, who are more likely to be in the 0% capital gains bracket, unable to make QCDs.

Our Customized Roth Conversion Recommendations
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I have learned there are so many more wise plans than just “top of the bracket” conversions.

An Overview of Robo-Investing
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A few years ago, there was a great rise of so-called robo-advisers, computer programming that enabled setting a simple asset allocation on the security level and then automatic rebalancing to those targets for each security.

How Your Tax Is Calculated: Understanding the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains Worksheet
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The 27 lines, because they are so simplified, end up being difficult to follow what exactly they do. So, for those of you who are curious, here’s what they do.

Q&A: Can you be my executor?
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Sadly, we have to say no. Even though we won’t be your executor, we are still here to help your executor, trustee, and loved ones through the estate maintenance and settlement process.

6 Ways To Prevent Your Estate Plan From Ruining Your Roth IRA
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Many executors, trustees, or even estate plans make careless mistakes which end up in Roth IRAs being distributed too quickly. Here’s a list of ways to prevent your estate plan from ruining your Roth.

How to Calculate Your RMD: a Uniform, Inherited, and Joint Divisor Calculator
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There are different tables and formulas used to calculate your RMD divisor based on your particular circumstances. Here is a calculator for the three most common.

How You Take Your Inherited IRA RMD Is the Exception to the Rule
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Inherited RMD rules demonstrates the power and importance of beneficiary designations and why it is so important to set them.

RMD Mistake: Missing a Spousal Rollover
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When a spouse inherits retirement account assets, they have the right to do what is called a “Spousal Rollover” or “Spousal Transfer.” It is almost always the right option.

RMD Mistake: Not Using the Joint Divisor
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If you are a mixed-decade couple, take advantage of the Joint divisor by making your spouse your primary and sole beneficiary for your IRA and use the Joint Life and Last Survivor Expectancy Table to find your RMD.

Marotta’s 2017 Gone-Fishing Portfolios
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A gone fishing portfolio is a portfolio of just a few stocks which should weather the ups and downs of the market fairly well while only rebalancing twice a year. Here are three hand-crafted gone-fishing portfolios for 2017.

RMD Mistake: Failing to Take Your RMD
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The key to getting the waiver though is showing that “you are taking reasonable steps to remedy the shortfall.”

RMD Mistake: Depositing to Your Checking Account
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Although legally fine, this strategy often causes you to accidentally increase your spending every year and decrease your savings. Don’t let the IRS rules about IRA withdrawals tempt you into spending money you had planned to save.

RMD Mistake: Taking Out Too Much Just Because
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Some people don’t stop at distributing just the required minimum. They think, “Well, while I’m at it, I may as well pull out a little bit more so we can fully cover the kitchen remodel…”

Q&A: What’s My Roth Conversion Limit?
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The legal answer to this question is: there is no limit. The practical answer is: it depends on a number of things.

When Partial-Year HSA Contribution Limits Don’t Apply
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Under the “last-month rule,” you can contribute the full amount even after a partial year assuming you meet the “testing period.”

5 Reasons to Have Some Cash Equivalents
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There are at least five reasons to hold cash. Without a good reason to hold cash, you may be holding too much.

Roth Recharacterization: May Change Your Required Minimum Distribution
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A Roth recharacterization is a true undo; it is as though you never converted those assets in the eyes of the IRS. This includes recalculating your RMD had you not converted the assets.

Roth Conversion: Take Your Required Minimum Distribution Out First
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A simple summary of how to meet your Required Minimum Distribution in the same year as you perform a Roth Conversion is the axiom: RMD dollars must come out first.

Narrowly Framed Questions Fail to Meet Life Goals
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Purchasing investment products in isolation from the larger context of your specific situation is like pushing random buttons on a vending machine in order to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for your family.

Qualified HSA Funding Distribution
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There is an obscure tax rule that allows a one-time Traditional IRA-to-HSA conversion called a Qualified HSA Funding Distribution (QHFD).

A Guide to Investing in REITs
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REITs are one way to get some of the benefit of investing in real estate without as much of the risk.

Digital Estate Plan: Facebook Legacy Contact
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Facebook added the “Legacy Contact” feature that allows you to designate a Facebook Friend of yours who you would like to gain access to your Facebook page after you have passed away.

Can I Contribute to Both a SEP and a 401(k)?
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SEP plans offer a powerful way to provide for your own retirement in the same way that 401ks do.

The Happy Habits of Appreciation and Gratitude
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Life planning begins as thoughts and ultimately shapes our entire destiny.

Free Advanced Medical Directives from the Virginia State Bar
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The Virginia State Bar has even made a few variations of a simplified Advanced Directive free to the public on their website.

How Cookie-Cutter Powers of Attorney Fail
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This style of Power of Attorney certainly gets the job done, but there are a few ways that the cookie-cutter POA most frequently fails to meet people’s wishes.

How to Pay Off Student Loans While Building Wealth
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While your student loans may be a daunting sum, it is still possible to build wealth even while paying off student debt.

What Is Settlement Date And Why Does It Matter?
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Most investors think that whenever you buy or sell a security the money is immediately deducted or deposited into your account. This is not true.

Guidelines for Using Margin
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Too much leverage is risky because it endangers meeting your goals.

What is Margin?
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We don’t normally recommend being on margin, but we recommend having the option in case it is needed.

Gifts, Taxes, and IRS Form 709
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Most people are unaware that giving a gift can be a taxable event because they themselves have not yet experienced the tax.

Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary Ruling
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Any legislation which can include FINRA’s commission-based advisors will dilute what it means to be a fiduciary.

Tax Loss Harvesting and Wash Sales
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Wash sale rules need to be followed when realizing capital losses for taxes but can be burdensome to track and monitor.

How Long Should I Give An Investment Plan?
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Even the most brilliantly crafted investment plan has to be given time to work.

The Complete Guide to Creating an Investment Plan
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This is a summary of the six steps required to create a well-crafted investment plan.

Streamline Your Finances with Schwab Checking
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This Schwab checking account provides six impressive services not true for most local banks.

Why We Do Not Use Active Management
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Index investing seeks to track the return of a portion of the market. The opposite is active management.

Nine Unfortunate Facts of Health Savings Accounts
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An HSA is one of many accounts used in comprehensive wealth management for tax optimization and planning.

How Roth Conversions Are Reported to the IRS
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is notorious for misunderstanding the recharacterizations of Roth conversions.

Asset Allocations for UVA Retirement Plans at Fidelity
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The University of Virginia plan includes funds sufficient to produce these excellent portfolios.

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from IRAs
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QCDs allow individuals age 70 1/2 or older to give directly to a charity from your IRA without counting the distribution as taxable income.

Marotta’s 2016 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio
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Here is a review of Marotta’s 2015 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio and a description of our changes for 2016.

Marotta’s 2016 Gone-Fishing Portfolio
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The gone-fishing portfolio provides suggested asset allocations for investors up to age 70 and up to $1 million.

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