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1225 South Main Street, Suite 103
Grapevine, TX 76051

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(817) 410-9000

Blog

Is it Time to Update Your Beneficiary Designations?

Estate planning and retirement planning go hand in hand. Keeping these two parts of your financial plan aligned is essential to pass assets to your beneficiaries as you intend. Many find themselves confused about what their estate documents (wills, trusts) and beneficiary designations actually do upon their passing.
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2017 Year End Financial and Tax Planning Checklist

Despite the long awaited tax proposal finally being released, it remains to be seen what the GOP delivers. With so many unknowns surrounding what will pass through Congress and what won't, the best thing you can do today is to be prepared under current tax law. If you know where you stand now, you'll know where to begin if and when the tax rules change.
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An iPhone X? An Apple Watch? An Alexa? A Future?

Many grandparents believe that the best gift is that of a brighter future through education. Depending on whether you are saving toward future college expenses or your grandchild is already enrolled; there are unique gifting considerations for grandparents wishing to help with the expense of a college education. Not only will you be helping give your grandchildren a firm foundation for the rest of their lives, you could be making a savvy tax-savings move.
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Career Transition FAQ - The 401(k) Age 55 and Older Rule

If you are age 55 to 59 in the year in which your employment is terminated, be that through a layoff or entering retirement, think long and hard before you decide (or someone attempts to convince you) to roll your 401(k) plan balance into an IRA.
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File Early – Amend Later – Prevent Fraud

With a new major data breach announced seemingly every other week, it's likely that we will see an increase in identity theft-related crimes in the upcoming 2017 tax season. Putting off filing your tax return leaves the door open for criminals that have hijacked your identity to file a false tax return claiming a refund.
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Executive Compensation – 409(a) Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation (NQDC Plans)

As the name implies, deferred compensation is a written plan that permits setting aside a portion of one's income to be paid at a later date. For many executives, this can be a tax-wise strategy.
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Career Transition FAQ - Are Health Insurance Premiums Taxable?

Many employers offer to pay part of their employees’ health insurance premiums as part of a benefits package. Upon termination, some employers continue to pay that premium as part of a severance package, prompting many in career transition to wonder if these payments are now taxable due to their employment status.
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Wire Transfer Email Scams

Cybercriminals are targeting financial services firms with a rash of fraudulent wire transfer requests sent via email. What we do to protect client assets and what you can do to keep scammers out of your email.
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Career Transition FAQ - Should I Pay off Debts Now or Later?

Career transition comes with a fair amount of uncertainty. You probably do not know what your new role will be, when you will start your new job, or how much you will make. You may not even know where you will live as a result of accepting a new opportunity. During any period of life transition, such as navigating a job change, cash is king!
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Cybersecurity: You’re Not Paranoid If Everyone’s Out to Get You!

Over the past two weeks, there has been a lot of disturbing news on the consumer cybersecurity front: Equifax breached, concerns over Kaspersky's ties to Russian Intelligence, and CCleaner installing malware instead of making your computer work faster. So what can you do to protect your private and personally identifiable information?
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Data leaked from the Equifax attack? Here’s what you need to do.

Nearly 1 in 2 Americans are affected by the data leak from Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency. Equifax shut down the cyber-attack when upon its discovery on July 29th, but it was too little too late. Here's what you need to know if you think your personal information is at risk from the data breach.
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6 Common Misconceptions about HSAs

Since their inception in 2003, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), have seen rapid growth as more and more individuals take part in their triple-tax advantages when it comes to saving for health care costs during retirement. We dispel six common misconceptions about HSAs.
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Once in Your Lifetime Opportunity! IRA to HSA Rollover

The cost of healthcare is a growing concern, especially for retirees.In our financial planning discussions with clients, we generally encourage them to plan for around $250,000 (today's dollars) of health care costs throughout retirement. With medical costs on the rise, there is a little known, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fund an HSA with an IRA rollover.
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Do-It-Yourself HSA

Health care costs and its complexities is a huge societal and political dilemma in our country, and there is no resolution in sight. As health care reform drags on, HSAs will become more common as citizens become more aware of them and their triple tax benefits. To be eligible to contribute to an HSA, you must be enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP) and not enrolled in Medicare.
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Health Care and a Tax Break - Is It Possible?

How can you get a tax deduction and save for health care expenses in a tax-favored way? HSAs combined with a high deductible health plan (HDHP) could be worth considering as a way to save on premiums and save in a tax-favored way for future health care expenses especially if you are a participant of a HDHP.
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Has your Email Been Compromised?

Hackers love to take over email accounts to spread spam containing malware and fraudulent website links to everyone in your contact list. Knowing what to do when your email account gets compromised is essential to mitigate damage to both your computer data and that of your contact list.
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Six Potential 401(k) Rollover Pitfalls

You're about to receive a distribution from your 401(k) plan, and you're considering a rollover to a traditional IRA. While these transactions are normally straightforward and trouble-free, there are some pitfalls you'll want to avoid.
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Global Diversification: What’s your Bias?

Harry Markowitz, the Nobel Prize winning Economist and pioneer of Modern Portfolio Theory, has been credited for saying that diversification is the only free lunch in investing. Markowitz’s theory proved that by mixing stocks and bonds you can expect a higher return with less risk. What’s not to like? Broad diversification, however, is much more than simply buying bonds within a stock portfolio.
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Women and Wealth

According to Dr. John Gray, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, but how on Earth are they different when it comes to finances?
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Yes, You Might Actually Enjoy a "Working" Retirement

If you are looking forward to retiring, think about how work will be integrated into your life going forward. Many people don’t do this assessment before retiring––only to end up going back to work in some capacity because they realized they were missing out on the psychological benefits of work.
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The Oxymoron of Having Adult Children

Capable adult children that are financially reliant upon or needing to be bailed out by parents are not new, but data suggests this trend is growing at an alarming rate. Are more of today's youth destined for an extended adolescence? Should more parents plan to financially provide for their children longer?
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Are You Getting the Best Return on Life You Possibly Can?

ROL is defined as, ‘How well you are doing in living the life you want, with the money you have.” The best financial conversation you will ever have is to ask yourself, “Who and what really makes me happy in life?” and then arrange your finances to keep those people and experiences front and center in your life.
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Don't Take the Bait! 7 Dead Giveaways to Tell if you are Being Phished

The people who commit the crime of phishing are becoming more clever every day about their tactics to trick and scam a user. Using different social engineering tools, these phishers are able to successfully trick ten percent of users who receive their emails. To avoid being the ten percent that take the phishing bait you can look out for several dead giveaways in the email that will leave you off their hook.
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What is a VPN and How to Use It

Neglecting to safeguard your internet connection and browsing activity is not a route to take this day and age when cybercrimes are on the rise and more activities, business, transactions and communication is doing online. VPNs or hotspots are ways to safeguard your online activities from hackers and security your privacy.
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How to Setup a Hotspot in Less than 5 Steps

Think twice before connecting to a free public hotspot at the airport, hotel, or coffee shop. Cybercriminals often use these to spy on users to gain account names, passwords, and other sensitive information. Setting up your own hotspot is a simple four to five step process that provides peace of mind when accessing the internet.
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3 Ways to Avoid the Downside of Retirement

When it comes to retirement, it's easy to dream about the perks: sleeping in, traveling, reading a good book, playing golf - name your fantasy. Even if your retirement is fully funded, the reality can be far less fulfilling if you don't plan ahead. Repeated studies have shown that people who do not have a rewarding retirement can suffer both physically and psychologically during retirement.
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Dangers of Public Wi-fi and 2 Must-Use Tricks to Boost Online Security

Public Wi-Fi is available at many locations such as hotels, restaurants, airports and your local Starbucks. These public Wi-Fi spots are desirable for users, as the networks are easy to log into without being aware of the potential consequences. Users typically do not need a password to get on the network, therefore anything a user does via public Wi-Fi is anonymous.
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Reconsidering What Retirement Means to You

Whether you've been told you should retire at 62, 65, or some other age, only you can decide what is right for you. In fact, you may want to reconsider retiring at all - at least in the traditional sense.
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Basics of Cyber Security – Building your Data Fortress

Every day hackers are finding new ways to steal your personal information and your finances. Many people are unaware of where these threats exist nor how to protect themselves. Knowing where to have your cyber security guard up and how to safeguard your data can mean the difference between being impenetrable and having your private information raided
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Seven Best Practices: Personal Identity Protection

Simple steps to protect your non-public information (NPI) like your financial life depends on it. (It does!)
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How Safe is Your Identity?

Do you know who have become favorite targets for identity thieves? Children. Because most people don't think about their children having a credit history, it could be years before the theft is discovered.
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Thwart Cyber Pirates after Your Bitcoin Booty

Recently, and somewhat ironically, cybercriminals claiming to have stolen Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean 5 installment demanded ransom payments in Bitcoin, a hard to trace cryptocurrency. If they weren’t paid their ransom they threatened to incrementally release the film.
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Football Coaches are Bad at Retirement

Oklahoma University's Bob Stoops suddenly announced his retirement last week to the shock or delight of many (depending on how you feel about OU). I wish him all the best in retirement, but the track record for football coaches "retiring" is notoriously poor. They just can't seem to stay away from work!
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SIMPLE IRA vs 401k Plan

As a small business owner, you would like to offer your employees a company retirement plan. The option with which you are probably most familiar is a 401(k) plan. Since their creation in the 1970's, 401(k) plans have grown tremendously and have replaced pension plans as the retirement vehicle that most Americans will depend on. While a 401(k) plan can benefit both the employee and employer, it can be expensive and require a great deal of administrative work for a small business.
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Social Security: What Should You Do at Age 62?

Is 62 your lucky number? If you're eligible, that's the earliest age you can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits. If you decide to start collecting benefits before your full retirement age, you'll have company. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), approximately 71% of Americans elect to receive their Social Security benefits early. (Source: SSA Annual Statistical Supplement, 2016)
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What is a Required Minimum Distribution?

A Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) is the amount of money that the US federal government requires you to withdraw each year from traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans.
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Making Lemonade From Lemons

According to a retirement security data brief issued by the Urban Institute about half of the unemployed Americans over the age of 50 are out of work for more than six months. In addition other studies show that for many that bout of unemployment can last much longer and when they do get reemployed it is often at a pay cut of 20 to 36%.
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Planning for Health Care Costs in Retirement

Health care costs can take a much bigger bite out of their budgets than most retirees expect.
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Fiduciary Rule Becomes Effective Today June 9, 2017

There has been quite a lot of teeth gnashing in the financial services industry over the past few years regarding the new fiduciary rule. The Department of Labor (DOL) had been proposing, and has now since implemented, a very significant rule change to promote the provision of investment advice that is truly in the best interest of retirement investors.
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You're an Awesome Grandparent!

What is the best legacy a grandparent can give? Many believe that the best gift is a brighter future through education. Depending on whether you are saving toward future college expenses or your grandchild is already enrolled, there are unique gifting considerations for grandparents wishing to help with the expense of a college education.
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Why Open a Roth Ira for your Child?

A Roth IRA for a child with earned income can be very attractive. There's no minimum age to set up a Roth IRA, and many IRA providers will accept accounts for minors. In most cases, the only issue is whether the child has taxable compensation.
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The Economics of Borrowing from Your 401(k)

When times are tough, that pool of dollars sitting in your 401(k) plan account may start to look attractive. But before you decide to take a plan loan, be sure you understand the financial impact. It's not as simple as you think.
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Losing a Loved One - What am I Supposed to Do?

First of all, breathe. You have suffered a loss and need to process your grief. Don't feel rushed into making any decisions. Of immediate concern is the security and safekeeping of assets and the custody and care of minor children and other dependent family members. Focus your attention on the issues at hand: dealing with medical personnel, funeral arrangements, and your family.
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Buckets of Money: A Retirement Income Strategy

Some retirees are able to live solely on the earnings that their investment portfolios produce, but most also have to figure out how to draw down their principal over time. Even if you've calculated how much you can withdraw from your savings each year, market volatility can present a special challenge when you know you'll need that nest egg to supply income for many years to come.
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How Do I Choose a Financial Advisor?

Question: What questions should I ask when choosing an investment adviser or financial planner?
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Common Factors Affecting Retirement Income

When it comes to planning for your retirement income, it's easy to overlook some of the common factors that can affect how much you'll have available to spend. If you don't consider how your retirement income can be impacted by investment risk, inflation risk, catastrophic illness or long-term care, and taxes, you may not be able to enjoy the retirement you envision.
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Are You Overpaying for Life Insurance?

Your life insurance is often a critical component of your financial plan. When was the last time you gave it any thought? In my experience, forward-thinking people who have determined that life insurance is appropriate for their situation, buy life insurance policies and cross the task off their "to do" lists. But life evolves, life insurance doesn't. Your existing life insurance policy may not meet your current financial situation. Can you answer the following questions on your existing cover
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Starting on the Right Path to Getting Scholarship Dollars

If you are a 13-16 year old future college student (or the parent or grandparent of one), it's time to think about the college admissions process!
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When is Market Volatility Most Dangerous?

Though a market downturn generally isn't fun for most people, its timing can have a greater impact on some investors than on others. For example, a market downturn can have greater significance for retirees than for those who are still accumulating assets.
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Does Your Child Have an Evil Twin

Imagine getting a notice informing your six-year-old that he missed a mortgage payment. It seems ridiculous, but is not a laughing matter. Stealing identities has shifted to a new demographic: children. A study by Carnegie Melon University showed children are 51 times more likely to have their identity stolen than adults. Independent research firms have estimated that up to one out of every ten children in America has had their identity used by someone else.
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What is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has found itself at the center of recent political controversy in Washington. As a result, many Americans may find themselves wondering more about this federal agency and what its role may be in protecting consumers.
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How Risky is Your Portfolio?

If you're like most people, you probably evaluate your portfolio in terms of its return. However, return isn't the only factor you should consider; also important is the amount of risk you take in pursuing those returns. The term "risk" is often understood to mean the risk of loss. However, a portfolio is generally a means to an end, such as paying for retirement or a child's college tuition. In that context, "risk" also means the risk of not meeting your financial needs.
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The ABC's of Money

Today's children and teenagers earn, save, and spend more than any previous generation. Kids want things and are willing to spend their money (or their parents' money) on these wants. According to 2010 YouthPulse projections, 8-21 year olds will spend $123.5 billion – an $11 billion increase from 2009. Not only do they have more to spend, kids develop their spending habits at a younger age—facts that have not gone unnoticed by advertisers!
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Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck