New, and Not-New, Responsibilities to Clients

Our clients are aware that they have each signed new advisory agreements during the past year. The new agreements are exactly as before except for the addition of federally mandated exceptions to the confidentiality provisions. Now, if we ever suspect that a client is experiencing “diminished mental capacity” or “elder abuse,” we are authorized and […]

New Year, New Numbers

Every year, there are cost of living adjustments to various numbers that affect financial planning, for instance, Social Security payments increase in 2019 by 2.8%. Here is a summary of some important changes. Please let us know if we can help you understand how these numbers affect you. Your ability to save on a tax […]

What’s Your Risk Number?

At Armor, one of the areas that we consistently strive to improve is our communication style. To me, perhaps the most important part of communication is listening – more specifically, making sure our clients trust that we are hearing what they have to say. Fortunately for us, as 21st century risk managers, technology has provided […]

What is Financial Planning?

Walt and I once had breakfast with a man who told us that he invented Financial Planning. In St. Louis, in 1976, I think. It was invented, he told us, purely as a way to sell insurance. He did not understand how we could be Financial Planners, but not fund the exercise by selling insurance. […]

The Standard Deduction and Gifting in 2018

Among the many changes introduced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, some have created great planning opportunities. One planning opportunity that we have reached out to proactively discuss with many of our clients is the significant increase in the Standard Deduction for married couples. We have many married clients who are both […]

Selecting Your Retirement Community

Clients often ask us to help them compare retirement communities and to recommend the one that’s best for them. We subscribe to a wonderful database that is useful in doing this. We also have delved deeper into the questions and helped clients by developing decision trees and timelines and by projecting the financial consequences of […]

HSA: The Secret Savings Weapon

You might have heard of Health Savings Accounts. They were created in 2003 to complement high deductible health insurance plans. The idea behind a high deductible plan is that if consumers have to spend their own money (on those high deductibles), they will spend it more responsibly and create price competition. To ensure that consumers […]

The 2017 Tax Reform Act in a Nutshell

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 dramatically changes the rules governing the taxation of individual taxpayers. The Act takes effect December 31, 2017 and ends January 1, 2026. It provides new income tax rates and brackets, increases the standard deduction, suspends personal deductions, increases the child tax credit, limits the state and local […]

Medicare Enrollment Periods

(Second in a series of pieces on Medicare – if you’d like to talk about your situation, please give me a call at 919-571-4382) Part 2 of 3: Enrollment The longer I’ve been at Armor, the more I’ve come to appreciate one thing in particular; retirement can be a lot of work! Gone (mostly) are […]

The Queen and the Prince

Throughout recorded history, changes in control occurred too young more often than too old (at least for those whose heads rolled). Today, most planning for transitions to the next generation still assumes that these will occur when the next generation is vital, energetic, and ready to lead. Increasingly, though, transitions are being delayed so long […]