Author Archives: Glen Goland

About Glen Goland

Senior Wealth Strategist

Tax Surprises? Here’s Why and What You Can Do About Them

That howling wind-like sound you heard at midnight on Monday, April 15 was accountants across the country exhaling at the end of what has been one of the most trying tax seasons many CPAs have ever worked through. The 2018 tax season has been particularly hard on accountants because, in addition to all of the data gathering and return preparation work that they do every year, this year many of them have had to serve another role: the bearer of really bad financial news. Taxpayers across the country have been surprised with their tax obligations under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and it is likely their CPAs who are explaining this system to folks for the first time. Today’s post will focus on some of the root causes of these tax surprises and propose a solution or two for those who owe more than expected.

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What do you do when your adult children can’t stand on their own financial feet?

I recently wrote a blog post about some of the challenges parents face when allocating money between spending on their children and saving for their own retirement. In this post, we’ll look at a specific scenario that we see fairly often as financial planners: clients with adult children who have not successfully launched their own financial lives. This picture can be painted with many different brushes — in some instances, parents may be helping children through a temporary bind as they fall on hard times, or in some cases, the adult child has been sheltered from real-world economic decisions and is facing a steep learning curve — but at the end of the day, the analysis is the same: how is the extra support for children impacting the parents’ ability to maintain their own lifestyle? Read more »

Does my child need this? Helping parents with the difficult challenges that arise when it comes to kids and spending

The recent college admission scandal has brought to light a subject many financial planners are all too familiar with: parents will sometimes go to ridiculous lengths to support their children. While the headlines may be dominated by the Hollywood names involved in college admission schemes, parents taking unreasonable financial risks for their children is an issue lurking just beneath the surface in many families. Read more »

What do surviving spouses need to know about estate planning?

One of the harder parts of the financial planning profession is working with families following the death of a loved one. Administering a decedent’s will or trust, dividing and distributing assets, and the filing of estate tax returns involves a coordinated effort between the family’s financial, legal, and tax teams. The surviving spouse can be overwhelmed, particularly if they are not familiar with the investment, tax, or legal structure of the family finances. Read more »

Paul Allen’s Passing Reminds us of Key Estate Planning Preparations

The recent passing of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has brought the sporting public’s interest back to the realm of estate planning. The Seattle icon’s assets are estimated to be worth in excess of $26 billion, and they include the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. There is some intrigue as to the succession plan for each franchise, and fans will watch closely as assets pass through a variety of legal hoops over the next few years (pardon the pun). Read more »

Why Charitable Trusts are a Great Idea

It is such a pleasure to work with extraordinary individuals doing amazing work. The Arnerich Massena financial planning team is lucky to interact daily with men and women who are helping to find cures for cancer, solve the world’s water needs, improve the lives of society’s most vulnerable, and make the world better in a thousand small ways by giving. Our financial planning team is honored to have been part of so many 2018 conversations that involved philanthropy, and much of it through the use of charitable trusts. Read more »

How much is $10 million? Providing perspective for your children

A client* recently asked me for advice on how to frame the size of a potential inheritance for an upcoming conversation with her son. Her son, who is in his mid-twenties, will be inheriting $10 million. My client sought a frame of reference to help him grasp how much money he’d be receiving and asked me how I’d put it in perspective. I was reminded of a calculation I saw back in 1996, shortly after I graduated from college, which gave me a perspective on wealth that I never forgot, so I’ve updated things by a few decades. Here goes: Read more »

Rolling Your Retirement Plan into an IRA

A ten-year bull market in U.S. equities, low unemployment, and an increase in the savings rate have led to dramatic increases in 401(k) balances for many American families. There are a number of reasons why a retiree would roll their savings out of his or her company’s retirement plan (most of our clients do so in order to access an expanded universe of investment options). However, there are some planning factors that ought to be considered beforehand: Read more »