Articles

Ty Bernicke's Articles as Published in Forbes & MarketWatch

Over the years, my firm has helped countless individuals and households determine an appropriate Social Security claiming strategy for their unique circumstances. As a result, I have been fortunate to observe how these strategies have affected clients’ retirement. However, it is through these observations that I have realized there is a significant amount of misinformation surrounding the best age to begin taking Social Security income. The choice that may be right for each person is highly dependent on a number of different factors.
Many changes recently occurred because of the American Rescue Plan, which could provide significant benefits for certain groups of people, including those retiring before age 65 who do not have retiree health insurance provided by their previous employer. If you find yourself in this situation, there are several strategies you can potentially implement to amplify the benefits of the new changes, but time is of the essence because this gift only lasts two years.
Many stock mutual funds can quietly rob unsuspecting investors by creating unnecessary taxes. This primarily occurs when mutual funds are held outside a tax-favored work retirement plan, individual retirement account or Roth IRA. To help understand why this occurs, it is important to first learn about how stocks that are not owned within a mutual fund are taxed. For simplicity, this article will focus only on federal taxes and will not delve into potential state tax implications.
Over the past 35 years, our firm has worked with hundreds of people who have inherited investments from their parents. The decisions made with recently inherited assets can have significant permanent tax implications. Understanding the negative consequences and the different available opportunities can have positive benefits that can last years into the future. There are many strategies that can be beneficial to implement when inheriting assets. The following article is designed to share tax minimization techniques that can be implemented following the loss of a parent.
The years leading up to retirement are frequently filled with a number of opportunities to minimize taxes that, if not implemented, can never be recaptured. Unfortunately, many people wait until about one or two years before retirement before getting serious about retirement planning, only to later regret their delay.
During times of heightened uncertainty our wealth management firm receives many questions surrounding gold as an investment. Many of our clients believe that gold is a safe investment that will at least keep pace with inflation. This belief seems to stem from the numerous commercials and talk shows that tout the perceived positive attributes surrounding gold as an investment.
The title of the 1985 song "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits is a reference to the rock stars of this group achieving a wealthy status for doing easy work by playing music for people. Some mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, also derive easy money through a process called securities lending.
In his 1973 book, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, economist Burton Malkiel contended that higher cost, actively managed mutual funds were flawed and unlikely to beat low-cost, passively managed index funds. Following the publication of Malkiel's book, there were dozens of studies touting similar benefits associated with low-cost, passively managed index funds. Today, index funds are rising in popularity, and many investors blindly rely on them without truly understanding what differentiates one index fund from another.

Learn why you may be able to retire earlier than you think.

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