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What’s on our mind? Whether it’s industry trends or tips for planning your financial future, you can learn more on our blog. So keep checking in. We’re glad to have you reading along.

 

Monday, July 22, 2019

In the past decade there have been two changes to the Federal Estate Tax law that have had a positive impact on reducing estate settlement costs. One is the increase of the federal applicable exclusion amount, which is the amount that...

 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Not long ago, before the 2018 Federal Estate Tax law change, that many of us put into place wills that funded credit shelter trusts up to the applicable federal exclusion amount. Credit shelter trusts are commonly used to shelter...

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Another school year is coming to a close and your kids (or grandchildren) are looking forward to their summertime fun. The primary and secondary school years seem to pass by quickly. So, there is no better time than now to assess what...

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Those of us who provide life insurance and financial advice to our clients understand the importance of planning for the death-time transfer of wealth. I work closely with estate planning attorneys and tax professionals to make sure my...

 

Friday, May 31, 2019

Many of my clients need help making plans to transfer their businesses one day. Whether they intend to sell to a third party at retirement, or want their family members to take over in the event of death, written plans are a key part...

 

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Many of my clients need help making plans to transfer their businesses one day. Whether they intend to sell to a third party at retirement, or want their family members to take over in the event of death, written plans are a key part...

 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Business owners who run their own businesses tend to wear many hats, handling many different jobs at any given time. Successful owners build teams around them to complement their skill set and strengthen their capabilities....

 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Basketball season is wrapping up, and the NBA playoffs will start soon. If you are a basketball fan, you may be excited by the uncertainty of this year’s tournament—with new teams in the mix and recent champions dealing...

 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

I have sent you information in the past about the importance of making sure your beneficiary designations are up-to-date and correct. For many of my clients, beneficiary designations will control the distribution of more liquid wealth...

 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

On December 22, 2017, the president signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This Act brought about big changes to our tax system. Here’s a review of those changes, and what they mean for 2019: The Act eliminated the...

 

Friday, January 25, 2019

One of the most important things I do is to help my business owner clients plan for the transfer of their businesses. The transition might be expected—an immediate sale to a bigger company, for example. Or a business transfer...

 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

When I work with my clients to help implement an effective estate plan, they expect the parts to work together. I try to do my best managing lots of different objectives, including family issues, control issues and taxes A...

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The following is Lincoln’s annual end of year tax planning letter for clients. It is being provided to you in two parts. Last week we featured “Year-End Tax-Planning Opportunities for Businesses & Business Owners”...

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The following is Lincoln’s annual end of year tax planning letter for clients. It is being provided to you in two parts. This week we feature “Year-End Tax-Planning Opportunities for Businesses & Business Owners” next...

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

In a recent release of findings from an ongoing research effort being conducted by Pinnacle Equity Solutions, Inc., a national leader in the emerging field of exit planning, it was revealed a majority of business owners who are...

 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It has been said that “The stock market climbs a wall of worry.” This has been the case over the past 10 years. While global fears associated with the Japanese earthquake, the downgrade of U.S. debt and Ebola contagion are...

 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Clarence, NY – Clarence resident, Diann Andrews, CFP®, CBEC® has earned the Certified Business Exit Consultant® (CBEC®) Designation. Andrews is the owner of NextStage Legacy Advisors, a firm that is a registered...

 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A majority of private businesses are highly dependent upon an owner’s individual efforts. Most owners intuitively understand that if they are a critical part of each area of their business, then it is going to be very difficult...

 

Friday, September 21, 2018

I encourage my clients to touch base after a life event—such as a divorce, marriage, birth of a child or the death of a family member—occurs. Why? Among other reasons, it’s an important time to think about whether...

 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Most successful business owners have a relationship with their business that goes beyond the financial benefits provided. At a more personal level, a business owner is the boss for all of those around him and owning and running a...

 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

An exiting business owner can elect to sell either the assets of his/her company or the stock of the business to a potential buyer. As a general rule, buyers (or successors) prefer to purchase assets, while sellers (or exiting owners)...

 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Business exit planning helps identify what an owner wants most (both personally and professionally) and combines that with how well prepared they are to execute on a transition. For example, an owner may want to transfer their business...

 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Stock and bond markets went on a bumpy ride in the second quarter. As the volatility of the first quarter faded, major indices rose. By early June, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had risen 5% for the quarter. Then, old concerns...

 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

In a recent release of findings from an ongoing research effort being conducted by Pinnacle Equity Solutions, Inc., a national leader in the emerging field of exit planning, it was revealed that 57% of business owners who are...

 

Monday, June 25, 2018

When business owners think about transitioning out of their companies, some of the first thoughts that come to mind relate to the sale of their business. In fact, many business owners believe that in order to exit their business they...

 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Many of my clients who are planning for the possibility of care in their old age assume that the federal government will take care of their needs. Unfortunately, for many, that is not the case. Medicare pays only for most costs...

 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The divorce or legal separation of a business owner can create financial heartaches for the divorcing owner, and can put incredible emotional, organizational and financial stress on the business. Usually divorcing spouses—or...

 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Two weeks ago, I talked about Social Security retirement and spousal benefits. The federal government also provides other Social Security benefits: Survivor benefits for dependent family members of a deceased worker—not just...

 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Many of my clients who are planning for retirement will rely in significant measure on Social Security retirement benefits. Despite fears over shortfalls in the federal government’s Social Security “trust fund,”...

 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2018 began with great optimism. After the strong gains of 2017, stocks continued their climb at a torrid pace. During January, fueled by expectations of strong earnings and the prospect of corporate tax cuts, stocks added to...

 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Many of my clients who are planning for the possibility of care in their old age assume that the federal government will take care of their needs. Unfortunately, for many, that is not the case. Medicare pays only for most costs...

 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

“You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out….” Warren Buffett, 2008On Thursday, January 25th , I attended the New York Corn and Soybean Producers Association annual expo in Syracuse. Dr. David...

 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Federal income tax day this year is Tuesday, April 17. You have probably been getting tax forms from financial companies, including Forms 1099-R. The deadline for life companies and other financial institutions to prepare Forms 1099-R...

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

So far this year, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to several groups of agriculture producers including a presentation sponsored by The Town of Canandaigua Agricultural Advisory Committee; three presentations at the growing...

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

So far this year, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to several groups of agriculture producers including a presentation sponsored by The Town of Canandaigua Agricultural Advisory Committee; three presentations at the growing...

 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

On Thursday, January 25th, I attended the New York Corn and Soybean Producers Association annual expo in Syracuse. Dr. David Kohl; Professor Emeritus of Agriculture and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech was the morning speaker. From...

 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Voluntary partnership departures, such as retirements, are typically addressed in buy/sell agreements. Often the buy/sell agreement defines the terms of a buy-out. But, there are major pit falls and considerations that the retiring...

 

Monday, January 22, 2018

As 2017 began, investors sized up the year ahead. As usual, the picture was unclear. While financial markets had performed well over the past few years, the recovery had been uneven and often beset by macro-economic and geopolitical...

 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

With each New Year come thoughts of new beginnings and resolutions. For businesses, this also comes with planning for the year ahead. This article is written for business owners who run their own companies and have the majority of...

 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

On December 20, 2017, Congress passed (on a party-line basis) the biggest tax reform law in thirty years, one that will make fundamental changes in the way you, your family and your business calculate your federal income tax bill, and...

 

Monday, December 18, 2017

We all know the world is spinning much faster than ever and our schedule is far past full, tilting towards overflow. Whether it’s work, family or the myriad of commitments for which we shoulder responsibility, the extra long...

 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

This is part two of a two part series regarding actions you may take for 2017 tax planning. Part 1 addresses your personal taxes; whereas, part 2 will address tax planning for business owners. Year-End Tax-Planning Moves for Businesses...

 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

This is part one of a two part series regarding actions you may take for 2017 tax planning. Part 1 addresses your personal taxes; whereas, part 2 will address tax planning for business owners.As the end of the year approaches, it is a...

 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Life and business are both like the harvests in that they run in seasons. From this truism comes the saying that “there is a time to reap and there is a time to sow”. Harvests are most successful when the seeds and growth...

 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Intergenerational succession for the family businesses, including family farms, is given a very low probability of success. In fact a study conducted by the Williams Group has found that “70% of estates will come unglued after...

 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Closely held business owners usually search hard to find tax-advantaged benefits for themselves and for their employees. Qualified retirement plans--pension plans--are usually high on the list of desirable strategies. A qualified...

 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Farm Bureau is the farmers’ lobbyist locally, at the state level and in Washington, D.C. I recently attended the Erie County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. At this meeting, the membership voted on and passed several resolutions...

 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

So far, 2017 has been a year of progress in the investment world against a backdrop of uncertainty and concern. While most asset classes continued to build on gains, unsettling global events generated headlines. Deplorable acts of...

 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

With the end of 2017 approaching, most of our friends are asking: “What can I do now so I will not have to pay so much tax for 2017?” Here some questions that can lead to individual income tax savings opportunities: Have...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Building your business was not easy - it required a plan, and the ability to adapt and compete in your marketplace. Successfully exiting your business could, however, prove even more challenging. Few business owners or advisors today...

 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

According to a recent statistic, 99.8% of US households are not subject to federal estate taxes because they fall below the new estate tax exemption limit of $5.49million per person, or $10.98 million for a married couple (for the year...

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

When it comes time to plan and execute a business transition, there are several common "traps" that business owners fall into that end up either killing a potential transaction or otherwise harming the process. Like most things in life...

 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A perennial powerhouse of the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers, has fallen on hard times. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2013, and their win-loss percentage over the past four years has been the worst in team history. What...

 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Global equity markets posted solid gains in the first half of 2017. The advance was also remarkably broad. Of the 30 largest global equity markets, 26 have posted gains this year. According to the Wall Street Journal, this represents...

 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I was amazed to see permanent life insurance in the mainstream news lately. The press has been full of details regarding the compensation arrangement between University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh and his employer. One...

 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I help my business owner clients make plans for their business’s survival after death or other life-changing event. I recently learned about a court case where two owners of a Kentucky business had a falling out, and they asked...

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sometimes people try to give me grief about my profession. I don’t feel a need to apologize for selling permanent life insurance. In addition to cash value life insurance’s death benefit protection, it offers extra...

 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

During my career working with family businesses, there are a few key phrases that I find myself using over and over again. These are phrases that I hope help drive home the point that I’m trying to make. Below I will review a few...

 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Business owners who are thinking about an eventual transition from their privately-held business are well served in understanding the optimal timing for that exit transaction. Whether an owner is thinking about passing the business to...

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Inherited qualified accounts, IRAs and nonqualified deferred annuities (NQDAs) can all potentially be stretched after the account owner’s death. “Stretch” means that the beneficiary can delay the federal income tax...

 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

According to a recent statistic, 99.8% of US households are not subject to federal estate taxes because they fall below the new estate tax exemption limit of $5.43million per person, or $10.86million for a married couple (for the year...

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My parents moved onto the family farm when I was two. From that time until my twenties when I moved away to pursue my own, non-farming career, I had the same neighbors. I didn’t realize how special that was until I had my own...

 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Here are some recent statistics from an ongoing research project being conducted by Pinnacle Equity Solutions, Inc., a leader in the business owner exit planning marketplace. According to Pinnacle’s research, 82% of business...

 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

If you are a business owner, your business success has been the product of years of hard work, dedication and focused results (and likely a little bit of luck). As you think about a future transition of the company there are a number...

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I help my business owner clients make plans for their business’s survival after death or other life-changing event. I recently learned about a court case where two owners of a Kentucky business had a falling out, and they asked...

 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I recently learned about court cases that illustrate some common mistakes that people make with regard to their life insurance policies. Some of the errors were made at the time the policy was put in force, and others developed over...

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

END OF THE YEAR BUSINESS TAX SAVINGS IDEAS This article is part one of a two part series. In this article we will address possible tax savings ideas that could apply to your personal 1040 federal tax return. The second article that...

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

END OF THE YEAR PERSONAL TAX SAVINGS IDEAS This article is part one of a two part series. In this article we address possible tax savings ideas that could apply to your personal 1040 federal tax return. The second article that will be...

 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November has been declared Long-Term Care Awareness Month because even the U.S. Congress recognizes the importance of making people aware of the risks and costs associated with long-term care. As a professional committed to helping...

 

Friday, November 4, 2016

% Return as of 09/30/2016 Equity Indexes 3rd Q YTD 3 Yr S&P 500 3.9 7.8 11.2 Russell 2500 6.6 10.8 7.8 MSCI EAFE 6.4 1.7 0.5 Emerging Market 9.0 16.0 -0.6 Wilshire REIT -1.2 9.7 14.3 Bond Indexes TIPS 1.0 7.3 2.4 Aggregate 0.5 5.8 4.0...

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

The IRS allows most pre-retirement distributions taken from an employer’s retirement account or IRA to be rolled over into another retirement account or IRA without tax consequence. One way to accomplish the tax-free transaction...

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Let’s say you were going to make a purchases offer on 10 shares of a company. But, then you learned that those 10 shares did not have voting rights. Would you be willing to pay as much for those as for 10 shares with voting...

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Summer vacation is over and the kids are back in school. This is an ideal time to assess what your financial plans are for their post-secondary school education. College expenses continue to escalate; and, unless the new president and...

 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

3/11/2016 I’m writing this blog as I sit in the airport waiting for my connection to my flight to Omaha. I’m on my way for a short visit to my hometown in Northwest Iowa and then to meet with clients in Nebraska. It strikes...

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Federal Government has a seemingly insatiable appetite for our tax money. The internal Revenue Code (“Code”) generally helps it collect revenue as we earn money or liquidate assets at a profit. With many assets, we have...

 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Life insurance offers significant tax advantages to many of my clients. For example: The death benefit is nearly always income tax free when paid to the beneficiaries. The cash value of permanent insurance coverage grows tax deferred....

 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

In my last blog “The 8 D’s of the Buy-Sell Agreement Part I” I reviewed the first four “D’s” – Death, Disability, Departure and Divorce. Today we continue on with the “D’s”...

 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Most all closely held businesses, especially multi-owner corporations and partnerships need to have a buy-sell agreement in place. Individually owned businesses can also profit from the use of a buy-sell agreement. This is essential...

 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Intergenerational succession for the family businesses, including family farms, is given a very low probability of success. In fact a study conducted by the Williams Group has found that “70% of estates will come unglued after...

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Closely held business owners usually search hard to find tax-advantaged benefits for themselves and for their employees. Qualified retirement plans--pension plans--are usually high on the list of desirable strategies. A qualified...

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The USDA Family Farms overview recently noted that a major issue that will affect family farms is related to the ageing of America’s farmers. They stated, “An estimated 70% of U.S. farmland will change hands in the next 20...

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Alex and Brad, both in their mid-forties, had just celebrated the tenth anniversary of Dairy R Us, Inc. The next morning, Brad suffered a heart attack while walking out to the barn and died later that day. Alex suddenly lost his...

 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Most of the significant changes in tax law due to Affordable Care Act and the tax compromise originally passed in January of 2013 have remained substantially unchanged in 2016. The 3.8 percent Medicare surtax still applies to the...

 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

As 2016 arrived, investors looked forward to a fresh start and a calmer market than that of 2015. Instead, they got what accidental philosopher Yogi Berra might call, “Déjà vu, all over again.” Just as last...

 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Intergenerational succession for the family businesses, including family farms, is given a very low probability of success. In fact a study conducted by the Williams Group has found that “70% of estates will come unglued after the...

 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The message is getting out and more and more farm families are either thinking of, implementing, or finished with a succession plan. However, there are succession plans and then there are integrated succession plans. What good is...