Taxes: What’s New For 2017?

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Looks like we might reach the low 50’s in Wisconsin this week!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Taxes: What’s New For 2017?” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each of the headings below.

As you work on your tax return for 2016, it may be wise to look at what is changing in the world of taxes for 2017. Understanding right now what is different this year ensures that you have ample time to reduce what you pay in 2017 taxes.

Have a wonderful week!

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Taxes: What’s New For 2017?

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Tax changes in recent years included an additional Medicare surtax for high-income earners, a new top rate for dividends and long-term capital gains, and the phase-out of itemized deductions for high earners.
  • If you’re subject to higher taxes, it’s even more important to take advantage of whatever tax breaks apply to you.
  • Learn more about this year’s inflation adjustments and common tax breaks, including retirement plan contributions and charitable giving.

Although there are no major tax law changes this year, there are still inflation adjustments and other routine changes to consider. Remember, it’s important to take advantage of the tax break you’re entitled to — it’s not what you make but what you keep that counts. Here are a number of items to consider as you plan for the year ahead. [Read more…]

Bob Doll’s Ten 2017 Predictions

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are finding a way to stay warm!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Bob Doll’s Ten 2017 Predictions” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each of the ten headings.

Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen, is famous for his annual top ten list of predictions. The list has gained notoriety because he has often been right. His top ten list of 2017 predictions may surprise you.

Have a wonderful week!

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Bob Doll’s Ten 2017 Predictions

By Bernice Napach, Senior Writer, ThinkAdvisor

This year will be a year of transition for the global economy and global markets, moving from concerns about “relentless stagnation in economic growth” to rising confidence among consumers and businesses, says Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen.

It’s not “necessarily animal spirits,” but “we have turned the corner,” Doll explained at his annual New York City event announcing his top ten 2017 predictions.

Indeed, the S&P 500 index ended 2016 with a 9.5% gain while the Dow Jones industrial average finished the year 13.4% higher.  Doll had predicted a high single-digit gain in the S&P 500 this time last year — one of  8.5 correct predictions he says he made then (he missed when his most favored stock sectors underperformed his least favorite and when non-U.S. stocks did not outperform U.S. stocks).

Unlike most market strategists, however, Doll correctly predicted that Republicans would sweep the White House and Congress during the November election.

In his ten 2017 predictions, Doll says he feels like he’s going further out on a limb than normal because the global economy is shifting toward stronger growth, higher inflation and rising interest rates at a time of increasing uncertainty including possible significant changes in U.S. tax, trade, immigration and regulatory policies under the Donald Trump presidency.

“The 35-year disinflationary, falling interest rate world is ending, and that brings some challenges,” writes Doll. Among them, are a stronger dollar, which, along with rising rates, may offset the positives of an improving economy and tax reform that could help boost corporate earnings. “In their environment, investors may be in for a difficult ride,” writes Doll about one of his 2017 predictions.

Here are his top ten 2017 predictions: [Read more…]

Get Your Finances In Shape For 2017

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Happy New Year!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Get Your Finances In Shape For 2017” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each heading.

Start the new year off right by organizing your finances. This piece from Schwab provides guidance on what to focus on as you begin your 2017 financial planning.

Have a wonderful week!

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Get Your Finances in Shape for 2017

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • The New Year is a great time to reevaluate where you stand financially.
  • Consider these five resolutions as you start your 2017 financial planning. They include tips on budgeting, estate planning and more.

It wouldn’t be the New Year without resolutions. But whether it’s trimming your waistline or firming your financial profile, the key isn’t making the list, it’s sticking with it. Here are five steps to get you started on your 2017 financial planning road to financial fitness. [Read more…]

15 Quotes On Renewal For The New Year

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I hope you had a great weekend and are enjoying the holidays!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “15 Quotes On Renewal For The New Year” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Taylor Leddin. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

As the new year beckons, it’s time for renewal. Whether 2016 was a great year for you or could have been better, 2017 is filled with exciting possibilities. Check out these quotes on renewal below. I hope they get you rolling into a wonderful 2017.

Have a wonderful week!

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15 Quotes On Renewal For The New Year

By Taylor Leddin

New Year, new you (or so they say). If 2016 has you feeling tired and not like yourself, these 15 quotes on renewal will light a fire under you.

With each New Year comes a new sense of renewal. Renewal of hope, renewal of goals, and renewal of inspiration. It can be difficult to keep in the mindset of actively pursuing hope, goals, and inspiration.

But, to keep in said mindset, we often look to successful people who have blazed the trail before us for advice. Here are 15 quotes on renewal: [Read more…]

The Five Deadly Sins Of Investing

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I hope you had a great weekend! Time’s running out for you holiday shoppers!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “The Five Deadly Sins Of Investing” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each of the five headings below.

Sometimes the best way to improve how you invest is to learn what not to do. This week’s article outlines some of the biggest investing mistakes all investors should avoid.

Have a wonderful week!

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The Five Deadly Sins Of Investing

By Daniel S. Kern, appearing in ThinkAdvisor

One of my friends in school was renowned for frequently telling us: “I aced that test!” He was never shy about sharing his answers after a test. His certainty about the answers made me question whether my answers were correct.

I eventually realized that he was wrong more often than right, and he became notorious for misplaced self-confidence. When he joined an investment firm after graduating from school, some of us joked about starting a “contrarian” fund to bet against his stock picks. Overconfidence is one of the “deadly sins” highlighted in studies of behavioral economics.

The investment industry is filled with confident people similar to my friend, who may be well-meaning but who also pass along bad ideas that become accepted as conventional wisdom. Here’s my top five list of investing mistakes that become deadly sins of investing: [Read more…]

13 Financial Moves To Make Before 2016 Ends

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend! Time to get some holiday shopping done this week?

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “13 Financial Moves To Make Before 2016 Ends” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of financial planner Mary Beth Storjohann. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each tip below in bold.

2016 is quickly coming to a close. Take a look at the suggestions below, maybe one of them can be a game changer for you.

Have a wonderful week!

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13 Financial Moves To Make Before 2016 Ends

By Mary Beth Storjohann

The year is quickly coming to a close and there’s New Year’s resolutions aplenty.

However, with resolutions being so open-ended, it’s easy to pile too much on at once and while you may feel motivated at first, fast forward a few weeks or months and you may find that you’ve thrown caution, boundaries and rules to the wind and are in the exact same position you want to get out of.

Rather than resolving to change in 2017, there’s still time to opt for buckling down and getting things done in 2016. In many instances, the end of the year closes a financial window or opens a new door. Are you ready to wrap up your loose ends and set yourself up to take advantage of any opportunities the New Year brings?

Here are 13 financial tips you should consider before the end of the year: [Read more…]

Year-End Tax Tips For 2016

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend! Welcome to the holiday season!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Year-End Tax Tips For 2016” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each section heading below to see if any are of interest.

The end of the year is almost upon us. You only have a little more than three weeks to impact what you will pay in taxes for 2016. Check out the ideas below from Schwab. Maybe one of them can save you money.

Have a wonderful week!

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Year-End Tax Tips for 2016

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • These tax tips for 2016 address key areas of your financial life: portfolio planning, retirement, education planning and charitable giving.
  • It never hurts to consult with a tax professional about your unique tax situation.
  • Be aware of changes to cost-basis reporting rules and how they affect different securities you may own.

If tax time brings you stress, read on. First, take heart that you can act before the end of the year to help minimize the pain of April 15 (April 17 in 2017). Then, consider the tax tips below affecting key areas of your financial life — from your portfolio to your retirement and more.

Whether you do your own taxes or rely on a tax professional, these tried-and-true strategies may help you keep more of your hard-earned income and boost your after-tax returns. After all, it’s what you keep that counts. [Read more…]

Choices

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Choices” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Jim Lange. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

We all need inspiration every now and then. Each month I like to share some words that I feel are uplifting. This month’s article is short, to the point and about the choices we make in our lives every day.

Have a wonderful week!

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Choices

By Jim Lange

A friend of mine once asked me, “If someone spits on you does that make you angry?”

I responded, “Of course it does!”

He replied, “No it doesn’t, it just makes you wet. It’s your choice to become angry.”

While I wanted to argue with him, he was exactly right. You and I have a choice in how we respond to anything in our lives. With that in mind, here is a list of some great choices we can make according to Mother Teresa: [Read more…]

Trump’s 100 Day Plan & The Economy

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend! Welcome to Thanksgiving week!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Trump’s 100 Day Plan & The Economy” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, please try and take a look at each heading below.

President-elect Trump has talked a lot about his 100 Day Plan to bring immediate change to America. The piece below explores how his busy first 100 days could impact the U.S. economy.

Have a wonderful week!

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Trump’s 100 Day Plan & The Economy

By Bernice Napach, Senior Writer, ThinkAdvisor

Donald Trump’s unexpected presidential win has rallied stocks and routed bonds, especially Treasuries, but how long those moves and sentiments last will depend on what Trump actually does once he takes office. Already stocks have retreated slightly from recent market highs and bonds have moved off recent lows.

“Markets are going through a big Trump rethink,” said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High-Frequency Economics and co-host of a webinar on its implications for the U.S. and Global Economy. Markets are hoping Trump will be practical and market-friendly but don’t really know yet if that will be the case, according to Weinberg. “We have a lot of questions, not a lot of answers.”

Trump offered policy pledges during the campaign and recently released a plan for his first 100 days, but Weinberg advised, “Don’t take his campaign rhetoric and specific proposals too literally.”

He and Jim O’Sullivan, HFE’s chief U.S. economist, discussed several key items in Trump’s 100 Day Plan that investors should be watching now because of their potential impact on the U.S. economy and financial markets. [Read more…]

Trump Shocker: Five Likely Changes Coming Soon

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend! Welcome to the world of President Trump!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Trump Shocker: Five Likely Changes Coming Soon” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of American Funds. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, try to take a look at each of the five major headings below.

Did you wake up on Wednesday morning and expect to hear “President-Elect Trump?” At least half of the country didn’t! What might be on President Trump’s initial agenda? Read on below to see what the experts from American Funds believe President Trump will tackle first.

Have a wonderful week!

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Trump Shocker: Five Likely Changes Coming Soon

By: Matt Miller, American Funds

In this historic victory that shocked the political establishment and global financial markets alike, Donald J. Trump will become the 45th president of the United States.

In an uncanny echo of the Brexit outcome, millions of Americans frustrated with the country’s direction voted against the perceived status quo in the world’s wealthiest and most powerful democracy. Yet lack of clarity on how the president-elect actually will govern poses both risks and opportunities for investors.

Republican candidate Trump beat his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton by a notable margin. Global stock markets were volatile, falling in Asia and then rallying in the U.S. on the view that Republican fiscal policies could provide meaningful stimulus to the economy. U.S. Treasuries slipped, the dollar was mixed against major currencies and gold rallied.

Now investors and international leaders must take his measure, and Americans will adjust to the style and tone of a self-proclaimed outsider in the White House. However, the Republican majority in both the House and the Senate means Trump stands a good chance of enacting much of his economic agenda. He could do that via the so-called budget reconciliation process, under which tax and spending changes can pass with a mere majority of the Senate, not 60 votes. Investors now spooked by Trump’s election may find themselves surprised next summer by the economic stimulus Trump’s Washington enacts.

While we expect market volatility to continue as investors adjust to the reality of a new balance of power in Washington, here are five key areas in which policy decisions could have an economic impact. [Read more…]