Rowling & Associates Blog

Get helpful tips for managing your money, financial planning information, tax savings, and financial news in these blog posts.

We enjoy making the complicated financial world simple for our clients. From short blog posts to full articles and even videos, financial professionals Sheryl Rowling and Steve Doster explain the topics that are important to you. There are also blog posts by our younger team members addressing the financial issues the X and Y Generations are dealing with now.
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You’ve Got a Friend in Your Fiduciary Financial Advisor

Take a moment to consider this: what if you had a friend you could turn to whenever you had a financial question? Not sure how much of a house you can afford? Call your financial friend to walk you through the numbers. Don’t know which investments to choose in your 401(k)? If you work with a fiduciary financial advisor, you could have someone to answer that question.

New Year Goals Recommended by a Financial Planner

As the year 2018 has just come to an end, it is a good time to consider all sorts of different resolutions to improve your life in the New Year. As a financial planner, I can suggest several goals to help improve your financial life in 2019.

Bunching Deductions: A Firsthand Application

My wife and I bought our first home at the beginning of last year and for the first time in our lives, we itemized on our 2017 return. With the standard deduction doubling in 2018, we quickly found ourselves in the position where we would not be able to itemize, just like so many other taxpayers. Heeding the advice of my tax-knowledgeable coworkers, we prepaid everything we could before the end of 2017 and now find ourselves better situated to itemize every other year.

Budgeting 101: How to Start Saving Money for the New Year

One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions out there is to spend less and save more. As we make our way through this holiday season and into 2019, let’s look at some ways to achieve this goal by budgeting for that holiday spending and getting a plan in place to start saving.

QCDs: A great way to gift wisely this holiday season

As we head towards the end of 2018, tax planning is a topic of increasing importance to many people. One question that comes up particularly often, especially in this time of changing tax laws, is “How can I lower the amount of taxes I owe?” If you’ve been taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from an IRA, a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) may be just the thing for you.

DAFs and CRTs: Tax-smart ways of giving this season

With the holiday season and year end approaching, charitable giving is definitely on our radar. But how can we help charitable causes in a tax-smart way? Setting up a Donor Advised Fund or a Charitable Remainder Trust can be just the thing to help you gift wisely this year.

How a Financial Plan Benefits You

A financial plan is a tool that allows you to review and understand your current financial situation, as well as set goals for your future. However, there are many more ways a financial plan can be beneficial to you, including acting as a guide for making well-informed and intelligent investment decisions.

The Importance of Estate Documents: A Real-Life Example

Many people know that Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16, 2018. Many people may know some of her most popular songs, such as “Respect” or “A Natural Woman,” and that she was often referred to as the Queen of Soul. However, something many people may not know about Aretha Franklin is that at the time of her death, she had $80 million and no estate documents in place.

How to Rethink Your Budget

Two thoughts cross my mind every Monday: 1. “I really need to spend less money this week.” 2. “Diet starts today.” If you somehow Googled your way into looking for diet advice on this blog, you will be disappointed. But, as a Certified Financial Planner, I might be able to help you (and myself) with thought number one.

When should you change the asset allocation of your portfolio?

An asset allocation is designed to produce long term results, within an acceptable level of risk. Such strategy should remain consistent whether the market is relatively stable, volatile, increasing or decreasing. Asset allocation strategy should not be changed due to market circumstances, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when it is both appropriate and advisable to update your strategy. A change to your risk tolerance or return needs would indicate that it is worth revisiting whether an update to the asset allocation of your portfolio is needed.