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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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.

Boosting Your Charitable Giving

There is no wrong way to give. However, applying tax saving strategies can save you money on your charitable dollars. The new tax code will force many more people to take the standard deduction (90% vs. 70%). Those who are used to itemizing might now think there is no longer a tax incentive for charitable giving. We want you to know there are still ways to reduce your taxes by giving to the charities you care about.

Can’t sleep at night, try Insurance!

Throughout your life, insurance coverage should be an integral part of your financial picture. We will look at a few types of coverage that will help you sleep easy at night knowing that you and your loved ones are protected against financial ruin.

Why a Fiduciary Matters?

The US court of Appeals recently struck down the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which required all financial professionals to manage retirement accounts with their clients’ interests ahead of their own. Now that this consumer protection has been vacated, it is important to educate yourself on the ins and outs of what makes a financial professional a fiduciary and why you should engage in a fiduciary’s services.

Buying vs Renting – A never ending battle!

You have some extra cash sitting in the bank and are wondering what to do with it. You have heard about how home ownership is better than renting because you will accumulate equity as you pay off the mortgage. And so, you think, “I’ll make a down payment and buy my own house.” But, you could pay down your debts with that cash instead. So, what do you do? It’s never a simple answer.