Wealth Management Center

Preserving and enhancing wealth for the future with financial-planning experts Bill Cass and Chris Hennessey


Families can super-size college savings with a year-end gift

Families can super-size college savings with a year-end gift

December 11, 2019

Consider giving the gift of education this year with several strategies, including a super-size contribution, to a 529 college savings plan.

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November 5, 2019

Year-end planning strategies

Bill Cass, CFP®, Director Wealth Management Programs at Putnam
Chris Hennessey, Lawyer and CPA, Putnam Business Advisory Group

Medicare participants may need to bear more costs in 2020

Medicare participants may need to bear more costs in 2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published changes to 2020 premiums and deductibles.

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When donating to charity, investors may want to explore this IRA strategy

When donating to charity, investors may want to explore this IRA strategy

Investors may want to consider using an IRA strategy to direct donations to charity and receive a tax advantage.

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Proposed RMD changes could help retirees keep more of their savings

Proposed RMD changes could help retirees keep more of their savings

The federal government wants to update the life expectancy projections that investors use to calculate an RMD from retirement accounts.

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Three key changes for Social Security in 2020

Three key changes for Social Security in 2020

Some key changes for Social Security are planned for 2020 and will impact millions of retirees as well as current workers paying into the system.

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Gauge your tax bracket to drive tax planning at year-end

Gauge your tax bracket to drive tax planning at year-end

There is one important number for investors to know that can drive tax planning strategies at year-end: their marginal tax bracket.

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At year-end, consider lumping charitable gifts

At year-end, consider lumping charitable gifts

With new limits to tax deductions under tax reform, investors may consider lumping charitable gifts into one year to achieve a tax deduction.

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Year-end deadline approaches for opportunity zone tax break

Year-end deadline approaches for opportunity zone tax break

Under a program created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, investors can receive a tax break on capital gains if they invest those gains in an opportunity zone.

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Captive insurance may be a useful tool for business owners

Captive insurance may be a useful tool for business owners

A captive insurance program can help a business manage risk by establishing its own insurance company to address certain known risks.

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Open enrollment presents opportunity to change Medicare options

Open enrollment presents opportunity to change Medicare options

Open enrollment provides an opportunity to talk about health-care cost planning with investors as they consider Medicare options.

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Retirement plans may not be out of reach for small businesses

Retirement plans may not be out of reach for small businesses

Many small business owners may not realize that Internal Revenue Service offers a tax credit for the costs of establishing workplace retirement plans.

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Planning strategies to prepare if taxes move higher

Planning strategies to prepare if taxes move higher

As the federal budget deficit rises, it is likely that investors will see taxes move higher in the future.

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Last two years of high school are crunch time to prepare for college

Last two years of high school are crunch time to prepare for college

Families with college-bound students focus more intently on the future when their child enters the last two years of high school.

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Planning for college can begin as early as freshman year in high school

Planning for college can begin as early as freshman year in high school

Even for students just settling in to high school, it is not too early to start planning for college.

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A 529 college savings plan can be flexible as situations change

A 529 college savings plan can be flexible as situations change

A 529 college savings plan is flexible and the account owner can make changes to investments and beneficiaries over time.

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Packing for college? Remember the legal documents

Packing for college? Remember the legal documents

Parents of college-bound children may want to consider preparing certain legal documents before their child leaves for school.

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Back to school:  Time to spend or save?

Back to school: Time to spend or save?

Families will spend record levels as their children head back to school this year. But the school season may also be a time to focus on saving.

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Proposed bill represents landmark changes to retirement savings

Proposed bill represents landmark changes to retirement savings

The Senate is considering a bill that represents the most comprehensive changes to retirement savings since the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

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The IRS is revising Form 1040 again

The IRS is revising Form 1040 again

Less than a year after restructuring tax Form 1040, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is changing the document again.

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Create a checklist for when a family member passes away

Create a checklist for when a family member passes away

Most families do not want to think about losing a loved one. But creating a checklist for family members may help them navigate a difficult situation.

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Certain trusts may help lift the weight of a state tax burden

Certain trusts may help lift the weight of a state tax burden

With tax deductions limited under tax reform, taxpayers in high-tax states may consider using incomplete non-grantor trusts to plan for state income taxes.

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Strategies to preserve step-up in cost basis under new tax landscape

Strategies to preserve step-up in cost basis under new tax landscape

The focus in estate planning has shifted to income taxes, including strategies for the step-up cost basis, a planning consideration to manage capital gains.

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Retirement planning for the end of the year

The fourth quarter is an opportune time to take inventory of retirement accounts and review actions such as required minimum distributions and planning strategies before year-end.

Prepare clients for year-end planning

Gifting, required retirement distributions, and charitable donations are among many planning actions that need attention by the end of the year.

There's still time to implement tax-smart strategies

Determining an individual's tax bracket will drive which tax-smart strategies to implement, including managing income, capital gains and losses.

Some estate-planning benefits may be lost if not used

Investors may want to explore gifting and other estate-planning strategies to take advantage of tax benefits that may be limited.

Debt ceiling debate and federal budget on Capitol Hill agenda

As Congress faces a December deadline for the federal budget, the debt ceiling debate was moved up sooner than expected.

Chris Hennessey is Professor Emeritus of Law at the Babson College School of Executive Education and member of the Putnam Investments Business Advisory Group. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Putnam Investments.