Broker Check

Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

APRIL 2024 - Whose Job Is It?

As our firm has grown over the years, we have developed systems and processes to manage our responsibilities. Part of this process is figuring out “whose job is it” to do various things. Who will scan incoming documents? Who will let the client know about money transfers? Who will prepare paperwork? Who will lead a certain appointment and who will take notes and manage follow-up details?   Who will take out the trash?!

We value our team greatly and recognize that each person’s role is meaningful. We cannot function as a “one man show.” It makes the most sense to use each person’s skills to the best end result and to allow people to work in areas that are fulfilling and meaningful for them. So let me pause and say a big “Thank You!” to my staff.

WHOSE JOB IS IT

Did you know that your money also has a job to do? What that job is depends on YOU—your goals for the money, how close you are to retirement (or other life transition), what tax registration you used to open the account, etc.

Most of us spend our entire working lives...working for money. It is quite a different thing to have our money...working for us. But that is exactly what your end goal should be. You didn’t work simply to accumulate money.

When we have a conversation with clients about retirement, saving for college funding or a new home, setting up small business retirement plans, and so forth—we focus on what the client needs the money to be doing, now or several years down the road. Quite often, various account registrations (retirement accounts vs non-retirement accounts) are used to accomplish different things. For example, if I want to save for a down payment needed 4 years from now, I wouldn’t want to create an account that is an IRA. The rules to access retirement accounts can be prohibitive for short-term goals. On the other hand, if I am saving for retirement (whether systematically over time or with occasional lump-sum amounts), it is prudent to use an IRA, Roth IRA, or other retirement account registration. Then the rules generally work in my favor.

Each account you currently have has a tax registration, making it either qualified (for retirement) or non-qualified (not for retirement.) Inside of that “tax wrapper” you can have various type of investments. Both the tax registration AND the type of investment can help you accomplish the jobs you need to have done.

It is time to have your money working for you. Let us help you look at both the tax registration AND the type of investments you have to “get the job done!”

Client Snapshots

We have the privilege of working with a variety of clients, both locally and across the country. The demographic is broad — young and old, working and retired—in all walks of life. We get to listen to their stories, hear about their first grandchild, learn when an adult child is succeeding in their job, wrestle through financial hardship with them, grieve over lost loved ones or difficult family issues. When we hear about a new baby coming or a new job, we enjoy sending a little note or some helpful information for that new phase of life. WE LOVE OUR CLIENTS!

We recently had a couple of clients bring us homebaked goodies. This was both yummy and heart-warming, helping us feel their love and kindness in return. We aren’t begging for goodies…but we do value the personal side of the relationships we have built.

Planning Ahead for Charitable Giving

Tax season has come to a close (besides those who file extensions) but it is a great time to look ahead to next year. If you are charitably inclined, here are some great ways to give to your church or charity AND experience maximum tax benefit.

Qualified Charitable Distributions QCDs

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs for short) are a means of giving from your IRA direct to charity. There are some rules to follow but the advantages can be great for you and for your church or favorite charity.

· You can start when you turn 70 1/2.

· It can only come from an IRA (not a 401k, etc.) and must be given directly to the church or charity, not deposited into your account first.

· This can be especially advantageous when you reach RMD (required minimum distribution) age. If you must withdraw from your IRA anyway, why not direct some of it to charitable giving and experience a win-win taxwise?

Scholarship Granting Organizations SGO

In Ohio and some other states, you can receive a credit for monetary donations made to eligible scholarship granting organizations. In Ohio, for example, you can receive a credit of up to $750 individual or $1500 filing jointly for what you give. The list of approved SGOs for Ohio is found at charitable.ohioago.gov -> choose Scholarship Granting Organizations -> scroll to the bottom for a list. These scholarships can benefit students attending private faith-based schools.

There is an article (slightly dated) from the US Gov’t Accountability Office that shows a list of states that offer a similar tax credit.

Donor-Advised Fund DAF

In certain situations, you may wish to take advantage of the tax breaks allowed for making a sizeable charitable contribution. This can happen if you sell a farm or business, receive a buyout, etc. Some high wage-earners simply want to give large amounts in their highest earnings years to plan for giving they want to do throughout retirement. In situations like this, it can be advantageous to utilize a donor-advised fund. Our office has set up many accounts like this for clients and it is a great charitable giving AND tax-saving tool. Let us explain the details to you and see if it might be a good fit for your charitable plan.

WATCHING THE MARKET

WATCHING THE MARKET

Can we “talk turkey” for a minute? It can be wildly frustrating to watch the market. If you doubt that, buckle up for this years’ election volatility.

VOL•A•TIL•I•TY “a tendency to change quickly and unpredictably”

In election years, there can be increased volatility because no one knows what the future holds. Tax laws are up for potential change. Interest rates are manipulated. Companies tend to experience some inertia until they see where things are going.

Client Centered

We have found that when individuals react as some companies do (inertia, “I’ll wait because I’m unsure”, etc) they not only lose opportunity but they lose heart. Watching the market and hoping to wisely navigate it can be challenging and emotionally draining.

What if, instead of riding the roller coaster of emotions and volatility, you chose to focus on the job you have given your money to do—and watch its ability to do it!?

That sounds lazy!

Don’t I have to watch the news and get outraged?

I’ve watched the S&P my entire adult life.

My question to you is—where has it gotten you? When you watch the market with the thought that doing so will help you outsmart the market, is that what happens?

This isn’t “just” a spiritual question but there is a spiritual component. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Instead, some better questions might be:

· Am I achieving my goals?

· Is my money doing the job I gave it to do?

· Is my investment approach giving me peace or not?

· Is this something I should actively deal with on my own or should I work with a trusted professional who does this for a living?

· What am I really good at? What do I care most about?

We mentioned earlier in the newsletter that we have clients from all walks of life. That includes people who truly enjoy (and understand) investing and those who neither enjoy nor understand it—and everything in between. Most people do not enjoy the intricacies of tax law, take the time to be made aware of investment options, “do the math” to figure out Social Security planning, or know the rules involved in estate considerations, etc.  Some people enjoy aspects of that, but they have other activities and responsibilities that prevent them from giving time and attention to all things financial. Others really don’t want to be in the driver’s seat at all.

At Faith Investment Services, we value and respect these differences. We try really hard to tailor our plans to fit the level of involvement and interest our clients have. We encourage you, no matter how good you are at financial things, to not let these details rob your joy. Let us help you “give your money a job to do!” so that you can go   enjoy life. Call us today!