Broker Check

Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

January 2019 - Tax Tips

The fourth quarter 2018 statements are coming out now and they are quite shocking. Wow! The stock market lost most all of it gains for the year – in December! December is usually a decent month for the stock market because of the general optimism that surrounds the holidays. This, coupled with some anticipated time off the markets, usually lends to calm. Not this time!

We have been talking about an expected market correction for several years now. Recent interest rate increases, a vociferous news media, and built in volatility (sharp increases and decreases within a short time period) worked to create something like a perfect storm. This was viewed in hindsight as market activities always are, so the question remains, “What does this mean moving forward?”

We never try to predict the market for our clients but follow prudent general investing principles. It is really common sense. A few of these guidelines are:

  1. Don’t be invested in the market if you have less than 5 years to “wait,” unless you have a high risk tolerance.
  2. The market is made up of many different areas of commerce and can be accessed through many different products and avenues.
  3. Don’t overreact to market corrections. Usually the market will come back, sometimes slow, sometime fast, but long term the market has generally moved upward - since the great depression! Example: as of this writing, the market has already recouped some of December’s downturn, the economy is basically strong, and unemployment and interest rates are still low.
  4. However, the market is never “guaranteed” to give you a positive return.
  5. Therefore - match your allocation to your honest risk tolerance.
  6. Expect higher volatility with higher risk.
  7. Not everyone needs to be in the market to get a decent return.
  8. It’s alright to have a portion of your savings in the market and some in a more secure or anchor position.
  9. Tax ramifications should be a part of every plan!
  10. One important thing to note – when the market has dropped, you can get into the market with “sale prices.” It might be advisable to make your 2018 and/or 2019 IRA contributions now while the market is low if you are in a risk-ready position.

I saved one main guideline for last. We firmly believe folks should not try to manage everything by them-selves. Self-examination is very difficult at best and can lead to an unrealistic and one-sided point of view. Asking questions of others is not a sign of weakness but actually a good indicator of intelligent analysis.

We have observed that many folks we have had conversations with are going through a period of transition. This may be the period 5 years before and after retirement, switching jobs or career paths, dealing with the loss of family members, health issues for themselves or others, inheritance situations, or temporary life pressures! Absolutely everyone goes through these at times. It may seem easier and less stressful to just muddle through to save time and energy. But we have found it can be exhilaratingly freeing to just have a conversation with advisers who care, aren’t trying to sell you anything, and are good listeners. We have many years of experience in helping folks with good processes in place to enhance the productivity of our conversations. You are welcome to contact us by phone, email, or our website.

Gary Reese



Have things changed for you — new home, new phone number or email, new child, family changes? Do you need to change your beneficiaries? Please take a moment and email We may simply need to update our files, but certain types of information should also be reported to the companies who hold your investments. Let us help you stay up-to-date!

If you are new to this mailing, we welcome you! If you don’t wish to receive it, you can email the address above to opt out.


EVERPLANS - Our clients and friends are able to get a complimentary subscription to Everplans through our office. This is a simple online tool that guides you through legal, financial, healthcare and personal decisions—a tool that ensures your wishes are met and your loved ones aren’t left with hassles. Email to request your complimentary membership.

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WE’VE MOVED!! We are now located at 101 N. Main St, Suite B (rear), Bluffton, OH 45817. The actual entrance is on the side of the 101 N Main Building, which also houses “Wonderfully Made” Boutique. Our main door faces Church St.  Our mailing address remains 177 Hillcrest Dr, Bluffton, OH 45817



If you are near retirement age, you have choices about when to begin taking your Social Security payments. If you are still working, there are some earnings limits to consider:

  • The 2019 earnings limit for people who turned age 66 in 2018 is $46,920. They deduct $1 from your benefits for each $3 you earn over $46,920 until the month you turn age 66. 
  • The 2019 earnings limit for people who are under age 66 all year is $17,640. There is a $1 deduction from your benefits for each $2 you earn over $17,640.

 The money that is withheld is later distributed to you over a period of time after Full Retirement Age, so it is not actually lost.



Would you like to have more control over how your 401(k), 403(b) or other company plan is invested? Maybe you’d like to have your retirement dollars invested according to your values or maybe you’d like to have professional management for your retirement funds. In either situation (or both), we can help you gain control.

Many plans allow for in-service distributions in part or in full, where you can have the money transferred directly into your own IRA. We would be glad to help you take control of your investments, to the extent that your employer allows. NOTE: You will want to work closely with our office to do this, so that you do not incur a taxable situation.

WE ARE NOT LONE RANGERS We work with a broker-dealer (B/D) called cfd Investments, based in Kokomo, Indiana. It is through our relationship with a broker-dealer that we are able to help clients invest in securities-related transactions. They provide back office support, assistance and oversight in areas of compliance, and ongoing training. We chose cfd Investments several years ago because of their commitment to Christian principles and their ethical track record. The owners, managers, and staff of this B/D are professional, warm and engaging, and very helpful to work with.



While we encourage folks to save long-term for retirement, the Roth IRA has a “hidden secret” that provides a ton of flexibility. When you have had any Roth IRA for a period of 5 years or more, you are able to withdraw the contribution portion (not the gains) without tax or penalty. There are many situations where this can be helpful:

  • Children’s education
  • Home purchase
  • Health concerns
  • Or any other emergency type situation

It is important to know that this can impact your savings for retirement, so it should not be done without careful consideration and advice.



Now is a good time to send in your IRA contributions for either 2018 or 2019 or both! You have until Tax Day to make a 2018 contribution and until next year to make a contribution for 2019. We can help you open a new IRA or make a deposit into an existing IRA. We’d also be glad to help you determine if this investment is right for you.

If you send a deposit directly to an existing IRA, please be careful to write the tax year you want it assigned to in the memo line of your check.


Will you or someone you know be inheriting tax-qualified money?

STOP! Before you accept any money through inheritance—you need to know about the tax impact! We strongly recommend that you talk to a trusted adviser BEFORE taking possession of any inheritance money. What you don’t know CAN hurt you!

Setting up a Beneficiary IRA (sometimes called Stretch IRA or Inherited IRA) can help you control the timing of the taxes you will pay on the inherited money. However, once you take possession of the money, you cannot go back and set up a Beneficiary IRA after the fact.

Call our office — we help people all the time to understand the tax implications of the decisions they are making. We’d be glad to help you!