Broker Check

Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

Why We Learn

Serving clients well is our passion. I could stop right there! Our valued clients are why we exist, and it is
our privilege to help with financial planning, life decisions, and making dreams and goals become a
reality.


Among other things, having a well-rounded education helps us do that. I’ve been fortunate to have many
educational opportunities before and during my career at Faith Investment Services. Last year, at this
time, I finished and passed my Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC©) designation. This was the culmination
of two years’ work through the American College of Financial Services, for which I had received a
full scholarship. After completion, I had a casual conversation with my co-worker, Susannah, about what
we (as a business) and I (as an adviser) should “tackle” next.


Susannah, as usual, had many great ideas. One of her last suggestions was, ‘You should just go and test
for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP©) designation…’ The thought of immediately returning to the
testing and studying world did not thrill me, and I made every excuse I could to Susannah and myself.
“My wife is pregnant, we’re in the process of moving our office, we just finished business succession
planning and are deep into getting everything changed, I’m in the middle of renovating our new office,
etc.” (Full disclosure: Josh, Vern, and Kathi shared in the many long days getting our new office ready.
I am thankful for their construction expertise and experience.) Despite all of that, Susannah wasn’t
buying it!


Five minutes after we finished talking, I received an email from the American College. In short, I was
notified that I had just received another scholarship to attend a CFP© study course to test in July. (Our
baby was due in August!) With my wife’s blessing and my coworkers’ encouragement, I went back to
school. During my two or three-week reprieve between schooling, we finished renovating our new office
and moved to our new location. Then from March to July, I studied, reviewed, and ultimately passed the
exam in mid-July.


The ChFC© and CFP© exams helped to hone skills and knowledge I was already using in my role as lead
adviser. These include:
• understanding the client’s personal and financial situation
• identifying goals (such as where do you see yourself in 5 years and what do you want this money to
do for you)
• analyzing the current path or plan and considering alternatives
• making recommendations (to better meet the stated goals)
• presenting the recommendation in a way that informs and educates (no question is a stupid one)
• THEN, and only then, helping the client to make some changes if they want to do so
• Staying in relationship so that we can monitor the plans and adjust as “life happens”
As I said earlier, our valued clients are why we exist. We want to know you, walk alongside you, and
participate in your financial success. Everyone on Faith Investment Services’ staff has taken specialized
training to enhance our ability to serve clients well. We will continually seek
opportunities to learn, expand, and grow to be better prepared to serve you.

Can I contribute to my retirement account?

Many people have the opportunity to make a 2023 contribution to their Roth or Traditional IRA until the time they file their 2023 taxes (or April 15, whichever is sooner.)


Why should I contribute: A Traditional IRA contribution can help reduce your tax bill. A Roth IRA contribution will provide tax-deferred growth and tax-free withdrawals if rules are met. Either one can be good, depending on what you want to accomplish.


How do I know if I can: If you are married, both you and your spouse can contribute if you meet the following criteria:

  • You (or spouse) have earned income greater than contribution.
  • You and/or your spouse do not exceed the earnings level that allows contributions. For 2023, as long as you earned less than $153K (single) or $228K (married fling joint) you can make the maximum contributions.
  • Annual Roth IRA contribution limits in 2023 are the same as traditional IRAs: You can contribute $6,500 a year if you're under 50, or $7,500 if you're 50 or older.
  • What about for 2024? You can contribute now (or anytime until next April 15.) The contribution limits for 2024 increase to $7,000 for those under 50, and $8,000 for those 50 and above. Income levels will increase to $161K (single) and $240K (MFJ)

We can help: We help people understand their tax situation and then decide whether Traditional or Roth makes the most sense. Some people have other options to consider such as SEP IRAs for small business owners.

Having a conversation like this isn’t just for rich people or older people who are ready to retire.


If you are earning income, this is a conversation you should be having and we are happy to help. Call our office to request a free, no obligation appointment. We will ask for information so that our answer is tailor-fit to your situation but providing some basic information is the only “cost” to meet with us.

How else can I save on taxes?

If you participate in a high-deductible healthcare plan, you qualify for an HSA (health savings account.) This is a great “hidden gem” in the tax planning world. An HSA has 3 ways to save on taxes: deposits are tax-deductible, growth is tax-deferred, and spending is tax-free. Most people understand and LOVE that deposits are tax-deductible and spending is tax-free. What some people miss, though, is that growth is tax-deferred. What if I don’t spend the money on my medical costs?? What if I pay medical expenses out-of-pocket and let the HSA grow? (Taxes deferred for a long time—even though I got a tax deduction on the money going in…mind blown!) Using an HSA like this is like having another (even better) Roth IRA for retirement. We can help you plan, save, and invest your HSA for long-term growth. Don’t miss this hidden gem!

Time Value Of Decisions

Maybe you have heard of the time value of money. The time value of money (TVM) is a core financial principle that states a sum of money is worth more now than in the future. Why? Investopedia puts it this way, “...money can...grow only through investing so a delayed investment is a lost opportunity.”


In our office, we also talk about the time value of decisions. A decision made today can yield good results sooner, for a longer period of time. Without a decision, you essentially have a lost opportunity.


This core life principle is important to counteract inertia. If you don’t do anything (explore anything, decide anything, act…) you are stuck and have lost an opportunity for lasting good, long into the future. We believe that making decisions is key.


Just like financial investing, though, decision investing has potential to “go either way.” You can have gains or losses. So making GOOD decisions that yield positive results in your life is also key.


We love having the opportunity to help people explore, decide, and act on their decisions. We offer insight from a unique perspective:


1) Our office “retires” once or twice a week. (That is, we help folks with the intricate details and decisions of leaving their regular employment and shifting to living off of their investments.) We’ve seen a few things! We aren’t new to the process at all.


2) We aren’t emotionally attached to the decision. We can (and do) offer analytical advice that isn’t driven by emotion. We are definitely sympathetic to the emotions involved in financial decisions—it is not our goal to be unfeeling. But you will get objective, honest insight from us.


3) This is “our world.” We know investment products, we consider tax ramifications, we are aware of landmines or potential pitfalls. We understand income planning and estate planning. This is not our hobby or a point of casual interest. We are trained to quarterback your team! We expect our clients to participate with us at varying levels of interest—some people love investing and are more engaged, some admit they don’t understand or enjoy the process. Either way is ok! Our first priority is helping you take care of yourself and your family. We want to learn more about your personal situation, identify your dreams and goals, and understand your tolerance for risk. Long-term relationships that encourage open and honest communication have been the cornerstone of my foundation of success.

Are You Reaching a Key Age?

Age 50 - you’re getting a bonus! At age 50, you can begin making “catch up” contributions to your IRAs.


Age 59 1/2—Many folks who are 59 1/2 or older do an in-service distribution to an IRA without tax penalty. (The funds remain tax-deferred) The 401k stays open and the employee can continue to contribute and get the employer match, as long as they are working. This can give more investment options and can also give you the ability to have Biblically Responsible Investing options in your account, if that is important to you. It could be a win-win for you! Employer plans generally have limited offerings for you to invest in such as target date funds, select mutual fund holdings, etc. We can help you understand whether you are using appropriate investments for your age and risk tolerance.


Age 62—This is the earliest age at which you can draw Social Security (unless you are a qualifying widow.) When should you start Social Security? What if you are still working? How does it affect your spouse or adult child with disabilities? Would you like to have a review of your situation and learn some of the rules that apply to you?


Age 70 1/2—This is the age where you can begin to make qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) to save on taxes while giving to church or charity. We’d be happy to explain your options! Another win-win!


Age 73—This is the age where you are required by the IRS to make withdrawals from your retirement accounts. These withdrawals (required minimum distributions or RMDs) are required so that the government can begin to tax the funds that have been tax-deferred for so long during your earnings years. There is a hefty penalty for not making the required withdrawal so it is important to understand and plan for these necessary withdrawals.