We work for our clients. It’s that simple. We value the work of our partner firms (mutual fund companies and custodians), but we never forget who we serve and our fiduciary duty to them. To that end, you should know we routinely ask our partners for better options and lower fees – when and where appropriate. Hill Investment Group is pleased to announce significant fee reductions related to 14 funds in our recommended portfolios. The largest reduction is a 20% drop in fund expenses and the smallest change is 3.6% in one of our fixed-income solutions. Big or small alterations, it’s good news and savings for clients. We will not list individual funds here, but look forward to sharing the details with you during your next review. For now, we end this post with a quote from Dimensional Co CEO Gerard O’Reilly:
“We expect to do better than benchmarks and peers, after fees, so we fight for every basis point. We continue to gain insights from research and innovate across all aspects of our process.”
One of the services we provide for our clients is social security optimization. We like for you to get the maximum benefit from the system you’ve paid into for most of your life. For as much bad publicity as the Social Security Administration receives, it does oversee one of the few guaranteed programs backed by the federal government. Social security may not be the primary source of one’s income but it can provide a stable stream in retirement.
REMINDER: It is important to ensure your benefits reflect what you’ve earned over your working life.
In an attempt to reduce costs, the Social Security Administration has greatly curtailed the number of statements mailed each year and encourages workers to check their information online. In fact, for people under 60 the SSA no longer mails statements and only allows users to view their information online. We recommend that all individuals establish an online account and check it annually. This allows you to see your estimated benefits at different ages as well as provides an opportunity to safeguard against identity theft and fraud by checking your earnings history.
To review your Social Security information, go to www.ssa.gov to set up your personal account.
There are many aspects of wealth management we cannot control. Tax codes evolve. Global events come and go. The markets will go up and down. By carefully minimizing taxes due, we can exert an important degree of control over maximizing end returns – the kind you get to keep as your own.
It starts with our annual tax packets. Each year, we aggregate our clients’ Form 1099s from Schwab, and deliver them to their tax professionals for timely and efficient tax-filing.
That’s just one small thing. We are working all year round to help our clients keep a lid on their taxes due. Below are additional examples:
- Asset Location: Locating the most tax-efficient holdings in taxable accounts, and the least tax-efficient holdings in tax-deferred or tax-free accounts, to minimize a portfolio’s overall taxes due.
- Tax-Loss Harvesting: Acting on opportunities to reduce taxes through tax-loss harvesting when appropriate.
- Tax-Managed Funds: In taxable accounts, using tax-managed funds whenever possible, to reduce the capital gains and dividends that fund managers must pass on to shareholders.
- Tax-Favored Accounts: Helping clients establish tax-favored IRAs, 529 plan accounts, Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSAs) and similar accounts as appropriate.
- Charitable Giving: Helping clients shift their tax-wise charitable giving plans following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. For example, implementing Donor Advised Funds and Qualified Charitable Distributions when appropriate.
- Estate Planning: Collaborating with clients’ estate planning and insurance professionals to consider advanced planning strategies for minimizing and covering taxes due upon estate transfer.
So, this spring – or any time of year – let us know if you’d like to explore how you might increase your overall wealth by decreasing your taxes due.