A Social Security Primer: Breaking Down Your Options

When to claim social security benefits is one of the biggest questions when thinking about retiring. Your retirement income will likely come from various sources, and each will fit into your financial plan in different ways. Still, for most people, social security represents a risk-free source of retirement income. How do you maximize that income? It’s a delicate balance.

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Staying Stable With Sudden Wealth

Even when the influx of a large amount of money is a happy event, it can provoke many uncomfortable feelings. There can be even more emotions at play when it is an inheritance, a sale of family property, or even a business exit.

And then there’s the cash itself – what do you do with it? Should it change your financial plan? Should you gift it to others? Charities? Splurge wildly? Pretend it didn’t happen?

There’s no right answer to what to do with the money, but some sensible steps can put you in a better position to make good decisions that are right for you now and in the future.

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The College Payment Puzzle For High-Earning Families

Those four years when your child is in college can be a rollercoaster ride, but the scariest part for high-earning parents can be figuring out how to pay for it. It can be tempting to put your own goals on hold while you shoulder the big-but-temporary new burden.

A better strategy for paying for college while keeping your goals on track is to build the right short-list of colleges together with your child and maximize financial strategies. For families that make too much to qualify for financial aid, college funding likely won’t come from just one source. It’s about putting together a plan that draws from several buckets:

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GMB #144: The Long Term Care Insurance Landscape With Matt McCann

The need for long-term care has been steadily increasing over the last decade, primarily due to our aging demographics and retiring baby boomers. This week on Grow Money Business, our guest is one of the nation’s leading experts in long-term care insurance. Matt McCann, the managing editor at LTCNews.com, and Principal Owner/Long Term Care Planning Specialist at McCann Insurance Services, joins us to dive deep into the structure of long-term care insurance policies. Throughout the episode Grant and Matt discuss available options as well as some opportunities to reduce the costs associated with long-term care insurance.



Show Notes

[02:05] Matt’s Journey – Matt shares how his career started in radio and transitioned into insurance.

[05:28] The Need for Long-term Care – Matt explains how the changes in our population have increased the need for long-term care and how different states are responding to this situation.

[15:09] Insurance & Financial Planning – Matt shares his thoughts on the costs associated with long-term care and how those affect the financial strength and investments of a person.

[23:40] Regulations & Pricing – Grant and Matt discuss how the regulations related to long-term care insurance have been updated in recent years, as well as changes in pricing models that followed.

[30:57] Tax-free Exchanges – Matt explains the process of a tax-free exchange, which allows life insurance policyholders to get long-term care without actually writing a check.

[34:37] Insurance for Business – Matt shares some of the tax benefits business owners can get by arranging long-term care insurance for their employees.

[42:03] Family & Emotional Impact – Matt discusses how familial concerns can be solved by planning for long-term care insurance, as well as how insurance relates to retirement planning.

[45:52] Options for Long-term Care – Matt shares several options available for people who are in need of long-term care.




GMB Ep #143: The Back to Front of Cryptocurrency Taxation With Micah Fraim

Cryptocurrency as an investment is relatively new, especially compared to other investment vehicles such as stocks and bonds. Because of this, there is a lot of confusion and a lack of guidance around how taxation applies to cryptocurrency-based investments. This week on Grow Money Business, we are joined by Micah Fraim, a Certified Public Accountant who specializes in crypto taxes. Throughout the episode, we take a dive deep into the tax aspect of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other blockchain-based assets.



Show Notes

[02:01] Getting to Know Micah – We start the conversation with a brief look at Micah’s career and how he got into his current line of work in taxation for cryptocurrency.

[04:12] Taxation for Crypto – Micah dives into the limitations of our current tax system in relation to cryptocurrency and  virtual assets, as well as some of the attempts that have been taken to introduce legislation related to cryptocurrencies.

[10:45] Tax Basics – Grant and Micah discuss some of the most basic tax concepts related to investments and how they apply to cryptocurrencies.

[15:47] Opportunities – Micah shares some of the opportunities that arise along with a crypto bear market.

[25:31] NFTs – Micah explains the current tax code’s application to NFTs and how the wide range of use cases available for NFTs will call for more advanced tax rules.

[30:44] Play-to-earn Games – Micah shares his thoughts on how games are introducing new in-game economies and how they are connected to crypto investments.

[35:38] Tracking Crypto Transactions – Micah discusses how to track crypto transactions across multiple trading platforms for taxation purposes.

[42:06] Audit Risks – Micah dives into the risks that could arise from irregularities in crypto transactions that are reported to the IRS.

[44:41] Crypto as Payments – Grant and Micah discuss some important considerations for business owners who are accepting payments in cryptocurrencies and how it may affect business operations.

[50:00] Future of Crypto – Micah shares his thoughts on how cryptocurrency projects may evolve in the near future, as well as how the regulations may be adjusted to match the innovations in the crypto space.




Avoiding the Penalty for Early Roth IRA Withdrawals

The advantage of the Roth IRA is that you pay the taxes before you contribute, so your money grows tax-free, and no taxes are due on withdrawals. The problem is that the account is considered a retirement account, so there is generally a 10% penalty for early withdrawals before 59 ½.

Roth IRAs are also subject to something called the “five-year rule” that determines if taxes are due.

However, there are some situations where you can withdraw funds before the minimum age without paying the penalty. This can come in handy if you need cash to buy a first home, pay for college, or if your family grows.

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How to Have “The Talk” With Your Aging Parents

Whether it builds gradually or something happens to spark it – there’s a moment in adulthood when you realize that you need to care for the people that cared for you.

Getting a plan in place to care for your parents means balancing your respect and love for them with their autonomy and independence.

There are more resources now than ever before to help keep the aging process secure, graceful, and independent. At the same time, there are resources to help adult children address problems, keep their own lives on track, and get the support they need.

But it can be complicated to get started. The parent-child dynamic resists change from both sides, money will be involved, and every party to the conversation will be uncertain about how to approach it and what will come next.

All that can mean stressful, tearful, difficult conversations. Or avoiding the topic altogether.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’ve created a short primer to help you get started and think through the issues.

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Maximizing the Tax Advantages of Business Ownership

Growing your business across every measure is the priority for business owners, no matter their stage.

  • Just starting out and working to be revenue-positive or coping with early income
  • In the mid-stage and building your strategy and tactics for long-term growth
  • Late-stage revenue maximization for exit planning

Every stage brings different things to tackle, but they all have one thing in common – taxes. Business owners have unique tax advantages. The key to maximizing them is not leaving it until your annual meeting with your tax accountant. It means creating a multi-year strategy that works as your business grows and your profits, activities, plant and equipment, strategies, etc., evolve.

An effective tax plan will be flexible and customized to your own business and personal situation, but there are some areas common to all good tax strategies that will help you get started.

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GMB Ep #142: Using Pricing Strategy to Create Business Value

Pricing is a potent tool that businesses can use to increase profitability as well as the value of the company. However, at times, increasing the price of a product or service can be scary for a lot of small businesses. This week on Grow Money Business, we have a fascinating conversation with an expert in pricing, Robert Ribciuc. Robert is the managing partner of EBITDA Catalyst, a firm that helps businesses improve their pricing strategy. Throughout the episode, we dive into why pricing strategy is important to businesses of all sizes and some of the key things business owners should consider when setting prices for their products and services.



Show Notes

[02:37] Robert’s Story – We start the conversation with a brief look at Robert’s career journey, what led him to start his firm, EBITDA Catalyst, and how it helps businesses improve their pricing strategy.

[04:57] Impact of Pricing – The role pricing plays in the success of a business and how it impacts the valuation of the company in the long term.

[11:59] Acquisitions – Robert shares his thoughts on how the pricing strategy of a business comes into play in an acquisition.

[16:25] Pricing in a Competitive Market – For small businesses in very competitive markets, increasing the price of goods or services can be scary. Robert dives into how to identify good opportunities for higher prices and how to deal with the anxiety that comes with it.

[21:23] Pricing and Cost – What business owners should consider when adjusting pricing to compensate for the costs that have gone up.

[29:47] Value Proposition and Pricing – How business can adjust their pricing in a way that generates maximum returns according to the value provided to the customer.

[34:07] Mission-driven Pricing – Robert shares his take on the unique opportunity that smaller businesses have to optimize their businesses towards goals and causes other than just profit.

[37:00] Evaluating Value – What business owners should consider when evaluating their value proposition in turbulent market conditions.

[41:19] Monetizing Innovation – Robert shares his thoughts on pricing for new products or services.

[46:40] SMB Bootcamp – Robert shares his excitement about his Small and Medium Business Pricing Bootcamp, while discussing some of the most rewarding aspects of working with entrepreneurs.



GMB Ep #141: A Venture Capital Vet’s Building Blocks For Success

This week on Grow Money Business, distinguished guest Rick Dennen joins us. Rick is Chief Corporate Banking Officer at First Financial Bank and the founder of Oak Street Funding. Having evaluated hundreds of business deals over his decades-long career, Rick has a lot of knowledge and experience in venture capital. In today’s episode, we dive into what business owners should keep in mind when funding their business ventures with debt or equity.



Show Notes

[02:49] Rick’s Story – We start the discussion with a brief look at Rick’s career and how he started Oak Street Funding.

[07:52] Working with Banks – When Rick started his firm in the early 2000’s, banks were reluctant to lend to service-based businesses even though they had positive cashflows. We dive into the reasons behind this behavior and how things have changed after two decades.

[11:35] Recent Market Shifts – Rick shares his thoughts on how the M&A market is responding to the recent changes in the economy.

[15:28] Debt vs. Equity – Rick explains what business owners need to consider when deciding between taking on debt and looking for an equity partner.

[21:29] Lessons for Businesses – Rick shares some key takeaways about funding and the growth of a business.

[24:48] Evaluating Businesses – How Rick approaches evaluating a new business idea and the metrics used for measuring performance.

[27:15] Business & Parenting – Rick is the father of three children in their early 20s. We talk about how they are involved in business and why Rick approaches business-related conversations with his children.

[34:48] What’s Next for Rick – We talk about Rick’s area of focus and future plans for his new role at the bank.