Updates

What Will You Pay for Medicare in 2020?

Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts change annually. Here’s a look at some of the costs that will apply in 2020 if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare Part B premiums According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), most people with Medicare who receive Social Security benefits […]

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Weekly Update as of market close January 17, 2020

Each of the benchmark indexes listed here enjoyed strong gains last week, led by the Russell 2000, which climbed 2.53% to push its year-to-date gains to nearly 2.0%. The Dow has posted weekly gains for five of the last six weeks, the S&P 500 advanced for the second consecutive week, and the Nasdaq has risen […]

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TRACED Act Offers Consumers Additional Protections Against Robocalls

Whether at home, work or on a cell phone, it’s a scenario many Americans have found themselves in: answering a phone call only to find out it’s from an unwanted robocaller. In fact, the number of unwanted robocalls in this country has skyrocketed in recent years. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ranks unwanted robocalls highest […]

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Weekly Update as of market close January 10, 2020

Last Friday’s jobs report was a mixed bag of information. While 145,000 new jobs were added and the unemployment rate remained at 3.5%, wage growth was tepid in December to cap off a year of only moderate wage growth. This information, coupled with news that the Senate would receive the articles of impeachment this week, […]

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Two Trade Agreements Offer Optimism, But Uncertainty Remains

On December 13, 2019, the United States and China announced a “phase one” trade agreement just before new tariffs were scheduled to go into effect.1 Six days later, the House of Representatives passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in an overwhelming bipartisan vote, virtually assuring enactment of the long-awaited replacement to the North American Free […]

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Expectation

On a day to day basis, perceptions, expectations and the anxiety these produce determine the direction of stock prices. These daily emotional swings are ultimately supplanted by the underlying valuations of businesses. The underlying valuations of businesses are based on revenue and earnings. Bloomberg recently released the 2020 and 2021 consensus growth rate projections for […]

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Reviewing Wills and Trusts: What Planners Should Look For

Everyone should have an estate plan which has a will, a trust, or both. Although estate plans have a way of being dismissed once created, they cannot be filed away until needed. A regular review is required. The answers to the following questions may suggest redrafting is in order. Is the estate plan still tax […]

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Happy New Year

The last Friday of 2019 saw the S&P 500 settle 0.58% higher for the week and up 28.59% year to date and over 30% considering dividends. This is a far cry from the expectations of many market watchers last year when the index was down 19% for the quarter to date on Christmas Eve and […]

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Ask a Trust Officer: Dynasty Trusts

Dear Trust Officer: I’m intrigued by something I heard about recently called a “dynasty trust.”  What is that, and how does it work? — Legacy builder DEAR LEGACY BUILDER: Traditionally trusts with private beneficiaries were not permitted to last forever, but had to have a determinable end date.  This policy was enforced by the “rule […]

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Tax Law Changes Create Financial and Estate Plan Challenges

Lee Anne Thompson, E.R.P.A, Q.P.A., and Assistant Vice President & Employee Benefit Officer at The Trust Company of Kansas provided the 2020 retirement plan limits earlier this month. “The IRA contribution limit stays at $6,000 if the individual is younger than age 50 in 2019, and $7,000 if he or she attains age 50 or […]

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