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Estate Planning - Even the Famous Can't Escape It

“Even though I have a big presentation to give at work tomorrow, it’s my mother’s birthday, and I promised to coach my daughter’s soccer practice tonight, I think I’d really like to take a top-down look at my overall estate plan today,” said no one ever!! October 17-23 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. While that may not sound terribly exciting, it is vitally important.
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Medicare Open Enrollment is Here - How Do Costs Stack Up for 2023?

Medicare's Open Enrollment Period — which runs from October 15 through December 7 — is your annual opportunity to switch your current Medicare health and prescription drug plans to ones that better suit your needs. Just in time for Open Enrollment, 2023 Medicare premiums, deductibles, and other costs have been announced, and surprisingly (refreshingly!), some of these costs are lower than they were last year.
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Money Talk! October 2022

Equity and bond markets alike continued to struggle in the third quarter of 2022 making it one of the worst starting nine month stretches in decades. Most asset classes touched new yearly low points which were previously reached just a few months prior in June. Broad based fixed income markets offered little ballast.
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Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law on August 16, 2022 and it includes health-care and energy-related provisions, a new corporate alternative minimum tax, and an excise tax on certain corporate stock buybacks. Additional funding is also provided to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help fund operations and improve the enforcement of tax laws. But will it reduce inflation?  
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Interview with our CIO on Inflation and "What To Do Now?"

What do we tell our clients during "normal" market conditions to prepare for the inevitable downturns? How are we responding to inflation? And the BIG question during any market retractive period - Is it different this time? Listen in to find out more.
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Money Talk! July 2022

The first half of 2022 is now behind us, but what a difficult market environment it was: the U.S. "stock markets post[ed] [the] worst first half of a year in over five decades" and investors appear to be "bracing for more volatility ahead" (Source: WSJ). Even broad-based U.S. bonds are down 11% year-to-date (as measured by the Bloomberg Aggregate Bond Index) - the typically more stable part of a portfolio.
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Bear Market and Interest Rates - Is it Really Different this Time?

It's official - the bear is back! For how long? Gas prices eating your lunch? Inundated by the pundits who have predicted a market retraction for years finally claiming victory (of sorts)? Anyone preaching market corrections long enough WILL eventually be right, as markets have always had regular down cycles followed each time by new highs. So the million dollar question - IS this time different?
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Property Tax Planning Opportunities and Considerations

Good news - bad news! Property values are UP! Way up in many states. That's great news for balance sheets and sellers alike. However, commensurately, property taxes are up, and home owner's insurance valuations should be re-visited.
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Money Talk! April 2022

INFLATION, INTEREST RATES, AND WAR, OH MY! The start to 2022 has been chock full of global news and seen a return of market volatility. Interest rates are on the rise for the first time in what seems like forever, the Russian War with Ukraine began, and oil prices spiked and have sustained around $100/barrel. Not quite the headlines we were hoping to replace COVID-19 or the global shipping crisis. Fortunately, at least in the U.S. for the first time in several years, there were things other tha
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Kirby Jacobson Live! Money Matters in Lubbock, TX

Tune in to listen to a discussion of Money Matters on the Dan Baze show in Lubbock, TX. Kirby Jacobson is interviewed and discusses a variety of financial matters relevant to all of us.
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The Market's Wild Ride! 1/25/2022

Market corrections can produce strong emotions, but "calm is contagious". Read our most recent newsletter below on the current volatility. These events are "normal" and in fact, often healthy. A person’s long-term financial plan is not built in a day, nor should significant changes be made in a day, so we continue to advocate patience and discipline particularly in times of heightened market activity such as these.
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December 31, 2021 Quarterly Update

Welcome to 2022! Just a quick note to let you know that your Quarterly Report is available now in your portal (along with your December TD Ameritrade account statements). See the Documents/Statements/Portfolio Statements folder for your Quarterly Report, and the Documents/Statements/Custodial Statements folder to see your account statements directly from TD Ameritrade. Notice the Tax Statements folder as well - TD will publish all tax documents for your accounts directly to this folder when avai
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2021 Holiday Greeting from our Team to You!

Welcome to your 2021 holiday season!  We are sending best wishes for joyous reunions, health and fellowship over the weeks to come.

We thought we might share a tiny bit of ourselves this year in our digital greeting so that you might come to know your advisory team just a little more personally. 

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October 2021 Market Commentary

Highlights The third quarter of 2021 started out with continued strength across equity markets, before backtracking during the month of the September. Most headlines pointed to several issues that surfaced in the quarter as cause for the pull back, including geopolitical concerns domestically and abroad, economic impacts from the delta variant, concerns that continued supply chain disruptions and labor shortages may cause more persistent inflation pressures, and messaging from the Federal Reser
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Guarding Against the Cyber Hooligans!

We recognize that there are numerous resources available to help you "stay safe out there." We are, however, keenly interested and invested in ensuring your digital interactions with us and others are as safe as reasonably possible. Transferring information to/with us via your portal is your first step in that direction. Please let us know if you ever need help accessing any of your information provided through that secure site.
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Financial FOMO?

Anybody ever make a bad decision rooted in fear?  I bet the families that paid kickbacks to illicitly get their kids into Ivy League schools might now believe they did. Or maybe the teenager that went along with the crowd to fit in -- at the expense of their own values or safety.  Or maybe a few of the ‘get rich quick’ investors might be rethinking their decisions.  They were all afraid of missing out on ______.  This is such a common catalyst that it has garnered
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What a Difference a Year Makes!

Just a little more than a year ago (March 23rd, 2020), U.S. stock markets hit their pandemic low, uncertainty and fear were rampant, gatherings and businesses were shutting down, shortages of masks, paper goods, ventilators and knowledge were the headlines, and Covid was just beginning to really take its hold in the United States. Fast forward one year later.  Covid’s death toll has turned out to be much higher than the experts’ worst predictions, we have weathered an extre
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Estate Planning - Following the Death of a Loved One

Losing a loved one can be a difficult experience. Yet, during this time, you must complete a variety of tasks and make important financial decisions. You may need to make final arrangements, notify various businesses and government agencies, settle the individual's estate, and provide for your own financial security. The following checklist may help guide you through the matters that must be attended to upon the death of a family member.
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What's Next? And, "Thank you" to our Nation's Military and their Families

With the election largely behind us, we continue to anticipate volatility until there is more certainty on the way ahead for the Presidency, the Senate race and the continued impact of the Coronavirus.So how then should you proceed as an investor? Hopefully you were able to review our pre-election message which encourages calm amidst the uncertainty.More practically, the impact of Biden’s tax proposals at this point largely rest on whether the Senate remains red (as expected) or flips blue
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Market Volatility, Crises and Rebounds

Welcome to summer 2020! We hope this writing finds you and yours healthy and whole as we begin to edge into a new normal.It has been almost three months since the U.S. largely became locked-down in an attempt to manage the surge of the pandemic and our health care system’s capacity to respond. Three months seems like a lifetime in Covid years. We have witnessed unparalleled races for testing and vaccines, war-time level production of ventilators and PPE equipment, superhuman efforts of our
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Risk Mitigation - Insurance Planning and Protecting Your Nest Egg

You’re working hard to reach your goals. Let's assess your insurance need (if any) and suggest tools to mitigate loss. Please understand we do NOT sell insurance.
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Buy or Lease?

Ever Find Yourself Here? • It’s going to cost more to fix your old clunker than the book value is worth. • Your teenagers can’t quite seem to share the single car you thought would work out just great between them. • You need a new vehicle for work – some professions just require the right vehicle (maybe a truck for construction work or a sedan for sales). • Your family is growing in number and/or size. The three boys just simply can’t fit in the car anymore now that they are all teenagers,
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Estate Planning - Sample Ethical Will

This is a personal document to be passed on to your loved ones. Stories, dreams, hopes, values...this is your document to communicate a lasting legacy as you wish.
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Estate Planning - Letter of Instruction Template

A letter of instruction (also called a testamentary letter or side letter) is an informal, non-legal document that generally accompanies your will and is used to express your personal thoughts and directions regarding what is in the will (or about other things, such as your burial wishes or where to locate other documents). This can be the most helpful document you leave for your family members and your executor/executrix.
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Estate Planning - Getting Your Ducks in a Row

“Even though I have a big presentation to give at work today, it’s my mother’s birthday, and I promised to coach my daughter’s soccer practice tonight, I think I’d really like to take a top-down look at my overall estate plan today,” said no one ever.
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The Math of Charitable Giving Using Appreciated Securities

There are probably nearly as many ways and reasons to give as there are organizations and individuals seeking support. Our time, skills and resources are always in demand! The recent hurricanes and other natural disasters have prompted us to remind our clients and our community of one of the most tax efficient ways to give to charitable causes. We understand this method is not as feasible when trying to move funds immediately, however, with a little planning, this is approach is worthy of consid
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Tax Loss Harvesting - "Making Lemonade Out of Lemons"

The Strategy: Markets go up and markets go down over the course of an economic cycle, but the long-term trend is “Up and to the Right", making all downturns thus far temporary. Why not take advantage of the dips as well as the gains? We believe you can benefit from either conditon. Here's how.
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And Baby Makes Three

What to Financially Expect When You are Expecting So you're going to have or adopt a baby. Congratulations! Every member of our Astoria Strategic Wealth team has children, and, without exception, we agree it’s the most challenging yet best experience in our lives. While there are few moments that we may not echo that sentiment quite as enthusiastically (“You left your shoes where? Again?!”), we personally understand there is nothing like children to bring into laser-focus, and action, our stated
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Top Tips for Newlyweds

As you join together in marriage, we respectfully submit the following to help you start off on the right financial foundation. How you manage money for your lives will be an integral part of your success as a couple.
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Top 10 Tips for Grads - And Not Bad for the Rest of Us!

At Astoria Strategic Wealth, our Principals are 20+ (in some cases 30+) years removed from graduation from college, but as we think about some of the more valuable lessons learned, understanding the time value of money stands out as one of the most useful. We have often said that this concept and other sound financial principles should be required to be taught at the high school level. Unfortunately, in most instances, they are not. 
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The "New Retirementality" Part II - Are YOU "Old?"

Are You “Old” , and What Does Work Look Like if you Are? The New “Retirementality” Continued…  
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The New "Retirementality" - Ending the Social Experiment

One of the first questions many people ask us is, “When can I retire?” While we are grateful that people are asking us this question before they have already retired (versus after and then subsequently wondering if they’ll run out of money), it is important to note that the concepts around retirement are fortunately shifting. Many people instead are asking, “How can I live a longer and more satisfying life?”
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