Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tom Brunberg to lead Tax Department for Wade Financial Group

Wade Financial Group is proud to announce that, effective April 1, 2013, W. Thomas Brunberg has assumed leadership of the Wade Financial Group Tax Department, including our tax consulting services and Year Round Tax Planning Service.

Through these services, Wade Financial Group offers clients consultation and advice on minimizing tax impacts. Wade Financial Group is not an accounting firm and does not provide tax preparation or legal advice. We work together with the client’s CPA to implement our creative ideas for potential future tax savings, using our holistic view of our clients’ finances.

Tom brings more than 30 years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant. He has a substantial history of working with Minnesota’s wealthiest families, and is a Life Member of the Minnesota Society of CPAs.

Founder and CEO of Brunberg, Blatt and Company, Inc., a leading Minneapolis provider of tax and accounting services, Tom has served hundreds of high net worth individuals, with previous experience as Managing Tax Partner at the Minneapolis office of Pannel, Kerr, Forster (now PKF International) and Tax Manager at Ernst & Young.

Tom has been involved with Wade Financial Group since its founding, even providing office space in the company’s early days.

“I’ve known Jerry Wade since the late ‘80s,” Tom says. “I’ve always recognized him as highly ethical, skilled, and smart. That’s why I’ve been committed since day one to help him grow his wealth management practice.”

After selling his company to his partners, Tom gradually increased his time spent at Wade Financial Group, coming on board full-time in April 2012.

“My goals are to bring my tax expertise to bear for Wade Financial Group’s clients, and also to help Jerry continue to grow the culture of excellence and teamwork at the firm,” Tom says.

Founder Jerry Wade says, “Tom’s energy, creativity, and perspective as a tax veteran has been invaluable to our clients. His value will be magnified even more as he moves into this increased leadership capacity.”

Tom is available to Year Round Tax Planning Service clients as a first point of contact for any tax-related question. He can be reached at tom@wadefinancialgroup.com or at the Wade Financial Group main line: (763) 797-9577.

As always, thank you for choosing Wade Financial Group as your steadfast protector of wealth. We look forward to continuing to provide you with the rock-solid wealth management and investment advice required to navigate today’s financial markets.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Long-term care insurance: one of the best buys you can make

Planning for long-term care is an uncomfortable topic. It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that you—or your loved ones—might need it.

In fact, a 2012 Bank of America survey found that as of 2012, 68% of baby boomers had not purchased long-term care insurance for themselves or their spouse.

If you are among them, please consider the following statistics:
Median cost for a private room
in a Minnesota nursing home

  • Approximately 70% of people over the age of 65 require some form of long-term care, and 30% will receive nursing home care, according to a 2010 survey by Prudential.
  • The median annual cost for a private room in a Minnesota nursing home was $85,534, according to a 2012 Genworth Financial survey.
  • The median annual cost for a home health aide in Minnesota was $57,772, according to the same study. If you need a licensed nurse, that cost would be significantly higher.
With those numbers in mind, long-term care insurance looks like a steal. The average premium for a long-term care policy in 2005 (the latest figure available) was $1,918, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group. Long-term care insurance covers nursing home and/or home health care costs, up to a daily maximum.

What About Medicare and Medicaid?

If you find yourself in poor health and needing long-term care, under current law, Medicare is not going to come to your rescue. Medicare will pay only for medically necessary skilled nursing facility or home health care for up to 100 days if you meet certain conditions. After 20 days, you must pay a coinsurance, which was $137 per day in 2012.

In addition, Medicare does not pay home health aides to help with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom.

Currently, Medicaid pays for certain nursing home care for seniors with low incomes and limited assets. In most states, Medicaid also pays for some long-term care services at home and in the community. Services and eligibility vary from state to state. Under current law, you would need to deplete your assets before you are eligible for Medicaid benefits.

According to AARP, about 65 percent of nursing home residents are supported primarily by Medicaid, and it pays for 45 percent of the total nursing home bill.

The Takeaway 

Most of us will need long-term care at some point in our lives. Paying for it can be devastating to your finances. Acquiring long-term care insurance is a relatively painless way to know that you and your loved ones are prepared.

Learn more about the types of long-term care insurance in this AARP article, and talk to your Wade Financial Group Wealth Advocate about whether you should acquire long-term care insurance.

From Bob Smrekar, AIF®
Wealth Advocate

As a NAPFA-certified, fee-only Registered Investment Advisor, Wade Financial Group receives no commissions or other benefits based on recommendations of specific financial products, such as insurance.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Protecting Your Money: Stay Safe Online

Cybercrime is big business—and getting bigger. In 2011, the latest year for which numbers are available, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received over 300,000 complaints, with an adjusted dollar loss of over $485 million. And those numbers don’t even include the many crimes which go unreported.

While some scam attempts may seem obvious (assisting long-lost Nigerian princes, anyone?), con artists are getting more and more clever at getting what they want: your personal data, which can give them access to your assets.

As your wealth guardians, we will help you safeguard your information by posting a series of Internet security tips and reminders in the coming months.

Tip 1: Be suspicious of your e-mail!

Gone are the days when spam e-mail was easy to spot—through misspellings, poor layout, too-good-to-be-true promises, or other giveaways. Spammers have grown expert at impersonating companies and organizations that you know—from the Internal Revenue Service to your local bank.

What do they want? Your personal information: account numbers, and/or personal details such as your driver’s license number, mother’s maiden name, etc. This type of fishing for information is known as “phishing.”

How can you protect yourself?
  • The first and most important step is relatively simple—be skeptical. Banks and other institutions, including Charles Schwab, do not ask for personal or account information via e-mail. If you’re not sure whether an e-mail is truly from a particular institution, call that institution on the phone (and don’t use a phone number given in the e-mail!) Be wary of any e-mails from companies or institutions that you don’t do business with.
  • If you’re getting a large number of suspicious e-mails, you may want to change your e-mail provider. Some providers have better spam filters than others.
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date web browser. The latest versions of major browsers include built-in filters that protect you against known phishing sites.
From Heidi Owata-Buskol
Director of Client Relations

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Estate Planning: Having the Conversation

Talking to your children about wealth, inheritance, and estate planning can be difficult. According to a 2012 Bank of America survey:
  • Overall, 61% of wealthy parents—and 68% of baby boomers—are not fully confident that their children will be well-prepared to handle a financial inheritance.
  • 63% of wealthy parents have not fully disclosed their wealth to their children.
If you have been waiting to have that conversation with your heirs, our Estate Planning Service can help. As part of the service, your Wealth Advocate will:
  • Develop financial strategies designed to minimize estate tax impacts while meeting your financial goals.
  • Talk with you about ways to spark family discussions about your wealth and your estate-planning intentions.
  • Meet with you and your heirs, helping them understand your estate plans so there are no surprises for them.
If you’re not sure whether your heirs are ready to handle a financial inheritance, take action! Make some preparations now so that, when the time comes, they’ll be as ready as possible.

By Jerry Wade, CFP®, CFS
Chief Wealth Advocate