Blog

Whether it’s ideas from the industry or emerging trends, we'll share our insights to help guide you along your financial journey.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

In the last several weeks, we have continued to face elevated uncertainty in financial markets due to high inflation and rising interest rates, and we thought it was an important time to take stock with the final quarter of 2022 just...

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

With the average price for private college tuition and fees hitting $43,750 for the 2021-2022 school year and public college attendees paying more than $28,000 per year, many parents are nervously anticipating what will happen after...

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

This is a general overview of Medicare coverage. For more information, visit medicare.gov.You can also get free, personalized help from a trained counselor by contacting your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Your...

Thursday, September 15, 2022

It’s never too early to think about how and where you want to live when you’re older.How far in advance do you plan vacations? A month at the very least, right? You’ve booked the flights and hotels, taken time off of...

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Retirement plans established under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code, commonly referred to as "401(k) plans," have become one of the most popular types of employer-sponsored retirement plans.What is a 401(k) plan?A 401(k)...

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Your need for life insurance changes as your life changes. When you're young, you typically have less need for life insurance, but that changes as you take on more responsibility and your family grows. Then, as your responsibilities...

Friday, August 26, 2022

It's important to have a clear understanding of your overall financial position. As a woman, you have financial needs that are unique to your situation in life. Perhaps you would like to buy your first home. Maybe you need to...

Friday, August 19, 2022

You may have envisioned retirement as a second childhood—a time to relax, enjoy yourself, and devote your time to your favorite hobbies. Unfortunately, worry-free retirement is not the reality for some. Challenges from stock...

Sunday, August 14, 2022

If you're living paycheck-to-paycheck or stuck in a job you don't love just to pay the bills, it can be easy to feel as though you're financially trapped. But financial freedom doesn't need to be elusive—with some focused and...

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Economies and markets are cyclical. They may include periods of wealth creation and times of bursting bubbles that bankrupt companies in a major downturn."Boom and bust" cycles may last anywhere from a few months to a few years or...

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

With a few simple actions, you can ensure your estate planning is effective.Whether your estate plan is simple or complex, there are many details, which are often overlooked, that can undermine your plan’s effectiveness. Are you...

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Last week was epic for market-watchers. A Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike, a much-anticipated gross domestic product (GDP) report, and the busiest week of earnings season got most of the headlines. There was even a surprise out of...

Friday, July 29, 2022

A huge challenge is planning for your retirement savings to outpace inflation Some of us may remember the “good old days,” when gasoline prices were as low as 25¢ per gallon. Others may recall when a can of soda cost...

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

About 61 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability. Many of these disabilities are serious enough to impact a person’s daily life.1 There may be financial benefits available to those whose disabilities leave them unable...

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Planning for retirement can seem premature when you have only been in the workforce for a decade or so. But as the oldest Millennials begin to hit middle age, retirement suddenly does not seem so far away. From record-busting market...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Markets rarely give us clear skies, and there are always threats to watch for on the horizon, but the right preparation, context, and support can help us navigate anything that may lie ahead. So far, this year hasn’t seen a...

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Over the next 50 years, the age 85 and older population is expected to be the fastest growing segment of society. Unfortunately, along with aging, the chances of needing long-term care (LTC) increase. The primary reason for this is...

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A life insurance policy is part of financial planning. Life insurance is there to help ease the financial trauma that comes with the loss of a spouse, parent, or partner. As you encounter different events in your life, you may need to...

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The statistics on longevity show that people are living longer and will likely need long-term care (LTC) at some point in their lives. The unknowns each of us faces are how many years we will need LTC and what it will cost. With the...

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

What constitutes a gift to charity?A gift to charity is simply a gratuitous transfer of property to a charitable organization. The key is that your gift must be some kind of property--your time or personal services do not count. There...

Sunday, June 5, 2022

College is expensive for many people. The average tuition and fees at a college or university for the 2019 to 2020 academic year at a four-year institution was $9,4001. This may include the cost of tuition, books, and housing. For some...

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The bull market that began in March of 2020 came dangerously close to an end. From March 23, 2020 through January 3, 2022, the S&P 500 Index gained 114% (excluding dividends). From that January 3 closing high through the recent low on...

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Even though housing prices throughout much of the U.S. are at or near all-time highs, there are still many distinct financial advantages to owning a home. 1 From tax benefits to capital gains exclusions and guaranteed rates of return,...

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

As a small-business owner, you may be looking for the next big thing—an investment that might double your profits within the next year or allow you to maintain your income while working just a few hours a week. However, business...

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

As we move into spring and leave behind the last signs of a long winter, many worries from a chilly start to the year for markets, unfortunately, are still with us. The S&P 500 Index had its worst April in more than 40 years, leaving...

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

What is it? As a current member or veteran of the U.S. armed forces, you may be entitled to a number of military benefits. The term benefits, as used here, includes military pay as well as other programs set up to improve the lives of...

Monday, May 2, 2022

As you consider the wide range of life insurance coverage available, you may wonder what type really fits your needs now, and what will suit your needs in the future. A good, first step is to ask yourself why you are buying insurance,...

Sunday, May 1, 2022

It has been a turbulent 2022 so far for investors. The S&P 500 Index is on track for its worst April in more than 40 years, the Nasdaq entered a bear market on April 26 with its more than 20% decline, and bonds, which typically provide...

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Thoughts from a financial professional When helping people get ready for retirement, financial professionals find the same issues come up over and over. Thinking ahead can spell the difference between a retirement with enough money and...

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Social Security benefits are a major source of retirement income for most people. Your Social Security retirement benefit is based on the number of years you've been working and the amount you've earned. When you begin taking Social...

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

April brings more than possible rain showers. It also marks Financial Literacy Month in the U.S. Whether you’re interested in a quick refresher or seeking to learn something new, it may be worth the effort to brush up on some...

Thursday, April 7, 2022

“Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria.” - Sir John Templeton According to the guidance of revered investor Sir John Templeton, it appears to us that this market...

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact individual income tax returns, from the suspension of federal student loan interest to expanded child tax credits. For many taxpayers, this may mean your...

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Credit card debt is a major problem in the United States. According to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, over 175 million Americans have at least one credit card. In addition, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates...

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

As more and more consumers search for financial information on the Internet, they may inadvertently leave themselves open to being “tracked” by certain companies and individuals. Visitors to financial websites have created...

Friday, March 4, 2022

The green shoots are hard to see right now as spring approaches, clouded by war in Ukraine. Democracy is under attack and innocent lives are tragically being lost. But while we keep one eye on overseas developments, the other remains...

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

A traditional IRA offers a great way to shield income from taxation while boosting your retirement accounts. Meanwhile, a Roth IRA can let you pay tomorrow's taxes today. But how can workers who are eligible to contribute to either...

Friday, February 18, 2022

Are you thinking about home health care as a solution to providing help with daily activities such as bathing, meal preparation, and housekeeping? Many older individuals benefit from receiving assistance in the comfort of their own...

Friday, February 11, 2022

Let’s be honest for a second: the DJIA, the S&P 500, NASDAQ, and the Russell 2000 all delivered one of the most surprising years in recent history. And while many are happy to see 2021 in the rear-view mirror, the 2021...

Thursday, February 10, 2022

February marks Black History Month and is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of African Americans as well as the crucial role they played throughout U.S. history. What started as a small week-long celebration decades...

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The calendar had barely flipped to 2022 and investors were reminded that even attractive long-term stock returns come with a cost: market fluctuation. The S&P 500 Index fell nearly 10% from January 3 through January 27 amid fears that...

Monday, January 31, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is helping families, teens and senior citizens learn about the continued importance of protecting personal information in helping fight identity theft and tax fraud.“The IRS is asking parents,...

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

You can use a variety of strategies to pay off debt, many of which can cut not only the amount of time it will take to pay off the debt but also the total interest paid. But like many people, you may be torn between paying off debt and...

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

While most people find the notion of creating a budget about as appealing as cleaning out closets, most would agree that the result—a well-crafted and useful budget—is worth the work   Two financial...

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

With the New Year comes new beginnings, new goals, new challenges, new friendships, and new opportunities. 2021 was an incredible year for the economy and investors, but to us, the future remains bright for 2022 and beyond. Let’s...

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Regardless of whether you prepare your taxes yourself or use a professional's services, it's a good idea to gather the information and documentation you need well in advance of your actual tax filing date. Below, we've listed some key...

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

For some, it’s easy to put personal finances on the back burner during the last few months of the year. However, before the year comes to an end, it’s essential to review your finances. By doing so now, you can make the...

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Thursday, December 9, 2021

You may know that your small business needs a written business plan—but how do you get started? What elements should your plan address, and do you need different plans for different audiences? Below we discuss a few of the key factors

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

LPL Research Outlook 2022: Passing the Baton is designed to help you navigate the risks and opportunities over the rest of 2021 and beyond. While the economy continues to move forward, we’re still feeling some aftershocks of COVID-19

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Is that investment an innovation or an improvement on an existing product? As Christmas sales loom, we face an endless array of sparkly, shiny and occasionally innovative items. As an investor, you run into a similar phenomenon that...

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The past two years presented many small-business owners with unprecedented challenges. This year’s tax planning preparations include necessary measures for small-business owners to satisfy existing, new and modified tax laws that...

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Over the past year, the real estate market has been marked by unpredictability and, at times, overheated competition. This has resulted in some buyers bowing out after one too many disappointments while other potential buyers put off...

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

There are many reasons to be thankful, as the leaves turn colors and begin to fall to the ground, the past year and a half have tested all of us. The economy continues to strengthen, COVID-19 trends are greatly improving, and this...

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Many of us grew up in a world where it was customary to be friendly, courteous, and trusting. Unfortunately, assumptions concerning these standards of conduct can sometimes get us into trouble. Con artists offering a variety of...

Thursday, November 4, 2021

How can you cover the costs of future care for you and your loved ones? Individuals who have worked hard and built up assets over the course of their careers may be particularly concerned that their savings could be affected by a...

Thursday, October 28, 2021

It’s tempting to give up on data security altogether, with all the billions of pieces of personal data – Social Security numbers, credit cards, home addresses, phone numbers, passwords and much more – breached and...

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Have you every wondered how estate planning might fit into your overall, future plans? Even if you are just starting to build your estate and do not need complex estate planning, here’s a quick look at some steps you should...

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Like dieting, budgeting your expenses can benefit from long-term commitment. However, human nature leads many of us to become frustrated when we can’t immediately have the things we need or want. As a result, the best-laid...

Friday, October 8, 2021

Dear Clients and Friends, One constant in life is change. During the past year and a half, we have experienced more change than any of us bargained for. Change is disruptive—but also brings opportunities. For investors right now,...

Monday, October 4, 2021

A lot of trends in the health and wellness space leave you scratching your head, saying “Huh?” but there are some that are worth a deep dive. Bone broth Not everyone wants soup made with heavy cream, meat, and veggies,...

Thursday, September 30, 2021

One of the most important pieces of the college financing puzzle is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Without the FAFSA, a college student is unlikely to be able to apply for or receive certain types of federal...

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Fall is in full swing, and for most families, so is a return to the school year routine. But for some kids, adjusting back to this schedule can be stressful—and can take a little longer than you’d like to find balance. But...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

IHMVCU Investment Services Andrew Grothe, SVP Wealth Management 309-793-6200 x5125 Summit Financial Consultants, Inc. Joseph M. Pheifer, CFP 563-333-2530 For Immediate Release Bettendorf-based Summit Financial Consultants, Inc., merges...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

When it comes to planning for retirement, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Putting together a financial strategy can be complicated at any time of life, with changing regulations, ups and downs in the market, and disagreements –...

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The golden rule of financial planning: if you can plan it, you can pursue it Over the past July 4th, we celebrated our country’s history of declaring independence and guaranteeing basic human freedoms. But true freedom includes...

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

As your life changes, your financial needs often change, as well. Regardless of whether you are just starting out in life, are in mid-career, or are at the peak of your earning years, life insurance can help you achieve a variety of...

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Housing is rarely the best use of your money from an investment viewpoint Despite continued low mortgage rates and tales of bidding wars, multiple offers and all-cash closings above asking-price, would-be-home-purchasers should...

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Your financial professional can help ensure you leave your estate in the best possible way Families inherit money and sometimes make the right moves investing and spending. Inheritances can also ignite disruption, divorce and a host of...

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Though U.S. taxpayers received an extra month to file and pay their federal income taxes in 2021, some are still smarting from having to write a check to the IRS.[1] For many, it can be tough to make the connection between those...

Thursday, August 5, 2021

The student loan landscape has changed dramatically since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the suspension of interest payments on federal student loans to tax incentives for employers who pay their employees' student loans,...

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Attorneys say that if both you and your ex-spouse feel like you came out of your divorce thinking you gave up a lot, your settlement was probably fair. Maybe, but often your settlement’s results appear only after you live with...

Friday, July 16, 2021

LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed is designed to help you navigate the risks and opportunities over the rest of 2021 and beyond. While the speed can be exhilarating as economic growth accelerates, it can also be...

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Every day we’re bombarded with reports of what’s hot and what’s not – fueling a fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) on some great investment opportunity. Heck, there is even a new exchange traded fund with FOMO in its...

Thursday, July 8, 2021

If 2020 made you fantasize about a trip as soon as travel restrictions were lifted—and you’re still waiting—you aren’t alone. Although 2021 was poised to be a comeback year, it is shaping up to be another summer...

Monday, June 28, 2021

Young adults starting out in life, especially newlyweds, need insurance. But what kind? As a start, a good term life policy likely is a smart move. Other types of insurance may not be. And as they age, what other varieties of coverage...

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Market risk is something all investors may worry about, but those close to retirement have limited time to recover from market loss. If you are within ten years of retirement, now is a critical time for your portfolio to continue to...

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

It is human nature to seek advice when things aren't going well or when an unforeseen event occurs. Often, people seek financial advice from a professional only when the stock market and their investments are experiencing turbulent...

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

2021 is the Year to be Money Savvy Definition of Savvy: having or showing perception, comprehension, or shrewdness, especially in practical matters. Money Savvy: smart with money, money-wise, financially astute, shrewd. If you started...

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

For many Americans, the home is the single biggest purchase made during their lifetime.[1] As a result, it's important to do everything possible to keep it in good condition. Even moderate or short-term neglect can be dangerous, as...

Thursday, May 27, 2021

When you invest in the stock market, you want to see growth, but unfortunately, in most cases, investments do not grow all the time. Inevitably, the market goes up and down, and to safeguard your potential for long-term growth, you...

Friday, May 14, 2021

Small business owners are different from the average hourly employee in a lot of ways. One often overlooked difference is how they plan for retirement. Although small business owners may offer a classic 401(k) for their workers along...

Friday, May 7, 2021

As the calendar has turned to May, the popular “Sell in May and Go Away” stock market cliché is getting a lot of airtime. This is the idea that the stock market tends to be weakest between May and October (and...

Thursday, May 6, 2021

When you're a small business owner, you need to pay extra careful attention to both your business and personal finances. Your financial planning strategies should simultaneously encourage the success of your business while also working...

Thursday, April 22, 2021

If you already contribute to a 401(k) or another retirement account through work, you may not have spent much time thinking about opening an individual retirement account (IRA). However, an IRA might provide you with a way to boost...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

When saving for retirement, it often makes sense to contribute to employer-sponsored retirement plans to take advantage of any available employer match opportunities. However, not everyone has access to an employer-sponsored plan. Even...

Monday, April 12, 2021

“The real key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them.” Peter Lynch They say April showers bring May flowers. Well, after a lot of showers and storms over the past year, flowers are starting to bloom and...

Thursday, April 8, 2021

On February 18, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service announced greater flexibility to employee benefit plans offering health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) or dependent care assistance programs. Under the COVID-related Taxpayer...

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Many have heard Social Security retirement benefits referred to as part of the "three-legged stool" of retirement: Social Security, a pension or defined benefit plan, and personal savings.1 The idea is that with these three sources of...

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Many prospective investors eventually shy away from a commitment when they hear the dreaded “R” word: risk. By itself, risk is innocuous, carrying no special meaning or predictive result. But the idea that investing...

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Amidst all the pandemic news and 2020 election drama, many might have missed that the IRS also quietly published new 2021 tax rates in late October and a there are plenty of changes that will impact taxpayers in 2021. While it’s...

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, with as many as 10% of Americans over age 16 being victims in 2016, according to a bulletin from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Identity theft is a type of...

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax credit that can provide great benefit to families. According to the IRS, in 2019 alone, approximately 25 million workers and families received over $60 billion in EITC payments, with...

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Treasury yields started moving sharply higher this past month (remember that as yields go up, prices go down). And while the upward march began in earnest last August when the 10-Year Treasury yield bottomed at an all-time low rate of...

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Seventy-two is an important age milestone for those in or near retirement, as it marks the time when required minimum distributions (RMDs) begin to be withdrawn annually from IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans (previously,...

Thursday, February 18, 2021

For years, you’ve diligently invested in your retirement portfolio, accumulating wealth that you hope will sustain you throughout your Golden Years. To help see that your assets are sufficient to help you support your lifestyle...

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

“One of the most helpful things that anybody can learn is to give up trying to catch the last eighth—or the first. These two are the most expensive eighths in the world.” –Jesse Livermore Countless stock...

Thursday, February 11, 2021

How resourceful can you be during your retirement? Determining where your retirement money will come from is an integral part of planning for retirement. Most people draw on three main sources of income: Social Security,...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The 10-year breakeven inflation rate, a market-based measure of inflation expectations, hit its highest level last Friday, February 5, since 2014. Still, at 2.21% expected annual inflation over the next 10 years, it remains a...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Deciding when to retire and begin collecting Social Security is an important life decision. For some, savings losses may dictate that you delay your retirement plans and continue working, which means postponing when you begin...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The surge in global debt has been a hot-button issue, so this week LPL Research will focus on the various segments of global debt, beginning “Debt Week” with Weekly Market Commentary: Markets Shrug Off Debt Levels The US...

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

In LPL Research Outlook 2021: Powering Forward, we noted that large interest rate declines historically have been followed by reversals. With the 10-year Treasury yield continuing to climb, now’s a good time for an update. As...

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Social Security is an asset that is taken for granted by many folks. If you are tempted to take Social Security early, when first eligible at age 62, think again: your check will be lower if you don’t wait until what’s...

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Investment-grade credit spreads, the extra yield you get from investment-grade corporate bonds compared to similarly dated US Treasuries, have already tightened to a level you usually only see during the middle of the economic...

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Retirement planning is a complex process requiring as much support and time as possible to reach the desired end. Retirement planning at all ages is important – the more time put into the process, the less investment is necessary...

Thursday, January 14, 2021

To ease some of the burdens of tax season, we’ve created this helpful guide, which contains all the information you may need to easily address tax issues and questions that you might face. It will assist you in becoming familiar...

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Treasury yields hit two key levels the first week of 2021. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 10-year Treasury yield moved above 1% for the first time since March 2020, and the 10-year breakeven inflation rate, a measure of...

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

US investment-grade bonds had a solid 2020 despite a tumultuous year overall. The broad Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index had a total return of 7.5%—not as strong as 2019’s 8.7% but its fifth-best year in the last...

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

After months of intense debate, the House and Senate voted to pass a second COVID-19 economic stimulus bill and the President has signed it into law.1 At a total cost of $900 billion, this 5,600-page bill[1] contains everything from...

Thursday, September 3, 2020

When you got your first “real” job you were probably/hopefully given the opportunity to contribute to a 401(k) plan. If you’re like a lot of entry level workers, you may have chosen to contribute enough to get the...

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Preparing for retirement is super important, but far too few Americans are adequately prepared for their post-employment years. Even those who have begun saving for retirement may not be doing enough yet. You might be one of those...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

During this time, it may be somewhat comforting to remember you're not alone. Everyone is wondering what the immediate future holds for the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Everyone else has the same fears and anxiety that you're feeling...