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GW Financial, Inc. is an independent, fee-only wealth management and financial planning firm specializing in advising and engaging individuals, families, and organizations.
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GW Financial, Inc.

In This Issue

Quote

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the greed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
– Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during WWII.

A Note from Julie

Back Into the Groove

Julie Anderson Bray, CFP® | President & Wealth Manager
Click HERE to schedule a call.
Dear <<First Name>>

Welcome to the September edition of our newsletter.  For me, summer ended with a trip to the Home of the American Revolution, Boston. My family met my in-laws “halfway” for an extended weekend. As my kids are still young, we toured Boston’s kid-friendliest sites. Labor Day weekend marked the move-in day for most of the colleges in and around the city. This reminded me to open a 529 account instead of using the individual brokerage account in my name that I’ve been using for almost five years! I also looked at the tuition and fees for some of the local colleges and universities and felt a bit overwhelmed by the price tag on higher education.

We know that some of you have kids or grandkids in the late stages of college planning. We are here to do what we can. We also have an excellent recommendation for someone who specializes in late-stage college planning for high-income families. It is never too late to have a plan in place and be ready to take action in the spring. A good website to start with is College Navigator. This website will help you find the right college as well as tons of information from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Later this week will end our 92-day summer and begin a new school year. I can’t wait to get back into our new normal routine! As summer turns to fall, I have college planning and life insurance as two key items for you this month to make sure you keep your financial goals on track.

Watch this short video to find out more about Lessons in Education Planning
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. Life insurance is a vital part of your financial plan. Every year at this time Life Happens coordinates an industry-wide campaign aimed at educating Americans about the importance of life insurance and provides information to help them get the coverage they need.  You can read their Insurance 101 information here and make sure you are covered!
 
As always, if there is any way we can help please feel free to contact our office and we wish you the best as we all get back into the groove now that summer is over.
With warm regards,​

Julie

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Getting Acquainted Call

Fall 2018 “It’s Your Money” Series

GW Financial, Inc. (GWF) will be presenting at the “It’s Your Money” and the “It’s Your Estate” workshops!

These workshops are hosted by Financial Empowerment and Estate Literacy (FEEL) throughout Orange County, California. The mission of FEEL is to prevent financial abuse by educating seniors to take control of their financial, estate, and charitable giving decisions.  
 
This series will provide a good overview of financial planning and investment management concepts. 

Julie Bray will be presenting on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, discussing “Equity Investing” at the Fullerton Community Center.

Julie Bray will also be presenting on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, discussing “Fixed Income Investing” at the Senior Center in Central Park.

Julie Bray and Scott Anderson will be presenting on Monday, October 22, 2018, discussing “Fixed Income Investing" at the Newport Beach Central Library.
Full Fall 2018 Workshop Schedule
Feel free to share this link with family or friends whom you think would benefit from attending!

Please contact the Newport Beach Central Library at 949-458-2411 or the Fullerton Community Center directly at 714-738-6305 to register for these free community classes.
Learn More About the GWF Presentations

Scott's Musings

Hiding in Plain Sight

Scott Anderson, CPA, CFP®, EA | Vice President, Tax Strategies

Buried in the news at the end of August was an executive order by President Trump to the US Treasury and US Labor Departments to restudy Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts. These distributions now start at age 70 from IRAs, 401ks, and tax-sheltered savings plans (with certain limited exceptions). 

The US Government’s real reason for RMDs is that the contributions to these accounts were made before taxes (i.e., tax deduction) resulting in lower taxes for the contributor – and less tax revenue for the US Government. The US Government, in theory, wants that tax revenue back during the account holder’s lifetime and thus requires these taxable distributions. If the account balance passes to a human beneficiary due to the passing of the account holder, then the funds, in theory, may be distributed over the beneficiary’s lifetime and the US Government is left waiting even longer for its taxes (aka a “stretch IRA”).

The last time the IRS life expectancy tables were updated was in April 2002, according to the Treasury Department. Since then, Americans have been living longer, with the average life expectancy rising to about 78½ years from under 77 in 2002, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

So the age to start taking RMDs may be moved back particularly for people who are still working and/or more likely, the amount of the annual RMD may be reduced. This allows more of the account balance to continue to grow. 

Read Full Article
A Grandparents Guide to 529 Plans

A Grandparents Guide to 529 Plans

Bill Carolan | Wealth Manager

Helping a grandchild with college expenses is a very satisfying way to use some of your discretionary funds. It is wise to discuss college planning with the grandchild’s parents before embarking on a college savings plan. The most efficient and flexible means to accomplish this is through a program called a 529 Plan. The main benefit is that the money invested in these plans grows tax-deferred and distributions are tax-free, as long as they are used for educational purposes (K through 12 and/or college). 

There are several points to be aware of when making this investment:

The grandparent should OWN the 529 plan, and the grandchild should be named as the BENEFICIARY. When a grandparent owns the 529 plan, the asset is not counted as owned by either the student or the parent, and therefore will not reduce any financial aid available to the student.

Read Full Article
Update

By The Numbers

Scott Anderson, CPA, CFP®, EA | Vice President, Tax Strategies

Yield Curve

Interest Rate on US Treasury Securities Versus Time to Maturity

The Yield Curve is a graph of the interest rate on US Government securities based on maturity. All interest rates use the US Government yield curve as the reference as the US Government securities are considered riskless, which means there is no chance of bankruptcy – the US Government can simply print money to meet its interest and maturity obligations.

US Treasury Yield Curve

Source: http://www.treasury.gov
This is a “normal” yield curve – upward sloping – longer maturities command higher rates than shorter maturities reflecting (among other things) the higher risk of inflation in the meantime. 

In theory, the greater the slope, i.e. the greater the change in rates from the shorter term to the longer term, the more incentive there is to invest in the longer term due to the higher rates.

The Fed acts on the shortest maturities of the yield curve in order to lever the entire curve. In theory, the Fed raises rates to make money more expensive as a way to damp down an economy that is growing too fast, which portents inflation coming back.  The Fed has skipped a rate hike at the moment but has said that it will continue to raise rates in 2018. 

Analysis 

The current concern is that the yield curve continues to flatten out.  The difference between the shortest and longest term rates now is about 1.1% while the difference about a year ago was 1.8%  

By comparison, the difference between the shortest and longest term rates was about 3.7% five years ago and 2.8% ten years ago. 

In short, the yield curve is not moving in the right direction right now and has not been for some time. The current belief in the business media continues to be that foreign capital is pouring into the US seeking a safe haven. As demand for US government securities increases, the amount of interest the US needs to pay to attract funds declines thus flattening out the yield curve. The long-term effect of the yield curve flattening is hard to predict because the effects (if any) of the flattening would not be felt in the marketplace for a year or so.
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IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: if this newsletter contains any type of tax advice, please be advised that, based on current IRS rules and standards, the advice contained herein is not intended to be used, nor can it be used, for the avoidance of any tax penalty that the IRS may assess related to the matter.
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