Tag Archives: Axiom Financial

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Fiduciary Finesse

Weathering 2020 with Axiom Financial Strategies Group
By Laura Ross

In these times of uncertainty, rapidly changing job situations, and the COVID-19 health crisis, we find our lives changing almost daily. How do you
possibly plan for your family’s financial future? It can be an overwhelming thought, and one you might shove on a shelf for a later day. Not so fast, says Axiom Financial Strategies Group’s founder and partner Vaughan Scott. He says now is the perfect time to plan for financial security. “Ask yourself, do you have a plan?” Scott says, “Do you have faith in that plan? If you don’t, then you better talk to someone with expertise.” Long-term financial planning not only gives you peace of mind, it also helps weather financial
storms like the one we find ourselves in right now. “The general pendulum swings between irrational exuberance and panic,” explains Scott. “The reality is you must have objective data to make informed decisions, and that’s what these plans do. (At Axiom Financial Services) we have ways to reduce the risk. The corrections that occur let us do major repositioning, but it’s always based on a client’s needs or goals. We try to provide as many solutions as possible.” New Albany’s Axiom Financial Strategies Group, led by Scott and his business partner, Mike Grau, has served Southern Indiana, Kentucky, and beyond since 2009. After a long stretch underthe Wells Fargo umbrella, the firm recently began
registered independent investment advisory operations focused on growth, service, integrity,
accountability, and innovation. Scott, a Southern Indiana native and Indiana University graduate, got the bug to help others build wealth by emulating his mom, who was a financial planner throughout the 1980s. “When I got out of college, the person who hired my mom suggested I get some real-world experience,” Scott says. He started working in the business with UBS in 1999 and worked with a team that included Gloria Bommarrito and Abby Wolfe, investment advisors who are still critical leaders of the Axiom team today. “Gloria and I split off to join Smith Barney in partnership with Your Community Bank (YCB) to take over YCB’s investment and trust operations in 2003,” says Scott. “She and I started with a fax machine and a couple computers,” he laughs. When work increased and they needed assistance, Scott asked Smith Barney for help finding someone who had an excellent planning background and was introduced to Mike Grau in 2003. “We built what became our Axiom team in that one conference room,” adds Grau, Axiom partner, certified financial planner, and retirement
income certified professional. His background in accounting and managing client portfolios was the perfect fit. The team clicked, and Axiom Financial Strategies Group was formed in partnership with Wells Fargo in 2009 – just as that year’s financial crisis hit. Today, Axiom serves clients in Indiana, Kentucky, and 14 other states. Scott and Grau have built a team of investment advisors with experience and enthusiasm and have plans for continued
growth. Many Axiom advisors have close ties to Southern Indiana.

“An axiom is a closely held principle or truth,” explains Scott. “We originally operated under our last names, but knew we wanted a name that had meaning.”

Axiom Financial Strategies Group advises
individuals, families, family-owned businesses,
and entrepreneurs through all stages of
financial planning, including wealth growth
and management, 401K investments, strategic
planning, and trusts.

“We have a team of nine advisors who all work
to make Axiom the best,” says Grau. “Our clients
see that. We invite them in, show them how we
work, and even do a complimentary plan first.
We want them to be comfortable with the entire
team and know they are welcomed and respected.”


&nbsp“
An axiom is a closely held principle or truth. We knew we wanted a name that
had meaning.”
– Vaughan Scott,
Axiom Financial Strategies Group
founder and partner
Axiom Financial
Strategies Group

101 W. Spring St.
5th Floor
New Albany
812.913.7701
www.axiomFSG.com

Certified Financial Planner Michelle Konkle returned to her Southern Indiana roots to work with the firm. “I wanted to be a part of Axiom,” she says. “The respect and courtesy we give to clients shows we really do care for them. It’s not about production; it’s about working with genuinely nice people who care about their clients.”

Scott agrees, “Our culture puts our clients first. We have a fiduciary mindset, but we also truly function as a team. Most industry advisors have internal competitions, but we just always have the philosophy that if we take good care of our clients and have a good team, we’ll always have a place in this business.” Now more than ever, Scott knows that personal touch is paramount. When the sky seemed to fall earlier in 2020, Axiom mobilized to stay safe, work remotely, and work quickly to secure their clients’ investments as much as possible. “We learned to communicate via email and phone in ways we never did before,” says Scott.

“Mike and Gloria did a phenomenal job with our repositioning when the market was at its bottom. It’s one thing to absorb the shock of the market, but another thing to reposition for recovery. Mike and Gloria completed transactions for over
1,000 accounts in just a few days. As the market has recovered, our clients see the results of that.”

Earlier in the year, Grau and Scott focused on upgrading technology efforts and saw the benefits immediately. “We’ve remained flexible,” Grau says. “Everyone has a long-term plan that we put together the day we start working with them. When markets turn downward, people look at their scores and see their score is still in the target zone.
They can weather the storm, and we position the assets and work with a plan that allows them to see how they are doing. Most people are staying on track, despite the effects of 2020.” That personal touch highlights Axiom’s difference from larger, more national investment firms. Clients choose who they want to work with, says Grau, “We come in every day to serve our clients, our team members, and our community. That’s our mindset.”

“It’s a focus on families,” Scott adds, “It’s more than just a financial business. We take on clients who do cool things and help them grow. I think about what I would advise my family, my parents, my grandparents to do. We help, and we just do
it the right way.”

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Strategies to Remember During Times of Uncertainty

BY MICHELLE KONKLE, CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, FINANCIAL ADVISOR

OVER THE PAST MONTHS WE HAVE SEEN VOLATILITY RETURN TO THE MARKET. THIS VOLATILITY IS SOMETHING THAT MANY HAD FORGOTTEN THE FEELING OF WHILE LIVING THROUGH THE LONGEST BULL MARKET SEEN IN OUR HISTORY. MANY HAVE ONLY SEEN A BULL RUN IN THEIR INVESTING LIVES. WHILE YOU MAY BE CONCERNED WITH THE BALANCE OF YOUR 401K AND OTHER INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS, IT IS IMPORTANT TO  REMEMBER THESE FEW POINTS BEFORE REACTING.Extol+Summer+2020_Page_68_Image_0001

1. Humans are irrational creatures. Time and time again we are told to buy low and
sell high. However, when we start to see the balances fall it is human nature to want to
reduce your loses by moving into ‘safer’ assets. Unless you are in dire needs of the funds
within six months, this is not typically an advisable plan. Studies have shown that time
in the market is better than timing the market. If you exit the market during a downturn
and wait for the ‘right time’ to get back in, chances are you have already missed some of
the best days of the recovery. When navigating a bear market, think of it is fighting a fear. Stay calm and don’t make any sudden moves.

2. Diversification is key in any market cycle. By diversifying your assets, you will be
able to limit potential negatives felt when one invests in only one security or industry.

3. Keep investing. While it is difficult to watch the balance of your 401k fall, you must
remember that this is the best time to invest. Depending on an individual investor’s
situation this may be the time to continue contributions and even possibly increase
contributions. Buying during periods of volatility can have tremendously positive
impacts on your portfolio later in life. We often recommend that investors dollar cost
average due to the uncertainties and inability to time the market. This means that they
will systematically invest a certain amount over a specified period. Please contact us or
your financial adviser to discuss if this option is right for you.

4. Don’t invest money you don’t have. While it is great to increase your
401k contribution or start to invest in your favorite store/restaurant, etc.
when their stock price falls. Remember to only invest what you can afford
to lose. If you are not comfortable with the potential of losing the money,
then do not invest it. Now more than ever, it is crucial to have your 3-6
months of emergency reserves set aside. These funds are not to be used for
investment purposes.Extol+Summer+2020_Page_70_Image_0001

5. Consult with a financial professional. When trying to navigate the
waters of investing, consulting with a professional is the nest idea. Most of
us have been through this before and can provide to you real life examples
and industry respected resources as we help you develop a financial plan
to not only navigate the current state but achieve your future goals.
While “stay the course” may be the last thing you want to hear from your
financial advisor, it is oneof the pinnacles of a long-term strategy. If you
would like to discuss investment options or create afinancial plan of your
own, you can reach us at (812) 913-7701.


This report was prepared by Axiom Financial Strategies Group, a federally registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registration as
an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The oral and written communications of an adviser provide you with information about which
you determine to hire or retain an adviser. This is prepared for informational purposes only. It does not address specific investment objectives, or the financial situation
and the particular needs of any person who may receive this report. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed it so be construed as solicitation to buy or sell a
security of personalized investment, tax, or legal advice. For more information please visit: https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/ and search for our firm nam

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Two-in-One

HOW TO COMBINE TWO HOUSEHOLDS INTO A HAPPY HOME 

So, you said, “I do,” – but what does that mean about accepting your soon-to-be’s stuff, too? 

Regardless of how much you’ve both accumulated, combining two households into one can be a chore and a major headache, and lead to unnecessary strife. Here are some tips to make the transition easier. 

LABEL LOVE 

Prior to the merger of your life together, it’s time to look at everything you own. Overwhelmed? Devote 20 to 30 minutes each day to make piles and put them in designated areas that are labeled LOVE, LEAVE and WAIT. 

Keep what you LOVE. Get rid of what you label as LEAVE, and hold onto the WAIT list with a promise you’ll revisit within a time frame you and your beloved can agree upon. 

JUNK JAM 

Donating, selling and recycling your extras is best, but if you have a bunch of stuff you just want to get rid of, 1-800-Got-Junk is your jam. Seriously. You point and they make it disappear.

ADVICE MAESTRO 

Moving into a new home and want help on melding two households into one? Ask your Realtor for input. They know everything and everyone. 

Money Matters | Retirement Plans Can Be SIMPLE

Sponsored Post by Todd Harrett

If you own a small business (or are self-employed), there are many retirement plan alternatives available to help you and your employees plan your financial future. One popular option for organizations such as sole proprietorship’s, partnerships, corporations, and non-profit organizations to consider is the SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Unlike some retirement plans, there are specific criteria a business must meet to participate in a SIMPLE IRA plan. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about this type of retirement plan:

Can any business establish a SIMPLE IRA plan? Self-employed individuals and employers with fewer than 100 employees may adopt a SIMPLE plan. However, the business must not maintain any other employer-sponsored retirement plan where contributions are made or accrued during the calendar year in which the SIMPLE plan is effective. (This does not apply to plans that cover only union employees who are excluded from the SIMPLE plan.)

What is the deadline for establishing such a plan in order for it to qualify for the 2018 tax year? The IRS deadline for establishing SIMPLE IRA plans for the current year is October 1. After October 1, plans can only be established for the next tax year. An exception to October 1 exists if the business is a newly established company and has never sponsored a SIMPLE IRA plan.

Which employees are eligible to participate in this type of plan? An eligible employee is one who has received at least $5,000 in compensation from the employer during any two prior calendar years (does not need to be consecutive years) and who is reasonably expected to receive at least $5,000 compensation during the current year. In the plan’s initial agreement, the employer is able to reduce the amount of compensation and the number of years required. However, there is no required participation for this plan – eligible employees can choose whether or not they want to participate and contribute.

How much can employees contribute to the plan through salary deferral? The maximum salary deferral limit to a SIMPLE IRA plan for 2018 cannot exceed $12,500. If an employee is age 50 or older before December 31, then an additional catch-up contribution of $3,000 is permitted.

What are the maximum employer contribution limits for a SIMPLE IRA? Each year the employer must decide to do either a matching contribution (the lesser of the employee’s salary deferral or 3% of the employee’s compensation) or non-matching contribution of 2% of an employee’s compensation (limited to $275,000 for 2018). All participants in the plan must be notified of the employer’s decision. 

When must contributions be deposited? Employee deferrals should be deposited as soon as administratively feasible, but no later than 30 days following the last day of the month in which the amounts would otherwise have been payable to the employee. These rules also apply to self-employed individuals. The employer contributions deadline is the due date of the employer’s tax return, including extensions.

Can there be a vesting scheduled with a SIMPLE IRA? There is no vesting schedule with this type of plan – both employer and employee are immediately 100% vested.

How are withdrawals from SIMPLE IRAs taxed? Withdrawals from this type of account are taxed as ordinary income. However, if a participant is younger than age 59½ and makes a withdrawal within the first two years of plan participation, he or she will owe a 25% IRS penalty and ordinary income taxes on the amount withdrawn.  After the initial two years of plan participation, the 25% IRS penalty is reduced to 10% for pre 59½ withdrawals.  Exceptions to the 10% penalty on traditional IRAs are also exceptions to the 25% penalty for SIMPLE IRAs. Direct transfers to another SIMPLE IRA will not be subject to this penalty.

Can the assets in a SIMPLE IRA be rolled over? Participants are able to roll over funds from one SIMPLE plan to another at any time. After two years of participation, employees may roll assets to a traditional or SEP IRA without tax penalties.

As with any investment alternative, you should check with your Financial Advisor to evaluate the best option for your financial situation.

Wells Fargo Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice. Be sure to consult with your tax and legal advisors before taking any action that could have tax or legal consequences. Please keep in mind that transferring or rolling over assets to an IRA is just one of multiple options for your retirement plan. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, including investment options and fees and expenses, which should be understood and carefully considered.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Todd Harrett, Financial Advisor with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, IN at 812-948-8475.

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

© 2018 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.    Car 0118-00640

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Money Matters | Are You Prepared to Handle a Personal Financial Crisis?

michelle-head-shot
Michelle Floyd, CFP,
Financial Consultant

Are You Prepared to Handle a Personal Financial Crisis?

Individuals who are married or in a committed relationship face the possibility they’ll end up managing finances alone at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, the first time many experience handling complicated financial matters alone is during a personal crisis following the death or divorce of a spouse or partner.

We’ve prepared a list of thought-provoking questions pertaining to financial fitness and crisis preparedness. You can use these as a starting point to check how prepared you are to handle a personal financial crisis in your life. Begin by reviewing the questions, determine what you’ve already done, and check those items off the list. For the questions you need to address or take action on, seek the advice of professional advisors and trusted family members.

Asset management

• Do I have a clear picture of where my assets are located?
• Will my retirement assets provide a comfortable retirement for my life expectancy?
• Do I have a well-diversified portfolio?
• Are my investments appropriate in today’s economy?
• Are my assets titled properly?
• Do I have an emergency fund?
• Am I taking advantage of techniques to reduce my taxes?

Estate planning

• Do I have a will?
• Is my will current?
• Have I determined what my family may owe in estate taxes?
• Have I funded my estate-tax liability?
• Have I explored and taken advantage of wealth-transfer techniques?
• Do I wish to provide for charitable giving?
• Are my power of attorney and my living will up to date?

Debt management

• Do I know my credit rating?
• Could I get a loan if I applied?

Insurance

• Do I have enough insurance coverage to cover medical expenses?
• To provide for disability/long-term care?
• To provide for family members’ security?
• To fund estate-tax liability?

In addition …

• Have I coordinated my advisors’ (attorney, CPA, banker) activities?
• What changes in my life are likely to occur within the next three years?
• Do I know the status of my parents’/children’s financial situation and the implications for my financial well-being?
• Would I be prepared for a family emergency if it happened tomorrow?

Our firm does not provide legal or tax advice. Be sure to consult with your own tax and legal advisors before taking any action that could have tax consequences. Any estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and is licensed to practice law in your state
This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Michelle Konkle, CFP®, Financial Consultant with Axiom Financial Strategies Group in New Albany, IN at 812-948-8475.
Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE
Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

© 2017 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. CAR 0217-04864

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Money Matters | What to Expect as an Executor or Trustee

Todd Harrett, Financial Advisor with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, Ind.

Todd Harrett, Financial Advisor with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, Ind.

What to Expect as an Executor or Trustee

Being asked to serve as an executor or a trustee for an estate is certainly an honor, but it’s also a considerable responsibility. And knowing and understanding those responsibilities can help you be prepared.

Many people don’t realize what they are taking on and all the duties required, says Lisa Montano, an Estate Planning Strategist for Wells Fargo Advisors. “Depending on the estate’s level of complexity and the assets in the estate that need to be administered, it can be very time-consuming,” she says.

Here are five things you need to know now:

It’s not an easy job. Serving as executor or trustee typically requires a significant amount of time, patience, and organization. It can take up to a year, maybe longer, to completely wrap up someone’s financial affairs, Montano says.

You need to know what the assets are and how to find them. Ask where the will or trust is located and how you will be able to access those documents when the time comes. Also, consider
asking for a detailed list of assets and where they can be found.

You can seek professional help. You can hire a lawyer to help you manage the most complicated duties or to oversee the whole process. You can also engage a CPA to help with tax issues. “Even if the estate is simple, consulting with an attorney is a good idea. There are responsibilities and deadlines you have to meet that are laid out by state law. You also need to follow the instructions as laid out in the will or trust. Sometimes people do things on their own and it gets them in trouble. The court may remove them as executor or trustee, or they may be held personally liable for actions they have taken,” Montano says.

You may be entitled to compensation. Trustees and executors are typically entitled to collect a
reasonable fee, Montano says. The amount may be regulated by state law or specified in the will or trust. You may choose to waive the fee, but you might still want to be reimbursed for travel and other expenses.

You can decline to serve. It’s okay to say you are not comfortable serving, Montano says. If you do, then someone else or a corporate trustee or a third-party executor such as a bank, trust company, or a professional who has experience dealing with estates will need to be chosen.

Our firm does not provide tax or legal advice.

Trust services available through banking and trust affiliates in addition to non-affiliated companies of Wells Fargo Advisors. Any estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and is licensed to practice law in your state.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Todd Harrett, Financial Advisor with Axiom Financial Strategies Group in New Albany, IN at 812-948-8475.
Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE
Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

© 2018 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. 0218-01932

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Money Matters | Debt Management Solutions

michelle-head-shot
Michelle Floyd, CFP,
Financial Consultant

Debt Management Solutions

Balancing debt repayment with investing goals takes some strategy and planning. Some consider investing as a first line of defense while paying down debt as a second.

The debt dilemma

The process for eliminating debt is anything but an easy-to-solve financial equation. Many people wonder if they should pay off their debt as quickly as possible or invest their money, letting debt payments run their course.

The answer depends on whom you ask. Theories about balancing investing with debt vary widely. Some financial experts say freedom from debt is the most important goal. Others say it’s more about the math: Your money should go toward investing if your investments earn a higher rate of return than your debts cost you. Still others focus on the emotional aspect: How comfortable are you with a certain level of debt?

Neither one nor the other

Better yet, perhaps, is a balanced approach to wealth management. If you’re like most people, you’ll need to manage finances for both present and future needs. That means paying off some debt today while simultaneously investing with an eye on the future.

Although your decisions should take into account your own needs and circumstances, consider the following guidelines for handling debt in light of investing goals:

Save for a rainy day. Before paying down debt (beyond required payments) or settling on an investment strategy, make it your first priority to put funds aside for an emergency reserve. We recommend six months or more of living expenses; an absolute minimum is three months’ worth. These funds should be in traditional savings or very short-term, highly liquid, low-volatility investments.

Put your future first. As a general rule, your long-term investment plan should take priority over applying extra amounts toward debt. Be careful as well not to let “lifestyle creep,” a tendency toward more expensive tastes and luxury consumption, impede your investment outlook.

By contributing to a long-term investment plan as early as possible, you may set yourself up for a brighter future. If paying down debt is also a priority, you’ll want to examine your personal budget to decide how much to direct each month toward investing and how much toward debt repayment. Just remember, there are no magic numbers. In general, the best advice is to make sure your investment strategy fits your financial expectations for the future.

Prioritize your debts. With an emergency fund in place and your investment strategy up and running, putting any extra money toward your debts is also a smart way to go. But how do you decide which debts to pay down first?

One approach is to start with the smallest debts first to eliminate at least some of your debt burden and interest payments in a timely manner. It also makes sense to pay off high-interest debts like private student loans and credit card debt more quickly.

Federal student loans and mortgages might be lower priorities, because their rates are often lower and their terms are longer. Vehicle loans might fall somewhere in the middle. Tax considerations might also come into play.

It’s personal. As you divide and conquer debt, don’t forget to consider the emotional side of your strategy. If paying off a certain debt will help you feel more secure, you might want to go with your gut feeling.You’ll enjoy a growing sense of financial freedom as you stay on course and get your debt under control. As it shrinks over time, you may find you have more funds available for enjoying the present and focusing on the future.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Michelle Konkle, CFP®, Financial Consultant with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, IN at 812-948-8475.
Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE
Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

© 2017 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. CAR 0717-05089

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Money Matters | Elder Financial Abuse: The Silent Crime

 

Michelle Floyd, CFP, Financial Consultant

Michelle Floyd, CFP, Financial Consultant

Elder financial abuse has the potential to impact all of us on some level. Whether you are protecting a loved one from becoming a victim or actively taking precautions to protect your personal estate, fraud and exploitation is a risk that grows as people age.

It is important for individuals to understand the magnitude of this crime, identify ways to both actively prevent and stop abuse, as well as understand how to escalate if it is suspected.

Understand. Seniors lose an estimated $36.5 billion every year to the crime of elder financial abuse.i In fact, according to the 2010 Investor Protection Trust (IPT) Elder Fraud Survey, more than seven million older Americans — one out of every five over the age of 65 — have fallen victim to a financial swindle. [i]i As Baby Boomers turn 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day, the threat of potential abuse heightens.

It is imperative we take preventative measures to confront this epidemic, including educating ourselves on the potential warning signs and using the resources and tools available to stop fraud and abuse from occurring.

Identify. Spotting exploitation can be difficult as the perpetrators of these crimes tend to be close friends or relatives. Studies project that approximately 70 percent of elder financial abuse is committed by family members, friends, trusted persons or others known to the individual being exploited.[ii]i This increasingly blurred line of those who have one’s best interest at heart and those who don’t makes spotting these scams a challenge.

Here are a few warning signs:

  • Sudden reluctance to discuss financial matters
  • Sudden, atypical, or unexplained withdrawals or wire transfers from their accounts, or other changes in their financial situations
  • New best friends and “sweethearts”
  • Behavioral changes, such as fear or submissiveness, social isolation, withdrawn behavior, disheveled appearance, and forgetfulness
  • Changes in the will, especially when they might not fully understand the implications
  • Large, frequent “gifts” to a caregiver
  • Missing personal belongings

Report. Reporting is single-handedly the most important step to escalating suspected elder financial abuse. Studies show that as few as one in 44 cases of elder financial abuse are reported.iv Victims tend to keep details secret for a number of reasons – fear of being victimized again, reluctance to incriminate a family member or friend, or admitting vulnerability are among them. To properly report suspected elder financial abuse, contact a state agency or the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Remember, elder financial exploitation is not exclusive. Consider the below to help protect yourself from potential abuse:

  • Organize your estate. No matter how old you are, it’s a good idea to update and organize all your financial documentation, including your will, financial powers of attorney, real estate deeds, insurance policies, pension and trust documents, birth and marriage certificates, and Social Security paperwork. Maintaining an organized file, and helping others (such as a parent, uncle or close friend) do the same, can make it easier to spot the inconsistencies and red flags that could signal financial abuse.
  • Make a list of financial contacts. Bankers, insurance agents, attorneys, accountants, stockbrokers, and other professionals should be on it. Share your list with these professionals and with family members you trust. In addition, ensure you have a trusted contact on file. This is an individual who the advisor could contact in the event of an emergency or suspected abuse.

i True Link Financial. “True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse,” 2015.

ii Investor Protection Trust (IPT). “IPT Elder Fraud Survey,” 2010.

iii Jewish Council for the Aging, National Center for Elder Abuse. Paley Rothman article, “Who Commits Elder Financial Abuse and Why Isn’t It Reported?” 2016.

iv National Adult Protective Services Association. “Policy and Advocacy.” www.napsa-now.org. 2017.

 

This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Michelle Floyd, CFP®, Financial Consultant with Axiom Financial Strategies Group in New Albany, IN 47150 at 812-948-8475.

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

© 2017 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. 0617-01508

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Money Matters | Is Divorce on the Horizon?

Todd Harrett, Financial Advisor with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, Ind.

Todd Harrett, Financial Advisor with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, Ind.

A divorce is obviously an emotionally charged time for you and your family. You’re juggling a lot of arrangements and financial details. Most divorce attorneys suggest thinking about how to divide your financial responsibilities as early as possible ‒ particularly if you have shared debt.

Look at shared debt. With the help of a mediator and/or your financial advisor, you may be able to decide which of you will take which debts. You may consider paying off or closing any credit accounts before you divorce. Most states allow you to settle debt issues between you. If you can’t come to an agreement and the court has to decide for you, the divorce can get very complex and expensive.

Another reason to be proactive about your shared debt: It can help you both maintain good credit ratings after your split and, perhaps most important, prevent uncomfortable conversations about unresolved debts with your ex-spouse in the future.

Get help as soon as you consider a separation. Meet with your financial advisor at the first hint of impending separation. A good financial advisor will be compassionate and willing to remain neutral if he or she serves both you and your soon-to-be-ex. Your advisor can revisit your investment portfolio and do a cash-flow analysis to illustrate what you might draw as future income. He or she can also offer advice about which shared debts might be best for you to take on (or avoid), given the amount of risk with which you are comfortable.

Start with your credit report. A smart way to begin reviewing your debts is to request a copy of your credit report so you can verify which liabilities are in your name. If your spouse is willing to share his or her credit report, that can help you get a full breakdown of all shared debts. Your obligations might include assets such as a primary home, vacation home, vehicles, credit cards and lines of credit, family business–related debt, and possibly student loan debt.

Once you have a full picture of your debts and assets, you can discuss dividing them.

What about the house? Research confirms most divorcing women want to keep the matrimonial home whenever possible, especially when children are still living there. The spouse who keeps each home should also take responsibility for its loan, refinancing it in their name if at all possible.

Information is important to handling debt well during a divorce. One situation where you might have to continue working together with your ex-spouse on a shared debt is if you have an unresolved tax obligation. You should talk to the IRS about setting up separate payments on that joint debt.

You may not agree on how to split contentious debts, such as secret credit card debt created by your spouse. In that case, your state’s laws will come into play. For instance, in most states, ownership of debts is decided by “equitable distribution.” A judge or mediator assigns debts to spouses according to factors such as who signed for it, got greatest value from it, or has the larger income.

Overall, information is the most important key to handling debt well during a divorce. Collect tax returns, credit reports, and bank and brokerage statements as early as possible. The more you know about your marital finances, the easier it should be for you to negotiate over outstanding debts at the settlement table.

 

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Todd Harrett, Financial Advisor with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, IN at 812-948-8475.

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

© 2017 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.  CAR 0217-04883

2017-money-matters-feature-podcast

Money Matters | Episode 6: What to Do, Before the I Do’s

Are you ready when the wedding bells ring?
The team from Axiom talk about the financial side — and contract side — of what a wedding brings.
So again, I ask you, are you ready when the wedding bells ring?
Money Matters: The Podcast is sponsored by Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.  This monthly podcast is in addition to a monthly article titled, “Money Matters,” that is posted online at www.ExtolMag.com and www.axiomfsg.com.
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At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors we sincerely appreciate our clients making opportunities like this possible. Without their support of our business, we would not be able to support programs like this.
Axiom Financial Strategies Group
of Wells Fargo Advisors
101 W Spring Street, Fifth Floor
New Albany, IN  47150
P 812.542.6475 | F 812.948.8732 | www.axiomfsg.com
At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, our team caters to a select group of family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, institutions, and foundations, helping them build, manage, preserve, and transition wealth. We accomplish this while providing top-notch service through a team approach that puts our clients’ needs, goals, and interests first. To learn more visit our website at www.axiomfsg.com. Wells Fargo Advisors. Member SIPC.
The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your personal investment situation. Individuals should consult with their chosen financial professional before making any decisions.

Any estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and is licensed to practice law in your state.  Insurance products are offered through our affiliated nonbank insurance agencies.

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.
Video: CAR# 0817-03149.
Podcast: CAR#  0817-04140