Take Root Financial Planning Blog


How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

May 23, 2017

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need? By Jeremy Suschak CFP®, Managing Director, Emerging Wealth Program The question of how much insurance to carry involves some careful consideration. Especially if you have a family or others who depend on you. The most important thing to get right is to have enough coverage, which begs the…

Is the After-Tax Option Available in Your Retirement Plan?

May 16, 2017

Is the After-Tax Option Available in Your Retirement Plan? By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Director, LifePlan 20/20® If you are fortunate enough to be able to max out your contributions to a 401(k) and/or Roth IRA, you should look for more options on where to put your extra money.  Even if you are not a high-net…

Why Maxing Out Your Company Retirement Plan Pays Long-term Benefits

May 11, 2017

Why Maxing Out Your Company Retirement Plan Pays Long-term Benefits By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Director, LifePlan 20/20® Whenever we talk to clients about their financial goals, the topic of having enough income after retirement is always part of the conversation. That said, how much money you contribute to your retirement plan now can make all…

Some Better Options for Those with Extra Money in Savings

May 2, 2017

Some Better Options for Those with Extra Money in Savings By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Director, LifePlan 20/20® In our last blog, we spoke about what to do if you have too much of a safety net parked in your low yield savings account or investment. Here are four suggestions to help you grow the extra…

Looking under the hood of Trump’s tax reform proposal

April 27, 2017

Looking under the hood of Trump’s tax reform proposal April 27, 2017 | A Financial Planning Blog by Charles Stout, Senior Advisor With the promise of “the biggest tax cut and largest tax reform in the history of our country,” the Trump administration unveiled what they called a broad-brush overview of their much publicized and debated…

Without a Safety Net, Even the Wealthy Are Just One Emergency Away from Financial Ruin

April 18, 2017

Without a Safety Net, Even the Wealthy Are Just One Emergency Away from Financial Ruin By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Director, LifePlan 20/20® A recent Harris Poll* found that even among American households earning $100,000 a year or more, 27% — more than a quarter — don’t have an emergency fund with three months’ worth of…

Estate Planning: The Foundation of a Healthy Financial Plan

April 11, 2017

Estate Planning: The Foundation of a Healthy Financial Plan April 11, 2017 | By Marvin Ledgister, Associate Advisor Growing up in the U.K., I attended a Church of England school. At school assemblies, we often sang hymns, one of which was about a wise man who built his house on solid rock and a foolish man…

Lessons From The Wealthy For Becoming And Staying Financially Secure

March 29, 2017

Lessons From The Wealthy For Becoming And Staying Financially Secure By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Director, LifePlan 20/20® In our last blog, we talked about the importance of getting organized financially. Now it’s time to take the important next step of goal setting. Whatever your financial status, you probably have specific goals in mind for your…

Time to “Lock in” Interest Rates?

March 23, 2017

Time to “Lock in” Interest Rates? March 22, 2017 | A Financial Planning Blog by Charles Stout, Senior Advisor Interest rates have been part of the “Trump Trade” just as much as stocks have been, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury rising almost 1% since Election Day.  As with anything financial, for some people that’s…

The Truth About the “Trump Bump”

March 14, 2017

The Truth About the “Trump Bump” March 14, 2017 | By Mike Aroesty, CFP®, Managing Director of Strategic AIM™ Asset Management “Expectation is the root of all heartache” – William Shakespeare The stock market has been providing investors with some fireworks over the past 4 months.  The S&P 500 has risen by almost 20% in the…

Some Tips for Getting Started with Financial Planning

March 7, 2017

Some Tips for Getting Started with Financial Planning By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Director, LifePlan 20/20® What is it about financial planning that is so hard to get your arms around? Maybe it’s because it is a term that is often overused (or misused). Or maybe it’s because it involves so much common sense that people…

Tax Changes: Now That We Know…

December 3, 2016

Tax Changes: Now That We Know… December 3, 2016 | A Financial Planning Blog by Charles Stout, Senior Advisor The title of this piece refers to the fact that we know that our President-elect is Donald Trump. And, of course, little else is 100% certain beyond that. But we anticipate that his ideas for tax reform…

2017 Medicare Open Enrollment deadline quickly approaching

November 22, 2016

2017 Medicare Open Enrollment deadline quickly approaching By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Managing Director, LifePlan 20/20® Open enrollment for Medicare is between October 15th and December 7th. For those not paying attention, that’s two weeks away! Between now and December 7th Medicare recipients can make changes to their various coverage options. Options include: switching from Original…

An up-close view of the Cuban economy

November 10, 2016

An up-close view of the Cuban economy November 10, 2016 | A Financial Planning Blog by Charles Stout, Senior Advisor I had the pleasure of visiting the island country of Cuba last week on a World Affairs Council-sponsored “People to People” trip. It was a fascinating and extraordinarily educational visit to parts of a long-considered enemy…

After Brexit – Time to Re-Finance?

July 14, 2016

After Brexit – Time to Re-Finance? July 14, 2016 | A Financial Planning Blog by Charles Stout, Senior Advisor The other day, I saw an advertisement for what one financial institution is calling “Brexit Loans.” It’s a play, of course, on the fact that the Brexit vote in the U.K. a couple weeks ago has resulted…

Do you know what is in your benefit package?

July 3, 2016

Do you know what is in your benefit package? By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Associate Advisor / Financial Planning So here you are… you landed that dream job! Congratulations! Or, maybe you’re already settled in your dream position… You met with HR when you accepted the position, took home a couple handouts and set them on…

Sizing up my generation as future investors

June 15, 2016

Sizing up my generation as future investors By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Associate Advisor / Financial Planning When I decided to write a blog about the Millennial generation, I never thought I’d learn so much about my peers. I really wanted to gear my writing to Millennials and why it is important to start talking with…

What it’s like to hear Janet Yellen speak

June 8, 2016

What it’s like to hear Janet Yellen speak June 8, 2016 | By Charles Stout, Senior Advisor On Monday, I was in Philadelphia and took the opportunity to hear Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen speak to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. It was my first time to see or hear a Fed Chair in…

Princely sum or not, you should have a Will

May 3, 2016

Princely sum or not, you should have a Will By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Associate Advisor / Financial Planning With 2016 already a third of the way through we have seen our share of celebrities passing: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, Merle Haggard and Prince, to name a few. As we celebrate their…

Trouble gaining clarity for your financial future? Look to Financial Planning.

April 9, 2016

Trouble gaining clarity for your financial future? Look to Financial Planning. April 9, 2016 | By Charles Stout, Senior Advisor When you hear the words “Wealth Management” what immediately comes to mind? If you’re like most people, your focus is on the management of your money, how it’s invested, whether or not you have the right…

The secret of getting organized? Start.

March 15, 2016

The secret of getting organized? Start. By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Associate Advisor / Financial Planning So here we are almost a quarter of the way through 2016! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? If so, what were they? Did you stick to them? New Year’s resolution or not, I think we can all agree…

Key to a solid Financial Plan? Putting first things first

February 23, 2016

Key to a solid Financial Plan? Putting first things first By Jeremy Suschak CFP®, Financial Advisor When it comes to financial planning, it can be challenging to figure out exactly where your surplus dollars should be going. Before going any further, I suppose we should first define what “surplus” dollars are. I prefer not to…

Prepare for Important changes in Social Security in 2016

January 21, 2016

Prepare for Important changes in Social Security in 2016 By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Associate Advisor / Financial Planning 2016 has arrived, and for the tens of millions of Americans who receive Social Security benefits, the New Year is a good time to review what they can expect from the program over the coming year. While…

Social Security: To Wait or Not

May 26, 2015

Social Security: To Wait or Not May 26, 2015 | By Charles Stout, President One of the financial planning issues facing many Baby Boomers is when to start collecting their Social Security benefits. After a lifetime of paying Social Security taxes, it’s only natural to want to start collecting soon. But it’s often – though not…

How compounding interest can help lead to a more secure retirement

May 15, 2015

How compounding interest can help lead to a more secure retirement By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Registered Assistant At what age do you plan to retire? How much do you think you will need to live off of during retirement? How much do you think you will need to have saved in order to retire comfortably?…

Time for some spring cleaning of your financial documents

April 25, 2015

Time for some spring cleaning of your financial documents April 25, 2015 | By David Hoffmann, Vice President It’s getting to be that time of year again!  The weather is getting warmer, and many of us are thinking the same thing: time for spring cleaning.  While it may be easier to decide that it is time to…

Don’t forget to choose a beneficiary on your retirement account. The consequences are significant.

April 1, 2015

Don’t forget to choose a beneficiary on your retirement account. The consequences are significant. April 1, 2015 | By Steve Kohler, Senior Financial Advisor You worked hard to save for retirement income for the rest of your life. Hopefully, you will have a long and enjoyable retirement as your reward. But what happens to your retirement…

Asset Allocation for a More Secure 2015

March 1, 2015

Asset Allocation for a More Secure 2015 February 28, 2015 | By David Root, Founder and CEO As we anticipate what 2015 holds for all of us financially, we understand that there will be changes and events that will reshape our thinking throughout the year. Consider that the Dow has now risen six years in a…

Financial planning and the Millennial Generation

December 29, 2014

Financial planning and the Millennial Generation December 29, 2014 | By David Root, Founder and CEO “If you want happiness for a lifetime, help the next generation” – Chinese proverb The financial industry has been focusing a lot of attention on the Baby Boom generation, and for good reason. More than 10,000 Boomers are reaching retirement age…

What do you want your legacy to be? Here are six critical areas to consider.

December 9, 2014

What do you want your legacy to be? Here are six critical areas to consider. July 10, 2014 | By David Hoffmann, Vice President Who will get your assets when you die?  Will there be enough money available for your family to live on if you die?  If you have minor children, who will be their guardians?…

Contemplating the short-term and long-term financial impact of the mid-terms

December 2, 2014

Contemplating the short-term and long-term financial impact of the mid-terms November 19, 2014 | By David Root, Founder and CEO Now that the election is over and congress is firmly under Republican control, you may be hearing broad speculation on what impact, in any it might have on the financial industry. While there are many factors…

Should you convert your IRA?

November 2, 2014

Should you convert your IRA? November 2, 2014 | By David Hoffmann, Vice President In 2010, Congress removed the income cap on conversions of traditional IRA accounts into Roth IRAs.  This opened up the potential for Roth conversions to everyone, regardless of income level, and created some additional questions about the benefits and detriments of doing conversions….

Adapt and Evolve

October 16, 2014

Adapt and Evolve October 16, 2014 | By Keith McCullough, CEO, Hedgeye Risk Management “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” -Viktor E. Frankl As egotistical as many successful stock investors seem on the outside, a common attribute for many of them is, ironically, their ability…

Looking to claim your social security benefits? Here are some things to consider first.

October 7, 2014

Looking to claim your social security benefits? Here are some things to consider first. By Tiffany Benigni RPSM, Registered Assistant Here you are … in your sixties and faced with the daunting decision of when to start collecting Social Security. You have worked for what feels like your entire life to get to this point……

Time versus timing – the story of Louie the loser

September 22, 2014

Time versus timing – the story of Louie the loser September 22, 2014 | By Mike Aroesty, Financial Advisor An article came across my desk recently from American Funds that touched on a source of anxiety shared by most investors in today’s ever-changing market. Here’s a summary: There’s an investor we will refer to as ‘Louie…

Applying historic lessons of leadership in today’s marketplace

September 10, 2014

Applying historic lessons of leadership in today’s marketplace September 10, 2014 | By David Root, Founder and CEO More than 150 years ago, our nation faced one of its greatest challenges in a small town in southern Pennsylvania now famous for its significance in preserving our nation. Gettysburg was the largest battle ever fought in the…

Learning to be a financial advisor in America

August 27, 2014

Learning to be a financial advisor in America August 27, 2014 | By Marvin Ledgister, Administrative Assistant If you are a Baby Boomer, you should know that 10,000 members of your generation are entering retirement age every day. For this generation, this will not be your parents’ retirement. Lower returns on investments, uncertainty about the state…

A Win / Win / Lose Strategy

August 17, 2014

A Win / Win / Lose Strategy August 17, 2014 | By Charles Stout, President One of the best combinations of investment strategy and tax planning is the use of appreciated investments for making gifts to charity. Here’s why: • A gift of a “capital asset” (for most of us that means stocks, bonds or real estate)to…

Mentoring the next generation to secure our industry

July 23, 2014

Mentoring the next generation to secure our industry July 23, 2014 | By David Root, Founder and CEO For some time, I’ve been talking about the importance of retirement planning for our clients. Interestingly, one of the biggest waves of retirees in our country will be coming from within our own ranks. Currently, the average age…

Giving With Purpose: Donor Advised Funds

June 30, 2014

Giving With Purpose: Donor Advised Funds June 30, 2014 | By Mike Aroesty, Financial Advisor Ever wanted to change the world?  If you are charitably inclined, there is an easy way to support your favorite cause in a manner that is deeply personal and rewarding. Recently, my family underwent personal tragedy when my father lost his…

Are you sure your estate plan is up to date? New regulations may warrant a review

June 13, 2014

Are you sure your estate plan is up to date? New regulations may warrant a review June 13, 2014 | By Charles Stout, President Over the past 30 years, Estate Taxes have gone from being a major concern for many investors to something that the vast majority of people don’t need to be concerned about. That’s…

Maintaining control in a fluid financial environment

May 30, 2014

Maintaining control in a fluid financial environment May 30, 2014 | By David Root, Founder and CEO What is it about 2014? It seems that every conceivable prediction for the direction of the market and the U.S. economy is in play, making the future a clouded picture at best. Perhaps the only thing certain is the…

Protect yourself and your family from identity theft

May 15, 2014

Protect yourself and your family from identity theft May 15, 2014 | By Charles Stout, President With all the recent publicity about Identity Theft, it’s a good idea to respond quickly – and intelligently — if you become a victim. Here are some actions you should take: • Cancel all credit and debit cards and replace…

Celebrating 20 years of challenges and opportunities

April 30, 2014

Celebrating 20 years of challenges and opportunities April 30, 2014 | By David Root, Founder and CEO As I look back on the 20 years that have passed since I started D.B. Root & Company, I am reminded that we are now in a new century and many of the advances we now take for granted…

Raising Children to Be Money-Smart

April 23, 2014

Raising Children to Be Money-Smart April 23, 2014 | By Steve Kohler, Senior Financial Advisor As a father of three active, ambitious children who are convinced that they are smarter than Dad about many things – I value any opportunity to share my financial knowledge with them and show just how valuable understanding money and its role in…

Should You Tell Your Children?

April 17, 2014

Should You Tell Your Children? April 17, 2014 | By Charles Stout, President One of the questions we often get from clients is:  “Should we tell our children about what we have?” Of course, if your children are all minors, that’s obviously not a good idea. But what if they’re young, responsible adults? Should they know?…

The Buffalo Jump

April 8, 2014

The Buffalo Jump April 8, 2014 | By Mike Aroesty, Financial Advisor “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking” -George S. Patton Having an infant in the house often leads to erratic sleeping behavior, but also offers an opportunity to see classic movies at 3am on the tube. This past weekend’s pleasure wasDances With…

Get an umbrella – before it rains!

March 28, 2014

Get an umbrella – before it rains! March 28, 2014 | By Charles Stout, President One of the most overlooked and under- appreciated financial transactions you can make is the purchase of what’s known as an Umbrella policy. An Umbrella policy provides personal liability insurance to protect you in the event you are sued for negligent…

Baby Ka-Boom! The Baby Boomer Retirement Bubble

March 20, 2014

Baby Ka-Boom! The Baby Boomer Retirement Bubble March 20, 2014 | By David Root, Founder and CEO If you are a Baby Boomer, you should know that 10,000 members of your generation are entering retirement age every day. For this generation, this will not be your parents’ retirement. Lower returns on investments, uncertainty about the state…