Wealth Knowledge Center

Resources designed for you

Our clients often share that one of the most valuable aspects of their relationship with us is our understanding that their lives—and wealth planning needs—are dynamic.  As your needs and objectives change over time, we’re here with facts, updates and personalized guidance. 

Our Wealth Advisors have written the articles below to help you gain insights into a variety of financial planning topics. 

    Maintaining your wealth and living your best retirement

    Preserving your wealth requires careful  financial planning not only before but also within retirement.

    Transitioning from work to a life of leisure is part of the American dream, but the reality of lifestyle in retirement can be shocking without proper planning. Developing a retirement identity includes everything from your social network to everyday lifestyle and your financial efficacy.

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      Maximize your Social Security paycheck

      Man on mountain

      In order to determine how to maximize Social Security, it is important to know which types of benefits are available, and then to identify when is the best time to begin receiving these benefits will be based on your individual situation.

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      The ABCD’s of Medicare

      Colored bricks

      Medicare can be a complex program to navigate with several considerations depending on your unique situation. Understanding the program's basic structure is important when creating a financial plan in retirement.

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      Protecting against creditors

      Safe

      Most investors understand the benefits of using retirement accounts to build long-term wealth. What is less known is that they can also provide creditor protection in the event of a legal liability, personal injury lawsuit, or bankruptcy.

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      Planning for required distributions

      Tools

      Knowing what tax-advantaged investment accounts are is crucial for the management of our clients’ wealth. These vehicles shelter ongoing investment growth from taxes, and may provide a tax benefit for contributions or withdrawals.

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      How couples can prepare for retirement

      Train bridge

      Planning for retirement as a couple can have several benefits including confirming common goals, creating accountability to achieve a greater probability of success, and building retirement confidence.

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      Why Gen Z is optimistic about retirement

      Flower field

      The ups and downs of the economy may cause people to give up hope. However, recent studies show that Generation Z is the most optimistic about retirement — even with a global pandemic in the equation.

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      Interested in bringing your retirement into focus?

      Blue water

      Get the guide that will help you determine when your prime time to retirement is.

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      Transitioning from career to retirement

      Train going through fog

      Now more than ever individuals are considering transition from their primary careers into a retirement period that may be much longer, and different, than those experienced by prior generations. If you are thinking about making a career transition to retirement, following are a few steps you should consider:

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      Is early retirement right for you?

      Balloon

      At one time or another you may be offered the opportunity to “retire early” — well before your 65th birthday. It is important to plan for this contingency in advance.

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      What to do in retirement

      Autumn colors

      Given increased longevity and improvements in health, today’s retirees have a greater number of lifestyle options that may be difficult to choose from. This post helps you to think them through.

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      The role of planning in retirement satisfaction

      Wooden path by lake

      Life in retirement may exceed the life of your career. Having a financial plan and a plan for how you plan to spend the next 30+ years has never been more important. People with a plan are significantly more satisfied in retirement.

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      Entrepreneurship is a retirement lifestyle choice

      Sunrise

      Retirement used to mean the end of an era, and was solidified by a person’s complete exit from the workplace, not any more. Learn how entrepreneurship can be a retirement lifestyle choice for you.

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      Nine questions retirees should ask themselves

      Highways

      Our doctors’ visits and daily exercises focus on our physical and mental well-being — yet, is there something else required in order for us to have a positive health experience in retirement? Yes. Financial wellness.

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      Deriving the benefits of doing good

      Throughout our history, Mesirow has had a strong philanthropic culture, so charitable giving is a wealth planning area in which we are very experienced and eager to help provide some new ideas.

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      Are your philanthropic gifting strategies still up to date?

      Clock

      Learn how changes to IRS regulations over the last few years have, in some instances, expanded how an individual may want to consider carrying out charitable giving.

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      Options to donate with intention

      Rainbow stacking blocks

      Two strategies often used by individuals and families are donor-advised funds (DAFs) and private foundations; each has unique costs and tax advantages.

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      Philanthropy bridges generations

      Stacking wooden blocks

      Every generation is shaping the philanthropic landscape in their own way, making a difference in the lives of others. They are also influencing each other’s views on philanthropy.

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      A savvy approach to giving back

      Closeup of colored pencils

      In preparation for tax time, many of our clients look for opportunities to maximize their charitable contributions, especially in a “windfall” year. One way to do so is with a Donor Advised Fund.

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      Taxes and charitable giving

      Stacked colorful blocks

      How you can integrate charitable giving into your financial plan and still enjoy some of the tax benefits associated with gifting.

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      Financial planning for college education

      Planning for education expenses can seem daunting, but with help from Mesirow's Wealth Advisors, it doesn't need to be. We work with individuals and families to help create comprehensive financial plans, across generations, that help prepare for pivotal life events like college. A 529 college savings plan is one example of a potential  solution to help accumulate and invest for future educational needs.  

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      It’s time to consider a 529 conversion

      stacked box cars

      529 accounts are great vehicles to use to save for college. The money grows tax-free, and there is no tax on distributions as long as it is used for qualifying education expenses.

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      Saving for college: with a 529 Plan

      road with green landscape

      Active early planning and some creativity can help position your family to be financially well-prepared to send the next generation off to college.

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      Your guide to 529 Plan withdrawals

      classroom

      Each fall, many of our clients’ children and grandchildren begin their college experience. Now is a good time to review how to spend those 529 College Savings Plan assets.

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      College checklist: Five tips for parents

      classroom

      Sending your young adult off to college or university can be both scary and exciting. These tips may help you help your child navigate some important financial planning and life issues.

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      529 Plans not just for college anymore

      railroad tracks

      Section 529 College Savings Plans have traditionally been used to save and invest for college education. However, legislative reform has expanded how 529 Plans can be used as an educational funding vehicle.

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      Legacy and estate planning begins...

      with understanding your overall balance sheet, the importance of titling your assets properly, establishing appropriate beneficiary designations, and the naming of the professionals who will act on your behalf when needed. Getting organized is the first step. Then, it is very important to have a meaningful conversation with family about your legacy.

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      Start creating an estate plan

      Hour glass with sand

      The most common misconception is that not everyone needs an estate plan, but estate planning is for everyone. Here are a few tips on how you can get started today.

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      Hidden pitfalls of Crypto

      Iceberg in blue water

      As cryptocurrency continues to evolve as an emerging asset class, it is important to determine how this uniquely positioned investment interacts with other financial planning considerations.

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      Having “The talk” with family

      Hurdles

      Having a family conversation about your estate and your legacy can be challenging. But, during times of uncertainly, it becomes more important than ever.

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      Changes in estate tax and planning

      Orange rock formations

      Even though the current federal estate tax exemption is $12.92 million per individual, planning for potential changes to that exemption is always an important financial planning tip.

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      The importance of a trusted advocate

      Robe tied to dock

      You often see the terms Agent, Trustee & Executor in legal documents. But, why does it matter who you appoint to each role?

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      The value of a corporate trustee

      Tree roots

      There are opportunities to create a continuity of wealth advice and guidance from generation to generation while still providing the expertise of a corporate trustee.

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      Stop, take inventory, check-in

      Bell on check-in desk

      Taking time to reassess your estate plan on a regular basis is an important habit. Now may be a good time to revisit your will, trust, POA, asset titling and beneficiaries.

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      Legacy checklist

      Checklist on wooden table in office

      This checklist is designed to help guide you through a variety of tasks when you lose a loved one

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      Document locator

      File folders with documents and bright paperclips

      This form will help you provide you and your heirs with easy access to all of your financial information — all in one place.

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      Are you prepared for your legacy?

      mountain path

      Our guide “Blaze your trail: Ensure your legacy by mapping out a thoughtful wealth transfer strategy” is designed to help you begin that journey and to give you a roadmap to making a legacy plan a reality.

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      Financial terminology can sometimes seem like a different language

      Mesirow has written a number of articles to help you understand  key terms, index information and how economic indicators such as inflation and interest rates impact markets. 

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      FDIC Insurance: What you need to know

      safe door

      This article provides a summary of what you need to know about the FDIC, an independent agency that provides insurance to member banks.

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      Are I Bonds a solid investment choice?

      Columns

      While inflation remains relatively high, it is prudent to challenge if I-Bonds are still an appropriate savings vehicle going forward.

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      Invest it all today or average in?

      Aerial view of field plow

      One way to mitigate short-term volatility is to dollar cost average into the market. Learn how in this article.

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      Inflation, interest rates and you

      Hot air balloon

      Inflation and interest rates are key economic indicators that can impact your pocketbook and financial markets.

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      How to gauge performance using benchmarks

      Apples

      Using the most appropriate index as a benchmark is key to evaluating how your investment portfolio is performing.

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      The power of compound interest

      Stacked books

      The power of “compound interest” is a concept that has been around for a long time, and its benefits can be applied to a number of strategies designed to help accumulate wealth over time.

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      How stock splits impact your holdings

      Rocks

      Stock splits can often be a confusing concept for investors. What does it mean when a company announces a stock split?

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      Series I Savings Bonds

      Bond

      Higher interest rates have triggered an increase in investor interest in savings vehicles such as Series I Savings Bonds ("I Bonds").

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      Five essential financial terms

      Classroom

      Financial terminology can sometimes seem like a different language. Learn about five essential finance terms that we believe everyone should know.

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      Why interest rates matter

      Playground by beach

      If you have recently applied for a loan, you may have noticed that sometimes the interest rate being charged can be relatively high, and sometimes it is much lower. Why?

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      Key life events often trigger the need for advice

      Your financial plan and investments may be going along just fine, and then something important happens in your life and the plan needs to change in order to stay on track. 

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        Renting Versus Buying

        Stripes of color

        Both renting and buying offer distinct advantages and considerations, this article will help you to carefully evaluate them before making a decision.

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        Divorce

        Lake and green hills

        As with any significant life change, a divorce can be an emotional and stressful period with financial ramifications. Learn how to be prepared.

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        Birth of a child

        Baby mobile

        Having a baby is one of the most exhilarating and awe-inspiring moments in most people’s lives, but comes with financial complexities that can be dealt with by planning ahead.

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        Wedding planning

        Rows of wedding seats

        When planning a wedding, often both partners have begun to save, invest, and accumulate assets. Premarital financial planning has therefore become extremely important.

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        New job

        Looking up through glass ceiling

        On the first day of your new job, you are handed a very large packet of paperwork and asked to choose your employee benefits. Where do you start?

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        Planning for special needs

        Cups and food

        When families have dependents who may be considered to have special needs, planning for a secure financial future for this dependent can become extremely complex and often daunting.

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        Health care planning

        Long term care facility

        As we get older, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that our health care needs and desires are well documented and understood by our family, friends, medical providers, and professional advisors.

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        Caregiving for a loved one

        Grandaughter on grandpa's shoulders

        While becoming a caregiver may be unexpected, there are some advance steps you can take so you won’t be caught completely off guard.

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        The need for long term care

        Holding loved ones hands

        Seventy percent of people turning age 65 will need some type of severe long-term services and support in their lifetime. The goal is to be prepared so, if you turn out to be one of them, it doesn’t derail your overall financial plan.

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        Taking care of a parent

        Coffee cups

        They call it the “sandwich generation,” when we balance caring for our parents, or grandparents, at the same time as we care for our children.

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        Caring for others and your finances

        Canoes

        They call it the “sandwich generation,” when we balance caring for our parents, or grandparents, at the same time as we care for our children.

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        Meeting your financial goals

        Staying on track with your goals to attain your financial objectives is critical. Planning and preparation are key to creating a well-thought-out financial plan that can address your concerns and help set you and your family on a trajectory to meet short-term and long-term goals. 

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        2024 planning guide

        Aerial view of trail through trees

        This guide is a consolidated list of the annual contribution limits, tax rates and payment requirements for 2024.

        Access the guide

        2023 planning guide

        Aerial view of trail through trees

        This guide highlights 2023 retirement plan contribution rates, tax rates, Medicare and more.

        Access the guide

        Realities facing younger generations

        Trees Changing

        Lifestyle and financial goals make take longer for younger generations to accomplish today as individuals need more time to establish themselves. Here are a few reasons why.

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        Three tips to plan for the 2026 "sunset"

        Sunset in Motion

        One of the most unique features of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is its "sunset" in 2026. Learn how to take advantage of current rules now before they lapse.

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        How Mesirow helped a family protect their assets and legacy

        multi-generational family

        In this case study, learn about how multiple generations of a client's family has worked with their Mesirow Wealth Advisory team.

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        Finding the right advisor

        Building blocks

        Individuals and families have different wealth planning and investment needs. Finding a financial advisor that is the “right fit” for your unique situation can require a degree of patience and due diligence.

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        A lifetime of planning advice

        Library

        Although the history books have not yet been written, the past few years have impacted financial priorities. It may be the time to take a moment to review where you are, where you are going and what it will take to get there.

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        Planning tips for young professionals

        Winding road

        Whether a young professional have been in the workforce for the last three years or a recent graduate, here are some quick financial planning tips to jumpstart his or her wealth accumulation journey.

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        The role of insurance in financial plans

        Umbrella in the rain

        Your financial plan and investment portfolio is likely made up of a variety of different types of assets, which you probably review with your wealth advisor at least annually, if not more often. Insurance policies can play a critical role in your financial plan, but they are often overlooked.

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        Preparing for a financial windfall

        Dollar bills

        Do you ever dream of receiving a financial windfall? It may seem like a fantasy, but it happens more often than you might think. And, not unlike other financial issues, having a plan will ensure you make the most of your windfall and have no future regrets.

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        Getting organized is the first step

        Organized pantry

        Do I have enough to retire? Can I afford to support a family member? These are a few questions that play into your life and financial decisions. Being organized is critical to an advisor’s ability to answer your unique questions appropriately.

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        Protect yourself from theft and fraud

        Railroad stop

        We believe that an essential part of your financial wellbeing is the confidence that your financial identity is secure.

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        Planning for the LGBTQ community

        Pride flag

        Everyone has unique circumstances that must be considered when creating a financial plan. Depending on goals, members of the LGBTQ community may have additional factors to consider when it comes to financial planning.

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        The rise of intrafamily loans

        Family meal

        An intrafamily loan is a wealth planning strategy that has become increasingly more utilized in the current interest rate environment.

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        A few financial resolutions

        Winter scene with calendar notebook

        The beginning of each year brings hope as we consider starting something new or making improvements to our financial wellness.

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        Excess liability insurance

        Nails

        Sometimes homeowner insurance isn't enough to cover potential liability claims.

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        Seven year-end planning tips

        Wall of post-it notes

        It is important to review your financial plan every year, but based on the events of the past few years, it may be more important than ever. Depending on your situation, we have some tips that might make sense for you and your family.

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        Life insurance is an important asset

        Building logs

        One of the most commonly overlooked assets are insurance policies. Since insurance plays a critical role in a financial plan, we thought we’d share some insights with you.

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        Are you ready to make the most of your peak earning years?

        Glacial lake

        If you're at the stage of life where you're trying to accumulate and grow your wealth, how can you be sure you're making the most of these two advantages?

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        Running a business isn’t for the faint of heart

        It takes time, money and commitment to high quality product and client services. While you are focused on running your business, Mesirow can help provide insights into how financial planning components such as ownership, retirement savings and succession planning play a role to the long-term success of your business. 

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        Prepare, Plan, Protect

        Coffee and Plant

        Just as you are identifying short and long-term growth goals and strategies for the company, it is important to identify short and long-term personal financial goals and plans for you and your family.

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        Managing your 401(k) plan

        Bakery

        A 401(k) plan is often a key benefit for attracting and retaining employees, but managing a plan can be challenging for small business owners. Mesirow and a Third Party Administrator (TPA) can help shoulder some of that administrative burden.

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        Optimize tax planning

        Laptop

        At Mesirow, we work with business owners like you to help maximize retirement savings, minimize taxes, and maintain the flexibility required to productively run your business by implementing custom retirement plan strategies.

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        3 tips for business owners

        SMB Open sign

        Most small business owners’ planning strategies are centered around the success and growth of the business. The three most commonly overlooked planning concepts involve ownership, retirement savings, and succession planning.

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        Best practices for selling your business

        SMB Open sign

        “Setting a new course: Best practices for selling your business” presents three phases for selling a business which any owner considering selling – now or in the future – will find to be valuable.

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        Reducing your tax liabilities

        A savvy investor and their wealth advisory team can strategically reduce federal tax liabilities without impacting long-term investment plans. 

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        Five key tax changes in 2023

        Colorful blocks

        While consumers are feeling this pain in their everyday purchases, the IRS is offering some relief by making adjustments during the 2023 tax year that will lower the tax burden for most Americans.

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        Why invest your HSA assets

        Facemasks

        If you can afford to cover your family’s health care costs out-of-pocket (without spending your Health Savings Account (“HSA”), consider investing those HSA assets instead.

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        IRA Tax Smarts

        Roller coaster

        You might want to consider whether a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA makes the most sense, whether required minimum distributions can be given to charity, or whether you should accelerate your IRA distributions.

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        Market volatility creates opportunities

        Mountains

        Although periods of market volatility can create anxiety, the gains and losses incurred during up and down markets can be leveraged to work together to minimize the taxes investors pay on capital gains.

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        Are you eligible for a Roth IRA?

        Rainbow

        Even though you might not be eligible to contribute directly to a Roth IRA, you might be able to convert a traditional pre-tax IRA into a Roth IRA.

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        Volatility creates Roth IRA opportunities

        Colored paper origami

        As stocks dip this year, some investors are taking advantage of the market volatility by converting their traditional pre-tax IRAs to a Roth IRA.

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        Delay taxes on certain assets

        Traffic Light

        Many of our clients own business assets or personal property that have appreciated in value and struggle with ways to sell these assets without triggering immediate capital gains taxes.

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        Want to learn more?

        Wealth advisory services offered by Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc., an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Mesirow Financial, Inc., member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory Fees are described in Mesirow Financial Investment Management Inc.’s Part 2A of the Form ADV. Mesirow refers to Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. and its divisions, subsidiaries and affiliates. The Mesirow name and logo are registered service marks of Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc.