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Avaii Welcomes Tyler Verstegen, CPA

We are happy to announce our new Director of Tax Planning and Strategy, Tyler Verstegen, CPA. Tyler attended St. Norbert College, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance. He is a licensed CPA in the state of Wisconsin. Prior to joining Avaii, he worked in the tax department at a national public accounting firm. He specializes in Tax Planning and Individual Tax Return preparation. Tyler started at Avaii in September and continues to impress us! He is sharp, kind, and thorough.

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Estate Planning: Living Trusts

Living trusts are created with a clearly defined objective: to avoid probate. Misconceptions about living trusts have spread to the point where people think trusts can accomplish much more than they are designed to. But if you are worried about your will being contested or your heirs fighting over your assets, a revocable living trust may be your best option. You fund a revocable living trust with all, or largely all, of your assets during your lifetime. The trust owns the assets, but you can still use and control them while you’re alive. Once you die, the revocable living trust becomes irrevocable, and the assets in the trust are distributed according to your wishes by designated successor trustees who are exempt from probate. In addition to giving you more control and privacy over your assets, a living trust may save your heirs time and money. An AARP survey found that it takes roughly 18 months to distribute the typical estate due to probate. Settlement costs from probate may eat up as much as 5% of an estate.

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Estate Planning: Wills and Probate

While a will is a far more complicated document than a note, leaving a will for your family is not only a considerate move on your part; it may prevent your family from dealing with several hurdles and complications after your eventual passing. It’s a good idea to think carefully about making a plan for you and your estate when you die.

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Inflation Creeping into Personal Finances

If you have a balance on a credit card or an adjustable rate mortgage, you might be noticing changes in your payments. Higher interest rates are starting to ripple through the personal finance landscape, and it doesn’t look like that trend will change anytime soon. The Federal Reserve has indicated it plans to keep raising short-term interest rates to help manage inflation, which is at its highest level in 40 years. You’re likely seeing the effects of inflation when buying gas or groceries, and you’ll notice it if you are shopping for a new or used car. The Federal Reserve’s job is to control inflation. By raising interest rates, the Fed hopes to slow spending, bringing down consumer prices.

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The Fed Has an Eye on Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made the Fed’s interest rate decision a little more complicated. The Fed appears set to raise interest rates by 0.25% at its March meeting. Up until recently, there was talk by Fed officials that the economy needed a 0.5% bump to help manage inflation.

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Scammers Are Getting Smarter in 2022: 5 Ways to Spot Them Online, Over the Phone and In Person

Scammers keep getting bolder and bolder with their extortion methods. From impersonating landlords to illegal debt collection tactics, there is no shortage of ways scammers will try to separate you from your money.1 Scamming has been exacerbated even further by the pandemic, with scammers taking advantage of citizens in an already anxiety-inducing climate. Be aware of these five red flags when getting on the phone, checking your email, or using social media. This can help you avoid getting trapped in a conversation with a scammer in the first place.

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