I Still Wish You Did Not Have Down Syndrome

I Still Wish You Did Not Have Down Syndrome

From Randi Gillespie of Oak Wealth Advisors A few years back, I penned an article about my youngest child, Liam (then 7) and his older sister, Maddy (then 10) that ran in the Chicago Tribune Perspective Section. The heart of the article was that Maddy had Down syndrome and her younger brother, Liam, was angry that she had Down syndrome. He made it perfectly clear one morning by revealing to her, “I wish you did not have Down syndrome.” I chronicled their relationship and the events which led up to Liam’s honest yet painful words. I wrote that I expected that their relationship would evolve over time and that growing up with a sister who had a disability would not only positively sha ...

Making a Difference | Our Time With Jack

Making a Difference | Our Time With Jack

One of the core missions of Oak Wealth Advisors is to improve the lives of families with special needs members. That mission extends well beyond providing fiduciary financial services to our clients. It also includes giving national and local presentations to members of non-profit organizations, educating other financial advisors, and creating opportunities for individuals with special needs. In the spring of 2018, Jack Croley joined Oak Wealth Advisors as an intern. We met Jack through our relationship with the New Trier High School Transition Program. At our introductory meeting with Jack, which was structured as a hands-on interview, we quickly identified some of his strengths. He is d ...

Mental Health Challenges <br>Should Not Define An Individual’s Life

Mental Health Challenges
Should Not Define An Individual’s Life

Having a mental illness presents challenges in individuals’ lives, but it should not define their lives. The same could be said for other disabilities, yet mental illnesses have such a stigma around them. This stigma causes individuals to be fearful about opening up about their mental illness. This fear can cause the mental illness to define their lives. I remember vividly the first time I talked about my mental illness with people other than my family and my psychiatrist. The opportunity arose in my college financial counseling class. We were to present three items that held significant meaning to us to the class. At first, I was scared to death about sharing anything meaningful to the c ...

And Market Volatility is Back!

And Market Volatility is Back!

 We all enjoyed the investment markets in 2017. The values of investments climbed gradually throughout the year with almost no declines. In fact, 2017 was a historically calm year in terms of stock market volatility. 2018 is shaping up to be a very different year. January delivered exceptionally good performance for stock markets around the world. Bonds, conversely, had negative performance to start the year due largely to the expectations of rising interest rates. After peaking on January 26, 2018, the stock markets around the world have now given up all of their gains from earlier this year. The reversal of the market direction has not been enjoyable for investors, but it is more no ...

Key Tax Numbers for 2018

Key Tax Numbers for 2018

 While we await the 1099s that report our taxable investment income and taxable IRA distributions for 2017, I wanted to share with you our 2018 Key Numbers document that highlights all the new tax rates and details alongside the rates and numbers for 2017.  Oak Wealth Advisors hopes this will be a valuable resource for you in understanding the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation and how it may impact your planning.  We look forward to answering any questions you may have and continuing to be a resource for you. Key Tax Numbers for 2018 ...

ABLE Accounts – Even Better in 2018

ABLE Accounts – Even Better in 2018

 As we start 2018, there are now 31 states offering ABLE accounts and 23 of them are accessible to residents of all states. While ABLE accounts have retained all of their initial benefits, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act added some additional features to the plans. The first enhancement is an increase in the amount of basic contributions that can be made.  In 2018, the amount that can be contributed to an individual’s ABLE account rises from $14,000 in 2017 to $15,000. A more significant addition to the ABLE program is the ability for an individual with an ABLE account who is working to deposit their earnings, up to the Federal Poverty Level which is currently $12,060, if they are not parti ...

2018  – You are off to a great start!

2018 – You are off to a great start!

 In 2017, the investment markets delivered better than expected returns. As we begin 2018, the prospects remain good for another year of solid investment results. Corporate profits are growing, unemployment is near all-time lows, and the recent legislation provides additional corporate stimulus in the form of lower taxes and less regulation. We would be surprised if the global stock markets do not deliver double-digit returns again in 2018. That being said, when consumer confidence rises to high levels as it has recently, the corresponding complacency can lead investors to take excessive risks. When you take excess investment risks, you increase your exposure to bigger losses when the s ...

Mike Walther honored in Investment News

Mike Walther honored in Investment News

'SET HIGH GOALS' About 11 years ago, financial planner Mike Walther enjoyed a good lifestyle, working for an advisory firm with a $5 million minimum. His wife asked him what he would find most rewarding in life going forward, and he realized he wanted to help families with special needs make better decisions and become more financially literate. Mr. Walther's younger brother had been formally diagnosed during his 30s with autism. “In the 1970s, my parents had trouble finding the right resources for him,” he said. “Still, he obtained a high school diploma and now has a satisfying job in a public library and participates in social activities. Now I want to set high goals for all t ...

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