2019 Social Security Increases

2019 Social Security Increases

While it will not be official until mid-October, it appears that Social Security benefits will be rising by 2.8% in 2019.  This will be the largest cost-of-living adjustment since 2012. Assuming the 2.8% adjustment is implemented, those receiving a maximum SSI benefit will get an additional $21 per month bringing their payment total to $771.  Those receiving Social Security retirement income will get an extra $28 for every $1,000 they are currently receiving.  That amounts to a $700 annual increase for a retiree who is receiving $25,000 in 2018. For questions about retirement income benefits or government benefits for individuals with special needs, please contact us. ...

Great News for Families in Illinois with Loved Ones with Special Needs!

Great News for Families in Illinois with Loved Ones with Special Needs!

ABLE accounts, which we have strongly recommended for several years, now have the additional benefit of providing an Illinois state income tax deduction for those who contribute to an Illinois ABLE Plan. We have been advocating for this tax deduction since the federal law creating ABLE accounts was passed in December of 2014. We are happy to see our efforts, and the voices of many other families, reflected in this new state income tax benefit. ...

New Stock Market Record – Now what?

New Stock Market Record – Now what?

 Wow! The stock market just set a record for the longest bull market period in history. A bull market is defined as a period during which the market is rising without suffering a decline of 20% or more. Despite some volatility during the past decade, we have not experienced a 20% decline since 2009. In fact, the S&P 500 stock index established an all-time high on Monday, August 27th. In light of these record-setting events, we wanted to address how the recent stock market performance affects our investment philosophy. The short answer is that it does not change how we invest. The attached document summarizes the investment principles we maintain regardless of market performance. Stud ...

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 ...

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