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 ...

Preparing For Bumpy Roads Ahead

Preparing For Bumpy Roads Ahead

Ever ridden in a car with worn-out shock absorbers? Every bump is jarring, every corner stomach-churning, and every red light an excuse to assume the brace position. Owning an undiversified portfolio can trigger similar reactions. ...

Oak Wealth Advisors’ First 100 Days of 2017

Oak Wealth Advisors’ First 100 Days of 2017

We wanted to update you on the first 100 days of the year at Oak Wealth Advisors. It has been a momentous period that we feel has us well positioned to deliver the best possible client service in the future. The fortune cookies that we opened late in 2016 could not have been more insightful. ...

Supreme Court Clarifies Free Appropriate Public Education

Supreme Court Clarifies Free Appropriate Public Education

 On Wednesday, March 22, 2107, the special needs community was able to breathe a collective sigh of relief.  The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that upholds and clarifies the right to free appropriate public education (F.A.P.E.) for all citizens.  The challenge came from a family that had been told by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado that their school district need only meet a “merely more than de minimus” test in order to have met the F.A.P.E. standard.  The U.S. Supreme Court clarified that the standard is more than what the Tenth Circuit approved. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the F.A.P.E. standard is a fact-intensive exercise that is spe ...

Oak Wealth Advisors Make It Better | Jan-Feb 2017

Oak Wealth Advisors Make It Better | Jan-Feb 2017

We were honored to be asked by Make It Better Magazine to provide advice about special needs financial planning. As nice as the opportunity was to share our knowledge, we were even more grateful to read about how our clients, who are featured in the article, feel we have improved their lives ...

ABLE ACT UPDATE 2017

ABLE ACT UPDATE 2017

 Over two years after the ABLE Act was passed, fewer than half of the fifty states are offering ABLE accounts. The good news is that the number is growing on a monthly basis. In January, a consortium of fourteen states has begun launching their plans. Among these states is Illinois. Please see the state graphic below for a view of the states that have open plans as of January 30, 2017. In the future, you can visit www.ablenrc.org to view an updated listing of states that have plans available. This website also offers a simple comparison tool that allows families to compare features of the various state plans. Thus far, we favor the TN plan which is available to non-residents. It has among ...

2017 Social Security Benefits Update

2017 Social Security Benefits Update

– Better than nothing, but just barely… Regardless of whom our next President is, for 2017, Social Security recipients will be getting a .3% increase in their monthly checks.  (That is less than one-third of one percent, not three percent.) Individuals receiving SSI benefits will receive $735/month up from $733 in 2016.  The amount of earnings an individual can make before reaching substantial gainful activity is being increased from $1,130/month to $1,170/month.  The earnings levels are slightly higher for the blind. While benefits will be rising by the smallest of margins, the amount of income subject to Social Security taxation is rising from $118,500 in 2016 to $127,200 in 2017 ...

2016 The Case For Inclusion Summary

2016 The Case For Inclusion Summary

 The following summary comes from United Cerebral Palsy and their annual study of the special needs programs and resources available across the country.  For more information and access to the entire study, visit http://cfi.ucp.org. The Case For Inclusion 2016 report is the broadest and most interesting national study of special needs services we have found. They have been publishing similar reports annually since 2006 and have implemented more thorough measures since 2014. The major areas of evaluation used to calculate the rankings include promoting independence, tracking community involvement and safety, keeping families together, promoting productivity, and reaching those in need of s ...

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