The Financierge – April 2022

Dear Clients and Friends,

During the 90s, I was recruited out of Ernst & Young to lead global technology for Ford’s Budget Rent a Car Corporation. My basic objective was to look for ways to apply technology to our business strategy and reduce cost, streamline processes, improve service, and provide timely information for decision making. During this time, I had the privilege of personally spending time with several notable innovators like Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Larry Ellison (Oracle), and Lou Gerstner (IBM). Here are four lessons I learned then, refined over the years, and use today to help clients with their wealth management. First, you must have a strategy, and this is the very first thing we do for clients – we build a custom strategy driven by your unique family, business, wealth, and philanthropic goals. All of our strategies are supported by diligent analysis, design, implementation, and continual improvement. Second, your strategy must be comprehensive and holistic. At Budget, all the corporate departments had to work together to provide their contributions to a singular, comprehensive strategy. At The Bahnsen Group, we view wealth management comprehensively and holistically, and make sure your investment, tax, estate, risk management, real estate, and retirement planning is integrated and aligned with your multigenerational strategy and goals. Third, you must surround yourself with an innovative, competent, and trustworthy team. In this regard, we build your team of competent and trusted advisors around your strategy. While we can manage all aspects of your wealth management, we can also work with your advisors and or engage outside advisors from our vetted professional network. Finally, you must have accountability and measure success. At The Bahnsen Group, one of the most important things we do is to constantly measure performance against your strategy and hold you accountable to your long-term strategy. Ultimately, our objective is to provide you with a comprehensive and continually improving strategy and team to help you protect, grow, and steward your wealth in a constantly changing world.

The purpose of The Financierge is to discuss several of the latest topics that reflect the diversity of planning and thought leadership we provide our clients. In this month’s issue of The Financierge, we start by covering several topics on retirement planning and tax planning. We also discuss why estate planning is important and how we help you manage risk. Then we conclude with a few topics on health & wellness, and fun because we care about your life balance. There is a lot here, so hopefully you will find something interesting to your own unique circumstances. So, off we go …

Retirement Planning

When to Start Social Security?  

When to start taking Social Security is an important decision. If you file too early and lock into a lower payment, it can be a mistake if you live a long time. However, if you delay securing a higher payment and meet with an early demise, it can also be a mistake. In my opinion, if you can afford to delay receiving benefits and you have reason to believe you’ll enjoy a life expectancy well into your 80s, you will benefit more by waiting to file until you reach age 70. However, make sure your decision is an informed one. If you need the money, you might need to claim social security early. If you don’t need the money, it is worth delaying. Remember, each year you delay past 66, your benefit increases by 8%. Keeping this in mind, it might be wise to look to other income sources so that your Social Security benefit can grow. Also keep in mind that your Social Security cost-of-living adjustment applies to your benefit, and a bigger benefit will result in more money. Of course, you can always change your mind at any time. Probably the most overlooked fact is that deciding to delay Social Security is not a one-time decision, while claiming your benefit is (unless you want to pay back any benefits you’ve already received to reverse your decision). Once you’re eligible, you can claim at any time, so deciding to delay is realistically more of a semiannual decision rather than a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you experience a health diagnosis or other circumstance that reveals the possibility of a shorter-than-expected lifespan or a need for a large cash infusion, you can elect to receive up to six months’ retroactive benefits in a lump sum. Also keep in mind tax diversification. While Social Security income becomes taxable once your total income exceeds the annual limit, even at its highest inclusion in taxable income, only 85% of the benefit is taxed. This means that if you delay Social Security while spending down pretax retirement accounts throughout your 60s, you’ll likely be reducing your future required minimum distributions (RMDs), which are 100% taxable, and replacing that income in your 70s and beyond with lower-taxed Social Security benefits. Another point in favor of delaying filing has to do with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). While you can spend down any dollars accumulated in an HSA regardless of your health care coverage, once you’re enrolled in Medicare, you’ll no longer be eligible to contribute further to an HSA even if you’re still covered by a qualifying employer-sponsored HSA insurance plan. And once you begin collecting Social Security, you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare upon age 65.

SECURE ACT 2.0 and Retirement Savings

The Securing a Strong Retirement Act, H.R. 2954, also called the Secure Act 2.0, was approved by the House of Representatives, and now heads to the Senate. The new legislation is intended to help all Americans save for a secure retirement by expanding coverage and increasing retirement savings, simplifying the current retirement system, and protecting Americans and their retirement accounts. Some of the features of the proposed bill include requiring employers to automatically enroll eligible workers in 401(k) plans at a rate of 3% of salary, which would increase annually until the employee is contributing 10% of their pay. Employees could opt out or select a different contribution amount. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees or are less than 3 years old would be excluded from the mandate. The plan would also make changes to how much savers can contribute if they’re near retirement, and when retirees need to pull money from their accounts. Individuals age 62, 63 and 64 could make catch-up contributions of $10,000. It would also increase the starting age for required minimum distributions to 73 in 2022, 74 in 2029 and 75 by 2032, up from the current 72.

Tax Planning

**April 18, 2022 – Tax Filing or Extension Date for 2021 Taxes

Call us if you need your 2021 portfolio tax forms or would like us to send them to your CPA.

Tax Efficient Withdrawals from Closely Held Corporations

The easiest way to withdraw cash from a closely held corporation is by using a dividend distribution. A dividend distribution is taxable to you to the extent of your corporation’s “earnings and profits” and it’s not deductible by the corporation. As an alternative to dividends, here are several options that may allow you to withdraw cash from a corporation while avoiding dividend treatment:

  1. Compensation – Reasonable compensation that you (or family members) receive for services rendered to the corporation is deductible by the business. However, it’s also taxable to the recipient. The same rule applies to any compensation in the form of rent that you receive from the corporation for the use of property. In both cases, the amount of compensation must be reasonable in relation to the services rendered or the value of the property provided. If it’s excessive, the excess will be nondeductible and treated as a corporate distribution.
  2. Fringe Benefits – Consider obtaining the equivalent of a cash withdrawal in fringe benefits that are deductible by the corporation and not taxable to you. Examples are life insurance, certain medical benefits, disability insurance, and dependent care. Most of these benefits are tax-free only if provided on a nondiscriminatory basis to other employees of the corporation. You can also establish a salary reduction plan that allows you (and other employees) to take a portion of your compensation as nontaxable benefits, rather than as taxable compensation.
  3. Capital Repayment – To the extent that you capitalized the corporation with debt, including amounts you’ve advanced to the business, the corporation can repay the debt without the repayment being treated as a dividend. Additionally, interest paid on the debt can be deducted by the corporation. This assumes that the debt has been properly documented with terms that characterize debt and that the corporation doesn’t have an excessively high debt-to-equity ratio. If not, the debt repayment may be taxed as a dividend.
  4. Loans – You may withdraw cash from the corporation tax-free by borrowing from it. However, to avoid having the loan characterized as a corporate distribution, it should be properly documented in a loan agreement or a note and be made on terms that are comparable to those on which an unrelated third party would lend money to you. This should include a provision for interest and principal. All interest and principal payments should be made when required under the loan terms. Also, consider the effect of the corporation’s receipt of interest income.
  5. Property Sales – Another way to withdraw cash from the corporation is to sell property to it. However, certain sales should be avoided. For example, you shouldn’t sell property to a more than 50% owned corporation at a loss, since the loss will be disallowed. Also, you shouldn’t sell depreciable property to a more than 50% owned corporation at a gain, since the gain will be treated as ordinary income, rather than capital gain. A sale should be on terms that are comparable to those on which an unrelated third party would purchase the property. You may need to obtain an independent appraisal to establish the property’s value.

State Gasoline and Income Tax Cuts

With gas prices at record levels and headed higher, lawmakers in more than 23 states are considering a temporary suspension or reduction of the taxes they charge on gas. California currently has some of the highest gas prices with over $6 per gallon, more than $1.50 over the national average. In California, California Governor Gavin Newsom has not only proposed a reduction in taxes but has proposed a $400 per vehicle tax rebate tied to vehicle ownership (capped at two vehicles per household). Strategas Research (Strategas) estimates that if every state did what California proposes, there would be $90 billion in stimulus nationally. Some states are also cutting income tax rates to attract more capital. Strategas also said they are seeing what might be one of the greatest tax reform movements in our lifetime, as states cut income tax rates, move to flat taxes, or phase out income taxes completely over time. They said this is a result of high-tax states increasing their tax rates, the $10,000 IRS limitation on the federal State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction, and COVID providing more worker flexibility. In 2021, Strategas said they saw a major increase in American income migration. High-tax states had a 76% increase in outbound migration compared to 2019. During the same time, low-tax states experienced a 25% increase in inbound migration. Income migration is measured both in aggregate dollars and as a percentage of a state’s income. In aggregate income, Florida outpaced other states by gaining $37 billion in new income over the last two years. The next closest state was Arizona at around $10 billion. The two states with the largest income losses were California and New York.   

Estate Planning

Why Estate Planning Is Important

Estate planning is the legal process of preparing for the management and transfer of our estate during our life, and at and after our death. The following are some of our thoughts on why estate planning is important:

  1. Family Protection – Estate planning gives us peace of mind because we know our loved ones are financially taken care of, protected from making painful choices about our medical care, and will receive their inheritance in a timely manner. It also protects our family from creditors and predators, from squandering wealth, from losing access to needed benefits, and allows us to name a trusted guardian to raise our minor children.
  2. Asset Protection– Estate planning helps guide who inherits what, when they inherit, and how they inherit. It also helps to protect our assets, facilitate a timely transfer, and defer and reduce tax. If you don’t have a plan, heirs may end up fighting over assets, or your State of residence will decide for you.
  3. Asset Transfer – Estate planning helps us to transfer our businesses, homes, cars, yachts, planes, jewelry, art and other personal property. Some of this property, such as real estate, may transfer automatically to co-owners. For other assets, such as retirement accounts, they will transfer to the named beneficiary. That’s why it’s important to make sure beneficiary designations are aligned with a trust or pointed to a trust.
  4. Wealth Protection – Estate planning has several asset protection tools that help keep our wealth safe during our lifetime, as it passes to our loved ones, and long after our death. We can also protect wealth by making a business succession plan to ensure our businesses successfully transfer ownership upon our death.
  5. Tax Planning – Estate planning can also help us to defer or minimize gift, estate, generation-skipping transfer, and income taxes. Depending on the size of our estate, our loved ones could lose money and property due to high estate tax costs. For 2022, we won’t owe federal estate taxes unless our estate exceeds $12.06 million (for an individual), or $24.12 million (for a couple). If we leave money or property to our spouse or a charity, there is no tax. If we leave our estate to our spouse, they can claim the total exemption when they die. There are also several other advanced estate planning techniques to reduce taxes on an estate that we can help you plan. Remember, the current 2022 federal estate tax has rates up to 45% for estates that exceed $12.06 million (individual), or $24.12 million (couple). Also, there are 15 states and the District of Columbia that have an additional state estate tax, and six states that have an inheritance tax. Maryland and New Jersey have both. The current federal estate tax exemption is expected to sunset on December 31, 2025 and reduce to about $6M per individual.
  6. Advance Healthcare Control – Estate planning supports our wishes if we become incapacitated by illness or accident. It will specify where we live, who will take care of us, what medical care we will receive, and who will make decisions on our behalf. If we don’t have an estate plan, the court in our State of Residence will appoint a guardian who may not know our wishes or be someone we don’t want to make decisions for us.
  7. Funeral Wishes – Estate planning helps to lay out the kind of funeral arrangements we would like, and how the expenses will be paid.
  8. Philanthropy – Estate planning helps us with our philanthropic legacy goals. For example, we may want to provide a donation to a charity when we go to Heaven by creating a charitable foundation or charitable remainder trust or simply making a bequest.
  9. Digital Estate – Estate planning helps us manage our digital estate by naming a digital executor and trustee of online accounts, usernames, and passwords.

Common Estate Planning Tools

The following are some common tools used to accomplish your estate planning goals:

  1. Last Will and Testament – Wills allow us to provide instructions for who inherits what and must go through a probate process. The probate process is costly, time-consuming and there is a loss of privacy because personal information becomes court and public record.
  2. Trusts – Trusts allow us to separate legal ownership of property and its beneficial use. Trusts keep assets safe and control how we provide for loved ones. As an example, special needs trusts can be used to provide for a disabled loved one while ensuring money is managed appropriately and access to important government benefits isn’t lost. Spendthrift trusts can be used to ensure an irresponsible heir doesn’t waste an inheritance or lose it in bankruptcy. A Medicaid asset protection trust can be used to help loved ones qualify for Medicaid to pay for a nursing home without having to impoverish themselves first.
  3. Corporations – Incorporating a business helps facilitate the transfer of assets to our heirs because it is a legal and separate identity from the individual providing certain advantages and protections for the business owner. For example, if we create a Limited Liability Company (LLC), the LLC can own the assets, we can be the managing member, and our family members can be given an ownership interest in the LLC. Because the family members lack control, the value of their interest is low, so gift taxes or estate taxes aren’t triggered by the transfer of ownership.
  4. Inter Vivos Gifts – Inter Vivos gifts are gifts given during our lifetime – for 2022, that’s $16,000 per individual. It reduces the value of our estate which reduces federal and state estate taxes.
  5. Living Will – A living will describes the kind of medical care we want to receive or reject under different types of circumstances.
  6. Advanced Healthcare Directive – An advanced healthcare directive provides instructions for the healthcare choices we desire should we become incapacitated. Oftentimes, it includes the creation of a living will and names a healthcare power of attorney – a person who will make healthcare decisions for us.
  7. Durable Power of Attorney – A durable power of attorney gives someone the authority to make certain decisions for us and act on our behalf if we are incapacitated. A general power of attorney gives broad authority like control over our checking accounts. A healthcare power of attorney gives limited authority like control over our healthcare choices.
  8. Joint Ownership – The ownership of assets such as real estate and investments can be structured as jointly owned property with rights of survivorship. The purpose of this is to allow jointly owned assets to automatically pass to the co-owner(s) upon our death without going through probate. Property joint ownership takes precedence over our Will.
  9. Pay-on-Death or Transfer-on-Death Accounts – Pay-on-death (POD) or Transfer-on-Death (TOD) are used for bank and investment accounts and specify that if we die, that the assets are to automatically transfer to our designated beneficiary. This allows the money or property to transfer automatically outside of probate. Beneficiary designations take precedence over our Will, so it should be reviewed periodically.
  10. Life Insurance – The purchase of life insurance can be a good tool to provide for our loved ones after our death. The beneficiary designation on a policy should be reviewed periodically. Oftentimes, it is optimal to have a trust be the beneficiary of our life insurance so that the money can be managed by a trustee for the benefit of a disabled or minor loved one, and also so there isn’t a loss to a benefits program like Medicaid. Also, the death benefit from our life insurance is subject to estate taxes. If you have a taxable estate over $12.06 million (per individual), then you should consider creating an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) and transferring the policy to the trust. A properly designed ILIT can avoid estate and gift taxes and provide liquidity at death to pay for estate taxes.

Risk Management

What’s Your Number?

No, not the amount of money you need to retire, but the age you will go to Heaven. According to the Society of Actuaries (SOA), a 65-year-old male today, in average health, has a 55% probability of living to age 85. For a similar 65-year-old woman, the probability of reaching 85 is 65%. If you are in excellent health, a 65-year-old male today has a 43% probability of living to age 90, and a similar 65-year-old female has a 54% probability of living to 90. Nearly one-third of today’s 65-year-old women are in excellent health and one-fourth of men are expected to be alive at 95. The key point here is that longer lifespans and rapidly accelerating health care costs have dramatically changed the nature and severity of the financial risks faced you may face. These risks increase with age and can ruin any savings, investment, or your financial plan. Here are several health and longevity-related threats that we monitor to safeguard the financial security of clients and their families more effectively:

  1. Healthcare Cost – According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 75% of men and 80% of women over 50 in the U.S. suffer from one or more chronic illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer, and arthritis. According to National Health Expenditure data, per capita, spending on health care in the U.S. has increased roughly 6-fold in inflation-adjusted terms since 1970. Not only are health care costs expensive but it is worse when combined with travel expenses, lost wages, and in-home care expenses. In this area, we help clients with individual and business healthcare insurance, and Medicare planning.
  2. Long-term Care Cost – According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is a 70% chance the average 65-year-old will need some type of long-term care service. On average, men need 2.2 years of care and women need 3.7 years. The annual median cost for In-Home care is $54,000, Community and Assisted Living care is $52,000, and Nursing Home Facility care is $106,000. For higher-cost states like California, the cost for In-Home care is $66,000, Community and Assisted Living care is $60,000, and Nursing Home Facility care is $127,000. Keep in mind that these costs are not covered by Medicare. In this area, we help clients with long-term care insurance and elder care planning.
  3. Death and Disability – While most people are living longer, some may become disabled or die while they are still their family’s major provider. According to the American Heart Association, the average age of a first heart attack is 65 years for men and 71.8 for women. While the leading cause of death and disability is heart disease, it is followed closely by cancer, preventable injuries, respiratory disease, and stroke. In the area, we help clients with life and disability insurance.
  4. Lack of Financial Organization and Transparency – Oftentimes when someone dies, family members don’t know who to go to or how to access financial information, assets, and online information. This can cost time and energy, not to mention family stress and potential financial loss. In this area, we work with every client to make sure their information is organized and stored centrally in our secured online client portal.

Health & Wellness

2nd COVID-19 Booster Shots

Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine, including booster shots, at no cost to you. If you or a loved one are 50 or older, or are moderately or severely immunocompromised, you can get a free additional Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster shot. The CDC recommends an additional booster shot for certain individuals to increase protection from severe disease from COVID-19. People over the age of 50, or who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, can get an additional booster of Pfizer or Moderna 4 months after their last dose. This is especially important for those 65 and older who are at higher risk from severe disease and most likely to benefit from getting an additional booster.

2022 Health Trends

Here are some of the top wellness and nutritional supplement industry trends for 2022 according to FullScript.

  1. Mental Health – The last few years have been stressful, and many people are prioritizing mental health as they seek help for stress, burnout, and depression. As a result, there are heavy investments in this area by private equity to bring more services to the masses.
  2. Mushrooms – Medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane, have begun to gain traction as popular functional foods and supplement ingredients. Mushroom beverages, which are marketed as health-promoting, caffeine-free alternatives to traditional coffees and teas, are also showing up. Some experts predict that we’ll see more mushroom powders on the market in 2022, as well as a push to incorporate mushroom powders in foods such as smoothies, soups, and sauces.
  3. Plant-based Food – Plant-based foods continue to rise in popularity and quality, and they are also good for global sustainability and physical health. One example is Oat milk that is sustainable, allergy-friendly, and an alternative to dairy and other popular non-dairy products made from almond or soy. One caution is to stay away from highly processed foods that may be missing essential nutrients found in animal protein, such as vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.
  4. Fermented Foods – Fermented foods and beverage such as kimchi, kombucha, miso, tempeh, yogurt, and kefir are gaining popularity because of their enhanced shelf-life, unique flavors, and nutritional properties. According to Today’s Dietitian, fermented foods are regarded as one of the top health-promoting foods promoting a balance of healthy bacteria in the stomach.
  5. Beauty from the Inside Out – Not only are consumers interested in the personal care and beauty market, but they’re also showing interested in products that enhance beauty from the inside out. According to the New Hope Network 2022 Natural Products Industry Trends Forecast, products containing supplement ingredients like collagen, carotenoids, and astaxanthin may enhance the appearance of hair, skin, and nails.
  6. Functional Beverages – Beverages are now not only providing hydration but energy, immune support, and general health-promoting benefits. Some of the most popular nutrients include antioxidants (e.g., vitamin C and E), green tea, electrolytes, antioxidant-rich fruits (e.g., black currant, acai), fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and nutrient-dense greens.
  7. Online Supplements – As a result of the global health crisis, the demand for safe, convenient online shopping continues to increase. The Nutrition Business Journal forecasts online sales to increase from $5 billion in 2019 to over $10 billion in 2022, and online sales are also expected to nearly 20% of all supplement sales by 2023.
  8. Proactive Telehealth – The usage of Telehealth usage will continue to expand as patients and doctors seek more accessible options for receiving routine and preventive care.
  9. Indoor Air Quality – Another area of growth out of the global health crisis is a increase in air purifiers that reduce airborne contaminants and improve indoor air quality for homes and offices.

Just for Fun

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Celebrate April!

Here are some fun days to celebrate:

  • April 1 – April Fool’s Day
  • April 3 – NCAA March Madness Women’s Championship
  • April 4 – NCAA March Madness Men’s Championship
  • April 5 – National Deep Dish Pizza Day
  • April 7 – World Health Day and Baseball Starts
  • April 9 – Winston Churchill Day
  • April 10 – Palm Sunday
  • April 11 – National Pet Day
  • April 14 – Maundy Thursday (Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles
  • April 15 – Good Friday and Start of Passover
  • April 16 – Pink Full Moon
  • April 17 – Easter Sunday
  • April 18 – Tax Filing Deadline
  • April 22 – Earth Day
  • April 28 – National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
  • April 29 – Arbor Day

Quotes from Steve Jobs on Success

Steve Jobs cofounded Apple in 1976 and its innovations have changed our lives. But Steve Job didn’t think there was anything extraordinary about his life’s work; he simply found something he loved doing and then did it every single day of his life. Here are several quotes that reveal his perspective on success:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.”

“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.”

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” 

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

“I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” 

“Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” 

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life.”

Bottom Line

At The Bahnsen Group, our objective is to provide you and your family with comprehensive and holistic wealth management services to help you grow, protect, and be a good steward of your wealth and your legacy. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do for you.

We wish you and your family a blessed April!

Warm and best regards,

Don B. Saulic, CFP® CPA

Managing Director, Partner

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the source for all tax data

The Bahnsen Group is registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC, and with HighTower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. Securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC; advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC.

This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. The team and HighTower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice.

Third-party links and references are provided solely to share social, cultural and educational information. Any reference in this post to any person, or organization, or activities, products, or services related to such person or organization, or any linkages from this post to the web site of another party, do not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of The Bahnsen Group or Hightower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates, employees or contractors acting on their behalf. Hightower Advisors, LLC, do not guarantee the accuracy or safety of any linked site.

Hightower Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. This material was not intended or written to be used or presented to any entity as tax advice or tax information. Tax laws vary based on the client’s individual circumstances and can change at any time without notice. Clients are urged to consult their tax or legal advisor for related questions.

This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of HighTower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.

About the Author

Don B. Saulic

Managing Director, Partner

Don is a Managing Director and Partner in the team’s Private Wealth Management practice, where he advises on comprehensive strategies to help clients achieve their long-term goals. Areas of focus include investments, estate and tax planning, financial planning, risk management, real estate, wealth transfer, life management, and charitable planning.

With over four decades of C-Level corporate executive and financial advisory experience, Don previously worked at several private and Fortune 1000 global companies holding positions such as Independent Board Director, President & Chief Operations Officer, and Global Chief Information Officer. Don has an M.B.A. from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting with Economics minor from Illinois State University.