April 1, 2023

Financial Planning and Charitable Giving

Over the years, I’ve observed that many individuals often overlook the potential of charitable planning in their financial strategies. For instance, if you’re over 70½, there are ways to send money from your IRAs to churches or charities without incurring taxes. Moreover, you don’t need to itemize to benefit from this.

Furthermore, when considering estate planning, think about leaving a legacy to your favorite church or charity. Assets like IRAs, which have never been taxed, are ideal for this purpose. By designating such assets for charitable giving, you ensure that these funds are never taxed, benefiting both the charity and reducing potential tax burdens for your heirs.

It’s essential to work with a Certified Financial Planner Professional™ to navigate the complexities of financial planning, including charitable giving. Such professionals can provide a holistic view of your finances, ensuring that all aspects, from taxes to estate planning, are addressed.

P.S. After tax season, remember that I offer a $90 full tax preparation service for clients with investments in my managed stock and bond portfolios. It’s beneficial to have your CFP™ in sync with your CPA.

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6 Strategies to Execute Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. Here are six strategies to enhance your financial literacy:

  1. Hold a Consistent Budget: Basic budgeting is crucial. Track your monthly income and expenses to gain insight into your spending patterns. You can use a spreadsheet, paper, or budgeting apps.
  2. Pay Bills on Time: Ensure timely payments of your monthly bills to avoid late fees, credit card interest, and potential damage to your credit score. Consider using automatic debits or bill-pay apps and set up payment reminders.
  3. Take Care of Debt: Manage and reduce your debt by creating a debt-elimination strategy. This might involve paying off high-interest loans first or consulting with a financial professional.
  4. Pay Your Future Self First: Before incurring other expenses, set aside a specific amount for savings as soon as you receive your paycheck. This ensures you meet your savings goals.
  5. Check Your Credit Score: A high credit rating can offer competitive interest rates on loans and other benefits. Regularly check your credit score and request credit reports to address any discrepancies.
  6. Set Yourself Up For the Future by Investing: If available, sign up for a 401(k) with your employer, especially if they offer matching contributions. Consider opening an IRA for additional retirement savings and more control over your investments.

Until next month, Wayne

Recipe of the Month

Creamy Cucumber Salad

A refreshing and creamy salad perfect for spring and summer.


  • 2-3 medium cucumbers, optionally peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 small-medium sweet or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Combine cucumbers and onions in a large colander placed over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss. Let stand for 1-2 hours at room temperature.
  2. Transfer the cucumbers and onions to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and pat dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, dill, vinegar, and black pepper. Add cucumbers and onions, tossing until coated.

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Great Lakes Benefits Inc. is a Financial Advisory firm. Investment Advisory Services are offered by Great Lakes Benefits & Wealth Management, an OH Registered Investment Advisor.

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