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The Welch Group
Stewart Welch, CFP

Welch Group founder and managing partner Stewart Welch III, AEP, CFP® and other firm partners provide a weekly financial column for AL.com via The Birmingham News. All of the AL.com columns are archived here for your reading pleasure. Mr. Welch has co-authored numerous books and regularly appears on various TV and radio shows including FOX 6 (Birmingham, AL), CNN (NY), Fox News Network (NY), CNBC (NJ), and is often quoted in national press including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Money and TheStreet.com.

If you have a financial question to be answered in the weekly column, fill out this form. Consult your own professional legal, tax or financial advisor before acting upon this advice.

“Age 70? Here’s a Little-Used Tax Strategy”

In 2015, Congress made permanent the law allowing Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) which allows someone who is age 70½ or older to make Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) directly to a qualified charity and exclude that distribution from income. As a reminder, when you turn age 70 ½, you must begin to take IRS-mandated minimum distributions […]

“Money-Wise Even in Death”

A number of years ago, a long-time friend’s wife passed away suddenly and he was faced with making all of the decisions concerning her funeral.  As a foreign national, he was challenged with both speaking and understanding English so I agreed to accompany him to the funeral home to arrange services.  This was the first […]

“Life Insurance Gets (Another) Black Eye”

Caveat Emptor…let the buyer beware.  Caveat emptor should not apply when you buy life insurance to protect your family, but it most certainly does. Imagine that you purchased a life insurance policy and you die while the policy is in force. Your family never collects because they don’t realize (or remember) that you had the […]

“Did You Miss This Deadline? It Will Cost You 50%!”

Think…do you know anyone who turned age 70 last year?  If yes, and they turned seventy during the first half of 2016, then they must take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from their IRA(s) no later than April 1, 2017.  Failure to do so will result in a 50% federal penalty unless they can get […]

“What to Do with My Cash Value Life Insurance?”

Ok, I know life insurance is one of the more boring topics in financial planning but let me begin this topic with a true story. Not long ago a gentleman in his early seventies called asking to meet to get our advice regarding a life insurance policy he had purchased decades earlier.  During the meeting, […]

“What to Do with Your Term Life Insurance?”

Term life insurance is purchased by the billions every year to solve a myriad of potential problems.  Perhaps the most-often reason is to provide financial protection for the family should the primary income earner die prematurely. A case in point… Many years ago, as part of a routine financial planning survivorship analysis, we recommended a […]

“Choosing a Financial Planner”

Financial planning can be helpful for everyone, regardless of their income or their experience handling their money.  Deciding on which planner to hire is a key decision, akin to finding a physician or attorney. Since you don’t want to make this decision more than once, you should make your choice very carefully.  Here are the […]

“A New Tax-Deferred Savings Plan”

By now, most folks are familiar with the advantages of saving for college through a 529 college savings plan.  The State of Alabama passed similar legislation that allows people to save and invest on behalf of people with disabilities.  It’s called the ‘Achieving a Better Life Experience Act’ with the nick-name ‘ABLE’ accounts.  Here are […]

“Smart Moves for Handling Debt”

In a perfect world, you’d be debt free.  If you must borrow money for purchases, stay within following guidelines. These guidelines will allow you to meet your obligations and still leave you money for investments, charitable giving, vacations and other expenses. Debt Guideline #1: Your Total Debt Payment. Your total debt payments, including your mortgage […]

“Dealing with Debt: Part III”

Last week, I made the case that inappropriate debt was perhaps the single greatest roadblock to financial success and financial freedom for most people.  The topic was the misuse of credit cards along with solutions for dealing with credit card problems.  This week I’ll continue the debt discussion with three additional common debt traps. Debt […]