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RFM Financial Solutions, LLC

Archive for March, 2012

If you are one of the millions that receive a sizable tax refund every year, why not use the extra money to help out your personal balance sheet.  Here are some ideas for your refund that will be more beneficial than just spending it on whatever…

  1. Use the cash to pay down your debt.  Reduce any high-interest credit card debt you may have, or pay down the principal on your mortgage.
  2. Contribute to an IRA or a 529 plan for your children.
  3. Want to have a vacation, set aside some of your refund for just that.  Setting up a separate account helps for just that.  You could even do this for your holiday shopping!
  4. Have some smaller home improvements you want to make, use some of this money to do just that.
  5. Have a stock you want to invest a little in, open up a brokerage account and do just that!
  6. Do a check on your emergency fund to make sure there is enough in there in case you get laid off or hurt.
  7. Maybe it’s time for some additional life insurance?

These and may more tips are available at

Our very own Mike Harter will be hosting the Ask the Financial Planner show on the CMU Public Broadcasting channel on March 29th at 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to participate by asking questions, you can do so the following ways:

  1. 1.  Call in and speak to our phone volunteers from 7:30pm-8pm during our live program toll-free at 1-800-727-9268

2. Email the producer, Courtney Brooks, before the show at

3. Tweet the production crew at @WCMU_AskThe

Visit for more information!

If you are planning on giving all or part of your required minimum distribution from your IRA to a charity this year, you may want to hold off until toward the end of the year as Congress has not reauthorized the law that allows this tax break.  The law that allows people over 70 1/2 to make a tax free transfer of up to $100,000 directly from their IRA to a charity has not been passed for 2012, but Congress typically does not reauthorize tax breaks until toward the end of the year.

If this is something you are interested in, please be aware that the money must be transferred directly from the IRA to the charity.  If you take the cash out now, you will have to add those monies to your gross income.  Keeping it out of your adjusted gross income will help many people stay below the income limit for other tax breaks and avoid the Medicare high-income surcharge. 

For more information about RMD’s see Rules for Required IRA Distributions. has a terrific article on how to chose the right financial planner.  It is so very important to be working with someone you are comfortable with and that you are confident they understand you and your needs. 

Click here to read the article.

Call us today for any financial planning or investment management needs, we are here for you!

Written by: Michael E. Harter, CPA/PFSCFP®

Making consistent money in the financial markets has been challenging to say the least since the 2008 meltdown.

Interest rates returns continue to plummet as rates remain at historical lows in an effort to revive the economy.    New money from maturing CD’s and bonds are met with nearly non-existent returns.    The stock market looks to build momentum as companies are showing stronger balance sheets, amble cash and leaner cost structures.   However events such as the European debt crisis and our own debt ceiling showdown this past summer keep pushing the markets down.    Now the gas prices have taken center stage to wear down consumer confidence.

Instead of becoming outraged about current events, we accept what is given to us and say “Well at least I did not lose any money”?     Since when did we become so passive or accepting of mediocrity?

We should be engaged in dialogue with policy makers and regulators to get out of the way and stop putting in gimmicks and artificial barriers that prolong the natural process.    We have fiddled with the fundamentals of our capitalistic systems to the point that they can not operate properly and efficiently.    Sure, maybe the intentions had merit, but the unintended consequences need to be examined as in many cases they outweigh the short term benefits.

Too many cooks spoil the broth!  

What say you?