Mt. Pleasant (989) 772-1209 | Midland (989) 631-9500
RFM Financial Solutions, LLC

Archive for July, 2013

Written by: Paul Murray, CPA, ABV, CFF

During the past several years I’ve met with a number of clients whose parents or grandparents steadily invested in U.S. Savings Bonds during World War II and beyond. They were diligent savers and supported our country through the purchase of various issues of bonds. The most common scenario; “my grandparents purchased $25 U.S. Savings Bonds every month for years and stored them in their safety deposit box, dresser, file cabinet, etc.”. There they would sit for years and years with little attention or thought. The problem arises when these bonds mature and stop earning interest. The bond holders are aware of the maturity date when initially purchased but that’s it. No subsequent notices are ever sent by the financial institution or U.S. Government to the bond holder. IT’S UP TO THE BOND HOLDER TO TRACK THESE DATES AND REINVEST OR REDEEM THE BONDS AS THEY MATURE. I recently met with a client whose parent passed away and he discovered $8,000 face value worth of bonds and cashed them in for over $75,000. The unfortunate part of the story (other than losing a parent) was that the bonds quit paying interest 10 years prior to his parents death!

Our Depression Era generation for the most part were hard working conservative savers. They bought and held bonds and securities for the long term. You may want to ask your parents and grandparents if the unfortunate situation mentioned above could apply to them or any of their siblings.

Outlined below are important dates to check and see if your savings bonds continue to earn interest and a link to see if your bonds have matured.

The following savings bonds no longer earn interest:

SERIES

ISSUE DATE

E All   issues
EE January   1980 through July 1983
H All   issues
HH January   1980 through July 1993
Savings   Notes All   issues
A, B, C, D, F, G, J, K All   issues

How long bonds earn interest based on issue date:

SERIES

ISSUE DATE

NUMBER OF YEARS BONDS EARN INTEREST

E May   1941- November 1965 40   years
December   1965 – June 1980 30   years
EE All   issues 30   years
H June   1952- January 1957 29   years, 8 months
February   1957- December 1979 30   years
HH All   issues 20   years
I All   issues 30   years
Savings   Notes All   issues 30   years

You can also check Treasury Hunt, if you’re not sure whether you own any bonds that have matured.


Written by: Jeremy Shafer

It’s that time of year again! Retail outlets load up on pencils and paper, backpacks, and every school supply under the sun.

It’s also a time to revisit a popular financial planning tool – college savings accounts.  With college costs climbing at an average annual rate of 6%, many parents and grandparents are asking what they can do now to prepare.  Here’s a quick primer.

What types of accounts are available?

There are a number of accounts that can be used to fund college expenses, including:

  • 529 College Savings Plan
  • 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account
  • UGMA/UTMA
  • Roth IRA
  • Savings/Investments

Each type of account has benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to determine which account would best fit your needs before committing to a plan.

What considerations should I take into account?

To help narrow your choices, consider your answer to these questions:

  • How many children will I be assisting with college expenses?
  • In how many years will the money be used for college?
  • What is the current cost at the type of college I’m considering (2-year public, 4-year public, 4-year private)?
  • How much of the total bill do I want to help with?
  • Is saving for retirement more important than saving for college?

With these answers in hand, you can take your search to the next level.  Consider discussing these questions with your tax/investment advisor:

  • How do I balance retirement and college savings?
  • What are the tax implications of the various plans?
  • How will financial aid applications be affected by my plan choice?
  • What option would best fit my needs?

If you’re looking to get started, or if you have an existing plan that you’d like to review, call or email today.

p.s. Did you know that one of the three plans offered by the state of Michigan ranks in the top 5 nationwide?


Lesson #1:   Risk drives return.

Lesson #2:   Diversification within asset classes and allocation across asset classes are the cornerstone of controlling any given level of risk.

Lesson #3:   The best anyone can do over time is to get a market rate of return.

Lesson #4:  Investing is for the long term.

Taken from : Making Sense on the Dollar, by Scott K. Anderson, Jr. CPA, CFP®, EA


A financial investment is a form of deferred consuption.  Value (usually expresssed as money) that is available today is not used for consumption but is used instead to purchase a tangible or intangible asset with the realizstic expectation of a return at some point in the future to conpensate for the defrral of the consumption and the risk inherent in the investment itself.

To recap, an investment involes:

  • discretionary deferral of present consumption to the future to make the investment, and
  • risk of loss to the investor, and
  • reasonable expectation of a market or better rate of return to the investor.

The market return might mean that the sale price is greater than the acquisition price, and/or that there will be a stream of cash benefits (e.g. dividends or interest) between now and when the original investment is returned.

Taken from : Making Sense on the Dollar, by Scott K. Anderson, Jr. CPA, CFP®, EA