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Marriage, Divorce & Family

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Empowering Homeownership: Navigating Mortgages and Market Trends with Tina Bennett

In this episode featuring special guest Tina Bennett from Hallmark Home Mortgage, they delve into the intricacies of mortgage debt, discussing factors like interest rates, refinancing, and the importance of seeking guidance from a mortgage professional. Through an insightful conversation and practical advice, this episode empowers people to make informed decisions about their finances and homeownership. About our guest, Tina Bennett: Tina Bennett is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in the

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A piggy bank sits atop a stack of books on the right, while wooden blocks on the left spell out "FAFSA" vertically. The background is neutral, contrasting with the books and blocks, hinting at upcoming FAFSA changes.

10 Main Changes to FAFSA

Dreading the FAFSA this year? Things just got better. You may have heard that the federal Student Aid office revamped its FAFSA form.  This is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it has historically been a doozy to complete.  It has been intimidating, so much so that many have chosen not to complete it, potentially missing out on significant financial aid. Changes were made to the 2024-25 FAFSA form in an effort to

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Leslie Friedel, Chief Executive Officer of Stillwater Hospice, smiles in a blue top. The image features the SYM Financial Advisors logo and a green banner with the word "EmpowHER," highlighting her commitment to palliative care.

What You Should Know About the Messy Middle of Life Limiting Illnesses

We live longer but our capacity is diminishing and in practical care giving it’s not always clear who is making the decisions from day-to-day. As a financial advisor, I work with clients everyday who live in the gray space with their loved ones.  This is the messy middle, where caring for those who are perfectly capable one day, but then slowly diminishing the next, is a confounding effort. I am always encountering professionals who enlighten

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A man in a suit, glasses, and a striped tie bends under the heavy weight of three large binders labeled "TAX" stacked on his back. He appears strained as he balances the oversized folders, symbolizing the burden of estate tax mitigation, against a green background.

5 Estate Tax Mitigation Techniques You Should Consider

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act In 2017, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the amount that someone could pass to their heirs without incurring Federal estate tax. As a result, many families have enjoyed relief from the federal estate tax. In 2023, an individual can pass just under $13 million ($26 million for a couple) to their heirs without getting hit by the 40% federal estate tax. There is an important caveat note,

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A promotional image for "EmpowHER - Financial Prowess for Women," hosted by Michelle Hipskind, CFP. Episode 9 features Lindsay Koler discussing Medicaid planning. The SYM Financial Advisors logo is at the top. Lindsay Koler is smiling and has a shoulder-length blonde hairstyle.

Strategies for Protecting Your Family with Medicaid Featuring Lindsay Koler

This podcast episode discusses Medicaid planning and how it can be used as an asset protection tool rather than just a last resort. Lindsay Koler, an elder law attorney, explains how Medicaid assessments and proper planning can help couples protect their homes and retirement accounts. She emphasizes getting powers of attorney updated and doing Medicaid planning well in advance of needing long-term care.   We look at whether someone needs help with activities of daily

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A promotional image for the podcast "EmpowHER: Financial Prowess for Women," hosted by SYM Financial Advisors. The episode features Michelle Hipskind discussing the implications of the SECURE Act. Michelle is smiling, wearing a green top and statement necklace, set against a partially blurred background.

Understanding Hidden Nuggets within the SECURE Act

We have a quick tactical nugget for you on this latest episode of the EmpowHER podcast. In this episode, Michelle Hipskind focuses on dissecting the changes brought about by the 2019 SECURE Act, with particular emphasis on the elimination of the “stretch IRA,” which imposes a 10-year limit for withdrawals for those inheriting IRA accounts. However, the podcast also sheds light on exceptions like qualified charitable distributions for beneficiaries close to 70 and a half years old.

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