Cathy C. Miller
Cathy’s passion for helping others in their financial lives began when, at age 23, she lost her mother to a drunk driver. As she watched her father struggle to understand and take over the family finances while dealing with the loss of his life partner, she realized what a difference a financial advisor would have made in her family’s life. She dedicated herself to helping clients capitalize on the good times and deftly navigate the bad. She realizes life’s journey isn’t always a smooth one, but is committed to working hand in hand with her clients to make their life’s journey richer.
Cathy’s commitment to her clients and profession has earned her a loyal clientele and recognition locally, regionally and nationally. Co-founder of Atlanta Financial in 1992, she was recently named as a multi-year recipient of the Women’s Choice Award® for Financial Advisors*, a distinction given to a select number of advisors in Georgia and across the nation. Additionally, she has been recognized as a multi-year Five Star℠ Professional Wealth Manager.**
Throughout her career, Cathy has been featured locally and nationally in print and television media as a thought leader on a variety of important financial and economic topics. Most recently she was featured in The Wall Street Journal in the “Women in Wealth” section, and she has appeared in Atlanta Magazine and The Atlanta Journal Constitution and on Channel 2’s “Family to Family. “
Cathy has a special passion for developing leadership opportunities for young women. In support of that, she is currently the Treasurer and serves on the Board and Executive Committee of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, and is an enthusiastic participant in Girl Scouts’ Camp CEO, which partners C-suite women as mentors with high school girls. She has also been active in working to further educational opportunities for young people in Atlanta as a past Treasurer and Vice President of the Atlanta alumni chapter for her alma mater, The College of William and Mary. Previously, she has also helped develop opportunities for higher education for student-athletes as fundraising chair for A5 Volleyball Club and for the Hi5 Scholarship Fund.
Cathy began her career in the financial services industry in commercial and private banking for a major regional bank. She then discovered her true passion and embarked on her career in wealth management. She has earned her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist℠(CRPS®) designation, and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) designation.
Cathy graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from The College of William & Mary. She then attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) while graduating second in her class.
*The Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisor program was created by WomenCertified Inc., the Voice of Women, in an effort to help women make smart financial choices. The Women’s Choice Award Financial Program is based on 17 objective criteria associated with providing quality service to women clients, such as credentials, experience, and a favorable regulatory history, among other factors. Financial advisors do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisors, though they may have paid a basic program fee to cover the cost of their client survey. The inclusion of a financial advisor within the Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisor network should not be construed as an endorsement of the financial advisor by WomenCertified Inc. or its partners and affiliates and is no guarantee as to future investment success. Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisors and Firms represent less than 1% of financial advisors in the U.S. As of January 2018, of the 848 considered for the Women’s Choice Award, 145 were named Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisors/Firms. For more information, please visit http://www.womenschoiceaward.com/.
***Based on 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria, including a minimum of 5 years as an active credentialed financial professional, favorable regulatory and complaint history, accepts new clients, client retention rates, client assets administered, education, and professional designations. In 2018, 3,248 Atlanta wealth managers were considered for the award; 287 (9 percent of candidates) were named 2018 Five Star Wealth Managers. These awards are not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. Your experiences may vary. For more information, please visit. www.fivestarprofessional.com.
In the last addition of our newsletter, my colleague Chris Blackmon covered some of the tax implications of the newly-enacted SECURE Act. As you may know, the SECURE Act (which stands for “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act”) was signed into law in late December and became effective January 1st of this year. As Chris outlined, the Act makes significant changes to how retirement accounts can be funded, drawn down, and passed on to the next generation. While many of these changes have obvious tax ramifications, in this article we want to explore further the less obvious estate planning impact of these changes.
A few months ago, I saw a sale sign in front of my neighbor Gina’s house. She’s lived on my street even longer than I have, so I was surprised that she was selling her home. I bumped into her a week later at the supermarket and asked her where she was planning to move. She told me (with some regret) that she was downsizing to a less expensive house. The alimony payments she’d been getting from her ex-husband had ended last year, and she hadn’t prepared for the loss of that income. She soon realized she could no longer afford to live in her home.
If you’re a married woman, research shows that you are far more likely to seek a divorce than your husband. In fact, women initiate 69% of all divorces in the U.S..
If you do decide to end your marriage, you and your soon-to-be ex-husband will have to take stock of all your assets and then begin the process of splitting them up.
This year marks our second year living with the sweeping tax law changes passed at the end of 2017, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. How did you fare under the new tax law, or do you know?
Many tax payers had pleasant surprises when they filed their 2018 returns, with smaller tax bills and/or larger refunds than usual. But some tax payers felt like they didn’t benefit from the tax cuts at all. As we met with clients in 2019, we found that for some of those clients the total tax paid was in fact higher, but due to higher income levels (from a strong economy and stock market), while tax rates actually did decline from pre-2018 levels. Unfortunately, for a significant minority of our clients, both rates and taxes paid were higher due to limitations on mortgage interest deductions, the elimination of personal exemptions and the cap on state and local tax deductions (the so called “SALT” deductions).
Regardless of which camp you found yourself in after filing your 2018 taxes, there is still time to minimize what you will owe for 2019 with smart planning. We have listed 9 tips to consider between now and year-end.
If you have kids and are headed for divorce, one of the most difficult negotiations maybe agreeing on how your children’s college tuition will be handled. We have seen this issue come up over and over again in divorces, and it is best to get as much clarity during the negotiation process as possible.