Senior Wealth Manager
As the son of two CPA’s there was probably little doubt that Chris would excel in math and find his calling in the financial or business world. Chris started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers but knew his passion for working for investors wasn’t through auditing of public companies, his passion was aligning himself with the individual investors to plot their path to financial independence. His work with individuals and families calls on some of Chris’ strongest attributes – his skill in building relationships, his drive to solve complex problems and his commitment to helping others plan for their future.
Chris is a CPA and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and uses this unique combination of knowledge to help clients identify tax mitigation planning within their business or retirement income plan. This background also contributes to his success helping business owners and self-employed individuals within Atlanta Financials’ BizOWN FIT™ program. He also enjoys working with families who are preparing for retirement or are already retired as they navigate the emotional and financial aspects of moving into the next phase of their life through the Retire-ReadyFIT™ program. Chris also relates on a personal level with younger couples in the AFA YPFIT™ program as he shares how he and his family have thought about their own finances with regards to insurance, home purchases, budgeting, and saving for tomorrow while enjoying today. These views are shared through his regular blog posts.
Chris graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor and Master’s of Accountancy degree. He worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers being promoted to Manager before leaving to pursue his passion within his mother’s tax and financial planning practice. Chris joined Atlanta Financial Associates in 2018 in the Senior Wealth Manager role. Since joining Atlanta Financial Associates, Chris has become an integral part of the Investment Committee and leadership team.
Chris and his wife, Julie, live in west Atlanta with their two young daughters, Alice and Elizabeth. When not working or watching Disney movies with his daughters, he enjoys golf, running, and reading. Chris loves his Alabama Crimson Tide but is also a fan of almost all college athletics. Chris and Julie are also active members of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (“SECURE”) Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019. With all of the discussion in the news around the political uncertainty, impeachment, and the looming trade war, one of the largest changes to retirement savings laws in recent years was passed with very little fanfare. However, some of the changes will be significant. I have tried to highlight what may impact the majority of our clients and readers.
The Act has a lot of positives such as simplifying rules and making 401k plans potentially available to more workers, pushing back the RMD age, and allowing contributions to IRAs past age 70. The negative impact I see is the elimination of the stretch IRA which is a clear move by the government to raise tax revenues by forcing money out of inherited IRAs sooner. I will discuss in more detail below, but this should be a time to review beneficiaries and discuss whether any change in your legacy planning should be made in response to the new laws. What do you need to pay attention to?
People say the only bad questions are the ones you don’t ask. That can be true, and asking bad questions likely won’t hurt you, but it is more important to ask the “Right” questions. In the last year, I met with a potential client who asked me a question I want to share with you. After some “get to know you chat” he asked me, “So, how are your results?” to which I responded, “Very high.” I could see the confusion on his face, so I just waited. As I will explain later, this had nothing to do with guaranteeing results.
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which became effective for tax years starting in 2018, significantly impacted many taxpayers. The change impacting the most taxpayers was the enhanced standard deduction and loss of many itemized deductions. Tax forms were also presented differently making it difficult for taxpayers who reviewed their returns in detail to compare year-to-year. While there were many changes, there are still some important tax savings strategies that may help you pay less in taxes. Which ones apply to your situation? Ask yourself the following questions…
As you know from my previous blog, I recently bought a new house (more house, bigger mortgage.) Also, my amazing wife Julie, and I, just had our second daughter, Elizabeth (another girl, another college, another wedding, more dresses and purses.) Since I don’t want to be guilty of planning better for my clients than my own family, I thought this was the ideal time to take a look at some of the plans I have in place for my family.
Recently, my wife and I bought a new house. She fell in love with it immediately and could see us raising our girls in the house, how could I say no? But of course, there were financial matters to consider. So, the planner in me immediately went to my budget spreadsheet to “crunch the numbers” and determine if we could afford it. We have both been blessed in our careers and while this new home is a stretch to the budget, the answer is yes, we can afford our dream home. So we decided to move forward. Now just the minor details of negotiating the purchase of the new home and selling our old home.
“How did the new tax bill affect me?” was the question on everyone’s minds this tax season, and for good reason. Even though this was touted as the greatest simplification of the tax code in my lifetime, I didn’t notice any reduction in time spent preparing returns. Those of you who reviewed your returns in detail noticed that the schedules look drastically different although contain all the same information. The short answer for many is that it didn’t materially change your overall tax liability. The outliers fell into one of a few buckets…