May 2019
Three Questions to Answer Before You Purchase Life Insurance

Life insurance may be an extremely important and essential part of your financial plan. While it may be attractive, especially the death benefit policy—the money the insurance company pays out in the event of the insured's death—it can also be a tricky subject to navigate.

People tend to make costly mistakes, including these three biggest:

  • Buying too much—or too little—insurance due to a lack of understanding of their true financial needs
  • Paying for life insurance using a less-than-ideal method or executing that payment method poorly
  • Misunderstanding life insurance’s purpose and the reasons for having it

In order to make smart life insurance decisions, there are three questions you need to ask yourself and answer. To find out these questions, read the full report.

Backdoor Roth IRA Opportunities Still Available After TCJA

Good news. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) did not harm the backdoor Roth strategy.

As you likely know, the Roth IRA is a terrific way to grow your wealth with a minimum tax downside because you pay the taxes up front and then, with the proper holding period, pay no taxes after that.

But if you earn too much, you’re completely barred from contributing to a Roth IRA unless you can use the backdoor Roth technique, which involves making a nondeductible contribution to a traditional IRA and then rolling that money into a Roth.

The backdoor Roth strategy has been around for a good nine years, and it has experienced no trouble that we are aware of, so we think it’s a good strategy. We also like the recent notations in the legislative history and the comments from the IRS spokesperson that show approval of the strategy.

Keep in mind that with some planning, you can avoid any taxes on the rollover. For example, if you have an existing traditional IRA, you can move those monies to your qualified plan to avoid having the backdoor strategy trigger some taxes. And if you have no traditional IRA, the nondeductible contribution to the traditional IRA and the subsequent rollover to the Roth IRA triggers no taxes.

I am getting ready to turn 62 and plan to retire. I will have social security, company pension, an IRA rollover, and a roth. I was thinking about taking some money out of my IRA because it has a lifetime income benefit which my Roth IRA does not. The only catch is the benefit would be a percentage point higher, 5 instead of 4, if he waits until he is 65 to start. What are some things he should consider?
I am 66, single and started taking Social Security retirement benefits when I was 63 due to a layoff. She's now gainfully employed and wants to know am I really stuck with the reduced benefits I'm receiving for life?
Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness. It's about being present; not in the future, not in the past, but being fully aware in the moment. Sounds nice, but how do you do it? Here's a few tips to focus on - right now:

  • Breathe. Notice your breathing. Fast? Slow? Notice the rise and fall of a breath.
  • Senses. Notice sights, sounds, tastes, smells, colors, temperature, textures.
  • Walk. Notice how walking feels. What do the bottoms of your feet feel like? What surrounds you? Notice what you've been missing.
  • Be. Try not to overschedule, and just notice what it's like to be, not do.
  • Thoughts. They come and go. Often, and intensely, for some, but they are just thoughts. Notice them as they flow. Notice how your mind likes to judge. Notice that it's just a thought.
  • Listen. Listen more closely. Maybe, talk less. Notice what is or is not being said.
  • Pay attention. Put your attention on what you are doing. Notice the actions, your attention, or lack thereof. Mindfulness is about being fully engaged in the now. 

Tip adapted from HeretoHelp:
Cheeseburger Sliders with Secret Sauce

Serves 8

  • 1 lb. 90/10 ground beef
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese
  • 8 whole wheat dinner rolls, split and lightly toasted
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, shredded 
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 16 dill pickle chips

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp. sweet pickle relish 
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar (or less, if you prefer less sweetness)
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper


  1. Put the rack in the top position and preheat broiler.
  2. Divide beef into 8 equal parts pressing them into ½-inch-thick patties.
  3. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. For medium burgers, broil patties about 5 minutes.
  5. Take out the burgers and top each of them with a slice of cheese.
  6. Return to broiler until the cheese is melted. 

  1. Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together. You can keep this sauce in a covered container for up to a week in the fridge.

  1. Slather rolls with the secret sauce, add burgers, then stack with the lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart:
The Brian Tracy Show
Jack Canfield's Hollywood Live
Beacon Wealth Management
607 East Pike Street, Clarksburg, WV 26301

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member  FINRA / SIPC . Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc. a Registered Investment Adviser. Beacon Wealth operates independently of Cambridge.