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Category: Financial Planning

March 28, 2024

A Degree Without Debt: How to Manage the Cost of College

Embarking on a journey toward higher education is an exciting endeavor for young adults. For some, college is the first step of adulthood, living on their own and discovering a new world of opportunities. Over the past few decades however, the cost for this journey to self-discovery has gotten expensive. According to a report from U.S. News, college tuition has risen more than 125% over the last two decades. It is becoming increasingly imperative for parents and students to create… Read more ›

January 31, 2024

Debora E. May, Co-founder and Senior Advisor of May Barnhard Investments, Recognized by Bethesda Magazine

Debora E. May, co-founder and senior advisor of May Barnhard Investments, CBM’s fee-only wealth management subsidiary, was recognized in Bethesda Magazine’s Readers’ Picks as a finalist in the Top Financial Advisors category. Read more on the MBI website. Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell (CBM) is a professional services firm delivering tax, accounting and business advisory expertise throughout the Mid-Atlantic region from offices in Bethesda, MD and Washington, DC.

January 16, 2024

Manager Stephanie Anderson Joins CBM, Expanding the Firm’s Divorce Financial Planning Capabilities

Stephanie Anderson, CFA, CFP®, CDFA®, has joined Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell (CBM), a full-service tax, accounting and advisory firm, as a manager of divorce financial planning and wealth management, bringing more than 30 years of experience collaborating with clients on financial planning, strategy and wealth management. She takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to help clients confidently navigate all of life’s transitions–including divorce–and achieve their unique set of goals. “On behalf of our team, we are delighted to welcome Stephanie,”… Read more ›

December 27, 2023

The IRS Has Announced Increased Retirement Plan Benefits for 2024

With the 2024 tax year right around the corner, there’s good news coming from the IRS. According to a recent announcement from the tax agency (Notice 2023-75), there will be increases to retirement plan contributions next year due to inflation adjustments. Here’s a rundown of some of the changes: Contributions to 401(k) and 403(b) Plans. Taxpayers will be able to contribute up to $23,000 in 2024, up from $22,500 in 2023. The catch-up contribution amount for those age 50 and… Read more ›

November 15, 2023

6 Ways to Evaluate Investment Risk

Successful investments can be extremely profitable. But the stocks with the greatest potential tend to be the riskiest. And underlying risks aren’t always obvious. In fact, there are several different types of risks for investors to consider, based on your portfolio’s asset allocation. Here are six ways to review and calculate the risk of an investment before you decide to put down your money: 1. Market risk. This is the risk that the price will decline due to market factors… Read more ›

November 14, 2023

What to Keep in Mind in a Divorce if You Own a Rental Property

Going through a divorce can be a very stressful and life-changing time. There are many aspects individuals must consider when a rental property is involved in a divorce. We are here to guide you through some of those considerations. The initial questions that must be answered include: If the Property is Currently Rented One option for the parties to consider if the property has positive cash flow (income) is to continue maintaining the property as rental property until the tenant’s… Read more ›

October 18, 2023

May Barnhard Investments Celebrates 10 Years

May Barnhard Investments (MBI), the wealth management subsidiary of Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, celebrated its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, October 11, at the Marriott Bethesda Downtown at Marriott HQ in Bethesda, Maryland. The MBI team celebrated in an intimate gathering alongside several clients and CBM partners for hors d’oeuvres and conversation. Click here to view photos from the celebration.

October 10, 2023

A Joint Expert Could Be Just What the Court Ordered

  There’s often a perception that financial expert witnesses are biased in favor of their clients’ financial interests. In reality, credentialed professionals must adhere to various ethical standards that require them to be independent and objective when serving as an expert witness in a litigation matter. But sometimes experts aren’t given all of the relevant information, or they may hear only their client’s interpretation of financial results, which could skew their conclusions. When this happens, the parties’ experts are likely… Read more ›

October 4, 2023

Budget Better with the 50-20-30 Approach

  For many people, getting better at budgeting is near the top of their to-do list. However, developing and sticking to a budget isn’t always a simple task. Creating complicated spreadsheets, learning budgeting software and dealing with spending restrictions — all of these things can end up derailing even the most dedicated budgeter. Here’s a synopsis of a simple — but effective — approach to budgeting. The Mechanics Start by splitting your monthly income into three simple “buckets” or budget… Read more ›

October 4, 2023

How to Prepare for Buying a House in the Current Housing Market

  From high prices and interest rates to increased demand, now is a particularly challenging time to buy a home. But with no idea what the market could do next, becoming financially prepared to buy a home moves you one step closer to making it happen. In this how-to, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to financially prepare for this large purchase, even in the current housing market. Before Looking at a House Assess Your Current Financial Situation Before… Read more ›