Welcome to Our Blog

We intend to be active in providing blogs on topics that are focused on helping people understand and deal with specific issues involving personal finances, including planning for the future, the nature and scope of financial services, and managing your portfolio in today’s market without losing sight of your future goals.

We believe there is a need for sound financial advice delivered in a timely manner from people you trust. The team at St. John and Associates has deep financial experience, and we are pleased to share that experience with you.

Greg, Bryan, guest writers and I will be posting things regularly that we hope you will find useful in your financial life. As always, feel free to contact us directly by phone or email with any questions.

Richard St. John, Founder

529s Become More Flexible in 2018

by St. John & Assoc on Feb 20, 2018

529, college savings, 2018 tax law, regulations, saving for college, private school, private school tuition, vocation, trade school

There have been a number of changes brought to us by the 2018 Tax Law regulations. Some of them are not yet well known.

One of these changes is the increase in the flexibility of 529’s. Prior to 2018 the use of these funds tax-free was limited to paying qualified college expenses. Under the 2018 Federal tax regulations these funds may also be used for private school tuition (kindergarten to 12th grade) up to $10,000 per year.

Growing Concerns for Conservative Investors

by St. John & Assoc on Dec 8, 2017

Stocks, Inflation, Investing, Conservative investment, bonds, equities, interest rates, equity returns

There are some growing concerns for conservative investors having to choose between bonds and equities. Current bond returns today are minimal, and returns on cash are even less. Since most conservative investors are holding bonds for security and cash to live on, the weighting in these segments are pulling this part of your current portfolio’s gain down to 2% or less. Bonds offer little comfort even in those considered highly rated and safe.

Why Should I Consider a ROTH Conversion?

by St. John & Assoc on Dec 1, 2017

Roth conversion, Tax savings, IRA to ROTH, maximize tax savings

Each year there is the opportunity to convert some or all of your IRA account assets to a ROTH account. The purpose in doing so is to eliminate the Federal and State tax on any future distribution amounts and enable you to withdraw funds earlier without penalty. Funds including gains held in ROTH account can be distributed tax-free subject to some manageable restrictions.

Savings Rates on the Decline

by St. John & Assoc on Nov 22, 2017

saving, Savings, savings rate, consumption

You don’t hear much about America’s personal savings rate these days, and the reason may be because the news is discouraging: collectively, the percentage of our income that we save is trending downward again, and may be about to hit record lows. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis tracks the U.S. personal savings rate, going back to the late 1950s, when people were setting aside around 11% of what they made. Americans achieved a record 17% savings rate in the mid-1970s before a long decline set in.

What's the Difference between Commissions and Advisory Fees?

by St. John & Assoc on Nov 22, 2017

commission, advisor, advisory fees, fees, fee only, financial advisor, financial advisor firm

There is much confusion by consumers in understanding the term “financial advisor” and how they are paid. Today there is no legal definition, regulation or restriction as to who can use this designation, but there is a big difference in the services different financial advisors provide and how their fees are collected.

Why all the commercials this year about Medicare Part D?

by St. John & Assoc on Nov 8, 2017

Medicare Part D, Part D, Enrollment, Retirement, Prescription Drug Benefit, Medicare

Are you wondering why in the world there are so many television advertisements this time of the year about Medicare Part D?  Is this something I should be worried about, because I already have coverage?  Why all the fuss? Because it can be, and often is confusing!

Don't Miss Open Enrollment for Health Care

by St. John & Assoc on Oct 27, 2017

Health Care, ACA, Open Enrollment, Obamacare, insurance exchanges

Each year, the Affordable Care Act - popularly known as Obamacare - creates a period when health insurance policyholders can buy or change their coverage through state exchanges or the government website. 

It’s important to pay attention: the government has dramatically reduced the open enrollment period this year; in most states it starts November 1 and ends December 15. This is very important because you cannot enroll outside of open enrollment unless you have a “qualifying event,” such as:

How Delicate is the Economy and the Equity Market?

by St. John & Assoc on Oct 20, 2017

There is a growing concern that the slightest thing going wrong could turn the economy and halt the continuation of the bull market. As we look back at recent months, domestically we have seen 3 major hurricanes devastate Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, political unrest and dysfunction in Washington, and an NFL feud about the National Anthem with civil rights groups’ unrest.