Michael J. Unger, CFP® - Coral Gables Trust Company - What You Need to Know!
CGTC Blog

The Layup of A Lifetime - Kobe Bryant

While it may seem like a distant memory, it has been a little over a year since the legendary Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, tragically passed away in a helicopter crash.  Kobe’s untimely death at the young age of 41, highlights just how critical it is for every individual to not only develop an estate plan ensuring their loved ones are properly protected, but to ensure the documents are swiftly updated to reflect recent life events.   Bryant’s earnings, between his salary and endorsements during his 20-year career with the L.A. Lakers, are estimated to be roughly $650 Million.  Kobe had a comprehensive estate plan in place.  His estate plan included a trust to not only protect his assets, but to reduce his potential estate tax liability and ensure his wealth is properly passed on to his family.  Kobe’s trust was created to allow his wife and daughters to...
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Delivering Happiness: One Will at a Time

When people pass away, it serves as a reminder of life's fragility.  You never know what the future holds and it only takes one event to change everything in a blink of an eye.    Tony Hsieh was a visionary who co-founded Zappos, a shoe company, which focused heavily on customer service and famously offered customers free shipping and a complete refund on all shoes within a full year after purchase, no questions asked.  At only 46 years old, Tony Hsieh passed away from smoke inhalation complications from a fire at his vacation home in Connecticut.  At the time of his death, Tony was worth an estimated $840 million, but despite his immense wealth he did not even have a simple will prepared.  Given Hsieh's altruistic nature, it is puzzling why basic estate planning documents had not been prepared.  Unfortunately, he is not the first among celebrities and high-profile individuals to...
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Are You on the Fast Track to Early Retirement?

Are You on the Fast Track to Early Retirement?
Are You on the Fast Track to Early Retirement?  Have you dreamed about retiring in your 50s or before you receive your AARP card? Are you ready to call the shots and choose how you will spend your days? Take this opportunity to envision what “retirement” means to you, what kind of lifestyle you would like in retirement and at what age would you like to achieve this dream. Retiring ahead of your peers depends on your dedication, financial situation, lifestyle, and early implementation of our comprehensive road map. We can chart the path together and, with the stewardship of a seasoned fiduciary team, we can quickly steer clear of potential roadblocks to keep you on track to realizing your goals and dreams. According to recent U.S Census Bureau data, the average retirement age in the United States is about 63 years old. Early retirement in terms of Social Security and...
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Education Planning 101: The Almighty 529 Plan

With the cost of college education skyrocketing and outpacing wage growth by nearly eight times, it is not surprising that student loans make up the largest portion of the U.S. non-housing debt. According to College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 academic year for an in-state student at a four-year public university has increased 2.8 percent from the prior year to $21,370. A four-year private university increased 3.2 percent  from the previous year to $48,510. What techniques and strategies could be utilized to reduce the burden of potential student debt and keep it from snowballing? How can we best optimize our cash flow to fund all our goals and not become overwhelmed by the escalating cost of education? The One-Third Model is a funding strategy to help us stay on track with education planning by dividing the cost of college into three parts.     •...
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As a small business owner, you wear a myriad of hats. Should financial planner be one?

Small business owners are actively involved in all aspects of the business, from day-to-day operations to continuing the sustainability and the growth of the business. At what point are you casting your net too wide?     It is not uncommon for business owners to assume they will never retire. After all, you’re doing what you love, so why not continue indefinitely? According to a Manta survey, a third of small business owners and entrepreneurs do not have a retirement strategy in place. Some entrepreneurs believe that selling their business is an effective way to fund their retirement. Attempting an exit strategy without a well-developed succession plan is not a feasible option. Small business owners must plan for themselves because if they don’t, who will? Before we begin reviewing the different retirement plan options, we need to determine the objective that we would like the retirement plan to achieve. Are we trying...
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Adding a fur member to the family? Here are three commonly overlooked concerns.

Adding a fur member to the family?  Here are three commonly overlooked concerns.
First, can we financially afford adding a pet to our family?  The simplest way is to start with a budget.  It is always best to slightly overstate the potential costs that will be incurred.  As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional, I enjoy comprehensive research and running various scenarios to determine the best solution.       Let me save you time on gathering details for your pet’s budget. Initial costs vary greatly depending on if you are adopting from the Humane Society or opting for a designer pet from a breeder.  When it comes to adopting from a shelter, adoption fees range from $100 to $300, depending on age and breed.  A perk of this cost is that it typically includes spaying/neutering, microchipping, and vaccination. When purchasing a pet from a breeder, expect to pay from $1,000 to more than $2,000, depending on the breed. Additional beginning expenses will include: an initial...
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