2024 First Quarter Review

With the summer travel season nearly upon us, we are put in mind of the inevitable waiting involved.  Waiting in airports.  Waiting on family members.  Waiting in line for amusement rides. Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s press conference following the most recent Fed meeting had the same feeling as when the airport gate attendant finally announces […]

Cameron Barsness Named to 2024 Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-In-State for Washington

Cameron Barsness Named to 2024 Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-In-State for Washington

Seattle, WA, March 6, 2024—Kutscher Benner Barsness & Stevens is proud to announce principal Cam Barsness was named to the 2024 Washington State Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-In-State list compiled by Forbes in partnership with SHOOK Research. Barsness was also among 2023 award winners. This is the eighth annual list of Forbes/SHOOK Top Women Wealth Advisors, […]

2024 Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions

As we enter tax season and many of our clients are working with their tax professionals to finalize their taxes for 2023, we want to remind everyone that with the change of calendars comes new tax considerations. Every year, the IRS adjusts amounts exempt from federal estate and gift taxes to consider inflation. Also, Congress […]

2023 Year in Review & Investment Landscape

The close of 2023 finds us in mind of two overlapping trends: one short-term and recently driving financial markets to a handsome rally at year’s end, and one long-term that bodes for change and challenges in financial markets as we enter a period with marked differences, certainly from the Covid pandemic and the policy responses, […]

Second Quarter Review: Sometimes Less Is More

Sometimes less is more. We all know the saying, but seeing it effected in life—through art, sport, business, parenting, gardening—is the exception rather than the rule. Imagination more frequently bends towards complexity. With that in mind, we endeavor to make this quarterly review more compact and to share some thoughts near the end about simplifying […]

Bank Account Hygiene

The announcement today that the FDIC has become the receiver for Silicon Valley Bank is a useful reminder that significant bank failures occasionally do occur and that as depositors we all should pay mind to the $250,000 ceiling on FDIC insurance. We recommend that clients keep each account below the insured ceiling at their banks […]

Key provisions of SECURE Act 2.0

Just over three years ago Congress passed the most consequential retirement law in decades. Among other things, the original SECURE Act of 2019: Made retirement plans more accessible to more people. Increased the potential tax benefits of saving inside a qualified plan by raising the age when required minimum distributions (RMDs) kick in. Eased concerns […]

2023 Gift and Estate Tax Exemptions

Gift and estate taxes apply, in certain cases, to large gifts made by a person during their lifetime or by their estate after their death. One critical purpose of financial planning is minimizing the impact of gift and estate taxes. Every year, the IRS adjusts amounts exempt from federal gift and estate taxes to consider […]

2022 Year in Review & Investment Landscape

The turn of the year marks the start of many rituals. In our financial planning practice, we report to clients and their tax accountants about their investment income and expenses in the previous year. And of course, we write letters like this one summarizing the year past in financial markets and giving reflections and observations […]

Brokered CDs & other interest-bearing options for cash

It’s been a been a while, decades in fact, but it’s time again to start being more thoughtful about earning interest on deposits. With interest rates rising, you may have seen the financial press giving increased attention to investors’ options for excess cash. For example, this recent Kiplinger article offers a brief introduction to brokered […]