Money Tree's Financial Planning Software Blog

Carolyn Rothwell

Carolyn enjoys spending her time building Money Tree Software's brand and products. Her experience creating and delivering financial plans for a full-service financial planning firm and supporting advisors working to provide the best planning to their clients as a Money Tree support member has provided an excellent understanding of the importance of financial planning.

Recent Posts

Tax Reform in TOTAL - Qualified Business Income Deduction

by Carolyn Rothwell

TOTAL, Money Tree's in-depth financial planning software, now includes the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction available to taxpayers engaged in a qualified trade or business.  The new provision introduced in the recent tax reform allows a deduction for up to 20% of QBI from sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLCs), S corporations, partnerships, real estate investments, trusts, and estates. 

TOTAL - New Version: QBI Deduction, Increase Rates on Tax Data Items, Joint Misc. Insurance Ownership

by Carolyn Rothwell

The latest release of TOTAL, Money Tree's in-depth financial planning software, features three new options available within the plan data section. 

  1. QBI Deduction - Reflect the Qualified Business Income Deduction available to your client with a new option under Tax Details.
  2. Increase Rate of Tax Detail Items - Set Tax Detail items like Schedule D Capital Gains (Losses) to increase (or decrease) with a new Increase Rate option available for each tax detail item and future change. 
  3. Joint Miscellaneous Insurance - Capture jointly held Miscellaneous Insurance policies with a new joint insured option.

TOTAL: Planning Data - Future Change Table Amounts & Increase Rates

by Carolyn Rothwell

TOTAL, Money Tree's in-depth financial planning software,  captures details of clients' situations with the ability to add future changes at any age.  Future change tables are available throughout the planning data, allowing amounts to be changed, started or stopped anytime.  The future change tables also allow the associated increase (or decrease) rate to be changed. 

This blog post will break down and illustrate the relationship between the client's age, dollar amount, and the increase rate for the future change tables. 

How Will the Tax Reform Affect my Tax Return? Answer Clients' Questions with TOTAL

by Carolyn Rothwell

Next week's tax filing deadline marks the last year of filing under the prior tax rules. With the 2017 tax returns filed or nearly filed, it's time to move away from the previous laws and focus on the impact the tax reform changes. The tax rule changes add a valuable discussion point when creating new or updating existing financial plans for your clients and prospects. Clients will be universally interested in understanding how the new tax law impacts their financial situation. Below are highlights of the tax rule changes which pertain to common tax situations. 

TOTAL Online 2018 State Tax Update - Opt In by Friday, April 20th

by Carolyn Rothwell

TOTAL, Money Tree's in-depth financial planning software, includes both federal and state income tax rates for detailed tax calculations.  TOTAL Online includes a feature allowing Money Tree to populate the tax information for all states in the program's settings.  State tax information for 2018 ready to send to participating TOTAL Online customers.  Please see a related blog post, State Income Tax Data for 2018, for details about the 2018 state tax changes. 

Additional Features of TOTAL's 2018 Tax Update

by Carolyn Rothwell

While TOTAL's 2018 tax update focused on ensuring tax law changes were built into the financial planning software, additional noteworthy changes are available in the most recent version.  

Traditional CPI (CPI-U) vs. Chained CPI (C-CPI-U) & TOTAL's Tax Projections

by Carolyn Rothwell

The new tax law uses the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U), instead of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to adjust for inflation. The change to tie inflation to the Chained Consumer Price Index is one of the few provisions applying to individual taxation that is permanent.  The Chained CPI provides a lower inflation measurement by adjusting for "substitution bias" which accounts for consumers choosing a substitute good available for a lower price.

Demonstrating the Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Clients' Financial Plans

by Carolyn Rothwell

Demonstrate the long-term impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on clients' financial plans in TOTAL by comparing sunset vs. no sunset options, and both the short-term effect by comparing financial plans using the current tax law vs. prior tax law.

TOTAL's cash-flow-based approach, Golden Years, completes a detailed tax calculation each year, proving an ideal planning platform for evaluating the effects of the tax law changes.  

TOTAL's 2018 Tax Update - Available Now

by Carolyn Rothwell

TOTAL's 2018 tax update featuring the tax changes for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), including a sunset configuration option, is available now.

State Income Tax Data Updated for 2018 - Now Available in TOTAL

by Carolyn Rothwell

State tax income tax information for 2018 is available now. If you plan with TOTAL, Money Tree's in-depth financial planning software, it's standard practice to ensure the state tax rates are entered for all of the states your clients reside in and the rates are up-to-date each year.  The Tax Foundation is an excellent state tax resource providing updated rates each year, which is used to populate the state tax rates in TOTAL. A new option will be available in TOTAL's desktop edition to download the state tax data, which means this time-saving feature will be available for both the desktop and online edition. 

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Planner Guides

Check out our free informational guides for advisors including:
  • Fundamental Financial Planning Interview Guide 
  • Making the Most out of Planning Engagements
  • Social Security: Choices Opportunities, and Decisions
  • Understanding Medicare Fundamentals

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