Taking Our Culture’s Temperature

As you all know, culture is something that is very important to Greenleaf Trust. It defines us and differentiates us. One of our founding goals in 1998 was to find really talented teammates and create a culture that would engage and inspire them. If we could do that, then just think about what that team […]

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At Any Rate…

As the year has unfolded, the labor market has been stronger-than-expected. The US has added an average of 276k jobs in each of the first three months and the unemployment rate has stayed below 4%.

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Preparing for Tomorrow: Navigating Long-Term Care Options and Planning Strategies

Discussions around long-term care can be emotional, but it’s important to begin these conversations early. Long-term care planning should be a part of your overall personal risk management plan and should begin as early as your forties.

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Diversification -The Only (Almost) Free Lunch in Investing

No single person can predict with perfect accuracy how markets will behave in the short term nor with consistency.

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Decoding Deepfakes: Navigating the Digital Mirage Safely

As artificial intelligence (AI) technologies improve our ability to mimic real life, it’s becoming harder to tell what’s real and what’s fake in the digital domain.

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Investor’s Best Interest – The Final Retirement Security Rule

On Tuesday, April 23 the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued the final Retirement Security Rule. Department officials said the rule will be active later this year on September 23 requiring investment advisers to follow impartial conduct standards and acknowledge their fiduciary status. Other parts of the rule will not be effective until fall of […]

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April 2024 Perspectives Newsletter

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From Generation to Generation

Our desire is to serve clients and their next generation. And, when appropriate, this includes serving multiple generations within the same family concurrently. This is because we believe that family is an investment with the highest returns.

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Be-Labored

For some time now, surprising resilience in the U.S. labor market has underpinned a favorable narrative for the economy. Healthy demand for labor has kept American consumers employed and spending.

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The Corporate Transparency Act

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) went into effect on January 1, 2024. The CTA broadens the reporting to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of information, including personal information, concerning the control and beneficial ownership of nearly all small U.S. companies.

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Navigating Lifestyle Inflation in the Age of Social Media

Lifestyle inflation can be defined as the tendency to increase spending as income rises. The following article explores lifestyle inflation in the current media environment, as well as discusses a few of the dangers of social media on your happiness and lifestyle.

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American Retirement Plan Progress

According to the Congressional Research Service, approximately two-thirds of US households had a financial stake in the U.S. retirement system.

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March 2024 Perspectives Newsletter

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We Can Do This Together, Michigan

Is Michigan growing? The short answer is no. Is that a problem? Yes. Can we do something about it? Yes.

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Economic Commentary

The S&P 500 has been on a tear in 2024, extending the positive momentum from the end of 2023. February marked the index’s fourth consecutive month of positive returns, contributing to a year-to-date gain of more than 7% and an increase of more than 24% from the late-October low point.

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Cryogenics and Revival Trusts – Really?

Currently there is a growing interest in revival trusts. A revival trust is one which holds, or financially supports, a decedent’s cryogenically preserved body, or a decedent’s head (brain) with the intent that centuries from now, their body or brain can be revived with the advancement of medical science.

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Spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Products

The financial market’s landscape is continually evolving, and the introduction of spot bitcoin exchange-traded products (ETPs) signifies a notable shift towards integrating digital assets into mainstream investment portfolios.

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Tiny Heirs, Big Plans: Mastering Minor Inheritances with Trusts, Wills, and Custodial Accounts

Can a minor child inherit financial assets and/or property? The answer is YES, they can.

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A New Dawn on the Retirement Plan Landscape

The passage of the SECURE 2.0 Act is spurring an evolution in the retirement plan industry. As more guidance and clarification is provided on some of the provisions of this voluminous act we can see a very different future direction.

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February 2024 Perspectives Newsletter

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How We Work

The top five most common adjectives used by teammates to describe the behavior they admire most in teammates were kindness, honesty, supportive, reliable, and helpful.

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Economic Commentary

We’re off to a decent start in 2024. If you believe the notion that “as goes January, so goes the year,” the so-called January Barometer suggests we may be in for a positive year for stocks.

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Build It With the End in Mind

Considerations for Building and Transitioning the Family Business

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Navigating Election Year Volatility

Insights into Market Trends and Strategies for Long-Term Investors

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401(k) Distributions – What Options Are Available Now?

When we think of retirement, we think of reaching that magical age of 65 and living our remaining years on the funds we worked so hard saving.

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Recognizing Growth and Impact

Promotions are always based on merit and impact at Greenleaf Trust, not time in role. Needless to say, I am extremely proud to recognize these teammates and share their new titles with you.

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2023 Review and 2024 Outlook

Happy New Year! While 2023 did not lack for drama, it was also a positive year for the economy and markets. After a painful 2022, last year was a welcome period of recovery that exceeded expectations.

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When Divorce and Grantor Trusts Collide

Currently, many married couples are encouraged to establish a trust for their spouse as part of their sophisticated estate plans. They are prompted to utilize their federal transfer tax exemption while it is large, since come 2026, if Congress does not act in the interim, their individual exemptions are set to drop from close to $14 million to about $6 million.

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Survey Says…

Continuous improvement is one of Greenleaf Trust’s core values — it is a pillar of our culture and has become part of our DNA. Every tangible improvement we have made on behalf of our clients stems from a disciplined review of our practices.

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New Year, Same Deadlines for Defined Contribution Retirement Plans

Understand what is happening with your business’s retirement plan. Christie Dando shares some of the most important deadlines you should be aware of for 2024 and beyond.

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January 2024 Perspectives Newsletter

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The Plan for 2024

Next year will mark the tenth and final year of our long-term strategic plan to be Top of Mind. The goal of the plan has always been to be top of mind with our clients by creating a unique holistic wealth management experience for them through our continuity of care and commitment to continuous improvement.

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Economic Commentary

Thanksgiving is over, December is here and the holiday season is in full swing. I’m honestly not sure where the last twelve months have gone, but it has certainly been both an eventful and fruitful year. In what follows, I’ll spend some time covering both the events and the fruits as we wrap up 2023.

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Shaking the Capital Gain Blues

While rising markets may lead to more gains than downward trending markets, many funds continue to generate taxable gains no matter the market environment.

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Cost-of-Living Adjustments to Retirement Plans for 2024

The IRS recently announced that many of the key retirement plan limits will increase next year. These limit increases are more modest than the 2023 increases, with some limits remaining the same.

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The Season of Giving

This is the traditional time for gift-giving, but there can be many advantages to making financial gifts earlier in the year, to both family and charity.

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Gladiators of the Market: Exchange-Traded Funds

This article delves into the history of ETFs, their operating mechanics, adoption, and their benefits.

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December 2023 Perspectives Newsletter

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Annual and Lifetime Gifts for 2023 and Beyond

With the holiday giving season and year-end quickly approaching, many clients are planning their gifting strategies for 2023. For those families with larger estates, it is not too early to talk with your trusted advisors to develop a plan to take advantage of the larger current lifetime gift tax exemption scheduled to sunset at the end of 2025.

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November 2023 Perspectives Newsletter

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Succession Planning and Recognition

In order to achieve our goal of serving clients from generation to generation, we need to ensure we not only have the financial strength and stability to do so, but equally critical is making sure we have the right talent in the right roles. That is why as we have matured and grown over the last 25 years, so has our focus on thoughtful succession planning.

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Economic Commentary

The fourth quarter is underway and somehow the end of the year is in sight. While economic momentum remained robust in the third quarter, the markets, forward looking as they are, began pricing for a new set of risks as the fourth quarter approached.

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Surprise! Your Irrevocable Trust May Still Be Revocable

When an individual creates an irrevocable trust, often the drafting attorney will remind the trust’s creator, “You understand, this is an irrevocable trust that cannot be changed, right?” That is often the impression left with the trust’s creator — once their trust is signed and assets are transferred to it, it’s “locked in place.” Right or wrong, that conclusion may not entirely be accurate.

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Temporary Landing – Money Market Mutual Funds

Money market mutual funds are a type of mutual fund that invests in cash, cash equivalents and short-term debt securities.

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Beware of Holiday Scams: Protect Yourself During This Joyful Season!

During the holiday season, scammers prey on online shoppers, urgent delivery deadlines, and our generosity. The most prevalent scams are non-delivery and non-payment scams, where buyers pay for items or services online, but never receive them, or the seller is never paid for their goods or services.

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October 2023 Perspectives Newsletter

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Two Heads Are Better Than One

I have experienced many times the value that diversity of background and thought have added to the work we do on behalf of our clients and how we collaborate with teammates. It’s the main reason we serve clients with three-person client-centric teams supported by the larger team.

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Economic Commentary

After two big steps forward in the first half of the year, the third quarter was arguably a half step back for the markets.

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The Greatest Gift

One of the most important tasks we frequently do with our clients is to review their estate planning documents in the context of changes in tax law, fiduciary law, assets, goals and objectives, and family changes.

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Plan Sponsors Should Focus on Plan Governance and Plan Outcomes

Solid retirement plan governance process helps protect fiduciaries from liability.

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