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Our team uses Facebook to share insights on financial planning, keep you updated on what’s happening in the Sioux Falls and Huron offices, announce upcoming events, remind you of office closings, and more. If you’ve already hit the “like” button on Cornerstone’s page, thank you! It’s a fantastic way to connect with the #CornerstoneCommunity.

So what’s the difference between following a page and liking a page?

When you like our page, Facebook simply notes your interest and may display our posts in your news feed. Facebook also utilizes this data to tailor the advertisements you see.

When you follow our page, you tell Facebook you want to see our posts and page updates – not just that you’re interested in the topic.

You can also see more of our posts by liking, sharing, or commenting on content.

You can configure your Facebook account settings to organize posts based on posting time and day. But where a post shows up in your feed is also influenced by the level of engagement it garners. Posts with higher likes, comments and shares get priority, while those with less engagement may be pushed lower down the feed.

We appreciate the Facebook platform as a way to connect and cultivate the #CornerstoneCommunity because helping you build a retirement plan as distinctive as your life story is about more than just financial insights. It’s about shared values, decisions that connect with your bigger life goals, and tailored planning that can benefit your family for generations.

Follow our Facebook page to keep up with what’s happening in Cornerstone’s Huron and Sioux Falls offices.


    Go to the page

    • Click on the three dots on the right side of the page near the top, under Like and Search
    • Choose “Follow”

    OR – Invite your friends to follow a company’s business page

    • Click on the three dots
    • Choose Invite Friends
    • Click the box next to the friends you want to invite or choose “Select All”


    If you have questions about your financial plan please contact us today to schedule a complimentary, no obligation review with one of our advisors. Call 605.357.8553 or email

    CSP #451049 Exp 2025.03.27. 

    5 Steps to Determine How Much Income You’ll Need in Retirement

    5 Steps to Estimate Retirement Income Needs


    It’s common to discuss desired annual retirement income as a percentage of your current income. Depending on who you’re talking to, that percentage could be anywhere from 60% to 90%, or even more. The appeal of this approach is its simplicity. It seems fairly common-sense – Your current income sustains your present lifestyle, so taking that income and reducing it by a specific percentage to reflect the fact that there will be certain expenses you’ll no longer be liable for (e.g., payroll taxes) will, theoretically, allow you to sustain your current lifestyle.

    The problem? It doesn’t account for your specific situation. For example, if you want to travel extensively in retirement you might easily need 100% (or more) of your current income to get by. It’s fine to use a percentage of your current income as a benchmark, but it’s worth going through all of your current expenses in detail, and really thinking about how those expenses will change over time as you transition into retirement.


    Your annual income during retirement should be enough (or more than enough) to meet your retirement expenses. That’s why estimating those expenses is a big piece of the retirement planning puzzle. But you may have a hard time identifying all of your expenses and projecting how much you’ll be spending in each area, especially if retirement is still far off. To help you get started, here are some common retirement expenses:

      • Food and clothing
      • Housing: Rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners insurance, property upkeep and repairs
      • Utilities: Gas, electric, water, telephone, cable TV
      • Transportation: Car payments, auto insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs, public transportation
      • Insurance: Medical, dental, life, disability, long-term care
      • Health-care costs not covered by insurance: Deductibles, co-payments, prescription drugs
      • Taxes: Federal and state income tax, capital gains tax
      • Debts: Personal loans, business loans, credit card payments
      • Education: Children’s or grandchildren’s college expenses
      • Gifts: Charitable and personal
      • Savings and investments: Contributions to IRAs, annuities, and other investment accounts
      • Recreation: Travel, dining out, hobbies, leisure activities
      • Care for yourself, your parents, or others: Costs for a nursing home, home health aide, or other type of assisted living
      • Miscellaneous: Personal grooming, pets, club memberships

    Don’t forget that the cost of living will go up over time, and keep in mind that your retirement expenses may change from year to year. For example, you may pay off your home mortgage or your children’s education early in retirement. Other expenses, such as health care and insurance, may increase as you age. To protect against these variables, build a comfortable cushion into your estimates (it’s always best to be conservative). Finally, have a financial professional help you with your estimates to make sure they’re as accurate and realistic as possible.


    To determine your total retirement needs, you can’t just estimate how much annual income you need. You also have to estimate how long you’ll be retired. Why? The longer your retirement, the more years of income you’ll need to fund it. The length of your retirement will depend partly on when you plan to retire. This important decision typically revolves around your personal goals and financial situation. For example, you may see yourself retiring at 50 to get the most out of your retirement. Maybe a booming stock market or a generous early retirement package will make that possible. Although it’s great to have the flexibility to choose when you’ll retire, it’s important to remember that retiring at 50 will end up costing you a lot more than retiring at 65.


    The age at which you retire isn’t the only factor that determines how long you’ll be retired. The other important factor is your lifespan. We all hope to live to an old age, but a longer life means that you’ll have even more years of retirement to fund. You may even run the risk of outliving your savings and other income sources. To guard against that risk, you’ll need to estimate your life expectancy. You can use government statistics, life insurance tables, or a life expectancy calculator to get a reasonable estimate of how long you’ll live. Experts base these estimates on your age, gender, race, health, lifestyle, occupation, and family history. But remember, these are just estimates. There’s no way to predict how long you’ll actually live, but with life expectancies on the rise, it’s probably best to assume you’ll live longer than you expect.


    Once you have an idea of your retirement income needs, your next step is to assess how prepared you are to meet those needs. In other words, what sources of retirement income will be available to you? Your employer may offer a traditional pension that will pay you monthly benefits. In addition, you can likely count on Social Security to provide a portion of your retirement income. To get an estimate of your Social Security benefits, visit the Social Security Administration website ( Additional sources of retirement income may include a 401(k) or other retirement plan, IRAs, annuities, and other investments. The amount of income you receive from those sources will depend on the amount you invest, the rate of investment return, and other factors. Finally, if you plan to work during retirement, your job earnings will be another source of income.


    If you have questions about your financial plan please contact us today to schedule a complimentary, no obligation review with one of our advisors. Call 605.357.8553 or email

    M22-12417 Exp 2025.09.27. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, estate, or investment planning advice as individual situations will vary. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

    Weekly Market Update 2-20-24

    Week of 2-20-23 – Don’t Fight the Fed

    The Federal Reserve (Fed) is the central bank of the United States. A longstanding bit of investment wisdom is: Don’t fight the Fed. It means that investors should align their strategies with the Fed’s monetary policy. Economic growth is influenced by Fed policy, and stock markets tend to reflect the economy, rising when it grows and falling when it contracts.1 As a result, Kent Thune of The Balance reported, when the Fed is:2

      • Tightening monetary policy by raising the federal funds rate to slow economic growth, investors should be cautious.
      • Easing monetary policy by lowering the federal funds rate to stimulate economic growth, investors can be more aggressive (within the boundaries of their risk tolerance and financial goals).

    The Fed has left rates unchanged since last summer. In January, the Fed indicated that inflation was moving in the right direction, and the economy remained strong.3  It projected that the federal funds rate would fall to 4.6 percent by year-end, implying three rate cuts of 0.25 percent in 2024.4

    The market did its own math and came to a different conclusion. It decided inflation would drop steadily, economic growth would falter, and the Fed would cut rates six times in 2024, reported Nicholas Jasinski of Barron’s.5

    Last week, economic data suggested the Fed has yet to win its fight against inflation, although there was a sign that economic growth might be moderating.

      • The Consumer Price Index showed that inflation fell in January, year-over-year, but not as quickly as many economists had expected.6
      • The Producer Price Index revealed U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in January as the cost of services moved higher.7
      • Retail sales slowed dropped more than expected in January, suggesting that consumer spending (a primary driver of U.S. economic growth) might be slowing.8

    The data caused markets to recalculate. Now, investors “have moved closer to the view of Fed policymakers, most of whom as of December penciled in 50 to 75 basis points of rate cuts by the end of 2024,” reported Howard Schneider and Michael S. Derby of Reuters.9

    As markets adjusted to the revised outlook, major U.S. stock indices finished lower,10 and yields on longer maturities of U.S. Treasuries moved higher.11

    S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 
    Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch;; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.
    Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

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    With over 140 years combined team experience and 30 years in business, we are well-equipped to help you navigate the complexities of financial planning. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary, no obligation review with one of our advisors. Call 605.357.8553 or email

    * These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not Raymond James, and should not be construed as investment advice.
    * This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with Raymond James.
    * Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
    * Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
    * The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
    * All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
    * The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
    * The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
    * Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce. * The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
    * The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
    * The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
    * The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
    * International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
    * Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
    * The risk of loss in trading commodities and futures can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider
    whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. The high degree of leverage is often obtainable in commodity trading and can work against you as well as for you. The use of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.
    * Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
    * Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
    * Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
    * The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is
    accurate or complete.
    * There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
    * Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
    * Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
    * Raymond James financial advisors do not render advice on tax or legal matters. Discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

    Why Working With a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional is Important


    What is the difference between a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (OR CFP®) professional and a financial advisor?

    A CFP® professional is one of many types of financial advisors. A financial advisor must earn the right to call themselves a CFP® professional

    Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but the fact is: anyone who is licensed to sell these products and give advice can use the title “financial planner.” Upon learning this, I found myself feeling disheartened – especially since I am studying to earn the CFP® designation so that I can better serve you.

    A CFP® professional holds an expertise in financial and investment planning and earned their marks from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

    Working alongside my fellow financial advisors, Gordon and Jill, I’ve seen how the CFP® designation sets them apart from other financial advisors in areas such as educational background, proven qualifying experience, and commitment to ethical standards.

    Are you working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, or looking to work with one? Here’s what you should know:

      • What is the difference between a CFP® professional and a financial advisor?
      • What percentage of financial advisors are CFP® professionals?
      • Is my financial advisor a CFP® professional?
      • How does a financial advisor become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional?
      • What is the CFP Board’s financial planning process?
      • Is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® a fiduciary?
      • How can I learn more about the CFP® certification?

    What is the difference between a CFP® professional and a financial advisor?

    A CFP® professional is one of many types of financial advisors. A financial advisor must earn the right to call themselves a CFP® professional.

    Here are a few considerations to why one might consider working with a CFP® professional.


    A financial advisor that earns the rights to use the CFP® marks shows an expertise towards financial planning, a level of professionalism, and distinguishes themselves for their clients. If working with a financial advisor with additional training in retirement planning is important to you, you may want to consider speaking with a CFP® professional.


    A CFP® professional is required to show a commitment towards continuing education. There is no requirement for a financial advisor to earn a college degree or receive advanced financial planning education, although all individuals licensed to sell securities or give advice must complete yearly continuing education as required by regulators and their firms. If working with a financial advisor dedicated to ongoing education is important to you, you may want to consider speaking with a CFP® professional.


    While there are many financial advisors with years of experience, a financial advisor must accumulate approximately three years of work experience before using the CFP® marks.


    All financial advisors must adhere to a higher ethical standard and serve clients as a fiduciary throughout the advisory engagement. CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct reflects the commitment that all CFP® professionals make to high standards of competency and ethics. A copy can e found here:

    How can I learn more about the CFP® certification?

    “CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification is the standard of excellence in financial planning. CFP® professionals meet rigorous education, training, and ethical standards, and are committed to serving their clients’ best interests today to prepare them for a more secure tomorrow.”

    The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

    What percentage of financial advisors are CFP® professionals?

    About 29% of financial advisors in the United States are CFP® professionals.

      • There are approximately 612,457 registered representatives eligible to sell securities in the United States, according to FINRA. ¹
      • There are 95,137 CFP® professionals in the United States according to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. ²

    Is my financial advisor a CFP® professional?

    You can determine if your financial advisor is a CFP® professional by going to the CFP Board’s verification page.

    The wealth advisors at Cornerstone Financial have committed to hold the CFP® designation or be working to complete the rigorous certification process. The CFP® designation is considered the standard of excellence in financial planning. Gordon earned his CFP® in 2000 and Jill earned her certification 2006. I must say it’s an honor to work with advisors who hold themselves to a high standard.

    How does a financial advisor become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional?

    According to the CFP Board, typically, it takes 18-24 months to become a CFP® professional. To become a CFP® professional, a financial advisor must meet requirements for education, exam, experience, and ethics.

    Education: To satisfy the education requirement, a candidate must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

    Then, a candidate must complete a CFP board education program consisting of classes focused on financial planning process, insurance, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning and employee benefits, estate planning, and financial plan development. Certain individuals may qualify for an accelerated education path.

    Exam: To satisfy the exam requirement, a candidate must pass the CFP® exam consisting of a six-hour multiple choice exam.

    Experience: A candidate must accumulate 6,000 hours of professional experience related to financial planning.

    Ethics: A candidate must adhere to the high ethical and professional standards for the practice of financial planning found in the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct. A Copy can be found here:

    What is the CFP Board’s financial planning process?

    A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional must follow the CFP Board’s seven-step financial planning process.

    1. Understanding the Client’s Personal and Financial Circumstances
    2. Identifying and Selecting Goals
    3. Analyzing the Client’s Current Course of Action and Potential Alternative Courses of Action
    4. Developing the Financial Planning Recommendation(s)
    5. Presenting the Financial Planning Recommendation(s)
    6. Implementing the Financial Planning Recommendation(s)
    7. Monitoring Progress and Updating

     ¹ FINRA Statistics as of 12/31/2021
    ² CFP Board Professional Demographics as of 01/01/2023
    Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Code of Ethics


    Helping you build a financial plan to achieve what’s truly possible is what we do. Empowering you to pursue greater dreams is who we are. I’d love to visit with you about your dreams. Feel free to contact our office at 605-357-8553 or email me at

    Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

     The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Andrew Ulvestad and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

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    Time is Running Out for 2023 QCDs

    Time is Running Out for 2023 QCDs

    Cornerstone is pleased to bring you this article by Ed Slott and Company, LLC, an organization providing IRA education and analysis to financial advisors, institutions, consumers, and media across the country. Our association with this organization helps us stay up to date on the latest developments in IRA and tax law. As always, give us a call if you’d like to discuss!

    If done correctly, a QCD can satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year and help reduce your income taxes

    If you are charitably inclined and have an IRA, you might want to consider doing a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) for 2023. If done correctly, a QCD can satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year and help reduce your income taxes. The deadline for a 2023 QCD is fast approaching – December 31, 2023. Many custodians have even earlier cutoffs. Don’t miss out on this valuable tax break. Here is what you need to know.

    •   You must be age 70 ½.

    IRA owners who are age 70½ and over are eligible to do a QCD. This is more complicated than it might sound. A QCD is only allowed if the distribution is made on or after the date you actually attain age 70 ½. It is not sufficient that you will turn 70 ½ later in the year.  

    •   You can be a beneficiary and do a QCD.

    QCDs are not limited to IRA owners. An IRA beneficiary may also do a QCD. All the same rules apply, including the requirement that the beneficiary must be age 70 ½ or older at the time the QCD is done. 

    •   QCDs are only allowed from IRAs.

    You may take QCDs from your taxable IRAs funds. QCDs are also permitted from SEP and SIMPLE IRAs that are not ongoing. An ongoing SEP and SIMPLE plan is defined as one where an employer contribution is made for the plan year ending with or within the calendar year in which the charitable contribution would be made. QCDs are not available from an employer plan. 

    •   There is a $100,000 annual limit for 2023.

    QCDs are capped at $100,000 per person, for 2023. For a married couple where each spouse has their own IRA, each spouse can contribute up to $100,000 from their own account. 

    •  You can satisfy your RMD with a QCD.

    A QCD can satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year. A QCD can be more than the RMD amount for the year as long as it does not exceed the $100,000 annual limit. 

    •   Only taxable IRA funds are eligible.

    QCDs apply only to taxable amounts. No basis (nondeductible IRA contributions or after-tax rollover funds) can be transferred to charity as a QCD. QCDs are an exception to the pro-rata rule which usually applies to IRA distributions. 

    •   You must do a direct transfer.

    If you want to do a QCD, you must make a direct IRA transfer from the IRA to the charity. If a check that is payable to a charity is sent to you for delivery to the charity, it will qualify as a direct payment. 

    •   New rules allow QCDs to split interest entities.

    A QCD can be made to a charity which is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions under IRS rules. The QCD rules are not available for gifts made to grant-making foundations or donor-advised funds. The contribution to the charity would have had to be entirely deductible if it were not made from an IRA. A taxpayer does not have to itemize deductions, but the gift to the charity still has to meet all of the deductibility rules.

    New rules for 2023 allow a QCD to a split interest entity such as a charitable gift annuity. This can only be done in one year of your lifetime and is limited to $50,000 for 2023. 

    •   The charitable substantiation requirements apply.

    You should have documentation to substantiate the donation (something in writing from the charity showing the date and amount of the contribution and a statement that you received nothing of value in return). 

    •   You must report the QCD on your tax return.

    The IRA custodian will not be separately reporting the QCD. There is no code or box on the 1099-R to identify the QCD. It will be up to you to let the IRS know about the contribution by including certain information on your tax return.

    5 Areas of Comprehensive Financial Planning

    Are you aware of – and taking advantage of – every opportunity to reduce your tax burden?

    By coordinating all five areas of wealth management, a Cornerstone Plan gives you the confidence to achieve the dreams calling to you. We would be honored to help you with:

    • Retirement Planning, including 401k analysis
    • Tax Strategies, including tax planning for business owners
    • Investment & Portfolio Management
    • Estate planning, including business succession & exit strategies
    • Insurance Planning

    Get #CornerstoneConfident – book a financial planning strategy appointment today by calling 605-357-8553. 

    Membership in Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group™  is one of the tools our advisors use to help you avoid unnecessary taxes and fees on your retirement dollars. Gordon attends in-depth technical training on advanced retirement account planning strategies and estate planning techniques. And semiannual workshops analyzing the most recent tax law changes, case studies, private letter rulings, Congressional action and Supreme Court rulings help keep attendees on the cutting-edge of retirement, tax law and IRA distribution planning. Through his membership, Gordon is immediately notified of changes to the tax code and updates on retirement planning, and he has 24/7 access to Ed Slott and Company LLC to confer with on complex cases.

    This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

    Copyright ©2023, Ed Slott and Company, LLC Reprinted from The Slott Report, December 13, 2023 with permission. Author: By Sarah Brenner, JD, Director of Retirement Education, Ed Slott & Company. Ed Slott and Company, LLC takes no responsibility for the current accuracy of this article. Raymond James is not affiliated and does not endorse Ed Slott and Company, LLC, The Slott Report, The Elite Advisor Group™, or Sarah Brenner, JD.

    CSP #361807 Exp 12.15.24