Sullivan & Company - Certified Public Accountants 4709 Montgomery Lane #201 - Bethesda, MD, 20814 Phone: 301-657-8080



Financial Services by Sullivan & Company

Kathy Grow EA/IAR

Financial services are now offered at Sullivan & Co., CPAs.  The story WHY:


You may wonder why your accounting firm wants you to invest with them. Years ago, CPAs were not allowed to venture into the investment world, but it always bothered us to see how poorly our clients were treated at their broker. It is not that the broker was not nice or attentive; it was the quality of the investments and, oftentimes, the lack of understanding for how the investments were going to affect the client in the future.


The amount of commissions and fees were oftentimes much larger than the client realized. Principles taught in universities were ignored by greedy advisors. Some forward thinking CPAs worked hard to get the accounting industry to see that we could, at the least, counsel our clients so that their investing experience was successful.


Our function is to work with you in all areas of your financial life. We prepare your tax returns and financial statements, of course, but there's a lot more decisions you make that we should be involved in. These include: succession planning for business owners such as HOW TO:

1) Sell your business

2) Retire comfortably

3) Handle your finances now that you are divorced or widowed

4) Provide for loved ones if you die

5) Pay for the education of your children

6) Determine if a trust is right for you

7) Minimize estate taxes


Worse than hearing that the IRS is going to audit is the call from a client who has plunged into an investment, whether stocks, bonds or another home without consulting us first.


Sometimes these decisions have unfortunate results and are difficult or impossible to undo. So, in response to this need, your CPA firm has well trained accountants and financial services professionals to help you navigate the financial world..

For a free review of your investments, give me a call at 301 657-8080 X 135.




Paul Sullivan, CPA

Sullivan & Company


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Other Articles

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This Month's Feature Articles

- Tax Relief for Those Affected By Natural Disasters
- Lending Money to Family? Make it a Tax-Smart Loan
- Living Trusts 101
- Hobby or Business? Why It Matters

Tax Tips

- Moving This Year? 10 Helpful Tax Tips
- Take Advantage of Miscellaneous Deductions
- Do You Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?
- Five Important Tips on Gambling Income and Losses

Financial Planning Tips

- Asset Allocation Adjustments
- Health Spending Checkup
- Review Budget vs. Actuals
- Estimate Your 2012 Tax Liability


   Listen to our 4th Quarter Tax Change Update Video Just Posted - Click Here 

Do I Need A Living Trust?

Living Trusts 101


A trust, like a corporation, is an entity that exists only on paper but is legally capable of owning property.


A flesh and blood person, however, must actually be in charge of the property; that person is called the trustee.


You can be the trustee of your own living trust, keeping full control over all property legally owned by the trust. There are many kinds of trusts.


A living trust (also called an inter vivos trust) is simply a trust you create while you're alive, rather than one that is created at your death under the terms of your will.


All living trusts are designed to avoid probate. Some also help you save on death taxes, and others let you set up long-term property management.


Note: Property held in trust is actually "owned" by the trustees of the trust, subject to the rights of the beneficiaries. The trust itself doesn't actually own anything.


Do I need a living trust?  Property you transfer into a living trust before your death doesn't go through probate. The successor trustee, the person you appointed to handle the trust after your death, simply transfers ownership to the beneficiaries you named in the trust.


The rest of the article answers these other 4 questions:

  1. Is it expensive to create a living trust?

  2. Is a trust document ever made public, like a will?

  3. Does a trust protect property from creditors?

  4. Can a living trust save taxes?

For more Living Trust information click on the rest of the article.  Or if you want to talk or ask me questions, call me, Paul Sullivan, at 240-316-3531.



How is Your Retirement Planning Going?
by Kathy Grow, EA/IAR - Sullivan & Co. CPAs

You’ve seen the articles everywhere. The old opportunities for preparing for retirement have seemingly vanished. If you were age 50 in 1960, you could confidently assert:

- We are in our peak earning years.
- The kids are grown and out of the house.
- We’ve made more than our folks did and it shows.
- The equity in our house will provide a good nest egg.
- I have a company pension plan for my retirement.
- I will receive social security.
- Our cost of living will be lower once we retire.

None of these are true for most people age 50 in 2012. So, what have you done to prepare?


If you’re an employee, you should be contributing as much as possible to your 401(k). If you’re an employer, you should be sure your firm has a 401(k) and that it is new enough that it allows you to sock away the max each year.

Is that it? Are you done? Can you sleep easy now? NO

There are other strategies and investments to consider so that you are prepared. The most obvious is to consider adding a Roth or Traditional IRA. I have other ideas that won’t fit all, but may fit you. Give me a call at (240) 316-3564 so we can discuss your own situation and see if we can’t come up with at least one idea that you can act on today.

If you are the type of person that likes to learn & do research I would also suggest you listen to an audio recording of a recent conference call we did on this subject titled the Top 13 Mistakes Made By Retirement Plan Investors.

There are more than 13 mistakes but these are the top ones people tend to make that can EASILY be avoided with a little time and planning.

Bill Isaacs, CPA our Tax Department Manager was on the call with some other Sullivan & Company staff and we walked through these mistakes in detail.

And as always if you have any questions about accounting or investments and how they effect you or your business, please give me a call at (240) 316-3564. We can help guide you in the right direction.


Kathy Grow, EA/IAR



Remember you can call our offices if you have any questions about these or any other accounting, tax, financial planning or insurance related issues, at 301-657-8080. 


Regards, Paul Sullivan, CPA

President, Sullivan & Company





Sullivan & Company, CPAs | 4709 Montgomery Lane | Bethesda, MD 20814 | email: | Like Us on Facebook

Direct: 240-316-3531 | Main no.: 301-657-8080 Ext 102 | Fax: 301-657-9055