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Expert Advice to Start the Year Off Right


Editor's Note: Anyone who has picked up our most recent copy of InCharge Healthcare knows Middle Tennessee is rich with subject matter experts. To help get 2019 off on the right track, Nashville Medical News reached out to a number of area financial and business services experts for advice and insights on how to make the year more productive and profitable from both a personal and professional perspective.

The Big Picture

Anne Layman Wires

"Keep your fingers on the pulse of the economy in general, and on adjustments in interest rates by the Federal Reserve in particular. You don't have to be an economist but learn the basics to help keep your money safe ... and even better, your investments growing." - Anne Layman Wires, Vice President, Life Credit Union

Ease the Tax Burden

Jerry Moss

"The holiday season is over, but it's smart to continue to plan for gift-giving. You can gift up to $15,000 per recipient without having to pay gift tax or use up your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. You can also pay unlimited amounts for medical or educational expenses of others, so long as payments are made directly to the service-providing institution and not to the individual of such service." - Jerry Moss, Member, Tax Services, KraftCPAs

Arthur H. Van Buren

"Just remember that entertainment expenses are generally completely non-deductible, but business meals are generally 50 percent deductible." - Arthur H. Van Buren, LBMC Healthcare Tax Leader

"Remember to track your tax-deductible mileage. For 2019, the standard mileage rate for business driving is up to 58 cents per mile - that's up 3.5 cents from the 2018 rate. Mileage for medical purposes is deductible at 20 cents per mile and driving for charitable purposes is deductible at 14 cents per mile." - Jerry Moss, Member, Tax Services, KraftCPAs

Blake Wilson

"If you are an owner in a medical/dental practice or a healthcare service business structured as a Sole Proprietorship, LLC, S Corp, or Partnership (or work with these business owners), be purposeful in planning for the tax code changes beginning in 2018, especially in regards to the potential 20% qualified business deduction and the $315,000/$415,000 phase-out (for joint filers). Maximizing retirement plan contributions could be one way to help get under the caps but there are several other details and nuances to consider with the help of a CPA." Blake Wilson, First Vice President, Division Head, TMA Medical Banking - a division of INSBANK

Save for a Rainy Day

Pam Tenpenny

"When you receive a raise, start an emergency fund with at least a portion of it. An emergency fund could save you from financial ruin. Try to live on the salary you received prior to the raise." - Pam Tenpenny, Chief Executive Officer, Life Credit Union

"Fund a reserve/emergency fund outside of your operations account on a monthly basis, just as you do for your personal financial planning, in order to be ready for adverse effects such as a large client paying slower than normal. You wouldn't want to risk making payroll just because of increasing accounts receivable," - Blake Wilson, First Vice President, Division Head, TMA Medical Banking - a division of INSBANK

Stay on Track

Benita Harp

"Calculate your net worth (the difference between what you own and what you owe) annually. This will give you a picture of whether the plan you have in place is effective over time. A steady increase in your net worth means you are on track." - Benita Harp, Chief Operating Officer, Life Credit Union

Glenn Bradley

"Take your loans and rank them from the highest to the lowest interest rate and concentrate on paying them off, respectively in that order, to save you money over the long haul." - Glenn Bradley, Senior Relationship Manager/Senior Vice President, Medical Private Banking Services, First Tennessee Bank

Karen Clark

"It is important to review your finances and goals at least once a year. Circumstances change and goals may need to shift to better address those new circumstances. Knowing where you are starting at the beginning of the year and articulating where you want to be 12 months later will help keep you more focused and on track," - Karen Clark, Senior Vice President, FirstBank

"Be sure to check your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus at least annually. is the only authorized website for the free annual credit reports that you are guaranteed by law according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Know the factors that are used to calculate your credit score, as well as how heavily each factor is weighted. Use that information to improve your credit score, or to keep an excellent one. Having a high credit score can help you achieve your goals at a lower cost." - Anne Layman Wires, Vice President, Life Credit Union

"It is a good practice to check your credit report at least annually for accuracy. Many credit cards have a benefit to check your credit report through their website or you can also check once a year for free through If you find information that is not correct, go to Experian, TransUnion or Equifax websites and follow the instructions for dispute of incorrect information." - Karen Clark, Senior Vice President, FirstBank

"It's hard to improve on this quote from Suze Orman as we start the new year: 'No one's ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that's abandoned by February.' Set your goals, review them regularly and stick to them." - Anne Layman Wires, Vice President, Life Credit Union

Eye on the End Game

"Maximize your 401k contribution to match what your employer is matching. This is free money that you are leaving on the table if you don't do it. You are worth that and then some." - Glenn Bradley, Senior Relationship Manager/Senior Vice President, Medical Private Banking Services, First Tennessee Bank

"It is always a good idea to reevaluate your 401-K contribution amount and investment allocation at least once a year. Most companies have a representative from the company handling the 401-K that will meet with the employee to discuss the investment options and performance of the funds or meet with your own financial planner (highly recommended) as he or she knows your overall wealth plan and can review with you, as well. Be sure you are reviewing beneficiaries as they may change, contribution percentage and target retirement dates for diversification of your account." - Karen Clark, Senior Vice President, FirstBank

"If you get a 2 percent pay raise, split it and apply 1 percent of the raise to your 401k. You won't miss it, and you will be surprise how this will build up over the years if you do this each time you get a raise." - Glenn Bradley, Senior Relationship Manager/Senior Vice President, Medical Private Banking Services, First Tennessee Bank

Stay Cyber Safe

Mark Johnson

"In 2019, stop thinking about healthcare cyber security strictly in terms of confidentiality and compliance. Rather, broaden your cyber security strategy and focus to involve everything in your organization up to and including care delivery." - Mark Johnson, LBMC Healthcare Cyber Security Leader

Build Your Business

"If you or your clients have bank loans for business or investment real estate purposes, learn the term "debt service coverage ratio" or DSCR for short, and apply it to your analysis for expansion, new initiatives, or asset/equipment purchases. In general, DSCR is a calculation of Net Operating Income or EBITDA divided by the loan's debt service and a 1.25 multiple is most often the minimum within bank loan policies." - Blake Wilson, First Vice President, Division Head, TMA Medical Banking - a division of INSBANK

"If you or your clients are undergoing a construction, renovation, or buildout project, include at minimum a 10% contingency factor in both cost and timeline. You'll be glad to have these dollars and/or time budgeted in the (likely) event you need them." - Blake Wilson, First Vice President, Division Head, TMA Medical Banking - a division of INSBANK

Let's Make a Deal

Lisa Nix

"The consolidation of physician practices can lead to improved rates with both vendors and commercial payors that can be of benefit to both buyers and sellers." - Lisa Nix, LBMC Transaction Advisory Team Shareholder and Practice Leader

"A quality sell-side advisor will focus on the key areas that can impact the value of your practice and reduce the likelihood of unexpected issues that can hinder a seamless transition." - Lisa Nix, LBMC Transaction Advisory Team Shareholder and Practice Leader

On the Money

"It is critical to actively manage your accounts receivable to ensure sufficient cash flow. By appropriately monitoring AR, you are limiting the chance of incurring a significant one-time or out-of-period write-off that can negatively impact your financials in a material way." Lisa Nix, LBMC Transaction Advisory Team Shareholder and Practice Leader

"If your ability to generate income is one of your greatest "assets," protect it by maximizing your disability insurance. If a business owner, this also applies to key employees at your company. When evaluating disability insurance options, review business overhead expense (BOE) disability policies as an option with your financial advisor and include any debt service as part of a BOE policy." - Blake Wilson, First Vice President, Division Head, TMA Medical Banking - a division of INSBANK


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401K, Ann Layman Wires, Arthur H. Van Buren, Benita Harp, Blake Wilson, Financial Advice, Financial Planning, First Tennessee, FirstBank, Glenn Bradley, INSBANK, Jerry Moss, Karen Clark, KraftCPAs, LBMC, Life Credit Union, Lisa Nix, Mark Johnson, Pam Tenpenny, TMA Banking, Transaction Advisory
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