Senior Advisor and Chief Compliance Officer
Julie Murphy Casserly
Geoffrey M. Zimmerman (“Geoff”) specializes in assisting with complex issues and decisions faced by corporate executives and other professionals.
Geoff is particularly deft at assisting those preparing for or currently weathering a major life transition, such as retirement. Gap analysis and interacting with clients keep him energized. He excels at asking the right questions, leading clients to think about the right issues.
Geoff sees a parallel between financial planning and practicing medicine: financial planning is our due diligence; in medical terms, financial planning is the diagnosis before writing a prescription. Furthermore, he says, “If you are a medical practitioner, it is important to know your patient’s current health, medical history, allergies, and awareness of what medications they are currently taking in order to recommend appropriate treatment and avoid adverse drug interactions. Similarly, with financial planning, you need to be aware of the intersection and interaction between the host of areas in a person’s financial life – saving, spending, investing, insurance, taxes, legal documents, etc to help make sure they are also well coordinated. A skilled financial planner can help coordinate these elements to work well together and avoid adverse interactions.”
At the University of California Santa Barbara, Geoff double-majored in economics and mathematics, receiving his BA in 1989. In 1999, while working as an investment consultant for Charles Schwab and Co, Geoff completed UC Berkeley Extension’s Certificate in Financial Planning program with academic distinction, and earned the CFP designation the following year. Shortly thereafter, he was named Schwab’s Regional Financial Planner for the Bay Area, and was highly regarded for his planning knowledge and his work in corporate equity compensation.
In his off hours, Geoff sits on the Planned Giving board of the East Bay Regional Parks Foundation. In the past, Geoff and his wife Lynn have volunteered at the Lafayette Town Hall Theater; their dog Molly was adopted while Geoff served as an adoption counselor for the German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California. Geoff is also an avid hiker and amateur photographer. His photograph of bright, autumnal Yosemite leaves changing midseason graced Mosaic’s 2014 holiday card.
Geoff explains a strategy to accelerate income to take advantage of the 28% tax rate under the AMT system now, rather than having increased income be exposed later to a rate of 39.6% under the regular system. If your AMT income is more than $494,900 and is below the point where AMT and the ordinary tax rate converge, you can and should look for ways to increase your income.
If you got hit by the federal alternative minimum tax - also known as the AMT - last year, or you think you might get hit by it this year, now is the time to think about your tax planning. Geoff outlines several ways to reduce your alternative minimum taxable income to the point where the AMT is less than the ordinary tax; strategies include retirement contributions, incentive stock options, itemized deductions, charitable contributions, and more.
In part two of his ESPP article series for Investopedia, Geoff delves into qualified sales, positing several scenarios, including what to do if the stock price decreases in a qualified sale, and special situations that allow for selling shares as a disqualified sale.
Geoff explains different ways to approach the sale of ESPP shares from a tax-optimized stance in his two-part series for Investopedia on stock option strategies. Syndicated to StockOpter.com.
Geoff sees similarities between managing cash flow in retirement and managing water. Your investment portfolio is like the snowpack in the mountains; melted snow flows into a reservoir; the dam attached to the reservoir meters the flow of water. In his first article for Investopedia, Geoff explains how you can go with the flow and create a regular paycheck from your portfolio in retirement.
The AMT is an alternative method of calculating federal income tax that runs parallel to the ordinary method. To determine whether you are subject to the AMT, you have to map both routes simultaneously. Whichever route results in the greater tax amount, that’s the one you follow — and that’s the amount you pay. Geoff helps you navigate the rocky road of the AMT.
Also seen on LinkedIn Pulse.
Geoff weighs the pros and cons of several portfolio protection strategies, with an eye toward long-term results unaffected by emotionally-biased decisions. This article has been syndicated to multiple outlets, including Nasdaq, The Statesman, Palm Beach Post, NewsOK, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC).
Also seen on LinkedIn Pulse.