Support Racial Justice With These Charities

We know many are interested in donating to causes that support justice and equality under our law, socially, and economically, and we’ve provided a list of some charities that are actively supporting contemporary needs.

Given our offices are in San Rafael, San Francisco, and Mill Valley in Northern California, in Omaha and Lincoln in Nebraska, and in the Denver metro area in Centennial Colorado, much of the charities below focus on causes local to these regions, but several national charities are listed as well. We welcome suggestions to the list as well.

Inclusive Communities
This Omaha, NE organization has a clear mission: confronting prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination in our communities. Formed in 1938, perhaps making it the most tenured charity in this list, it began to fight vicious bigotry towards blacks, Catholics, Jews, and immigrants, and today directs its efforts to community and workplace programming towards helping create inclusive communities.
Donate Here

Showing Up for Racial Justice (Marin)
This Marin County, CA organization encourages everyone to join the “multiracial movement for racial justice”, and works with local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) organizations and community leaders towards this goal. Much of their resources are dedicated to the Marin City Health & Wellness Center, which supports African American health equity, and the Multicultural Center of Marin in San Rafael, which works with underserved communities in Marin to advance their social, cultural, and economic well-being.
Donate Here

Color of Change
Color of Change is an Oakland, CA-based charity that challenges injustice and systems of inequality, and seeks to advance solutions towards racial justice and equality via public awareness efforts.
Donate Here

Supporting Economic Justice & Security

Cypress Mandela Training Center, Inc.
The Cypress Mandela Training Center is a San Francisco Bay Area (Oakland, CA) charity improving the lives of individuals and families, primarily by providing economic security via pre-apprentice construction and life skills training, in addition to other employment assistance.
Donate Here

National Charities

Equal Justice Initiative
The EJI works to end racial inequality, excessive punishment, and mass incarceration, famously saying “the opposite of poverty is justice”.
Donate Here

Public Justice Center
The Public Justice Center seeks to “build a just society” by pursuing systemic change towards economic and racial equity, focusing on using legal tools to challenge poverty and racial inequity.
Donate Here

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Nationally and with local committees in Denver, CO and San Francisco, CA, this charity supports voting rights, fair housing and community development, environmental health and justice, and educational opportunity, and fights against discrimination in these areas and more, and works with its large network of local lawyers towards the cause of civil rights.
Donate Here

Separately, on the topic of the logistics of giving, we’ve written in the past about charitable giving accounts, including the “Core Account” with Schwab Charitable, Fidelity Charitable’s “Giving Account”, or the “checkbook account” with the Omaha Community Foundation, which offers a less common no-fee product, and is therefore ideal for short-term giving (i.e., 1-3 years of funding, since the money is not earning investment returns either). The Omaha Community Foundation product is available nationally and still works with any charities you choose, just like the Schwab and Fidelity options.

Please note: Callahan Financial Planning, nor its staff, have any relationship, formally or otherwise, with any of the named charities. Additionally, while public research was utilized to inform this process, no endorsement is made as to the particular use of funds donated to any of the charities listed. If you have any feedback or suggestions relating to the charities listed, please send us a message.

State Income Tax Relief for Military Spouses In California

If you’re a member of the military, you understand all too well the many difficulties that come with serving your country. One of the more notable challenges is the impact of new permanent change of station (PCS) orders on you and your family. These often require you to move your entire life to a new location, sometimes with limited time to prepare.

On December 31, 2018, legislation was passed through the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 (VBTA) creating further opportunities to ease the financial burden that may accompany PCS orders to a new state. This new legislation expanded upon previous provisions under the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act of 2009 (MSRRA) relating to state income taxes.

One of the most significant expansions of this new law was to now allow spouses of active-duty military members to assume the state of residency of the servicemember for income tax purposes without having lived in the state.

Why Does This Matter?

For military households with two incomes, this change can be significant as it means that spouses may now claim the same state of residency as the active-duty servicemember where they would not otherwise have had any ties to which was previously not allowed under MSRRA.

Let’s look at the potential impact of this change through an example assuming the following:

  • James and Jeannette are married living in California
  • James, who is active-duty military, received PCS orders that relocated him to California and has maintained the state of Florida as his state of domicile/residency
  • Jeannette has never lived in Florida but moved with James to California and now earns an annual wage of $120,000 there

Under the provisions of VBTA, Jeannette may assume James’ state of domicile/residency exempting her from California state income tax. This results in an annual state income tax savings of approximately $5,500.

Additionally, the law applies to all tax years starting in 2018 and beyond. This means that qualifying spouses may potentially amend their 2018 state income tax return(s) and obtain a refund of taxes that were already paid. Qualifying spouses may also elect to forego state income tax withholding through their employers increasing their take-home pay throughout the year.

Understanding if You Qualify

To qualify you must meet certain criteria for the applicable tax year and follow state guidelines for filing/registration under the new law. The eligibility requirements include:

  1. The spouse and servicemember must only be residing in their current state due to active military service
  2. The servicemember must have established her/his state of residency (Florida in the above example) for the given tax year
  3. You must be legally married

Previously under the MSRRA, the spouse was also required to establish presence in their claimed state of residence by:

  • Registering to vote
  • Obtaining a driver’s license
  • Owning or leasing real estate, or
  • Preparing legal documents such as a Last Will and Testament

Section 302 of the VBTA removes the burden on the spouse to establish presence, however, it may still be wise to consider taking one or more of these steps to provide further support of the election in the event of an audit or challenge by the state of California.

To all of our nation’s military servicemembers and families, we thank you for your service, commitment, and sacrifice.

If you have questions about any potential tax savings that you may qualify for, we can help. Reach out to our team to discuss your situation and find out how one of our Certified Financial Planner™ professionals can assist you.

4 Steps for Better Emotional Health During Times of Stress

As people all across the world are working to adjust to the unprecedented events that have unfolded over the past weeks, we thought it may help to share some practices we personally follow to help ourselves remain grounded and be present in our interactions with you, our clients during such difficult times.

We as individuals and as a nation are currently dealing with two contagions: first, the coronavirus outbreak itself, and second, the emotions that come along with it. It has been commonly reported that negative emotions are just as contagious as a virus. Read the rest of this entry »

Actions We’re Taking Following Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Clients and Partners,

As we all navigate the outbreak of the Coronavirus together, I wanted to share what’s important to us, what we’ve done, and what we’re doing.

What’s Important to Us
The health and wellbeing of everyone we work with informs our decision-making. Our clients trust us with their life’s savings, but also to be a partner in their journey for so much more. We value this relationship deeply, and we also feel a great sense of responsibility to do things that support the needs of those around us.

There are parts of our population that are particularly vulnerable to this virus, and we intend to do everything in our power to prevent the spread of the virus, or slow its progression.

Simultaneously, we see our partnership with our clients as a valuable relationship, and we intend to do everything necessary to ensure we’re available and ready to help you for everything ahead, financially, emotionally, and for your health otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

Military Tax Break for Nebraska

Nebraska offers a wonderful tax break opportunity for retired military members, and is one we commonly use with clients of our Omaha and Lincoln financial advisors.
Military retirees may be eligible to reduce Nebraska income taxes on their military retirement benefits by filing Form 1040N-MIL.

This tax break is available for retired military members who served active duty, in the National Guard, or as Reservists. For families where both spouses are military members, a Form 1040N-MIL must be filed for each military retiree. Also important to note, Form 1040N-MIL must be filed within two years after the date of separation. Read the rest of this entry »

Estate Planning, Trusts, & Probate in California

California Estate Planning, Trusts, and ProbateFor California residents, living trusts are a common estate planning tool. Due to high property values throughout the state, especially the San Francisco Bay Area, estate assets can easily reach millions of dollars. Trusts allow asset distributions to beneficiaries without going through the California probate process, avoiding additional costs and saving time when closing an estate.

Why Set Up a Living Trust?

In a living trust, as the person creating the trust (the grantor), you place your assets into a revocable trust. While you are alive, you are also the trustee and the beneficiary, and you control your assets. Because the trust is revocable, you can add or sell assets, change beneficiaries, etc. Upon your death, the trust becomes an irrevocable trust. The person(s) you named as your successor trustee(s) then assumes control and administers the assets for the beneficiaries according to your instructions.

Revocable Trust Fiduciary Duty

The trustee(s) have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. They must put the beneficiaries’ interests before their own at all times while following the mandates in the trust agreement. Many long-term or complicated trusts also name a trust protector, who advises, oversees, and can replace a trustee if necessary. This offers an additional layer of protection for the beneficiaries. Read the rest of this entry »

Callahan Financial Planning Opens Marin County Financial Advisory Practice in San Rafael, CA

San Rafael, CA – Callahan Financial Planning, a fiduciary financial planning and investment advisory company, has announced the opening of an office in San Rafael, CA following the acquisition of certain assets of the financial advisory firm Gary A. Dossick & Associates. The office is now located at 851 Irwin St Ste 201A, San Rafael, CA 94901.

Clients will be served by a team that includes three Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) practitioners, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charterholder, an IRS Enrolled Agent, and supporting staff.

Callahan Financial Planning has seen significant growth since opening in 2010. The firm now manages $125 million in client assets, and anticipates opening additional locations in San Francisco and Mill Valley in California, and Denver, Colorado following this expansion.

From this San Rafael office, Callahan Financial Planning anticipates serving clients throughout Marin County, including residents of Mill Valley, Fairfax, Larkspur, Marin City, Corte Madera, San Anselmo, Marinwood, Novato, Sausalito, Tiburon, and Lagunitas-Forest Knolls.

Read the rest of this entry »