Tag: Investing for Life

Powers of Attorney

By Marie R. Tarbox, JD, Vice President & Trust Officer

Marie Rolling-TarboxWhen people think about estate planning, they often think of it in terms of having a Will or a Trust, directing disposition of property on their death. There are, however, important estate planning tools that are critical during your lifetime. These tools are powers of attorney. There are generally two types of powers of attorney – the power of attorney for finances and the power of attorney for health care decisions. Today we focus on the power of attorney for finances.

With a power of attorney, you (the principal) name who you want to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so. The person you name is known as your agent or your attorney-in-fact. The power of attorney may be limited in nature, perhaps to handle a specific matter, such as a real estate closing, or it may be general, to manage all of your financial affairs. Powers of attorney may become effective on a specified future event, such as incapacity, or they may be effective from the moment of signing, and continue regardless of subsequent incapacity or disability. Powers that continue in effect after incapacity or disability known as durable powers of attorney.

Why is a power of attorney a good idea? Sometimes it is simply the convenience of having someone else act on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself. More importantly, though, a power of attorney is the document that ensures that you are the person who determines who will act on your behalf if you are incapacitated or disabled, whether temporarily or permanently. If you become incapacitated or disabled and do not have a power of attorney in place, court proceedings will be required before someone can act on your behalf. The person who is appointed to act for you by the court may not be the person you would select, and the powers granted may not be the same as you would grant.

A power of attorney is recommended for anyone who is of legal age. Even if your accumulated assets are smaller, having a power of attorney means that your chosen person will be the person who takes care of your financial matters for you. It also means that things will be managed in a more efficient manner than through a court proceedings.

The need for a power of attorney may only be an accident or an illness away. Accidents and illnesses can happen to anyone regardless of health or wealth. Again, your power of attorney is a critical estate planning tool that affect use of your finances during your lifetime.

Contact Marie: 563.388.2631

Welcome Centennial Tax & Accounting

We are very happy to welcome Centennial Tax & Accounting to Northwest Bank

Centennial Tax & Accounting

Centennial is our former firm, Blair, Westfall & Co., coming together with the expertise of Jeanne Pyle Scott and her team at Pyle, Scott & Associates, as well as Dave Schebler, CPA; Randy Sovey, CPA; Dave Thies and their support team. All combined we are now 18 people strong and will be led by Jeanne Pyle Scott.

Jeanne has been well known to us at Northwest Bank because of her outstanding reputation in her field. She spent much of her career in the private trust company and family office area serving high net worth individuals and families. We think that experience will be a wonderful asset for our clients. 

This new combined Centennial Tax & Accounting team includes six full-time CPAs and over 200 years of experience. They are uniquely positioned to deliver outstanding relationship-first accounting services to the individuals and businesses in the Quad Cities. We love that they have the expertise to confidently serve tax and accounting needs, while maintaining a size small enough to provide personalized attention and direct accessibility. 

Centennial Tax & Accounting have moved into their brand new offices on the 5th floor of our NorthPark Tower. We look forward to the opportunity to tell you more about them, and introduce you Jeanne and the rest of the team!

2021 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

The Internal Revenue Service announced retirement plan contribution limits for 2021.


Rebecca Bitting, Trust Officer

For the most part the 2021 contribution limits are unchanged from the 2020 limits. The notable changes were the increase in the Roth IRA eligibility threshold.

If you have questions or would like more details, please contact our Certified Retirement Services Professional (CRSP), Rebecca Bitting


Contact Rebecca: 563.388.2575

Elective Deferrals2021
401(k), 403(b), 457(b) PlansLesser of $19,500 or 100% of participant's compensation
Simple IRAsLesser of $13,500 or 100% of participant's compensation
IRA Contribution Limits2021
IRAs (Traditional or Roth)Lesser of $6,000 or 100% of earned income
Additional "Catch Up" Limits2021
401(k), 403(b), 457(b)$6,500
IRAs (Traditional or Roth)$1,000
Roth IRA Compensation Limits - Income Phase Out Range2021
Single$125,000 - $140,000
Married Filing Jointly$198,000 - $208,000
Married Filing Seperately$0 - $10,000

In the Community – Winter 2021

Our Non-Profit Community Spotlight

The Arc of the Quad Cities

The Arc of the Quad Cities

You have invested in yourself. You have funds that will provide you with the essentials to live your best life, and if you’ve done things right even leave something for the next generation, bridging one generation to the next. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on support for their lifetime. The Arc supports and invests in people with disabilities, helping them grow into their full potential and participate in their own communities.

The Arc promotes the equal treatment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in community life. It supports an individual’s interests so as to make available their full productive and creative capacities. The Arc has been serving the Quad Cities Area since 1952 and is proud of its accomplishments in making the Quad Cities a more welcoming and inclusive place for everyone to live. The Arc’s vision is that all people’s abilities will be valued and respected by the community so every person has the opportunity to achieve their best life. 

In honor of this vision and of the legacy of The Arc’s upcoming anniversary in 2022, we are proud to announce the establishment of two endowments that will provide a secure and permanent source of funds that strengthens and provides stability for The Arc’s services and supports. 

The Arc has established The Arc Emergency Assistance Fund at The Moline Foundation which will provide assistance to people served by The Arc who need direct financial assistance on an emergency basis. The Arc has also established The Arc of the Quad Cities Iowa Endowment which will support Enhanced Horizons and the Arc of the Quad Cities Iowa Holiday Party.  

The Wilber L. Burress Endowment provides supports The Arc of the Quad Cities Area’s services and supports. The endowment is managed by the Wilber L. Burress Trustees. 

In 2022, The Arc will have reached 70 years of making positive change. We have just over a year to reach our goals to raise to raise $70,000 in all endowments, so that the next generation of people with disabilities can enjoy the dignity of full social acceptance and the opportunity to explore their potential. 

You can use your voice and your investment to uphold the dignity of people with disabilities with your support. Visit The Arc’s website at arcqca.org/help-endow-the-future for more information on how your legacy and investment can uphold the rights of others. Or call 309-429-6067 to learn how you can be a part of a better tomorrow. 


Market Viewpoints – Winter 2021

By Keith Bonjour, Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Keith Bonjour, Portfolio ManagerThe stock market continued to move higher, reaching new highs in the fourth quarter of 2020, with the election having a smaller impact on stock market returns than many anticipated. In 2020, markets proved how resilient they could be facing many risk factors throughout the year, but stocks were able to recover quickly after the COVID-19 induced sell-off and end the year on a high note. The S&P 500 was down 34% from mid-February towards the end of March only to end the year up over 16%. The bond market also had a strong year with interest rates and inflation both remaining at low levels. The Federal Reserve has continued to indicate that they will hold rates near zero for the foreseeable future, and that they will continue to keep monetary policy accommodative to help support the economic recovery. Congress recently passed another $900 billion stimulus measure after much political back and forth negotiations. This new package included $600 stimulus checks to every adult and child that qualified along with additional funds for small businesses struggling during the pandemic.  

Looking ahead in 2021, the consensus view is that the stock market will continue to show positive returns with higher volatility along the way. The first half of the year will provide meaningful insights into how much further stimulus the government is willing to provide once Biden takes office. The additional stimulus measures along with a potential infrastructure package will need to be weighed against the increasing virus outbreak and the new virus strains from the UK and South Africa. Hopes are that the vaccine providers are able to ramp up production fast enough so that everyone that chooses to be vaccinated will be able to by the end of the second quarter this year. There have been several vaccines approved already with several more currently in late stage trials. Current projections are for a very strong recovery in GDP and company earnings in the second half of 2021, which has a lot to do with how well stocks have performed recently. The risk case is that if the vaccine distribution falls short or the vaccines do not prove as successful against the new strains of the virus, then this would cause economic growth not to rebound as quickly as projected, potentially weighing on stock prices.  

Expectations are for both growth and inflation to increase this year with both showing stronger gains in the second half of the year. The Federal Reserve has indicated that they are comfortable letting inflation run higher than usual in this part of the economic cycle to help the economy recover. They also expect inflation expectations to come back down to around 2% after the initial surge. The risk case is that growth and inflation both overshoot to the upside, forcing the Federal Reserve to raise rates sooner than expected. This is currently a low probability, but does bear watching as we progress further into the year. Stocks and bonds are both trading at historically high levels, which puts pressure on company earnings to meet the elevated bar set for them this year.

We are continuing to be mindful of risks facing the market in 2021 as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, and stocks and bonds trade expensive compared to their historical averages. However, central banks and governments across the globe have provided massive amounts of stimulus that continue to help drive up asset prices. We continue to recommend staying the course with your investment objective and to continue to rebalance your portfolio by selling strengths and buying into weaknesses to adjust to movements in the market over time.  We also recommend determining any short-term cash needs that you may have over the next six months. Creating this cash can help protect against an increase in volatility and short-term moves in the market.  We recommend maintaining a more long-term focus on investment goals and objectives, and not reacting to short term up or down movements in the market.

The Time for Life Insurance is Now

By Patrick Olsen, Special Care Planner, Financial Services Professional | Olsen Financial

Olsen Financial

Patrick OlsenLife changes and priorities have a way of shifting. But one thing stays the same, how important family is and our desire to protect them. That’s why having life insurance is an important financial decision. It means your loved ones could be OK financially if something happened to you.

Ensuring the financial security of the people who matter most to you is an important responsibility. This means protecting the value of what you provide for them on a day-to-day basis. You don’t have to wait for a big life moment to put this important protection in place. The time for life insurance is now. Contact me today and let’s get you the coverage you need.

Contact Olsen Financial: 563.388.2530 | polsen@financialguide.com

In the Community – Fall 2020

Our Non-Profit Community Spotlight

Scott Community College Foundation

Scott Community College Foundation

Since our establishment in 1985, the Scott Community College (SCC) Foundation has worked to provide financial resources to support students and our college community. Each year we utilize the generous gifts we receive from our board members, faculty and staff members, area businesses, and many others to offer scholarships, acquire new instructional equipment, and launch special projects.

In addition to scholarships, we also support students through our Student Assistance Program. The program provides emergency funding to help with unexpected student expenses such as internet access, textbooks, laptops, or even transportation. This fund helps to ensure our students’ success and their degree completion.

We currently support students at several Quad Cities locations including: the Urban Campus, Blong Technology Center, West Davenport Center and Belmont Campus. Each student has a unique story and a unique set of strengths and challenges. Some students begin classes with a clear career goal, others discover their passion through their education. Despite all of the obstacles our students face, they all share a desire to learn, master new skills, become better providers, employees, and members of the community.

We value the strengths of the Northwest Bank Investment Management Group as they make it effortless for us to remain focused on our mission to serve our students and the college, while they help us achieve our financial goals. The team is very responsive to all our needs, quick to act when questions arise, and they make the most complicated reports and long-term planning strategies straightforward for our Investment Committee and Board Members. We greatly value their support and look forward to growing with them.

If you would like to learn more, please visit www.eicc.edu/sccfoundation

Market Viewpoints – Fall 2020

By Keith Bonjour, Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Keith Bonjour, Portfolio Manager

The stock market continued to show gains through the summer months, but has stalled a bit for the month of September. This is not an unusual event with the upcoming U.S. elections weighing on the minds of investors, and September has a reputation for being one of the worst months of the year for stock performance historically. The Federal Reserve has signaled they will remain accommodative for the foreseeable future, which will continue to hold down interest rates and weigh on the yields for cash and fixed income investments. The U.S. unemployment rate has continued to come down from peak levels in the early stages of the lockdown, but still remains at elevated levels. We think this will continue to take time to heal the labor market especially in the hardest hit sectors such as travel, leisure, and restaurants, which have a tough road ahead of them to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

After Congress passed a large stimulus measure earlier this year called the CARES Act, expectations were high that they would pass another piece of legislation to continue to support the economic recovery. So far, the House and Congress have been at an impasse for how large the bill should be. Democrats are favoring a much larger scaled up version where Republicans favor a much smaller more targeted approach. We will have to continue to wait and see if they are able to compromise before the upcoming elections, but time is quickly running out. Consensus is that the U.S economy could use additional stimulus measures in order to help sustain the recovery that is currently in place. Worries are that if additional stimulus measures are not implemented, this could weigh on an already fragile recovery. 

The market is turning its attention to the upcoming elections, which tend to add more volatility to the stock market, and we think this election cycle will be no different. We do recommend continuing to stay the course with your long-term investment objective since elections tend to have a short-term impact on the stock market historically. There should be more news regarding several high profile COVID-19 vaccine trials before the end of the year. The markets will be looking to see if one or multiple vaccines are able to show strong safety and efficiency in preventing the transmission of coronavirus as they complete their Phase 3 trials. Hopes are that we could see one or multiple vaccines approved by the end of 2020, but consensus points to first quarter of 2021 being more likely. If we do see one or more vaccines approved, the next step will be to see how quickly manufacturing capabilities can be ramped up to provide vaccines to all those individuals who want to be vaccinated. The CDC has estimated that this timeframe will probably be around the 3rd quarter of 2021. We continue to view this as an important piece of the puzzle to get the economy back on track and allow the economic recovery to sustain itself. 

While we have seen a nice recovery in the market after the COVID-19 induced sell-off, it is important to look forward and be mindful of the risks that the markets face. We continue to recommend staying the course with your investment objective and to continue to rebalance your portfolio by selling strengths and buying into weaknesses to adjust to movements in the market over time. We also recommend determining any short-term cash needs that will be needed over the next six to twelve months and to set this cash aside to protect against short term moves in the market. We recommend maintaining a more longterm focus on investment goals and objectives, and not reacting to short term up or down movements in the market.

We will be closed 11/25 for Thanksgiving Day.