How is it possible we are already embarking on our journey for 2024? We all recognize as we age time appears to speed up. Of course, this is simply the relative relationship between one year and our total years. If you are five years old, one year represents 20% of your life. If you’re 50, it’s only 2%, hence the feeling of acceleration.  With that in mind, let’s get moving, 2025 will be here before we know it.

By: Jamie Menges, CFP®, CPA, Shareholder
Posted: 1/25/2024

The People

They say you’re only as strong as your weakest link. What do you do when you cannot identify a weak link? That’s where we are right now. From top to bottom, the firm has so much talent, folks who bring nothing but positive energy to work every day. Every. Single. Day.

Luke Babner, Joel Bleskey, Ali Brockman, and Karl Lemke all joined us this past year. I mention them at the same time because if you saw the comradery, positive attitudes, team mindset, insatiable thirst for knowledge, and incredible energy of this group in action, you would understand my struggle to discuss each of them separately. I don’t think it’s too much to say they have changed the game for us at PDS and reminded us (again) why it is so rewarding to be part of a team.

One of the greatest benefits of adding young people to an organization is the excitement it brings watching them enjoy those wonderful moments in time. Kyle Euton and his wife Jess gave their daughter Ruby a little brother when Duke arrived in March. Kyle is already thinking about Duke’s first set of golf clubs. Alyssa Troyer and her husband Brent welcomed sweet Hadley in July. She’ll make a great University of Iowa Hawkeye enrollee in Fall 2041. Laurie Licata and husband Phil welcomed another son-in-law (their third!) at their daughter Nicole’s destination wedding in Hilton Head this past November. Ali Brockman returned from Thanksgiving break with more than just the Christmas spirit. She and Cole celebrated their engagement with family over the holiday! The good news just keeps pouring in. Spoiler Alert: There may be more great news coming soon for one of our young families!!!

When I joined PDS in 2013, my two children were the only PDS kids still “living at home.” Today, PDS has 15 children at home! It is such an awesome responsibility to have an organization capable of supporting our families.

Let’s not forget all the wonderful things we heard from clients. Babies, grand-babies, graduations, new jobs, worldly travel, bucket-list accomplishments, philanthropy, and of course successful retirements. Please keep sharing your stories (and pictures!) with us. We hope you know how much energy it gives us to hear and see these wonderful stories which bring you so much joy. Each one serves as a reminder of why we each chose to work in this profession.

As we do every year, we would be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to remember those wonderful friends we lost in 2023. We try to create enduring relationships that extend beyond finances so when we have a client pass, it affects each one of us. Gone but not forgotten, the lessons they taught us will stand the test of time.

The Company Foundation

PDS CARES, the charitable foundation for the firm celebrates its 10th year in 2024. From the beginning, the shareholder group has pledged to donate a portion of the firm’s profit each year to fund charitable initiatives. Through the end of last year, CARES has made financial gifts to 118 unique charities! Each team member of PDS is allocated dollars to give at their discretion, and we of course choose to support other initiatives through company grants. Our staff continue to make positive impacts in their community, with their time, effort, and financial commitments. Only time will tell what our legacy will be, but if we do it right, PDS CARES will hopefully be at the center of it.

The Industry

Since 2016 we have been steadfastly committed to professionalizing the advisor fee.  Since that time, we have stopped offering an asset-based fee, one where our fee would be contingent upon the amount of money a client has to invest. Our fee is based solely on the time, resources, and value we can provide. As you know, our fees are stated in flat dollar amounts. Logical, right? To you and I, and everyone who listens to us discuss this matter – yes! To the majority of our industry peers, no. But we know it’s the right thing to do.

We are seeing the benefits of doing the right thing. More and more prospective clients have realized the value of having a professional fee from PDS opposed to other methods. The introductions we are receiving prove we were right to do this. For those who referred a prospective client to us, we appreciate the opportunity to help them and thank you for trusting us to do so. Do the right thing, the right way, at the right time, all the time. Words to live by.

Our work is hard, requires countless hours of sacrifice from our staff, but nothing that comes easy is ever rewarding. Only when we achieve something that was hard do we truly have a sense of accomplishment. We embrace the process of hard work and when we look back on 2023, we can see the successful outcome for our clients and ourselves.

We look forward to the blessings and challenges of 2024. We are going to keep grinding each day to deliver meaningful financial counsel to you while continuing to be a thought leader in our industry. On behalf of the shareholders and entire staff at PDS, we say Thank You for allowing us to be on this journey with each of you.


Jamie Menges, CFP®, CPA, Shareholder
Rita Itsell, President, Shareholder
Kurt Brown, CFA, Shareholder
Jimmy Rogers, CFP®, Shareholder

Please keep in mind…..

  • Quarterly Tax Estimates are due April 15, June 17, September 16, and January 15, 2025
  • Your Required Minimum Distributions are due by the end of the year, but why wait? We will be happy to process these for you as early as possible.
  • April 15: Tax filing deadline for individuals. If you file for a tax extension, your tax is still due at this time! If you need money to pay a tax bill from an account we manage, you’ll need to give us 7-10 business days to ensure it can be processed in time.
  • April 15: Due date for 2023 IRA, Roth IRA and HSA contributions to be postmarked or received at Charles Schwab.
  • August 1: Summer is drawing to a close, school is just around the corner and we begin the sprint to the year-end finish line. The latter stages of the year, and more specifically the 4th quarter, present numerous challenges for us as we work towards year-end and try to balance the holidays and time with our own families. We deliver recommendations all year long and while some require late-in-the-year implementation, many simply get delayed due to busy schedules. We kindly ask you to consider any open recommendations before it’s too late.
  • October 15: Extended tax filing deadline for individuals.
  • October 15: Medicare Open Enrollment begins and closes December 7.
  • December 1: If you make Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD’s) from your IRA each year through check writing, we encourage you to send those checks no later than 12/1. Charities must deposit those checks by 12/31 for it to count as a QCD in the current year.
  • December 31: Required Minimum Distributions must be completed. Don’t wait, let’s get started on those now!

Notable FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Dates

  • You can file the 2023-2024 FAFSA until June 30th, 2024.
  • The window for 2024-2025 opened December 31st and will tentatively remain open through June 30, 2025.
  • The 2025-2026 FAFSA will open October 1, 2024.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION: Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by PDS Planning, Inc. [“PDS”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from PDS. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. PDS is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the PDS’ current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.pdsplanning.comPlease Note: PDS does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to PDS’ web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Please Remember: If you are a PDS client, please contact PDS, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.