IRA Planning

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, passed in December 2019, increases access to workplace plans 401K plans, other retirement savings accounts, and expands retirement savings. The retirement legislation includes policy changes that will impact defined contribution (DC) plans, defined benefit (DB) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 529 plans. 

I am not a tax adviser, it's time to call them and polish the crystal ball.

For taxable year 2020 and after - meaning after 2021, the law removes the age limit at which an individual can contribute to a traditional IRA. In the past an individual was not allowed to contribute after age 70½; the Act allows anyone that is working and has earned income to contribute to a traditional IRA regardless of age.
If you are unable to make a contribution at this time, you will have the ability to contribute via your preferred funding method soon. The deadline to make a Current Year 2020 contribution is April 15th, 2021.

So why would most want to add more money in after age seventy when your earning power has probably ended or decreased? This really is a way to shelter income for your children beneficiaries by spreading the tax gain over ten years after you die. Here is how:

For those who inherited an IRA from an original IRA owner who passed away prior to January 1, 2020, no changes to your current distribution schedule are required. However, for situations where the original IRA account owner passes away after December 31, 2019, fewer beneficiaries will be able to extend distributions from the inherited IRA over their lifetime. Account owners need to plan to withdraw all assets from the inherited IRA within 10 years following the death of the original account holder. Exceptions to the 10-year distribution requirement include assets left to a surviving spouse, a minor child, a disabled or chronically ill individual, and beneficiaries who are less than 10 years younger than the decedent.  Hmm wonder if this passed because Trump has children? 

This change will require some investors to reevaluate their retirement and/or estate planning strategies. While some beneficiaries may qualify for exemptions to the 10-year rule, others will be required to draw down assets more rapidly than required under the current rules. However, it is important to note that anyone who inherited an IRA from an original account owner who passed away prior to January 1, 2020, can continue their current distribution schedule.

My 529 plan for college is now depleted. I am so proud I was able to save for my children's college education. We were able to make it without loans until this past year, which is the last year - yippee!

The next stage of my life is to keep earnings high, contribute the maximum to IRA and 401k if matched, and figure out where I want to live in a single story house for the next thirty years. Big goals for 2020.

Mortgage rates remain low. It makes sense to invest in real estate in locations that are desirable and there is demand. With rates in the three and four percent you can still hold on to money better than a CD at 2 % . But the question is where is the stable location that won't see a decline? I say stay coastal if you can afford it, and single family. 

My crystal ball says:
Pay off credit card debt
Don't buy on credit cards
Keep driving the older car
Refinance to lower if you can
Grow a garden
Save 20% of what you earn

How is your financial planning shaping up for the next decade?
Royalty as a Bee 


Pearl Necklace Real Estate Chain of Title

Real Estate Chain of Title Is Like Grandmother’s Pearl Necklace
Chain of Title is the history on your home and a legal record of a property. The chain of title is provided by a title company when a buyer contracts to purchase a property. This document is in the preliminary title report and most lenders was a twenty-four-month chain to show any recent recordings as well as liens, deed, documents, covenants, restrictions, agreements, easements and more. The chain of title for any property is found in the relevant county recorder’s office. Some California cities provide these records visible online free, some ask for per page nominal fees, some require you visit their office in person.
Recorded documents show the history in a chain of title. The recent dated filing runs back to the original land that affects the real estate. Many types of documents can be recorded. There is not a regulating authority who stops a person from filing, filling out forms and paying the recorder to file a document thus fraud can come into the history of a property.
A number of documents that can be recorded. A skilled lender or title officer can interpret the needs of the following documents on the chain of title.
Transfer documents (deeds) document the transfer of ownership. The deed conveys the property from the seller, or grantor, to the buyer, or grantee. The deed also includes street address and legal and metes and bounds description of the property, often attached is a plat map and long legal description. There are sale transfers, family transfers, and a several types of grant transfer deeds.
Financial documents (deeds of trust) are liens, a creditor enters into an agreement with a lender to borrow money. The lender provides cash through a warehouse line to purchase the property. The cash is settled by an escrow company in Southern California and a title company in Northern California. When the mortgage debt is paid off, depending on the terms of the note say 15 or 30 years, the lender has title to the property. Once the mortgage is paid, the former creditor owns the property “free and clear.” The date of the mortgage or lien determines which lien is a priority for payment if there is more than one lien in competition. A deed of trust, also known as a trust deed, assigns the property to a trustee. The trustee holds the title as security for a loan between the lender and the borrower. In such a case, the lender is known as the beneficiary and the borrower as the trustor.
Involuntary lien documents include liens, lis pendens and tax liens. Involuntary liens, as the name implies, are liens that arise without the owner’s consent, usually due to nonpayment of debts. Examples of involuntary liens include property tax liens when local property taxes are not paid; income tax liens, for failure to pay the IRS; judgment liens from a creditor, ordered by the court, and mechanic’s liens. The latter is filed by contractors if the owner does not pay for work done on the property. If an owner is unable to pay for construction work of any type a contractor can place a mechanics lien. The release of the lien is a process and often owners fail to not just pay the bill, but properly follow up on the filing of the release. Involuntary liens “cloud” the title and require payment before the property changes hands. In some cases, the property is sold at auction to satisfy the lien. A lis pendens is notice that a lawsuit has been filed regarding the property’s title or ownership.
Covenants and restrictions are documents creating restrictions on the use of the subject property. Such restrictions may include limits on the types of improvements made to the property, uses of the property and property occupancy. Condominium and townhouse projects may have a long list of rules and regulations recorded against the subject property. Rules which violate United States laws are not considered enforceable.

Easements, also known as rights of way, are documents affecting usage rights. Utility easements allow access to the property for the purpose of maintaining electrical lines, water/sewer lines and the like. Some areas of California have water rights easements, oil and gas lines or mineral rights. Private easements allow another party, usually a neighbor, access through the property. It may mean direct access, such as a shared driveway, or non-direct access. A road maintenance agreement is often recorded between neighbors who share a road or driveway. If there is no agreement recorded it is a best practice to get such an agreement in place and recorded as an owner might not be able to drive or walk to their property. Other examples are for solar access, whereby a neighbor might be mot allowed to build a tall structure or plant trees that block their solar collection. Also, there are agreements to not have trees or structures blocking a neighbor’s view rights and so forth.
An easement by necessity, and the property owner cannot interfere with the neighbor’s ability to access his or her land.
Other documents involved in the chain of title may include:
·         Death certificates, when the property passes to a joint tenant through the right of survivorship. This joint tenant is generally the decedent’s spouse. An original certified copy of the death certificate is required by the Title Company to clear a recent death of an owner.
·         Affidavits, documents that affirm a fact related to the property
·         Correction deeds, correct an error in a previously recorded document.
·         Be mindful that persons can file a deed on a property without the knowledge of the owner, these pose special handling by the title officer and lender.
·         Filing a Living Trust, filing a family transfer deed or a Homestead can also cloud the title if not properly handled.
·         Death, divorce and disaster can cause a cloud on title. In California because we are a community property state it is required that a living spouse sign a grant deed to not be included in a transaction.
Chain of Title clouded is like a string of pearls without knots
Sometimes, there is a break in the chain of title. This occurs if the title transfer was inaccurate – or fraudulent. Errors include misspellings of names of the grantor or grantee, incorrect legal descriptions of the property, lack of signatures on the deed, mistakes in when the chain of title documents were recorded. Having a Grandfather, son who is Junior and grandson who is the III can complicate the title when their names are confused. When there is a break in the chain of title, correction is necessary. To correct such breaks the property owner may have to go to court and seek quiet title action. Depending on the nature of the break, a judge can rule that the break is not relevant and no longer exists. However, if the break is known to have resulted due to a particular party, the owner can seek out the party and have them fill out a quitclaim deed, be notarized and give up rights to the property. Organizing the proper form and making certain the party has current identification to be notarized is not a simple task.
Today there are four main title companies in the United States with many operating under the “umbrella” of one of the big four: Fidelity National Financial Inc., First American Financial Corp., Old Republic International Corp., and Stewart Information Services Corp. Perhaps by 2020 year-end there will be three when Fidelity takes ownership of Stewart Title.  In the past year a couple new Fintech Title companies have opened shop claiming to be faster and cheaper as they use only their secret sauce math, this remains to be seen how a title company without employees can repair broken chains of title and search down or bond around fraudulent liens. Will they be able to track down a bankrupt lender, find the correct Trustee and execute a reconveyance deed?
The future of the Title and Lending Industry is sure to change. Being able to fix a cloud on title requires skill. If you have a problem please feel free to contact me for assistance.


VA Loan Blue Water

JANUARY 1 2020 new VA loan terms
Blue Water Act dramatically changes the VA home loan program. 

In California high cost areas this is a game changer and listing agents need to be aware that Veterans making offers on million dollar homes may be the best offer they have on the table.

  • No upper loan limit on VA mortgages as of 1 January 2020.
  • An increase in the VA Loan Funding Fee for all non-exempt borrowers.
  • Purple Heart recipients are now exempt from paying the VA loan funding fee the same as those who receive or are entitled to receive VA compensation.

 Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 Is a law that goes into effect January 2020

The law creates benefits for veterans with medical conditions presumed to have been caused by Agent Orange or "herbicide exposure" during service in Vietnam. You may not  know all the chemicals that the enemy used to kill our men and women in the service of our country; but the after effects of these are great risk to health.
 House Resolution 299 (HR 299) and addresses a variety of Vietnam-era, Korean War-era, and Gulf War-era issues associated with VA medical claims. But the law also includes other items in the bill including a removal of VA loan limits for approved transactions, and an increase in the VA Loan Funding Fee.

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act expands maximum guaranty amounts for purchase, construction, and cash-out refinance loans greater than the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit. WOW!

Loan Limits still apply for those who have more than one active VA loan, only partial entitlement available or those who have defaulted on a previous loan.

The Purple Heart Exemption For The VA Loan Funding Fee
The VA Loan Funding Fee is an expense associated with VA mortgages that most veterans must pay unless they receive or are eligible to receive VA compensation for service-connected medical issues.

Due to HR 299, those who still serve on active duty, and were awarded the Purple Heart, are now also exempt from paying the funding fee as of January 1, 2020.

The Resolution also provides for the first increase in the VA loan funding fee program in some time.

VA Guaranty Requirements on and after January 1, 2020
It is important to assure that eligibility has been reinstated.

super important documents needed from the Veteran:

  • Revised 26-8320 (Certificate of Eligibility) showing restored entitlement, or
  • Unrevised 26-8320, 26-1880 (Request for Determination of Eligibility), and Closing Disclosure evidencing previous property has been sold on or before Closing date of the new Loan

VA Loan Funding Fee Increases In 2020
The VA loan funding fee is on a sliding scale with the lowest fees reserved for first-time VA borrowers, and higher fees for those who have used VA loans before.  Under the new 2020 rule, the VA funding fee for an active duty first-time borrower is increased to 2.30% and the subsequent use fee set at 3.60%.

Other VA loan funding fees are increased too; higher fees may apply for VA refinance loans and other transactions. Refer to the VA Funding Fee Chart and VA Product Matrix for additional details.

Type of Loan
Down payment
Percentage for First Time Use
Percentage for Subsequent Use
Purchase & Construction
5% or more (up to 10%)
10% or more
Cash-Out Refinance
Loan Assumptions

VA Loan Limit Rules
VA loan rules under the "Blue Water Act" remove the loan limits, however, the maximum loan amounts for VA loans funded with MWF remain at their current levels:

  • FICO >=700: $1,500,000 max loan amount
  • FICO <700: $1,000,000 max loan amount
VA IRRRL: $950,000 max loan amount


Additional Resources


Volatility:  Low

 Current Conditions
 FNMA 3.0   101-10 (-01)
 GNMA 3.0   102-19 (+01)
 10YR UST 1.921 (+0.042)
 VIX              14.56 (+1.88)

Mortgage Rates hold in a quiet market.
Little change.


Don't Buy Gifts Out of Guilt This Season

buying on line

This holiday season I encourage you not to purchase a bunch of gifts out of obligation. Teach those around you not to incur debt.
Instead make them something.
Can you bake? 
Can you knit?
Can you do yard work?
Can you walk a dog?
Can you make a wreath?
What can you do that shows love and joy rather than buying stuff?

Fill someone's bowls with fresh fruit. 
Clean up grandmother's garage.
Do some act of kindness.

You will feel so much more part of the season

Mortgage Payment Calculated in Your Brain

Mental Mortgage Math or
How to figure a payment in your head like a genius
Okay show them you are a brainiac with this

Did you know you can calculate a principal and interest payment on the fly?

Let’s use a 6% interest rate as an example:

Payments - The payment for principal and interest equals about $600 on a $100,000 30-year loan. Use this as your benchmark. (Actual is $599.55.)

Principal Paid - At this rate, figure 1/10th of 1% of the loan amount each month. Example: $100,000 loan = $100 of principal paid. (Actual figure starts at $102.33, increasing with each payment.)
Interest Paid - Subtract the principal from the payment to determine the approximate cost of interest. Example: $600 payment - $100 principal = $500 interest.
As rates change all the time, call for an update on current levels, and we'll calculate a current benchmark applicable to today's markets.
Mental Mortgage Math is not meant to replace your calculator but is a great way to estimate numbers quickly on the fly. Call when you want us to do the rest.
here I am at San Juan Capistrano mission at night doing my calculations in my head

Caroline Gerardo Barbeau please call me C. G.
phone: (949)784-9699
NMLS 324982

© 2019 CMG Financial, All Rights Reserved. CMG Financial is a registered trade name of CMG Mortgage, Inc., NMLS# 1820 in most, but not all states. CMG Mortgage, Inc. is an equal opportunity lender. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act No. 4150025. Registered Mortgage Banker with the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending. AZ license #0903132. Offer of credit is subject to approval. To verify our complete list of state licenses, please visit  and

This blog  is part of my effort to maintain our relationship and keep you well informed of market conditions. It could be interpreted as a commercial message

CMG Financial 19671 Beach Blvd. Suite 101 Huntington Beach CA 92648


Mortgage Rates Are Down

Mortgage Rates Are Down
Conforming Loan Limits Increased in most California Counties!

Let's talk about saving you money
Get your interest rate lower and a little cash back?
(949) 784- 9699

NMLS 324982


ADU Laws Accessory Dwelling Units California

Complete List of Accessory Dwelling Unit Laws for California Cities.
Each City links to the Local planning department for all the ins and outs of their rules and fees.

Accessory Dwelling Units and "Triplexes." A groundbreaking package of new laws that some are calling "the end of single-family zoning" will create new incentives and streamlined processes to build ADUs and triplexes.

California by City County

Alameda (City)


May 30, 2018
(ZONING CODE AMENDMENT NO. 2017-00140) (DEV2017-00047)
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 18.38.230 (Second Units) of Title 18 (Zoning) of the Anaheim Municipal Code, a “Second Unit” is an attached or detached residential dwelling unit on a lot zoned for residential use that provides complete independent living accommodations and facilities for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation for one or more persons on the same parcel as an established single-family dwelling unit and is permitted provided that certain standards are met; and
WHEREAS the State of California has identified housing construction as a statewide priority and the legislature has adopted numerous reforms and incentives to facilitate and expedite its production of housing including recent changes to State law to reduce barriers, streamline approvals and encourage the development of accessory dwelling units; and
WHEREAS on September 27, 2016, the Governor of California approved Senate Bill 1069 (Chapter 720, Reg. Sess. 2016) (“SB 1069”), which eliminated perceived barriers to the development of accessory dwelling units and prohibits local governments from adopting an ordinance precluding accessory dwelling units; and
WHEREAS, on September 27, 2016, the Governor of California approved Assembly Bill 2299 (Chapter 735, Reg. Sess. 2016)(“AB 2299”), which requires local governments to ministerially approve accessory dwelling units if they comply with certain parking requirements, design standards, and development standards; and
WHEREAS, any ordinance of a local government that does not meet the requirements of SB 1069 and AB 2299 is null and void; and
 pursuant to the City’s police power, as granted broadly under Article XI, Section 7 of the California Constitution, the City Council of the City of Anaheim (“City Council”) has the authority to enact and enforce ordinances and regulations for the public peace, morals and welfare of the City of Anaheim (the “City”) and its residents; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of this ordinance is to comply with State law regarding the development of accessory dwelling units and to implement the goal and policy of the housing chapter of the Anaheim General Plan regarding accessory dwelling units. It is also the purpose of this ordinance to preserve the integrity and character of residential neighborhoods and rename Second Units as “Accessory Dwelling Units”; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq.; herein referred to as “CEQA”) and the State of California Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act (commencing with Section 15000 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations; herein referred to as the “State CEQA Guidelines”), the City is the “lead agency” for the preparation and consideration of environmental documents for this ordinance; and
the City Council finds and determines that this ordinance is statutorily exempt from the provisions of CEQA per State CEQA Guidelines Section 15282(h) which establishes a statutory exemption for the adoption of an ordinance regarding second units in a single-family or multifamily residential zone by a city or county to implement the provisions of Sections 65852.1 and 65852.2 of the Government Code as set forth in Section 21080.17 of the Public Resources Code; and
WHEREAS from time to time and by resolution, the City Council may identify areas of the City with insufficient water and sewer services and where accessory dwelling units result in impacts to traffic circulation and public safety and therefore accessory dwelling units may not be permitted in such areas; and
WHEREAS, the City Council determines that this ordinance is a matter of citywide importance and necessary for the preservation and protection of the public peace, health, safety and/or welfare of the community and is a valid exercise of the local police power and in accord with the public purposes and provisions of applicable State and local laws and requirements; and
WHEREAS, the City Council finds that the ordinance complies with State law regarding the development of accessory dwelling units, and implements the goal and policy of the Housing and Safety Elements of the General Plan by ensuring that adequate housing to meet the needs of the community is served by adequate public utility infrastructure.
SECTION 1. That Section 15.70.070 (Exemptions) of Chapter 15.70 (Preservation of Rental Housing Properties) of Title 15 (Building and Housing) of the Anaheim Municipal Code be, and the same is hereby, amended and restated to read in full as follows:
.      Unless otherwise specified in this section, the following rental housing units shall be exempt from the requirements of this Chapter:
1.      Rental housing units that receive funding or subsidies from federal, state or local government when the rental housing units are inspected by a federal, state or local governmental entity at least once every twenty (20) years as a funding or subsidy requirement and the owner of the rental housing unit or the owner’s representative submits information to the Director within sixty (60) days of being notified that an inspection is required that demonstrates the periodic federal, state or local government inspection is substantially equivalent to the inspection required by this Chapter;
2.      Rental housing units that, within the past twenty (20) years, have been newly constructed and either have been issued a certificate of occupancy or have passed final inspection of construction by the City. The twenty (20) year period begins to run on the earlier of the date of final inspection of construction or the date of issuance of the certificate of occupancy by the Building Division; and
3.      Senior Second Units, provided that the owner lives in one of the units on the property and an immediate family member lives in the other housing unit on the same property.
4.      Accessory Dwelling Units as defined in Section 18.36.050 and subject to the provisions of Section 18.38.015.
SECTION 2. That Table 4-B (Accessory Uses and Structures: Single-Family Residential Zones) of Section 18.04.030 (Uses) of Chapter 18.04 (Single-Family Residential Zones) of Title 18 (Zoning) of the Anaheim Municipal Code be, and the same is hereby, amended to read in full as follows:

Search Results

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Carlsbad Municipal Code (Carlsbad, California)

Accessory Dwelling Units (JADU).

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Accessory Dwelling Units - City of Costa Mesa


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Web results

Downey Municipal Code (Downey, California)

El Cerrito  

accessory dwelling units - City of El Cerrito


Section 10-1.445.q
Huntington Beach


Planning & Building Department - City of Lafayette, CA


Lake Elsinore – “second unit”

Municipal Code - City of Lake Elsinore

ADU | DRP - Department of Regional Planning - Los Angeles ...

Oakland (or see here)

Pomona Section 614.2

Richmond 15.04.810.020 Second Dwelling Units

San Diego (City)
 – “Companion Unit”
San Diego (County)

San Juan Capistrano

Santa Clarita 17.57.040L

Thousand Oaks

Accessory Dwelling Units | Thousand Oaks, CA


Latest Laws coming down the pipe in California:

Accessory Dwelling Units 

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are additional living quarters on the same lot as a primary dwelling unit. While California laws have paved the way for increased ADU development, some cities have enacted ordinances that render ADU development expensive. Check with your local city or county planning department for their latest rules and fees.
AB 68 (Assembly Member Phil Ting) / AB 881 (Assembly Member Richard Bloom) – Processing Timelines, Ordinance Prohibitions and Triplexes requires local agencies to either approve or deny an ADU project in 60 days of receiving a building permit application on a ministerial (CEQA-exempt) basis. The law prohibits cities, counties, and local agencies from adopting ADU ordinances that: rule on minimum lot size requirements for ADUs; set certain maximum ADU dimensions; require replacement off-street parking when a "garage, carport or covered parking structure" is demolished or converted to construct the ADU.  ADUs where certain access, setback and other criteria are met – become "tripelex-ation" of single-family zoning. The law opens up opportunities for ADUs in multifamily buildings, including storage rooms, boiler rooms, etc., where building standards are met. The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) may now notify the Attorney General's Office of any violations of these new provisions.
SB 13 (Sen. Bob Wieckowski) – Owner-Occupancy Prohibitions and Fee Limitations provides, until Jan. 1, 2025, that cities may not condition approval of ADU building permit applications on the applicant being the "owner-applicant" of either the primary dwelling or the ADU. Additionally, agencies cannot impose impact fees on ADUs under 750 square feet.
AB 587 (Friedman) – Separate Conveyances ADUs can to be sold or conveyed separately from a primary residence if certain conditions are met. Prior law that prohibited ADUs from being sold or conveyed separately from the primary residence in which they are co-located hindered shared ownership models, such as tenancies in common. Affordable housing and not for profit organizations will be able to sell deed-restricted ADUs to eligible low-income homeowners.
AB 670 (Friedman) – HOA Limitations prevents homeowners' associations from barring ADUs. Many single-family neighborhoods in California were established as common-interest developments under the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. These properties are typically governed by a set of Covenant, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), which often restrict the types of construction that can occur within and adjacent to a member's home. AB 670 makes unlawful any HOA condition that "prohibits or unreasonably restricts" the construction of ADUs on single-family residential lots.
AB 671 (Friedman) – Local Government Assistance requires local governments to include in their General Plan housing elements plans to encourage creation of affordable ADUs. The law also requires HCD to develop, by Dec. 31, 2020, a list of state grants and financial fee waivers or tax benefits of ADU housing.