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What Is the Marital Deduction? The marital deduction (I.R.C. Sections 2056 and 2523) eliminates both the federal estate and gift tax on transfers of property between spouses, in effect treating them as one economic unit.  The amount of property that can be transferred between them is unlimited, meaning that a spouse can transfer all...

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5 Reasons People Give

August 7, 2014 by
hummingbird

According to the Giving USA Foundation, individual giving accounted for 72% of all contributions to charitable organizations in 2012.  Source: Giving USA Foundation™ – Giving USA 2013 Highlights People give to charities for a variety of reasons. They give: Because they have compassion for the less fortunate. From a belief that they owe something...

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Grand Kids

At this point in our lives we’ve raised our own kids and hopefully the values we struggled to impart before they left home have become part of their family lives.  Now they’re raising  our grandchildren and like us, when we were new parents our kids will try to bring all of their life lessons into the mix. ...

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Discipline to save.

What Are the Obstacles to Successful Retirement Planning? There are a number of obstacles that you may face in planning for your retirement:  Discipline to Save  Many people find it difficult to form the habit of “paying themselves first,” by making regular deposits to a savings plan.  Saving to Spend  Money is saved for...

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Dinner

Return of Money Trumps Return on Money Gallup March 31,2014 “United States investors are generally a cautious group when thinking about risk versus return options for their retirement savings.” Nearly 2 thirds (66%) of investors surveyed by Gallup said a guarantee that their initial investment was secure even if that meant lower growth potential;...

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Negative Compounding Timing Hit

Is it time to take some risk money off the table? Not if you believe the market will always go up and that all the risk of future downturns have been made illegal. This graph certainly looks good.  As of June the Bull market has been around for 64 months that’s the third longest...

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What is a Qualified Retirement Plan?

  A qualified retirement plan is a program implemented and maintained by an employer or individual for the primary purpose of providing retirement benefits and which meets specific rules spelled out in the Internal Revenue Code. For an employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan, these rules include: The plan must be established by the employer for...

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dreamstime_13669474

The US Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that funds held in inherited IRAs are NOT “retirement funds”  and therefore are not protected in bankruptcy. It is clear that IRAs are exempted but, before the Clark case decision, whether an inherited IRA was subject to the same protection had varying precedent. The decision in Clark...

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Medicare does not pay for long term care expenses

  Long-term care insurance purchased today can help provide you with the financial security you need and deserve in your retirement years. By acting today, you will have protection to help pay for whatever long-term care needs a long life brings! Long-term care refers to help with daily activities needed by people with disabilities...

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Focusing on tax favored income will help keep retirement income flowing.

According to Insurance News the cost of health care in the United States is approximately $9,000 per person.   As a country we spend $2.8 trillion or about 17.2% of gross domestic product on healthcare.  Some think the cost is too high but remember for the most part this spending is going to create maintain...

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Avoiding Probate

June 1, 2014 by
Gifts provide personal satisfaction, especially those gifts that are given while the giver is alive so they can see the affect of thier gift.

Probate is simply the Latin word for prove, which means that the estate probate process is the process by which your will is brought before a court to prove that it is a valid will. The courts charged with this responsibility are generally known as probate courts, which may actually supervise the administration or...

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Income Taxes

In a recent United States Tax Court case, Bobrow v Commissioner, the Tax Court ruled that all IRAs of a taxpayer should be looked at in aggregate when it comes to the one-rollover-per-year rule. Prior to this ruling it was widely accepted, as well as published in IRS publication 590, that the one-rollover-per-year applied...

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sr on beach ocean

  A married couple may file a joint tax return and be treated as one taxpayer, so that taxes are paid on the couple’s total taxable income. While a married couple may file separate returns, this usually results in higher taxes than filing jointly. The so-called “marriage penalty” results when the combined tax liability...

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Income Taxes

On March 28 I wrote a post about a U.S. tax court altering the rules on IRA to IRA  rollovers and wondered when the IRS would officially change the rules and start enforcement.  Previously according to publication 590 and several IRS letter rulings a taxpayer could rollover each IRA account IRA to IRA once per year-...

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taximgjpg

The January 2014  Bobrow tax court ruling  is an IRA game changer with huge ramifications for IRA owners.   The tax court has ruled the once a year IRA rollover rule applies to all of someone’s individual retirement accounts and not to each separately.  This ruling is stunning in that it changes the Internal Revenue Service’s long standing position in...

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Sneaky Powerball Scam

March 26, 2014 by
Dog Ready to Read

A sneaky Powerball phone scam is targeting state residents.  The callers telling their targets that they are eligible for unclaimed Powerball prizes and asking them to pick some numbers. Later, the scam callers contact the consumers again claiming that they won a third or fourth prize for millions of dollars and an automobile. A...

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Retiree Enjoying Long Life

With advances in medical treatment and technology, many people now survive critical illnesses that would have been fatal in the past.  As a result of this increased life expectancy senior Americans have the opportunity to watch grandkids grow into adulthood and start families of their own.  Enjoying some great grandkids is a real possibility....

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ambulance

Seems there are daily changes taking place in ObamaCare/ACA so it is no wonder there is so much confusion surrounding the purchase of  health insurance.  Even the WI Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) is not totally correct with their press release this morning: The second deadline is March 31, 2014, which is...

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Retirees Finding Their Way

At retirement, if you have a pension, you have to make a difficult decision that could negatively impact your future financial security and that of your spouse.  Most people with company pension plans give this decision little thought and simply select the first payout option listed on their pension estimate; Joint and Equal Survivor Option....

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Dog Ready to Read

Interesting life insurance facts you can share with your friends and family Some of the facts and statistics from a recent LIMRA report, “The Facts of Life and Annuites,”1 are real eye-openers and help tell the story of how important life insurance is. Facts shared in the report: Life insurance Most individual life insurance policies...

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