News

Paying the Estate Tax Bill

Posted by on August 25, 2015 at 8:36 am

The federal government will not accept a percentage of your estate as payment for your estate tax bill. Instead, your estate tax bill must be paid in cash, and it must be paid within nine months after your death. If your estate is subject to the federal estate tax, there are FOUR ways to provide […]

Pension Crisis is Still Here

Posted by on June 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

I’m sure you’ve heard about the problem our country faces with “Social Security, corporate pensions, state pensions, county pensions, municipal pensions…virtually all defined benefit pensions.” The following abstracts from an industry publication really brought it home to me. OUR COUNTRY’S PENSION CRISIS IN A NUTSHELL – Pension plans that promise a specific benefit in the […]

AP analysis: More ‘phony numbers’ in reports as stocks rise

Posted by on June 10, 2015 at 11:47 am

That was a little noticed  headline in an Associated Press story on Monday June 8, by AP business writer Bernard Condon. Subtitled- Growing gap in profits raises concerns about ‘smoke and mirrors’ in earnings reports Even casual observers have noticed the almost uninterrupted climb of the major stock indexes.  Employee’s  quarterly statements, for the most part are […]

7 Methods to Avoid Probate

Posted by on May 26, 2015 at 2:15 pm

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 settlement […]

2015 Chart of Federal Individual Tax Rates

Posted by on January 8, 2015 at 9:17 am

Did you have a New Year dream that taxes disappeared? I didn’t think so. 2015 is here and will be over before we know it. Since taxes are fact of life we all must plan with them in mind. Here is a table/chart of 2015 Federal Income Tax Rates for Individuals to help plan ahead.  For […]

What Are the Implications of Dying Without a Will?

Posted by on December 2, 2014 at 10:46 am

People who die without a valid will, die intestate. In this event, the state in which they resided effectively provides a will through the state’s intestacy law. This means that the state dictates who will receive the estate owner’s property and in what proportion. While state intestacy laws do attempt to provide for a “fair” […]

What Is a Power of Attorney?

Posted by on November 10, 2014 at 11:14 am

Durable Power of Attorney What Is It? A power of attorney is a written document in which one person — the principal — authorizes another person — the attorney-in-fact — to act on the principal’s behalf. What Authority Is Granted by a Power of Attorney? The authority granted by a power of attorney depends on […]

Another Role for Life Insurance

Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Another Role for Life Insurance… The Wealth Replacement Trust The Problem: There can be significant tax advantages in giving appreciated assets to a charity. Examples include real estate and securities. If you were to sell an appreciated asset, the gain would be subject to capital gains tax. By donating the appreciated asset to a charity, […]

Why Should You Consider a Living Will?

Posted by on October 2, 2014 at 10:11 am

What Is a Living Will? “Living will” is a term commonly used to refer to a legal document available in most states that allows an adult to state in advance whether or not life-sustaining medical procedures should be used to prolong life when there is no chance for a reasonable recovery. Why Should You Consider […]

She Solved Her Retirement Needs. And So Can You

Posted by on September 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

Need retirement income you can’t outlive? Have coffee with Meg. Take a video break and learn how Meg uses a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA) to alleviate concerns about outliving her retirement assets and being unable to meet monthly expenses. Retire with Confidence People are living longer than ever before, meaning  that unpredictable market performance, higher  […]

Benefits of Retirement Plan In-Service Withdrawal Make Sense for You?

Posted by on September 3, 2014 at 11:00 am

You might know that you can move money from your employer’s qualified retirement plan to an IRA when you leave the employer.  But do you know you may be able to take advantage of this opportunity while still employed by the company?  There can be big benefits to this move. What is an In-Service Withdrawal? […]

What is the Marital Deduction?

Posted by on August 14, 2014 at 2:42 pm

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 of […]

5 Reasons People Give

Posted by on August 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

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 back […]

Return of Money Trumps Return on Money / Happier Retirees

Posted by on July 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm

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; outranked […]

Time to Take Some Risk Money off The Table?

Posted by on July 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm
Chart forS&P 500 (^GSPC)

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 bull […]

Supreme Court Rules Inherited IRAs are NOT Retirement Funds

Posted by on June 13, 2014 at 8:38 am

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 is […]

U.S. Healthcare per Person Costs…

Posted by on June 5, 2014 at 11:10 am

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 good […]

IRS Pulls Rug From IRA Rollovers

Posted by on May 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm

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 to […]

Marriage Penalty Relief

Posted by on April 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm

  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 of […]

IRA Rollovers Become IRS Target

Posted by on April 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm

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- per […]