Is your family trust aligned with your goals for your family? As federal exemptions change, so do the benefits. Financial advisor Wendy Blair shares some important things to consider.Read More
Each year advisors recommend a list of review considerations for year end planning. The importance of reviewing your beneficiary designations cannot be minimized.
Beneficiaries are named in account types such as 401k, 403b, IRA, life insurance, annuities, payable on death accounts and certain pension accounts (i.e. 5 or 10 year certain pension options).
Generally the owner of the asset is allowed to choose who will inherit the account upon the owner’s death. There are a few exceptions regarding ERISA Accounts (401k, 403b);Read More
Contributions to an IRA are made to supplement income during retirement. Letting your retirement assets grow before retirement is usually critical to ensuring your retirement goals are met. However, there are times when unforeseen circumstances and expenses force you to consider taking funds from your IRA to meet those financial hurdles. Traditional IRA distributions are always taxable income to you for the gross amount of the distribution taken. In addition to the income, withdrawals taken prior to 59 ½ yearsRead More
Over the past five years, the markets have been very volatile and unpredictable. And there’s no reason to believe that the rollercoaster ride will end any time soon. You may find it interesting to analyze your returns over the past five years and take a close look at where you are today, versus where you were on September 1, 2007. Which of these scenarios is more frustrating to you: an annual return of 1.3% in the S&P 500, or anRead More
Often people believe that estate planning is having a will or possibly a trust. However, there are other documents to include in your basic estate plan in order to ensure that all of your needs are taken care of both during lifetime as well as at death.
The basic documents that every estate plan should have are:
Will/Trust – Is the main document of the plan. The Will/Trust provides for asset distribution upon death. A properly drafted document can save estate taxes,Read More
In 2010 Morningstar acquired footnoted.com, a site started by business reporter Michelle Leder to report news from the footnotes of SEC filings. If you have never visited the site, it’s worth a peek. This month a favorite has to be the “Top 10 disclosures for the 2011 proxy season”. With the 2011 proxy season essentially over, the report highlights perks and benefits that were all reported in footnotes of proxies filed by the companies identified. Some are just amazing!Read More
How do you define risk when it comes to investments within your portfolio? Risk and volatility are not the same thing, although they are often treated the same.
According to Investopedia.com, the definitions of Investment Risk and Volatility are:
Risk: The chance that an investment’s actual return will be different than expected. Risk includes the possibility of losing some or all of the original investment.
The chance that an investment’s actual return will be different than expected. Risk includes the possibility of losingRead More
Glassbooth is a nonprofit organization that is developing innovative ways to access political information. Glassbooth believes that their success is contingent on a nonbiased process and is not affiliated with any political party, organization or ideology. At the Glassbooth.org website you will take a short quiz, where Glassbooth shows you how your views line up with the stated positions of each candidate. Part one of the quiz asks you to assign a total of 20 points to 14Read More
The President, Vice President, and the presidential candidates all released their 2007 tax returns. It took Bill and Hillary a little bit of time, but when you pay in millions – you wait until the last minute to file! Personally, I find the numbers just fascinating and if you haven’t seen them, I hope you do too!
President and Mrs. Bush filed a joint return with $719,274 of taxable income. Their income was from his salary and investment income from aRead More
There are only a few more weeks left in 2007 – Yikes! If you are currently enrolled in edicare Part D you have until December 31st to review your current plan and possibly change to a new plan. This annual review is critical!Unfortunately, there are major changes in the Medicare drug plans for 2008, including some significant movements in premiums as well as major changes to the structure of the drug formularies. According to Avalere Health, the Centers for MedicareRead More