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VEHICLES

Roth Rollover Guide

Required distributions and non-spousal death benefits can't be rolled over. Required distributions, certain periodic payments, hardship distributions, corrective distributions, and certain other payments can't be rolled over. Spouse beneficiaries generally have the...

Advantages of Trusts

Advantages of Trusts Why you might consider discussing trusts with your attorney Trusts may be used to minimize estate taxes for married individuals with substantial assets. Trusts provide management assistance for your heirs.* Contingent trusts for minors (which take...

Handling Market Volatility

Conventional wisdom says that what goes up must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when your money is at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the...

Five Keys to Investing For Retirement

Making decisions about your retirement account can seem overwhelming, especially if you feel unsure about your knowledge of investments. However, the following basic rules can help you make smarter choices regardless of whether you have some investing experience or...

RMD’s

What Are Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)? Required minimum distributions, often referred to as RMDs or minimum required distributions, are amounts that the federal government requires you to withdraw annually from traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored...

Immediate vs. Deferred Annuities

Immediate annuities Deferred annuities Payout begins shortly after the premium is paid. Payout begins at some specified future date, allowing time for accumulation. Purchase with a single premium. Purchase with either a single premium or periodic premiums. Contract is...

Don’t Let Your Retirement Savings Goal Get You Down

As a retirement savings plan participant, you know that setting an accumulation goal is an important part of your overall strategy. In fact, each year in its annual Retirement Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reiterates that goal...

Risk Tolerance Worksheet

The following worksheet may help you assess your ability to take on investment risk in pursuit of long-term goals. Answer each question, then tally your results at the end. Score Investor Type Description 6-12 Conservative In general, a conservative portfolio will...

RMD Calculations

How Are RMDs Calculated? RMDs are calculated by dividing your traditional IRA or retirement plan account balance by a life expectancy factor specified in IRS tables. Your account balance is usually calculated as of December 31 of the year preceding the calendar year...

What is an IRA distribution?

  Distributions from Traditional IRAs: Between Ages 59½ and 70½ A withdrawal from an IRA is referred to as a distribution. Distributions can come in the form of several payment patterns, from a one-time (lump-sum) payment to a series of distributions over a...

How Insurance Preserves Assets

Type of Insurance How Does It Work? Life insurance Provides the beneficiaries of your life insurance policy with funds upon your death so that your assets will not need to be used to pay final expenses and estate taxes. Disability income insurance Pays benefits to...

Distributions from Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

Introduction A withdrawal of money from an employer-sponsored retirement plan is generally referred to as a distribution. When you have money in a plan maintained by your current or former employer, you need to be aware of your distribution options for several...

Tax Considerations

Tax Considerations Income tax Like other distributions from traditional IRAs and retirement plans, RMDs are generally subject to federal (and possibly state) income tax for the year in which you receive the distribution. However, a portion of the funds distributed to...

Understanding Annuity Expenses

Most annuity issuers impose various fees and charges for the insurance benefits and administration of an annuity. These fees may seem small, but they can add up over time. Indeed, if two different companies offer similar products, the fees being charged should be one...

I need money: can I take funds from my IRA?

Answer: Yes, but the taxable portion of your distribution may be subject to a 10 percent penalty for early withdrawal if you're not yet age 59½. If you are 59½ or older and take money from your traditional IRA, you will not be assessed a penalty, though you may still...

ESTATE PLANNING

Facing the Possibility of Incapacity

Incapacity means that you are either mentally or physically unable to take care of yourself or your day-to-day affairs. Incapacity can result from serious physical injury, mental or physical illness, advancing age, and alcohol or drug abuse. Incapacity can strike...

Understanding Probate

When you die, you leave behind your estate. Your estate consists of your assets--all of your money, real estate, and worldly belongings. Your estate also includes your debts, expenses, and unpaid taxes. After you die, somebody must take charge of your estate and...

Financial Stress

  Five Steps to Tame Financial Stress Do you sometimes lie awake at night thinking about bills that need to be paid? Does it feel as though you're drowning in debt? If this describes you, you might take solace in the fact that you're not alone. A recent report...

Dealing with Periods of Crisis

What is it? By definition, a crisis is a turning point, a time when you have to make crucial decisions (often suddenly) that will affect your future. Although smart planning is the key to effectively dealing with periods of crisis, you may find yourself suddenly...

Leaving a Legacy

You've worked hard over the years to accumulate wealth, and you probably find it comforting to know that after your death the assets you leave behind will continue to be a source of support for your family, friends, and the causes that are important to you. But to...

LTC CHECKLIST

  General information Yes No N/A 1. Has relevant personal information been gathered? Name Date of birth Legal state of residence Health status, including medications being taken Marital status Family members available for support Name, phone number, and address...

Can I be buried in a national cemetery even though I got out of the Army years ago?

Answer: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (http://www.va.gov), formerly known as the Veterans Administration, sets the rules and guidelines for military burials. In general, you can choose a national cemetery as your final resting place if you were honorably...

The Best Property to Give to Charity

Giving to charity is not only personally satisfying, the IRS (and possibly your state) also rewards you with generous tax breaks. Current income tax deduction if you itemize, subject to certain percentage limitations for any one year Tax benefit received reduces the...

Organizing Your Finances After Your Spouse Has Died 2

Losing a spouse is a stressful transition. And the added pressure of having to settle the estate and organize finances can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make dealing with these matters less difficult. Notify others When your spouse...

Estate Planning Numbers

Estate Planning Key indexed figures 2016 2017 Annual gift exclusion: $14,000 $14,000 Gift and estate tax applicable exclusion amount: $5,450,000 + DSUEA1 $5,490,000 + DSUEA1 Noncitizen spouse annual gift exclusion: $148,000 $149,000 Generation-skipping transfer (GST)...

If Long-Term Care Insurance Isn’t Right for You: Other Options

Long-term care insurance (LTCI) isn't for everyone. Not only is it expensive and sometimes hard to qualify for, but there's no guarantee you'll ever use the benefits. But if you decide not to buy LTCI, what are your alternatives? You saved for a rainy day--it's here...

Medicaid Planning Goals and Strategies

Medicaid Planning Goals and Strategies Why is Medicaid planning important? Aging is inevitable, and a gradual (or not so gradual) inability to function independently is a great concern for many people. While the prospect of entering a nursing home is a daunting one,...

Saving or Investing: Is There a Difference?

Saving or Investing: Is There a Difference? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6W_YgPHxms&feature=youtu.be Financially speaking, the terms "saving" and "investing" are often used interchangeably. But the concepts behind these terms actually have some important...

Wills: The Cornerstone of Your Estate Plan

Wills: The Cornerstone of Your Estate Plan https://youtu.be/KrUI26AsW6c If you care about what happens to your money, home, and other property after you die, you need to do some estate planning. There are many tools you can use to achieve your estate planning goals,...

Settling an Estate

  Definition of estate When people die, they usually leave behind money and other things of value (assets). In addition, they may have auto loans, mortgages, and other outstanding debts (liabilities). Together, the assets and liabilities left by a decedent are...

RETIREMENT

Net Unrealized Appreciation: The Untold Story

If you participate in a 401(k), ESOP, or other qualified retirement plan that lets you invest in your employer's stock, you need to know about net unrealized appreciation--a simple tax deferral opportunity with an unfortunately complicated name. When you receive a...

Tax-Advantages Savings Vehicles

The Benefits of Tax-Advantaged Savings Vehicles Taxes can take a big bite out of your total investment returns, so it's helpful to look for tax-advantaged strategies when building a portfolio. But keep in mind that investment decisions shouldn't be driven solely by...

How a Retirement Plan Works

How a Retirement Savings Plan Works Employer-sponsored retirement savings plans, such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans, present an ideal opportunity to build a nest egg for retirement. You contribute to the plan via payroll deduction, which can make it easier for you...

Handling Market Volatility

Conventional wisdom says that what goes up must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when your money is at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the...

403(b) Plans

403(b) Plans A 403(b) plan is an employer-sponsored retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt (501(c)(3)) organizations, and churches. The employer can purchase annuity contracts for eligible employees, or establish custodial accounts to be...

How Much Annual Income Can Your Retirement Portfolio Provide?

How Much Annual Income Can Your Retirement Portfolio Provide? Your retirement lifestyle will depend not only on your assets and investment choices, but also on how quickly you draw down your retirement portfolio. The annual percentage that you take out of your...

What if I change my mind about when to begin Social Security benefits?

You have a limited opportunity to change your mind after you've applied for benefits. You can complete Form SSA-521, Request for Withdrawal of Application, and reapply at a later date. But if you're already receiving benefits, you can only withdraw your claim if it...

4 Questions about Social Security

https://youtu.be/s1Yv6KbiWgs Four Common Questions about Social Security As you near retirement, it's likely you'll have many questions about Social Security. Here are a few of the most common questions and answers about Social Security benefits. Will Social Security...

Eleven Ways to Help Yourself Stay Sane in a Crazy Market

  Keeping your cool can be hard to do when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It's useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are 11 ways to help keep...

Social Security Claiming Strategies for Married Couples

Social Security Claiming Strategies for Married Couples Deciding when to begin receiving Social Security benefits is a major financial issue for anyone approaching retirement because the age at which you apply for benefits will affect the amount you'll receive. If...

Balancing a Retirement Portfolio with Asset Allocation

Balancing a Retirement Portfolio with Asset Allocation The combination of investments you choose is as important as the individual investments themselves. In fact, many experts argue that it's even more important, since the mix of various types of investments accounts...

Deciding When to Retire: When Timing Becomes Critical

Deciding when to retire may not be one decision but a series of decisions and calculations. For example, you'll need to estimate not only your anticipated expenses, but also what sources of retirement income you'll have and how long you'll need your retirement savings...

Medicaid and Long-Term Care Insurance

What is long-term care insurance? Long-term care insurance (LTCI) pays a certain dollar amount per day, for a set period, for skilled, intermediate, or custodial care in nursing homes and, sometimes, in alternative care settings, such as home health care. Because...

Medicare, Medigap, and Medicaid

Medicare, Medigap, and Medicaid Medicare Medigap Medicaid What is it? Federal health insurance program for Social Security recipients. Parts A and B comprise the original Medicare program.Medicare Advantage (also referred to as Part C) plans are also available. They...

Will my children receive money from Social Security when I die?

Will my children receive money from Social Security when I die? Answer: Maybe. It depends on how old your children are, and how long you've worked in a job where you've paid Social Security taxes. To be eligible for Social Security benefits when you die, your children...

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