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VEHICLES

Why Save for Retirement?

When you envision retirement, you probably see yourself living comfortably, doing what makes you happy. Your dreams could be as lofty as traveling the world or as simple as spending more time with your friends and family. Everyone's vision is unique. Fortunately,...

Retirement Plan Considerations at Different Stages of Life

Throughout your career, retirement planning will likely be one of the most important components of your overall financial plan. Whether you have just graduated and taken your first job, are starting a family, are enjoying your peak earning years, or are preparing to...

In-Service Withdrawals from 401(k) Plans

You may be familiar with the rules for putting money into a 401(k) plan. But are you familiar with the rules for taking your money out? Federal law limits the withdrawal options that a 401(k) plan can offer. But a 401(k) plan may offer fewer withdrawal options than...

Holding Equities for the Long Term: Time Versus Timing

Legendary investor Warren Buffett is famous for his long-term perspective. He has said that he likes to make investments he would be comfortable holding even if the market shut down for 10 years. Investing with an eye to the long term is particularly important with...

Should I be investing more aggressively?

Answer: There's no way to know the answer to that without reviewing your individual circumstances and financial goals. However, if you are investing too conservatively, it can have a profound effect on your long-term financial security. That's particularly true for...

Changing Jobs? Take Your 401(k) and Roll It

If you've lost your job, or are changing jobs, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k) plan account. It's important to understand your options. What will I be entitled to? If you leave your job (voluntarily or involuntarily), you'll be entitled to a...

Variable Annuities

Variable annuities are sold by prospectus. You should consider the investment objectives, risk, charges, and expenses as well as the underlying investment options carefully before investing. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the variable...

Inheriting an IRA or Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan

What is it? When the account owner of a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) or employer-sponsored retirement plan dies, the remaining funds in the account pass to the named beneficiary (or beneficiaries). Unlike many other inherited assets, these IRA or...

Delay your RMD

Should You Delay Your First RMD? Remember, you have the option of delaying your first distribution until April 1 following the calendar year in which you reach age 70½ (or April 1 following the calendar year in which you retire, in some cases). You might delay taking...

Little Known IRA Facts You Can Use

Little Known IRA Facts You Can Use When it comes to IRAs, the tax rules get pretty complicated, to say the least. Here are five unusual IRA facts:   Military death benefits can be contributed to a Roth IRA: Help families of veterans with this one because it can...

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...

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...

Rollovers 3

Rollovers from Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans In general If you withdraw cash or other assets from an employer-sponsored retirement plan ("employer plan") in an "eligible rollover distribution," (defined below) you can defer paying tax on the distribution by...

Advantages of Trusts

Advantages of Trusts What is a trust? A trust is a legal entity that is created for the purpose of transferring property to a trustee for the benefit of a third person (beneficiary). The trustee manages the property for the beneficiary according to the terms specified...

Time Can Be a Strong Ally in Saving for Retirement

Father Time doesn't always have a good reputation, particularly when it comes to birthdays. But when it comes to saving for retirement, time might be one of your strongest allies. Why? When time teams up with the growth potential of compounding, the results can be...

ESTATE PLANNING

Social Security Survivor Benefits

When you think of Social Security, you probably think of retirement. However, Social Security can also provide much-needed income to your family members when you die, making their financial lives easier. Your family may be entitled to receive survivor benefits based...

Tax Tips: Long-Term Care Insurance

Your chances of requiring some sort of long-term care increase as you age, and long-term care insurance (LTCI) can help you cover your long-term care expenses. Although tax issues are probably not foremost in your mind when you buy LTCI, it still pays to consider...

Table of Federal Transfer Tax Rates and Exemption Limits

Federal Gift and Estate Tax Year Applicable Exclusion Amount Highest Tax Rate 2009 $1 million for gift tax purposes $3.5 million for estate tax purposes 45% 2010* $1 million for gift tax purposes $5 million or $0 for estate tax purposes 35% or 0% 2011 $5 million plus...

Using a Corp.

How Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Limited Liability Partnerships Protect Personal Assets Refer a friend To find out more click here IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal...

Investing for Major Financial Goals

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut...

State Homestead Laws

The origin of state homestead laws The federal Homestead Act, which was enacted in 1862, offered free 160-acre parcels of land to anyone willing to settle on them. After five years, these "homesteaders" would become the owners of the land, as long as certain...

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...

Coordination of Long-Term Care with Government Benefits

In the context of long-term nursing home care, a number of governmental (and governmentally regulated) programs and tools exist to help you pay for this care. Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, and long-term care insurance (LTCI) (combined with Medicare) can each assist you...

Gift and Estate Tax Schedules

Estate Tax For 2011 and later years, the credit shelter amount is portable, that is, any exemption that is unused by the first spouse to die may be used by the surviving spouse for gift and estate tax purposes. 2016 and 2017 Gift and Estate Tax Rate Schedule Taxable...

Opps I forgot

Don't Forget to Include Memory Loss When Planning for Retirement When planning for retirement, an important factor that is often overlooked is the potential for declining cognitive skills associated with aging. Cognitive impairment (CI), often attributable to dementia...

Investment Planning

Tax on long-term capital gains Generally long-term capital gains taxed at maximum rate of: 2016 2017 Taxpayers in top (39.6%) tax bracket 20% 20% Taxpayers in 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35% tax rate brackets 15% 15% Taxpayers in tax rate bracket 15% or less 0% 0% Tax on...

How can I minimize taxes on my estate?

Answer: This question may seem simple, but the answer is not so easy. In fact, there are experts who make their living answering just this question. Estate tax liability depends on the year in which you die and the value of your estate when you die (see the following...

When I die, what will happen to my retirement plan benefits?

In general, your retirement plan benefits pass to the beneficiaries you designate on the plan beneficiary designation form. It is generally recommended that you designate beneficiaries, the percentage of the total that each will receive, and any backup beneficiaries...

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...

RETIREMENT

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...

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...

Why Save for Retirement?

When you envision retirement, you probably see yourself living comfortably, doing what makes you happy. Your dreams could be as lofty as traveling the world or as simple as spending more time with your friends and family. Everyone's vision is unique. Fortunately,...

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...

Risk Management and Your Retirement Savings Plan

By investing for retirement through your employer-sponsored plan, you are helping to manage a critically important financial risk: the chance that you will outlive your money. But choosing to participate is just one step in your financial risk management strategy. You...

The Gap

Sources of Retirement Income According to the Social Security Administration, more than nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits. But most retirees also rely on other sources of retirement income, as shown on this chart: Source:...

What is Medigap?

What is Medigap? Answer: Medigap is health insurance that supplements the benefits covered under Medicare. It also fills in some of the gaps left by Medicare, such as your deductible and coinsurance contributions. Medigap policies are sold by private insurance...

Investment Planning

Tax on long-term capital gains Generally long-term capital gains taxed at maximum rate of: 2016 2017 Taxpayers in top (39.6%) tax bracket 20% 20% Taxpayers in 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35% tax rate brackets 15% 15% Taxpayers in tax rate bracket 15% or less 0% 0% Tax on...

In-Service Withdrawals from 401(k) Plans

You may be familiar with the rules for putting money into a 401(k) plan. But are you familiar with the rules for taking your money out? Federal law limits the withdrawal options that a 401(k) plan can offer. But a 401(k) plan may offer fewer withdrawal options than...

Caring for an Aging Parent Checklist

Caring for an Aging Parent Checklist General information Yes No N/A 1. Has relevant personal information been gathered? Name, phone number, and address of parent Parent's date of birth Parent's Social Security number Name, phone number, and address of attorney,...

Retirement Plans: The Employee Perspective

Qualified employer-sponsored retirement plans can provide a number of tax and nontax benefits to employees. The employee perspective on these plans should certainly consider the obvious tax deferral and retirement savings benefits. Additionally, however, employees...

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...

Government Benefits

Social Security Social Security Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) 2016 2017 For Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries 0.00% 0.30% Tax rate--employee 2016 2017 FICA tax -- Employee 7.65% 7.65% Social Security (OASDI) portion of tax 6.20%...

Coordination of Long-Term Care with Government Benefits

In the context of long-term nursing home care, a number of governmental (and governmentally regulated) programs and tools exist to help you pay for this care. Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, and long-term care insurance (LTCI) (combined with Medicare) can each assist you...

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...

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