RESOURCES

VEHICLES

RETIREMENT

SERVICES DEFINED

LIFE INSURANCE

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...

Retained Income Trusts

Introduction A retained income trust is a type of irrevocable trust, whereby an individual (called the grantor) transfers assets to a trust and then retains an interest for a period of time or for life. The retained interest may be the right to receive payments, or...

Common Factors Affecting Retirement Income

When it comes to planning for your retirement income, it's easy to overlook some of the common factors that can affect how much you'll have available to spend. If you don't consider how your retirement income can be impacted by investment risk, inflation risk,...

Rollover Guide

Required distributions and nonspousal death benefits can't be rolled over. You can make only one tax-free, 60-day, rollover from one IRA to another IRA in any one-year period no matter how many IRAs (traditional, Roth, SEP, and SIMPLE) you own. This does not apply to...

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...

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...

What is the benefit of an employer match?

Answer: The more you save for retirement, the better your chances are of retiring comfortably. One way to help accomplish this is by taking advantage of an employer match. Many employers offer matching contributions as part of their employer-sponsored retirement plan...

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...

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...

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...

Deciding What to Do with Your 401(k) Plan When You Change Jobs

When you change jobs, you need to decide what to do with the money in your 401(k) plan. Should you leave it where it is, or take it with you? Should you roll the money over into an IRA or into your new employer's retirement plan? As you consider your options, keep in...

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...

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...

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...

Indexed Annuities

 Indexed Annuities If you want to limit potential losses while participating in the potentially attractive returns of a market-driven investment but would also like a guaranteed return, an indexed annuity might be worth checking out. The performance of indexed...

ESTATE PLANNING

Retirement Planning

Retirement Planning Employee/individual contribution limits Elective deferral limits 2016 2017 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans, and SAR-SEPs 1 (Includes Roth 401(k) and Roth 403(b) contributions) Lesser of $18,000 or 100% of participant's compensation Lesser...

Wills

What is a will? A will may be the most vital piece of your estate plan, even if your estate is a modest one. It is a legal document that lets you direct how your property will be dispersed (among other things) when you die. It becomes effective only after your death....

Coverdell education savings accounts

Education Planning Coverdell ESAs 2016 2017 Annual contribution limit $2,000 $2,000 MAGI phaseout range for Coverdell education savings accounts 2016 2017 Single--phaseout threshold amount $95,000 $95,000 Single--completed phaseout amount after $110,000 $110,000...

Conducting a Periodic Review of Your Estate Plan

Conducting a Periodic Review of Your Estate Plan What is conducting a periodic review of your estate plan? With your estate plan successfully implemented, one final but critical step remains: carrying out a periodic review and update. Imagine this: since you...

I have investment property. What does basis mean, and how do I determine the basis of my property?

To determine your basis in an asset for purposes of calculating capital gain or loss upon the sale or other disposition of the property, you need to understand two terms--initial basis and adjusted basis. Often, your initial tax basis equals your cost--what you paid...

Charitable Giving 2

When developing your estate plan, you can do well by doing good. Leaving money to charity rewards you in many ways. It gives you a sense of personal satisfaction, and it can save you money in transfer taxes. A few words about transfer taxes The federal government...

Common Incapacity Documents

Common Incapacity Documents Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPAHC)/Health-Care Proxy Advantages Disadvantages Is flexible--allows your representative to act on your behalf and make medical decisions based on current circumstances Generally, your...

Determining the Need for Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI): How Much Is Enough?

Introduction Whether you should purchase a long-term care insurance (LTCI) policy depends on your financial ability, age, health status, retirement objectives, and whether you have assets you want to protect. Once you've made the decision to buy, you'll need to...

Congratulations: You’ve Won the Lottery and You’re Suddenly Wealthy!

What is it? Winning a lottery is usually an unexpected and happy event. But when you win a big jackpot, you may feel unprepared to deal with the financial issues that arise almost immediately. You may have to choose advisors; decide when, where, and how to collect...

What is the difference between a living will and a living trust?

Answer: These two very important estate planning devices are quite different from each other but serve similar purposes. A living will lets you manage your health-care decisions in case you become incapacitated. A living trust lets you manage your property in case...

Personal Residence Trust

Qualified Personal Residence Trust A qualified personal residence trust (QPRT, pronounced "Q-Pert") is a specialized form of grantor retained interest trust (GRIT). It is an irrevocable trust into which you transfer an interest in a personal residence, and in which...

Individual Income Tax Planning

Adoption credit Adoption credit 2016 2017 Maximum credit $13,460 $13,570 Phaseout threshold amount $201,920 $203,540 Completed phaseout amount after $241,920 $243,540 Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Maximum AMT exemption amount 2016 2017 Married filing jointly or...

Intro To Estate Planning

What is estate planning? Simply stated, estate planning is a method for determining how to distribute your property during your life and at your death. It is the process of developing and implementing a master plan that facilitates the distribution of your property...

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...

My spouse passed away this year. When I file my taxes, what filing status should I claim?

Answer: As the surviving spouse, you have several filing choices that may be appropriate. You may be able to choose married filing jointly, married filing separately, qualifying widow(er), or head of household. Married filing jointly: You can usually file a joint...

RETIREMENT

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...

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...

Social Security: What Should You Do at Age 62?

Is 62 your lucky number? If you're eligible, that's the earliest age you can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits. If you decide to start collecting benefits before your full retirement age, you'll have company. According to the Social Security...

Understanding Social Security

Understanding Social Security Approximately 60 million people today receive some form of Social Security benefits, including retirement, disability, survivor, and family benefits. (Source: Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2016) Although most people...

Individual Income Tax Planning

Adoption credit Adoption credit 2016 2017 Maximum credit $13,460 $13,570 Phaseout threshold amount $201,920 $203,540 Completed phaseout amount after $241,920 $243,540 Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Maximum AMT exemption amount 2016 2017 Married filing jointly or...

Determining Your Retirement Income Needs

Determining your retirement income needs is a process that helps you identify your retirement planning needs based on your desired standard of living and the resources you'll have available. Today, you can typically no longer rely on Social Security benefits and a...

Are my Social Security benefits taxable?

Are my Social Security benefits subject to income tax? Answer: A portion of your benefits may be subject to income tax if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), plus one-half your Social Security benefits, exceeds specific limits. Your MAGI equals: Adjusted...

Congratulations: You’ve Won the Lottery and You’re Suddenly Wealthy!

What is it? Winning a lottery is usually an unexpected and happy event. But when you win a big jackpot, you may feel unprepared to deal with the financial issues that arise almost immediately. You may have to choose advisors; decide when, where, and how to collect...

Challenges for Social Security and Medicare

New Reports Highlight Continuing Challenges for Social Security and Medicare Most Americans will receive Social Security and Medicare benefits at some point in their lives. For this reason, workers and retirees are concerned about potential program shortfalls that...

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...

What is dollar cost averaging and how do I know if it’s right for me?

Dollar cost averaging is a method of accumulating assets by purchasing a fixed dollar amount of securities, at regularly scheduled intervals, over a period of time (for example, $100 per month over the next five years). When the price of the securities is high, your...

Will my pension affect my Social Security benefit?

Will my pension affect my Social Security benefit? Answer: If your pension is from a job where you paid Social Security taxes, then it won't affect your Social Security benefit. However, if your pension is from a job where you did not pay Social Security taxes (such...

Are my Social Security benefits subject to income tax?

Are my Social Security benefits subject to income tax? Answer: A portion of your benefits may be subject to income tax if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), plus one-half your Social Security benefits, exceeds specific limits. Your MAGI equals: Adjusted...

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...

Social Security Retirement Benefit Basics

Social Security Retirement Benefit Basics Social Security benefits are a major source of retirement income for most people. Your Social Security retirement benefit is based on the number of years you've been working and the amount you've earned. When you begin taking...

Categories