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December, 2017

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.

Albert Pike

7 online security steps to take this holiday season
Online crooks seek to turn stolen data into quick cash, either by draining financial accounts, charging credit cards, creating new credit accounts or even using stolen identities to file a fraudulent tax return for a refund.The following seven steps can help you improve your online safety this holiday shopping season, as well as protect the tax returns you'll file and refunds you'll receive in 2018. Read more.

Five Things to Remember about Hobby Income and Expenses
From scrapbooking to glass blowing, many Americans enjoy hobbies that are also a source of income. A taxpayer must report income on their tax return even if it is made from a hobby.
However, the rules for how to report the income and expenses depend on whether the activity is a hobby or a business. There are special rules and limits for deductions taxpayers can claim for hobbies. Here are five things to consider:

What Happened to Mom?
Time and obligations have a way of interfering with the best laid plans of family members. Trips to visit an aging parent or relative become more and more infrequent.  Finally, a visit is possible, and the door to their home is opened by a very frail parent. “What happened to Mom?” is a question I hear quite frequently these days.
An elderly person may sound great on the phone while hiding health issues. Your loved ones don’t want you to worry about them. They might also be nervous that you will suggest they move into a retirement home. Or they may be unaware that they need help. Read more.

Splitting retirement accounts is tricky for DIY divorce
If you are trying to have a low-cost, do-it-yourself divorce, it may seem reasonable to just split up the retirement assets and each go your separate ways.
While many couples dissolve their marriages without significant legal involvement, divvying up retirement accounts, particularly pensions, is thorny. Doing it without a proper legal agreement could stick you with a hefty tax bill and penalties. In some cases, one party may end up with nothing.
How much could a retirement mistake cost you? Read more.

Treasury To Withdraw Hated Estate Tax Valuation Rules
In its final report on burdensome tax regulations, the Treasury Department has called for the withdrawal of Obama-era valuation rules that family business owners said would wreak havoc on their legacy plans. The proposed rules, issued in August 2016, “Restrictions on Liquidation of an Interest for Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes” under Section 2704, would have curbed valuation discounts and meant increased estate taxes on the deaths of owners of family businesses. The Treasury has now concluded that “the proposed regulations’ approach to the problem of artificial valuation discounts is unworkable.” The report says that Treasury plans to publish a withdrawal of the proposed regulations in the Federal Register shortly. Read more.

The Coming Family Caregiver Crunch: 8 Tips To Survive
Nine out of ten non-professional caregivers are contributing to and/or coordinating finances for their loved ones. That includes paying bills, monitoring bank accounts, handling insurance claims, filing taxes and even managing investments. On average, they’re spending $7,000 a year out of pocket. Then, there’s the aftermath of caregiving: months or years of dealing with the estate, outstanding bills and collecting insurance.
Do your parents have a financial caregiving plan? Hint: it’s you. It all adds up to a caregiving crunch: It all adds up to a caregiving crunch. Read more.

Working in Retirement: What You Need to Know
Planning on working during retirement? If so, you're not alone. Recent studies have consistently shown that a majority of retirees plan to work at least some period of time during their retirement years. Here are some points to consider.
Why work during retirement? What about my social security benefit? How will working affect my pension? Read more.

 

 

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