Planned Giving News and Information
May, 2015
The following is intended as general information and does not represent legal or tax advice. The information presented is the view of the author. Individual circumstances vary - please consult your legal and tax advisors about your specific situation. To return to the general planned giving pages, please close this browser window. This News and Information section has been compiled by Future Focus.

Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you.

Andre Gide

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Retirement Withdrawal Rates
During your working years, you've probably set aside funds in retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and other workplace savings plans, as well as in taxable accounts. Your challenge during retirement is to convert those savings into an ongoing income stream that will provide adequate income throughout your retirement years.
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 portfolio, whether from returns or the principal itself, is known as your withdrawal rate. Figuring out an appropriate initial withdrawal rate is a key issue in retirement planning and presents many challenges. Read more.

America's capsizing economy: Can it right the ship?
America has had the wind knocked out of its sails this year. Volatile stock markets, weak economic growth and a hiring slowdown have created a perfect storm for nearly flat growth. The question is whether the U.S. economy and markets can right the ship in May and beyond. There's reason to believe they can start to this week. Read more.

Your 401(k) Plan May Be Selling You Short
If you were auto-enrolled at a default rate of 3% of your salary, don't assume it was for a good reason. Is 3 percent some magical retirement savings number?When companies with 401(k) retirement savings plans enroll new hires automatically, many set a default contribution rate of 3 percent of salary. Why not 4, or 5.5, or 6? Are companies saying you can afford to retire if you save just 3 percent of your salary a year? Read more.

Protecting and Maintaining Your Art
Art and other collectibles are unique and very personal assets. Whether a collector views art as an investment, as a personal passion, or combination of both, the realities of owning artwork require special consideration. Planning to build, maintain or ensure the future of a collection also requires balancing the specialized rules applicable to “collectibles” and the personal and financial realities of individual or family circumstances. Additionally, art is often an illiquid asset and costs involved with ownership should be considered. Although transferring or disposing of a collection may be in the distant future, successfully preserving or transferring a collection requires active planning well in advance. Collectors should consider their collecting habits, as well as long term goals. At the outset of planning there are many questions to consider, including: Read more.

Don’t Let These 401(k) and IRA Mistakes Ruin Your Retirement Finances
Tax-advantaged retirement plans provide many workers with a chance to save for the future and reduce their tax bill at the same time. Employer-sponsored retirement plans are easy to use, and many contributions are deducted from paychecks, so the investing becomes automatic. However, retirement accounts also require workers to make important decisions, and many investors make mistakes that can reduce their ability to build wealth. Here are some serious retirement plan errors to avoid:
Read more.

Ways To Keep Your Money Safe
More than "middle seat," "lost reservation" or "canceled flight," the two words that have the power to rattle even the most intrepid traveler are, "Stop, thief!" You may have the inside scoop on where to find the best deals on hotels and how to pack like a million-miler, but knowing how to keep your money safe while traveling is both an art and a science. For a worry-free journey, follow this advice from frequent jetsetters and travel experts. Read more.

Claiming a Tax Deduction for Medical and Dental Expenses
Your medical expenses may save you money at tax time, but a few key rules apply. Here are some tax tips to help you determine if you can claim a tax deduction:
You must itemize.  You can only claim your medical expenses that you paid for in 2014 if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return. If you take the standard deduction, you can’t claim these expenses. Read more

Nonprofit Tax Changes Are Possible This Year, Says House Aide
Nonprofits could see important changes in tax policy from Congress during the current session even though a broad tax overhaul is unlikely to advance this year, according to a leading tax expert in the House.
The Obama administration and many members of Congress have indicated a preference to proceed only with business-related tax changes, rather than opening up the entire tax code for debate. That means provisions like the charitable deduction are unlikely to change this year. But other areas of charitable tax policy are up for grabs, said Harold Hancock, tax counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee. Read more.

Six Bad Reasons To Makes Changes To Your Portfolio
The bull market is about to enter its seventh year and it seems like a lot of investors are just itching to make a change to their portfolio or investing habits.
Giving in to the feeling of the seven-year itch is bad news for most investors because they haven’t yet had a six-year rally. They didn’t see this coming — no one did — and were so shaken by the implosion of the financial crisis that they weren’t in on this bull run at the beginning.
Now many people are looking at a reason to get out before the party is over. Depending on who you talk with, however, the party is far from over. Read more.


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Please note, individual financial circumstances will vary. The information on this site is meant as general information and does not represent legal or tax advice. The information presented is the view of the author. As with all tax and estate planning, please consult your attorney or estate specialist. All material is copyrighted and is for viewing purposes only. This News and Information section has been compiled by Future Focus. Please report any problems to webmaster.