News Stories and Articles
Investing a large sum of money
Consider the following investing dilemma: You have recently received a large sum of money (from a pension payout, inheritance, the sale of property or a business) and you want to put this money to work for you. However, interest rates and returns on what are considered to be the safest investments (for example US and European bank deposits and government bonds) remain extremely low while the stock market is well into a bull market with many investments having already seen large gains. What should your investing strategy with this lump sum be?
Obviously, you would be afraid of investing all of the money into the stock market just before a 2008 style market meltdown or bear market. However, there are ways to manage both your fears and your money. Read more
Three Surefire Moves To Beat State Death Taxes
Who wants to pay estate and inheritance tax if there’s an easy, legit way around it? For 2016, 18 states plus the District of Columbia will impose their own levies, separate from the federal estate tax. The federal estate tax will only hit individuals who die with more than $5.45 million in assets (the projected 2016 exemption amount), but the state levies can kick in on the first dollar. Here’s how you can make a future state death tax bill go away with a little planning.
2015 Year-End Tax Planning Basics
As the end of the 2015 tax year approaches, set aside some time to evaluate your situation and consider potential opportunities. Effective year-end planning depends on a good understanding of both your current circumstances and how those circumstances might change next year. Click here for basic strategies.
Giving to Charity Makes You Happy, Middle age Is Miserable
Giving to others not only makes us happier but can help lower our blood pressure, while humans are most miserable in their forties for deeply rooted biological reasons, researchers told a conference in London on Thursday. Experts from Britain and Canada were debating the latest research on happiness and altruism, as part of a conference on "nudging" - using psychological insights into human behavior to get people to make good decisions.
Happiness is highly subjective, and cultures have very different conceptions of what it means, making it difficult to study and measure - but an increasing number of organizations think it is an important subject to focus on. Read more.
Projected 2016 Inflation-Adjusted Tax Brackets And Other Key Figures
The break points to the income tax brackets, standard deduction amounts, exemption amount, and many other tax items are adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases. These inflation adjustments are based on the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 12-month period ending the previous Aug. 31. The August 2015 CPI has been released by the Labor Department (U.S. Department of Labor, Consumer Price Index (for all-urban consumers), 9/16/2015). Using the CPI for August 2015, released on Sept. 16, 2015 (and the CPIs for the preceding 11 months), Thomson Reuters Checkpoint has calculated the following 2016 indexed amounts. Read more.
Americans Worry More About their Finances than Anything Else
It’s increasingly hard to figure out whether Americans have a bigger problem with their finances or with chronic worrying. While there is plenty of research to suggest that the financial concerns are real — at least for some people — there is an increasing body of evidence that may suggest people have some sort of anxiety disorder when it comes to money.
Two pieces were added to that discussion recently, both surveys showing the financial problems with an underlying current on the emotional ones. Read more.
Rolling With The IRA Rollover
In recent years, there’s been a great deal of attention and press devoted to the charitable individual retirement account rollover. Now we have it, now we don’t. The future of this tax measure is a constant source of speculation.
It’s anyone’s guess whether we’ll ever see another version of the IRA rollover. In the meantime, however, there are steps that well-advised individuals can take to provide benefits that are identical or very similar to those of the rollover. In fact, alternatives to the more familiar IRA rollover can actually be useful for a broader group of people based on age and can apply to a wider range of retirement assets. Read more.