News Stories and Articles
How to Start Reducing Your Expenses before you Retire
It’s not surprising to find out that nearly three out of every four people seeking financial planning guidance select planning for retirement their top priority. As retirement nears, priorities and goals are likely to change somewhat as you make the transition. That’s why it’s so important to have a financial plan in place to adapt to these changes.
Fear and uncertainty can become a driving force of emotions during retirement planning conversations.
According the 2015 State of U.S. Employee Retirement Preparedness report from Financial Finesse, only 29 percent of 55 to 64 year-olds express confidence that they will have enough to replace their current lifestyle expenses during retirement. Read More.
Five Important Retirement Questions You Need to Answer
Retirement is a goal that the majority of Americans want to reach. Despite knowing the basic importance of taking steps to save for retirement as early as possible, many people wait too late to get started. Another potential roadblock on the path to retirement is that not everyone shares the same definition of what “retirement” actually means to them.
No matter what your ideal vision of retirement may be, you need to be able to answer some important questions to make your dream become a reality.
Here are five basic questions that should be at the core of all retirement planning activities: Read More.
4 Strategies To Avoid An Estate-Planning Mishap
What do Abraham Lincoln, Bob Marley and Prince have in common? (Besides being respected and beloved, that is.) They all died without a will.
Why would such celebrated men—all with complicated family and business relationships, not to mention plenty of experts around to advise them—delay or avoid putting their last wishes down on paper?
Their reasoning, no doubt, was the same as it is for most people: They were busy. They were caught up in day-to-day life. They didn’t want to think about it or take the time to sit down and just do it. How can you help make sure your transfer of wealth goes smoothly when you die? Here are four basic strategies. Read more.
Treasury To Close Estate Tax Valuation Discounts Loophole, Family Businesses Cry Foul
Estate lawyer Carlyn McCaffrey got her first call from a frantic business owner this morning about the bomb the Treasury Department dropped yesterday, curbing valuation discounts for operating businesses–as well as family limited partnerships holding securities. “No one thought they would go as far as they did. It’s attempting to overturn some 25 years of settled law,” she says. “It can lead to unemployment, a parade of horrible you can imagine. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trump tweeting about it.” The proposed regulations would mean increased estate taxes on the death of owners of family businesses, possibly causing them to liquidate the business or sell big pieces to outsiders. Read more.
Understanding the Net Investment Income Tax
It's been around since 2013, but many are still struggling to come to grips with the net investment income tax. The 3.8% tax, which is sometimes referred to as the Medicare surtax on net investment income, affected approximately 3.1 million federal income tax returns for 2013 (the only year for which data is available) to the tune of almost $11.7 billion. Here's what you need to know.
Value of $100
This map shows the real value of $100 in each state. Prices for the same goods are often much cheaper in states like Missouri or Ohio than they are in states like New York or California. As a result, the same amount of cash can buy you comparatively more in a low-price state than in a high-price state.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has been measuring this phenomenon for two years now; it recently published its data for prices in 2014. Using this data, we have adjusted the value of $100 to show how much it buys you in each state. So, how far does $100 go in your state?
IRS Urges Taxpayers to Check Their Withholding and Some Refunds Delayed in 2017
The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers to consider a mid-year tax withholding checkup following several new factors that could affect their refunds in 2017. Taking a closer look at the taxes being withheld can help ensure the right amount is withheld, either for tax refund purposes or to avoid an unexpected tax bill next year.
The withholding review takes on even more importance this year given a new tax law change that requires the IRS to hold refunds a few weeks for some early filers in 2017 claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit. In addition, the IRS and state tax administrators continue to strengthen identity theft and refund fraud protections, which means some tax returns could again face additional review time next year to protect against fraud. Read more.