Planned Giving News and Information
 
Aug, 2014
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.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.

Edmund Burke


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House Passes Bill Designed to Encourage Gifts to Charity
Under threat of a presidential veto due to the lack of revenue offsets, the House of Representatives on Thursday passed a tax bill designed to encourage gifts to charity on a bipartisan, 277-130 vote. It now goes to the Senate.
The bill would make permanent three temporary tax items that have been regularly extended on an annual basis. The measures would allow older people to lower their taxable income by donating money from their Individual Retirement Accounts to charities and provide tax benefits for donations to food banks and setting aside land for conservation.
Two other measures would lower the excise tax on private foundations from 2 percent to 1 percent and extend the deadline for taxpayers to claim a deduction for a charitable gift from December 31 until tax day, April 15, of the following year.
There are 60 expired tax provisions. The Democratic-led Senate has shown a preference to pass all of them at once, rather than split them apart, as the Republican-controlled House has done.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, July 17, 2014

Consumer Confidence High
Consumer confidence is by far at its best level of the recovery, at a much higher-than-expected 90.9 in July vs an already very strong and upwardly revised 86.4 in June. July's level is the highest since December 2007 while the June reading is the second highest since January 2008.
Bloomberg, July 29, 2014

Fifteen Facts About Social Security
It's easy to take Social Security for granted when retirement is years away, but with 94% of the U.S. workforce covered by Social Security, it's likely that this program will play a role in your financial future, perhaps even sooner than you think. Here are some facts and statistics from the Social Security Administration that highlight why Social Security is important to so many people. Read more.

As Senior Population Grows, So Do Frauds Against Them
Officials advise: when in doubt, speak out. About 90% of all major financial fraud against seniors is committed by family members. Americans are getting older, and as they age, more and more are becoming targets of fraud. Read more.

Richest of the Rich: Ten Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes
Just because you can't take it with you doesn't mean you should let the government have it!

Celebrities often live firmly in the moment, maintaining lavish lifestyles and basking in the adulation of legions of fans. In fact, it's likely this very focus and dedication to the now that allows them to ascend to the tops of their respective fields in the first place.  Unfortunately, this gift becomes a curse when it comes time to perform estate planning.  Too often, celebrities fail to establish even the most rudimentary estate plans, and those that do have a plan in place commonly leave gaping holes, despite their financial might giving them access to the finest attorneys. These easily avoidable oversights can cause enormous family strife and cost tens of millions of dollars.

Here are ten celebrities who did a great job accumulating wealth during their lives but failed to properly plan for their eventual deaths. Read more.

Financial Literacy Of U.S. Teenagers Is Below Average
The financial literacy of American teenagers is no better than average compared with their peers in other countries, and nearly one in five lacks basic proficiency, according to a comprehensive new study. The report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development analyzed financial knowledge among 15-year-olds in 18 nations. Read more.

Identity Thieves Can Steal Your Financial Stability
(NAPSI)—All your hard work to become financially stable can unravel if you become a victim of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone steals personal information such as your Social Security number, birth date or mother’s maiden name. Many people don’t know they’ve been victimized until a collection agency comes knocking on their door. Identity theft is a growing problem but there are steps you can take to prevent it. 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.