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Playing Catch-Up with Your 401(k) or IRA
A recent survey of baby boomers (ages 53 to 69) found that just 24% were confident they would have enough money to last throughout retirement. Forty-five percent had no retirement savings at all, and of those who did have savings, 42% had saved less than $100,000.
Your own savings may be on more solid ground, but regardless of your current balance, it's smart to keep it growing. If you're 50 or older, you could benefit by making catch-up contributions to tax-advantaged retirement accounts. You might be surprised by how much your nest egg could grow late in your working career. Read more.
Avoid Identity Theft; Learn How to Recognize Phishing Scams
Opening a phishing email and clicking on the link or attachment is one of the most common ways thieves are able not just steal your identity or personal information but also to enter into computer networks and create other mischief.
Learning to recognize and avoid phishing emails – and sharing that knowledge with your family members – is critical to combating identity theft and data loss. Here are a few basic tips to recognize and avoid a phishing email: Read more.
Will vs. Trust: Is One Better Than the Other?
When it comes to planning your estate, you might be wondering whether you should use a will or a trust (or both). Understanding the similarities and the differences between these two important documents may help you decide which strategy is better for you.
While both a will and a revocable living trust enable you to direct the distribution of your assets and property to your beneficiaries at your death, there are several differences between these documents. Here are a few important ones. Read more.
Is Everybody Stressed About Retirement?
Are you stressed out about saving enough money for a comfortable retirement? Join the crowd. It’s the most common significant financial stressor, according to a new survey from Schwab Retirement Plan Services, checking in on the pulse of workplace 401(k) participants nationwide. There are probably multiple things that play into retirement savings stress—market volatility, uncertainty, fear. Compared to looking at a definitive amount of credit card or student debt where you know how much you owe, people are looking at retirement as more of an unknown. Read more.
Even Without Estate Tax The Right Answer Is Still the Same: Put It All In Trust
One unfortunately common and major mistake made in estate planning is the failure to use trusts to the maximum extent the law permits. Trusts may be the most important development under English common law, which pervades the United States, with the exception of Louisiana. That state and many countries through the world that do not use English common law as its fundamental legal system have adopted trusts by a variety of means including legislation. That is because trusts are, in many ways, the most powerful and important tool in estate and financial planning. Unfortunately, trusts are not used with the frequency or duration they should be. Read more.
IRS Announces 2017 Retirement Plans Contributions Limits For 401(k)s And More
The Treasury Department has announced inflation-adjusted figures for retirement account savings for 2017, and there are tweaks that help savers. Much stays the same, but there are increases in income phase-outs for IRA contributors, to the adjusted gross income limits for snagging the saver’s credit, and to the overall defined contribution plan limit—up to $54,000–a boost for self-employed and small business owners and workers who have the option of stuffing their retirement nest egg with after-tax dollars. Read more.
Who Gets The Family Bible And Coca-Cola Stock?
When a widow with incapacity issues and squabbling adult children died, the executor she named in her will rushed to her home and changed the locks just as one son showed up to take things left in her will to his siblings.
“Over and over, tangible personal property is the thing that pushes people over the edge; the beneficiaries are at odds, and the executor is trying to keep the peace,” says Carly Howard, a senior wealth strategist with Altantic Trust in Atlanta, Ga.
Howard got her start in probate litigation—representing beneficiaries suing each other after their parents died. Now she’s doing proactive planning with families who don’t want their heirs to fight or end up in court. “There are so many things you can do to avoid this,” she says. Read more.