Taxes

Planning in Retirement

Many people spend decades planning for the day when they can stop working. Those who are conscientious generally try to save and invest enough in a tax-efficient way in order to create sufficient capital to produce the necessary income to last throughout their lives. However, once you reach retirement the planning doesn’t end.   In…

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Modified endowment contract update

Over the past few years, many of you have taken advantage of liquid modified endowment contracts as a way to safely grow your money without stock market or interest rate risk. These insurance contracts, which have similar properties to deferred annuities, can be designed without upfront loads or back-end surrender charges and with full liquidity.…

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Should you do a partial Roth IRA conversion?

Almost everyone who I meet with has at least some money in an Individual Retirement Account. Conventional wisdom encourages people to save as much as they can into retirement accounts because contributions get a tax deduction and grow tax deferred. However, despite these great tax benefits, ordinary income tax is due on all funds when…

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Financial resolutions

At the beginning of each year, many people resolve to change their lives for the better. To those who are looking to improve their financial situation, please find some useful recommendations:   Increase your systematic savings: If you are still working and you are trying to achieve financial goals such as retirement, funding college expenses…

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Is cash a thing again?

For many years, clients stopped asking how much they would earn on their money market accounts because for quite a while, money market accounts weren’t paying any interest at all. However, with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates over the past year, our clients can now earn north of 2 percent on their money market…

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Financial Swiss Army knife

Throughout the financial planning process we must address numerous concerns. Is there ample liquidity? Is there a growth strategy? How can we mitigate risk? How can we create sufficient lifetime income? How can we plan for potential future long-term-care needs? How can we maximize the inheritance we leave our heirs? Finally, how can we reduce…

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Minimizing annuity taxes

Many deferred annuity owners have seen their accounts appreciate over the years without having to pay any taxes. However, at some point someone is going to have to pay taxes. The question is, how does one mitigate the impact of taxes?   When a deferred annuity owner takes withdrawals from his or her account, the…

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Maximizing the tax benefit of charitable donations

With the new tax laws, it has become potentially more difficult to receive optimal tax treatment for one’s charitable donations. Married couples filing jointly now have a $24,000 standard deduction. Unless the total itemized deductions are more than $24,000, it won’t pay to itemize. Moreover, big deductions of the past for state property tax and…

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Tariffs and the stock market

It is universally agreed that international trade wars are bad for global economies. Tariffs increase prices on goods people buy. Consumers either buy less or they increase consumer debt. Tariffs hurt corporate profits, which is bad for stock prices.   However, President Trump has nevertheless decided to place tariffs on various imports — most notably…

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Tax shelter not just for the wealthy

The Blackstone Group LP has been pitching an innovative tax shelter to its ultra-wealthy clients. Invest your money with us and never pay any taxes. Blackstone, through its subsidiary, is recommending its clients utilize specially designed life insurance contracts to shelter their investment portfolios from state and federal income tax. Traditionally, life insurance policies grow…

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