Financial Planning
Financial Planning

Getting Paid for Retirement Savings

What could be better than an incentive to save, in the form of a tax credit that will reduce your taxes, and in doing so, help fund your retirement contribution? Yet many eligible individuals completely miss out on the Retirement Savers Contributions Credit. You may be eligible for this if you are age 18 or older, not a full-time student, and not claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return. Here’s how it works.

Financial Planning

In-Home Healthcare - An Overview

As people age, the prevailing thought for many is to remain at home as long as possible. But what happens when one or both spouses find it difficult to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, cooking or grocery shopping? For some, the solution is moving to an assisted living residence where your daily activities are coordinated for you; for those finding it difficult to leave the comfort of home, there is in-home care where the professionals come to you.

Financial Planning, Wealth Preservation

Tax-Free Savings for Loved Ones with Disabilities

Financial planning for families with special needs is difficult and complex. Parents face overwhelming costs associated with raising a child with disabilities and navigating the challenges a working age adult experiences as they move towards independence. The ABLE Act allows states to set up savings programs (similar to college 529 plans) benefiting those with disabilities and without jeopardizing their federal or private benefits.

Financial Planning

Annuity Alert

Variable annuities with special income guarantees (paid for by hefty fees) have been actively sold in retirement meccas and Sun City style communities across the US, including here in Bluffton. After the shock of the recession in 2008, many investors looked for something that would promise at least a modest return and a guaranteed future income benefit.  Now it seems, the insurance companies that offered these guarantees are looking for an early exit.
Financial Planning

You Say You Want A Resolution

Financial and investment planning are important year-round, but the best and most successful  investors  use January as an opportunity to reflect on the highs and lows of their money moves in the year past, and make their plans and resolutions for the year ahead. So while  it’s entertaining to speculate about where interest rates or the Dow will be in 2012, consider a few of our New Year’s smart money resolutions that may help make the year ahead a financial “goal mine,”  and really make a difference in the long term.
Financial Planning, Wealth Preservation

Five Wishes

For most of us, end of life decisions, those issues relating to medical care and advanced directives to doctors and health care providers, are among the most difficult to discuss. They carry their intimations of illness and mortality along with them like so much excess baggage, and grow increasingly heavier as we age. In addition, there are religious beliefs and moral considerations that are deeply personal, and these can result in conflict between spouses, parents, children, and siblings. It’s a shame, because this kind of discord can be easily prevented...
Financial Planning

Investor's December Checklist

Without knowing how Congress will resolve taxes for 2011 and beyond, end of year investment and tax planning will be a challenge, to say the least. Still up in the air at this point, besides the all important income tax rates and brackets, is the capital gains tax rate, dividend tax rates, itemized deductions phase outs, alternative minimum tax, estate tax and more. Regardless of the uncertainty, there are some important end-of-year items investors can attend to, while remaining flexible and keeping an eye on what compromise Congress will eventually adopt. ...Click on the title to read more!

Animal Welfare, Financial Planning

Planning for the Pets We Love- Hilton Head Monthly August 2010

“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” 

Colette

We love our pets, and we aren’t afraid to lavish money and care on them.  According to the American Pet Product Association, Americans are projected to spend an estimated $45.4 billion in 2009-2010 on their pets, up from $34.4 billion dollars in 2004. The trouble is, they sometimes outlive us.

Publicity surrounds the embattled estates and the unusually large trusts created for the furry companions of Leona Helmsley and Miami heiress Gail Posner.  For some, it is difficult to imagine and somewhat frivolous to leave a $12 million trust for a dog named Trouble or even a $3 million trust and an $8.3 million mansion for Conchita the Chihuahua. That said, many faithful companions, often elderly animals difficult to adopt, end up being taken to the pound or abandoned by heirs. It is possible, and important to make arrangements for care

Financial Planning

Get Your Savings Plan Back into Action - Hilton Head Monthly, January 2010

2009 will go down in history as the year in which the Wall Street financial crisis became a Main Street nightmare.  Real estate values plunged; more than a fifth of all American homeowners now owe more than their home is worth. Retirement plans for many investors in their 50’s and 60’s have been thrown into disarray, and a generation of younger investors has lost confidence in the financial markets. Out of necessity many have lowered or stopped contributions to their retirement and 401k plans, and many employers have stopped matching contributions as well. Yet investors in their 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s still have time on their side. Some proactive strategies and a reassessment of investment and financial goals should be in order ... »
Financial Planning, Social Security

FAQs: Social Security - Hilton Head Monthly, July 2009

Nearly every American has Social Security protection, either as a worker or a dependent of a worker. Yet conflicting political agendas and personal uncertainties complicate our perception and understanding of the program. There are deep seated concerns that the system may run out of money. In addition, it is a complex system, and benefits and eligibility are affected by many of the personal changes we experience in our lifetime.
Financial Planning

Life After 50 ... A Financial Guide - Hilton Head Monthly, May 2009

By the time you’ve reached your fifth decade you are hopefully well established, enjoying a lifetime of strong personal and family connections and a measure of financial security. However, your confidence and your expectations for the future may have been severely impacted by the damaging recession of the past year and the ensuing financial meltdown. You may be affected by depreciated values of your home and other real estate you own. If you’re still working, your job security may be in jeopardy at the worst possible time ... »
Financial Planning

Investment Concerns by Age / Part 4: 80's & Beyond - Hilton Head Monthly, January 2008

Simplicity is very important. Estate planning should be done by now, and gifting programs in place. Highly appreciated assets can be gifted to a charitable trust and provide a lifetime income, as well as an attractive tax deduction. Medical care is a priority; liquidity should be maintained for co-pays, deductibles etc. You should have a realistic plan for continuing care. You may already have found and settled into an assisted living community by now. When evaluating an adult continuing care residence, be sure to analyze the differing payment options offered. Many require a larger one time payment or smaller periodic payments; some offer a limited period where your investment can be returned. Financial decisions may be harder to make in these years, due to declining facility and lack of interest. Be sure a family member or friend who has your trust is available to provide help in bill paying and financial matters ... »