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File & Suspend and Restricted Application are NOT Equal
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Appreciating Donor Advised Funds
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Considerations for Retirees: Which Account?
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A Complete Guide To Using A Donor Advised Account For Your Charitable Giving
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Be Careful of Average Returns

File & Suspend and Restricted Application are NOT Equal

spousal beneWe’ve discussed the Social Security filing options of File & Suspend and Restricted Application many times before, but it seems that folks continue to confuse these two options. It’s easy to see why: one (File & Suspend) can be used to enable the other (Restricted Application). Also, neither option is available until the individual is at least at Full Retirement Age (FRA). It’s important to know the difference between File & Suspend and Restricted Application though – primarily because if you confuse the two when talking to the Social Security folks, you’ll have a much different outcome than you expected… Read More

Appreciating Donor Advised Funds

Wrapped Gifts Americans give over $300 billion to charity annually. One of the best tools developed over the past few decades to help facilitate this generosity is the rise of Donor Advised Funds (DAFs). The first DAFs were set up in the 1930s, but they did not become popular until financial services companies made them available to a mass market in the 1990s. Donor-advised funds are public charities of their own. They are vehicles for receiving gifts, usually of appreciated stock, and then distributing cash grants to other charities. They make the process of transferring appreciated stock and designating checks to… Read More

Considerations for Retirees: Which Account?

You have worked hard, saved well and now you have decided to enter the next phase of your life…retirement.  Although the paychecks have stopped, you have amassed a portfolio that you are confident will sustain you for the remainder of your lifetime.  Now, you only have one question:

Should I take distributions from my 401(k) plan, IRA, Roth IRA or personal brokerage account?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is both complex and can change each year as the investment markets, tax laws and your personal circumstances change.  While it is beyond the scope of this article to fully analyze …

Read More

A Complete Guide To Using A Donor Advised Account For Your Charitable Giving

Gift Using appreciated stock for your charitable giving can save thousands of dollars which otherwise would have to be paid in capital gains tax. Shrewd investors use the gifting of appreciated stock to save on their taxes. Normally a gift of charitable stock must be transferred from your brokerage account directly to a charity’s stock liquidation account. Nonprofits have such an account and they have standing orders to liquidate (sell) anything which is transferred into the account and transfer the money to charity’s bank account. This allows the charity to give this account number to donors without compromising an active… Read More

Be Careful of Average Returns

Standard Deviation Diagram Created with raw Po...

Standard Deviation Diagram Created with raw PostScript by Pat Beirne, 5/1/06. Based on an original graph created in Adobe Illustrator by Jeremy Kemp, 2/9/05 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When saving and investing for retirement many folks as well as advisors helping those folks plan save and invest for retirement generally will have the conversation that includes how much they can save per month or year, how much they need at retirement and how long they have to save until retirement. Essentially, all of the ingredients in the previous paragraph boil down to a phrase mentioned many times in financial planning classes… Read More

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