Archive - December 2011

1
What the World Would Be Like Without the 1%
2
The Right Way to Gift and Lower Your Taxes
3
The 3 Financial Resolutions You Should Make This Year
4
Here’s How You Can Get Tax-Free Income From a Roth IRA Conversion
5
Here’s How Much You Can Really Withdraw in Retirement

What the World Would Be Like Without the 1%

The media mentions the Occupy movement in the same breath as the Arab Spring activists when they talk about important events in 2011. However, the two don't seem to have much in common beyond the ability to draw crowds to public places.

The Arab Spring has a very clear objective: out with the old dictators, in with a democratic government. The Occupy movement does not seem to have any objectives other than turning city parks into campgrounds. Their closest thing to a demand is an aversion to income inequality, but even that seems to stop at 'We don't like it!'… Read More

The Right Way to Gift and Lower Your Taxes

The holiday season is in full swing.   And although the ups and downs of the market may make you feel more like Scrooge than Santa, your long-term financial objectives may still include plans to gift and transfer your wealth.   A carefully planned gifting program can help you achieve personal aspirations, such as leaving a legacy through charitable contributions or assisting loved ones, but importantly, it also reduces one’s estate and thus minimizes the estate taxes that your heirs may have to pay upon your death.

 

For both 2011 and 2012, an individual may gift $13,000 annually per person without …

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The 3 Financial Resolutions You Should Make This Year

It is that time of the year again to make your New Year’s resolutions! Each year most people decide on a number of changes to make for the coming year. How about including your financial life in this year’s resolutions. Let’s take a look at some ideas.

Investigate 401k Employer Matching Contributions:  Most 401k plans provide for employer matching contributions. The match consists of the employer contributing a certain dollar amount to your 401k account based on the dollar amount you contribute. For example, your 401k plan has a dollar for dollar employer match up to $1500. For every dollar …

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Here’s How You Can Get Tax-Free Income From a Roth IRA Conversion

If you’re in a relatively low tax bracket and have funds in a traditional IRA or Qualified Retirement Plan, chances are you might be in a position to set yourself up with tax-free income via a Roth Conversion.  One method that can work in your favor is the “fill up the bracket” technique, and if you want to do this for 2011, you’re running out of time, it must be done by December 30 (December 31 is a Saturday).

The way this works is that you determine what your regular income is, and then look at where you are with …

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Here’s How Much You Can Really Withdraw in Retirement

How much money can you safely withdraw from your investments once you retire?

This is a subject of wide debate in the financial planning world as our country’s 78 million baby boomers start turning 65 this year. This “withdrawal rate” simply refers to how much you can tap from your investment assets to avoid running out of money before you die. The approach is designed to allow you to withdraw money each year while leaving your principal intact.

For example, if you start with $1,000,000 at retirement and withdraw 4% per year ($40,000), you skim a $40,000 annual gain off …

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