Archive - February 2012

1
The 5 Things You Need To Know About Retirement Plans
2
An Estate Plan Gone Wrong
3
Discussing Estate Planning with Your Adult Children
4
Here’s How Your $1 Million Life Insurance Could Go to The Wrong Person When You Die
5
11 Facts You Should Know About the 2011 Child Tax Credit

The 5 Things You Need To Know About Retirement Plans

Many of us are covered by one or more types of defined contribution retirement plans, such as a 401(k), 403(b), 457, or any of a number of other plans. What many of these plans have in common is that they are referred to as Cash Or Deferred Arrangements (CODA), as designated by the IRS.  These plans are also often referred to as Qualified Retirement Plans (QRPs). Each type of plan has certain characteristics that are a little different from other plans, but most of them have the common characteristic of deductibility from current income and deferred taxation on growth. (Note …

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An Estate Plan Gone Wrong

I just got back from a memorial service for a good friend of mine that I had known since high school. Unfortunately he left behind an estate planning nightmare. I gave my friend many financial planning tips over the years and he did everything I suggested so he could to make sure his business, and finances would be in order in case something happened to him.

So- what went wrong if he did everything right?

Our culture supports us working with family and friends and those that we trust when we are put in positions of having to make important …

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Discussing Estate Planning with Your Adult Children

Someone once told me they knew of a couple who said that they were going to enjoy their retirement and spend their money so that their children would not have much to fight over after they passed away. That is one way to handle your finances, although there are no guarantees that leaving little money would keep the peace. Another approach could involve outlining clear plans for your finances and relaying these plans to your children, emphasizing your faith in their ability to be mature regarding your decisions. If you are interested in estate planning, both to ensure you …

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Here’s How Your $1 Million Life Insurance Could Go to The Wrong Person When You Die

A widow recently came to the office and told a sad story that everyone should hear.

Her husband “John” went to school, got married, built a successful company, had 3 kids, got a messy divorce, remarried and died. The problem is that his Transamerica life insurance policy and his Keogh retirement plan at Merrill Lynch listed his 1st wife as the primary beneficiary, not his kids or current wife.

Guess who got these assets upon his passing? You’re right the ex-wife.

John would be turning in his grave if he were aware that his oversight sent over $1 million to …

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11 Facts You Should Know About the 2011 Child Tax Credit

The IRS recently issued their Tax Tip 2012-29, which provides some key points about the Child Tax Credit.

Below is the text of the tip:

The Child Tax Credit is available to eligible taxpayers with qualifying children under age 17.  The IRS would like you to know these eleven facts about the Child Tax Credit.

  1. Amount With the Child Tax Credit, you may be able to reduce your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under age 17.
  2. Qualification A qualifying child for this credit is someone who meets the qualifying criteria of seven tests: age,
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