A little savings today will set you apart from others in retirement


Yesterday, the Federal Reserve's 2014 Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making found many Americans are not financially prepared for retirement.

  • 38% percent have either no intention to retire or plan to keep working for as long as possible.
  • 31% of non-retirees have no retirement savings or pension, including nearly a quarter of those older than 45
  • 55% of those making less than $40,000 per year plan to keep working as long as possible or never plan to retire
  • 53% could cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money.
  • 31% went without some form of medical care in the past year because they could not afford it

How much of my nest egg should I take out in retirement?


A generic rule of thumb financial advisors have used for retirees is to withdraw 4% of their account balance each year in order to not out live your money.

However, interest rates have been at historic lows the last nine years, so conservative investors may need to accumulate more funds if they wish to use the 4% withdrawal rate.


7 habits of highly effective retirement savers


As a Steven Covey advocate, Tom Anderson’s personal finance article on the CNBC website Monday caught my interest — 7 habits of highly effective retirement savers. You can read the entire article at www.cnbc.com/id/102545493 but here are your keys to success:


More older Americans find themselves in debt - threatens retirement living


As the economy appears to be a bit stronger, now is a great time to try and position yourself for a financially stress-free retirement. One of the best ways is to eliminate as many fixed costs – your home mortgage is the primary great target.


2015 State of the Union Tax Proposals

01-21-2015Tax Information

President Barack Obama announced that he will propose tax increases for higher-income individuals and provide tax relief for middle-class taxpayers in last night’s State of the Union address. He wants to simplify the Internal Revenue Code, eliminating loopholes, and help “middle class families get ahead and grow the economy.”

While it remains to be seen when and how anything may be implemented, the president’s wish list includes:


Importance of Naming an IRA Beneficiary


Careful naming of IRA beneficiaries is critical. Merely putting a name on the beneficiary form is insufficient; a certain amount of thought, communication, and coordination is required to prevent loss of family wealth to taxation.

An IRA owner who wishes to pass on as much wealth as possible should carefully consider who should be named as a beneficiary. Wealth grows more quickly in the tax-free or tax-deferred environment inside an IRA. If some of your beneficiaries do not need the IRA funds for support, you should name the youngest possible designated beneficiaries to spread distributions over the longest possible time period. This minimizes RMDs, leaves more money to grow inside the IRA at its pre-tax rate of return and maximizes the amounts that can be passed on to heirs.


Charitable Deductions & Travel

07-16-2014Tax Information

Do you donate your services to charity and travel as part of the service? Some travel expenses may be deductible for income tax purposes.


Saving for Retirement - Top financial worry for Americans


The pressure to be financially prepared for retirement is evident in the recent Gallup finding that saving for retirement is Americans’ top financial worry.

According to a 2011 Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index survey, the value of investments is the key factor determining when pre-retired investors say they will retire, followed by their health, the cost of healthcare, and inflation. However, according to a more recent Wells Fargo/Gallup survey, U.S. investors are highly cautious about retirement savings, saying they would prefer secure investments with low growth potential over investments with high growth potential and a risk of lost principal.


Seven Tips on Deducting Charitable Contributions

03-24-2014Tax Information

1. You must donate to a qualified charity if you want to deduct the gift. You can’t deduct gifts to individuals, political organizations or candidates.

2. In order for you to deduct your contributions, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions.


2013 Tax Law Changes for Individuals and Small Businesses

01-20-2014Tax Information

These brochures are a summary of the key tax law changes in 2013 for individuals and small businesses that may affect you.

2013 Individual Tax Law Snapshot
2013 Small Business Tax Law Snapshot

Will Social Security cover my Disability?

01-09-2014Health Care

If you are wondering about the need for Long-Term Disability Insurance, but figure you are covered with Social Security. Be sure to consider: