Category: Epic Insights

Talking to Your Heirs About Your Estate Plan

Oct 14, 2019

People working at a table
They should not be left ill-informed or unaware.

Talking about “the end” is not the easiest thing to do, and this is one reason why some people never adequately plan for the transfer of their wealth. Those who do create estate plans with help from financial and legal professionals sometimes leave their heirs out of the conversation. (more…)

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Why You Might Want to Create a Donor-Advised Fund

Oct 11, 2019

Hands holding a heart
A DAF can be a great way to give, with potentially great tax breaks.

Do you regularly donate to charities and other non-profit organizations? Then you may want to open a donor-advised fund.

Donor-advised funds are becoming popular. It is easy to see why. They offer potential tax perks, and in some instances, a chance to grow money set aside for charitable gifting. (more…)

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Avoid These Life Insurance Missteps

Oct 9, 2019

Stepping on a banana peel
Shop wisely when you look for coverage.

Are you about to buy life insurance? Shop carefully. Make your choice with insight from an insurance professional, as it may help you avoid some of these all-too-common missteps.

Buying the first policy you see. Anyone interested in life insurance should take the time to compare a few plans – not only their rates, but also their coverage terms. Supply each insurer you are considering with a quote containing the exact same information about yourself. (more…)

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Ways the Middle Class Can Make a Difference for Charity

Oct 4, 2019

Two hands around a heart
You don’t need to be wealthy to make an impact and get a win-win.

Do you have to make a multimillion-dollar gift to a charity to receive immediate or future financial benefits? No. If you’re not yet a millionaire or simply a “millionaire next door,” yet want to give, consider the following options, which may bring you immediate or future tax deductions. (more…)

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Retirement Wellness

Oct 2, 2019

A Key tagged Health
Staying healthy could save you some money.

How healthy a retirement do you think you will have?If you can stay active as a senior and curb or avoid certain habits, you could potentially reduce one type of retirement expense.

Each year, Fidelity Investments presents an analysis of retiree health care costs. In 2019, Fidelity projected that the average 65-year-old couple would spend around $285,000 on health care during retirement, including about $11,000 in the first year. Both projections took Medicare benefits into account. (more…)

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The Importance of TOD & JTWROS Designations

Sep 30, 2019

female teen hand with chalk on blackboard
A convenient move that could ward off probate on your accounts.

TOD, JTWROS – what do these obscure acronyms signify? They are shorthand for transfer on death and joint tenancy with right of survivorship – two designations that permit automatic transfer of bank or investment accounts from a deceased spouse to a surviving spouse.

This automatic transfer of assets reflects a legal tenet called the right of survivorship –the idea that the surviving partner should be the default beneficiary of the account. In some states, a TOD or JTWROS beneficiary designation is even allowed for real property. (more…)

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Types of Stock Market Analysis

Sep 27, 2019

Three different approaches.

The majority of stock market analysis can be lumped into three broad groups: fundamental, technical, and sentimental. Here’s a closer look at each. (more…)

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An Executor Checklist

Sep 25, 2019

Checklist
The steps you may need to take to fulfill a major responsibility.

If you are an executor to an estate, you must carry out your duties responsibly. Fulfilling these duties is not only a measure of your ability, but a measure of your character.You can approach these tasks methodically. In fact, it is probably best if you do. Here are the common steps required of executors, before and after the death of a testator.

What should you do now, before having to assume the role of executor? The most important thing you can do is to communicate with him or her. Ask where the will and other foundational estate planning documents are, so you can locate them when the time comes. See if they want an elaborate funeral, a simple service, or no service at all – and yes, ask whether burial or cremation is preferred. Ask for the contact info of the key financial, insurance, tax, and legal professionals connected to the testator’s financial situation, plus contact info for business partners, creative collaborators, and any relatives you may not know well. (more…)

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72(t) Distributions

Sep 23, 2019

Schedule and Calculator
Sometimes you can take penalty-free early withdrawals from retirement accounts.

Do you need to access your retirement money early? Maybe you just want to retire before you turn 60 and plan a lifelong income stream from the money you have saved and invested. You may be surprised to know that the Internal Revenue Service allows you a way to do this, provided you do it carefully.

Usually, anyone who takes money out of an IRA or a retirement plan prior to age 59½ faces a 10% early withdrawal penalty on the distribution. That isn’t always the case, however. You may be able to avoid the requisite penalty by taking distributions compliant with Internal Revenue Code Section 72(t), section 2. (more…)

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Your Extended Care Strategy

Sep 18, 2019

Are you prepared for the possibility – and expense – of eldercare?

Do you have an extra $33,000 to $100,000 to spare this year? How about next year, and the year after that? Your answer to these questions is probably “no.”

What could possibly cost so much? Eldercare.  According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, a year of in-home care for a senior costs roughly $33,000. A year at an assisted living facility? About $45,000. A year in a nursing home? Approximately $100,000.

Medicare has limitations. Generally speaking, it will pay for no more than 35 hours per week of home health care and only up to 100 days of nursing home care, following a hospitalization. It may pay for up to six months of hospice care. If you or someone you love happens to develop Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, Medicare will not pay for any degree of room and board for them at an assisted living facility. (more…)

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More Insights

Oct 14, 2019

Talking about “the end” is not the easiest thing to do, and this is one reason why some people never adequately plan for the transfer of their wealth. Those who do create estate plans with help from financial and legal professionals sometimes leave their heirs out of the conversation.

Oct 11, 2019

Do you regularly donate to charities and other non-profit organizations? Then you may want to open a donor-advised fund. Donor-advised funds are becoming popular. It is easy to see why. They offer potential tax perks, and in some instances, a chance to grow money set aside for charitable gifting.

Oct 9, 2019

Are you about to buy life insurance? Shop carefully. Make your choice with insight from an insurance professional, as it may help you avoid some of these all-too-common missteps. Buying the first policy you see. Anyone interested in life insurance should take the time to compare a few plans – not only their rates, but also … Continue reading “Avoid These Life Insurance Missteps”

Oct 4, 2019

Do you have to make a multimillion-dollar gift to a charity to receive immediate or future financial benefits? No. If you’re not yet a millionaire or simply a “millionaire next door,” yet want to give, consider the following options, which may bring you immediate or future tax deductions.

Oct 2, 2019

How healthy a retirement do you think you will have?If you can stay active as a senior and curb or avoid certain habits, you could potentially reduce one type of retirement expense. Each year, Fidelity Investments presents an analysis of retiree health care costs. In 2019, Fidelity projected that the average 65-year-old couple would spend … Continue reading “Retirement Wellness”

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