Trust Basics

  Whether you’re seeking to manage your own assets, control how your assets are distributed after your death, or plan for incapacity, trusts can help you accomplish your estate planning goals. Their power is in their versatility — many types of trusts exist, each designed for a specific purpose. Although trust law is complex and…

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Estate Planning: An Introduction

By definition, estate planning is a process designed to help you manage and preserve your assets while you are alive, and to conserve and control their distribution after your death according to your goals and objectives. But what estate planning means to you specifically depends on who you are. Your age, health, wealth, lifestyle, life…

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Am I Having Enough Withheld?

If you fail to estimate your federal income tax withholding properly, it may cost you in a variety of ways. If you receive an income tax refund, it essentially means that you provided the IRS with an interest-free loan during the year. By comparison, if you owe taxes when you file your return, you may…

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2019 Q1 Market Commentary

The S&P 500 rose by 13.1% while the Dow increased 11.2% and the NASDAQ climbed higher by 16.5%.  Now, raise your hand if you saw that coming.  Just ninety days ago we were discussing a government shutdown, rising interest rates, tariffs, an impending recession and more.  This news pressured the markets into one of the…

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U.S. Savings Bonds: An American Tradition

Many people had their first experience with saving for the future as children when they received a U.S. savings bond as a gift. Savings bonds are issued by the U.S. Treasury Department. However, unlike Treasury bills, notes, and bonds, they are not traded on the open market, and are sold almost exclusively to individuals. EE…

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Deciding When to Retire: When Timing Becomes Critical

Deciding when to retire may not be one decision but a series of decisions and calculations. For example, you’ll need to estimate not only your anticipated expenses, but also what sources of retirement income you’ll have and how long you’ll need your retirement savings to last. You’ll need to take into account your life expectancy…

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What Is a Traditional IRA?

Traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) can be a good way to save for retirement. If you do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or would like to supplement that plan, a traditional IRA could work for you. A traditional IRA is simply a tax-deferred savings account that has several investing options and is set…

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Tax Planning for the Self-Employed

Self-employment is the opportunity to be your own boss, to come and go as you please, and oh yes, to establish a lifelong bond with your accountant. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to pay your own FICA taxes and take charge of your own retirement plan, among other things. Here are some planning tips. Understand…

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Taxation of Investments

It’s nice to own stocks, bonds, and other investments. Nice, that is, until it’s time to fill out your federal income tax return. At that point, you may be left scratching your head. Just how do you report your investments and how are they taxed? Is it ordinary income or a capital gain? To determine…

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