For people who had their will prepared a few years ago, many attorneys used a formula clause to reduce the estate tax to as low an amount as possible. These formula trusts were filled to the maximum estate exemption, thus removing those assets from the survivor's estate. The survivor then received the income from the trust and the heirs receive the principle. This was ok when the exemption was $600,000 or $1 million, but if the trust documents call for the maximum amount to go to the trust, now $5 million, then the survivor could be left with little or no assets in their name. According to Stephen Williams, a partner in an Indianapolis law practice, his firm uses disclaimers in order that the survivor can pick and choose the assets going into the credit shelter trust.
While we pride ourselves in our expertise and experience when it comes to wealth management, we thought we'd share some of our knowledge with you readers. The basic tenets of reaching one's financial goals include:
So you finally made it to retirement. No more pressure, no more daily grind. What a joke. All the things you thought would happen when you were in your forty's were so believable then and you fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. Now, instead of worrying about putting into the retirement pot, you end up worrying more about making it last.
GOLD AND SILVER: METALS FOR LOVERS, NOT INVESTORS
I run into people occasionally that can't wait to tell me how they got into gold and sold out of stocks. I am happy for them. If they made their purchase a year or two ago, they probably made a lot of money and I hope they are smart enough to get out before the speculators beat them out the door. Usually those speculators are the ones that think the country has become dysfunctional and it's just a matter of time before our decline and fall like Rome did many years ago. I usually keep my mouth shut, but if one of them asked me I could tell them that I was an investor in the 70's when a fellow named Howard Ruff published a newsletter called Ruff Times. His advice was to buy gold, stock up with 1 year's food supply, and buy guns and plenty of ammo. The gold was to be used for barter when the world fell into chaos. I googled him and he's still around. And about every 5 years he comes out with a new book on the impending dooms day.
As August 2 approaches, you'll likely hear increasingly urgent debate over the nation's debt ceiling. That's the approximate date by which the Treasury estimates it will no longer be able to borrow under the current $14.3 trillion limit. Treasury officials have warned that if the Treasury can no longer borrow money, the U.S. might default on its existing obligations--in other words, be unable to make payments it already owes, whether those be for Treasury securities or government programs.
When dealing with a volatile market, sometimes the most difficult challenge is to manage your emotions. If you decide you need to re-examine your game plan, it should be done with as much care as you put into developing that plan in the first place. Your financial professional may be able to help you decide if any of the following may be appropriate for you.
The simple answer to that question is, probably you. Often people who most need financial advice do not realize it until it is too late.
Just like going to the doctor for an annual physical, a “financial check-up” can prevent future disaster.
As any doctor would say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Having a plan in place to prepare for retirement and future spending needs greatly increases one’s chances of success. For some people, the prospect of hiring somebody else to put that plan together or make decisions to ensure that plan is executed can be disconcerting. Perhaps you have been religiously watching Jim Cramer and are confident that you can do this whole investing and preparing for retirement thing alone. Or maybe you heard Oprah say that financial advisors are crooks. With so much conflicting information, it comes as no surprise that people are hesitant to seek advice.
Three years ago, on March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. While several substantial provisions don't take effect until 2014, many of the Act's requirements already have been implemented, including: