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July 26th, 2012 by

Tax Changes for 2012Here are some increases in exemptions for 2012 tax returns that may benefit you.

 

 

1. Personal & Dependent Deductions.
For each exemption you can deduct $3,700 on your 2012 tax return. That an increase of $100 per exemption.

2. Standard Deduction Amounts for 2012.

  • Single or Married Filing Separately: $5,950 – increased by $150
  • Head of Household: $8,700 – increased by $200
  • Married Filing Joint: $11,900- increased by $300
  • Married Filing Separately: $5,950 – increased by $150
  • Qualifying Widow/Widower: $11,900 – increased by $300

3. Higher Education Credit Income Thresholds.
[based on the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)
]
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more parents and students qualify for a tax credit, the American opportunity credit, to pay for college expenses. The American opportunity tax credit can be claimed for expenses for the first four years of post-secondary education. It was formerly called the “The Hope Scholarship Credit”.

Income phase-out levels have been raised. The full credit is available to individual taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less and the income limit is $160,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return.  Married couples with MAGI of up to $180,000 and single taxpayers with MAGI of up to $90,000 will be eligible for a partial credit.

4. Federal Estate Tax Exemptions.
2012 will be $5,120,000 – that’s an increase of $120,000.

Your Safe Money KitPlanning for retirement is as important and strategic as planning for your 2012 tax year benefits.  Don’t forget to download your FREE safe money kit. Then, let’s talk about retirement planning 833-313-7233. It’s a free consultation.

July 26th, 2012 by

Avoid Running Out Of Assets in RetirementThe “typical” man retiring at age 65 can expect to live an additional 17 years.

The “typical” woman retiring at age 65 can expect to live an additional 20 years.

Those are great statistics if you are looking forward to an active and fulfilling retirement. In fact, an increasing number of people are reaching age 90 and older due to improvements in health care.  If you are someone who wants to have a retirement filled with laughter, fun, adventure and enjoyment, you cannot be stressed and anxious about money. You must be certain that your money is safe and that you have enough so that you can never outlive your resources.  So, here are several strategies that you can employ to help avoid running out of nest egg dollars:

  • Eliminate Debt: Before you retire, eliminate all major debt. Otherwise, in order to make debt payments, you may be forced to liquidate your money at inopportune times, such as during a falling market.
  • Purchase Guaranteed Income: If your monthly sources of retirement income, such as Social Security and a monthly pension benefit, are not sufficient to pay your anticipated monthly expenses when retired, consider using a portion of your retirement nest egg to purchase an income annuity that guarantees to pay you a lifetime income.
  • Limit Withdrawals: It’s generally a good idea to limit the amount you withdraw from your retirement nest egg in the early years of your retirement…if you take out too much too soon, you might run out of money in the later years of retirement. It’s also important to understand the potential advantages and disadvantages of withdrawing money from tax-advantaged accounts versus taxable accounts, as well as the required minimum distribution rules that apply to tax-advantaged accounts.
  • Continue Working: In order to preserve your retirement money until later in retirement, you may want to continue working on a part-time or consulting basis.

Call Freeman Owen Jr For Retirement Saving AdviceRetirement planning is essential to your success.  Contact me at 833-313-7233 for a free consultation so we can determine your specific needs and plan for your retirement days to be the best years of your life!

July 18th, 2012 by

1. Outliving Your Assets: The odds are that you’ll live a long time after retiring. That’s the good news…the bad news is that you’ll need sufficient assets to provide
retirement income over a potentially long period of time. The alternative is to risk outliving your retirement income. This is where retirement planning is essential!

2.  Inflation: With inflation, the cost of goods and services increase over a period of time, meaning that you’ll need more retirement income in order to keep pace with
inflation. Again, you should anticipate this inflation and ensure you have sufficient funds to cover inflation costs during retirement years.

3.  Loss of a Spouse: With longer life expectancies and the tendency to marry men older than they are, women can face a dramatic decline in retirement income at a husband’s death. Be sure to take a financial inventory and make a list of the retirement income sources that will be available before and after the death of each spouse.

4.  Healthcare Expenses: While Medicare covers many healthcare expenses, retirees need to be prepared to pay for Medicare-related premiums, as well as expenses Medicare doesn’t cover. If you’re planning to retire prior to age 65, you’ll need a way to pay for healthcare expenses until you become eligible for Medicare.

5. Long-Term Care Expenses: While there are a variety of long-term care services, ranging from care in the home to assisted living facilities to nursing homes, all of them are expensive. If you or a spouse need long-term care, how will you pay for it?

Your Safe Money Kit These risks can be scary. But, planning for retirement doesn’t have to be something you navigate alone. Start with our free SAFE MONEY kit to determine how ready you are to retire. Then, allow me to help you navigate your retirement planning so you can keep your money safe in your retirement years.

Contact me at 833-313-7233 for a free consultation.

July 16th, 2012 by

Retirement Golf With FriendsRetirement is something that all working Americans look forward to. It is the time in your life where you get to do all the things you wished you had time to do. But, how do you know you are ready for retirement? How do you know that your money can sustain you through a potentially long retirement? It starts with an realistic assessment of your retirement readiness. Without a plan for retirement, it can be very difficult to know if you’re doing the right things with your money which causes unplanned stress and anxiety.

Most people look forward to their Social Security Benefits when it comes time to retire. Your Social Security Benefits are based on:

1. Lifetime earnings history
2. Retirement age

But, many potential retirees are deciding to stay employed past their 65th birthday.  Postponing retirement is a common trend for baby boomers these days because there is some benefit to it.  If your full retirement age (FRA) is 66, for example, your benefits will rise by about 8 percent a year each year until you turn 70. They will not increase after that date, so there is no benefit to deferring benefits past your 70th birthday. In addition to collecting 132 percent of your FRA benefit if you wait until age 70, you would also collect any annual cost-of-living adjustments. So your “profit” for waiting each year is a return of 8 percent plus the rate of inflation.

For most people, your monthly Social Security retirement check will form a important part of your retirement income. Get our free retirement and social security life guide ( it’s part of our SAFE MONEY KIT) that can give you an assessment of retirement readiness.

July 2nd, 2012 by

In mid 2011, Boston-based Fidelity, one of the country’s largest individual retirement account and workplace retirement plan providers, surveyed 648 married couples with a household income of at least $75,000 or at least $100,000 in investable assets. Respondents had to be at least age 46, married and living with their spouse to be included. Source: MSNBC  Based on the finding from the survey, many couples are not communicating about retirement.

Consider these results from the survey:

  • 33% said they don’t agree or don’t know where they plan to retire.
  • 62% of couples approaching retirement don’t agree on the age at which they will stop working.
  • 47% of couples approaching retirement don’t agree on whether they will continue to work in retirement.

The trend of non communication between husbands and wives regarding retirement planning is a huge concern. Statistically, women are relying on their husbands to make all the retirement and financial decisions, but they tend to live longer than husbands by 3-5 years. So, when a husband passes away, it’s unlikely that the wife will know how much it costs to live and continue her current lifestyle.

Simple but necessary discussion points:

1. When you want to retire
2. Where you would like to live during retirement
3. Whether one or both of you will continue to work
4. The sources of income you’ll have during retirement years
5. How much income you expect to generate during retirement

I strongly recommend that husbands and wife take a cohesive approach to their retirement planning decision-making. This is so both parties will be in full control and have a complete understanding of their financial responsibilities.  If you’re new to retirement planning, don’t be concerned. I’m here to help you navigate through the necessary decisions to get you into comfortable retirement years. Let’s start by getting talking so we can keep your money safe!

Talking About Retirement : Avoid Cracking Your Nest Egg

Join me at my next seminar on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 OR Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Location:
The Blue Dolphin Sefood Bar & Grill
1166 Route 3 South
Gambrills, Maryland 21054

Time: 5pm

Due to the popularity of this program, seating is limited.

Please call now (24hours) to reserve your seats.

1-800-941-1348