December 2015

29 Dec

When a Minor Is a Beneficiary

Some factors for parents and grandparents to consider. Naming a minor as a beneficiary brings up a major concern. If parents or grandparents make a child a primary or contingent beneficiary of an insurance policy, IRA or investment account, they should be aware that most policies and investments will not directly transfer to a minor. They need to be received by a court-approved property guardian, a trustee of a children's trust, or a revocable living trust beforehand.
29 Dec

Estate Planning for Your Digital Assets

Have you addressed this issue? Social media and email accounts. Creative works, photos and keepsakes kept on home computers, the cloud or external storage drives. E-commerce accounts. Domain names. Bitcoin. These are all examples of digital assets. You will manage them closely as long as you live—but what will happen to them once you die?
29 Dec

Audit Red Flags

What raises eyebrows at the IRS? Are you worried about being audited? The fear may be overblown as only 0.86% of taxpayers had their federal returns examined in 2014. Last year, 7.5% of millionaires had their returns scrutinized. Much of this is down to low staffing at the IRS. In 2011, during more prosperous times for the agency, the IRS audited 1.11% of returns. Still, no one likes extra stress courtesy of the IRS. Let's look at some red flags that might get you extra IRS scrutiny.
01 Dec

The End of File-and-Suspend for Married Couples

A great claiming strategy to optimize Social Security benefits disappears.

Congress just changed the Social Security benefit rules. On October 30, Capitol Hill lawmakers approved a two-year federal budget deal. As part of that agreement, they authorized the most significant change to Social Security policy seen in this century, disallowing two popular strategies people have used to maximize retirement benefits.

01 Dec

The Retirement Reality Check

Little things to keep in mind for life after work.

Decades ago, there was a popular book titled What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School. Perhaps someday, another book will appear to discuss certain aspects of the retirement experience that go unrecognized—the "fine print," if you will. Here are some little things that can be frequently overlooked.