Safe Money Guide
Over the past few years, retirement planning has become increasingly complex. Today, you need to balance a wider range of financial issues than ever before; from IRA and 401(k) accounts, to estate planning, income distribution strategies, tax changes and even how working will affect your Social Security benefits.
Adding more complexity to this is the fact that people are living longer than ever – making retirement more expensive – highlighting why good, solid retirement planning has become so critical.
When you combine the above with the tumultuous economic and political environments we are witnessing at both the national and international levels, it is not difficult to see how timely and important the notion of “safe money” has become.
The goal of this guide is to introduce you to annuities in the context of your financial and retirement planning. It will certainly not answer all of your questions (as every personal financial situation is different), but it should provide a solid understanding of annuities, how they work, and how they may or may not fit into your overall planning.
Use A Safe for Your Important Money
How safe is your safe!
I have a friend named Phyllis; you might also have a similar friend. She may be a co-worker, business partner, golfing buddy, your daughter in law or your neighbor. My friend Phyllis has a special item in her life; Phyllis has a safe. This isn’t any ordinary safe; it is a special safe that Phyllis keeps her important money in.
Phyllis’s safe protects her money so it is never at risk and no one can withdraw Phyllis’s money from her safe, except her. She is the only one with the combination to her safe. Phyllis’s safe has a special feature; it increases Phyllis’s money by paying guaranteed interest each month.
In addition to the protection of the safe, Phyllis’s funds in her safe are available to her when she needs them. She can withdraw funds from her safe; she can convert the funds in her safe to income; she can let the funds in the safe grow. Phyllis has numerous options and she is in control of her safe.
What is Phyllis’s safe? Her safe is a simple, easy to understand guaranteed fixed interest annuity. A fixed interest annuity...........
5 Things Every Baby Boomer Needs To Know About Annuities
Myths and Truths about Annuities
We all remember stories from our childhood which turned out to be nothing more than a myth. There are several categories of these stories; of course, there is the truth, but also legends, folk tales, and superstitions. When it comes to annuities, myth and half-truths abound. The question that needs to be asked is why? The answer is just as simple; annuities can be complicated and complex. Once you dig a little deeper into annuities, they don’t seem to be very complicated at all. They are quite simple.
An annuity is a contract between a human being and an insurance company. It is just that simple. In reality, an annuity is a contractual promise to provide certain benefits in return for a financial deposit. The insurance company provides the benefits and in return keeps the funds in the annuity on deposit. Just like a bank, an insurance company makes money on your money while at the same time you make money on your money.
Does that seem complicated? Yes, it can, and I understand exactly how you might feel. So let’s have a look at the truth of annuities can provide and what myths are associated with them.
Las Vegas never loses, and neither will your fixed rate annuity
Insurance companies offering annuities are somewhat like Las Vegas casinos. They never lose. It’s a highly profitable part of the insurance business, and hardly any customers have a sufficient understanding of the rules of the game to able to play knowledgeably. Annuities come in two varieties – Fixed and variable. A fixed annuity is somewhat like a CD, in that the insurance company issuing the annuity agrees to pay a fixed rate to the investor, while the investment, along with associated profit or loss, is also the company’s responsibility and right. The performance of the investment is not directly coupled to the returns the investor gets. The insurance company acts as a barrier between the index and the investor, minimizing the impact by siphoning off considerable spikes in both profit and loss while passing along stable returns to the investor.
Variable annuities are merely pooled investment accounts thinly disguised as insurance products. The returns from variable annuities are directly related to asset performance and if the invested stocks tank, the investor stands to lose. The difference is that the IRS confers tax-deferred status on all contributions and gains in variable annuities.
An annuity is a long-term, tax-deferred investment that is issued by an insurance company and purchased through a financial advisor. It may be designed to create a custom plan for each investor’s unique needs, while helping protect* what matters most to them in retirement.
Annuitization is a one-time process of taking your annuity account and turning it into regular payments that will last for the rest of your life. The annuitized payments continue, regardless of how long you live, and even if the total payments exceed the original account value.
Please click the link below to learn more important facts about annuities.
Many of today’s retirees and pre-retirees are concerned they’ll run out of money before
they run out of time. Who can blame them? In the past, the average person
could rely on income from three separate sources in somewhat equal parts for a fairly
comfortable retirement: Social Security, an employer-sponsored pension plan and
personal savings. This retirement model is often referred to as the “three-legged stool.”
Today, the three-legged stool has altered substantially. There’s far greater emphasis on
the need for personal savings as a source of income in retirement. Restoring balance
to your retirement savings plan has become increasingly important and supplementing
your personal savings is key to maintaining that balance. Here’s why…
New Protections Coming for Business Returns
No doubt individual returns have gotten the bulk of press coverage on identity theft recently. But fraudsters and identity thieves have begun to include businesses and non-profits in their list of targets.
To counter the threat, the Security Summit—a partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies and tax industry leaders—has come up with some strategies to counter this new threat.
The Internal Revenue Service will be asking tax professionals to gather more information from their business clients; the data will help the IRS to authenticate that the return being submitted is really a legitimate return—and not an identity-theft return.
Some of the new questions people may be asked to provide when filing their business, trust or estate client returns include:
IRS Announces the First Day of Tax Season, Issues Refund Delay Reminder
153 Million Returns Expected on Day One
Tax professionals across the country are gearing up for tax season, which the Internal Revenue Service today announced will officially begin on January 23, 2017. The press release included yet another reminder about PATH Act-delayed refunds: taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) will not have their refund issued until February 15, 2017.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen urged taxpayers affected by the delay to plan ahead for 2017: a familiar refrain since the passage of 2015’s PATH Act. While EITC and ACTC refunds will be issued on February 15, the IRS says the earliest affected taxpayers should expect their refund is the week of February 27.
Don’t Forget the Tax Credit for an Energy-Efficient Home
Taxpayers who made certain energy-efficient improvements to their homes last year may qualify for a tax credit.
Called the Non-Business Energy Property Credit, the credit itself is split into two parts. The first part is worth 10 percent of the cost of certain qualifying energy-saving items added to the taxpayer’s main home in 2016. Improvements that qualify for the credit include adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors, and certain kinds of roofing.
Installation, however, is not to be included in the credit.
The second part of the credit isn’t a percentage of the cost, but includes the installation costs of certain high-efficiency heating and air-conditioning systems, high-efficiency water heaters and biomass-fueled stoves. The credit amount will differ for each type of property installed.
Combined, the two parts of the overall credit have a maximum lifetime limit of $500. Only $200 of this total, however, can be claimed for windows.
IRS Announces the First Day of Tax Season, Issues Refund Delay Reminder
Scams Include Tax-Related ID Theft, Tax Shelters
Each year, the IRS releases their list of the “Dirty Dozen” scams to inform taxpayers about criminals who hope to capitalize on a busy, stressful time of year for tax professionals and their clients. The “Dirty Dozen” is made up of criminal activities designed to separate victims from their private information and money and questionable tax reporting strategies.
Ranging from tax-related identity theft to utilizing illegal tax shelters, this year’s “Dirty Dozen” informs taxpayers how they can avoid common criminal ploys and, inadvertently or otherwise, falling afoul of the law: