A Brief History of Estate Taxes
Frank L. Washelesky
Federal estate taxes have been a source of funding for the federal government almost since the U.S. was founded. Tip: Regardless of your net worth, it is critical to understand your choices when developing an estate strategy. In 1797, Congress instituted a system of federal stamps that were required on all wills offered for probate when […]
Four Reasons for the Return of Market Volatility
Until early 2018, stocks were enjoying their longest period without a five percent pullback in nearly ninety years.1,2 But in early February, that calm came to a sudden and decisive end, as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell more than six percent during the first three trading days of the month. By February 8, stocks […]
Estimating the Cost of College
James V. Petitpren, II
It does not take a degree in finance to see the cost of college continues to rise. In its 2017 report, the College Board showed that public four-year institutions raised prices an average of 3.2% annually between the 2007-08 and 2017-18 school years. Put another way, a $5,000 education in 2007-08 would cost $6,851 in […]
Year-End Tax Planning for Investors
Adam J. Pechin
The end of the year is an ideal time to review your investment portfolio. You want to ensure that it is meeting your objectives and that the mix of assets continues to reflect your time horizon and risk tolerance. It is also a good point to implement strategies for reducing your 2018 tax bill.
Should You Convert Your Balance to a Roth IRA?
If you have accumulated a large balance in a traditional IRA, now may be an ideal time to convert some or all of it to a Roth IRA. The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces individual income tax rates through 2025, which lowers the cost of conversion.
Make Your Charitable Contributions Count Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely reduce the tax benefits of your charitable contributions. However, that does not mean you should stop giving or reduce the size of your gifts. After all, the availability of tax deductions is not the reason you give.
Estate Tax Planning: Why Annual Gifts Are Still Important
With the 2018 federal estate tax exemption being raised from $5.6 million to $11.2 million, some are wondering if making lifetime gifts to your loved ones may be less important than in the past. Even if your wealth is well below the exemption amount, a lifetime gifting program still offers significant estate tax planning and personal benefits.
When is it Best to Claim Social Security?
Do You Know When Your Employees Will Retire? Your employees’ retirement timing decisions will depend on a variety of factors, including their accumulated vested assets in your company’s plan. Another key variable is Social Security, but the Social Security benefit-claiming strategy that is best for them is not always easy to determine. However, online Social […]
Leaving a Financial Road Map for Your Loved One
We do not like to think about dying or becoming incapacitated due to illness, but it is important to be prepared. In the event you become incapacitated or die, does your spouse or loved one know what assets you have or where they are located? Do they know what bills need to be paid or how to pay them? This article provides some questions and answers your loved ones need to know.
1031 Exchange – Beyond Deferring Capital Gains Tax
If you own highly appreciated business or investment real estate that you wish to sell, you can possibly avoid capital gains tax by exchanging it for new property of a like kind. A Section 1031 exchange can help you defer capital gains tax on appreciated property indefinitely and possibly eliminate it permanently.