Unfortunately every one of us has someone in our extended family or knows of another family that has a member with special needs. In the context of financial planning the term special needs applies to loved ones who cannot, for some reason, take care of themselves. The reasons are varied and include, for example, children born with Down’s syndrome; young people who have developed schizophrenia or some other severe mental illness; a person permanently incapacitated from an accident; or a senior … [Read more...] about What is Special Needs Planning?
Certainly the term Aid and Attention pension is vague and possibly confusing. However, this pension benefit applies to veterans and their spouses who cannot function independently and require “aid” with the activities of daily living and “attention” from a caregiver. Eligibility Veterans who were on active duty for 90 days or more at least one day of which was during a period of war are eligible to apply for an Aid and Attention (A&A) pension benefit even if they did not serve in a … [Read more...] about Aid and Attendance Pension Benefits Available to Veterans
The current prolonged economic downturn has had a detrimental effect on the finances of millions of American families. While this isn’t news to anyone reading this blog, what is important is the fact that families may be withdrawing funds from an IRA to pay daily expenses during a period of unemployment or considering if they should. Here’s some information that anyone who is considering prematurely tapping into an IRA should be aware of. Is It Necessary? A first question is can you avoid … [Read more...] about Early Withdrawal from an IRA During Recession
It’s a fact of life that there are unscrupulous individuals in the world who make their living as scam artists and some prey upon the elderly, even to the point of committing fraud when it comes to funeral planning. Elderly as Targets for Scam Artists The FBI warns that senior citizens, in their definition those born between 1930 and 1950, are frequently the targets of fraud schemes. The FBI points out that people of those decades were taught to be polite and possibly trusting and may be … [Read more...] about Yes, There’s Funeral Fraud
During working years the matching funds provided by employers to 401(k) plans makes investing in the 401(k) account highly attractive. With the focus on 401(k) plans, stock market and bond investments, many investors have forgotten about annuities as a means of generating income during retirement. Most pension plans offered by employers are annuity products. Variable Rate Annuities Traditional annuities offer a fixed rate of return on an initial investment. With a fixed annuity, principal … [Read more...] about Variable Rate Annuities as a Retirement Income Option
Retirement is just around the corner for a vast number of Baby Boomers. Perhaps you are among those who are counting the days until you retire and settle in nicely to live off of that well-planned portfolio in your IRAs, a pension and, of course, Social Security. Unfortunately, the time of reckoning arrives and the income taxes on the IRA funds must be paid as money is withdrawn from the account. Taxes on IRA Funds The federal government provided inducements for individuals to save for … [Read more...] about Managing Income Taxes in Retirement
There’s no question that the recent downturns in the stock market and the economy in general adversely impacted the retirement accounts of millions of Baby Boomers who are preparing to retire in the near future. Many are planning on working more years than previously expected in order to preserve their retirement savings. Historical Stock Market While the general advice for investments in the stock market is that previous performance is not necessarily an indicator of future performance, … [Read more...] about How Much to Withdraw from Savings in Retirement
In the hectic pace of everyday life it’s easy to forget how long the existing will has been stored in the fireproof safe or when the last time the beneficiaries on retirement accounts or life insurance policies were reviewed. One client was amazed to realize that she once provided for her 16 year-old nephew as a beneficiary of her life insurance. Since she last reviewed beneficiaries the nephew had become a successful businessman with a net worth greater than hers. This story underscores the … [Read more...] about Are Your Beneficiary Designations Current?
It’s the time of year for "Snowbirds," typically retirees, to head to warmer southern locales to avoid the cold temperatures and snow of Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma winters. Anyone who expects to be away from home for an extended period of time should pack along copies of important legal papers, especially those that pertain to medical care. Advance Healthcare Directive An Advanced Healthcare Directive is a legal document used in the event of a medical emergency, typically when you face … [Read more...] about Traveling? Take Your Healthcare Directive, or…
The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) provides essential financial support in the way of loans to small businesses throughout Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Small businesses of all types rely on these loans for business expansion or even for daily operating expenses. An important part of financial planning done by small businesses is keeping abreast of the latest changes in SBA rules and procedures. SBA Size Criteria As helpful as SBA loans are, especially in these tough economic … [Read more...] about Size Matters to the Small Business Administration