Recent Posts in Retirement Planning Category

  • For Clients, Advisors, Community The tax code allows a family to save $6,550 (on a pre-tax basis) in a health savings account. These accounts are designed to cover deductibles and co-pays in a health care plan with cost sharing and relatively high deductibles. Is it better to fund an HSA pre-tax or a savings account after tax? Fund an HSA or Taxable Account? If a family contributes the maximum to ...
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  • Supreme Court Holds Inherited IRAs Are Not Asset Protected

    || 24-Jun-2014

    For Clients, Advisors and Community. If you or your parents have an IRA with six figures or more, you need to read this article carefully. A word of introduction: An “inherited IRA” is an account originally established by Mom or Dad and at the death of Mom or Dad is held for the benefit of son or daughter or grandchild (or other relative). It is typically titled, “Mom or Dad IRA ...
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  • INHERITED IRAS ARE NOT CREDITOR PROTECTED For Clients, Advisors and Community: Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are becoming an increasing portion of wealth transferred from generation to generation. Do you have or do you anticipate owning an Inherited IRA from a parent or grandparent? If you do, this article applies to you. What is It? An “inherited IRA” is an IRA inherited from ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors and Community: In this article (briefly delayed by technical glitches), I review the implications of the income tax changes in the legislation. I have chosen not to restate that which has been published in the general news, but rather some interesting tidbits related to the new law. Increased Brackets. We have a “progressive” income tax system. This means that the ...
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  • Retirement Plan Loans Become High Audit Risk

    || 10-Nov-2012

    Participants are allowed to borrow from their account balance in some profit sharing and 401(k) plans, if the governing plan document allows. It is optional with the employer. We have discouraged our employer-clients from including loan provisions in their plan documents because loans have often burdensome administration requirements. There are strict limits. When a participant misses a payment ...
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  • Assisted Living: Promise or Dumping Ground?

    || 3-Apr-2012

    For Clients, Advisors and Community In my 32 years of practice, I have watched my clients age, enjoying long years with their children and grandchildren. In our senior care (elder law) practice, I am increasingly counselling my clients about long term care issues including, the transition from independent living to getting assistance whether it be with medications, getting to and from their doctor ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors and Community. In March and May, 2011, I wrote blog articles about the asset protection aspects of inherited IRAs. This article describes current developments involving tax aspects of inherited IRAs. What is so important about inherited IRAs? With careful planning, the beneficiary of an inherited IRA (typically a child) has the opportunity to defer income taxes (with ...
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  • Retirement Planning and Meeting the Client's Objectives

    || 4-Jan-2012

    The Wealth Counselor provides helpful information regarding how to use IRAs and retirement plans to transfer wealth, addresses common misconceptions on this topic, and explains the importance of naming a trust as beneficiary. In this blog article, we will begin by covering the basics. If after reading this explanation, you have any questions or concerns for your clients’ estate planning and ...
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  • Time Again to Check Beneficiary Designations

    || 10-Aug-2011

    For Clients, Advisors, Community A recent published case emphasizes the importance of clients checking their beneficiary designations of their retirement plans including; profit sharing, 401(k) and pension — on a regular basis. The general rule is that if the participant is married, he or she must name his or her spouse as beneficiary (unless the spouse signs a waiver in the presence of a ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors & Community In an earlier article, I discussed what a civil union is and how Illinois law affects spouses in a civil union under the new law. There is a major disconnect, however between the Illinois civil union law and Federal law. Illinois recognizes civil unions. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (defining marriage as a union between a male husband and a ...
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  • Will the Illinois Civil Union Law Affect Your Family? I

    || 20-Jun-2011

    For Clients, Advisors & Community On June 1, 2011, legislation establishing civil unions went into effect in Illinois. This is a major step in marital rights for gay and lesbian couples. What’s interesting, however, is that the law potentially impacts, perhaps in a major way, heterosexual couples as well. This article will outline the features of the new law as well as its impact on some ...
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  • Update on Inherited IRAs

    || 15-May-2011

    For Clients, Professional Advisors Since my March 3, 2011 posting on inherited IRAs, there has been an interesting precedent. A Federal Court in Texas has issued an important appellate decision. The case is Chilton v. Moser. What happened? Shirley died in 2007 naming Janice as beneficiary of her $170,000 IRA. Janice opened an IRA titled, “Janice, beneficiary of Shirley IRA” and ...
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  • For Professional Advisors, Clients, Business Owners Asset protection is an increasing focus in our practice. In its March 4, 2011 Tax Letter, Kiplinger gave the impression that inherited IRAs are exempt from creditors and in bankruptcy, citing an Arizona case. For now, that’s not the case in Illinois. Allow me to explain: In the case cited by Kiplinger, Kay Theim and her husband filed for ...
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