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2011: Turning Dreams into Reality!

Few of us take the time to stop and take stock of our lives but if you take a moment to reflect, you will find that you, in fact, accomplished quite a lot in 2010. But did you achieve your full potential? It’s likely that your full potential is much greater than even you recognize. I’m […]

The Christmas Gift

December is perhaps the craziest month of the year. There are parties to attend, gifts to purchase, thank-you notes to write and year-end deadlines to meet. Sometimes in the hubbub and excitement of this season, we forget the true meaning of Christmas.   Christmas is one of the most important days of the year for people of the […]

Christmas Comes Early

Halleluiah! Halleluiah!   This chant is usually reserved for holiday cheer but estate attorneys and financial advisors throughout the land are singing this song in praise of President Obama and the Republican compromise proposal to raise the estate tax exemption to $5 million ($10 million for couples) with a maximum 35% tax rate on the balance. This […]

Estate Tax Roulette

“Here’s the deal…”. When my wife says that to me it usually means something has gone wrong and I’m about to get the responsibility for fixing it.   It is inconceivable that congress, in 2009, failed to ‘do anything’ regarding the estate tax laws which resulted in there being no estate tax in 2010 no matter […]

2010 IRA Deadlines

With about thirty days remaining in this calendar year, those of you with IRA accounts have a number of opportunities or responsibilities with a year-end deadline.    Required Minimum Distributions (RMD). As a result of the financial and economic crisis, congress temporarily eliminated the Required Minimum Distributions for retirement accounts for 2009 but brought it back […]

Hard Choices- Tackling the National Debt

President Obama appointed a bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with instructions to develop recommendations to balance the budget, excluding interest on the national debt, by the year 2015. That commission issued its preliminary report earlier this month and what is painfully obvious is that there are no painless solutions. Proposals include: Raising the age […]

Choosing the Best Medicare Plan for You

If you are age 65 or older then you have likely been receiving a lot of correspondence from companies promoting their Medicare health and Medigap plans. Open enrollment period for the 2011 Medicare Health Plans, Medigap, and Part D Prescription Plans begins November 15. If you want to change to a different plan or you […]

Election Rout Suggests Stock Market Gains

Republicans gained sixty seats in the House of Representatives, the largest gain since 1938 while also gaining six seats in the Senate. If nothing else, the mid-term elections have sent a clear message to all of our congressional representatives, “We don’t like what we’ve been seeing!” Republicans now have control of the house while the Democrats maintain […]

Year-End Tax Planning Checklist: Part II

Last week I discussed several tax saving strategies to consider and this week I am continuing with the checklist of ways to cut your tax bill. Don’t let taxes “spook” you this year!     §         Income and expense shifting:   Review your income and expenses and, to the extent possible, shift them between this year […]

Year-End Tax Planning Checklist: Part I

With less than three months remaining in 2010, now is the time for year-end tax planning. Most people can exert some degree of control over their tax bill if they maximize certain tax strategies available to them this year. Here’s a checklist of items you should review now:   Green Home Improvement Credit: You can […]