Year: 2009

2010 Economic and Market Outlook

2008 and 2009 were tumultuous years to say the least. We experienced an economic and stock market collapse second only to the Great Depression followed by a breath-taking stock market recovery to close out this year. So what should you expect for 2010 and how should you position your investments?    The Economy. It’s important for you to […]

Creating Accountability for Success

It’s that time of year when people all across the globe reflect on what changes they are going to commit to for improving their life in the coming year. While people set their goals with the best of intentions, most fail to stick to the promises they make themselves because they are not good goal-setters. Use these […]

There’s Still Time to Cut Your 2009 Tax Bill

As the clock ticks down on calendar year 2009, don’t forget to use these last minute tips to reduce your income taxes:   Review realized and unrealized gains and losses. From the stock market peak in 2007 to its bottom on March 9, 2009, the market lost more than fifty percent. However, since the March 9 bottom […]

Free Money for Home Buyers

Mortgage rates are near all time lows and Congress has extended tax credits for first-time home buyers that was set to expire last week. In addition, they expanded the law to provide tax credits for existing homeowners who purchase a new home. It all adds up to an excellent opportunity to buy a home now. Here are all […]

Three Rules for Holiday Spending

There is no one that has not been touched by the current recession. Past habits of overspending will not serve us this year and it’s imperative that we begin next year in better financial shape. To make sure that this goal becomes your reality, follow these three rules for holiday spending:   Don’t spend money you don’t […]

The True Meaning of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is coming…a time for families to get together and share turkey dinner. It’s a tradition that goes back to the founding of our country. Consider the true meaning of Thanksgiving: ‘To give thanks’. This Thanksgiving, take a moment to give thanks for all of your blessings: all the things you have; all the people that you […]

Helping Charities While Reducing Taxes- Part II

Last week, I discussed a strategy for making charitable gifts by using the beneficiary designation under your retirement account instead of a specific bequest under your will and thereby potentially saving hundreds or thousands of dollars in taxes owed by your heirs. Today, I’ll review the various ways to give to charities before the end of […]

Helping Charities While Reducing Taxes- Part I

I recently met with a client couple as part of an estate planning review. As is true with so many people, this couple expressed a strong desire to give to charities both during their life and at their death. This week, I’ll focus on a strategy for giving to charities at death. Often people will make charitable […]

Congress Plays ‘The Guessing Game’ With Our Estate Tax Laws

Current law does not impose death taxes unless your taxable estate exceeds $3.5 million. That $3.5 million becomes unlimited for calendar year 2010 unless Congress takes action before year-end. This means that if Bill and Melinda Gates died next year, instead of the government receiving perhaps billions in death taxes, they would receive nothing…nada…zippo! And think of all […]

End of Life Decisions

One positive result of the national healthcare debate is that it has Americans talking about many facets of healthcare. Even such red hot topics as ‘death panels’ have encouraged conversations about end of life issues among folks who before would never breach the subject.    In last week’s column, I offered a five-question quiz that would […]