Year: 2015

Change a Child’s Life for Free!

The Alabama Supreme Court has voted in favor of the Alabama Accountability Act which allows Alabama taxpayers to receive an income tax credit of up to half of your state income tax liability by donating to a qualified Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO).  These scholarships provide money to allow students from low income households to transfer […]

No Last Will & Testament? Read this Horror Story!

About thirty years ago, a widow came to me after her husband died suddenly.  He basically had a great income, a very nice home with a large mortgage and a $1 million life insurance policy.  Unfortunately, he did not have a will and the beneficiary of the life insurance policy was his estate…meaning the proceeds […]

Is a $1 million Umbrella Liability Policy Enough?

Reader Question:  After meeting with our financial advisor my husband and I, both retired, realized that our investments exceed the current $1 million umbrella policy we have. Your article stated that IRAs are safe “under most circumstances”. We don’t have risky lifestyles except we do own a cabin on a water-ski lake. Our home and […]

Take the Retirement Preparedness Quiz

Whether you are already retired or planning to retire within the next ten, twenty or even thirty years or more, it’s never too early (or too late) to put a plan in place.  Take a moment to take my Retirement preparedness Quiz to get a sense of where you are. Do you know approximately how […]

Still Time to Cut Your Tax Bill

No doubt that you’re at least thinking about gathering your financial information needed to file your 2014 tax return.  Well, add this article to the pile because here are potentially hundreds of dollars’ worth of tax-saving strategies. Max out your IRA contribution.  You have until April 15, 2015 to contribute to a traditional IRA and […]

Three Money-Making Concepts

The stock market started out this year a lot of negative volatility and has many investors worried that the next ‘crash’ is just around the corner. First know that it’s impossible to predict what the stock market is going to do and when it’s going to do it. It’s also very instructive to remember that […]

Required Minimum Distributions on Roth IRAs? Say it Ain’t So!

Last week’s column generated a couple of follow up questions from a couple of savvy readers! Reader Follow Up Question #1:  This question had to do with the advisability of a sixty-five-year old doing a Roth conversion.  I intimated that it made sense if the conversion could be done at lower tax brackets, say 15%, […]

Can I Avoid Taxes on Inheritance From Mom?

 Reader Question:  After my dad passed away last year, my mother came to live with my wife and me. She has an estate worth about $1,500,000 including $400,000 in cash; $800,000 in annuities (both non-qualified and qualified); $100,000 in a 5-year CD; $160,000 in one stock of a publicly traded large bank; and $90,000 in […]

Where to Invest in 2015

Looking back, 2014 turned out to be a year of breaking records for the stock market.  The Dow broke through 18,000 and the S&P 500 broke through 2,000 for the first time.  Investors tend to get nervous when the market breaks into new territory as they anticipate a significant correction.  So where is the best […]