The lifetime gift tax exemption applies to all the taxable gifts an individual makes during life, and it also applies to assets left upon that individual’s death. In 2021, that lifetime exemption is $11.78 million for individuals. Here, we answer common questions about gift taxes. What qualifies as a “gift” as far as the IRS goes? A gift is any money or asset that you don’t expect to receive fair payment for. This could be cash, real estate, investments, interest-free loans, and tangible or intangible assets. There are some exemptions, or things that don’t qualify as gifts for the Read More
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Estate taxes can have a significant impact on what your beneficiaries receive, and recent changes (and speculation about changes) to tax law make now a good time to review your estate planning. Recent legislative proposals under the Biden administration have made some people concerned that estate and gift tax changes could impact a broad range of families. In one example, the “For the 99.5% Act” proposes major changes to taxes for gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes. It also includes an increase in gift and estate tax rates. While it’s impossible to foresee tax laws of the future, it's Read More
When it comes to women and investing, there are quite a few myths and stereotypes that have been perpetuated through the years. Here we look at what the data really say about female investors. Women have longer life expectancies, must contend with the gender income gap, and are often in and out of the workforce due to family circumstances. This means that their financial needs can be very different. And yet there are a number of stereotypes that surround females when it comes to the subject of investing. What we’ve found is that many old beliefs about how women Read More
It used to be that retirement was a hard stop to decades spent in the workforce, with the promise of much travel, catching up on long-lost hobbies, and time spent with grandkids. But these days, retirement is less of a destination and more about change, as increasing numbers of people are sunsetting one career and embarking on a new work journey. The “why'' behind this trend has to do with a number of motivations, from losing that sense of purpose felt when going into work every day, to needing to shore up retirement finances. Whatever it is that’s causing Read More
You’ve most likely heard all the buzzing in the news recently about inflation. Here’s an update to let you know what we’re keeping an eye on and what we believe you can expect.Will Inflation Be Transitory or Sustained?This is the big question that the Federal Reserve has been asking: Will recent inflation pressures be transitory in nature (around 6 to 9 months) or is a higher, more sustained inflation regime about to begin? But the Fed isn’t the only one asking that question: You likely are, as well. The macro-economic implications and the impact on your portfolio that the inflation Read More
What exactly does this title or designation mean, and should you turn to an RIA for your investments? Here we break down the basics. A Registered Investment Advisor was formally defined as part of The Investment Advisers Act of 1940 as a “person or firm that, for compensation, is engaged in the act of providing advice, making recommendations, issuing reports, or furnishing analyses on securities, either directly or through publications.” Ok, so what does this mean for you? If you’re a high net-worth individual, you may already engage an RIA to provide you with investment advice and to manage your Read More
You’ve heard not to put all your eggs in one basket, but that’s exactly what you’re doing if your investing strategy doesn’t involve a variety of investment types. Here’s a closer look at how to build a diversified portfolio for increased long-term success. What’s the point of diversification? Investing comes with inherent risks along with the potential for great returns. Spreading your investment dollars across a variety of investment types and asset classes helps you manage and hedge against risk, while also helping you maximize your returns. While neither of these — mitigating risk and improving returns — can Read More
If you’ve dreamt about early retirement, then you may have heard of a Roth IRA conversion ladder as one way to provide income. But what does this entail and how do you know whether it’s right for you? If your retirement plans include retiring early, and you want to access some of your hard-earned savings without paying taxes on withdrawals or paying early withdrawal penalties, then you’ll want to understand the Roth IRA conversion ladder. Roth IRA: The Basics As you probably know, there are multiple types of IRAs (investment retirement accounts). A Roth IRA is one type that Read More
We recently covered a Roth IRA conversion ladder as one potential strategy for converting 401(k) or traditional IRAs to a Roth IRA. But there are some other key strategies that are good for high-income earners to know. First, why (and why not) a Roth IRA? There are quite a few tax benefits to a Roth: funds grow tax free, you can take tax-free withdrawals in retirement, and there are zero required minimum distributions (RMDs). Another perk is that Roth income is not considered in the income calculation when it comes to taxation of Social Security benefits and in determining Read More
Will you outlive your retirement savings? That’s the big question posed by longevity risk. Here’s what you need to know about this risk and how it could affect you financially. For retirees, there is a real risk that you will live longer than expected and deplete the funds you’ve saved. Not only is it impossible to project how long you’ll live (more than half of Americans in a Society of Actuaries study underestimated this), it’s also difficult to gauge just how long your savings will last. Part of this has to do with increasing life expectancy in the United Read More