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News and Information

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October, 2018

Life’s persistent and most urgent question is “What are you doing for others?”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Show Me The Social Security Money
Break-even analysis can prompt clients to take Social Security benefits sooner rather than later, as a hedge against early death. They really should be hedging against living longer and running out of money. What age should clients claim their Social Security benefits? You can run all kinds of numbers, but many clients will have a basic, understandable human urge: “Show me the money.”  Clients anxious to ensure they’re going to get their money’s worth from Social Security leads to a break-even analysis—that is, finding the point when total lifetime benefits received would be equal to those when using a different claiming age. So, what are the break-even numbers?

Employers Say 64 Is Too Old To Get A Job
When is someone too old to work and too old to hire? Employers and workers don’t agree, and that’s a problem. With so many people living well into their late 80s, 90s, even 100, many older workers need a job past 65, not just to stay engaged and healthy, but to save more for retirement. Here are some of the surprising findings.

Your Social Security Number is Suspended
A caller says that he’s from the government and your Social Security Number (SSN) has been suspended. He sounds very professional. So you should do exactly what he says to fix things…right?
Wrong. The FTC has gotten reports about scammers trying to trick people out of their personal information by telling them that they need to “reactivate” their supposedly “suspended” SSNs. The scammers say the SSN was suspended because of some connection to fraud or other criminal activity. They say to call a number to clear it up – where they’ll ask you for personal information. Here are a few tips to protect yourself:

A Widow's Advice To Her Younger Self
When her husband died swiftly from cancer, Bridget Wilson, 60, was at a loss emotionally and financially. “I didn’t know about anything,” she says. She thought they had signed wills; she remembered going to a lawyer. She assumed they had life insurance—didn’t everybody? But suddenly, it was she—not her Wall Street trader husband—who was in charge.

5 tax moves to make in September 2018
There are the new tax laws, like a revised child tax credit and dependent tax break, as well as a new small business 199A deduction, that will affect many 2018 filings. There are old tax provisions that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) killed, like exemptions, miscellaneous business expenses and relocation costs, or restructured, like the limit on deductions of state and local taxes. And there are the expectations that we'll be able to make all the correct moves to ensure that we get the best benefits from the tax code, both its old and new provisions. To help with your tax goals, here are five moves to make in September.

Like-Kind Exchanges - Real Estate Tax Tips
Like-kind exchanges -- when you exchange real property used for business or held as an investment solely for other business or investment property that is the same type or “like-kind” -- have long been permitted under the Internal Revenue Code.  Generally, if you make a like-kind exchange,  you are not required to recognize a gain or loss under Internal Revenue Code Section 1031. If, as part of the exchange, you also receive other (not like-kind) property or money, you must recognize a gain to the extent of the other property and money received. You can’t recognize a loss. But things have changed.

Aretha Franklin Died Without a Will
Her estimated $80 million estate could be in jeopardy.
Deeply private in life, Aretha Franklin’s estate will be laid bare for all to see, as according to court documents, she died without having a will or trust in place. Documents filed by her four sons in Oakland County Probate Court on Tuesday acknowledged the absence of a will and named themselves as parties interested in her estate. The relevant clause reads: “The decedent died intestate and after exercising reasonable diligence, I am unaware of any unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property located in this state….” Additionally, Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, asked to be appointed as the estate’s personal representative.

8 cool tax moves to make during summer's last blast
Summer is winding down, but someone needs to tell the thermometers. Across much of country, it feels like the mercury is about to burst and everyone is doing everything they can to stay cool. Sorry, I can't help you beat the heat. But I do have eight tax moves you can make in this eighth month of 2018 that might be able to help lower the heat you're feeling when it comes to taxes.

Senior Specials: 14 States With Retirement Income Tax Breaks
You don't have to move to a no-income-tax state to get big income tax breaks in retirement. These 14 states don't tax any of your Social Security and exclude at least some private pension and IRA income from their taxes, with no income limits. So, you could be a millionaire-earner and get these big breaks. "State taxation is quirky," says Rocky Mengle, a tax analyst with Wolter Kluwer Tax & Accounting. Some states exempt military pay. Some have age restrictions. Some have income limits. So if you're planning to pick up and move in retirement, pick your state carefully.

Government imposter scams
You get a text, call, or email from someone who says they’re with the government. They may claim to be a U.S. Marshal, saying you must pay a fine for missing jury duty. Or the IRS, saying that you owe thousands in back taxes. Some might threaten legal action, deportation, or arrest if you don’t pay up or give them your financial information. In other cases, it sounds less scary and more like your lucky day. The call, text, or email will say you’ve won a prize, the lottery, or a grant — but you need to pay some fees or taxes to get your winnings. These are all scams. Scammers will try to make it seem legitimate. They might give you a badge number, or even know information like the last four digits of your Social Security number. A Washington, D.C. area code on your caller ID also might seem convincing. But caller ID can be faked.

Five Shrewd Family Money Moves
How to cut taxes when moving funds from one generation to another.
If current laws remain in place, very few of your clients (and their heirs) are likely to be hit with substantial estate taxes. Instead, current and future income and capital gains taxes may be the biggest controllable corrosive threat to your clients’ goals of multigenerational wealth. These five strategies can maximize the assets received by family members, while reducing or eliminating the overall tax bite taken by Uncle Sam.

For more information or a confidential discussion of your charitable options, please email or call Danielle Ruddy at 717-232-7509.

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