Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year new chance

New year goals—Create a tax-FREE Wealth Reserve
Pensions, 401k and paid health care benefits are decreasing
We are living longer, need income for more years
Health care costs continue to increase
Savings/investment yields may be lower
Annuities and pensions are taxed at higher income tax rates
Social Security and Medicare under attack by GOP
Volatile market requires global diversification
Fees and commissions can take 40% of earnings
Long-term care needs are unpredictable
Grandchildren need financial assistance to make it
Tax-FREE Wealth Reserve is lifestyle insurance:

Mentally ill flood ER as states cut services
Just as GOP candidate Ron Paul suggested, if people don’t have insurance, too bad. They should have thought of that before they got sick, he said. Personal responsibility is the theme of Tea Party. In the debates, Paul suggested that the charity hospitals used to treat the indigent. We all have to pick up the cost unless the 1% want to make contributions and get their names on the hospital wings. Last time I went to hospital, a local robber baron had his name-plaque on the wall of a tiny exam room in the nurses triage station.

Tax savings
Business mileage went to 55.5 cents/mile after July 1, 2011 up from 51 cents before June 30. Exemption rose to $3,700 each. Roth IRA conversions allow 2 years to pay tax on the gains—2011 and 2012. Only armed forces can claim 1st time home buyer credit. Health coverage tax credit extended. Making work pay credit expired. Efile for faster refunds. Average refund last year: $3,036.
Use your refund to fund your Wealth Reserve, it may be worth $300,000 by the time you retire in a tax-FREE account. Wealth: at Amazon.

Congress to cut Medicare doctor pay—time to shop for another doc?
According to a 2010 survey by the AMA, about one in five physicians overall, and nearly one-third of primary care physicians say they are already being forced to limit the number of Medicare patients in their practice due to the ongoing threat of cuts and inadequate Medicare rates.

Sandusky’s insurer won’t pay his legal bills for rape charges
Pennsylvania courts have found insurers shouldn't be expected to provide coverage for someone who has been found to have sexually abused a minor.

OH Gov signs law that violates OH own constitution
Ohio Governor John Kasich on Wednesday signed a law that would prohibit abortion coverage from the state insurance exchange Ohio must create under the federal health care law. The law bans Ohio citizens from being able to purchase insurance through the exchange that includes abortion coverage, even if they pay for it with their own money, said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, who criticized the bill. "It is appalling that Governor Kasich signed this bill, which clearly violates the Ohio Constitution, into law," said Copeland.

GOP future looks grim—Candidates want to:
Reduce Social Security and Medicare benefits
Continue global warming
End EPA protection of water, air, chemical spills, oil spills
Reduce voting access for minorities, union rights
Control our choice of having birth control
End regulation of bad food, bad marketing, bad financial products
Increase business freedom to sway elections with money
Bomb Iran and other countries
Continue drop of middle income in favor of wealthy
Let people die if they can't afford health care

Who Owns Your Account Now?
MetLife bank to GE

Let me know what you think.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at

Friday, December 23, 2011

Give your teen a financial chance

Great gift idea for your young person
In a few short chapters your favorite teen can gain insight to the world of money. No school has this course YET. All their contributions (with your help) go toward their future financial foundation. They will have enough for their needs without TAXES, FEES, and COMMISSIONS. Set up the account in 1 hour online and manage it only once a year. “So simple yet so powerful a strategy, anyone can.” ABCs of Building Wealth

Small business helped by Obama-inspired health insurance exchanges
A vast majority of New York State's small business owners are giving two thumbs up to health insurance exchanges as a viable way to provide health insurance to their employees, according to a statewide survey commissioned by HealthPass New York, a NYC-based commercial health insurance exchange. The survey also found that exchanges have the potential to change the health care marketplace in New York at a time when many small business owners are struggling to keep afloat. The federal Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires states to create their own exchanges to give small businesses access to affordable health care coverage or be included in a federal exchange. "We believe that health insurance exchanges have the potential to stimulate economic development throughout New York State,” one observer said.

Would you send your son/daughter to a place where rape covered up for years?
Paterno said he did not inform police and waited at least a day to inform his boss, athletic director Tim Curley, because he "didn't want to interfere with their weekends."
McQueary testifying that he personally saw Sandusky with his arms wrapped around a boy's waist in a shower, and believed (although he was not 100 percent certain) that the boy was being sodomized. He immediately called his father, and they decided he should go to Paterno the next day.
The AG's office wrote that "there is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information," and "there was no effective change in Sandusky's status with the school and no limits on his access to the campus."
The allegations subsequently came across as "not that serious" to Curley, and that it seemed to amount to a case of "he said, she said." Who is the she here?
Sandusky had been implicated as a possible sex offender as early as 1998, when university police were involved in an investigation following "allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior involving Sandusky and young boys in the football showers."
Where are the adults here?

Advisors pushing annuities—commission up to 17% BEWARE
More and more financial advisers are recommending stock market-linked variable annuities as part of retirement planning but one of advisers' biggest objections remains the cost of these retirement savings and income products. Bank sales up 11%! Guarantees sound attractive but small print can kill. Read our Guide FIRST:

TX homeowners may not get refunds after all
State Farm Lloyds, the largest writer, has asked a Texas appeals court to reconsider an order requiring the company to refund about $350 million to consumers in the Lone Star State. Regulators had ordered the refunds because of overcharging from 2003-8. Earlier this month, State Farm Lloyds was allowed to raise deductibles for homeowners' policies in the state to 1% of the insured homes value. State Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman also approved a request by the company to raise homeowners' rates by an average of 10%.

WA drivers get refund
Geico has been ordered to refund $7.5 million by the end of the year after overcharging its Washington state customers. Geico claims it was caused by a computer glitch. Drivers will receive $300 on average.

Retirees don’t agree on working longer so plans get sidetracked
Almost half of couples — 47 percent — nearing retirement don’t agree on whether or not they’ll keep working, according to a new study.

MI health insurance buyers get rebate for overcharges
An estimated 340,000 Michigan consumers who buy their own health insurance could get as much as $89 million in rebates over the next three years following a ruling Monday by federal health regulators that turned down the state's request to be exempted from new health reform requirements.
Starting in January, insurance companies selling individual plans must spend at least 80 cents of every dollar collected from monthly premiums on medical care and no more than 20 cents on salaries and administrative costs. "Today's decision is a significant defeat for the insurance lobby and one that will allow our state's consumers to rightfully keep... their hard-earned money," said Don Hazaert, director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare.

Do not be tricked by Wall Street ad men—Hot mutual funds deliver profit to manager NOT to investors
Most objective studies of investing style prove that chasing the hottest mutual fund over and over is a loser’s game. Note the record of top stock picker, Bill Miller at Legg Mason. Miller beat the market from 1991 to 2005 on paper. However, when real investor returns are analyzed, they earned less than a market index. Today’s winner is tomorrow’s loser. Buying and selling does not beat buy and hold over the long term. Bill Miller will retire with a TON of money—1.77% of $2.7B=$47,700,000 in just the last year—but his clents earned just 7.96%. Vanguard’s 500 Index earned 11.41%.

Smart investors don’t fall for Wall Street’s sucker bet.

Small business write-off 35% of worker health care costs!
If you are a small employer who pays at least half of your employee health insurance premiums, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of the premiums paid. An employer with fewer than 25 full-time employees who pays an average wage of less than $50,000 a year may qualify. For more information see the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit page on

For more 2011 tax credits, see Publication 17 online:

A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings of Alfa Insurance Group and Alfa Life Insurance

Washington Mutual CEO wrecked the bank and got paid well. NO ACCOUNTABILITY
Largest bank failure and the officers don’t even have to pay the fine! The bank they destroyed paid for the insurance policy that paid the Feds. Actually all of us pay since insurers only raise rates to make up what they paid out. The fines are a pittance when set against the $88 million in compensation that CEO Killinger received from the bank from 2001 to 2007. Regulators will probably not prosecute the execs because they don’t have the b___s for it. Just like Countrywide and IndyMac.
LESSON: Execs are free to steal in America today.

Our “representatives” give away $ Billions to each other and friends every year. In fact, Senator Coburn (R-OK) has issued a new report, Wastebook, about giving money to China, Chimp feces study, and that “bridge to nowhere” they continue to fund.
Welfare for millionaires is explaned in this study:
We now have over 150,000 mercenaries/contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
No wonder the deficit grows every day and we can’t stop it.

Feds sue Fannie and Freddie execs—and there’s NO chance they will go to jail!
Six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were sued by U.S. regulators on charges of misleading investors about the mortgage finance companies' exposure to risky home loans in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Of course, we pay for the executives legal bills even though they cleaned out the bank on leaving—$10.6 million to Mudd and $18.3 million to Syron. Plus they paid Newt $1.6 million to help Congress “turn the other way.”

Let me know what you think.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Savings

What better gift to yourself than to save on insurance for the next 10 years
More than 70 million* drivers in the U.S. potentially are leaving car insurance savings on the table, according to the findings of a new survey. The survey questions, commissioned by Progressive and asked by Harris Interactive, were designed to estimate the potential number of people who could save on car insurance. Harris conducted the telephone survey among 1,003 U.S. adults in August, with results weighted to reflect the U.S. adult population. Use all the discounts and ‘tricks of the trade.’

NC homeowners see rate drop
The North Carolina Department of Insurance has issued an order lowering rates for dwelling property fire insurance, rejecting a request from the North Carolina Rate Bureau to raise dwelling extended coverage rates by 36.1%. Under the ruling, which was signed by state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, dwelling fire rates will be lowered by 7.3%, starting May 1, 2012.

Workers plan to work and retire later than age 65
In 2010, after the recession had officially ended, the percentage of American workers age 50 or older who expect to retire at age 70 increased to 14.8% from 11.2% in 2006, says EBRI. At higher ages, EBRI adds, the expected retirement age has jumped: Just 1.7% of workers age 50 or over planned to retire at age 80 in 2006, while that more than tripled to 5.2% in 2010, EBRI found. In 2008, during the recession, 22.4% of the workers age 50 or over say they plan to never retire. That declined to 16.3% in 2010. Over the 2006–2010 period, another 14-18% of workers say they don’t know when they will retire. Members have a plan to have enough:

10 million more lost health insurance—ER is full—what now?
An estimated 9.3 million American adults lost health insurance coverage as a result of increased unemployment during the recession of 2007-09, according to a newly published study by researchers at Cornell, Indiana and Carnegie Mellon universities.
GOP answer was to “let them die” and let the hospital absorb the costs of health care.

Fees on some annuities going up
Transamerica Life said “ The fee on the rider will range from 0.7% to 1.25%, depending on which funds a client selects. The earlier range was from 0.45% to 1.2%
“ Fees will rise on the Income Enhancement Benefit, which works in tandem with the Retirement Income Choice 1.2 rider and raises withdrawal percentages. As of Dec. 12, the feature will cost 0.3% for single-life coverage, up from 0.15%, and 0.50% for joint coverage, an increase from 0.3%. These fees added to existing fees of 1.5% to 2% and you could end up paying 3.75% EVERY year no matter how much the annuity crediting rate is. If your money could have earned 10%, you would actually earn 6.25%. If inflation is 3%, you are earning less than a muni bond fund pays. There are other alternatives to annuities: :

Your advisor may raise their fees soon
Many advisers are thinking about making some changes to their fee structure, with some gravitating to a minimum retainer or charging separately for financial planning and other services. When assets don’t grow, fees remain the same. Many investors, after waiting years for things to improve, are beginning to get fed up. New clients are hard to find in this economy. Clients are shellshocked by the past few years of volatility and are in no mood to pay more for mediocre returns. Advisors want more fees even though they can’t improve account balances. Members go it alone—advisors can’t beat the market so why pay them.

Newt gives millionaires a big tax break—costs another $1.3 Trillion
Newt Gingrich’s plan would add $1.3 trillion to the U.S. budget deficit in 2015 alone, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Gingrich's plan would cut taxes for 70% of households and reduce rates for the highest earners compared with what they pay now. He would drop the corporate tax rate to 12.5% from 35%. People earning more than $1 million a year would receive an average tax cut of $613,689 in 2015, compared with what they pay now. That change would boost their after-tax income by 28.7% and put their average tax rate at 11.9%. For households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, 91.3% would receive tax cuts averaging $1,847, boosting their after-tax income by 3.1%. It is the 12-12-12 plan.

Give yourself a gift this year
A Kansas City woman received $6.1 million from a Missouri unclaimed property fund consisting of a single security. No details available but it might be worth checking with your state’s unclaimed property office. Start:

Two Americas
Republican leader in the House of Representatives is now blocking progress on a bill that would definitively outlaw insider trading by federal lawmakers. The Republican sponsor of the bill in the House, Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus of Alabama, had scheduled a markup of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act for next week. But on Wednesday, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia cancelled the markup session. Cantor reportedly said he blocked the bill to give Congress more time to examine the issue. Critics of the move, however, fear that any delay could kill the bill entirely.
Studies have shown the investment portfolios of House members and Senators consistently outperform the market by significant degrees, suggesting they are either miraculously bright and lucky investors or using their access to non-public information when trading. Financial experts regard the idea that it is just luck or investing smarts as laughable. Senators outperform the market by 12%.
This is the sixth year Congress has NOT made members follow the same rule as us. “Get rich quick” law that all of us must follow except them has made them rich. Half of Congress are millionaires.

GOP to void Voting Rights Act in name rampant voter fraud--1 case
Judith Browne Dianis told CNN, “Through a spate of restrictive laws passed in Republican-led legislatures, a disproportionate number of African-Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, the elderly and the young will find voting difficult and in many cases impossible.” These statutes, she notes, “require a state photo ID to vote, limit early voting, place strict requirements on voter registration and deny voting rights to Americans with criminal records who have paid their debt to society.”
Investigations by the secretary of state and the attorney general since 2004 haven’t found any cases of voter fraud.
The one documented instance of ‘fraud’ in the last decade — a son voting in place of his father — was uncovered under the current system.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at

Friday, December 2, 2011

Best holiday gift ever

Is immediate annuity right for you?
Immediate annuities convert your lump-sum cash into payments that last your lifetime. This may help you receive a guaranteed amount to pay bills when you retire. However, it is important to consider two situations that make these instruments a bad deal. 1) Periods when interest rates paid by securities are low mean you will receive lower monthly payments. Waiting a year or two until rates rise may guarantee you don’t get stuck with a low amount forever. 2) Inflation over time tends to depress the buying power of the monthly check. A monthly check of $1000 now may sound great but in 25 years, this amount will only buy $500 of goods. Conclusion: Don’t buy a life annuity during low interest periods and consider buying annuities for shorter periods of time. Alternatives exist but don’t expect your financial advisor to present them. Annuity commissions are generous and help advisors earn more than you do. Check our Guide:

Wealth begets wealth—why the 1% never pays their fair share of tax
While 44 million can’t get health insurance, one family creates its own tax loopholes to avoid paying tax. We can make up the difference.

Billionaire Buffett admits rich don’t create jobs with lower taxes—GOP claim false
“The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you,” Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, said in the interview. “But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.”
Are we catching on? 69 percent of Americans want to let the Bush/Republican tax cuts for the rich expire. Yes, we get it! Our Congress does NOT get it!

Annuity renewal rates continue to fall
Fixed annuity renewal rates are expected to fall leaving many pre-retirees without recourse. Faced with less income and a high surrender charge, there is little that folks can do. Many variable annuities offers are being withdrawn due to low rates and market volatility. Variable annuities may have the floor rate reduced or crediting formula changed because of the current economic environment. Some insurers have had to add reserves since losing millions in this low interest rate environment. New annuities will provide fewer benefits to buyers while highlighting low risk in this high risk environment. Members explore alternatives with our Guide:

Best Holiday Gift Ever—Gift of a Lifetime
You can provide the foundation of your child or grandchild’s future this Holiday. Give them the Gift of a Lifetime—a starter account for their own $2,000,000 Wealth Reserve. Your grandchild could have a $2,000,000 Wealth Reserve providing tax-FREE income. Your monthly gift could provide your grandchild with real “social security:” their own tax-FREE money. You take advantage of the miracle of compounding. Your gift becomes a $2,000,000 Wealth Reserve. You could reduce your taxable estate by $500,000 for each grandchild. Your grandchild will NEVER have to pay taxes on the money either. Social Security will exhaust its funds in about 2037, according to 2010 projections. Start today! Every year you delay costs your favorite kid $100,000 later.

Supremes to Decide Whether Kickbacks in mortgage settlement are legal
Your title company pays kickbacks to your mortgage settlement firm for steering business to them. 1974 law says it is illegal but realtors and title firms and lawyers say it is part of business. Is there no ethical responsibility here?

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs across the nation continue their work fighting Medicare fraud. This is part of President Obama’s initiative to educate people with Medicare about how to protect themselves and Medicare from fraud. SMPs rely on approximately 5,000 volunteers nationwide to enhance their efforts.

Congress running away from members’ insider trading now: but OKed since 2006!
Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., has been introducing her bill to ban insider trading by lawmakers since 2006. Before the "60 Minutes" story, there were nine sponsors; now there are 118, and the House Financial Services Committee has schedule a hearing Dec. 6. What are the chances of finding fellow criminals?
"The fact that any one of us would think to personally profit off the information that's shared with us upsets me greatly. Members of Congress and their staff should be subject to the same rules as everyone else." The "60 Minutes" segment highlighted financial transactions involving Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi; Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., chairman of the Financial Services Committee; and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. All three previously denied wrongdoing—of course! Why didn’t they pass it before? And what about after they leave Congress—still have access to insider deals.

About 47 percent of Congress, or 249 current members are millionaires. … In 2010, the estimated median net worth of a current U.S. senator stood at an average of $2.56 million,” according to the Center’s research.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042
Alerts available at