Friday, March 8, 2013

Your Tax Haven

Your Tax Haven
The Best Tax-FREE Account for Working Americans: Better than Mit’s Cayman Island tax shelter
Your total return in 2012 could have been 15.3%, better than Warren Buffett’s “poor” 14.4%. Using your Tax-FREE account, that is equivalent to earning 23.3% because you will never pay taxes—no federal, state, capital gains or dividend taxes. Start yours today for free. 

Are prepaid funerals right for you?
"I really don't think prepaid funerals are a good idea." Tom Waggener remembers how pleased his parents were when they told him 15 years ago that they'd prepaid for their own funerals. But after Waggener's mother died in 2006, the funeral home gave his family a bill for more than $10,000. It attributed the extra cost to a special order for the casket she had chosen, which was no longer in stock. There are better alternatives:

Why have health care charges exploded?
It is a tale that defies logic. 

Why pay more?
Vanguard keeps lowering its fees. It is now rated the best fund by Morningstar. Other brands have to pay top salaries, marketing and owner’s shares. Vanguard is owned by its own shareholders like a cooperative. Perhaps it is time to move your retirement funds to Vanguard so you can keep more.

Get paid for saving?
Saving for your retirement can make you eligible for a tax credit worth up to $2,000. If you contribute to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or to an IRA, you may be eligible for the Saver’s Credit. The saver’s credit can be claimed by:
  • Married couples filing jointly with incomes up to $57,500 in 2012 or $59,000 in 2013;
  • Heads of Household with incomes up to $43,125 in 2012 or $44,250 in 2013; and
  • Married individuals filing separately and singles with incomes up to $28,750 in 2012 or $29,500 in 2013.

Do you still have your taxes prepared by paid preparers?
Answer a few questions online and see how easy it is. Tax prep sites listed by the IRS charge nothing for the federal filing. States’ returns can cost $10.

NC homeowners see rate hike
North Carolina insurance companies and the top state regulator have agreed that homeowner's insurance policies can rise by a statewide average of 7 percent starting in July.  Time to shop for value:

Sandy victims still waiting for reimbursement
As of Feb. 28, there were 73,917 flood insurance claims made in New Jersey in connection with Sandy. Four months after the storm, more than 20,000 claims have not been closed. People are living elsewhere or in the cold, some still without money to pay contractors. Banks wait for repair confirmations but contractors wait for payment—Catch 22. Banks profit from victim’s insurance money.

Long-term care coverage sales by GE in California have halted
Genworth Financial GE said it is suspending sales of individual long-term care coverage inCalifornia. Genworth has been requesting rate increases from state regulators on existing policies and said today that it’s working with California’s insurance overseer as it seeks to introduce a new long-term care offering. Alternatives:

States start health exchanges
MichiganNew Hampshire and West Virginia are the final three states to receive conditional federal approval to run state partnership health insurance exchanges under the 2010 health care law.

SCAMS           “Deficits don’t matter” GOP grandfather, Dick Cheney, 2002

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