Friday, November 29, 2013

Great financial future?

++Will you have a GREAT financial New Year! 
++Set and reach money goals. 
++Set-up a tax-FREE investment account. 
++Buy and hold 10 mutual funds all your life.
      The greatest impediment to financial freedom is debt. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck. Freedom from our chains of lifelong payments requires immediate action.  When you pay $161 per month for 10+ years on your credit card balance of $10,050, you will spend at least $19,360. You pay almost double for that same $10,050! 
       I will show you how to be on the other side of the deal--collecting $20,000 for your investment of $10,000. It takes only 1 hour to set it up. By Dan Keppel

ObamaCare signup deadline moved from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23
In 2012, 27 percent of young adults (ages 19 to 34) lacked health insurance, although the rate varied widely from state to state, according to a new Census Bureau infographic, "The Young and Uninsured in 2012." Texas has 38% uninsured young adults while MA has 8%.
Oklahoma’s individual and small group health insurance markets were offered early policy renewals. 
Small business enrollment is delayed one year. Businesses will still be able to shop for plans at the federal website beginning in December; they just won’t be able to sign up their employees using the system. The change may have a minimal effect since many small businesses already rely on agents and brokers for insurance at group rates.

Are you saving enough for retirement?
Just 56 percent of women express confidence that they’re saving enough for retirement, compared to 65 percent of men, according to a recent survey from TIAA-CREF. Women surveyed believe they would be more likely to change their savings and spending habits after receiving financial advice, but nearly half say financial advice will cost more than they can afford – and one in three say they don’t even have the time to look for help.
Advisors can take up to 63% of your total retirement nest egg. Simple alternative that Warren Buffett uses assures you keep more:

Study says a picture of future wants helps us save more
Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan studies how people save money for the future. He found that we save more when we have a picture of what we want to buy in the future. This helps us remember why we are saving and avoid impulse buying. Credit cards make it easy to buy so it is harder to wait. People don’t want to wait until they have the money. But waiting allows us to filter out those items that are just passing fancies. Automatic investing is the greatest help in saving, according to his study. We never have to think about sending a check if our investing amount comes out of our check right away automatically. Other tips:

You don’t need Black Friday to find bargains on insurance and investments
*Save on all financial products and services.
*Avoid taxes and fees.   Let your money compound. 
*Cut out the middleman/woman. 
*Buy only what you need.
     The best guarantee of lifelong security is having money. We grow our savings in a tax-FREE investment account. It assures us of money when we need it. We stop paying unnecessary taxes. We avoid overpaying for products and services by buying only what we need directly from manufacturers, not salespeople. 

Study shows advisors often sell higher-cost products
Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan hired actors who pretended to seek help from financial advisors. Those with solid investments in low-cost funds were advised to switch to some undiversified high-cost funds. Incentives are good for advisors and bad for investors. We can do low-cost investing ourselves and earn over 50% more:

SCAMS           “Deficits don’t matter” Republican Godfather, Dick Cheney, 2002
Bush wars increased the debt by $4-6 trillion to $16 trillion. 1985 debt $3 T, same as 1945.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Gift Idea--Set for Life

Set for Life: Invest 10% Spend $1,000,000 Tax-FREE
Invest just 10% of your income. Spend $1,000,000 with no income tax. Use low-cost mutual funds earning 10-12%. The average income tax refund is about $3,000. We can accumulate $1,000,000 from $3,000 a year because of compounding. Author Law Steeple, MBA Ebook $9.95

Are Fund of Funds investments right for you?
Funds of funds, which bundle alternative strategies by investing in multiple underlying hedge fund managers, typically tack on their own fees — which can amount to another 1% on assets and 10% on performance. Beyond the extra layer of fees, funds of funds also are hampered by liquidity-related challenges. But as funds of funds have tried to maintain standards of offering monthly liquidity with 30 days' notice, they have effectively reduced their pool of hedge funds in which they could potentially invest because most hedge funds aren't interested in offering increased liquidity. Total costs can exceed 3% and there are no refunds if returns lag the index. Morningstar found that low-cost funds beat high-cost funds in every period. Use the Tax-FREE Wealth Account:

Can you believe what you hear/read?
GOP agenda for the week: Keep up the war on ObamaCare
Republicans got their talking points memo for the week: “Because of Obamacare, I Lost My Insurance.” “Obamacare Increases Health Care Costs.” “The Exchanges May Not Be Secure, Putting Personal Information at Risk.” “Continue Collecting Constituent Stories.”
GOP speaker Boehner obtains ObamaCare via website
House Speaker John Boehner has officially enrolled in a D.C. insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, he said in a blog post on his website Thursday evening. That wasn’t so bad was it?

Is the stock market reaching its top?
Stock funds won $172 billion in the year's first 10 months, the largest amount since they got $272 billion in all of 2000, according to Morningstar Inc. estimates. Even with most of the cash going to international funds, domestic equity deposits are the highest since 2004. According to traditional advice, when everyone is trying to buy the same commodity, a bubble is created. Is it time to take some profits? The S&P 500 index hits new highs with 26% return this year while the aggregate bond index is down over 4%. This is the 3rd year of stock gains. 2009 27%, 2010 15%, 2011 2%, 2012 16%, 2013 ?

SCAMS           “Deficits don’t matter” Republican Godfather, Dick Cheney, 2002
Bush wars increased the debt by $4-6 trillion to $16 trillion. 1985 debt $3 T, same as 1945.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042

Friday, November 15, 2013

401k hidden fees under attack

401k hidden fee lawsuit underlines industry potential for fraud
A recently filed case involving allegations that 401(k) plan sponsors charged excessive fees is raising questions on whether general account products, group annuities and stable-value products might also become a focal point in future litigation. “The problem is that in many of these products, [fees] that are not disclosed. With stable value, it’s almost impossible to tell the rate of return and how it’s calculated.” Fees have a tremendous impact on lifetime nest egg totals—taking up to 63% of our potential. Use a low-cost tax-FREE account:

Long-term care insurance costs to go up 25%
John Hancock requests to raise premiums on half of its in-force business by an average of 25%. This latest rate increase comes three years after the insurer had asked regulators in the U.S. for rate hikes averaging out to 40%.  Genworth said it is filing for rate increases of 6% to 13% on the in-force business that was purchased between 2003 and 2012. What are the alternatives?

Tea Party silent on Oklahoma mandate for uninsured
In an ongoing effort to curb the number of uninsured motorists on Oklahoma roads, law enforcement officers can now seize license plates from uninsured vehicles and assign temporary insurance. "It gives that law enforcement official, whether they be in rural Oklahoma or a metro area, a chance to make that decision" to seize the license plate instead of towing the vehicle, as allowed under a 2010 amendment.
Is this like ObamaCare? Get insurance or pay a fine (to get car back)

ObamaCare allows substandard policies to renew for one more year
Insurers wouldn't be able to sell so-called substandard plans to new consumers, only to those who were already enrolled in plans that don't meet the law's coverage requirements. Several state insurance commissioners already have been critical of carriers that have tried to encourage current enrollees to renew their policies, accusing the insurers of trying to prevent people from accessing the full benefits of the overhaul law. Old policies that do not provide comprehensive coverage will be phased out during the year as insurers have time to switch to new plans. Buy only what you need:

Some insurers use “early renewal” loophole to continue substandard policies
For instance, 61,000 people covered in small group plans by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado were offered the choice to renew early, because their plan was being discontinued. But thousands of people in Anthem-based small group plans weren't given the same choice when informed their plans were being cancelled. Eventually, plans must offer comprehensive care so that everyone pays their fair share. Great GOP idea.

Study says drugs, devices and special operations drive health prices not seniors
For example, the analysis found personal out-of-pocket spending on insurance premiums and co-payments declined from 23 percent to 11 percent since 1980, contradicting the conventional wisdom that out-of-pocket spending has increased; and in 2011, chronic illnesses account for 84 percent of costs overall among the entire population, not only of the elderly. Chronic illness -- such as heart disease or diabetes -- among individuals age 65 and younger accounts for 67 percent of healthcare spending, researcher Moses said.

Attacking bikers may lose insurance—beware: they run stop lights too
Last September when a family was attacked on Henry Hudson Pkwy, the event instigator Jamie Lao, was at home in Queens. Apparently more comfortable behind a computer screen, Lao hit Facebook, Twitter and forums like, and, urging bikers across the country to attend his annual “Hollywood’s Block Party” and “tear up the streets.” Asked if his son was involved in the incident, Juan Lao said Jamie didn’t attend.” But several neighbors said the rally started at the Lao’s two-family house on 103rd Avenue. “There was about 300-400 bikes,” said one neighbor who asked not to be named. Now 11 bikers are charged in the attack—one a cop. They may lose coverage if they are convicted of using their bikes in the attack. See “Block Party.”

SCAMS           “Deficits don’t matter” Republican Godfather, Dick Cheney, 2002
Bush wars increased the debt by $4-6 trillion to $16 trillion. 1985 debt $3 T, same as 1945.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
MontclairNJ 07042

Friday, November 8, 2013

Get More Pay Less

Internet Money Smarts: Get More Pay Less by Dan Keppel 
Save $3,000 a year on mutual funds, insurance, etc.
Buy online—skip the “middle-people” markup.
Buy only what you need—with discounts.
Use a Tax-FREE account. Never pay income tax.
Future millionaires are obtaining all the information they need to make wise financial decisions FREE. The answers are online. The financial industry retail model is dying. People of all ages are shopping for almost everything online FIRST. Eventually, people will realize that their advisors are not worth the costs. Ebook $9.95

Is $19 a month going to help your budget?
Social Security announced a 1.5% benefit increase for 2014.  That translates to a $19 per month increase on the average 2013 Social Security benefit of $1,272 per month.  One of the reasons SS will run out of money in 2033 is that the wealthy have negotiated a cap on their contributions. The Social Security taxable maximum will increase to $117,000 in 2014, up from $113,700 in 2013. If you make over $117,000, you avoid helping your fellow Americans in need. The wealthy have also just negotiated a cut in food stamps, Head Start, and society’s safety net—Medicaid—in order to pay for their tax breaks. Most pay HALF of what we pay: Warren Buffettpays only 17% total tax, Mitt Romney only 14%, and John Kerry only 13%, Apple only 9.8%. Most of us pay 32.9%.

ObamaCare is like car insurance
We buy it because we all need it whether we have an accident today or not. It is the law. No one is closing the government because we are forced to buy car insurance. I am sure that when you have an accident, you have thought, “I am glad I have coverage to fix my car and pay my bills.” No Tea Partyers complain that car insurance is socialism. We pay in so our neighbor can fix his car when he has an accident.
Is this concept so hard to understand? Really?
Why does the millionaire Congress want the poor to stay uninsured? Congressmen have insurance. Senior Cruz has generous health benefits already. Why is he against them?

KY health insurance site signs up 1,000 a day
Roughly 1,000 people a day are signing up for coverage through Kentucky’s online insurance marketplace, or exchange, a volume that state officials say has far exceeded their expectations. The success of the exchange, known as Kynect, contrasts sharply with the technical failures of the federally run exchange serving 36 states. For example, Patricia Bond, a breast cancer survivor, said she was paying $837 a month for health insurance, a cost that had leapt since her diagnosis. “It’s been really hard to come up with that,” Ms. Bond, a seamstress, said. “I mean, that’s higher than my house payment.” She found that she would qualify for a premium subsidy of $377 a month if she bought an exchange plan. Of the 24 plans that the exchange offered her, the most expensive would be a silver plan for $263 a month after the subsidy, with an $800 deductible. KY has outreach workers to help citizens compare options. Buy only what you need:

ObamaCare by phone despite negative press
Obamacare is providing competitive and affordable choices of health plans that consistently meet minimum requirements, according to an analysis by Innovative Solutions Consulting of county-level data available at the healthcare exchange. People receiving insurance cancellation notices because of ObamaCare had policies that didn’t meet the minimum standards for coverage. They had accident insurance, special disease insurance and lump sum insurance. None of these policies are comprehensive care. If you had to go to the hospital, you would reach your max payout in the first hour. There are thousands of these ‘junk’ policies because they are cheap and don’t cover any major problem.  Call-in app: 1-800-318-2596.

GOP tells Congressman he can't vote
Former U.S. House speaker Jim Wright reportedly was denied a voter ID card on Saturday. "Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn't give me an ID," Wright, a Democrat who resigned from Congress in 1989, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a story about his experience at a Texas Department of Public Safety office. Wright, who in the early part of his political career pushed to abolish the poll tax, said "I think they will reduce the number [of voters] to some extent." Women are also being denied voting rights because court-approved name changes don’t make it to voter rolls. Most new rules come in GOP-controlled states. Most voters without ID are Dems. Voter fraud is the excuse but few real incidents were found.

FL homeowners see rate DECREASE
Some insurance companies have filed requests for rate decreases, four of which have already been approved, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. There were more than 20 requests to raise rates, however. "We're also seeing more players interested in the Florida market." In September, for example, Security First Insurance Co. filed a rate decrease affecting more than 100,000 of about 180,000 Florida policyholders, company spokeswoman Toni Harrison said. Use ALL your discounts:

Some ObamaCare policies free of premium—pay only when need it
7 million people, under provisions of the Affordable Care Act, could qualify for the no-premium plans, the majority in the bronze category, the least expensive available. Bronze policies require people to pay the most in out-of-pocket costs, for doctor visits and benefits such as hospital stays. Free-premium plans and inexpensive policies that cover more indicate the law is achieving its goal of making health insurance more widely available. A number of those who qualify have incomes just above the threshold for Medicaid, an analysis by the consulting firm McKinsey indicated. "The whole point of the law was not only to cover the uninsured, but so people didn't have to make choices between food or drugs, or going to the doctor or dentist," said Karen Davis, a health policy expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "It's what it is designed to do."

Tom, a reader, asks about life insurance’s unique tax-free benefit
You are correct. Life insurance has a tax-free benefit but only for your beneficiary. Agents offer loans which are tax free but you must pay the insurer interest. You must die to collect. 
The real tax-free benefit account for you as an investor is a Roth IRA and Roth 401k. You pay NO tax on the earnings in this account when you are over age 65, or meet some special conditions. For those with years of work ahead, this account is perfect for creating a nice nest egg with a tax-free bonus. For those near retirement with an IRA or 401k balance, a small amount can be converted each year. Even after paying tax on the amount of gains converted, you have years of accumulation which are then tax-FREE.  Since taxes will go up and many will be taxed on their SS benefits, it makes sense to use this account. Retirees must take their IRA distributions anyway beginning at age 70, so converting what they don't need now will add extra money later. 
The other important factor in investing is cost. Many fees are taken from investors. It is no longer necessary to pay sales people because low-cost mutual funds are easily managed. Best Investment: Low fees and NO Taxes.

Is your health insurance cancelled by ObamaCare?
Many U.S. adults who bought individual health insurance “policies” and now received cancellation letters are discovering their plans weren't worth much. They often do not cover higher cost items such as hospitalization, expensive diagnostic tests or maternity care. See example: ObamaCare requires paid doctor visits, hospitalization and outpatient treatment, diagnostic and screening tests, maternity care, mental healthcare, prescription drugs, home healthcare and rehabilitation services. The “junk” insurance plans were really expensive savings accounts. See The Rainmakerfor example:

Minimum wage buys less than it did in 1956
Inflation changes everything and nothing: 1956 wages were $1.00 but were worth $5.77. Today you get $7.25 but they are worth $4.87. NJ just raised it to $8.25 which means it will be worth $5.77 again in 2014. Most states remain at $7.25 and are worth $4.87.

SCAMS           “Deficits don’t matter” Republican Godfather, Dick Cheney, 2002
Bush wars increased the debt by $4-6 trillion to $16 trillion. 1985 debt $3 T, same as 1945.

Sandy victims still waiting after 1 year—held up by same firm doing website
Only $700 million of the $60 billion federal aid package, only 1.2% of the total funds, has been given to victims of super storm Sandy. Nearly a year after the devastating storm, a majority of the 24,000 families that requested monetary assistance have yet to receive a penny from the federal aid package. CGI Federal is in charge of nearly $2 billion in Sandy relief. Yes, that would be the same Canadian company in charge of the Obamacare website fiasco described above.
Why are we paying Canadian firm to do mistakes? Can’t US firm make mistakes too?

Corporations pay only 12.6% tax not 35% in law—Rich DO NOT pay fair share!
Many foreign corporations like TD Bank, USB, etc pay nothing. Almost one quarter of corporations pay nothing. Many wealthy people pay HALF of what we pay: Warren Buffett pays only 17% total tax, Mitt Romney only 14%, and John Kerry only 13%.
Treasury “estimated 80 tax expenditures (loopholes, offshore deals) resulted in the government forgoing corporate tax revenue totaling more than $181 billion.”

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
MontclairNJ 07042

Friday, November 1, 2013

401k fees take 63% of your nest egg!

401k fees take 63% of your nest egg!
Avoid hidden 401k fees taking 63% of your money.
  • Accumulate $1,000,000 in 35 years.
  • Use a tax-FREE account—NEVER pay income tax.
  • Buy low-cost mutual funds averaging 10-12%.
Over time, “that little 2 percent fee will erode 63 percent of what you would have had,” according to John Bogle. Accumulating wealth requires that you avoid high plan and advisor fees, commissions, loads and taxes—the Wealth Killers. $9.95 Ebook version:

ObamaCare works  Call-in app: 1-800-318-2596
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said it has processed more than 330,000 eligibility inquiries for premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. Officials announced Thursday that 700,000 people have applied for insurance plans in both the 36 states that are using a federally run health care exchange and the 14 states running their own exchanges. It takes months to work out the bugs in any software.

CReports reliability—Lexus, Toyota, Acura
Japanese car brands continue to dominate in car reliability, but brands from all corners of the globe showed movement in the latest analysis. Lexus, Toyota, and Acura claim the top three spots in predicted reliability rankings by brands. The most-reliable new car in our latest survey is the 2014 Subaru Forester. The worst score goes to the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, with the regular C-Max Hybrid not faring much better. See others: Least reliable vehicles, listed in order of Ratings score starting with the worst score.

Saudi women fight for car insurance?
There's no law against women driving, but Saudi authorities have warned they'll arrest any woman they catch and use force if necessary. Manal al-Sharif was arrested by Saudi Arabia's religious police for driving in 2011. She told CBS News she also lost her job as a result and has received abuse and threats.

House votes to let brokers to still sell us high-cost products
The House is scheduled to vote this week on legislation that would slow or even kill a Labor Department regulation to strengthen investment advice rules governing retirement plans. The measure, written by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., would prohibit the Labor Department from proposing the rule, which would expand the definition of “fiduciary” as it applies under federal retirement law. Advisors can sell us any product instead of the BEST product for us. Buy the best:

How much does your advisory firm make from your account?
See how much the officers of your advisor’s firm take from your account every year no matter how you do:

What are the alternatives to LTCi premium hikes?
Forbes reported that the increases in LTCI premiums may be between 45 percent and 85 percent in 2013 alone! Think of it—85%:

Can you really transfer IRA money into tax-free LTCI?
Some agents are making a killing with this trick. Agents want you to fund an IRA-based annuity with your IRA. On this they make a commission of 6-9%. Then they want you to take the payments from the annuity and buy a 20-pay life insurance plan with long-term care features. On this they make another commission of up to 100% of the first years’ premium. You pay tax as the money comes out of your annuity to pay for life insurance. Depending on the kind of policy, you may use part of the death benefit for some long-term care expenses. Wow—there must be better alternatives!

College savings plans—Best and worst
Unless your state lets you deduct contributions, you can use the best state plans.

Survey says 30-year-olds most likely to have a written retirement plan
Middle-class Americans in their 30s are the most likely among all age groups to have a written retirement plan, a Wells Fargo survey finds. Wells Fargo Middle Class Retirement study asked 1,000 middle class Americans between the ages of 25 and 75.
“On a comparative basis, people in their 30s appear to be more aware of what the variables are for a successful retirement,” Laurie Nordquist, head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, said in a news release. “They seem to know that having a plan, saving more and trying to overcome fear of the market are the keys to success.” Use Tax-FREE account:

IRS tax tables for 2014
In case you do your own tax planning, all you need to know: The standard deduction rises to $6,200 for singles and married persons filing separate returns and $12,400 for married couples filing jointly, personal exemption rises to $3,950, maximum Earned Income Credit amount is $6,143, annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000, foreign earned income exclusion rises to $99,200, changed the use-it-or-lose-it rule for flexible spending arrangements, or FSAs, to allow account holders to carry over as much as $500 from one year to the next without penalty. Many workers have been reluctant to put money into the plans for fear of losing whatever they don't use, resulting in long-standing complaints about how the pretax FSAs work. IRA, 401k contribution limits stay the same.

Cutting food for the poor—while Congress gets paid $632 per hour of “work”
48 million needy people will have their food stamps cuts. The cuts mean a family of four will receive $632, or $36 less per month in federal food assistance, even as food costs rise. That is the equivalent of losing roughly 21 individual meals per month based on calculations used by the Department of Agriculture. Working poor make $10 an hour and need food.
Is this the America we want?

SCAMS           “Deficits don’t matter” Republican Godfather, Dick Cheney, 2002
Bush wars increased the debt by $4-6 trillion to $16 trillion. 1985 debt $3 T, same as 1945.

Why did no white-collar criminals go to jail for the mortgage mess they created
The financial sector has the power to use our Congress’s power to tax its citizens to backstop its greed. We bailed out the bad guys but NO titan of industry is going to jail. Instead they got their bonuses and had their institutions pay their legal fees and fines instead of paying themselves. Big winners: Angelo Mozilo and Kerry Killinger.

New scam for back taxes
The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Just say no. IRS sends notices by mail not by phone.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
MontclairNJ 07042