Friday, February 21, 2014

Tax-Refund Millionaires

Refunds are larger this year—$3,229
You can find out where your refund is at
What do you do with your tax refund?
Let Uncle Sam help you reach your goals.
Michele invested her refund every year and now has more than enough for retirement.
“This is the no-pain way to save.” She is a Tax-Refund Millionaire:

This is why your advisor keeps raising your fees
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which led the wirehouses with 26.6% profitability last year, should be able to top 30% pretax profit margins, executives of the brokerage firm said Tuesday. “We think over time, a 30% operating margin is an achievable operating margin in a normalized interest rate environment,” said Andrew Sieg, head of global wealth and retirement solutions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “We feel very good we can balance profitability, as well as ongoing investment in this business.”
You can keep their 30% profits on your money my moving to low-cost providers:

Do you still need your life insurance policy?
As you near retirement, consider whether paying for life insurance is a necessary expense. If you bought term to protect your family while you worked, you may be able to cancel when you “cancel out” of full-time work. If you own cash value (whole or universal) life, consider what to do with this asset. Is it needed? What can you do with the cash value? Is it taxable? Can you convert it to a stream of income? Will your family need it during retirement? Does the beneficiary need to be changed? Check the alternatives:

Wealthy say ideal retirement costs about $2 million
Each person’s situation is different according to a survey of about 500 millionaires. Some have paid their mortgage and plan to give $10,000 a year to charity. Most have saved and invested their own incomes. Few respondents inherited their wealth. Most were comfortable explaining their legacy plans to their kids. Since they have at least 20 years in retirement, they plan on doing all the things they dreamed of doing. Many will stay active and continue to work in the charities they support. They say the key is planning:

Let Uncle Sam help you reach your goals
You can make a deductible IRA contribution for 2013 up to April 15, 2014, if you have income and you are not over age 70.5. Your contribution can reduce your income, thus reducing your tax. You may also receive a tax credit which offsets any tax you owe, dollar for dollar. You may be able to take a deduction even if your spouse is an “active participant” in a company-sponsored retirement plan for 2013.
If your contribution is not deductible, you may be able to make a Roth IRA contribution. These contributions can grow tax-FREE and are never taxed. Even your heirs can keep them growing tax-FREE.
Your refund can be used to fund your $1 million retirement fund. This is the no pain way to save:

Chained CPI for our SS benefits no longer on the table
The White House said Thursday President Obama's soon-to-be-unveiled budget will not include his past offer to accept lowered cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefits. There are so many retirees who count on SS benefits paying for their basic needs that this is a welcome relief. The average benefit is about $13,000 a year—less than full-time, minimum-wage work.
Social Security lifts 20 million people out of poverty. Without it, the poverty rate of our seniors would be 45%; instead it is 10%. Social Security does all of this with administrative costs of less than a penny on the dollar. Maximize your benefits:

Wellness incentives increase
Corporate employers plan to spend an average of $594 per employee on wellness-based incentives within their health care programs this year, according to a new employer survey. The most popular wellness programs continue to be focused on lifestyle management, such as physical activity programs, weight management programs and stress management. Other popular health improvement options include disease/care management programs (e.g., managing chronic health conditions, like diabetes), lifestyle-management services (e.g., weight loss advice, gym membership discounts), health-risk management services (e.g., on-site flu shots) and environmental enhancements (e.g., bike racks, walking paths). Use your share!

Older drivers see lower premiums
Today's drivers aged 70 and older are less likely to be involved in crashes than previous generations — and less likely to be killed or seriously hurt if they do crash. Time to shop for a reduced premium? Are you driving less? Do you have fewer vehicles? Have you stopped using vehicle for commuting? Have you obtained a vehicle with updated safety equipment? All these reasons could mean cutting your premium in HALF. Shop and Save:

SCAMS           Why are we still paying $700 Billion a year for WWII deployments?
We are paying for 164,253 of our active-duty armed personnel to be in 150 countries around the world. We have about 50,000 in Japan and 50,000 in Germany.
Are we preparing for WWII again? There are 1,208,083[1] armed personnel in the United States. Our taxes pay for about HALF of the WORLD’s military expenditures every year.

IRS warns of scams this year
Characteristics of these scams can include:
•    Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
•    Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
•    Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
•    Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
•    Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
After threatening victims with jail time or a driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim. Read more:

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