Friday, May 30, 2014

Are you overpaying taxes?

Are you overpaying taxes?
Federal employees including our Congresspeople owe over $3 BILLION. They have NOT had their wages garnished. They receive bonuses even when they owe taxes. Our corporations are buying foreign firms to avoid taxes. Most millionaires have reduced their rates too. Buffett, Romney, Kerry pay under 17% total tax. Most of us pay 32%. What do you pay?
Avoid taxes and fees. Maximize your savings:

Are you getting what you pay for? Really?
This common philosophy is wrong more times than not. Especially in cars and financial products which are famous for overpriced commissioned salespeople. Tata’s Land Rover, one of the most expensive SUVs is near the bottom in dependable lists, just under VW, and Fiat’s Jeep.  
Financial products have the same trouble: Annuities, perm insurance and brokers are not good for people. They are made for fees.
'Scoundrels' Plague Advisory, Broker Industries, SEC Commissioner Says.

Wall Street takes 63% of our retirement nest egg
Wall Street earned only 3.69% for retail investors in the last 30 years while smart investors averaged 11.11% by buying the market directly.
Skip the middle person markup and keep 63% more.

Did you lose 40% in recession of 2007-8?
Warren Buffett never got out of the market even though the market fell by 40%. Wall Street ‘professionals’ advised you to sell and many retail investors have not returned. If you followed their advice your $100,000 would be worth $106,000 now. If you had kept your stocks, you would have $150,000. The market has grown8.66% a year from 2007-2013. Your safe cash account grew by 0.9%. The market grew 13.29% since 1980.

Tax-FREE accounts outpace regular IRAs
Growth rates of Roth IRA balances grew at more than double the rate of traditional IRAs from 2010 to 2012. The median increase in the account balance for the group of Roth IRA owners in the study was 16.5 percent from 2010 to 2012, compared with 7.9 percent for owners of traditional IRAs, according to EBRI. Roth IRA balances also grew faster than traditional IRA balances for each age group studied and for each gender, EBRI said. The average individual IRA balance increased from $11,009 for owners ages 25 to 29, to $192,961 for owners ages 70 or older, according to the study.

GOP crazies
House Financial Services Committee met this week for a hearing on “the dangers” of financial regulation. Some members fear we have “ceded U.S. sovereignty over financial regulatory matters to a secretive, unaccountable coalition of European bureaucrats.” ?? Dodd-Frank has still not been implemented so another meltdown could happen. Had a regulator been paying attention to the derivatives markets, would we have gotten such amazing financial instruments as synthetic collateralized debt obligations, which put together the worst parts of bad mortgage derivatives? Would someone have noticed the gambling in credit-default swaps that almost destroyed A.I.G.? The regulators were not paying attention or didn’t understand how big the banks’ bets were. GOP wants to limit regulation again. Current “revisionist history” has persuaded some people that there is no threat of anything similar happening.

GOP crazies
MS law now makes it OK to discriminate against anyone you don’t like if you feel that they would “substantially burden religious exercise.” Baptist preacher and GOP sponsor said he thinks there is bias against Christians and “We’re just trying to take some preliminary steps to ensure that this government protects that [religious exercise].” The bill assures “business owners can refuse to serve anyone they FEEL would violate their religious beliefs and moral convictions.” GOP wants government to regulate business???
This is like the ‘stand your ground’ law that lets you shoot anyone if you FEEL threatened—by their music or race or color or popcorn or creed. 

IN Gov tells GOP crazies to go ‘jump in lake’
"My focus is Indiana and on doing what I believe is right for the people of Indiana, and I've been very encouraged at the very broad and bipartisan support that our Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 has received across the state," Pence said. "I'm proud of the work we've done." Under HIP 2.0, the state would use federal funds generated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to pay for a high-deducible health program for some 450,000 able-bodied, low-income Hoosiers -- as an alternative to expanding Medicaid eligibility. Conservatives from the Heritage Foundation, Chicago's Heartland Institute and other think tanks condemned Pence this month for going after Obamacare money and seeking to use it to create a new entitlement program.
GOP crazies already have their insurance plans paid by employers

Why do we pay for these programs? GOP socialism?
We pay for government-backed terrorism insurance and loans for buyers of U.S. exports. GOP party’s leaders, backed by industry groups that disagree with Rep Hensarling’s free-market philosophy, have stymied his plans to abolish Fannie Mae and limit federal flood insurance. Hensarling led House opposition to the $700 billion bank bailout in 2008, calling it a “slippery slope to socialism,” and voted against Dodd-Frank two years later.
We taxpayers must subsidies these programs that GUARANTEE businesses a profit.
This is not FREE ENTERPRISE but socialism for the rich. We pay in taxes.

Long-term care insurance premium rises 25% in CT
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America is seeking permission to increase premiums an average of 25 percent on some long-term care insurance (LTCI) policies sold in Connecticut. The rate increase requests would affect about 600 policies sold from 1993 through 2009. Allianz Life stopped selling LTCI policies in 2010.

Companies have weather derivatives that pay for global warming—How about you?
Insurance companies, despite GOP denials, are preparing for the varied effects of climate change, and providing more coverage against natural disasters. The price is bound to go up as more damage strikes every homeowner.Lock in coverage for wind, flood, and power losses NOW.

Self-employed benefit from ObamaCare too
Study found that more than 30% of artists are self-employed compared with 10% in the general population, and rates of uninsured are typically higher among the self-employed than others. In the entertainment industry, actors and other movie workers typically get insurance through their unions. But many say they don't get enough hours or steady work as actors to meet the income requirements to apply. Use all your discounts:

Health insurance enrollment exceptions—in case you missed deadline
Previous HHS guidance has already stipulated that a special enrollment period of 60 days is triggered following life events including: a change in family status (i.e., marriage, birth of a child); loss of other health coverage; errors, misrepresentations, or inaction by an officer, employee, or agent of the exchange or HHS; obtaining the status of U.S. citizen; or exceptional circumstances, such as natural disasters like earthquakes or floods.

Broker fiduciary rule delayed again
Financial industry lobbyists have won again. Labor Dept has given up on the rule to make brokers give us the best product “for our benefit, not their" this year. Putting off the requirement until next year, we are on our own and buyer beware is the attitude with every broker/advisor contact. Better to do it yourself and keep 63% more.

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.
We just can’t afford to pay for everyone else’s defenses anymore.

Bad mortgage salespeople found new scam
Doug Naidus made his fortune selling a mortgage company to Deutsche Bank AG months before the U.S.housing market collapsed. Now he’s found a way to profit from loans to business owners with bad credit. People trained by a veteran of Jordan Belfort’s boiler room call truckers, contractors and florists across the country pitching loans with annual interest rates as high as 125 percent, according to more than two dozen former employees and clients. When borrowers can’t pay, Naidus’s World Business Lenders LLC seizes their vehicles and assets, sometimes sending them into bankruptcy.

CEO's pay 257 times higher than workers’—new record
CEO pay in the US surpassed eight figures for the first time, according to a new study. The typical CEO now makes 257 times more than the average worker, whose wages have barely budged in recent years. CEOs got8.8% pay raise over 2012. Between 1960 and 1990, CEO compensation hovered well under 100 times worker pay.
Inequality has no limit.

Hedge fund busted
Three former executives of a failed Connecticut hedge fund pleaded guilty to conspiring to mislead their clients to keep their largest investor. David Bryson, Bart Gutekunst and Richard Pereira each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. All are free on bail, and face up to five years in prison when they are sentenced in August.

Broker allowed to continue to mislead us again
Max E. Zavanelli found guilty of “misleading” the public in advertisements. He compared his success at investing to the legendary Fidelity Investments manager Peter Lynch. Mr. Zavanelli was previously found, in 1987, to have violated the law for misleading claims about investment performance and his educational background, according to the SEC. He settled the charges without admitting guilt.

Driverless car runs on computer—what happens if hacked?
“In other words, can some 14-year old in Indonesia figure out how to do this and just shut your car down … because everything is now wired up?" Rockefeller said Wednesday during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing. Like GM cars, they shut down while driving--no airbag either. 

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
MontclairNJ 07042

Friday, May 23, 2014

Avoid fees and taxes--boost earnings 25%

Avoid higher fees and taxes—boost earnings 25%
Average mutual fund managers are getting more money and it is coming from you. Fees average 1.44% each year no matter how well or poorly they do. Over time this fee can cost you over 50% of your possible account. Pension funds pay only 0.05% for the same performance. They don’t pay taxes either so why should you, especially in retirement?
Why pay more for less? Reduce Fees and Taxes:

Our “representatives” in Congress and staff owe IRS over $8 million in back taxes
“About 4.9 percent of all House employees, including lawmakers, have an unpaid tax liability. Those 486 employees owe Uncle Sam about $5.8 million. Across the Rotunda, Senate staff and legislators have a 3.2 percent delinquency rate, with 228 employees owning $2.7 million in taxes. The IRS had paid $1 million worth of performance awards to about 1,100 IRS employees with tax-compliance problems.”
Congress writes the laws but can’t seem to abide even for “do-nothing” jobs.

Stock analysts are wrong 60% of the time
“… professional investors are seriously overconfident… They exhibit ‘herding’ behavior. … they are right about 40% of the time—which is worse than pure chance! You are better off NOT paying an advisor and flipping a coin. In fact, the 2014 QAIB study shows that you earned just 3.69% vs the market’s 11.11% over 30 years. The stock market’s 11.11% compounded would have made you a millionaire by now. Try the Buffett way:

Survey says workers are investing the Buffett way--not using salespeople
About two-thirds (63%) of workers with 401(k)s are going it alone, managing their own investments. About half of those folks (54%) are unengaged, that is not taking an active role in managing their account, says a data analysis of 13 million participants in Fidelity Investments 401(k) plans across the country.
Buffett advice: Set it and Forget it

Collect on your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits??
If you are at least 62 years old and you are not currently married, you may collect retirement benefits based on an ex’s earnings record. If you have been divorced for at least two years, you can collect benefits on your ex even if they have not yet claimed their retirement benefits. Strange but true.

Why homeowners are switching to cats for protection
Dog bites account for more than a third of the money insurers pay in homeowners' liability claims. Last year, dog bite liabilities in the U.S. cost insurers $483 million, according to the insurance institute and State Farm, the largest insurers of homes.
Make sure your dog is covered by your insurer before the $1 million suit.

1 in 4 of us has $0 nest egg
A recent COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey sheds light on a more concerning factor. One in four (25 percent) Americans, across all age groups, admit they are not saving at all for retirement, or they are unsure.  
Even more alarming are the four in ten (38 percent) of those 40 and older who say they regret decisions they've made with their retirement savings, namely not starting to save early enough (47 percent). Perhaps this is why Americans are not confident that a secure retirement is a viable option. Nearly half (46 percent) say it's not possible for a typical middle-income family to save for a secure retirement. This is two points higher than this time last year and the most to say this since March 2011.
Use savings from insurance to buy a Tax-FREE nest egg:

University presidents getting rich on student debt
Student debt is highest at public universities that offer larger-than-average executive compensation, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies.
The report — titled "The One Percent at State U" — found that executive compensation was "closely related" to a number of financial issues in higher education, including student debt and low-wage faculty labor. "Though it has been rising everywhere, average student debt of graduates in the top 25 public universities with the highest executive pay increased 5 percentage points more or 13% faster than the national average from summer 2006 to summer 2012," according to the IPS report./Additionally, IPS reports that they "found that adjunct (part-time) and contingent (temporary) faculty grew much faster than the national average when executive compensation soared at the top 25."

Storm coverage is cheaper now
Insurance companies, despite GOP denials, are preparing for the varied effects of climate change, and providing more coverage against natural disasters. The price is bound to go up as more damage strikes every homeowner. Lock in coverage for wind, flood, and power losses NOW.

Long-term care insurance sales off 33%
Some LTCI carriers have said they are making intentional decisions to reduce LTCI sales, or to insist that any buyers pay relatively high premiums, because of concerns about low interest rates, uncertainty about underwriting, and restrictions on coverage price changes. Check alternatives before purchase:

Social Security and state pensions cut 25%?
Social Security benefits could be cut by 25 percent if Congress does not act soon, Social Security Administration Chief Actuary Stephen Goss warned a Senate panel today. He noted trust fund reserves for disabilityInsurance are expected to be at zero by late 2016. Goss said one-third older Americans have little retirement income outside of SS benefits. The Heritage Foundation said the spousal benefit for Social Security has become outdated because many women have worked long enough to get their own payments. AARP said one proposal -- to improve the health of the Social Security trust fund by reducing the cost-of-living adjustment -- would force many women into poverty. State government employees face possible pension cuts of 20% due to changes in pension funding. Since the financial crash of 2008-2009, 45 states have changed their pensionplans, a new study by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) and the Center for State & Local Government Excellence (SLGE) reports.

JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon supports pensions for Detroit workers
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said Detroit's bankruptcy likely won't have a lasting effect on Michigan's borrowing costs or the municipal bond industry, even as bondholders cry foul about the city's proposed debt cuts. Dimon also said today that he's very sympathetic to Detroit retirees with $20,000 pensions. The average Detroit civilian retiree pension is about $19,000. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has proposed paying only 60 cents on the dollar for unfunded pension claims.
Other city and state employees may lose pensions. NJ gov Christie promised to fix former Democratic pension under-funding but last week reneged on his promise. He is keeping his tax cut for the rich however. He got a helicopter to go to son’s games which he is not returning.

Researchers say the survey findings indicate that more and better outreach is needed to educate uninsured people about free or low-cost health insurance through expanded Medicaid programs or subsidies to help them purchase health insurance in the new marketplaces. "They found in Massachusetts, with "RomneyCare," that the individual mandate penalty absolutely motivated a lot of people to purchase insurance," she says. "The Obama administration understandably tried to emphasize the positive, but people need to understand that the mandate is not insignificant -- they could be hit with a big tax bill if they don't buy coverage."

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.
We just can’t afford to pay for everyone else’s defenses anymore.

GM recalling ‘all’ vehicles
General Motors is recalling a total 2.42 million vehicles to fix four separate safety flaws, nearly matching the 2.6 million cars GM recalled earlier this year for a deadly ignition switch flaw. Safety lap belt cables can fatigue, shift cable that could wear out, passenger side air bag, generator fuse block need fixes.
GM is aware of 18 crashes and one injury among the 4-speed Malibu and G6 population.
GM stopped sale of the 2015 Escalade and Escalade ESV.
Silverado HD and GMC Sierra generators make fire.

Wolf restores the sheep
Jordan Belfort, the real-life "The Wolf of Wall Street," expects to earn more this year than he made as a broker, allowing him to repay his fraud victimsBelfort spent 22 months in jail for money laundering and securities fraud in the 1990s after his Long Island-based Stratton Oakmont Inc. defrauded investors out of more than $200 million. He is a “motivational”??? speaker on tour to earn $50 million, his fine.
“I got greedy,” Belfort said today. “Greed is not good”. The f-word is used 569 times in the movie, more than any feature film ever made. His legacy?

CA seizes Alameda Alliance for Health
"The crisis is not simply a matter of bookkeeping woes," said a court memo by Carol Ventura, deputy director of the state Department of Managed Care, which regulates health plans. Ventura wrote that the Alameda-based insurer could also be committing "serious violations" of state law by not promptly paying back some 280,000 backlogged claims.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
MontclairNJ 07042

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tax evaders we pay for

Tax evaders named by another Swiss bank Swisspartners
Swisspartners helped wealthy American clients hide income from the IRS between 2001 and 2011, according to the non-prosecution agreement (no banker goes to jail) filed in federal court. The companies created sham foundations and other entities that served as the nominal owners of bank accounts in Switzerland,Liechtenstein and other nations. In reality, assets and income in those accounts belonged to American clients. In another case, Credit Suisse bankers from 2001 to 2008 helped as many as 22,000 Americans with $12 billion in assets duck paying the IRS.
You can avoid taxes legally with the IRS § 408 account: And it is FREE to set up.

Stealing us blind: Investors sue over fees
BlackRock faces potential class action by investors who assert the firm has breached fiduciary duty by charging exorbitant fees. The world's largest money manager keeps too much of the value generated by one of its funds even as it gets larger and cheaper to maintain, according to the suit. "The issue we're focused on is the difference between what BlackRock charges the funds and the fees BlackRock negotiates with other firms at arms' length."

Doing Nothing but staying invested in the market beats trading
Retail Investors earned an average annual return of just 3.69 percent for the 30 years through 2013. The S&P 500 market index returned 11.11 percent during the same period according to DALBAR’s annual Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior. Investors tend to buy and sell in a frenzy based on advisors and broker buzz. Trythe Buffett way

Europe court to Google: remove our bad info links
Europe's highest court ruled Tuesday that people have the "right to be forgotten" and can ask Google to remove some sensitive information from Internet search results. The court ruled that Google, if asked to do so, must amend links to information shown to be outdated or information deemed to be irrelevant. "An Internet search engine operator is responsible for the processing that it carries out of personal data which appear on web pages published by third parties," the judges added. The case followed complaints from a man in Spain who argued that when Google's search results revealed details about an auction of his repossessed home that infringed on his privacy rights.

GOP crazies denounced by Rand Paul … but he does not make the rules
“Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing,” Mr. Paul said in an interview. “I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.” After his meeting with the pastors inMemphis, Mr. Paul traveled a few blocks to address the Republican gathering, but he made no mention of voting rights.  Many of the claims of voter fraud amount to a great deal of smoke without much fire. The allegations simply do not pan out according to this legal analysis

GOP crazies try to win 2016 election with warming denial
Rubio, R-Fla., said definitively that he’s ready to run for president in 2016 and he doesn’t buy into the “notion” that laws or human actions can contribute to climate change although much of Florida has been severely endangered by global warming.
“I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow there are actions that we can take today that would have an impact on what’s happening in our climate,” Rubio said. “Our climate is always changing.”
A glacial region of western Antarctica that's already melting rapidly has passed "the point of no return," according to NASA which estimates the glaciers, in the Amundsen Sea region, contain enough water to raise global sea levels by 4 feet. 

GOP Crazies: Rubio to make Medicare a voucher plan we pay the difference!
Running in 2016, he thinks changing Medicare into a premium-support program in which the government would provide a subsidy that people could use to purchase private insurance coverage. Vouchers were torched the last time the GOP proposed this because insurers do NOT want to insure seniors. No one wants an insurer CEO deciding to pull the plug on Granny’s life-support. CEO bonus depends on it.   

End to employer-paid health-benefit even if guaranteed in contracts
The Supremes agreed to rule on whether employers can unilaterally end retiree healthcare benefits, even when they're negotiated as part of a union contract. Federal law prohibits the unilateral reduction of retirement benefits retroactively. ERISA doesn't cover health benefits. "When employers do offer retiree health benefits, nothing in federal law prevents them from cutting or eliminating those benefits--unless they have made a specific promise to maintain the benefits."
Employer promises will have no meaning in future!

USAA lowers premiums for some CA homeowners
USAA homeowners and condominium policyholders in Sacramento County will save an average of $167. "This rate decrease is made possible in part by our low expense ratio, and our members' efforts to maintain their homes and prevent losses," said Jeff Dixon, vice president of P&C insurance property product management at USAA. "USAA is committed to partnering with our members to prevent losses, which is why we're also introducing a new insurance discount for members in communities that are working together to reduce wildfire risks by forming a Firewise community." USAA is run for the benefit of vets and family only. Agents receive salary. CEO is not overpaid. Use all your discounts:

Fewer die with RomneyCare
The mortality rate in Massachusetts declined substantially in the four years after the state enacted a law in 2006 mandating universal health care coverage, providing the model for the Affordable Care Act. The Harvard study adds to a growing body of evidence that having health insurance increases a person's life expectancy. Mortality rates vary widely among states. MississippiAlabamaWest VirginiaOklahoma,Kentucky and Louisiana have the highest age-adjusted rates. 
Unfortunately, all but Kentucky refused ObamaCare.

Advisors are “scoundrels” and “cockroaches,” SEC says
The investment advisor and broker-dealer industries are plagued with too many repeat-offender “scoundrels” and “cockroaches,” SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher said. “Despite our best efforts, they manage to stay in the industry and continue to wreak havoc on the investing public.” Gallagher noted that 20 percent of the more than 600,000 actively licensed registered representatives in Finra’s BrokerCheck database have one to five disclosures for items such as customer complaints, regulatory violations, terminations, bankruptcy, judgments and liens. “There are plenty of repeat offenders at investment advisory firms who are engaging in misconduct. We’re just not finding them as quickly because no resources.
Buyer BEWARE: Manage your money the Buffett way

College experience determines happiness not tuition
The Gallup-Purdue Index found that elite schools fared no better than less selective private and public schools in ensuring graduates' well-being. The factors that do matter - feeling supported by a professor or mentor and having deep learning experiences - are, at least to some extent, factors that families can search for and control, Busteed said.
"In many ways, it's a very encouraging study for most of America," he said. "It doesn't really matter where you go. It matters how you do it."

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.
We just can’t afford to pay for everyone else’s defenses anymore.

Who owns your account now?
Consumers Insurance USA to Motorists Mutual
Sunshine State Insurance to United Property and Casualty

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
MontclairNJ 07042

Friday, May 9, 2014

Why send your taxes to states that don't want them?

Why send your taxes to states that don't want them?
Many of the red states take more of our tax dollars than they pay in. If they hate the federal government so much, why are they taking all the money? If Texas wants to succeed, why rely on my taxes to do it. See your state:

Best time to start an IRA?
Parents can guarantee their child a future when they start their first job (even chores). You can match your child’s earnings in a Roth IRA and give them a head start on college, home, business, a brighter future. With each $100 they earn, you can place $100 in a Roth IRA. If they have $12,000 in their Roth by age 21, it could grow to a $1 million by age 66. Better than child life insurance. If they keep adding to your gifts, they could have $70,000 in 10 years, $200,000 in 20, and so on. They can even borrow from their Roth for emergencies with no tax or penalty. Start today:

Need health care insurance?
If you were just laid off or are using a COBRA policy, you may be able to take advantage of the ObamaCare subsidies for a policy at substantial savings. For those who still have COBRA coverage, purchasing coverage on the marketplace could save thousands of dollars a year. Under COBRA, you pay the full cost of your old employer’s coverage. Through Obamacare, individuals and families can purchase coverage that, depending on their income, could be subsidized by hundreds of dollars a month. Call 1-800-318-2596 to activate the special enrollment period and tell the representative that you are calling about their COBRA benefits and the marketplace. If determined to be eligible, they may shop online or over the phone. They are allowing special enrollment periods for those whose individual market plans are renewing outside of open enrollment and for AmeriCorps, VISTA and National Civilian Community Corps members. In addition to the special enrollment periods, the Affordable Care Act also permits people to shop for coverage if they undergo significant life events, including loss of a job, divorce, marriage and birth of a child, among other things.

NJ pays highest health care premium
New Jersey customers had the highest average monthly premium for family plans, at $987 a month. For individual coverage, New Jersey shoppers chose plans with the third-highest price tag — $346 a month — below only New York and Massachusetts.
One factor driving those high costs was their choice of policies with lower annual deductibles. The average deductible for a family plan chosen by New Jersey customers was $3,912 — the second-lowest behind onlyMassachusetts. By comparison, deductibles chosen by residents in AlaskaIllinois and Texas topped $10,000. Offering more people health insurance could save tens of thousands of lives nationwide in the coming years, a new analysis of data from Massachusetts, whose trailblazing reforms became the model for President Obama's health law, suggests. Buy only what you need:

Supremes may force lower 401k fees
A long-awaited case about employers’ duty to offer low-cost mutual funds in their 401k may be heard this year. The U.S. Department of Labor calculates that a 1-percentage-point difference in costs for a 35-year-old worker could reduce a retiree's account balance by 28 percent at retirement age. The case charges that California-based utility Edison International (Tibble v. Edison International) offered mutual funds carrying retail share price fees, when the same funds could have been had at lower institutional prices. The higher expenses paid by plan participants were shared by the mutual funds and the plan's record keeper, the lawsuit charges. In turn,Edison allegedly received a reduction from the record keeper in the fees it pays for plan administration. Pension funds usually pay less than 0.25%. Check your fees:
If your employer does not match your contributions, you can buy a tax-FREE retirement with costs under 0.20% not 1.5%:

GOP Crazies say ObamaCare healthcare=Holocaust death sentence
“Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of mandatory (sic) sign ups for “train rides” for Jews in the 40s,” TN State Sen. Stacey Campfield.

The challenge in Missouri comes as Tesla appeals New Jersey’s March decision to ban direct auto sales by manufacturers and the company works to keep selling Model S sedans at its Massachusetts stores. While Texasand Arizona also bar direct sales of Teslas, the Palo Alto, California-based company worked out arrangements inOhio and New York this year to keep selling in those states.
And the GOP says it wants FREEDOM from regulations?!?

Insurers say most applicants have paid ObamaCare premiums
Paul Wingle, the executive director of exchange operations and strategy at Aetna, said: “As of the third week of April, Aetna had over 600,000 members who had enrolled and roughly 500,000 members who had paid. GOP commentators were claiming ObamaCare failed again.

GOP House committee says climate changes not linked to humans
The House Energy and Commerce Committee Tuesday voted down by 2 votes an amendment that would have stated conclusively that climate change is occurring. For the sake of coal and oil company profits and House members’ campaign coffers, the world will lose millions of miles of coastline from 53 meters of rising water sooner than they think.

IL drivers pay more
State Farm, Illinois' biggest car insurer, plans to raise its auto rates in the state by an average of 2.3 percent starting May 26. Shop and use your discounts now:

BEWARE: UBS out to take more fees from your accounts
CEO challenges brokers to do more lending and boost margins. UBS chief executive Robert McCann raised targets for the firm's 7,100 financial advisers, saying lending and managed accounts would boost profit margins. A critical component was increasing the number of advisers providing clients with high-cost mortgages. Also the goal is to have more than 40% of client assets in managed accounts in the next three years, he said. Managed accounts have high fees no matter how much you gain or lose. UBS wants to cut the expense of paying brokers to move from other banks.
Use Buffett’s strategy and avoid high fees for poor returns:

The Patience Way to Wealth The Wealth Tao: Wu wei (Do Nothing)  by Zhou Wang
Patience is important in life and in building wealth. Most investors are not patient so most investors are not wealthy. In fact, the average investor earns only 2.56% annually according to DALBAR’s annual Qualitative Analysis of Investor Behavior. Mr
Buffett's strategy of patience is the most successful. He earns about 20% a year compounded over time. “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.”      Warren Buffett

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.
We just can’t afford to pay for everyone else’s defenses anymore.

Our tax money, $1 billion to Russia for helicopters ship to Afghanistan?
Can you believe our ‘reps’ are so stupid? Lobbyists win again. No bid contracts. OMG
We make great helicopters in PA. Let the Afghans buy their own f___ helicopters.

Why using spy plane over LA? Are there skinhead missiles there?
A spy plane was responsible for a computer glitch that caused air-traffic chaos in western US states last week, the Federal Aviation Administration has revealed. The meltdown occurred when software incorrectly thought the plane was on a collision course with other airplanes. The system was overloaded as it struggled to plot new courses for affected aircraft. Hundreds of planes were grounded at Los Angeles International airport.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
MontclairNJ 07042

Friday, May 2, 2014

Best Grad Gift: tax-FREE money

Best graduation gift: $2 million tax-FREE
Your monthly gift could provide your grandchild with real "social security:" their own tax-FREE money. You take advantage of the miracle of compounding over time. Your gift becomes a $2 million retirement fund. 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 2033, according to 2013 projections. Start today!
Every year you delay costs your favorite kid $100,000 later.

Tax cheats cost us each $2,000 
State governments are finally going after the $2 TRILLION hidden offshore. When we buy an iPhone, our money goes to workers in China and bankers in Barbados. None goes to pay for the roads, bridges and cops Apple uses here in US.
GE tax rate 0% and still keeps cash overseas
Corps like GE cite high US tax rates when asked why they evade tax on their $5 trillion stashed in tax shelter. GE reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in theUnited StatesIts American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

The tax benefits of an HSA are significant if you don’t itemize tax return
Your contributions to a Health Savings Account are tax deductible up to $6,550 (family). This account can pay for co-payments, deductibles, Med Part A & B, and most medical expenses including over-the-counter drugstore products. Funds not withdrawn to pay for qualified medical expenses remain in the HSA and grow from year to year in an investment account whose earnings grow free of tax like an IRA. Best of all, you avoid the 10% of income (up from 7.5%) hurdle on itemized deductions.

Another tax evasion strategy we must pay for
What happens if America’s largest drug company, Pfizer, and America’s drug store, Walgreen's, both execute deals that mean they no longer will be domiciled in America, and as a result will pay far less in American taxes? Could mergers done for the sake of dodging taxes become a key issue in the upcoming midterm elections?
That’s a key question for all investors this morning as New York’s Pfizer, the largest drug company in the U.S., publicly detailed a bid to purchase AstraZeneca for $100 billion, 70% of it in stock and the rest in cash. Pfizer says the deal is being driven by the complementary nature of the two drug giants’ stables of products and by the costs it could cut, but it would also move its tax domicile to a holding company in the U.K. and therefore pay a significantly lower tax rate. This is known as a “tax inversion.”

Drivers save $426 in J.D. Power survey
On average, customers saved $300 when switching insurers in the past 12 months. The longer customers had been with their previous insurer, the greater the savings when they switched carriers. Customers who were with their prior insurer for 11 years or longer before switching save an average of $426 per year on their premiums, compared with $291 among those who had been with their previous insurer less than two years before switching. Moreover, satisfaction among customers who had been with their insurer 11 years or longer prior to switching is higher than among those who were with their insurer fewer than two years. Drop your duplicate coverage:

Wal-Mart endorses for auto cover
Wal-Mart said the service will save customers money. The company cited a pilot program survey it conducted last year in Pennsylvania, where customers who purchased policies from on average said they saved $1,168 a year. Online offerings include the standard carriers. The service is already available in eight states -- ArkansasLouisianaMississippiMissouriOklahomaPennsylvaniaTennessee and Texas. Wal-Mart plans a nationwide rollout in the coming months. Buy only what you need:

Young waited to sign up for ObamaCare
A late surge of enrollments by 1.2 million young adults helped push signups for coverage on the health insurance marketplaces past the previously announced total of 8 million.
The signup deadline was March 31, but some people were allowed to finish applications until April 19 because of previous website enrollment problems. Sebelius reported that for the full enrollment period, from Oct. 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, more than one-fourth -- 28 percent -- of people who selected marketplace health policies were in the coveted 18-to-34 age group. The federal department said 85 percent of plan purchasers through the marketplaces selected a plan that provided financial assistance in the form of a federal subsidy. One NJ plan listed at $393 cost $149.
The next Enrollment Period is November 15, 2014. Individuals may also qualify for Special Enrollment Periods
You can apply for Medicaid or CHIP at any time of the year.

FL insurers can’t charge more for gun users despite extra costs
Florida bill that would forbid insurance companies from refusing to serve or charging higher rates to applicants based on their ownership of a firearm has been sent to Gov. Rick Scott to sign.

Bogle says our mutual funds taking more of our money
John Bogle, founder Vanguard funds, says expense ratios of major U.S. equity mutual funds (excluding Vanguard, which has lowered expense ratios to 0.17 percent) have risen from an average 0.62 percent in 1951 to 1.15 percent in 2013. He has said that our 401k pensions may be cut by up to 63% because of high-fees over time. Tune up your pension choices:

Do you trust your broker/advisor? Make sure
In the wake of revelations that hundreds of registered advisors have failed to publicly disclose personal bankruptcies, criminal charges and other potentially damaging information, FINRA is moving to toughen the reporting requirements for BrokerCheck. Brokers are salespeople, first and foremost. You can use Warren Buffett’s strategy and avoid another Madoff:

Gulf Coast losing people but taking more tax dollars for oil development
A new report says commuting statistics indicate that coastal parishes are losing residents because of coastal erosion. And it says those left behind tend to be those who cannot afford to move. In Plaquemines Parish, 72 percent of all workers commute into the parish, up from 69 percent in 2004. “Coastal populations facing rising sea levels are moving to higher ground,” according to The Data Center’s report. “Repeated flooding, frequent evacuations and inability to get insurance are all factors that have contributed to residents’ decisions to migrate inland. The population left behind is on average older, poorer or otherwise vulnerable.” The oil and gas industry is expecting more federal tax dollars to support industrial development along the river. Expanding oil and gas activities will give currently vulnerable areas in the southern part of the parish a better shot at gaining federal protection (subsidies).
Long-term care premiums to rise
A 55-year-old couple, for example, can expect to spend about $3,275 in annual premiums for $164,000 of coverage for each that grows by 3% a year. If you need help by age 85, the average age of claims, you will have paid over $200,000 (premiums go up). If you had just invested your $6,000 for 30 years, you could accumulate $1,200,000 in a balanced fund. Remember, the policies are complicated and the business is in a state of flux, with carriers raising prices and exiting the business. Check the alternatives before you buy—there are no refunds if you don’t need it:

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.
We just can’t afford to pay for everyone else’s defenses anymore.
DoD head Hagel proposes budget cut but still pay for Lockheed F35 plane failures.

Current $1.35 a month grazing fees is a steal; private land grazing costs $16-20
Rancher Cliven Bundy owes the American taxpayers in excess of $1 million. He had his day in court—THREE times. Why is this guy NOT in jail? Most of us would be.
We must make up his shortfall with our taxes.
Gold miners, lumberjacks and farmers receive similar subsidies when they harvest public lands.  Unlike coal and oil extraction, gold, silver, platinum, etc mining companies do not pay any royalties for deposits claimed on federal public lands. See General Mining Act of 1872.

Congress agrees to continue corporate loopholes—runs up deficit for our kids
House Ways and Means Committee sent a package of bills to the House floor that would cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars over the next ten years by making permanent tax provisions multinational corporations use to avoid U.S. tax. GOP passed the "active financing" provision GE uses to pay $0 tax, the “Apple” loophole corps use to send profits to tax havens, the "Research Credit" for offshore jobs, and small business deductions.

Another outrage of wasted tax dollars we pay for
Medicare paid $5 billion to ambulance companies in 2012, more than went to cancer doctors or orthopedic surgeons. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified ambulance service as one of the biggest areas of overuse and abuse in Medicare -- companies billing millions for trips by patients who can walk, sit, stand or even drive their own cars. 

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
MontclairNJ 07042