Friday, December 26, 2014

Advisors stealing $ millions from retirees, soldiers

Advisors stealing $ millions from retirees, especially soldiers
John Turner, an economist, suspected that brokers were encouraging federal workers to ditch their top-flight retirement plan. So he went under cover. The former U.S. Labor Department economist called representatives at companies such as Bank of America Corp., Charles Schwab Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. He identified himself as a potential client grappling with what to do with his own nest egg. Turner knew the right answer: Leave it alone. He kept his money in the Thrift Savings Plan, considered the gold standard of 401(k)-type programs for its rock-bottom fees. Yet all but one company told him to roll over all his money into funds that charge almost 50 times more than the government plan. The fiduciary rule, meant to fix this, has been tabled by Congress.
“It’s a scandal,” said Turner. “They are trying to sell me investments clearly not in my interest. It’s in their interest. They want to get the fees.”
You can transfer your high-cost 401k into the low-cost leader:

Obama as Stephen Colbert
Obama appeared Dec. 8 on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” where he took the place of host Stephen Colbert for a regular segment called “The Word” -- retitled “The Decree” for his appearance -- to pitch enrollment to young viewers.
“Most young people can get covered for less than $100,” Obama said, using lines purportedly meant for Colbert. “How is the president going to get that message out to the kids? He could try to appeal to them directly through a speech or a press conference, but young people don’t watch real news shows. They watch comedy shows. Watch:
ObamaCare to cover over 9.1 million Americans at risk

This client had ObamaCare premiums go down 2nd year
She did not have to change her insurance plan or subsidy. Her cost for the Gold plan with Horizon NJ went down to $147.27 a month. It used to be $445 before ObamaCare. She got help from her relatives. Her employer offers nothing. She still has to pay some out of network docs she has used for years but only when she goes. She voted for Obama. She buys only what she needed to cover her medical necessities:

Can you qualify for an exemption from ObamaCare penalty?
If you do not have health insurance this year, you may owe a penalty in your tax return in April. There are ways to avoid it but you must apply now. If you had coverage, just check a box. However, most time-consuming exemptions require mailing a signed paper application to the exchanges: These are processed manually, which can take a couple of weeks. Those exemptions include several hardships, such as foreclosure, the death of a family member, unpaid medical bills and eviction, as well as religious reasons for not using insurance. “Do it now because it’s a cumbersome process,” advised Mark Steber, chief tax officer at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. has lists of where to apply for each.

Selling your home can provide Tax-FREE cash!!
Your home is your castle; but it is also an asset. When you sell an asset for more than you paid, you must pay tax on the gain—but your home sale is FREE. If you bought your home some time ago, it may have gone up by 5% or more a year. Over time, $50,000 you paid 40 years ago becomes $400,000 you receive when you sell. When you sell your home, Uncle Sam says “OK, forget the tax.” If you buy another home or retire on it, you don’t get stuck with a tax bill. In fact, you don’t even have to report it on your return. “You may be able to exclude from income any gain up to a limit of $250,000 ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases). See Excluding the Gain, later. Generally, if you can exclude all the gain, you do not need to report the sale on your tax return.” Pub 523, p 2.

Social Security benefits are NOT our earnings so Congress thinks, “entitlements”
In 2014, if you retire at age 66, the maximum amount you will receive is $2,642 a month.
If you waited to age 70 and retired in 2015, your benefit is $3,501. In order for us to have this level of income—$42,012 per year (for 25 years)—from an investment account, we would need a nest of at least $800,000. Congress does not actually invest our SS contributions from our paychecks, so they treat our benefits as if they were a “gift” they can take away—“entitlement”—when they feel like it. The new Congress is GOP so look for more limits on our benefits.

Which 2015 cars are safest?
Most are foreign branded but made mostly in US. The design and capability seem to determine which is best in each type of vehicle. See list:

Why do our freeways have speed limits?
Some people always exceed the speed limit. I hear about it at parties, especially during the holidays. When there is little traffic and we are late, it seems like a good thing our cars can do 85 MPH easily. However, our chance of death increases dramatically.
KS raised the limit to 75 three years ago. Fatalities and injuries are rocketing, according to the Transportation Department. Surprisingly, the overall number of crashes is flat, but highway deaths jumped 54 percent since 2012 on the seven highways where the speed limit was raised. Overall, 48 people were killed in 38 wrecks on those seven highways in the two years before the speed limit was raised in mid-2011. In the two years after the speed limit was raised, 74 people were killed in 59 wrecks. We just can’t avoid it at 85! Watch and cringe:

SCAM ALERT: Your tax preparer must be on the new IRS list
The IRS directory will include those professionals who have registered with the IRS and have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). With the new directory, taxpayers can search and sort for tax preparers by name, city, state and zip. In addition to the usual suspects (CPAs, attorneys, Enrolled Actuaries and Enrolled Agents), the directory will also include those taxpayers with the newest designation, the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). The AFSP is a voluntary and temporary program which offers a recognizable record of completion for tax preparers who (similar to those required for the former Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) designation); requirements for the program consist of 18 hours of continuing education, including a six hour federal tax law refresher course with test. If you preparer is not on the list, find another or do it yourself with efile FREE using the software listed at

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 have wasted $398.6 billion so far on the F-35 program—they can’t fly safely.
We just can’t afford to pay for everyone else’s defenses anymore.
Japan, Germany and S. Korea can pay for their own defenses.
The War on Terror requires SEALS’ attacks on top terrorists at their homes. Iraq proved converting a nation to Western-style republic doesn’t work.

Goldman Sachs was behind the scenes of the largest taxpayer bailout in history
It looks like all the major players in this failure of capitalism were Goldman Sachs shareholders. They stood to benefit from this windfall more than others. Sordid details and lies revealed in trial. American history at its worst.

Swiss banker gets off in tax evasion by Americans
Raoul Weil, 55, the former head of wealth management for UBS Group AG, was acquitted of conspiring to help thousands of U.S. clients use Swiss banking secrecy to evade taxes. A Florida jury let this only offshore banker go. The US has warrants for 55 others outside of the U.S. for tax evasion in 2008.

Who owns your account now?
New York Life's Retirement Plan Services to Manulife’s John Hancock division. 

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042

Friday, December 19, 2014

We pay insurers' $100 Billion taxes

Taxpayers help insurance corporations avoid $100 Billion in taxes
Each state has passed special laws to allow insurers to use the reserves they are required to keep to pay claims. With accounting tricks, they use the money to pay CEO bonuses, shareholder dividends, acquisitions and other projects, and thus escape federal taxation. WE pick up the tab. Insurers don’t have to move overseas; just across state lines. For instance, TransAmerica Life used a state law in Iowa last year to reap $1.8 billion from its reserves while also avoiding an estimated $640 million in federal taxes. Iowa, for the moment, appears to have "state-of-the-art statutes and regulations." That is what the Symetra Life said in explaining last January why it was moving its legal domicile from Bellevue, Wash., to Des Moines. Because they are an ordinary business expense, reserves are tax deductible — the higher the reserves, the bigger the federal deduction. The IRS does not understand the tricks so never prosecutes tax avoidance.

Big Banks back to old tricks … that cost US the integrity of America
After Citibank wrote and passed the rider on the new budget, banks will go back to gambling with our money. The 2008 bailout is now likely since banks can’t restrain themselves and Congress won’t. Banks have also gone back to using their analyst recommendations to help sell new stock offerings. The law says banks can’t have the research department pump up the new stocks they research. In 2003, 10 firms and two analysts struck a settlement with regulators over these practices, paying $1.4 billion. 
Big banks act as if breaking the law and paying fines are just cost of doing business. Since we taxpayers ultimately pay, bankers know they won’t go to jail. Laws ignored.

Money scams take $40 billions of our retirement dollars
It is hard to spot fraud when it is happening. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that consumers lose more than $40 billion a year to telemarketing fraud alone. And, if you are over age 65, you are a special target for those offering bogus prizes or selling bogus products and services.
Avoid “Money Scams” by making YOUR plan and sticking to it:

Your vote counts even less with your ‘representative’ now
Congress just passed a law that lets the wealthy give a staggering $777,600—a couple could give $3.1 million to party committees. This ends any pretense to contribution limits enacted after Watergate. Corporations and people can now buy elections. Democracy only exists if there is some reason for elected leaders to listen to the voting public.
Now our “representatives” have more reason to do what contributors tell them to do. Despite the obvious damage bank gambling can do, our “reps” voted for to reinstate it. We will have to pay for banks’ mistakes like in 2008. Senator Warren explains how banks took over the process :

Corporations’ share of US revenue has been driven down from 28% to 10%
We picked up the difference yet our incomes have gone down. Over the past 25 years, the economy has grown 83 percent, after adjusting for inflation — and the typical family’s income hasn’t budged. In that time, corporate profits doubled as a share of the economy. Total corporate federal taxes paid fell to 12.1% of profits earned from activities within the U.S. in fiscal 2011. Workers today produce nearly twice as many goods and services per hour on the job as they did in 1989, but as a group, they get less of the nation’s economic pie. In 81 percent of America’s counties, the median income is lower today than it was 15 years ago.
Unless you own a business, you are working harder for less. As heiress Helmsley said, "Only the little people pay taxes":

More GOP winners—cut regulations and veterans treatments
The budget cuts the Environmental Protection Agency and allows the mountaintop mining industry to continue dumping toxic coal waste in the streams of Appalachia. It cuts $345.6 million at IRS so more big firms don’t get audited. It gives the gas and oil industry free use of the Western landscapes. The list of special industry giveaways is extensive. Big Banks can again gamble knowing our tax money will bail them out. Under the bill, trustees would be enabled to cut pension benefits to current retirees, reversing a 40-year bond with workers who earned their retirement packages. Trucking companies can make roads less safe by giving their employees 82-hour work weeks without sufficient rest breaks. Pell grants for college students will be cut.
The bill encourages more NSA spying on our private communications. It blocks the EPA from regulating certain water sources. It bans the ban on giving funds to Egypt’s military. It voted against giving veterans treatment for PTSD and suicide (22 veterans kill themselves every day). It voted against improved the energy efficiency of federal buildings. It reduces nutrition requirements of school lunches and WIC food aid program. It halts the listing of new endangered species. More.

DEM winners—ObamaCare gives poor hope for future!
More than 1 million people used the U.S. system to sign up for Obamacare plans in the seven days ending Dec. 12. New York and Idaho — both state-run marketplaces — extended the deadlines to enroll with a 1/1 effective date by a few days.
Congress took the easy way and extended temporary tax benefits for ‘14: Teachers $250, mass-transit commuters, sales/income tax deduction, parents with kids in college, some homeowners and some retirees with IRAs. A new provision will benefit disabled adults. (IRS accepts returns later in January.) Free tax prep at AARP sites:

2008 Bank bailout by US over—stock sold for profit but jobs lost forever!
Our government sold its remaining shares in GM’s old lender, its last remaining major stake from the $426 billion bailout of banks and the U.S. auto industry. Governments like China and Russia own businesses too but it cost us many more jobs and our prestige as being the home of capitalism. During the 1929 Crash, JP Morgan and friends bailed out the failed banks and businesses by loaning them money or taking over their businesses. Capitalism is supposed to work like that not like the Bush-style government bailout/ownership of failed companies. AIG and the banks it insured should have gone to other wealthy people for the bailout. Capitalism is about risk and reward.
Congress last week reversed the Dodd-Frank reg against government bailouts so we will likely have to keep failed bankers alive again in 2016-20.

Hedge funds are shutting at a rate not seen since the financial crisis, as many managers post disappointing returns that averaged 2%. John Bogle, founder, Vanguard, says: "Times of great market turbulence ... are just awful times to make investment decisions." Instead, investors should have a long-term investment strategy and stay the course, he said. Most wealthy people are long-term investors and don’t trade/gamble/hedge.
Vanguard is owned by its shareholders so you can earn more—10-12% per year:

Lockheed Settles Lawsuit—It Shortchanged 120,000 Workers, Retirees
Lockheed agreed to settle a $1.3 billion lawsuit over claims the defense contractor shortchanged the 120,000 workers and retirees who participate in its pension plans as a trial was set to begin this week. Workers accused the company of subjecting them to excessive fees and leaving those investing in its stock fund with returns that were worse than if they had bought shares by themselves.
You have a choice: Low fees always beat high fees—a larger pension:

Did you receive in the snail mail what resembles an invoice from a company to get a copy of your deed? Homeowners beware: It's a scam. Don’t send deed.
Avoid scams of insurance, mutual funds, and all financial services: Money Scams 2014:

Are you ready? HALF of pre-retirees had to retire earlier than planned
Nearly half of survey respondents (45 percent) retired earlier than planned. The most frequently cited reasons for retiring early are changes at one’s company or place of work (44 percent) and being able to afford retirement (39 percent). Nearly 8 in 10 who retired early have no regrets about the decision to retire when they did.
Make sure you have the right strategy to have enough so when you must retire, you can:

CR reports on best and worst value in cars
Make sure you are getting a value in new small cars. Avoid the worst: Fiat, Fiesta, Cruze and get value for as low as $15,000. Better deal: get 3-year-old safe midsize for same price. Don’t be fooled by marketing hypeexpensive is not always safe and reliable.
Here's the BEST list by category:
•Subcompact: Hyundai Accent Sport
•Compact: Toyota Prius Four
•Luxury Compact Cars: Buick Regal Premium I
•Luxury Midsized/Large Cars: Lexus ES 300h
•Large Cars: Chevrolet Impala 2LTZ (3.6)
•Sports Cars/Convertibles: Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
•Midsized Cars: Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE
•Wagons (AWD): Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium
•Small SUVs: Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium
•Midsized SUVs: Toyota Highlander XLE (V-6)
•Large SUVs: Chevrolet Traverse LT
•Luxury Compact SUVs: BMW X3 xDrive28i (2.0T)
•Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs: Lexus RX 450h
•Pickup Trucks: Nissan Frontier SV (V6)
•Minivan: Mazda5
Save $500 on insurance by using all 15 discounts:

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 have wasted $398.6 billion so far on the F-35 program—they can’t fly safely.
We just can’t afford to pay for everyone else’s defenses anymore.
Japan, Germany and S. Korea can pay for their own defenses.
The War on Terror requires SEALS’ attacks on top terrorists at their homes. Iraq proved converting a nation to Western-style republic doesn’t work.

Congress has changed the definition of America
Do we want to be moral or immoral?
Bush/Cheney and Congress seem to say Torture is OK if we do it in revenge and call it by another name—EIT. If we do what other societies do then we can’t keep telling the world we are better than them. Mrs Palin and Mr Giuliani seem to idolize the Russian dictator Putin and our Congress joins them in criticizing Obama. Do we really want America to invade other countries, shoot down civilian planes, and torture people like Putin? Congress did not condemn Bush/Cheney; let alone prosecute them for war crimes. Do we really want a bully like Putin to be President? Putin is putting Russia back 5 years economically. 

Advisor to athletes gets caught
Bill C. (Billy) Crafton, AKA, Martin Kelly Capital Management pleaded guilty to criminal charges for $1.5 million in kickbacks on investments for professional athletes in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association, according to the SEC.

Lawyers use our state Attorneys General to create income for themselves
Lawyer are using a new tactic to drum up business. They get our state AG to hire them to file suit against some corporation with deep pockets so they can make extra cash. Our taxes pay the AG to give business to private firms at ridiculous rates. Great work!?

Who owns your account now?
Fireman’s Fund to Ace Ltd. Ace wishes to expand insurance of luxury homes, yachts and art collections because of higher margins.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042

Friday, December 12, 2014

Congress OKs another bank bailout paid by us

Banks WIN: new spending bill will make us pay for their gambling losses AGAIN
House GOP/DEMs approved bank derivatives trading after banning it in 2008. Buffett called derivatives “weapons of mass destruction,” and fears for our future.
They nearly destroyed our global system. Wall St. is trying to overthrow the financial controls put in place after the 2008 meltdown. Wall Street lobbyists attached a "rider" to the $1.1 T federal spending bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank and let the Big Banks go back to gambling with our entire economy while expecting us to bail them out again.
We lost to Wall Street—they can trade “derivatives” and meltdown again.
You can avoid paying for the higher taxes to cover the next bailout:

Is the IRS most popular tax haven right for you?
You have a tax refund coming next April from earnings in 2014. Earnings for this completely tax-FREE account include alimony and maintenance payments. Any part time job or self-employment income will work too. This tax-FREE account has no age restriction, so it can be used to leave your family a legacy FREE of all income taxes like life insurance. Contributions to $5,500 per year ($6,500 for age 50+) can be made if your income is under $191,000 for married-filing-jointly taxpayers and $129,000 for single taxpayers. Contribute your tax refund (average is $3,000) for 25 years and you may have $400,000. That could produce $36,000 a year TAX-FREE.

Congress to cut support for small business pensions
The employer-paid program backing multiemployer plans was $5 billion in the red. It projected that—unless Congress acted—there was "about a 35 percent probability" its assets would be exhausted by 2022 and "about a 90 percent probability" by 2032.
Don’t count on employer pensions. Make your own:

Your broker may lose pay if they help you next year
Merrill Lynch told its brokers they will get higher bonus payments in 2015 for attracting new clients and assets but eliminated pay for servicing clients with less than $250,000. Merrill will pay brokers .10 percent of new assets clients use to buy loans, banking and trust products, or put into fee-based advisory accounts. Brokers attracting over $10 million of such assets get .20 percent and .23 percent for those reaching $50 million. However, bonuses in 2015 are being halved for new money put into low-profit money-market or bank accounts.
Unless you have $10 mill with Merrill, you should do your own investing with Vanguard’s Top Ten:

ObamaCare plans renew automatically—NO WAITING
A 25 year old client enrolled in a health insurance plan on and only pays $20 a month! For 2014, 8 out of 10 people who signed up for health insurance on got help paying for their costs. Over the summer, the Obama administration decided that nearly everyone covered through the 34 federally run exchanges would be auto-enrolled in the same plans for 2015, with the same subsidies they received in 2014. The goal is both to ensure that more people would remain covered through Obamacare, to avoid both overwhelming the website during open enrollment and having a repeat of last year’s technical difficulties. Less than 100,000 opted out of auto-renewal when they signed up for 2014 coverage.

Car thieves have hard time too
Vehicle theft is down by more than 50 percent compared to 1991, despite an increase in population and registrations of over 60 million, according to National Insurance Crime Bureau. The drop—aided in part by better investigation from law enforcement and insurers, and new technologies—means vehicle owners are far less likely to have their cars stolen today than at any time in the last 44 years.
Save $2,000 with anti-theft discounts you must ask for:

If you turned age 70 in 2014…
IRS reminded taxpayers born before July 1, 1944, that they generally must receive payments from their individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans by Dec. 31, 2014. Known as required minimum distributions (RMDs), these payments normally must be made by the end of 2014. But a special rule allows first-year recipients of these payments, those who reached age 70½ during 2014, to wait until as late as April 1, 2015 to receive their first RMDs. This means that those born after June 30, 1943 and before July 1, 1944 are eligible for this special rule. The amount is usually calculated by your IRA trustee using IRS lifetime estimates. If you don’t need the money, send it back to your trustee as a Roth IRA and keep it growing for health care or legacy.

GOP crazies
The current top Republican on the panel, retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), said it’s “pretty clear” the report’s main purpose is to attack Bush. He and other committee Republicans largely avoided cooperating in the preparation of the report, though he and several other panel members did vote to release it this spring.
GOP says torture is OK since CIA gets only the truth from the terrorist, who would never lie under duress. Right!?! McCain says NO WAY! Torture is wrong.
Republican Sen. John McCain, who was tortured and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, said the Senate report on CIA interrogation practices proves what he knows from "personal experience" -- that prisoner abuse is ineffective and greatly damaging to America. McCain says victims say “anything” to stop. Listen!
If torture is illegal and Bush/Cheney OKd it, will they go to jail?

Why are we paying our taxes to Nazis overseas?
The House unanimously passed a bill -- dubbed the "No Social Security for Nazis Act" -- on Tuesday that would cut off those benefits.

IRS thinks gas prices are going up in 2015
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014, 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014, 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

Court allows more Wall Street criminals to walk
US Court of Appeals overturned two of the government’s signature convictions, the case against the former hedge fund traders Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson, who were tried for insider trading of tech stocks. Citing the trial judge’s “erroneous” understanding of a precedent, the court threw out the case because defendants did not know the “intent” of the original info leakers.
Prosecutors complained that the ruling will tie their hands in pursuing Wall Street crime. From both sides, a consensus emerged that the ruling would have a chilling effect on insider trading prosecutions. More Wall Street tricks will work.

Star Trek’s Photon torpedo is now real Navy weapon

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 have wasted $398.6 billion so far on the F-35 program—they can’t fly safely.
We just can’t afford to pay for everyone else’s defenses anymore.
Japan, Germany and S. Korea can pay for their own defenses.
The War on Terror requires SEALS’ attacks on top terrorists at their homes. Iraq proved converting a nation to Western-style republic doesn’t work.

Our accomplishments in Iraq—one elite replaces another—again ?
Islamic State militants may be at the approaches to Baghdad yet members of Iraq’s Shiite Muslim elite are offering cash for $1 million homes. Gilded mansions with jacuzzis in Italian-marble bathrooms and armored vehicles parked in the drive are replacing the humbler dwellings of the former middle-class Sunni, Shiite and Christian inhabitants. The conspicuous displays of Shiite affluence in tony Zayouna are testament to the shift in political power since U.S. forces ended decades of Sunni dominance under Saddam Hussein, according to Andrew Bowen, Middle East.
Cheney was wrong—torture does NOT work. Terrorists lie and lie and lie
They lie to get the CIA to stop torture, according to Senate report.
You knew that all along. People don’t tell the truth if they are terrorists—dahh.

Even the CIA was outraged by their contractor’s torture!
We paid people $80 million to torture people in our name and got no “smoking gun”
CIA hired contractors to do the dirty work. Contractors helped develop and operate the "enhanced interrogation techniques" that the agency used on terror suspects, including waterboarding, were paid more than $80 million, according to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA's interrogation program released Tuesday. Contractors include Mitchell, Jessen & Associates, a Spokane, Washington, company run by two psychologists, Dr. John "Bruce" Jessen and Dr. James Mitchell. The deal initially provided the two principals with $1,000-a-day tax-free retainers.
According to CIA counsel, John Rizzo, contractors Mitchell and Jessen were recommending "sadistic and terrifying" techniques.

Scam Alert to Wealthy—Avoid “Impact Investing” trend
The World Economic Forum has a message for wealthy families thinking about impact investing: Don’t buy on the buzz. Stick with what you know.
Seeking investments with the dual purpose of making a profit and improving society has become trendy among wealthy people and money managers, who rarely have the expertise or tools to put it into practice, according to a report released today.

Reema Shah, former Ameriprise money manager who pleaded guilty to securities fraud must pay $390,103, a figure roughly equal to the gains regulators said her funds earned based on an insider tip about Yahoo. Shah illegally recommended Yahoo stock in 2009 on the basis of nonpublic information about a search engine partnership between Yahoo and Microsoft. The SEC said the source of the information was Robert W. Kwok, a former Yahoo executive, whom Ms. Shah had given inside information a year earlier about another company, Autodesk Inc.

Judge orders insurers to show paperwork for underpaid Sandy claims
Homeowners have sued Travelers and other insurers including Wright National Flood Insurance and Hartford. Suit says they illegally conspired with engineering firms and others to deny or underpay claims from Sandy. Some homeowners are still waiting for flood insurance to pay off since 2012. Sounds like Katrina all over again!
State Farm was notorious for its handling of homeowners’ claims related to the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Claims were routinely denied without basis and private home inspectors hired by the insurer have testified that State Farm told them to alter damage reports in order to avoid paying claims or pay less than the claims were worth.

41 Watchung Plaza, B242
Montclair, NJ 07042

Friday, December 5, 2014

Corporations get FREE land, roads, tax breaks--we pay the taxes

Today’s tax breaks will cost us many times over
Recently Tesla motors ‘shopped’ its new factory to CA, NV, TX, AZ, and NM. The winner, Nevada, had to give Tesla FREE taxes, land, roads, sales and payroll taxes. And the integrity of American honor. It cost NV $200,000 for each of the projected 6,500 jobs in the middle of the desert. Workers will have to use trailers to live in and buy groceries hours away. Each of our states must now give away the ‘ranch’ to get global capital to build in our state.
American corporations have gone to the ends of the earth to lower our standard of living so they could pay bosses 350 times what we earn. Extracting benefits from all taxpayers while they pay less tax will turn America into a 3rd world country, like 19th century Honduras. Bosses can live anywhere. It typically has stratified social classes, including no middle class, poor working class and a ruling plutocracy of business, political, and military elites.[1] This ruling elite exploits the country's economy.[2]  Corporations can now buy the elections too.
Most of the wealthy pay 15% of income in ALL taxes while we pay 34%.

Is Identity Theft insurance right for you?
Many companies offer identity theft protection, but the industry is unregulated and is basically a scam. You and only you can clean up your record with credit agencies and government departments. The promoters can’t stop ID theft as it happens.
Best cure: use passwords that can’t be guessed from your Facebook identity.
About 16.6 million people suffered $24.7 billion in financial losses due to identity fraud—data breaches of businesses and a lack of adequate password protection. However, this does not include the time and money you spend repairing your credit after ID theft “insurance” (it is not insurance) did NOT pay off. In fact, the biggest seller of theft protection, banks’ credit cards, have been fined over $1 billion. Industry pioneer LifeLock has been cited for its bad behavior too but not shut down.
The ‘coverage’ is full of loopholes—things not covered include your monetary losses. Most losses are already covered by banking and credit laws that limit your liability to $50 per account (NEVER use debit card). Since about 80% of reported identity theft is actually the result of lost or stolen debit and credit cards, the threat you pay for is hardly ever realized. The service advertised is just BS—No one can know when or where data will be stolen and then it’s too late. Carry one credit card. Use passwords like T^U*($f.

Swiss Refuse To Give Up Millionaires’ Tax Breaks
Swiss voters refused to give up a 152-year-old tax break for rich foreigners in Geneva and other wealthy areas that the government says helps the economy. Fifty-nine percent voted against an initiative that would have abolished a system allowing foreigners to duck income and wealth taxes by negotiating lump-sum payments with Swiss cantons, the government said yesterday. The Swiss government has said abolishing the regime known as the “forfait” would have cut tax receipts and led to job losses as wealthy exiles left Geneva and other French-speaking cantons that are home to most beneficiaries. Geneva has 74,300 millionaires, the greatest concentration of any city.
Forget Geneva—Avoid future income taxes on your earnings here in US:

Can you contribute to an IRA after age 70?
No. However, there is a better way to save and/or leave a legacy. If you don’t need your income now from working but you want to keep building assets, the best way is to contribute up to $6,500 to a Roth IRA. You don’t get the tax deduction like an IRA, but you also don’t get the tax bill later on. Yes. The contributions and earnings are all Tax-FREE when you take them out or when you leave them for family. You only need earned income. Gail took her required distributions from her reg. IRA starting at age 70, paid tax and sent the $6,500 back to her Vanguard Roth account. She is buying Wellesley Income (stocks and bonds) for $18 per $10,000. By age 85, she could have $225,000 tax-FREE for unexpected medical needs. Her legacy could be $ 1/2 million income-tax-FREE to her adult child like life insurance, except the Roth is cheaper than insurance and better than an annuity:

Best way to get grandchild investing—use the Buffett strategy
Forget a 60” HD or Iphone 6 or even EE bonds for the holiday. Give them a TAX-FREE future nest egg by getting them started with a Roth IRA. Even if they only earn an allowance, you can make the contributions for them up to $5,500 a year. Put them in a low-cost stock fund like Vanguard’s 500 Index. It costs only 0.05% (not broker’s 1-2%). $3000 a year will grow to $1.2 million at 11% a year by the time they need it.

Women earn less but save more than men
Even though men make $1 to a woman's 77 cents, women were the bigger savers over the past 12 months. For men and women with similar salaries, up to the $150,000 mark, the women have more money in their 401(k) on average, according to new data from Fidelity Investments. Women earning between $20,000 and $40,000, for example, have saved an average of $17,300 in their 401(k), as of the year ended Sept. 30, 2014. Men in that income range have an average of $15,200 in their account. Fidelity's data are based on 13 million accounts. Women are better investors too:

PA will cover 600,000 UN-insured—No more bankruptcy from med bills
Effective Jan. 1, Pennsylvania will expand its Medicaid guidelines to make an additional 600,000 people eligible for taxpayer-provided health care, while an overhaul of its existing Medicaid program will affect benefits for an estimated 900,000 adults already on Medicaid. Named Healthy Pennsylvania, there is little difference between Healthy Pennsylvania and a Medicaid expansion, as it was envisioned by the 2010 federal law. The expansion will make health care available to childless working adults under 65 with incomes up to $15,500 this year. Until now, they were largely ineligible for Medicaid. 866-550-4355. Finally, PA people let Gov Corbett go!

Sam’s Club offers health insurance to business
The big-box members-only warehouse decided to offer health insurance to its customers through a private health care exchange because those small business owner-members were asking for it. In October, the retail chain said it was partnering with Aetna to offer health insurance to members through a private exchange to small businesses. From their surveys, the two things small business owners requested was getting the right products and second was help with their insurance. “We are in the small group business already, we have a small group exchange and we thought we could private solutions right off the top that would help make a difference.” Sam’s Club is not getting paid in the process and is not the agent. Sam’s insurance is in 21 states so far.

Penalty for NO insurance costs more than premiums
Obamacare requires that most everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty - which is set for a steep increase. In 2014, under Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, the maximum penalty for not registering for health insurance coverage is $975. Obamacare does allow Americans to go up to a maximum of 3 months without coverage, but fines will be issued from the IRS for not registering. The penalty will be withheld from federal income tax returns and the amount will be deducted from future refunds. There are exemptions for certain groups including premiums exceed 8% of one's annual household income. The majority of people uninsured today can find a policy for $30 - $100 per month, taking into account subsidies and Medicaid eligibility. Some will carry higher deductibles and co-pays. Costs will also vary from one state to another.

GOP crazies
Progress has been reversed by 21st century business leaders
Fortune, of all places, highlights our social progress BACKWARD. Proof: Open-plan office space=factory floor of Dickens’ time, wages flat since 1970, reduced work ‘benefits’, no pensions, more hours—always ‘on call’ with cell, no union protections, return of robber-baron bosses, job security for only one day at a time, “systematic” unemployment, etc  

GOP looking for new ways to DISrespect the president: Ted Cruz wants to hold up Obama’s nominees, others consider shutting the government down, and keep Obama from giving his State of the Union address. Some want to ‘censure’ the president, others to sue him. Many in congressional leadership think these ideas are nonsensical, since it will not serve any practical purpose.
Never stopped them before!!

David Brooks, conservative, says Ferguson shows the class not race divide
“There has been a migration away from prejudice based on genetics to prejudice based on class.” “This class prejudice is applied to both the white and black poor, whose demographic traits are converging.”

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 have wasted $398.6 billion so far on the F-35 program—they can’t fly safely.
We just can’t afford to pay for everyone else’s defenses anymore.
Japan, Germany and S. Korea can pay for their own defenses.
The War on Terror requires SEALS’ attacks on top terrorists at their homes. Iraq proved converting a nation to Western-style republic doesn’t work.

Keeping 10,000 in Afghanistan for what?
The United States is preparing to increase the number of troops it keeps in Afghanistan in 2015 to fill a gap left in the NATO mission by other “contributing” nations, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

NIZAR OTHMAN, the former principal of NAOK Financial, was sentenced today to five years in prison for a fraudulent investment scheme in which OTHMAN lied to victims and tricked them into paying him over $2 million for purported investments with supposed guaranteed rates of return. In reality, OTHMAN did not invest the funds as promised, and instead, used the funds largely for his own benefit.

Paul Greenwood, former money manager who once co-owned the N.Y. Islanders was sentenced to 10 years for participating in a fraud valued at roughly $554 million that lasted more than a decade. To hide the misappropriation and lack of profitability, Greenwood and his partner issued $554 million in promissory notes to investors. The receiver has recovered about $900 million, close to 90 percent of investor claims.
"I've lied, I've cheated and I've stolen.”

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