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. 

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Montclair, NJ 07042

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