Longer Life Expectancy: A Challenge for Retirement Advice

BankInvestmentConsultant article by Charles Paikert

Increasing life expectancies and better health among seniors will change how retirement planners advice older clients, BankInvestmentConsultant writes.

Living Longer and Betterretirement planning

People are living longer: the oldest person is 116 years old, and the U.S. now has 70,000 people over 100 — twice as many as 20 years ago, according to U.S. Census Bureau data cited by the publication. By 2050, the number of Americans over 65 is projected to reach 84 million, almost double what it was in 2012, according to census data cited by BankInvestmentConsultant.

What’s more, advances in medical technology such as organ replacement and prosthetics are changing not only how long people live, but what they do in their old age, BankInvestmentConsultant writes.

Considering the Costs

All these factors will make it more difficult for financial planners to properly advise their clients, according to the publication.

For some, such as Steven Podnos, principal of Wealth Care in Cocoa Beach, Fla., the answer to increasing longevity is to tell clients to keep working longer, BankInvestmentConsultant writes. Others encourage clients to wait until turning 70 to claim Social Security benefits, according to the publication.

Work past retirement age doesn’t have to be full-time, but there’s “no reason they can’t work until their 70s,” Podnos tells the publication. Many are doing just that: 225 of the American workforce is over 55, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by BankInvestmentConsultant.

Employers are also realizing that older workers can be a boon rather than a liability, according to the publication.

Virtual reality can make employment for people over 50 even easier: physical constraints will no longer play as big a role when someone can work remotely, Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, tells BankInvestmentConsultant.

Not Just About the Money

Ellen Siegel, an advisor based in Miami, says where and how her clients live is key to ensure a comfortable retirement, particularly for those considering continuing-care communities, the publication writes. Geographical location is often another issue, she tells BankInvestmentConsultant.

To cope with expenses, some advisors recommend that client take out reverse mortgages, according to the publication. Annuities and long-term care insurance, while controversial, should also be considered, advisors tell BankInvestmentConsultant. Long-term care insurance should also not be overlooked, they say. What’s more, new products, such as hybrid insurance and annuity products, are constantly coming to the market and advisors should keep abreast of them, BankInvestmentConsultant writes.

Many advisors also focus on areas of senior living outside of work and home, such as staying active through volunteering, BankInvestmentConsultant writes. Siegel advises older clients to retain a life coach to help steer them, according to the publication.

Source: BankInvestmentConsultant

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How to Pay Less Taxes on Retirement Account Withdrawals

US News

You don’t get to use all the money in your traditional 401(k) and IRA for retirement because you still have to pay taxes on it. However, there are several ways to minimize taxes as you pull money out of your retirement accounts. Consider these strategies to decrease the tax bill for your retirement account withdrawals. Continue Reading →

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Can an IRA Go Into an Irrevocable Trust?

By , Contributor

Setting up a trust as an IRA beneficiary has advantages and potential pitfalls.

The primary purpose of IRAs is to provide for the retirement needs of the original owner. However, IRAs have also become a useful tool in estate planning, and many IRA owners look for ways to protect their assets for future generations.

Naming an irrevocable trust as a beneficiary of an IRA can provide that protection, but if you don’t structure the trust correctly, it can come at a high cost.

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IRAs Have a Regulatory Headache Coming

The Wall Street Journal

A rush of savings from company 401(k) plans to IRAs may slow just as baby boomers are retiring, as a result of the Labor Department’s anticipated move to toughen standards for advice on retirement accounts.

The proposed regulation, which may be finalized by early April, extends a revamped version of the “fiduciary” standard that governs corporate retirement plans to individual retirement accounts.

Under the rule as last proposed, advisers will generally have to avoid conflicts of interest and put their clients’ best interests first—both when recommending investments for IRAs and when suggesting moving money from a company plan to an IRA in the first place, which is known as a rollover.

The new rule will make it harder for advisers to recommend such a move, as they will have to clearly document why it is in a client’s best interest. Additionally, once the money is in an IRA, advisers would generally have to avoid payments, including commissions, that create incentives for them to select one product over another.

Advisers to individuals typically have an incentive to recommend rollovers, since they stand to earn fees or commissions on the dollars shifted to IRAs.

At stake is a large pot of money that is expected to grow as the baby boomers continue to leave the workforce. IRAs hold an estimated $7.3 trillion of the nation’s $24 trillion in retirement assets, more than the $6.7 trillion in 401(k)-type plans.

Fueled by the rise of the 401(k) and an increasingly mobile workforce, rollovers are expected to amount to $439 billion this year, up from $271 billion in 2010, according to Cerulli Associates, a research firm that specializes in the asset-management industry.

Because rollovers now account for more than 90% of the money flowing into IRAs each year and carry relatively high median balances—$100,000 for traditional IRAs with rollover money, versus $40,000 for those funded solely by annual contributions, according to the Investment Company Institute trade group—they are “all the more important to financial-services companies and advisers seeking to grow their businesses,” says Michael Wong, an analyst who covers brokerage firms at Morningstar Inc.

The expected Labor Department rule for retirement savings would be a change from current regulation, which allows brokers to provide “suitable” rather than fiduciary advice, a lower standard.

Critics argue current requirements permit advisers to encourage investors to abandon 401(k) plans for IRAs that often hold higher-fee investments, even though those added fees can reduce returns. “In many cases, that’s clearly not in the best interests of investors,” says Christopher Jones, chief investment officer at Financial Engines Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif., company that mainly manages 401(k) accounts for participants who want investment help. The firm also offers an IRA service.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers estimates that individual investors sacrifice about 1 percentage point of annual returns due to advice from conflicted advisers that leads them into higher-cost investments—or about $17 billion a year.

Participants in 401(k) plans who invest in stock mutual funds pay annual expense ratios of 0.54%, on average, versus 0.71% for IRA owners, according to the mutual-fund industry’s Investment Company Institute.

Experts say more advisers may think twice under the coming rule before recommending transfers that result in higher fees. As a result, more money may stay in employer-sponsored plans, especially large plans that leverage their size to negotiate low institutional rates.

“We’ll definitely see fewer rollovers,” says Jason Roberts, a pension-law attorney and chief executive of Pension Resource Institute, a compliance consulting firm. Because advisers will have to research clients’ needs better and document why recommendations are in their interests, “you may see recommendations that are being made today not being made in the future,” he says.

That would be welcome news to Robin Diamonte, chief investment officer at United Technologies Corp., who oversees $44 billion in retirement money for the conglomerate’s employees.

“We have various record keepers and advisers aggressively calling our retirees and trying to persuade them to roll over to their platforms, in many cases with conflicted and misleading marketing material,” says Ms. Diamonte. “This rule is going to have a chilling effect on these high-fee, aggressive rollover chasers.”

A slowdown in rollovers could benefit participants in the United Technologies 401(k) plan, which is among a growing number urging former employees to remain in the 401(k) after changing jobs or retiring. One goal is to stem the withdrawals that undermine a plan’s leverage to negotiate lower fees.

By contrast, at smaller companies, workplace retirement plans often have high expenses, which can make IRA rollovers a cost-saving maneuver for participants. Beyond cost considerations, retirement savers can find rollovers attractive to consolidate assets in a single account or to get more personalized advice or additional investment options.

Under the fiduciary-duty rule as last proposed, advisers typically wouldn’t be able to suggest a rollover without first asking the investor to sign a contract that includes detailed information about the investment fees and the adviser’s compensation and obligations to act in the investor’s best interests, says Fred Reish, a lawyer who specializes in employee benefits and compensation. That is a requirement that many in the financial-services industry have called unworkable and burdensome.

An upfront request to sign such a contract won’t likely discourage investors from rolling 401(k) money to IRAs with advisers they already work with, said Bing Waldert, managing director at Cerulli, but it could affect transactions that involve new advisers.

It is likely that some firms and individual advisers will respond to the Labor Department rule by emphasizing low-cost investment options for IRAs. Rob Foregger, co-founder of digital-advice software company NextCapital, says “there will be increased scrutiny on the cost differential between rollover IRAs and 401(k)s, which will put increasing downward pricing pressure on IRA fees.”

Some advisers may stop soliciting rollovers from certain 401(k) participants altogether. Many brokerages opposed to the Labor Department rule say it will no longer be profitable for them to accept rollovers of relatively small accounts, such as those of $50,000 or less. That said, some brokerages have recently announced plans to offer fee-based accounts for minimums as low as $5,000 or $10,000.

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Most Entrepreneurs Make This Mistake

Forbes article by Garrett Gunderson

Entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for opportunity. So when a “hot investment” opportunity comes along, it’s hard to resist. Believe me, I’ve been there. But I’ve found that these investment opportunities, no matter how tempting, are merely expensive distractions. They’re expensive for two reasons: One, you’re more likely to lose money when you’re investing outside of your expertise. And two, your time, money and energy are spent on the investment rather than your best wealth creator, your business.

So here’s another idea to consider: when you feel the itch to invest in a stock market you don’t understand, a real estate market you don’t know, a company you don’t control or any other investment outside of your expertise — invest in yourself instead. Invest in your personal and business growth. In fact, I’d argue the only way to invest is to invest in yourself; because when you invest outside of yourself and your knowledge, it’s not investing at all, it’s gambling.

Most people think of gambling as lottery tickets or slot machines. But it’s also gambling to follow a hot stock tip, or to invest in a family member or friend’s untested business venture, or even to build a real estate property if that’s not your area of expertise. Unless you know how the investment creates value for others, how to manage its growth and how to mitigate the risks, you’re not investing, you’re gambling. Knowledge is what makes the difference.

The entire financial industry will tell you to gamble in the stock market regardless of your knowledge. They’ll tell you to take money out of your own business, and invest it in other businesses you don’t know, understand or control. And if you’re acting out of scarcity, you may join the crowd and invest with everyone else. But this is a second-rate strategy because you are your best wealth creator. As an entrepreneur, your best returns will come from investing in yourself. So how do you go from the gambling mindset, which the media pundits and financial industry push, to the “invest in yourself” mindset?

Two General Ways to Invest In Yourself

Investing in yourself means legitimately improving your ability to produce greater value for others within your area of expertise, and decreasing your risk of financial loss. There are many ways to invest in yourself, but they can be narrowed down into two categories:

1. Personal Growth: Gaining clarity and focus on your values and purpose; increasing your personal knowledge and skills; and improving your personal habits. This means spending time, money, and effort on any type of self-improvement content or activity that supports your ability to create value for others.

2. Business Growth: Building your business to increase your cash flow, reach, and impact while decreasing effort, stress, and waste; and building a sellable asset that does not depend on your personal presence to function.

In other words, when I counsel to “invest in yourself,” I mean to stop throwing money at stocks, mutual funds, real estate and other investments that you don’t understand and over which you have little control. Instead, spend that money on building yourself and your own business. This takes more work and a higher level of thinking than just handing money off to advisors and fund managers. You have to really dig deep to get clarity on who you are, what you want to accomplish, the legacy you want to leave and your overall vision.

It takes personal responsibility — you can’t blame the “market” when you try something new in your business and it doesn’t work. And that’s a good thing, because you also get a chance to learn from your mistakes, make course corrections and make an impact in the world. More responsibility also gives you more control over your results, and when you stay in charge you can reduce your risk. When you invest in growing your business, rather than the market, you get real-time feedback so you can learn and respond more quickly.

Unfortunately, when you put money in funds and retirement plans, your money is drained by fees that are automatically withdrawn. And it doesn’t matter if you make money or not — they still siphon the money out. But when you’re investing in things you understand and that you’re passionate about, you are gaining knowledge and have full disclosure of the expenses as you personally write checks to cover them.

If you’re worried that investing in yourself will leave “all your eggs in one basket,” first realize that you’ll be in good company. Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest Americans to ever live, said this about his wealth strategy: “I put all my eggs in one basket and watch it like a hawk.” But beyond that, there are ways to diversify investments in yourself and stay liquid. Make sure that you have a rainy-day savings account. Consider a properly designed, low-commission Whole Life insurance policy where your cash value grows year after year guaranteed — and can never go down in value, no matter what the markets do. You can then use these accounts to support you in hard times and empower you when opportunity knocks. Not to mention that investing in personal growth can never be taken away from you.

Here’s What Investing In Yourself Looks Like

A great example of investing in yourself is Wealth Factory member Dr. Chris Zaino. After making the decision to invest in himself, Dr. Zaino immediately liquidated all of his “investments” that weren’t aligned with his business and expertise. He funneled all that cash towards protection components and building his business. Plus he created a new educational membership site to teach other chiropractors how to grow a business that sees thousands of patients per week.

These projects take time, effort, and money. But Dr. Zaino understands that building his personal practice and increasing his reach and influence as a thought leader will yield far greater returns than he’d ever get in a qualified plan or mutual fund. And he is doing something that matters to his legacy, personal satisfaction and fulfillment today — not to mention improving his cash flow. It truly is a way to invest in himself while serving others and solving problems, thus earning more money.

Source:  forbes.com

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MLP Investors Hit with Surprise Tax Bill on IRA Income

By Mark P. Cussen, CFP®, CMFC, AFC | January 05, 2016

Traditional and Roth IRAs are considered to be either tax-deferred or tax-free havens where an investor’s money can grow without needing to be reported on the 1040 each year. Dividends, interest and capital gains can accumulate in these accounts without one penny being taxed until withdrawal, if it is taxed at all. However, some taxpayers who had invested in a master limited partnership (MLP) received a very unpleasant surprise in the mail when they were notified that they owed a substantial amount in taxes on this investment, even though it was purchased inside their retirement plans and accounts. Unfortunately, the tax advantages provided by IRAs have a few additional little-known limits on top of the standard contribution and distribution rules.
Unrelated Business Income

While virtually all forms of investment income are exempt from current taxation in an IRA or qualified plan, “virtually” does not exclude a type of income the IRS calls unrelated business income (UBI). This type of income is generated when a tax-exempt organization generates income that is incidental to its real purpose. For example, if an educational institution runs a cafeteria for students that makes a profit, the institution will probably be required to report that income on its tax return even though it is a qualified 501(c)3 organization. (For more, see: Pros and Cons of Master Limited Partnerships.)

The investors who were notified of their unexpected tax liability were investors in a MLP offered by Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI), a southern pipeline company in the oil industry. MLPs are popular with sophisticated investors because they allow for direct ownership of businesses without the double taxation that comes with corporations. These pass-through entities confer taxation for partnership income onto their unit holders, but the total amount of tax paid is less overall than it would be if the investors held shares of stock.

However, Kinder Morgan made the move to convert to a C corporation in 2014, which meant that all units of their existing MLP would have to be liquidated. This meant that all of the deferred gains and other passive investment income that was generated by these units would now become declarable as taxable income, even though these investors held the units inside their retirement accounts. In this case, the income generated by the sale was classified as unrelated business income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A portion of the exchange of MLP units for shares will be reported as a capital gain or loss with the remainder being classified as ordinary income. In most cases, the IRA custodian will file a Form 990-T on behalf of its customers when this form of income is generated. (For more, see: MLPs: Time to Invest or Has Their Time Passed?)

However, to add insult to injury, the custodians for many of the IRA investors were also taken by surprise as a result of this bill, and firms such as Pershing were not able to file this form in a timely manner because the K-1 partnership income forms generated by Kinder Morgan did not have enough information on them to make the necessary calculations. The IRS then levied interest and penalties on all balances owed by IRA unit holders that substantially increased the amount that they owed. The custodians are now negotiating with the IRS to eliminate this additional amount, but the initial amount will still be due.
The Bottom Line

Although most types of income can be deferred inside a traditional or Roth IRA, their tax firewall does have some chinks. Many tax and investment experts caution IRA investors against buying MLPs that are traded publicly inside these accounts because of issues like the one described above. If you own shares or units of this type of investment in an IRA, consult your tax or financial advisor to find out whether you may face this type of liability at some point. (For more, see: Should I Buy an MLP for My Retirement Account?)

Read more: MLP Investors Hit with Surprise Tax Bill on IRA Income | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-advisors/010516/mlp-investors-hit-surprise-tax-bill-ira-income.asp#ixzz3wP8QnkRr

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Almost 70% of Investors Lost Money in 2015

CNN money article by Heather Long

Nearly 70% of investors lost money this year, according to Openfolio, an app that allows people to track their investment performance and compare their portfolio with other users.

U.S. markets had their worst year since the financial crisis. No wonder making money was tough.

“While the S&P 500 is on track to end 2015 almost exactly where it started, earnings have deteriorated,” says Matt Coffina of Morningstar.

People who did make money did one of two things that most investment books and advisers tell you NOT to do.

1. They held a lot of cash.

2. Or they took on a lot of risk.

Cash was king

Cash was one of the best investments this year. Despite the fact that cash earns almost nothing in the bank or a money market fund, it still beat out U.S. stocks, commodities and even most bonds.

The S&P 500 and Dow stock indexes had wild swings and ended the year in the red (and that’s not Christmas red). Popular bond funds like the Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX) and the Pimco Income Fund (PONDX) were both down 4% or more.

Investors who ended the year with gains had almost a quarter of the portfolios in cash, Openfolio found. But keeping a lot of cash is not a good way to make money in the long-term. Those who argue they are timing the market tend to miss out on the upswings.

The year of Amazon & Netflix

The other winning strategy was to bet big on individual stocks, especially tech stocks.

“The market is increasingly driven by a handful of high-flying growth stocks such as Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX),” says Coffina.

Amazon and Netflix crushed the competition in 2015. Both stocks gained over 120% for the year, meaning a $10,000 investment on January 1 would be worth about $22,000 now. These are among the 10 most commonly held stocks by Openfolio users.

Many retail investors also hold Disney (DIS) and Facebook (FB). Both had applause-worthy returns.

Holding individual stocks adds more risk to an investment portfolio. It’s a bet on one company versus investing in an ETF or mutual fund that have a lot of companies.

Consider that Apple (AAPL) is by far the most popular stock held by “average Joe” investors, yet it lost money in 2015. In fact, it finished down more than 4%, which is worse than the S&P 500. That made it one of the biggest knocks on people’s portfolios this year.

The general rule of thumb is that investors have to do a lot more research if they want to buy individual stocks instead of funds.

Another lesson from 2015? Older investors did a lot better than younger ones, according to Openfolio.

Perhaps the best stock tip for 2016 is to call mom and dad — or better yet, grandma and grandpa.

Source:  money.cnn.com

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Don’t Be a Victim of These Costly IRA Myths

Time Money article by Don Cloud    

Recently, a client came to me after her husband had died. She was 48 years old and was seeking guidance on how to handle her newly inherited assets.

Her husband left her an IRA of about $100,000. Knowing that she would need the money immediately, the woman initially planned to take a lump sum distribution of the IRA, thinking this was the best way to quickly access the funds in the account.

This is when I realized that the woman had a serious misunderstanding of her IRA options.

I often seem to encounter clients who are unsure about their IRA options. These retirement vehicles come with many complex laws and guidelines that account holders must follow in order to make the most out of their savings. From ever-changing tax laws to an endless list of distribution rules, IRAs can leave the savviest of investors frustrated and angry. Despite the amount of resources that are out there, I have found that investors are as confused as ever about their IRA options.

MYTH: If I am recently widowed and inherited an IRA, a lump sum distribution is the best way to get the money I need.

When the woman initially requested that she take a lump sum distribution on her husband’s account, I brought to her attention the consequences of such a decision. She would not only pay taxes on the total amount, but she would also face an early withdrawal penalty because she was not yet 59½ years old. Since she would need the money to help pay for her and her family’s expenses, I suggested she keep the asset as an inherited IRA. The client was hesitant at first. She wanted to consolidate her accounts. An inherited IRA, she believed, was the same thing as an IRA. She told me she felt there was no benefit to leaving the account alone.

I responded that in fact there was a benefit. Maintaining an inherited IRA would allow her to take distributions from the account and avoid the large tax hit of taking a lump sum and penalties associated with early withdrawals. She could pay her bills while avoiding the wrath of Uncle Sam.

I also let her know that once she turned 59½, she could then take advantage of a spousal rollover. By moving the funds into her own name, the required minimum distribution would no longer be calculated based on the birthdate of her husband, who was older than her, but instead on her own. That would let her enjoy the benefits of tax-deferred growth in the IRA for longer than if she had left it as an inherited IRA. At this point, the woman was much more open to my suggestions.

MYTH: My will ensures that my IRA is distributed correctly.

About five years ago, I sat down with a married couple who had recently signed on as clients. As I looked into their assets and accounts, I recognized a major red flag. It wasn’t in their distribution plans, but rather their beneficiary forms.

Through the years, I have found that many investors believe their will is going to take care of everything. They think that if they state their intentions in their will, they will only complicate the situation by designating a person as an IRA beneficiary. The husband had named their estate as the primary beneficiary to his IRA.

He hadn’t understood the implications of his decision. Leaving an IRA to an estate instead of a person can create a significantly more complicated and expensive tax bill, as well as the costs and delays of going through probate. By naming his wife as the primary beneficiary, not only could they avoid that tax bill and probate process, but the wife could eventually take advantage of a spousal rollover as well. Because the couple also had children, I let the husband know he could take his planning one step further and name his children as contingent beneficiaries to the account. I explained that this would help reduce some of the wife’s planning later in life, while also setting the children up to take advantage of a stretch IRA.

This April, the husband died, and I learned the results of my advice. The wife informed me that their family saved roughly $80,000 in income tax. They also sidestepped additional costs by avoiding probate. The woman thanked me for my brutal honesty.

In our technologically advanced world, there is an endless supply of financial advice at our fingertips, and it can be hard to distinguish what information is accurate and what strategies are truly in your best interest. Ultimately, it’s my job as a financial advisor to help clear these misconceptions and set my clients on the right path toward retirement success.

– Don Cloud is president and founder of Cloud Financial, an independent financial advisory firm with offices in Huntsville, Florence, and Gadsden, Alabama.

Source:   time.com/money

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Money Mistakes to Avoid after a Spouse’s Death

MarketWatch article by Aaron Katsman

I met earlier this week with a lady who had lost her husband about a year ago. She explained that she was never really involved in the family finances, and after her husband passed away, she was overwhelmed.

She said that she didn’t know what to do first and decided to go online and read some personal-finance articles that really helped get her on track. At the end of our meeting, I complimented her as to how she is in total control of her financial situation and made some smart financial moves.

As an aside, lest you think this is going to be a condescending article about widows and their inability to handle money, it’s not. Though un-scientific, from my experience, women tend to deal with spousal loss better than men.

Unfortunately, I have had my share of meetings with both widows and widowers who have not managed to take control of their financial situation. Here are some money pitfalls to avoid if you lose your spouse.

Long-lost cousin Fred

Not long after the mourning period, and before the insurance check arrives, the surviving spouse becomes very popular among relatives with business ideas. Much like Mark Cuban on the hit show “Shark Tank,” the widow is hit up for money for the “next hottest business.” Often they have the best of intentions only to fall prey to those who don’t.

Then there are the financial bad apples that prey on those recently widowed. There is a natural inclination among surviving spouses to invest in secure investments offering regular income that never runs out. There are all kinds of products being pitched to supposedly help accomplish this goal. Sadly, these products tend to enrich the salesperson at your expense. As Ken Fisher CEO of Fisher Investments said regarding buying an annuity, “You might as well just give the salesperson money to put their kid through private school.”

Upon receipt of a large sum of money from an insurance policy, do nothing with the money for three to four months. Just stick it in the bank. Don’t make any rash or impulsive purchases or investments until you feel like you are in control and making rational decisions. I have seen many instances where a surviving spouse receives a large death benefit and squanders it immediately, by buying all those things that “needed” to be bought or by giving overly large gifts to children to help them out. Nothing against helping children, but make sure you have enough for yourself first.

Take control

Before making investment or gifting decisions, it’s important to figure out how much money is needed on a monthly basis. Wait a few months to try to determine how much money is required. The reason to wait a while is that you may have all kinds of immediate expenses that will skew your budget, and give you an inflated figure of what you need. After things calm down, start to track expenses. Break your expenses down to those that are monthly and those that are annual, one-time expenses. Once you have that organized, write down all of your various sources of income, salary, social security, pensions, rental income…etc. This means that once you know how much money enters your bank account each month, create a budget that limits your spending to the amount of income you have.

After defining cash-flow needs, investment allocation decisions can be made. If income is less than expenses, the money can be invested to generate income to supplement the monthly shortfall. Conversely, if expenses are lower than current income, more growth can be allocated to the portfolio.

The death of a spouse is emotionally devastating, but you need to continue living your life. By avoiding certain traps and implementing these tips, you can start taking control of your financial situation, which to some degree will help enable the healing to begin.

Rate Quake: How to manage retirement investments in a rising-interest-rate environment

If you’ll be in New York on Sept. 16, you’re invited to join us for an evening of cocktails and conversation to discuss what interest-rate hikes mean for those saving and investing for retirement. As the Federal Reserve prepares to raise short-term rates, advisers and their clients need a clear sense of direction in the face of this sea change. Our panelists will discuss managing debt, portfolio protection and bond duration.

Our moderator is Andrea Coombes, award-winning personal-finance writer and editor. She’ll be joined by Michael Falk, a partner with the Focus Consulting Group; Joseph M. Jennings, Jr., wealth director and senior vice president at PNC Wealth Management; and Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and reservations are required. For more information or to RSVP for this event, please email MarketWatchEvent@wsj.com.

The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates.

Source:   marketwatch.com

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What the IRS is Doing to Catch Taxpayers Who Fail to Take Required Minimum Distributions From Their IRAs

orbes article by Ashlea Ebeling

Is the Internal Revenue Service doing enough to catch taxpayers who fail to take required minimum distributions from their IRAs? Not according to a new report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which calls on the IRS to “proactively” reach out to taxpayers on this issue.

“People are making mistakes, but they aren’t getting caught,” says Barry Picker, a CPA in Brooklyn, N.Y., adding, “The IRS wants people to comply, but they don’t want to penalize them.”

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