Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

Calculating Net Unrealized Appreciation NUA in 5 Easy Steps

Do you own company stock inside your 401(k) and are considering rolling it over to an IRA? Before doing so, be sure to consider to ask about Calculating Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) tax break that maybe available to you! 
This special tax break allows you to pay long-term capital gains rates on the growth of your shares versus ordinary income rates, which can create up to a 20% savings on your tax bill.

Free guide to Calculating Net Unrealized Appreciation NUA

Don’t miss this potential savings! Before rolling over your 401(k), fill out the form below to receive our white paper, “Calculating NUA in 5 Easy Steps.”
Have more questions about your qualified retirement accounts? We are here to help! Give us a call at 408-459-8383 to schedule time to discuss further.

Resources

Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

Critical Illness Insurance – Protect Yourself

Real Wealth Podcast

Protect Yourself From High Deductibles!

Are your health insurance deductibles getting higher and higher?  Critical Illness Insurance – how you can protect you and your family from financial devastation of being diagnosed with a critical illness.  Tune in to learn about the increasingly popular (and increasingly useful) insurance that can help balance high deductibles – Critical Illness Insurance!

Every week Real Wealth Weekly interviews special guests.  In this episode Don Hansen is interviewed regarding Critical Illness Insurance.  This can be a great addition to how you help protect your family from a catastrophic illness.
Additionally, Listen to this week’s show… updates and changes every week.

Critical Illness Insurance Alternative

Another way to address this concern is a feature of some permanent life insurance policies.  This feature is called “Living Benefits”.  I’m sure you are not looking to add one more expense to your budget.  However, options need to be reviewed and confirm it should or should not be installed.
If you would like to review your health insurance options or how protection from critical illness may or may not fit your needs, please call our office at 408-459-8383 to set an appointment.

Resources:

Richard Loek is a Real Wealth™ Advisor.

Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

Historical CD rates

Historical CD Rates – With CD rates at all time lows – what options do you have?

CD rate Chart
CD rates history

If we can help you protect your retirement savings without buying an annuity – would you be interested?

The concept is being invested in a diverse portfolio that fits your risk profile.  To that we add our special portfolio monitoring system.

If your portfolio drops in value, crossing one of the thresholds – we pickup the phone and call you.

When you have been told something like, “you have to ride this out…” or “You’re in this for the long-haul.”  How did that feel?  Were you happy with the person making that comment?

How would it feel if we were to call you and say something like, “the value of the account has dropped.  We are looking at what the next step is… ”

A new way of managing your life savings.

Let’s talk and see if this is a fit for you, or not.

Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

Signature Plus Indexed Universal Life Insurance – American National Insurance Company

Indexed Universal Life is a great tool!  There are many other companies that offer Indexed Universal Life or IUL policies.  The key is to understand how or if the policy you are considering fits your needs.  With that said, American National Insurance Company has introduced a new policy – Signature Plus Indexed Universal Life Insurance.

CNN

This review on CNN gives more details about this policy.  Another key data point is to figure out if this is available in your state.  California is very slow to accept new policies.  Some states have simple policies – some simply accept a policy if another state or group of states accept the policy.

As you read the review – notice how sentences are formed… “… may enhance returns …” – I’ve learned more about this industry by watching the word selection.

I like this type of product for the right person.  If you would like to determine what fits you best – call our office.  Ask for Rick Loek (Lock) and let’s see what fits your particular situation.

Resources

There are several books on the subject of using life insurance for retirement or savings.

Signature Plus Indexed Universal Life Insurance

American National Insurance Company
Introduces a New Indexed Universal Life Policy With an Interest Rate Enhancement –
Signature Plus Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

Same-Sex Married Couples Essential Tax and Estate Planning to Protect Assets

Same-Sex Married Couples Essential Tax and Estate PlanningSame-Sex Married Couples Essential Tax and Estate Planning, Same Sex couples need to take important steps to protect assets and assess other potential risks.  Below is a partial list.  Be sure to check with your advisors.

Same-Sex Married Couples

  • Update all key legal documents to identify as a “spouse”
  • Check beneficiary forms on all plans and IRAs – primary and contingent beneficiaries
  • Check beneficiary forms for employer benefits, life insurance, annuities
  • Update wills and trusts – check provisions for children – guardians

Have proper documents for end of life decisions

  • Living Wills and Health Care Proxies
  • HIPAA Authorizations – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules

Provides access to personal health information
Powers of Attorney should be updated

Beneficiary review is a must – and be sure to know what Per Stirpes and Per Capita mean
Spousal rollovers may be a better option for spouses who inherit after age 59 ½

Update online accounts

  • financial websites
  • email accounts
  • social media accounts
  • storage accounts such as those for documents, music or photos

Same-Sex Married Couples Essential Tax and Estate Planning

When you are ready to confirm you’re all set – consider giving us a call.  Our team will help you and your spouse.

Call our toll-free line and mention this posting – 866-589-9366.

Read more about us at OnestaWealth.com

 

Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

Gearing up for summer – offers included

Time for some fundamental changes to our office

Time to reflect and build out our plans for the remainder of 2015 and gearing up for summer. The year is almost 50% of the year done.  We continue to review what we are committed to and how to grow the business and take care of our clients.

We have committed to adding some new faces to the office this year.  We are currently training a new attorney to work with our niche, IRA accounts.  You may have heard of IRA Beneficiary Trusts in a previous message from me.  We are homing in on being able to provide the very best IRA beneficiary trust.  An IRA Beneficiary trust is not needed in all situations.  It is likely that your family will benefit from one of these.  It is now actually a rare case where an IRA beneficiary trust is warranted.

Better Rate of return
Would you like to earn 1.65% or better on your savings? Click on the picture for more information.

We are also actively looking for additional advisers who align with our fiduciary model – the client first or client centered model.  Shockingly, this is not an industry mandated model.  Stock Brokers and Broker Dealers generally speaking do not care for this model.  If you know of an advisor what would fit with our values feel free to make the introduction.

To further this project I will be creating and heading up a best practices study group.  The groups mission is to define how to best serve clients and teach other advisers our client care system.

We have been providing financial planning to our clients and prospective clients for several years.  As we continue to evaluate our processes and look where we can make improvements we see a huge opportunity.  The opportunity is to enhance our financial plans and offer, for an annual fee, revisions to the plans.  NOTE: Reviewing investment progress is a given.

Reviewing that your retirement plan is still on track is priceless.  This is not a fit for all clients.  Call to see if this something you should consider.

We are also reviewing our planning model and pricing.  We will be raising the pricing for financial plans and review of current holdings, those held away from Onesta and Calrima.  We do invest a large amount of time working with prospective clients.  We believe the new pricing will make sense to those who are appropriate to work with us.  We are very excited about how our new program is shaping up.

Here is an offer: IRA Beneficiary review – we have yet to see a beneficiary statement that is setup the way the owner *thinks* it is setup.  Why does this matter?  You worked for the money in your retirement accounts.  Would you like to exercise control over what happens when you pass away?  Would you want your grandchildren to inherit some of the money?  What happens if your heirs die before you die or at the same time?  We can provide this service, usually $195 per account for free for one account.  I’m a betting person – I’ll bet you $50 that I can expose issues about your retirement accounts that you are not currently aware of.  I have only ever had one person who knew about this issue – and she had personally experienced it.

We continue to be committed to our fans (clients).

How are you gearing up for summer?

Make 2015 the year of the hug!

Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

SIPC Insurance scam, says Dr Laurence Kotlikoff

Elite LogoWOW – there you are, an investor.  You are working with a stock broker who has this little insurance policy from some official sounding organization “SIPC”.  This almost sounds like FDIC, doesn’t it?

I came across this article today http://usawatchdog.com/sipc-insurance-scam-from-fraud-street-professor-laurence-kotlikoff/ that caught my attention – it calls SIPC Insurance scam.

The abridged version is that SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) is supposed to be insuring up to $500,000 of your invested assets with stock brokers.  This is to protect you against fraud and Ponzi schemes.   In this article Dr Kotikoff states that SIPC not only denies your claims but they will send you a bill.

SIPC Insurance Scam

Dr. Kotlikoff is stating that in his opinion SIPC is a scam!

YIKES!

Second Opinion

You might be interested in a second opinion about your situation

Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

Spring Cleaning 2015 – offers included

This year, 2015, brings some fundamental changes to our office

It is that time of the year.  Time to reflect and build out our plans for the remainder of 2015. Hard to comprehend that almost 25% of the year has passed.  We are doing our spring cleaning in the office, the business plans, the client plans, etc.

We have committed to adding some new faces to the office this year.  We are currently training a new attorney to work with our niche, IRA accounts.  You may have heard of IRA Beneficiary Trusts in a previous message from me.  We are homing in on being able to provide the very best IRA beneficiary trust.  An IRA Beneficiary trust is not needed in all situations.  Let’s meet in late April to discuss if your family needs one.

We are also actively looking for additional advisers who align with our fiduciary model – the client first or client centered model.  Shockingly, this is not an industry mandated model.  Stock Brokers and Broker Dealers generally speaking do not care for this model.Better Rate of return

To further this project I will be creating and heading up a best practices study group.  The groups mission is to define how to best serve clients and teach other advisers our client care system.

We have been providing financial planning to our clients and prospective clients for a few years.  As we continue to evaluate our processes and look where we can make improvements we see a huge opportunity.  The opportunity is to enhance our financial plans and offer, for an annual fee, revisions to the plans.  NOTE: Reviewing investment progress is a given.

Reviewing that your retirement plan is still on track is priceless.  This is not a fit for all clients.  Call to see if this something you should consider.

We are also reviewing our planning model and pricing.  We will be raising the pricing for financial plans and review of current holdings, those held away from Onesta and Calrima.  We do invest a large amount of time working with prospective clients.  We believe the new pricing will make sense to those who are appropriate to work with us.

We continue to be committed to our fans (clients).

Make 2015 the year of the hug!

Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

QCD qualified charitable distributions

If you are over the age of 70 1/2 and have an IRA you may really like this. The short story – you can donate to charities from your IRA. There is of course many other details you need to know.

I have an opportunity for those who are fortunate to be over the age of 70 1/2.  The opportunity is to donate money to charity from an IRA.  This is a very late and not confirmed option.  We are await President Obama’s signature.

If you are interested in making donations to charity from your IRA – please call me ASAP so that we can sort out making this work for you.  My direct line is 408-874-6234.  Keep in mind this will take a little time and effort to accomplish.

QCD stands for Qualified Charitable Distribution.  Our government has made these available for a few years, however usually in some sort of fire drill like this.  Nonetheless, this is an opportunity for those who have charitable desires.
Many financial institutions have cut-off dates so YOU must act quickly. If YOU have already done direct transfers to charity in 2014, they are ok. You will be able to use the QCD treatment on your tax returns. If you have already taken your RMDs for the year you will NOT be able to use a QCD to offset your RMD but you can still do a QCD transaction up to $100,000.

If the President does not sign the bill into law, your will have treat all IRA distributions as taxable distributions and take a charitable deduction for amounts that were directly sent to charity.
A quick review of the general rules for QCDs follows

  • Only applies to IRA owners or beneficiaries age 70½ and over and is capped at $100,000 per person, per year
  • Only applies to direct transfers of IRA funds to charities and not gifts made to grant making foundations, donor advised funds or charitable gift annuities
  • No split interest gifts of any type will qualify
  • Applies to IRAs, Roth IRAs and INACTIVE SEP and SIMPLE IRAs. It does NOT apply to distributions from any employer plans
  • The charitable donation from an IRA will satisfy a required minimum distribution, but the IRA distribution is not includable in income
  • No tax deduction can be taken for the charitable contribution
  • For a married couple where each spouse has their own IRAs, each spouse can contribute up to $100,000 from their own IRAs.
  • If more than $100,000 is withdrawn from the IRA and contributed to a charity, there is no carryover to a future year. The excess is taxable income and a charitable deduction can be claimed if the taxpayer itemizes
  • The contribution to the charity would have had to be entirely tax deductible if it were not made from an IRA. There can be no benefit back to the taxpayer
  • The distribution from the IRA to a charity can satisfy an outstanding pledge to the charity without causing a prohibited transaction
  • The charitable substantiation requirements apply
  • QCDs apply only to taxable (pre-tax) amounts. This is an exception to the pro-rata rule.
I have complete information on QCDs in the Charity as a Beneficiary module.

Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15, 2017

Changes during this time take effect
January 1, 2018.

Open enrollment concludes
December 7, 2017.

IRA Beneficiary Review

Why perform an IRA Beneficiary Review? If you have an IRA (Individual Retirement Arrangement or Account) you likely filled in the beneficiary form.  Either way, the nagging question is, “What’s wrong with the beneficiary form?”  I have a bet for you – if I fail to expose an issue with your IRA Beneficiary forms I’ll provide you with a $50 gift card.  Restrictions apply**

I have yet to meet with any prospective client whose current beneficiary form did not have issues!  How can that be?

When your adviser explained to you Per Stirpes and Per Capita as you filled out the beneficiary form did that conversation seem clear?  Were you left with questions?  It might not be important to you that your hard earned money goes where you want.  Your beneficiaries will survive.

The reality

The harsh reality is this – when you have died or are incapacitated your ability to make changes to the beneficiary form is limited at best.  Most likely your form is set and can’t be changed.  It will be too late.

What type of mistakes do we see?  Making a trust the beneficiary has been popular lately. Having the wrong person named. Naming minor children is an issue.  Maybe a trust is required but the trust is not properly setup.

I have seen an amazing IRA trust.  Very special, the families paid extra money.  There were three issues that would keep the expensive IRA trust from working.  How can that be?  If you have a need for an IRA trust we can use our complex checklist to review the trust ability to protect – or not protect – your IRA.

** Available to people who are paying for a financial review.  Can be a gift card or a $50 reduction/refund of your fees.