You Just Received an Inheritance? So did Uncle Sam!

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The only difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector is that the taxidermist only takes your skin.

– Mark Twain

Don’t try to keep your inheritance a secret from the IRS by sending them an email. There are other ways you might consider for reducing your tax exposure:

Tax-managed mutual funds. There are really only two ways these vehicles can attempt tax-efficiency – low turnover or offsetting gains with losses. It’s an option, but frankly not one of my favorites. Continue reading

Should You Retire or Keep On Working?

6a017c332c5ecb970b01a3fd223cfa970b-320wiPoliticians, journalists, and lawyers never retire – at least, it seems that way.  Arnold Palmer was once asked when he would retire and he said, “Retire to what?”

I can understand that.  I  took a stab at it myself some years ago – I even moved to Florida, bought a home on a golf course, and played golf for about three years when it hit me:  I wanted to get `back in the game’.  I realized I missed actually having something to do – and I wanted something to do that would actually have significance.  That was 23 years ago.  My ‘retirement’ has become a true second career.  By the way, that’s not my office pictured – this one’s too neat. Continue reading

IRS Clarifies IRA Rollover Rule

This, courtesy of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), of which I am a member:

A U.S. Tax Court ruling on IRA rollovers has the IRS changing its longstanding position.   

In January of this year the U.S. Tax Court ruled that the “once a year” IRA rollover rule applies to all of an individual’s IRAs, not to each separately. The court’s decision conflicts with a longstanding IRS position (as outlined in IRS Publication 590) that states the rule applies separately to each IRA owned, thus allowing multiple rollovers if taken from separate accounts during a 365-day period — as opposed to a calendar year period.

For its part, the IRS had not publicly indicated how it would handle the court’s decision until recently, when it announced that it would uphold the court’s decision and revise its rules and publications accordingly. Continue reading

Retirement Planning Requires Strategy

6a017c332c5ecb970b01a3fd0c994a970b-320wiWe’re living longer.  No news.  During your working years you’re saving and  accumulating assets.  That’s not normally the case for those who retire.

Retirement is the “drawdown” phase of life:  a sort of a marathon:  Which will last longer – you or your money?

Just how successful your retirement is depends on how much you have at retirement and how much you spend IN retirement.  Yes, achieving high returns would help; but, you can’t control interest rates, inflation, or the markets.  While they can be managed to some degree, the only thing you can control is saving and spending. Continue reading