For the Love of Your Family

Articles to LIFT Your Family

5 Key Decisions to Make With Your Spouse Before You Retire

Retirement decision-making for boomers is very different than it was for our parents, when it was usually just one spouse (Dad) who retired, with Mom sometimes reminding him that, “I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch!” Now both working spouses must make a decision together on their retirement, and each may […]

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Striking a Balance Between Funding Your Retirement and Your Child’s Education

Many parents perceive a conflict between funding a child’s college education and building their own retirement nest egg.  The conflict usually arises from the lack of financial resources to do both while funding daily living expenses, so parents become stuck between priorities and usually wind up doing nothing at all. One of the things a […]

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The Risks of Poorman’s Estate Planning: How to Pass on Property & Avoid Probate the Right Way

They call it the “poor man’s estate planning.”  Put your child on the title to your deed and avoid probate.  Yet this “poor man’s” planning often ends up, well, poorly; and costing a lot more for the people you love. Here’s why and what you can do about it: Risk #1 of Poorman’s Estate Planning: […]

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Congratulations! It’s an Estate Plan! Protecting Your Newborn From Birth

In the process of becoming new parents, many couples become experts at planning – scheduling the birthing classes, planning the new nursery, even picking out a preschool. There is so much to think about before you welcome your new child. Unfortunately, one of the most important things you can do to protect your child is […]

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Tips to Help You Reboot Your Retirement Plan

Planning for a long and prosperous retirement is no longer just about the money; because of the recession, boomers are needing to reboot their retirement plans. Here are six tips to get you on the right track again: Get healthy. This should take priority even over saving more money, since significantly improving your physical health […]

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The Fiscal Cliff Tax Deal: For Most of Us, It’s a Wash

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that Congress passed on New Year’s Day extended the Bush era tax cuts, but the benefits of those cuts for most American taxpayers will be offset by a 2% increase in payroll tax. According to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan Washington research group, less than 1% of […]

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What is the Difference Between a Will-based plan and a Trust-based plan?

In this article I will explain the difference between a Will-based plan and a Trust-based plan so you can make an educated decision for your family about what is best for you and, ultimately, for them. A Will-based plan is an estate plan that does not include a Living Trust to hold title to your […]

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Savvy Year-End Tax Moves for Retirement Plan Owners

Even though the elections are over, no one knows what Congress will do by the end of the year when it comes to taxes so retirees are advised to look at strategies to cut their tax bills now rather than wait for Congress to act.  Some considerations from Kiplinger’s: Max out on tax-deferred retirement savings […]

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Retirement Planning Guidelines for Every Age

You’re never too young or too old to save for retirement; here are some guidelines by age group: Under 25:  If you graduated from college with debt, you are certainly not alone – the average debt burden is currently $26,500 for 65 percent of college graduates.  Once you are able to get a good job, […]

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How to Correctly Name Beneficiaries for Your IRAs

You could be unintentionally reducing your family’s wealth potential if you do not properly designate the beneficiaries of your IRAs.  Improper estate planning could mean that your IRA assets could pass to the wrong people or entities, so how you execute your beneficiary designations is critically important. Here are some of the steps that need […]

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What to Do When You Inherit a Retirement Account

As a Personal Family Lawyer®, I am often asked to help people who inherit a retirement account.  The action you need to take with an inherited IRA depends upon your unique situation; the IRS has rules for each and recently announced that they will be cracking down on taxpayers who make mistakes with inherited IRAs.  […]

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