A New Approach Financial Planning
A friendly warning: Don’t unknowingly give your property to the state.
Common law in the United States includes a process in which unclaimed property is turned over to states. The intent of this process, called escheatment, was to ensure that property would be properly cared for if the owner died and heirs were not apparent.
With the 2016 federal tax return filing deadline of April 18 – yes, that is correct – rapidly approaching, let’s talk about how you can use your tax forms to improve your finances.
Before you file away your 2016 tax forms, spend a few minutes to see how it can help plan your finances and taxes for 2017.
When investing and managing your money, you must consider and deal with a number of potential risks. These include general market moves, individual company, interest rate, inflation, default, political, currency, liquidity, volatility and others.
Some of these are more important at different times in one’s life. If you are relying on your investments to provide income to pay your expenses, you are rightfully concerned about the stability of income. How concerned you are depends on whether this income is needed to cover basic expenses or is used for discretionary purposes.
Everyone should own bonds or bond-like investments, though you might ask why would anyone want to own bonds at this time. Interest rates are going up and the math says the financial value of bonds will decrease. The value in owning bonds is not just for the known rate of income but also to provide a less-volatile rate of return and to provide stability to a portfolio. Providing stability and helping us deal with our instinctual desire to make the wrong moves at the wrong times may have the most value for investors.
More than 25 percent of bonds are yielding less than zero percent. That means when the bonds mature, owners will receive less than they paid for them. This is a scary scenario for any bond investor as security of principal and low-risk returns are the main reasons to hold bonds.
This begs the question: Should the average investor hold bonds? For most investors, the answer remains yes. However, it will pay to be more selective than you might have been in the past.
How you take withdrawals from your retirement and other savings can influence your tax payments, Medicare premiums and how long your savings last. The best withdrawal plan for you depends on your income from Social Security, pensions, annuities and other sources, the amount and location of your savings, and how much you want to pass on.
Here are a few things you can do to help smooth doing your taxes and 2015 tax law changes that might affect you.
Many of us are fortunate and have many reasons to be thankful. Gifts of our time, skills or money can assist individuals, institutions in the community or people we personally know. These gifts can help to raise everyone to a higher level. If think about how we give, we can leverage our financial gifts and increase the benefits to all.