Variable annuities offer more choices than fixed or guaranteed annuities. Some of the things they offer that are not the same as a fixed annuity are, tax deferred earnings, a choice of payouts, plus the opportunity to make unlimited contributions if the annuity is nonqualified. The things that it offers different from the fixed annuity is that you have a potential for making more money and it also gives you more involvement on how to allocate your assets among your investments.
The federal government imposes a substantial tax on gifts of money or property above certain levels. Without such a tax someone with a sizable estate could give away a large portion of their property before death and escape death taxes altogether. For this reason, the gift tax acts more or less as a backstop to the estate tax. And yet, few people actually pay a gift tax during their lifetime. A gift program can substantially reduce overall transfer taxes; however, it requires good planning and a commitment to proceed with the gifts.
Under the recently enacted Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, generating long term capital gains or acquiring dividend income could be two of your big opportunities to save on taxes. Be aware that the Act of 2003 created “sunset provisions”, however, meaning that the tax rates on both capital gains and dividends may go up again unless congress acts to extend the rates. The lower rates are currently only legislated through 2010.
One well-known fact of economic life is that a dollar received today is worth more than a dollar received a year from now.
Time and Money
The relationship between time and money provides the foundation for virtually every financial decision you will make. Whether you are saving money for a future event or considering a loan to pay for a current financial need, you will be greatly impacted by the time value of money.
Without health insurance, a single illness can cause serious, and often irrevocable, financial hardship.
Insurance of any kind is intended to transfer financial risk to an insurance company in exchange for a reasonable insurance premium. Where most insurance coverages pay once a loss has occurred, health insurance has the added benefit of paying to keep your loss from getting worse.
When planning your retirement, it is important to remember that money, more than any other factor, will dictate most of your retirement decisions. Your level of financial preparedness for your retirement years will determine when you retire, what type of lifestyle you and your family will enjoy during retirement, and what might be left as a legacy to your heirs.
Once you have determined that you need life insurance, and calculated how much coverage you require, you will have to choose between several types of life insurance policies. There are two very different types of life insurance contracts -- term and permanent.
Personal financial statements are the roadmap that guides us from where we are today, to where we want to be tomorrow. They also provide fixed points of reference from which we can measure our progress over time.
Personal Financial Statements
There are two basic personal financial statements that everyone should prepare, or have a financial advisor prepare, at least once each year; the cash flow statement and the balance sheet.