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.
In years past, it was often realistic for retirees to base the majority of their retirement income on Social Security benefits and traditional employer sponsored pension benefits.
Unfortunately, Social Security retirement benefits have gradually been reduced in real terms, and the age one needs to attain in order to qualify for retirement benefits has been increasing steadily. iven current retirement trends, these retirement benefits will continue to be more and more difficult for the government to fund.
If you find yourself in trouble financially, there are usually no easy answers -- but there are many ways out for those willing to commit to changing their financial habits.
Your ability to pay your bills can be affected by situations beyond your control such as serious illness, divorce or the sudden loss of a job. Poor financial management can also threaten your economic security. You may be able to juggle your creditors for a time, but eventually you may come to realize you need help in resolving your financial problems.
The death of a major shareholder in a closely-held corporation can seriously interrupt continuity and profitability of the business. Surviving shareholders must struggle with how to continue the company as a profitable business with the loss of a key player. Heirs must concern themselves with how to replace the income that the shareholder had earned and how to extract their inherited portion of the company value.
Financial planning means something different to everyone. For some, it's about getting by on their paycheck, for others it's about watching the stock market each day.
Unfortunately, very few of us feel prepared to meet our ongoing financial obligations and objectives. Worries about money have become one of the greatest anxieties of our day.
Budgeting is the systematic allocation of one's limited resources (income) to a potentially unlimited number of needs and wants (expenses.) Budgeting your income, though oftentimes tedious and difficult to maintain, can help you better control how your income is being spent.