Tag Archives: Retirement

Health Care & Your Financially-Secure Retirement

 

Health Care In Retirement

October 12, 2016

HEALTH CARE IN RETIREMENT

The Need…

The rising cost of health care in the United States has become one of the primary risks to a financially-secure retirement. With health care costs expected to continue increasing faster than inflation, the time to plan for your future health care needs is now…before you retire.

Your ability to enjoy a financially-secure retirement can be enhanced by planning for future needs such as:

Long-Term Care Services: Are you familiar with the variety of long-term care services available? If it becomes necessary, what type of long-term care services would you prefer? How will you pay for any needed long-term care services?

Advance Directives: Have you communicated your medical care wishes in the event you suffer a catastrophic medical event? Have you named someone else, a spouse or other family member, to make medical decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated?

Paying for Health Care in Retirement: Do you know what your out-of-pocket health care costs might be after you retire? Are you aware that Medicare, while it covers many health care costs, has significant limitations? Are you familiar with the various types of insurance that can help pay health and long-term care costs not covered by Medicare?

Did You Know:

  • In 2014, men reaching age 65 had an average additional life expectancy of 18 years, while women reaching age 65 could expect to live an additional 20.5 years on average. (Source: A Profile of Older Americans: 2015, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

  • While estimates vary, a couple retiring at age 65 without private health insurance from a former employer can expect to pay significant out-of-pocket health care costs during their retirement years. Fidelity Investments, for example, estimates that a 65-year-old couple who retired in 2015 needs about $245,000 to cover medical expenses throughout retirement, a 29% increase from the $190,000 estimated for those retiring at age 65 in 2005. This estimate applies to retirees with traditional Medicare coverage and does not include costs of dental care, long-term care or over-the-counter medicines. (Source: 2015 Retiree Health Care Costs Estimate, Fidelity Investments)

  • At least 70% of people over 65 will need long term care services and supports at some point in their lives. (Source: 2016 Medicare & You, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)

  • The national median daily rate in 2016 for a private room in a nursing home was $253, an increase of 1.24% from 2015. (Source: Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Survey, Arpil 2016)

  • The average length of a nursing home stay is 835 days. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nursing Home Care FastStats, last updated May 2014)

  • At a median daily rate of $253, an average nursing home stay of 835 days currently costs over $211,000.

If you would like assistance in planning for your health care needs in retirement, please contact my office.

 

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

RESPONSIBILITY by Joe Rubio

Responsibility is simply the ability to respond at any time and to any situation in a way that honors you as a person and supports you in your relationships with others.

Contrast this with how we have been trained to view responsibility. Responsibility does not involve blame, fault, or burden. Not being responsible does not connote shame, guilt or unworthiness. It does not involve a value judgment subject to someone’s opinion about how you “should” do something or how someone ought to run their lives.

Responsibility instead involves taking full acceptance for every event, relationship, action and situation that occurs in your life. It is not “true” that you bring about everything that shows up around you in life. It is merely an interpretation that everything you do, whatever you have in your life, and how you show up for others is your creation. This posture is one you can take on to empower you to be the source of what happens to you in life. Being responsible means that there are no victims created by events in life. In some way, consciously or not, deliberately or by accident (and there are no accidents), every person, circumstance, event or challenge we encounter in life is the result of decisions we have made.

This is not to say that events do not occur that are outside of the scope of our influence. Such situations certainly do take place. To say that we are responsible for everything that happens around us is simply a declaration that supports us to be in choice. It is a place we stand as we invoke our personal power to choose.

Responsibility is always in the present, never about the past. It is simply a place to stand from which to look at the world as you make a choice about some action you may take. It does not make anyone wrong or at fault. And it does not involve manipulation.

When any situation occurs which touches our lives, taking responsibility means that we take the interpretation that it simply occurred as opposed to the interpretation that it happened to us. Having responsibility implies that you are the designer and builder of who you are, what you have and what you do. And, since it’s your creation, you get to change it if what you see around you is not to your liking.

Taking responsibility means giving up your right to make others wrong while saying what you need to say to forward the action without harboring ill feelings or thoughts of resentment or getting back at the person in some way.

People who take responsibility are empowered to respond to any situation with a self assured, personal power and knowledge that they can affect change.

Remember, you are the source for what you attract in the world. Claim responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life and decide to take the necessary steps to impact what shows up around you.

QUOTES
from the Masters…

On Preparation

“Nothing is more powerful for your future than being a gatherer of good ideas and information. That’s called doing your homework.”

-– Jim Rohn

“From product knowledge springs the expertise to work with clients in the effective and professional manner that earns high income. Invest ten minutes daily reviewing your product information or using your product so you know it inside and out.”

-– Tom Hopkins

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”

— Whitney Young, Jr.

On Worry/ Fear

“Positive, continuous action toward your goals is the very best antidote to worry.”

-– Brian Tracy

“As the ostrich when pursued hideth his head, but forgetteth his body; so the fears of a coward expose him to danger.”

— Akhenaton

“He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”

— Napoleon Bonaparte

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2016 VSA, LP

© 2016 BenefitConsultantInc | All Rights Reserved

 

Do You Have An Income Annuity Solution?

 

Retirement Readings

September 21, 2016

 

annuitiesAN INCOME ANNUITY SOLUTION

How Can an Income Annuity Protect Against the
Risk of Living Too Long?

The purpose of an annuity is to protect against the financial risk of living too long…the risk of outliving retirement income…by providing an income guaranteed* for life.

In fact, an annuity is the ONLY financial vehicle that can systematically liquidate a sum of money in such a way that income can be guaranteed* for as long as you live!

Here’s How an Income Annuity Works:

  1. The annuitant pays a single premium to an insurance company.
  2. Beginning immediately or shortly after the single premium is paid, the insurance company pays the annuitant an income guaranteed* to continue for as long as the annuitant is alive, assuming the annuitant selects a life income option. There are other payout options also available.
  3. The insurance company pays survivor benefits, if any, to the annuitant’s designated beneficiary after the annuitant’s death.

* Guarantee is based on the continued claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

 

Please contact my office if you’re interested in discussing possible income annuity solutions to the “risk of living too long.”

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

HEART

by Zig Ziglar

Some things cannot be measured, and the heart is one of them. I think of three former NFL football stars. Mike Singletary, according to the experts, was too short and his 40-yard speed was not that great. However, they could not measure his heart and they did not measure his speed for the first five to fifteen yards, and at that distance he was exceptionally fast.

As a result, when a running back broke through the line of scrimmage…Singletary was able to stop him in the first couple of yards. That made quite a difference.

Emmitt Smith’s 40-yard speed was not earth shattering…(but) again, the experts could not measure his heart nor the burst of speed he was able to generate the instant he touched the ball. As a result, he was able to break through the hole at the line and pick up five to eight yards on a consistent basis and frequently break for much longer runs.

Jerry Rice is the other classic example. His 40-yard speed also was not record-breaking, but his commitment to excellence (was) not measurable. Videotape of Jerry Rice shows him running stride for stride downfield with a defensive back until the pass is thrown to him. At that point, Jerry turns on the afterburners and frequently leaves the defensive back well behind.

There’s something here for all of us to learn. We can measure I.Q., speed, strength and a host of other things, but the will to win and the commitment to excellence will enable a person of average ability to excel. So, use what you’ve got, including your heart, and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

QUOTES
from the Masters…

On Belief

“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.”

— Henry David Thoreau

“Whatever you believe with emotion becomes reality. You always act in a manner consistent with your innermost beliefs and convictions.”

— Brian Tracy

“Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret – curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.”

— Walt Disney

On Parenting/ Family

“Spend unbroken chunks of time with the most important people in your life.”

— Brian Tracy

“There is no greater leadership challenge than parenting.”

— Jim Rohn

“One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.”

— Albert Einstein

Odds of Living to Retirement Age 65

Benefit-NEWBrighter2

Business Briefs

August 31, 2016

ODDS OF LIVING TO RETIREMENT AT AGE 65

 

Of 1,000 Men…

Of 1,000 Men at Age Number Who Die Before Age 65 Their Odds of Living to Retirement at Age 65
30 161 84%
35 155 84%
40 148 85%
45 138 86%
50 123 88%
55 100 90%
60 62 94%

 

Of 1,000 Women…

Of 1,000 Women at Age Number Who Die Before Age 65 Their Odds of Living to Retirement at Age 65
30 126 87%
35 121 88%
40 116 88%
45 109 89%
50 97 90%
55 78 92%
60 47 95%

Inadequate retirement savings can keep you from realizing your retirement dreams!

Are you making effective use of your business to achieve your retirement planning goals?

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

THREE KEYS TO GREATNESS

by Jim Rohn

Several years ago I went into the studio and recorded a 56-minute video for teenagers called “Three Keys To Greatness.” Although my focus was for teenagers, the principles I shared certainly apply to adults as well.

Recently I was asked to list these three things using one to two sentences for each. Now for your benefit here they are again.

1) Setting Goals. I call it the view of the future. Most people, including kids, will pay the price if they can see the promise of the future. So we need to help our kids see a well-defined future, so they will be motivated to pay the price today to attain the rewards of tomorrow. Goals help them do this.

2) Personal Development. Simply making consistent investments in our self-education and knowledge banks pays major dividends throughout our lives. I suggest having a minimum amount of time set aside for reading books, listening to audio cassettes, attending seminars, keeping a journal and spending time with other successful people. Charlie Tremendous Jones says you will be in five years the sum total of the books you read and the people you are around.

3) Financial Planning. I call it the 70/30 plan. After receiving your paycheck or paying yourself, simply setting aside 10% for saving, 10% for investing and 10% for giving, and over time this will guarantee financial independence for a teenager.

If a young person, or for that matter an adult, focused on doing these three simple things over a long period of time I believe they will be assured success!

Here’s To Your Success!

QUOTES
from the Masters…

On Expectation

“Look for the good in every person and every situation. You’ll almost always find it.”

— Brian Tracy

“Life…It tends to respond to our outlook, to shape itself to meet our expectations.”

— Richard M. DeVos

“Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high.”

— Jim Rohn

On Entrepreneurism

“Entrepreneurial leadership requires the ability to move quickly when opportunity presents itself.”

— Brian Tracy

“Kids ought to have two bicycles, one to ride and one to rent.”

— Jim Rohn

“The future will be owned and operated by the entrepreneurially minded.”

— Mark Victor Hansen

 

 

 

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described. For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number below.

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2016 VSA, LP

Longer Life Expectancies…from the desk of Gurdayal Singh

 

Benefit-NEWBrighter2

Retirement Readings

August 17, 2016

WHAT IS THE “RISK OF LIVING TOO LONG”?

How Long Can You Expect to Live After Retirement?

 

Current Age Male Life Expectancy
(in years)
Female Life Expectancy
(in years)
60 20.64 24.08
62 19.06 22.47
65 16.80 20.12
66 16.08 19.36
67 15.37 18.60
68 14.68 17.86
69 13.99 17.12
70 13.32 16.40
71 12.66 15.69
72 12.01 14.99
73 11.39 14.31
74 10.78 13.64
75 10.18 12.98

Source: 2001 Commissioners’ Standard Ordinary Mortality Table; based on composite data (combination of smokers, nonsmokers and smoking status unknown); age nearest birthday

With longer life expectancies, however, comes the increased risk of outliving your retirement savings.

 

If You Withdraw Both Principal and Interest, How Long Will It Take to Exhaust a $250,000 Retirement Savings Fund?

 

 

Rate of Return Amount Withdrawn at the Beginning of Each Month:
$2,500 $5,000 $7,500
4% 121 monthly payments (10 years, 1 month) 54 monthly payments (4 years, 6 months) 35 monthly payments (2 years, 11 months)
8% 163 monthly payments (13 years, 7 months) 60 monthly payments (5 years) 37 monthly payments (3 years, 1 month)

 

If we knew exactly how long we were going to live after retirement, this arrangement might be satisfactory. The reality, of course, is that none of us knows how long we will live after retirement. This uncertainty is what makes it so difficult to avoid the risk of outliving retirement income.

Please contact my office if you’re interested in discussing possible solutions to the “risk of living too long.”

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

A SENSE OF URGENCY IS TREMENDOUS

by Charlie “T” Jones

Perhaps my findings are not the only solution, but with all my heart I believe the fires of greatness in our heart can be kept aglow only after we develop a sense of urgency and importance for what we are doing. I mean a sense of urgency to the extent that we feel it is a matter of life and death; and it is a matter of life and death, for in growing we are alive and in quitting we are dying in a sense. If you don’t believe this, talk to anyone who has lost the sense of urgency of getting things done and has been drifting in complacency, mediocrity and failure. If you are without a sense of urgency in your work, you know what I mean.

 

A sense of urgency is that feeling that lets you know yesterday is gone forever, tomorrow never comes. TODAY is in your hands. It lets you know that shirking today’s task will add to wasted yesterdays and postponing today’s work will add to tomorrow’s burden. The sense of urgency causes you to accomplish what today sets before you. Thank God for the sense of urgency that can change a dull, shabby existence into a sparkling life. Right now, ask God to give you a sense of urgency. Believe that He did, and then act accordingly.

QUOTES
from the Masters…

On Opportunity

“What appears to be your biggest problem in life may disguise your greatest opportunity.”

— Brian Tracy

“Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”

— Albert Einstein

“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat.”

— Napoleon Hill

On Overcoming Obstacles

“Difficulties exist to be surmounted.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

— Margaret Thatcher

“The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no imitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”

— Helen Keller

 

 

 

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described. For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number below.

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2016 VSA, LP

Connect With Us:

 

    

To ensure delivery please add singh@benefitci.com to your address book.

© 2015 BenefitConsultantInc | All Rights Reserved

 

Odds of Living to Retirement, June 21, 2016 Newsletter

Business Briefs

returement

ODDS OF LIVING TO RETIREMENT AT AGE 65

Of 1,000 Men…

Of 1,000 Men at Age

Number Who Die Before Age 65

Their Odds of Living to Retirement at Age 65

30

161

84%

35

155

84%

40

148

85%

45

138

86%

50

123

88%

55

100

90%

60

62

94%

Of 1,000 Women…

Of 1,000 Women at Age

Number Who Die Before Age 65

Their Odds of Living to Retirement at Age 65

30

126

87%

35

121

88%

40

116

88%

45

109

89%

50

97

90%

55

78

92%

60

47

95%

Inadequate retirement savings can keep you from realizing your retirement dreams!

Are you making effective use of your business to achieve your retirement planning goals?

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

THREE KEYS TO GREATNESS

by Jim Rohn

Several years ago I went into the studio and recorded a 56-minute video for teenagers called “Three Keys To Greatness.” Although my focus was for teenagers, the principles I shared certainly apply to adults as well.

Recently I was asked to list these three things using one to two sentences for each. Now for your benefit here they are again.

1) Setting Goals. I call it the view of the future. Most people, including kids, will pay the price if they can see the promise of the future. So we need to help our kids see a well-defined future, so they will be motivated to pay the price today to attain the rewards of tomorrow. Goals help them do this.

2) Personal Development. Simply making consistent investments in our self-education and knowledge banks pays major dividends throughout our lives. I suggest having a minimum amount of time set aside for reading books, listening to audiocassettes, attending seminars, keeping a journal and spending time with other successful people. Charlie Tremendous Jones says you will be in five years the sum total of the books you read and the people you are around.

3) Financial Planning. I call it the 70/30 plan. After receiving your paycheck or paying yourself, simply setting aside 10% for saving, 10% for investing and 10% for giving, and over time this will guarantee financial independence for a teenager.

If a young person, or for that matter an adult, focused on doing these three simple things over a long period of time I believe they will be assured success!

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

QUOTES
from the Masters…

 
 

On Expectation

 

“Look for the good in every person and every situation. You’ll almost always find it.”

— Brian Tracy

“Life…It tends to respond to our outlook, to shape itself to meet our expectations.”

— Richard M. DeVos

“Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high.”

— Jim Rohn

On Entrepreneurism

 

“Entrepreneurial leadership requires the ability to move quickly when opportunity presents itself.”

— Brian Tracy

“Kids ought to have two bicycles, one to ride and one to rent.”

— Jim Rohn

“The future will be owned and operated by the entrepreneurially minded.”

— Mark Victor Hansen

Qualified Retirement Plans

Business Briefs

March 30, 2016

QRP

WHAT IS A QUALIFIED RETIREMENT PLAN?

A qualified retirement plan is a program implemented and maintained by an employer or individual for the primary purpose of providing retirement benefits and which meets specific rules spelled out in the Internal Revenue Code. For an employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan, these rules include:

  • The plan must be established by the employer for the exclusive benefit of the employees and their beneficiaries, the plan must be in writing and it must be communicated to all company employees.

  • Plan assets cannot be used for purposes other than the exclusive benefit of the employees or their beneficiaries until the plan is terminated and all obligations to employees and their beneficiaries have been satisfied.

  • Plan contributions or benefits cannot exceed specified amounts.

  • The plan benefits and/or contributions cannot discriminate in favor of highly-compensated employees.

  • The plan must meet certain eligibility, coverage, vesting and/or minimum funding standards.

  • The plan must provide for distributions that meet specified distribution requirements.

  • The plan must prohibit the assignment or alienation of plan benefits.

  • Death benefits may be included in the plan, but only to the extent that they are “incidental,” as defined by law.

Question

Why do employers comply with these requirements and establish qualified retirement plans?

Answer

To benefit from the tax advantages offered by qualified retirement plans.

Qualified Retirement Plan Tax Advantages:

In order to encourage saving for retirement, qualified retirement plans offer a variety of tax advantages to businesses and their employees. The most significant tax breaks offered by all qualified retirement plans are:

  • Contributions by an employer to a qualified retirement plan are immediately tax deductible as a business expense, up to specified maximum amounts.

  • Employer contributions are not taxed to the employee until actually distributed.

  • Investment earnings and gains on qualified retirement plan contributions grow on a tax-deferred basis, meaning that they are not taxed until distributed from the plan.

Depending on the type of qualified retirement plan used, other tax incentives may also be available:

  • Certain types of qualified retirement plans allow employees to defer a portion of their compensation, which the employer then contributes to the qualified retirement plan. Unless the Roth 401(k) option is selected, these elective employee deferrals are not included in the employee’s taxable income, meaning that they are made with before-tax dollars (see page 13 for information on the Roth 401(k) option).

  • Qualified retirement plan distributions may qualify for special tax treatment.

  • Depending on the type of qualified retirement plan, employees age 50 and over may be able to make additional “catch-up” contributions.

  • Low- and moderate-income employees who make contributions to certain qualified retirement plans may be eligible for a tax credit.

  • Small employers may be able to claim a tax credit for part of the costs in establishing certain types of qualified retirement plans.

The bottom line is that the primary qualified retirement plan tax advantages – before-tax contributions and tax-deferred growth – provide the opportunity to accumulate substantially more money for retirement, when compared to saving with after-tax contributions, the earnings on which are taxed each year.

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

ACCELERATE YOUR ABILITIES

by Chris Widener

In today’s fast-paced life, the wins usually go to those with exceptional skills and abilities. The old quote is true, “The race is not always won by the swift and the strong, but that is the way to bet.”

With this in mind, and with your desire to become increasingly successful, here are some ways to accelerate your abilities, thus enabling you to achieve greater and greater things.

Become dissatisfied with your current state. Growth for growth’s sake is good. Those who will achieve much are those who say to themselves, “I want to grow. I want to be better. And I am willing to do what it takes to get there. This current state is not enough!” This dissatisfaction will create for you an insatiable drive to do what it takes to get your abilities to the next level.

Visualize the benefits of increased abilities. Put them at the forefront of your mind. This will saturate your mind with the motivation that it will take for you to do what it takes to increase your abilities. What good will come out of my increased ability? How will I be better off as well as the others around me? The answers to these questions act as the carrot before the horse, moving you forward.

Understand your weaknesses. If you want to improve, one of the best ways is to start with some area that you aren’t particularly good at. This is the “shoring up method.” Sometimes it is easier to improve something you aren’t good at that something you are. And the gains will still look great for your overall situation! Take some time to consider what areas you are weakest in and focus in on them for a while. The results will obviously be much more pronounced than getting better at something you have already somewhat mastered.

Attempt greater levels of what you are already good at. Another tact to take would be to stretch yourself in an area that you already have some skill and ability in. What areas do you excel in? Now understand that when you leave the weaker areas weak and make extraordinary gains in one area, then you will be moving more toward “specialist” rather than “generalist.” That is okay, but needs to fit in with your overall goals.

Commit time each day to improvement. Steady improvement is the way to go. In fact, you may not see improvement for days or weeks. You may feel like you are failing each time. But alas, eventually you will get it and your skill will increase to the next level. The key is day in, day out, spending time working on improving. Even five minutes a day equals a half hour a week, 2 hours a month. That adds up! Remember, Practice, practice, practice.

Seek out and spend time with someone who has greater ability than you.One of the best things to do to increase your ability is hang out with people who are already more skilled than you. Watching, them, studying them, interacting with them, even competing with them will make you better. As in sports, to improve, you play with people better than you, not worse. They will raise you to a new level. Who around you can you get involved with who will help you with your ability?

Take a class or hire a coach. Go to school my friend. Take a course at a local college or vocational institute. Take a class online. Hire one of the many coaches available today. Pick a specific skill you would like to improve upon and find someone who is a specialist in that area. At the very least, pick up some audio or videotapes to help you grow.

Be the tortoise, not the hare. Slow but sure. Take your time, do it right. Keep going in the right direction. Learn your craft correctly. Don’t give up quality for speed. The whole idea of acceleration is this way: Slow start, work up to high speeds, go the distance. Luckily life isn’t a sprint but a marathon!

Hope these ideas help you as you commit to accelerating your abilities!

QUOTES
from the Masters…

On Skills

“What one skill, if you developed it, could have the greatest positive impact on your career? This is the key to your future.”

— Brian Tracy

“Learn to hide your need and show your skill.”

— Jim Rohn

“Develop the art of being exceptional.”

— Patricia Fripp

On Problem Solving

“Average people look for ways of getting away with it; successful people look for ways of getting on with it.”

— Jim Rohn

“Success is finding and doing to the best of your ability, in each moment of your life, what you enjoy most doing, what you can do best, and what has the greatest possibility of providing the means to live as you would like to live in relation to yourself and all persons you value.”

— Nido Qubein

“Success is that old ABC — ability, breaks, and courage.”

— Charles Luckman

Fun Friday: Chance to Win a Starbucks Card-Join our Oscar Pool…

Make your choices from our Oscar Pool, reply via email to benefitconsultantinc@gmail.com by Sunday Afternoon, Noon PST, and the most correct predictions will win a $10 Starbucks Card! In the event of a tie, the winner will be hand drawn. Please include your phone number so we can let you know

 

 

This Sunday, February 27th, is the 189th Anniversary of the first time New Orleanians took to the streets for Mardi Gras…

On this day in 1827, a group of masked and costumed students dance through the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, marking the beginning of the city’s famous Mardi Gras celebrations.

The celebration of Carnival–or the weeks between Twelfth Night on January 6 and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian period of Lent–spread from Rome across Europe and later to the Americas. Nowhere in the United States is Carnival celebrated as grandly as in New Orleans, famous for its over-the-top parades and parties for Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday), the last day of the Carnival season.

Though early French settlers brought the tradition of Mardi Gras to Louisiana at the end of the 17th century, Spanish governors of the province later banned the celebrations. After Louisiana became part of the United States in 1803, New Orleanians managed to convince the city council to lift the ban on wearing masks and partying in the streets. The city’s new Mardi Gras tradition began in 1827 when the group of students, inspired by their experiences studying in Paris, donned masks and jester costumes and staged their own Fat Tuesday festivities.

The parties grew more and more popular, and in 1833 a rich plantation owner named Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville raised money to fund an official Mardi Gras celebration. After rowdy revelers began to get violent during the 1850s, a secret society called the Mistick Krewe of Comus staged the first large-scale, well-organized Mardi Gras parade in 1857.

Over time, hundreds of Krewes formed, building elaborate and colorful floats for parades held over the two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday. Riders on the floats are usually local citizens who toss “throws” at passersby, including metal coins, stuffed toys or those now-infamous strands of beads. Though many tourists mistakenly believe Bourbon Street and the historic French Quarter are the heart of Mardi Gras festivities, none of the major parades have been allowed to enter the area since 1979 because of its narrow streets.

Jimmy Kimmel Live’s Mean Tweets: President Obama Edition

 

February 24, 2016 Newsletter – Retirement Readings/RMD

Retirement Readings

February 24, 2016
rmd image

The objective of the required minimum distribution rule is to ensure that the entire value of a traditional IRA or employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan account will be distributed over the IRA owner’s/retired employee’s life expectancy. When Must Required Minimum Distributions Begin?

In the case of traditional IRAs, required minimum distributions must begin no later than April 1 of the year following the year in which you reach age 70-1/2 and must continue each year thereafter.

In the case of employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans, required minimum distributions must begin by April 1 of the year that follows the later of (1) the calendar year in which you reach age 70-1/2 or (2) the calendar year in which you retire from employment with the employer maintaining the plan (unless the plan requires that you begin receiving distributions by April 1 of the year that follows the year in which you reach age 70-1/2).

If you wait until the year following the year in which you reach age 70-1/2 or, in the case of a qualified retirement plan, retire from employment, you must receive a minimum distribution on behalf of the previous year by April 1 of the current year, and a minimum distribution on behalf of the current year by December 31 of that year.

How Are Required Minimum Distribution Amounts Calculated?

IRS regulations regarding required minimum distributions include a “Uniform Lifetime Table” with “Distribution Period Factors.” The appropriate “Distribution Period Factor,” based on your age in the distribution year, is divided into your account balance as of the previous December 31 in order to determine your required minimum distribution for the current tax year.

What Happens if Minimum Distribution Requirements Are Not Met?

The difference between the required minimum distribution you should have received and the lower amount you actually received is subject to a penalty tax of 50%…an outcome to be avoided! Financial institutions report IRA distributions to the IRS on Form 5498 and are required to indicate if the IRA is subject to required minimum distributions.

May I Withdraw More Than the Required Minimum Distribution?

Yes, although minimizing qualified plan and IRA distributions may result in substantial tax savings. Consult your financial advisor for a more in-depth analysis.

*NOTE: The above discussion does not apply to non-deductible Roth IRAs, which are not subject to minimum distribution requirements.

Please contact my office, Contact@benefitci.com, or call 909-548-7444, if you would like additional information on required minimum distributions.

 

MESSAGES from the Masters…

WORDS by Zig Ziglar

Frequently, we become so pragmatic that we fail to be effective. Years ago the editor of the Dallas Morning News pointed out to the sportswriters that “Bill” was not a suitable substitute for “William,” and “Charlie” was not a suitable substitute for “Charles.”

Taking him literally, one of the sportswriters, in the heyday of Doak Walker of Southern Methodist University, wrote about an important game. In his story he pointed out that in the third quarter Doak Walker had left the game with a “Charles horse.” I think you’ll agree that the story lost some meaning with the use of “Charles.”

Perhaps the ultimate absurdity occurred in an article in a national publication when the writer set up the computer to analyze Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Incidentally, that address contains 362 words and 302 of them are one syllable. It’s simple and direct, but powerful and effective.

The computer, however, made some recommendations about how the speech really should have been given. For example, instead of saying, “Four score and seven years,” the computer deemed that approach too wordy and suggested, “Eighty-seven years.” The efficiency in the reduction is obvious, but the loss of effectiveness, power, drama, and passion is even more obvious.

When Lincoln said, “We are engaged in a great civil war,” the computer questioned whether the word great was justified. This despite the fact that our nation suffered 646,392 casualties, including 364,511 deaths. The computer stated that the sentences were too long, and it criticized the statement that we could never forget what happened at Gettysburg as being negative.

I think you’ll agree that eloquence and drama, combined with passion, logic, and common sense, are far more effective in inspiring people to do great things than technical correctness.

Think about it. Knowing their power, use your words carefully. You’ll be a greater contributor to humankind.

 

QUOTES from the Masters…

On Kindness

“I believe…that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” — Thomas Paine

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo Buscaglia

“Because the soul has such deep roots in personal and social life and its values run so contrary to modern concerns, caring for the soul may well turn out to be a radical act, a challenge to accepted norms.” — Thomas Moore

On Faith

“When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” — Barbara J. Winter

“Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.” — Victor Hugo

“Spiritual values transcend the material artifacts that we can touch and see. They take us into the realm of beauty, inspiration and love.” — Nido Qubein

Reverse Discrimination Of Qualified Retirement Plans

401k Did You Know That…

Qualified Retirement Plans Tend to Discriminate AGAINST the Highly Compensated?

The restrictions placed on qualified retirement plans strictly limit the size of the benefits that can be accrued for highly-compensated employees. When compared to the benefits provided to lower-paid employees, these limitations can produce a “reverse discrimination” effect that results in qualified retirement plans replacing an inadequate percentage of an owner’s or key employee’s pre-retirement income.

Eligible compensation that can be considered in applying these benefit or contribution limitations is capped at $265,000 in 2015 (as adjusted for inflation).

There is, however, a solution to the inadequacy of qualified retirement plan benefits for owners and key employees…a selective executive benefit plan can be used to counter the “reverse discrimination” effects of a qualified retirement plan!

To Learn More, Give Us A Call: (909) 548-7444 or email: Contact@BenefitCI.com

Types of Long-Term Care Services

Healthcare and Retirement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the older population in the United States (age 65+) will more than double by the year 2030, to over 71 million Americans. When coupled with increasing life expectancy, this “aging of America” has led to a rapidly growing variety of options available to senior citizens who require medical and personal care services. By planning ahead, you can help assure that you receive the quality of care and the quality of life you desire should you need long-term care services in the future.

Nursing Homes

Residents in nursing homes are in need of more intensive medical and physical services. The goal of a nursing home (also known as a skilled nursing facility, extended care service, or health care center) is to help residents meet their daily needs and to return them home whenever possible.

Assisted Living Facilities

The goal of an assisted living facility is to provide assistance and personal care services as needed, while maintaining maximum resident independence in a more home-like setting than that provided by a nursing home.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

The goal of a continuing care or life care retirement community is to provide a range of services, from independent living through full-time skilled nursing care, that can be modified to respond to a resident’s changing needs.

Home Health Care Services

By providing a variety of medical and personal services through nurses, therapists and home care aides, the goal of home health care is to make it possible for senior citizens to retain a measure of independence while receiving care in the environment they most prefer . . . their own homes.

If you would like assistance planning for your health care needs in retirement, please contact my office: (909) 548-7444 or email: Contact@BenefitCI.com