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Charitable Trust Tax Benefits

What are the tax benefits of charitable trusts? Americans give freely to support the causes they value, from churches, education, and the arts to medical research. Fortunately, current tax laws encourage and even reward philanthropy. Beyond the basic tax deductions for charitable giving, setting up one or both of the following types of trusts could […]


Required Minimum Distributions

What Is a Required Minimum Distribution? A required minimum distribution (RMD) is the annual amount that must be withdrawn from a traditional IRA or a qualified retirement plan (such as a 401(k), 403(b), and self-employed plans) after the account owner reaches the age of 70½. The last date allowed for the first withdrawal is April […]


Retirement Plan Limits

How much money can I put into my IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan? IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans are subject to annual contribution limits set by the federal government. The limits are adjusted periodically to compensate for inflation and increases in the cost of living. IRAs For the 2017 and 2018 tax years, you can contribute up […]


Gift Tax

What Is the Gift Tax? The federal gift tax applies to gifts of property or money while the donor is living. The federal estate tax, on the other hand, applies to property conveyed to others (with the exception of a spouse) after a person’s death. The gift tax applies to the donor. The recipient is […]


Estate Tax

What Is the Federal Estate Tax? The federal estate tax is a tax on property that is transferred to others upon your death. Estate taxes are assessed on the total value of your estate — your home, stocks, bonds, life insurance, and other assets of value — that is over the applicable exemption amount. Everything […]


Capital Gain Tax

What Is the Capital Gain Tax? Capital gains are the profits realized from the sale of capital assets such as stocks, bonds, and property. The capital gains tax is triggered only when an asset is sold, not while the asset is held by an investor. However, when a mutual fund sells shares of its holdings […]


Home Equity Loans

Is a home equity loan or line of credit right for me? Home equity financing uses the equity in your home to secure a loan. For this reason, lenders typically offer better interest rates for this type of financing than they do for other, unsecured types of personal loans. Typically, you’ll be able to borrow […]


Effects of Inflation

How does inflation affect me? Are you saving for retirement? For your children’s education? For any other long-term goal? If so, you’ll want to know how inflation can impact your savings. Inflation is the increase in the price of products over time. Inflation rates have fluctuated over the years. Sometimes inflation runs high, and other […]


Savings Alternatives

What Savings Alternatives Are Available? As an investor, you know it’s important to have a portion of your holdings in savings. Opinions differ, but most financial professionals agree that adequate savings should form the basis of any sound investment strategy. There are a number of savings alternatives that could help you accumulate adequate savings and […]


College Financial Aid

What About Financial Aid for College? Financial aid for college consists of loans, grants, scholarships, and work study. Grants and scholarships are worth searching for because they don’t have to be paid back, unlike student loans, which require an ongoing financial obligation, or work study, which requires a work commitment. There are generally three sources […]


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