Seeing a family member being arrested is one of the most jarring things one can ever face. Nobody ever prepares themselves to see this kind of a reality. However, it is one that might affect them.

In such situations, family members may feel afraid, confused, concerned – or all of the three and more – all of which is a normal response. But it is also important to rise above it all and be able to help the arrested person in their time of need. Having an action plan can help them navigate such situations and help the arrested while keeping their sanity intact.


Below we will list a 7-step plan for how families can deal with one of their own being arrested

Step 1: Keep calm and collect as much information as possible

In a situation such as this, keeping calm sounds like the most impossible thing to do. But for the sake of everyone concerned, it is something that needs to be done. Remember that knowledge is power – so start with putting all of your focus on collecting as much information as you possibly can about the details related to the arrest – specifically, when and where it happened and what the police have charged the family member with. Having this information at hand will help inform legal aid of the circumstances and the exact chain of events, which will eventually help build a better case.

Step 2: Get in touch with your attorney

Having sound, professional legal representation is of course non-negotiable. By hiring an attorney (preferably one with years of experience), you can get the much-needed legal guidance that can help you come up with a sound strategy for defense and protect the rights of your family member. When hiring an attorney, make sure that they have dealt with cases similar to yours and are well-versed in matters of criminal law. Word-of-mouth, internet reviews or a combination of the two can easily help you in this regard.

Step 3: Be a source of support, emotionally

It is traumatizing for you to see your dear family member arrested – however, you should understand that it is even more traumatizing for the person who has been arrested. Make sure to offer the right kind of emotional help to them while putting their needs above your own. Ensure that you listen with empathy, be a good listener, and do not let your prejudices come through. Remember, what might seem as a simple supportive gesture on your end could do wonders to ease their burdens.

Step 4: Have a thorough understanding of legal proceedings

The legal and especially criminal justice systems are ones with intricate complexities – ones that can be hard to understand at a first glance. It is therefore all the more important that you gain a thorough understanding of the basics i.e. terms and legal proceedings that are connected with the arrest process. This will allow you to take informed actions and throughout – right from the arraignment to the court trial, and even beyond.

Step 5: Address practical issues

There are multiple practical aspects to dealing with your family member getting arrested – and as a near-and-dear on the outside it is your job to address them. The first of these is the bail itself – make sure to know the difference between what a bail and a bond is – and take your finances into order.

Once the bail has been set, take a long hard look at your monetary situation. In the event that you see your current finances being inadequate, make sure to evaluate any chances you may have for financing. Remember that no matter the amount of funds at your disposal, there will be some financial constraints stemming from having to make such a big expense in the face of having to pay daily bills.

Make sure to also have cash in-hand for attorney and other legal fees, as well as any expenses you may incur while running errands.

Step 6: Deal with the authorities diplomatically

Communicating with the police and/or authorities is inevitable – so when you do, make sure that you do so respectfully and with full cooperation. Do not shy away from asserting the rights of your family member, but do keep away from confronting them. Remember, what you say will affect your family member’s case.

Step 7: Opt for extra support if you need it

In a situation as stressful as this, you might be in need of extra support – not just for the arrested but also for yourself. This might be in the form of getting emotional care and support for you and the family at large, or getting help with understanding the judicial system. You can also find support in support groups, community services as well as counselors who can help manage emotions and mental health.

To conclude…

Seeing your family member get arrested is a heartbreaking experience. In the face of such a jarring situation, it is best to be calm, collect as much information as possible, find a good lawyer, offer support and care, get an understanding of the judicial process, address practical matters with haste, be diplomatic, and to not be afraid to find extra support for oneself.

Times can get tough, but having sound advice and knowledge-based actions, along with solid legal representation and a good support group can help you attain the outcome you want.




If you find yourself in circumstances where you need to get rid of large quantities of garbage, renting out a dumpster might be a great option for you. They can be very helpful and cost-efficient in such circumstances. that being said, not every myrtle beach dumpster rental company is the same, making it essential for you to know the basis. Below, we shall explore some basic know how you should have if you rent one:

Understand the concept of size and how it relates to you

Dumpsters are available in a variety of sizes – and the bigger it is, the more it will cost you. It is therefore extremely essential that you have an understanding of the exact size of the dumpster that will solve your problem – and will not burn a hole in your pocket or be too small for your next myrtle beach sc demolition project. Remember, simply opting for a bigger dumpster will not do.

Take note of environmental laws and rules

Many areas today have laws in place to protect the environment – for example, there are several states that have banned throwing out chemical waste in landfill. To keep legal issues off of their hands, dumpster renters in such places might have a non-acceptance policy of such substances in the first place. The best thing to do is to ask your rental company and find the list of things they refuse to carry.

Determine the right time period that will work for you

While companies tend to follow their own system of rental periods, as a general rule, most have short-term and long-term offerings and charge either by the day or by the week. Short term is generally applicable for one-time users while long term is more suitable for those who know they will need a dumpster for a long time and/or a recurring basis. Before approaching the rental company, make a thorough self-assessment of how long you will need the dumpster for, so that you can make an informed negotiation.

Get the information about pickup and delivery services

Different companies tend to have different systems for pickup and delivery. For instance, one renter may drop the dumpster to where you are, but another may ask you to make the pickup yourself. Depending on your situation, one might be more comfortable than the other. Make a note of the company’s pickup and delivery protocols so that you don’t encounter any logistic hurdles in the later stages.

Know about the costs and rates

Like every other factor, the cost of a dumpster too varies from one company to the other. The same size might have different rates for the same period and protocols, depending on who you rent it from. It may seem like the cheapest company would be the best, but in the world of dumpsters that is not always the case – this is because they might end up charging extra though hidden charges, or worse give subpar service. Make sure to find out the exact costs of a dumpster for any given company, whether they have any hidden charges or “penalties” and the type of reviews they have received from past customers.

When it comes to getting rid of large quantities of trash, a rented dumpster can be a miracle. That is of course, when you have all the information clear – Best Cleaning Service Myrtle Beach can make sure to know all about the essential elements such as size, rules and regulations, time period, pickup & delivery protocols and rental rates when you approach a company. This will allow you to justify your budget and have your peace of mind as you get your problem solved.




No two houses are built the same – therefore it would be foolish to assume that the same type of HVAC unit would fit in all of them. For newer homes, this is not an issue, as they are built with complete awareness of complying to building codes.

However, this might not be the case for older homes, especially those that were constructed before HVACs flooded the market. If you reside in such a home, there could be a chance that your AC unit is not the right size. This could be indicated by the following:

  • The rooms in your home are uniformly warm or cool
  • Your home is general might not be comfortable, even if your HVAC is running
  • Your power bills are generally higher for no apparent reason

If you are facing any one or more of these, even if you have a new and well-functioning HVAC unit, it might be time for you to contact a professional to check the sizing; if it is an emergency then we would suggest contacting a 24/7 Emergency HVAC service. When doing this, there are certain factors that should be taken into account. Below, we shall help you better understand the process of how you can determine the right size HVAC for your house:

Having the right-sized HVAC is of utmost importance for your home – a too large HVAC would be a waste of money and energy. On the flip side, a too-small HVAC would be inefficient to maintain your home’s temperature and humidity levels, and might cause a spike in your electricity bills.

Calculate your BTUs

One key way to avoid such a situation is by calculating your home’s British Thermal Units (BTU) – this is a specific unit for measuring energy that is used to calculate the ideal size for an air conditioning system for any given place. They work by measure the amount of energy require to cool (or for heating!) a pound of water using 1 degree Fahrenheit.

When it comes to BTUs, the best thing to do is to use an HVAC that can service those higher than your home’s requirement – for instance, if your house needs 35,000 BTUs, you should opt for a unit which produces at least 45,000 BTUs – this shall give you the best possible comfort, be easy on your energy bills, and prevent your HVAC from wearing out sooner than intended.

Calculating BTU is fairly easy – you can do it yourself (there is a set formula for this) or use any one of several online calculators available on the web. Simply searching the terms “BTU calculator for HVAC” or something similar should work!

Factor in your climate

HVACs function by keeping the temperature and humidity levels of your home comfortable compared to the atmosphere outside. So, the general type of climate you have would largely determine the size of the HVAC unit you use. If you are living in an area which has mild temperatures, a smaller HVAC unit should work easily. However, if your local climate is one of extremes, it is best to use a larger HVAC.

According to All things HVAC,,  margins of error exist… the HVAC unit – and their sizes, are no exception to this. There might be a chance that your existing unit might not be ideal for your home in terms of size. If this is the case for you, you should contact your nearest HVAC technician immediately. These are trained professionals who can help you find the ideal equipment for your house. A Top National Roofing Directory Website


A redesign of the Roofing Directory website has solidified its place as one of the top roofing directory websites in the country. The website is still powered by two primary goals. The first goal is to help homeowners and business owners find reputable roofing contractors in their local area. The second goal is to help consumers make the most informed roofing decisions.

This has been accomplished by providing a combination of a comprehensive roofing contractor directory combined with an informative roofing blog. Our roofing directory features specially selected roofing contractors that provide a variety of services. The process of hiring a contractor for residential or commercial roof repair/installation is fast-tracked and simplified at

“At Roofing-Directory we help you eliminate the guesswork in selecting the best local roofer for the job. Our team thoroughly prescreens the local roofers by checking experience references, investigating reputation and validating proof of state licensing and insurance. All you have to do is choose the best price.”

Homeowners and business owners can browse through our local listings as there are roofing contractors that are specific to every part of the country. New flushed-out pages have given the website a sleeker look and upgraded the browsing experience. Navigating the website is quicker and more appealing than ever.

The blog is continually updated with new topics pertinent to the roofing industry. The insight provided in these professional roofing articles & tips comes with expert tips on topics that include how to choose the right roofing contractor, a closer look at roof inspections and the importance of roof repair in your region.

Visiting makes homeowners more knowledgeable about the roof repair and installation process. It also provides an easy way to connect with pre-screened contractors. It continues to take the guesswork out of this process and provides listings for a variety of roofing services including: Commercial roofing, flat roofing, roof inspection, installation & repair, replacement and much more!

The convenience continues with a fast and easy way to obtain an estimate. Fill out an online form and we will provide you with multiple estimates from roofing contractors in your area. It is important to us that homeowners be able to find the best possible deals when it comes to rood repair and installation.

Contractors looking to take advantage of our highly trafficked website can grow their business by being placed in our Top & Featured listings. This also provides contractors with a fully customizable profile that includes the company business information, maps, photos, videos and blog RSS feed publication.

We would suggest also browsing the following sister sites:


Workers Comp – Would I eliminate my occupation?


There is typically a great deal of unpredictability and even fear amongst staff members who submit a workers’ compensation claim. An occupational injury might have the prospective to make use of a business’s imperfections, that makes it natural for staff members to be rather afraid of suing. We spoke to Atkins Law Firm,, and Workers’ compensation law has actually been built to secure those who have been injured on the job.

All states have various guidelines by themselves variations of workers’ compensation law. They were all developed with the interests of workers. In the state of SC, the law prefers staff members and forbids the discharge or demotion since they chose to apply for workers comp. Now, that does not imply a business will not attempt to fire a worker who has actually sued. They might attempt to validate the shooting with another reason, although it straight opposes South Carolina law. Some business are unwilling to go this path since they are mindful it might lead to a claim.

Resisting termination

While it is not traditional for a business to fire a staff member who submitted a workers comp claim, it is a great concept to enter into the circumstance prepared after experiencing employee injuries. That begins with documents. Af6ter you are injured, reveal evidence that you followed every suggestion of your doctor. Some business might try to fire staff members who are not compliant with their healing. Make certain you go to every doctor check out and file every journey.


A bad work efficiency history might threaten your task status as companies might utilize that as a factor for your shooting. This termination would be thought about dissociated from your issues. People with a bad performance history might be more likely to get fired rather than a worker with an outstanding record. Companies might likewise appoint injured workers to light responsibility and if they declare to discover a problem with their operate in that capability, they might attempt to utilize that as premises for termination.

When to work with a workers’ compensation lawyer

The law states that companies cannot terminate workers who have experienced job accidents, although organizations do not constantly follow the regulations. It is essential to have an advocate in legal representation on your side when that happens. Atkins Law office can represent your workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina and safeguard your rights while likewise combating to get the compensation you are worthy of.


The Benefits of Eye Surgery


Blepharoplasty is utilized for eyelid readjustments and is a treatment being utilized by more males and females every day. Blepharoplasty can boost a client’s look in addition to enhancing visual acuity. It is a safe treatment made use of by a variety of clients.

We spoke to ballantyne plastic surgery center in charlotte nc and eyelid surgery can be a simply cosmetic treatment or it can be utilized to repair vision issues due to excess eyelid skin.

When individuals age, their eyelids lose flexibility and start to sag down which can ultimately block their vision.

Aging is not the only cause for eyelid plastic surgery Charlotte NC. Damage from the sun can likewise have a negative impact on the eyelids while smoking cigarettes can do the exact same.

The very best prospects for blepharoplasty can self-diagnose with an easy glimpse in the mirror. Those who look older than their real age and use an appearance that is constantly worn out are perfect prospects. And in some circumstances, saggy eyelids are an acquired quality, which might need eyelid surgery at a fairly young age.

According to Ballantyne Cosmetic and plastic surgeon in charlotte nc Dr Liszka, the cuts made throughout eyelid surgery are made along the natural folds of your eyelids, which intends to decrease any scarring. Tissue is eliminated throughout the surgery and relying on the location that is impacted, there is the alternative to select from upper eyelid surgery or lower eyelid surgery.

As soon as blepharoplasty is finished, clients will not just have much better vision, however they will likewise look more alert and well rested.

Eyelid surgery in Charlotte is facilitated with the aid of Ballantyne Plastic Surgery, visit company website. Staffed with a group of specialists, Ballantyne Plastic Surgery can offer you with superior cosmetic surgery. Clients trying to find a quality blepharoplasty, liposuction or breast enhancement can rely on Ballantyne, which has actually ended up being the leading name in Charlotte plastic surgery.



Why Yearly Toilet Inspects Are A Necessity


Toilet concerns are among the leading reasons for all domestic plumbing repair work, according to Best Rate Plumbing ( There are methods to remain ahead of those issues as routine toilet evaluations and upkeep can recognize problems prior to they can turn into a disaster. Here is a better take a look at why having a yearly toilet assessment must be on every property owner’s list.


A lot of leakages in toilets are sluggish ones and do not simply pour out water all through a house. The only method you might think a leaking toilet is by observing regular monthly boosts in your water expense. Leakages are basic to ignore which is why a qualified and skilled plumbing technician can assist recognize those quiet issues.


The federal government mandated Tidy Water Act assists to maintain water. As a result, contemporary toilets now include a 1.6 gallon flush or 1.2 gallon flush. These alternatives will assist save water and will likewise reduce your water expenses. Water is our most valuable natural deposit and it’s important to utilize it with discretion.


A toilet that requires to be plunged regularly is a sign that something is off. Possibilities exist is something blocking the circulation deeper down in the drain or trap. That might even be emblematic of an issue in the main line. Whatever the factor, you ought to not be stuck needing to plunge your toilet regularly. If you get stuck with water coming back up in a high volume then make sure to contact your local emergency plumbing service.


Individuals normally do rule out buying a brand-new toilet up until something fails with their present one. The truth is that old toilets are subject to a myriad of issues and houses that are geared up with these designs absolutely require to have a yearly assessment. Doing so might avoid significant water damage inside a house.


Residences that have difficult water provide an issue for toilets. Difficult water can result in clogged up pipelines and it can likewise break the parts of a toilet. The seals in a toilet can break down much quicker when tough water constantly passes through. As a result, your toilet repair work issues might lie with the setup of a water conditioner.

Dripping water in the bowl or tank of your toilet are other indication that some type of a repair work is required. There are great deals of little things to try to find and a skilled plumbing professional can determine those concerns with yearly upkeep checks. Best Rate Plumbing can handle any and all related issues for yuor plumbing including gas line services in the Rock Hill SC areas and beyond.



Vinyl Siding is a Popular Option


When some individuals consider vinyl siding, they conjure up pictures of normal looks. We spoke to Palmetto Outdoor Solutions, visit our website, and that is not at all the case. In fact, there is some vinyl siding that looks identical to cedar siding. The good aspect is that vinyl does not cost the like cedar shake. Property owners can buy vinyl siding that appears like cedar shake for simply a portion of the cost.

Vinyl siding often appears the very best fit for most property owners. One of the factors it is such a preferred option is because it is virtually upkeep totally free. In order to tidy vinyl siding, there are no special types of sprays, cleans or scrubs that have to be purchased. All it takes is a hose pipe and some running water. Hose down your vinyl siding a few times a year and the level of the upkeep is done.

Including to the benefit of vinyl siding is that a lot of brands feature service warranties that last a lifetime. That suggests there will not be the concern or inconvenience of needing to replace your siding.

There have been plenty of options when it comes to the siding on a home or business, although many homeowners continuously select vinyl. Here is a better look at why vinyl siding continues to be a preferred choice in all kinds of neighborhoods.

Vinyl siding is likewise resilient and can withstand high winds and precipitation. It is likewise an option for house owners wanting to sell their home in the future. As part of the siding setup procedure, the addition of insulation helps energy conservation while house wrap serves the very same purpose.

Palmetto Outdoor Solutions offers siding installation and roofing service in Rock Hill SC and the neighboring areas. Our team of experienced service technicians can also take care of all your domestic siding in Rock Hill, SC and its nearby communities. Palmetto Outdoor Solutions is the top option for the setup of siding, residential or commercial roofing, and seamless gutters.

When it comes to vinyl siding, the options really are widespread. There is a comprehensive quantity of colorings to pick from. When choosing on the best coloring for their house, that permits house owners to be very selective. They can match an abundance and mix of samples till they discover the right color.

Some house owners may desire to change up the appearance of their home. Vinyl siding lets them do that without any significant restorations, or without spending a bargain of cash. Vinyl siding likewise lasts for extensive spans of time. Painting a house makes the outside prone to weather as it is not unusual for paint to chip.



Eliminate Garbage Disposal Stink with Ice

Waste disposal unit are a location individuals get rid of little bits of natural kitchen area waste, so it is just natural for undesirable smells to originate from them eventually in time. This is a lot more typical incident throughout warm months because germs can quickly thrive. When smells establishes, felt confident that there is a basic, low expense service for a lot of cases. With a lot of Do It Yourself services drifting around, we did some research into charlotte nc appliance repair with plaza appliance service and as a result we wish to make certain you understand which basic service can really ease this concern.

A technique to repairing this problem is to fill a big cup with ice and drop the contents into your kitchen area sink. Run the garbage disposal. When the ice is broken down into smaller-size chips, it serves as a kind of cleansing service that scrubs out the garbage disposal. They are little adequate to enter into locations of the disposal that are hard to reach with a standard technique of cleansing. This will eliminate any food particles that are developing any nasty smells.

For those who wish to take extra procedures in getting rid of all traces of garbage disposal smells, include some vinegar in your ice trays prior to the water freezes into cubes. The vinegar will assault any remaining germs and keep smells from repeating.

And do not stress over having the cubes trigger damage your blades. The ice is not hard adequate to the point where it will dull the blades. Coincidentally, the cubes will have a favorable impact by in fact honing the blades. It is a method to not just eliminate nasty smells and stinks, however to guarantee that you have a well-functioning garbage disposal.

This ice technique can be thought about a type of routine upkeep for cooking area disposals. Expert plumbings generally advise making use of cold water when running a garbage disposal, which speaks with the efficiency of ice. Cold water likewise assists to avoid drain obstructions and getting too hot.

The ice approach does not negate the fundamental guidelines that need to be followed when running a garbage disposal. House owners must still prevent putting particular products in their garbage disposal and ought to likewise practice correct procedure.

Making use of ice is likewise basic enough that everybody can do it. There is no requirement to go out and invest cash on any items that declare to keep a tidy garbage disposal. Some chemicals might have a negative result and wind up damaging your garbage disposal.

If you come across any garbage disposal problems that can not be repaired through this ice technique, get in touch with the group of specialists at Plaza Appliance Service near me for the very best garbage disposal repair Charlotte, NC needs to use.



Current Fads in Privacy Fencing


There is a particular functionality for privacy fencing and for many years, fashions have actually reoccurred. Recently, there has actually been a set of popular privacy choices when it concerns fencing. We spoke to Hartsell Brothers Fence Company,, to learn more and it turns out Vinyl and PVC both have their benefits. In this post, we will offer more on why every one is ending up being a fence choice of industrial homeowner all throughout the nation.

Some individuals might presume that vinyl and PVC are the exact same, although that is not the case. PVC represents polyvinyl chloride and the distinction from this and vinyl is the inclusion of chlorine.

It is crucial to comprehend the purpose of privacy fences. They are meant to preserve privacy and the benefits of a commercial vinyl fence are both comparable. Neither needs any routine upkeep. They are not going to fade or chip like a wood fence would. There is likewise no artwork included. These ranges might be greater in cost than some other products, although they last a long period of time.

While PVC is a kind of vinyl, the kinds of vinyl utilized for business and domestic functions have their distinctions. Industrial grade vinyl is thicker and has more ribbing for the function of updating its strength. And its sturdiness is much better since of the greater levels of Titanium Oxide. This likewise assists stand up to UV rays from the sun and avoid staining.

When it concerns strength, PVC vinyl is a leading option which is since it is even more powerful than fences that are made from wood. PVC has about 5 times more strength than a wood fence. And in locations where a fence is exposed to saltwater, PVC vinyl holds up every year without withering. If you are unsure of the best application for your location we suggest searching for local companies that provide Fencing Near Me.

There is little distinction in the visual appeals in between PVC and vinyl fencing and there are lots of options that will boost the outside appeal of your business home. It is very important to be on the lookout for algae development as PVC and vinyl fences have actually been understood to collect an accumulation throughout time.

According to Hartsell Fencing Service in Charlott NC, a few of the most popular kinds of PVC and vinyl privacy fences include shadowbox and strong styles. White has actually ended up being the most popular color while tans are starting to fashion. If there is the desire to paint the fence, there is no requirement for a coat of guide. Just utilize an acrylic paint color of your picking.



Restoring Your House After Fire Damage


Inside a house or building, even a little fire can produce a various sort of damage. Very few individuals have comprehensive experience bring back a home that has actually been harmed by fire. That is why this kind of service is performed by experts. We spoke to local fire restoration contractor, Vines Plumbing, to learn more and addressing fire damage consists of a range of treatments.


The procedure starts with an evaluation performed by qualified experts. House owners get a comprehensive report of the damage and what it will consider repair. The majority of circumstances will need boarding up the windows. In some circumstances, a tarpaulin will be positioned over any damage in the roofing to avoid any extra damage. Sealing the structure is extremely essential.


Next up comes the drying part, that includes an essential aspect of water elimination. After a fire, there is typically remaining water that has actually filled the structure. Prior to any restoring can start, this water requires to be gotten rid of. Specialists with plumbing experience show to be especially beneficial throughout this stage. This normally needs the elimination of big puddles through the usage if sump pumps.


As soon as all the water is gotten rid of, then comes the drying phase. No genuine repair can start up until the totality of the structure is entirely dried. And since of the poisonous nature of what fire can do, the location likewise requires to be sterilized. This indicates ridding any hazardous contaminants that might have been produced by the fire and settled into the structure.

Smoke Damage

As soon as these previous actions have actually been taken, it is very important to get rid of that smokiness that typically ends up being established in the remains. Remaining soot on a wall can likewise be undesirable. To get rid of smoke and soot, there are unique methods and expert devices that requires to be made use of. This procedure is by no indicates a Do It Yourself undertaking.

Repair work

Just when all these actions are finished can the repair work procedure start. This will likewise provide property owners a much better concept of what can be restored and what needs to be restored from the ground up. There are circumstances when things like the myrtle beach plumbing services stay undamaged and there are other times when just a partial remodel is essential.

If your house is harmed by fire, call the group at Vines Plumbing and Water Remediation. We have all the devices, workers and experience to supply fire damage repair in Myrtle Beach, SC.




Why Your House Might Be A Target For Buglars


No one wishes to experience coming house to discover that your home has actually been robbed. It’s a problem that leaves many individuals questioning “why me?” While some intruders strike impulsively without a method, numerous people plan and prepare their criminal activities ahead of time. To avoid a robber from targeting your house, it is essential to comprehend why intruders target particular houses over others. We spoke to to Charleston SC Security Systems specialists Sonitrol SC to learn more

Below are a couple of factors a robber may target your house over another, together with strategies that will make your house less appealing to prospective intruders:

Corner Home

Due to ease of access and the capability to leave without the worry of several next-door neighbors viewing, intruders frequently target corner homes. While you can’t alter the truth that your home lies on the corner of your block, you can take procedures to secure your corner house. Motion-detecting lights, durable doors, and a security system can all assist you discourage intruders.

Apparent Indications of Prized Possessions

Apparent indications of prized possessions around your house are likewise most likely to bring in robbers. Simply seeing a great cars and truck in the driveway notifies an intruder that there might be important products inside. Limitation the exposure of your important products by closing blinds and parking your automobile in the garage.

No Pet

Canines can notice when something isn’t right, and a bark can signal owners to a possible trespasser. Intruders understand this, and tend to keep away from houses with pets when picking a target. Thinking about getting a pet dog? Think about keeping robbers away as an included benefit to their love and love! You need to just get a pet if you are prepared to carry out the obligations that come with having a family pet.

Empty Home

The majority of people presume that house burglaries take place in the evening, however that isn’t always the case. While night-time burglaries do take place, over half of happen in between 6am-6pm. Strategic robbers will view the house they’re targeting to learn when your home is empty throughout the day. Figuring the property owners’ work or school schedules, these robbers will strike your home when everybody is opted for the day. If you are away often you will want to make sure your fire and smoke detectors are working as well.

Unlocked Windows and Door

Locking doors and windows appears like an apparent method to keep your house protected, however lots of people tend to forget this easy action. A locked door does not ensure complete security, it assists hinder spontaneous intruders and those looking for a simple target.

No Alarm

Burglars are less most likely to target a houses geared up with home wireless security systems. No burglar wishes to bring in the attention a security alarm or cam will bring. Simply seeing a security system sticker label on the door or in the lawn will hinder prospective robbers.

Safeguard your house, your household, and your prized possessions with detailed security systems from Sonitrol. No matter your security requires, we can assist. Contact us today for a totally free assessment.



Top 5 Stocks to Buy for Baby Boomers

Top 5 Stocks to Buy for Baby Boomers


With all the major hype and hoopla surrounding millennials and their sky-high achievements, baby boomers seem to be much less a topic to talk these days. Practically no one speaks about them, let alone the stocks that they must buy.

It is, however, an extremely important topic. Given how baby boomers – the bulk of the population – are now moving towards retirement, and how bond yields are going up, and how experts are leaning towards calling the bonds bull market history, it is prime time for the generation to take action and make their portfolios as risk-free as possible.

Here are the top 5 stocks that baby boomers can buy to help stay well-off getting into and throughout retirement.

Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL)

As a general rule, retirees with a good amount of savings in their accounts tend to travel quite a bit during the first decade of retirement. Given that the oldest of the generation is now 72 years old, they still have a couple of years to travel before they settle for good.

This makes up for one of the many reasons why buying a stock in Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE:RCL) is a fantastic idea for baby boomers. Stocks here have a low risk factor as there are a large amount of baby boomers near to the age of travel who are sure to participate in cruising. Added to that is the fact that millennials too are now very interested in and participate in cruising in large numbers – which is always good news for the business, as even when the boomers will pass over the cruising phase, there will be a large group of millennials to pick up the slack.

There are numbers to show it too – In the last 5 years, RCL stock has gone up by an average of 30% every year – a momentum that is expected to continue for a few more years to come.

Vail Resorts (MTN)

Not all baby boomers are interested in cruising – there are several health-conscious ones who love to enjoy life and keep fit by engaging in more sporty activities such as skating and skiing.

With a good many of baby boomers being in great form, several do ski their way well into their 80’s, if not further. In fact, chances are that many of these have worked past the age of 65 – not with the purpose of earning money, but to spend their time in a more productive manner.

Owning stocks in a company such as Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) makes it all the more a sweeter (not to mention low-risk) Given that it is one of the world’s biggest ski resort companies, it is sure to receive plenty of business from baby boomers from the next two decades at the very least. And even when the phase does pass, one can assume that there will be a lot of millennials to pick up the pace.

Ameriprise Financial (AMP)

Lauded as one of the most stable, Ameriprise Financial, Inc.’s (NYSE:AMP) stocks have been appreciated since before it turned out to be a sought-after insurance company. In between these years, their stock has grown by 316%, which is over two-and-a-half times that of S&P 500.

As of the end of 2018, Ameriprise had over $131.8 billion assets under management, with major presence U.S. and in countries all over Europe. Not to mention the fact that their asset management business (which is in fact their main business) generates over $80 billion in annual gross sales.

Such a low-risk, high-reward situation is especially ideal for the younger of the baby boomers, who may still be looking for good stocks to invest in. Those who already have can sit back and enjoy the fruits of their choices.

Lululemon (LULU)

Further debunking the myth that baby boomers aren’t the healthiest generation, there are many who are not interested in travel, but do more than their bit to stay fit. Scores of baby boomers today opt for healthier activities such as Zumba, running, Pilates and yoga.

Taking up a rather large part of the yoga accessories and apparel market is Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) – a company that is known and reputed to be the go-to place for many a customer to buy their grear. Not only is their gear popular among both sexes, it is popular across all ages due to their wide range of styles and products that serve the purpose whilst not compromising on comfort. This high selling point makes it an ideal area for would-be investors.

Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT)

Regardless of how fit baby boomers will be, one cannot escape the fact that they do – or at least will need an advanced quantity and quality of healthcare. Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT) is one company that really is prominent here, with its high reputation and low-risk stocks.

Armed with a 372 healthcare stocks-strong portfolio, a median market cap of $76 billion, and $7.2 billion in total assets, the company practically the strongest in the traditional healthcare sector, and with the large number of baby boomers in the picture, is sure to continue to do so. It is no wonder then that it is one of the biggest ETFs in the country.





Let’s face the facts here – nobody likes probate. The further we remain from the lengthy and long-drawn (and not to mention, costly) process, the better we feel about ourselves and our precious assets.

One of the best ways for people to avoid probate is to draft a living trust along with (or even without) your will. A living trust ensures speedy delivery of assets and helps you avoid probate, helping your family avoid unnecessary inconveniences after your passing.

That being said, all is not advantageous when it comes to making a living trust. Depending on several factors including (but not limited to) your age, marital status, and financial status, a living trust could be useful or not. For most people, however, the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Here are the factors that will help you determine whether or not living trusts really are the best for you – probate and otherwise.


For those with a medium to large amount of assets and in their advance stages of life, making a living trust is justified. Not only is there a lot of money at stake, there is not enough time, and it really does not make sense to put all of that through probate. Additionally, having a living trust would help in making sure that there is someone to make crucial decision if you are incapacitated, but not dead.

However, if you are relatively younger – at least under-50 – earn a mid-level income, and have few assets, making a living trust would make very little sense. While you may not be very rich, you are sound both in terms of health and finances, and it is best to keep that stable and not worry about costs surrounding probate – which is decades away anyway. All you need is a serviceable will to transfer your property to your beneficiaries.

Financial Status:

While living trusts are largely convenient, they come with a steep downside i.e. the time and cost involved establishing as well as maintaining the trust. A trust drafted by a lawyer would cost no less than $1,000, and possibly more according to the nature of your trust and the amount of maintenance work you will have to do. Furthermore, even if you have a living trust, you will still have to make at least a simple will, that will act as a back-up legal tool.

If you are rich and have a lot of assets that need to be in one place, making a living trust makes sense. Otherwise, it would simply be a time and money-intensive way to be hard on what assets you do have. The better thing to do here would be to wait out a few years and check if making a living trust really is a means that justifies both the beginning and the ends.

Marital Status:

Your marital status largely determines how you may leave your estate to your loved ones after you have passed away. Chances are, you would like to leave the major portion of your property to each other in case you die. Going by this assumption, if you are young, avoiding probate is not a worry. Additionally, if you are among the several couples who own their assets jointly, those assets would not have to go through probate.

Another reason why you might not need a living trust is because most states allow their surviving spouses to make use of expedited probate procedures to avoid the time and cost that comes with the standard probate.


The Self-Employed Guide to Getting Started with an IRA

The Self-Employed Guide to Getting Started with an IRA


Saving for your retirement is a must, no matter what one’s current financial status may be. As daunting a task as it might seem, there are ways to make it, thanks to the various retirements schemes and plans out there.

One of the most common and popular retirement plans is the Individual Retirement Account. Popularly called the IRA, it is a savings account made to help people save up money that they can later spend when they retire. They are of 2 types – Traditional and Roth IRAs. While the former allows providing deduction for holders’ contributions and helps them defer taxes on their savings till the time of withdrawal, the latter does not offers it’s holders any such provisions. That being said, it does make investment earnings both tax and penalty-free during withdrawal. Both of these plans are usually offered by employers.

For small business owners and the self-employed, however, there is a slightly different variation of the IRA. Called the Simplified Employee Pension or, simple the SEP IRA, this is a variation of the the traditional IRA tailored for the self-employed. Freelancers, and small business owners with at least one employee are eligible for an SEP IRA.

Here is how you can get started to open your IRA account, and by extension, start building your own retirement nest egg:

Step 1: Decide the IRA that suits you the best

Before you even begin the process of opening your IRA, you need to make your priorities straight. The first step towards doing that is to decide upon the plan that would suit you the best. There are several factors that will influence the type of IRA you should use – these include (but are not limited to) – your income, age, debts, tax status and overall financial status.

Step 2: Consider opening an SEP IRA

For several freelancers and small business owners, opening an SEP IRA is a viable option, since they can easily use it to make tax-deductible contributions for themselves and/or their business. It is therefore important that you consider if an SEP IRA would work better in your particular situation.

Remember: Only you – the owner and employer – can contribute to your IRA.

Step 3: Choose where you would like to open your IRA

The next important step to take is to choose the place where you will be opening your IRA. The appropriate thing to do is to choose the account provider that offers the lowest possible account fees, good customer support, commission-free exchange funds, and a range of mutual funds sans transaction fees.

Step 4: Decide upon the amount of initial deposit you would like to make to start your IRA

Your initial funding is the first step to determining how much your IRA would be worth and how much you can and should possibly contribute to it. While a few brokers do have $0 minimum deposit rate, most require a minimum investment of $1,000.

Step 5: Plan your investment options

There are several ways to invest in IRA funds – individual stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are some of those ways. Make sure to choose the investment options that suit your situation best and help you make the most with the least risk.

Step 6: Plan your time on when and how you would like to manage your IRA

Opening and maintaining an IRA requires time and involvement – which is tricky when you are freelancing or running your business. Make sure to devote some time to pay attention to IRA matters, given how crucial they would be after you retire. Additionally, you can utilize a robo-advisor to help manage your account with the help of computer algorithms.

Step 7: Decide your marital status when you open your IRA

Your marital status determines the extent and contributions of your IRA. For instance, if you file your IRA as a with your spouse (if that is applicable), you can make twice the amount of contributions.

Step 8: Consider the option of opening your IRA online

In today’s day and age, when technology is at its prime and time if of the essence, the internet is one of the best places for the self-employed to open an IRA. All you need to do is to go to the website of the provider and fill in the relevant information such as employment information, social security number and contact information.

Step 9: Plan the funding of your IRA account

How you fund your IRA is a crucial step in determining where your account would stand eventually. Make sure to include your account number when you set up your IRA.

Step 10: Make automatic transfers to your IRA account

Setting up automatic transfers has more benefits that you can count. Not only does it help allocate a fixed amount every month, it would help you structure your expenses around it. It also acts as a reinforcement in maintaining your bank account, given how you would like to avoid making any kind of defaults (and the amount of fees that it would entail).


Best Benefits of a Living Trust

Best Benefits of a Living Trust


No matter how small (or big) the size of your financial assets may be, it is a must to have a proper legal document that will allocate said assets at the time of your death – and in accordance to your wishes.

Most people solve this problem by making a will. And why wouldn’t they – it is legal and offers a good way to distribute your assets after you die. That being said, there are other documents that can be used in place of a will.

One such document is a living trust. It works a lot like a will but has some slight differences that offers some solid benefits. Ironically for something that is essentially more dynamic than a will, living trust are used quite rarely. In fact, only as little as 20% Americans use living trusts.

For the rest who don’t here are 3 compelling reasons why a living trust works better than a will. But first, let’s know what the difference is between these two documents.


Living trust vs. will

Often called an “inter vivos” (meaning revocable) trust, a living trust is a legal document through which you can have your assets placed in trust. Not only will this help you after you die, it will also help you during your lifetime. Once you die, your assets will be transferred by a “successor trustee” i.e. a chosen representative to your desired beneficiaries.

Alternatively, a will allows you to make a plan of how your assets should be distributed after you die. An executor, who you will name in the will, will oversee the process for distribution of assets, but that can and does happen only when you die.


Benefits of a living trust


You can avoid probate with a living trust:

The key benefit that a living trust offers is avoiding probate. A will – even when it is valid goes through the lengthy process of probate, which consumes a lot of time and energy on top of the stress of losing a member of their family. A living trust, however, has no such strings attached – and therefore facilitates quicker distribution of assets – weeks, as opposed to months (or even years with a will).

A living trust is more cost-effective:

While this largely depends on your overall financial situation, a living trust usually costs way less than a will in the long run. A living trust does cost more initially, since you have to make actual transfer of assets (like stocks, bank and bond accounts, certificates etc.) via a separate set of paperwork, in addition to writing the living trust. It is, however, more cost-effective when it comes into action as you need not have the living trust go through the lengthy probate process upon your death. They will also hold up better in the event someone contests it after your death.

A living trust helps provides a better level of privacy:

This is another major benefit that comes with drafting a living trust. Contrary to a will, a living trust is not a public document, and any assets that are distributed will be done in private. This avoids any and all transactions to be put on public record.

Additionally, a living trust will easily help you handle any property of yours that may lie out-of-state. Even with a will, such property would have to go via the probate process in both the property’s state and in yours, making it a very inconvenient and long-drawn process.


The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Preparing Before Retirement

The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Preparing Before Retirement


If you among the many baby boomer and are currently earning at your best in your career, you’re probably also wondering how you would be handling your finances during retirement to lead a comfortable life. After all, with all the news headlines about retirement challenges going around, there is quite a bit of concern on the matter.

It’s not all bad news, however. In fact, Financial Finesse’s recent report on generation-wise financial wellness says that Baby Boomers are in fact the strongest when it comes to financial position. And with some good judgement and sound planning, they can take advantage of this financial position to save enough to have a fulfilling and financially plentiful retirement.

Here are some steps that you can take as a Baby Boomer to secure your own retirement prospects:

Make a spending plan while keeping retirement budget in view:

Much like Baby Boomers and retirement, budgeting tends to get a bad reputation, mostly because it is imagined as a constant struggle to find a way to monitor spending all the time. This couldn’t be farther than the truth, however.

In reality, budgeting is the art of bringing a balance between wants and needs, and one’s spending power. It’s a great way to both save and be grounded at the same time. By making a proactive plan around your spending habits, you can plan where you will put your money well in advance, and make sure that your life goals and spending are in the same league.

Besides, there are other very key advantages to making a spending plan – from avoiding spending too much before retirement (and increase your debt), save up some extra money to pay your current debts before retirement, and make the best of specialized tax-advantaged accounts such as HSAs, 401(k)s, and of course IRAs.

Consider your options for health insurance:

One of retirement’s biggest concerns when it comes to expenses are those that are related to health care. Quite legitimately so, as healthcare requirements tend to complicate and increase as one nears (and later enters and further advances into) their retirement years.

In the event that you already have medical insurance for retirement, you must begin to review your options, and estimate how much said options would cost you. If the plan you are on is a highly-deductible one along with plan with an HSA option, you must do you best to set aside the $3,450 max for individual coverage, or the $6,900 max for family coverage – you can also save an additional $1,000 if you are 55 or above.

Estimate what you would need for long-term care:

Long-term care is both a requirement and a cost-drainage factor on retirement expenses. And while it can never be avoided, one can do their best to work around it to earn and save enough for a full comfortable retirement. Not planning in advance can lead to depletion of funds within a few years followed by financial misery.

While making your plans, you must bear in mind that Medicare does not cover expenses for long-term care. Which leaves you to either liquify assets or use your retirement savings. The best alternative to this would be to purchase long-term care insurance in advance that will help you stay protected when you have retired.

Here are some ways in which you can begin to make your expense plan for long-term healthcare:

  • If your healthcare estimate run to the $200k to $2-3 million range in terms of assets, you should consider going for an insurance plan that offers long-term coverage.
  • Regular reviewing of your investment portfolio will help you understand if it is properly diversified.
  • See if the state you live in offers any long-term care partnership programs. Such programs help you to store assets that equal to amount of insurance coverage. Even if you have utilized the benefits, you would be eligible for Medicaid.
  • If you have a percentage as high as 10-15% in a single stock, make sure to diversify it. Stocks fluctuate with time, and you do not need the upheavals that come with a plummeting stock close to the age of retirement.

Estimate the amount of money you would need during retirement:

One of the best things you can do is to estimate the amount of money you will need during retirement is to review your finances. Yet, ironically, people rarely (if ever) take out the time to run basic retirement calculations. This is due to reasons such as the fear of finding their status and an uncertainty on the tools required for their progress, among others.

Reviewing your current finance and expenses and making an estimated plan of your future finance and expenses will help you understand what course of action you should take to understand what you will need and what you can do to spend your retirement in peace and financial fulfillment.





In today’s day and age, marriage is not the only way for couples to stay under one roof. In fact, data from the U.S. Census Bureau says that the number of adults who live cohabit together is 29% more than what it used to be in 2007 – and over a half of this percentage is aged 35 and younger.

Just like marriage, cohabitation has a profound effect on estate planning – albeit one that is markedly different from that of married couples. Given that there is no set legal system in place for those who cohabit (as opposed to marriage), it is important to understand how estate plan would work in such situations, and how couples who cohabit can take advantage of benefits afforded by married couples such as social security, right to property, inheritance and decision making privilege, among others.

Here are key elements that unmarried couples must consider when making their estate plan:

Avoid probate by re-titling your real estate:

In general, having a sound estate plan helps you make sure that your assets will remain safe, avoid probate, and go to those you wish to with no hassles. This applies even more so in case you are cohabiting – in the absence of proper legal documents, your assets would fall under intestacy laws, and your near and dear would all have to go through the long-drawn system of probate.

While there is always a chance for your property to ultimately by subjected to probate, there are things you can do to avoid the undesirable situation as much as possible. You can start by transferring your property to a joint trust with your partner. That way, if you die or become incapacitated before them, your partner would be able to administer the estate in the capacity of a successor trustee.

Secondly, you can enter into joint tenancy along with your partner. This is a special kind of ownership wherein two or more people can own a property collectively – even if they are not related by blood or marriage. If one of the tenant dies, their interest immediately passes on to the surviving tenant(s).

Name your partner as your Attorney-in-Fact:

The Power of Attorney is the most essential and critical of all estate planning tools that you must have. This is one document that affects you throughout your lifetime, as opposed to others, which affect others and only after you are dead. By using a Power of Attorney to appoint your partner as an ‘Attorney-in-Fact, you can make sure that they have the power to act on your behalf in legal, medical and financial matters – when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Additionally, you should add your partner and give them the power to make end-of-life decisions by appointing them as your proxy via an Advance Directive for Health Care document.

Appoint your partner as your “pay-on-death” beneficiary:

For those who are technically not married, financial and legal instruments (such as will and estate plans, bank accounts, insurance policies, and retirement plans) give you the option to at least one individual – in this case, your partner as a “pay-on-death” beneficiary. This allows your partner to receive your assets after your death automatically – even if you are not married. So for instance, if your partner is listed as the pay-on-death beneficiary of your bank account, all he or she has to do is take a copy of your death certificate, along with a proof of their identity. The bank will then re-title the account to their name or transfer the funds to their account.

Include your digital assets in your estate plan:

The touch of technology has altered the whole world we live in – and estate planning is no exception. With the rise of technology has risen the amount of online “assets,” namely social media accounts, e-mail accounts, websites, and even finance in the shape of cryptocurrencies. It is, therefore, essential for you to include said digital properties your estate plan and make sure that your representatives have the access to take actions to reassign and/or delete your online accounts after you pass away.

Write detailed instructions for your partner:

A lot needs to be done when someone passes away – from things as sensitive as distribution of assets to those as seemingly mundane and simple and paying pending bills and turning off subscriptions. Writing a letter of instruction for your partner to tell them (or, alternatively, any other representatives) all the things they should know regarding managing your estate. This includes handling bills, canceling services and/or subscriptions, handling personal effects and making sure that certain members of the family and friends are notified.

Having such instructions in hand will make executing them a much simpler task for your partner and/or other representatives to manage all of your affairs after your passing.





For most, one of life’s biggest goals is to have saved enough to live out their retirement peacefully and with financial independence. It is therefore, highly essential to have a proper retirement savings strategy in place.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) can – and do – play a very vital role in such situations – being one of the most common ways for people to set aside money to be used during retirement. IRAs are of two types – traditional and Roth – money going into a traditional IRA is contributed as tax-deferred, but taxed when withdrawn, while money going into a Roth IRA only goes into the account after tax deductions but is tax-free when withdrawn. You can either contribute through one or the other, or sometimes even both, so long as you stay within the annual limit for making contributions.

Given the rather complex nature of IRAs, and the confusion around the same, there are several myths that surround them, which can often cause unnecessary distress on the part of both present and would-be contributors.

Here are three key misconceptions that surround IRAs, and what really is the truth about them:

Myth #1 – You cannot contribute to an IRA if you are unemployed:

Although it is mandatory to be an active income earner to qualify for contributing to an IRA, the Internal Revenue Service does have exceptional provisions whereby those who are technically unemployed can also make contributions. The most common of these is the spousal IRA.

As the name implies, the spousal IRA allows the unemployed spouse to contribute to the IRA (within contribution thresholds), so long as their spouse is employed. It works as a suitable option especially for women, who tend to take at least some time out of their careers at some point (either to have and/or raise children or to care for their elders). For them, the spousal IRA can allow them to track their retirement savings and keep to the norm – even if they are temporarily not working.

To qualify for spousal IRA, the non-working spouse must:

  • Be married
  • Be able to file returns for joint income tax
  • Have a household earned income that matches the contributions made by the working spouse to their IRA, and the non-working spouse to their spousal IRA

Myth #2 – If your earnings are more than the specified income thresholds, you will be disqualified:

Whereas earning a large income is always a great thing, it can disappoint when it comes to contributing to an IRA. This is because there are set limits when it comes to making IRA contributions.

In the event that you don’t have a workplace retirement plan in place already, it is possible for you to make contributions (and later fully deduct your contributions) even if you make a salary as high as $1 million. Limits can still arise, however, in case you are not covered but your husband or wife is.

In the event that you do have a workplace retirement plan, your income will cast a larger shadow on your eligibility to contribute. If you earn $72,000 or more and are single, or earn $119,000 or more, and are married, you are ineligible to deduct any part of your traditional IRA contributions. That said, you could continue to contribute to a traditional, non-deductible IRA.

Roth IRAs, however, are much more stringent. Earning a higher income can easily disqualify you from making direct contributions. This applies even if your current workplace does not offer you a retirement plan.

All said and done, you could still save via the “backdoor” option – this happens when you make a non-deductible contribution to a traditional IRA, and thereafter and then convert said contributions into a Roth IRA one.

Myth #3 – You cannot contribute to an IRA if you have a workplace plan in place:

This is a big confusion surrounding IRAs – and a false one too. Many think that if their workplace has a retirement plan like a 401(k) in place, they are ineligible to contribute to IRAs. The truth, however, is that if you are employed and under the age of 70 years and 6 months, you can contribute to a traditional IRA. The only caveat here would be that you would not be able to make deductible contributions. For Roth IRAs, you can contribute at any age, so long as your income lies below a certain limit.





Doing your taxes is a tough job. With laws and rules changing with every region and year, there is a lot of confusion around how it should be done in the most efficient manner – not to mention one that is easiest on the pocket.

While there are way too many myths for us to bust in one go, we can help you with the top five tax myths that currently prevail in the world of taxes, help you get the best of your returns and avoid getting audited.

Tax myth #1 – It is voluntary to file your taxes:

Very obvious, yet one of the biggest myths to circle around the world of taxes – no matter what state you may be in, it is always mandatory to pay your taxes.

The confusion happens because people often mistakenly refer to a passage in the Form 1040 instruction book that states that the tax system is a voluntary one. While that is correct in theory, it has no bearing upon the status of paying taxes, which is as mandatory as it gets.

Tax myth #2 – Students need not pay any taxes:

A truth to some extent, students earning less than $12,000 a year do not need to file their income taxes. Those earning more than that figure, however, need to pay taxes on a mandatory basis.

That being said, if you are a student under the age of 24, your parents claim you as a dependent, and you meet certain criteria, you can avoid having to pay taxes. It doesn’t matter if you go to school full time. You need to file your income taxes.

Fortunately, there is the IRS to help with this – there is a very handy “quiz” on their website to help understand if you need to file a tax return.

Tax myth #3 – Pets can be filed as dependents

Although pets have a very special status in life (for they are loved and require a lot of investment), they cannot be filed as dependents, and therefore cannot get you a tax break.

That being said, pets can be leveraged to make tax breaks in some circumstances – for instance, if the pet in question is a service animal such as a therapy animal or a guide dog, or even a guard animal for your business (if that is applicable). Make sure that you have a detailed record related to your pet, as the IRS will require both the proof of the need of a service animal, as well as the proof that said service animal is trained to help you.

Tax myth #4 – The accountant is responsible for filed tax errors

To err is human – and something that’s applicable even to accountants and financial experts. Even the finest of experts can sometimes make a mistake and that could potentially result into you getting audited.

You heard that right – even if it is your accountant who makes the mistake, it is you who will be on the hook. The only way you can avoid this from happening is by making them double check their work, and then potentially double-checking it yourself.

Tax myth #5 – Your “home office” gives you a deduction

Your company may have a flexible policy allowing you to work from home on some days. You may even be a full-time remote worker. But that does not mean that you will be eligible for tax deductions.

In order for your workplace to be eligible for a tax refund, it must be available for exclusive and regular use, and must be the principal place of conducting business. Therefore, not should your office be exclusively for work, it must be the place where you would conduct all of your business activities, including (but not limited to) in-person meetings with clients and/or customers. You can only add your home office as a refund if it strictly meets these requirements.





Living the freelancers’ life is the dream for many – the ability to be your own boss, set your own working hours, and achieve a higher level of work-life balance. And with over 36% of the American workforce engaging in some or the other kind of freelance work, the gig economy is indeed going from strength-to-strength.

That being said, the working for the gig economy also comes with its own downsides, most of all being the lack of any kind of employer-sponsored benefits and retirement accounts like the IRA or 401(k). Having a clear absence of such a structure makes it very difficult, if not impossible to save for retirement in a clear-cut manner.

With the right perspective, however, this supposed weakness can easily be turned into a strength. Whilst you do not have a solid employer-sponsored 401(k) as a freelancer, you are your own boss and do have the flexibility to make a lot of choices the average employee couldn’t. As a freelancer, you can (and should) take advantage of the options that you do have and can use to save for retirement.

Here are some common investment accounts that you can use to save for the future as a freelancer:

Traditional and Roth IRAs

Individual Retirement Account (IRA) allow individuals to set aside part of their savings for their retirement. As a freelancer, you can choose and work with either of a traditional or a Roth IRA, or even a plan that combines the two. Those aged 50 or less can deposit up to $5,500 into a traditional or Roth IRA or a combined plan. Those over 50 can deposit an extra $1,000.

Any money that you deposit into a traditional IRA is pre-tax, so your savings will be subject to tax when you withdraw them during retirement. Roth IRA, on the other hand, requires you to pay the taxes on the money before you deposit it, making the withdrawn money tax-free.

Opening an account is easy – you can easily do it online through a broker, such as Betterment, Vanguard, or Fidelity.


A Simplified Employee Pension IRA (SEP IRA) is a retirement account ideal for those who make their living as freelancers. In this plan, workers can add either of $55,000 or 25% of their net earnings – whichever turns out to be the lesser – annually. Accounts can be set up with online like with a traditional IRA, and contributions can be easily deducted.

Solo 401(k)

As the name implies, a solo 401(k) is exactly that – a 401(k) account for a single person. It is similar to the traditional 401(k) in the sense that you can deposit up to $18,500 into the account ($24,500 if you are 50 years old or more), but given that you act as both the employer and employee, it is possible for you to make additional contributions as an employer, and therefore boost your total contributions. Subject to your income and IRS calculations, the total amount you can add becomes up to $55,000 per year.

Make sure to open your account by December 31st of the year in which you intend to contribute – for instance if you want to contribute for 2019, you have to open your account before or on Dec. 31, 2019.

How much should you save for retirement?

The amount one needs to save for retirement is different for everyone as it is based upon various factors such as age, debts, saved money and assets, and current income. That being said, a general rule is to save around 10% to 15% of your income in a retirement account at the very least. The more you can increase the percentage, the better it will be.

Another factor that is you must consider before embarking on saving for retirement is debt load. If you’re among the freelancers who have high-interest loans (like soft loans or pending credit card bills), you should first concentrate on paying-off and neutralizing said debts before you begin to save. This is because the annual interest you would be paying on said loans would be greater than the returns you would be receiving from the retirement savings.

On the flip side, if you have low-interest debts (like federal student loans or mortgage), you should start saving for retirement right away, whilst making sure than you are also paying your loan debt(s).


Estate Planning for Wealthy Families

Estate Planning for Wealthy Families


One of the best and most essential things a family with wealth can do to protect and grow their wealth is to create a solid financial estate plan. According to a 2014 report by Vanguard, seeking an advisor to build a financial estate plan is one of the top three services sought by affluent families (besides implementation of tax-advantaged strategies and planning for long-term care).

In such situations, a good plan makes all the difference – not only will it cover the goals the family wishes to attain, it will also keep searching for areas to improve in, and when necessary adapt to changes and include new situations.

Here are some estate-planning tips that you can use to protect and grow the wealth that belongs to you and your family:

Minimize your taxes:

While planners are the best at doing what they do (provided you’ve done your research and hired a good one), they are usually not the most knowledgeable when it comes to tax matters. It is, therefore best that you consult a tax lawyer or accountant who can help you minimize your taxes as much as possible before you begin the process of building your estate plan. Tax lawyers work with estate planners and advisors to review areas where benefits can be maximized through conducting an early division of assets.

Add a life insurance plan:

Making the addition of a life insurance plan into the financial one has more than a few benefits. For starters, it works as a great way to manage tax and risk-related expenses within corporations. Secondly, it serves as a handy tool for families that have high spending rates but wish to leave a certain estate value behind with as few tax litigations as possible.

Take your family structure into account:

Usually, families that are more affluent and wealthy than others tend to have a more detailed and complicated asset structure. This is at least partially because of the fact that many of said assets get implemented in an ad hoc manner over a large period of time, with the hiring of multiple tax lawyers and/or accountants.

Generally, creating a uniform family governance plan will help formalize the structure into a clean, solid shape. This would help make the financial structure more efficient and accountable and reduce costs tremendously. The factors to be taken into account here should be the formal setting out of family members’ roles and responsibilities, and a thorough calculation of the required outside expertise (such as investment, legal, and accounting).

Make your will early – and review your will regularly:

Quite surprisingly, it is a known fact that people tend to not make wills unless they cross a certain age. To most people who are young, making a will and an estate plan is a waste of time, money and personal involvement.

In reality, however, the only person who can validate the truth of the matter as an estate planner. With solid estate background and experience (from practical experience to memberships of prestigious organizations such as of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), planners will be able to map out a procedure and summarize the areas that needs the attention of a lawyer. Undertaking this process when you are young – and reviewing it regularly will help you stay organized, fulfill the current financial needs of you and your family, reduce otherwise unnecessary legal bills, and make sure that the a well-formulated will exists, capable of handling any and all situations.

Allocate your investments:

Last but not the least, you must integrate all of the above into designing and building your investment portfolio, in accordance to the Investment Policy Statement. Doing this can require some initial heavy lifting, but it will be worth it when you are relieved that a solid estate plan is in action.

To allocate your investments fairly, make sure than the investment assets are well-diversified, yet dynamic enough to be easily changes with changes in the family structure.





In today’s day and age, blended families are on the rise. While they are generally good news for both the parties involved (as well as their children, if there are any), they come with some unique changes and challenges, especially on the legal and financial front. In the case of estate planning, for instance, things can get tight in case the wishes of spouses clash with each other – say, a well-to-do man with 2 children married a relatively wealthy woman with 1 child, the man may want the joint estate to be split equally between the 3 children, whereas the woman may want to each parent to address their child’s inheritance on their own. While the couple should have discussed these matters before marriage, they rarely tend to think what they must do with their wealth once they pass away.

Not only are such kinds of frictions bad, they can have people holding grudges for years, if not decades. The best way to avoid this is to make a solid estate plan for blended families that will honor everyone’s wishes and help divide property equally after the death of the parents.

Here are some tips on how you can successfully work on estate planning for blended families:

Tip #1: Make a disposition of remains – A disposition of remains is a legal document that appoints one individual to make crucial decisions, such as burial. This can be very useful when there is a conflict of opinion between the deceased parent’s children from their first marriage and the surviving partner. In case the deceased has not signed said document before his/her death, the surviving spouse will have complete control over all decisions, and the children will have absolutely no say in any matter whatsoever.

Tip #2: Make sure to spell out the terms of property distribution after your death – Spelling out the terms of how property is supposed to be distributed after your death will help clear the air on how financial matters would be handled, and would help make an atmosphere that is fair for both your surviving spouse (and their children), as well as your children from your previous marriage. Failing to do so will cause your spouse to receive all joint assets, along with total and complete rights to do whatever he or she would like to do with said assets. Such situation can turn out to be slippery, as the surviving spouse may have a greater desire to favor his or her own children.

Tip #3: Use irrevocable trusts – If you are both sincere about sharing your resources equally among your children regardless of their origin, irrevocable trusts are a great way to legally cement your wished and justifications. To do this successfully, you can do either of the following:

  • Buy life insurance and name the biological children of the first spouse passing away as the beneficiaries.
  • Have the assets entered in a trust upon the death of the first spouse and appoint an independent and impartial trustee who will control how said assets will be distributed. This will prevent the surviving spouse from emptying the trust on their own will.
  • Upon their death of the first spouse, give the assets to their biological children, to the stepparent’s detriment.

Tip #4: Discuss the extent of information that children should have upon their biological parent’s death – With matters as sensitive as estate planning, it is important for biological children to not feel that they are being kept out of the loop in any way. For instance, if the biological parent has assets (which the biological children did not know about), and if said assets were passed on to the stepparent, this would make the biological children feel that they were keep in the dark the whole time, which in turn would create a big rift in the fabric of the family.


Top Estate Planning Myths

Top Estate Planning Myths


When it comes to handling wills and estate planning, terms can get confusing. Living wills, wills, and trusts are different, yet overlap, which can make it confusing for an ordinary man to understand what they specifically are. Such kind of lack of awareness gives rise to confusion which leads to the development of myths that may completely interfere with your plans to secure your future.

No matter what your status is in life, having a solid estate plan is place is of utmost importance. Here are some myths that you must avoid when you are making your own plans:

Myth #1: A will and a living will are one and the same

One of the biggest confusions surrounding estate planning and wills and estate planning is that a testament, a last will, and a living will are one and the same. While they sound similar and fulfill the larger goal of securing financial matter around the time of your death, they each have different roles to fulfill. While a testament and a last will deal with financial actions in the aftermath of your death, and only become active once you die, living wills work as an advance directive – helping you make the choice of how your financial matters will be handled during your lifetime – and especially its later stages. They remain dormant unless you become incapacitated and unable to make or express choices even when you are alive.

Myth #2: It is important to plan a reading for a will

Thanks to the popularity of TV shows, most know about the compelling part that is the reading of a will, when the family (and maybe other possible inheritors) sit together for the lawyer to read out the will. It is however just that – fiction.

While the reading of the will makes for a very compelling and dramatic scene it has absolutely no relationship with actual laws. While your family does get to read your will after your death, it happens from a copy that they receive (in private) rather than a mass gathering an announcement.

When you die, someone (possibly your spouse or child) will have to bring your will to a probate court. Upon submission to probate court, the will would become the part of a new probate case and will be scrutinized by said court of law. Only after the court successfully determines the legal validity of the will, its terms will be enforced. If the courts deems the will invalid, the state will take over the matter.

Myth #3: A will is exclusively meant for the old, sick and/or wealthy

One of the greatest mental blocks when it comes to making wills is the fact that many people believe it is a directly reflection of human mortality and is therefore only suited for those who are close to death, and/or have a considerably large amount of wealth on their hands. Therefore, if you are not old, sick or wealthy, a will is not necessary.

Some of this is true – wills do reflect the fact that no one lives forever, and that planning ahead of time is a necessity, and people who belong to the aforementioned groups have a greater need for a will, those far away from said groups (namely young and healthy adults, and people with limited wealth) also require a will as well as an estate plan.

The truth is that despite all odds, emergencies can strike anyone at any time. Such untimely occurrences are indeed unfortunate, but the lack of proper legal devices further complicates things in the form of destructive family conflicts and haphazard actions. So even if you are someone who is not old, wealthy and/or sick, or even someone with a family, you must make sure to have a will.

Myth #4: Having a will is enough

A will is an essential document important for the purpose of estate planning (not to mention the perfect first step in the right direction), it is not enough on its own. This is primarily due to the fact that a will is a legal device that is meant to get into effect only when you die and has practically no purpose to serve when you are alive. For instance, if you are sick and require somebody to help manage your finances and health, a will would be of no use.

This is where other estate planning devices (such as estate plans and living wills) come in – each serve a specific purpose, and together, they address all aspects of your finances in all stages of your life. Do bear in mind that in order to give yourself and your family the best of benefits and protections, you must first have all the estate planning tools at hand.

Myth #5: There’s no need for a will when you can simply tell people what you want

One of the biggest myths surrounding wills is that of making an “oral will.” Often the product of fictious TV shows, many do believe that simply saying one’s wishes aloud on one’s deathbed is enough – and that a document (and all the legal proceedings that come with it) is not necessary.

This could not be farther than the truth, however. Making an oral will has nothing to do with with how modern estate planning laws function, and therefore have no legal bearing on how your property would be distributed once you die.

While some states (say, twenty of them) do allow people to make oral wills (a process called nuncupative wills), it comes with quite a few limitations. For instance, the state of Washington allows residents to create oral wills, it can only happen under specific criteria:

  • The total value of the personal property be less than $1,000
  • There should be at least two competent witnesses on the scene
  • You must be in the last stages of your illness
  • Someone must be present to write down the terms of the oral will and submit it to the probate court within 6 months of your death
  • Your spouse and/or children should be notified of the oral will in order for them to be able to contest the terms.

Therefore, oral wills – even in the states where they are allowed, are no match for a drafted last will and testament.

Myth #6: Having an estate plan is enough

Having an estate plan in place is one of the best things you can do – it is a great way to make choices that will help secure the financial situation of both yourself and your family and help avoid conflict and legal hassles later.

That being said, it is definitely not enough. Estate plans need regular review and if applicable, amendments and updates in order to make sure that the choices you make have the same effect years and decades down the line.

The most common reasons why changes in estate plans are often needed are:

  • Circumstances: The key purpose of an estate plan is to have a solution that fits the needs and expectations in your personal circumstances. And circumstances often do change in life – marriage, divorce, illness, financial upheavals, and family additions are some of the many reasons why circumstances can change drastically. In such cases, you must make sure that said changes are reflected on the way you plan your estate.
  • Choices: Sometimes even without external circumstances, you may want or need to change your estate plan to better suit your current mindset and view on life. For instance, if you have taken a liking to philanthropic activities, you may want to have some of your wealth go to charity, and therefore will need to amend your estate plan to reflect that.
  • The Law: Legal changes have considerable effects on the ramifications and sometimes even the validity of an estate plan. Legal changes in estate planning are known to happen every few years, and it is important to know if and/or how the legal changes affect you and your estate plan.

Myth #7: Having a will means a probate is not needed

One of the most dreaded parts of the legal procedure is a probate – and many who have a will in place believe that probate is not needed. Although it is no longer as time and expense intensive as it used to be, probate still is a considerably lengthy process that can last for at least a few months and cost quite a bit. And while having an estate plan in place does help in avoiding (or at least minimizing) probate, a last will or testament has no such effect.

Submission of a will to a probate court is mandatory and is a process that is bound to happen – even if you die. It is therefore better that you complete the long-drawn, but necessary process long before such an eventuality. Keep in mind that the probate is the only way for the court to determine the legal validity of your will, and for you to make sure that your choices are indeed enforced.

Myth #8: You have to leave an inheritance for your children or else they will challenge the will

Usually, there is a social obligation for parents to leave behind their property for their children – it is appropriate and expected. However, there is no legal obligation for you to leave an inheritance. There could be exceptional circumstances when you may not want your children to inherit your property.

Legally, you are free to leave your inheritance to whomever you want to. Your children can challenge the will if they don’t find themselves as an inheritor of your wealth, but it is a process that is far more complicated than it looks. For starters, they will have to meet some basic legal requirements to even be eligible to challenge a bill – this includes having a “standing,” (as in if they stand to inherit from the current as a successor), and have “grounds” for the will’s invalidity (as in, a solid and legally sound and recognized reason for why they believe that the will is not valid). Simply being unhappy with the will, however, is no ground on which they can challenge it.

Myth #9: In the absence of an estate plan or will, your property will go to the government

While It is correct that the government can and does end up being the inheritor of your property in certain circumstances (which, specifically, is a process known as escheat), said circumstances are very few and far between. In every state, the state government has laws in places that determine who is to inherit the property in the event of the lack of a will or any other kind of directive.

If you die without leaving a will, your property would be subject to laws of intestate succession, which, in simple terms means that the property will be inherited by the closest surviving relative. For instance, if you die without a surviving spouse but have children, the property would be equally divided and given to them. If you have no immediate family of your own, but have a niece or a nephew, the property would be inherited by her/him.

Escheat will only happen when the government cannot find any relative who can inherit your property in the absence of a will.


Stock Market Investing: Top Myths

Stock Market Investing: Top Myths


Investing in stocks is one of the most lucrative option for anyone – when done right, it can help generate a lot of money. That said, many are hesitant to do so, at least in part due to a lack of understanding. Some common ideas that persistently surface for the topic of investing in stock markets are as follows:

Myth #1: Investing in stocks is the same as gambling

This is surprisingly the biggest reason why people tend to stay away from the stock market. Even though investing in the stock market is a science that requires thorough researching, appearances make it seem like it is a gambling ventures where people put in their money by making wild guesses.

In reality, this is completely false. A common stock share represents ownership in a company, giving the holder the rights to claim both assets and a percentage of the profits generated by the company. The problem happens when investors fall into the mental trap of thinking of shares as trading vehicle, that something that they own. Gambling, on the other hand, is a game with random actions and a random outcome. Essentially, it’s just taking money from someone and giving it to someone else on the basis of pure chance. There is no science to it.

Myth #2: The stock market is only meant for brokers and the rich

While there are a few market advisors who portray that investing in the stock market is ideal only for the wealthy and the knowledgeable, this could not be farther than the truth. It is true that the wealthy and the knowledgeable may a greater level of security and ability to mitigate if things go south, but that does not mean that others are not suitable to invest in the stock market, especially in today’s day and age. Thanks to the internet, ordinary people have a much more accessible market and far more information on their hands than earlier. In addition to this, robo-advisors and discount brokerages help people improve their financial status by investing in the market with minimal investment.

Myth #3: Fallen stocks do go back up

This is one of the most dangerous myths of the stock market, and one that many amateur and even some seasoned investors believe to be true. Many do believe that a previously well-running stock that has gone down will go back up again.

In reality this is only a dangerous illusion. Let’s explain this through an example:

  • Stock A – a large company whose price per share had reached an all-time high of $100 but has recently fallen to $20
  • Stock B – a comparatively smaller company whose price has steadily risen from $10 to $20

Many investors here would prefer to invest in the first option believing that the shares would eventually bounce back to normal. This kind of thinking is as good as trying to catch a falling knife – one would only end up getting hurt. Investors must bear in mind that investing, with its use of technical analysis differs greatly from trading. Price makes up a single part of the entire investing equation – buying companies exclusively on the basis of market price means nothing.

Myth #4: Stocks which go up must also go down

As accurate as the laws of physics are, they do not apply to the stock market. The gravitational force has no effect on stocks whatsoever – stocks go up or down due to internal and external financial and economic fluctuations. One of the biggest examples of stock that has always gone up is Berkshire Hathaway. In the 90s, Berkshire Hathaway’s stock price went from $7,455 to $17,250 per share in less than 5 years. Over 20 years later, their stock is still on the rise at $308,000 per share (as of February 2019). While it cannot be said that stocks on the up will always be on the up, there’s no guarantee that they will go down either – all of this is dependent on the company’s activities and its reflection in the market.

Myth #5: Have a limited amount of knowledge is okay

While it can be said that knowing something is better than knowing nothing, it is important for stock market investors to have a very clear understanding of the concepts involved in the stock market and to do their research and homework when it comes to knowing where they are investing their money. In case the investor does not have enough time to conduct an extensive amount of research, they must hire an advisor who would help them understand what they are doing with their money. While it may seem costly to do so, at the end of the day, it far outweighs the cost of investing in something with little understanding.


The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Minimizing Taxes

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Minimizing Taxes


Running a small business is tough, especially since you have to make sure that the cashflow is smooth running at all times. One of the biggest obstacles of a smooth running cashflow is running tax amounts. While taxes are indeed mandatory (and a legal obligation), you wouldn’t want to pay more tax than you absolutely must.

Here are some tips to help you plan and minimize your taxes as much as possible:

Utilize the $20,000 immediate asset write-off: In the 2015 Budget, the Federal Government announced that all small businesses which make a certain could avail an immediate deduction for purchasing assets that cost lower than $20,000, thus replacing the previous threshold of $1,000. To be eligible to avail this benefit, you must make sure that your assets are already installed and ready for use by the right time. In the event that you either do not need or cannot afford any assets (due to low cashflow), you still can avail an immediate deduction by writing-off the balance of a small business pool that has a written down value of below $20,000.

Increase your superannuation contributions: Planning for the future is a very instrumental factor for small business owners. One major factor at play in this regard is superannuation – something that you must definitely pay attention to. During the process of maximizing concessional contributions, make sure to includes the compulsory 9.5% in the limit, and ensure that every payment is received in the super fund before deadline.

Cover your expenses with prepayments: One of the best methods of maintaining a good cashflow situation is to cover expenses via prepayments. By making prepayments of at least $1,000 (within 12 months before the deadline), you can help your business become eligible for deductions. Prepayments under $1,000 are deductible as well and need no service period.

Consider Capital Gains Tax event timings: In the event that you are trading as a trust or an individual, you must check if you are eligible for the 50% General Discount for proposed asset disposals. You may also be eligible for other small business discounts and concessions, like Rollover Relief or Active Asset. In order to be eligible for these, you must have held possession of the asset for a minimum of 12 months.

In the event that you intend to dispose-off an asset, you must first consult with your tax adviser. The tax adviser will help you understand the ramifications and consequences of transactions involved in disposing-off assets, and help you become aware of any concessions that you may be able to avail.

Write off any bad debts that have no possibility of being collected: If you are amongst the many small business owners who pays on accruals basis and has considerable debts to repay, you must consider sorting them out and writing them as much as possible before the end of the fiscal year in order to make sure that you can claim a tax deduction in the new one. During the process of writing-off bad debts, do ensure that you are following the protocols that determine whether debt is really bad, and that you have taken the required steps to collect said debt.

Write off any stock that is obsolete: Any stock that is dead and obsolete is nothing but a liability on your record. Make sure that you avoid having such stock actively present on your records by conducting a stock take before fiscal year end, and write-off any that you find obsolete. Not only will you get a cleaner record, you will also have a reduced amount of tax liability.





Owning and operating a business is no easy task, especially when the cash flow is on the low. While determination, talent and skill can and do make a difference, they are alone not enough to running the business at its best – as a business owner, you need to keep your finances running as well.

One of the best ways to keep yourself from getting shorthanded in the financial department is to invest in other areas. Here are some tips that can help you get started:

Invest in Penny Stocks

Basically, a penny stock is a common stock that can be bought from the market for less than one dollar. While it isn’t the most stable form of investment, it is a worthwhile one – especially for new investors – due to the extremely low amount that is required to invest. If you are new to investing, investing in penny stocks can help you nurture your skills as a beginner investor until you get used to it. Once you are accustomed, you can either experiment with more penny stocks or practice with other, more heavier types of investments.

Make Sure that your Investments Line-up with your Business Goals

To make the best from investments, small business owners must consider how their investments align with the business. As a small business owner, you must keep in mind that the whole goal of investing is to enhance the income earned by your company. You must know that in the event the investment does go south, you will end up losing the money invested, and in some cases may even end up with some kind of liability yourself. Such a situation is difficult to recover from.

While all situations can never be predicted, one can plan well to keep things from going south. For starters, before you make any sort of speculations, you must consolidate your business goals, planning, credit, and financing, and always make sure that the investment you make does not put the core of your business into any kind of dilemma. Additionally, you must always have an informed opinion and never treat investment as anything close to gambling.

Make Investments in Multiple Places

Making investments in multiple places has a very key benefit. Not putting all of your eggs in one investment basket protects you from having to suffer great losses in case any one of your investment ventures fall out. For instance, if a particular stock devalues, you will continue to gain profits from other stocks.

Invest in Mutual Funds

Every investment you make has a certain level of risk and return, and there must be a level of equilibrium between the numbers and overall experience of the investor. If you’re among the small business owners who are only starting out, you are better off making investments with a lower amount of risk. And that’s where mutual fund investments come in.

Large-sized mutual funds have hundreds of stocks that are combined in a single place, with a fund manager who adds money to the fund in order to increase its growth rate. In investments like these, the level of risk is very low, making it a suitable opportunity.

Don’t Use Leverages

While leverages do have a tendency of increasing your profits, they have an equally high chance of diminishing them as well. This makes it much like gambling, which is always bad news for you and your business. In case things do go bad (which happens when you do use leverages), the broker could issue a margin call, which would then need you to invest extra cash to level the deficit even.

Minimize Taxes and Fees

The process of selling and trading in a market often comes with hidden fees and taxes that you must consider, especially as a small business owner. If you don’t track these and keep them under control, these fees will climb up to as much as 30% of all profits, thereby making the whole purpose of increasing cash flow useless. Prior to making investments, you must take a close look at the taxes and fees involved to determine whether the fees are worth for the amount of risks you take.





A living trust represents one’s plans for the future – the better the plans, the more structured one’s life is. That said, sometimes, even the best laid plans can be rendered useless by unexpected changes that happen in life. Changes like this can get you thinking about wanting to change your own plans – and in this particular context – your living trust.

Changing a living trust can be simple provided certain key steps are followed. Here is a guide on how you can go about that:

What type of trust do you have?

In order to understand how changing your living trust would work, you first need to understand the type of trust that you currently have. Trust are of two types – irrevocable and revocable. Irrevocable trusts are meant to be permanent, and therefore are very difficult to make changes to. A revocable trust, on the other hand, is flexible in nature, and can be easily changed or even deleted if necessary.

Why should you change your trust?

There are several reasons why you may need to change your living trust. Some of the most common reasons for this are adding and/or changing beneficiaries in the event of a birth of a grandchild, the death of an existing beneficiary, divorce, change in financial status, change in laws, moving to a state with different laws. Other reasons include a change in intention in how assets should be distributed (for example, if you decide that beneficiaries must reach an age before they inherit the assets), removing or adding a property to the trust, changing the trustee and/or the successor trustee, or making a change in the powers that would be vested in the trustee.

In the event that the sole reason you want a change in your living trust is to add property to the trust, all you need to do is transfer the ownership of that property into the trust by adding it to the trust’s schedule of assets. Given that trusts are set up in a way to readily accept new assets, making amendments will not be necessary.

Changing the living trust

The easiest method of changing a living trust is to fill out a trust amendment form. This is a legal instrument that helps you make changes to your living trust without compromising the integrity and active status of the original document. If the trust in question has been made jointly with your spouse, the agreement of both of you would be required to amend the trust.

Sections to fill out require basic information – the name of your trust, whether or not this is the first change to the trust, previous changes to the trust (if applicable), and a statement of whether the amendment overrides previous changes or will remain in effect.

When writing the change, do make sure state that you intend to make changes to the trust, refer to the relevant paragraph number in the original trust document, and then state how you will change the section. Once you are done, you must sign the living trust amendment in the presence of a notary, and then attach said amendment to the original trust document and its copies.

How to restate the trust

Besides using the amendment form, you can also make changes to the trust by making restatement. Essentially, it is total redo of the trust that allows the trust to remain active while the new document alter its provisions. Restating trusts can be particularly useful if the number of changes you are making are several in number.

Making the restatement involves filling out a trust restatement form, stating the date of the original document, restating provisions, and then incorporating the changes that you intend to make.





Having enough money for retirement is a crucial factor in life. After all, this is the time to rest and take it easy without the worries and rigors of active working. It is only paramount, therefore, that the more money one has, the more comfortable one can be.

While it is true that the earlier one begins investing, the better are the chances of saving more (courtesy compound interest), one can always save more for retirement even at later stages of life.

Here are some universal tips that can help you grow your retirement nest egg, no matter you’re your age is:

Start now: Taking the first step is the most essential thing to do when saving for retirement, especially if you are in the later stages. Don’t let overthinking get in the way of taking a step towards saving more. If you’re younger, you should definitely pay attention to start saving and investing as much as you possibly can and allow for compound interest to work in your favor as much as possible.

Add to the 401(k): One of the time-tested and best ways to save for retirement is having a 401(k) plan in place. In many workplaces, employers offers a traditional 401(k) plan, allowing employees to contribute pre-tax money, that offers considerable advantages.

Start your IRA: Having an individual retirement account (IRA) is yet another great way to build up your nest egg. IRAs come in two varieties – the traditional IRA, and the Roth IRA. Traditional IRAs are usually ideal for those who already have a workplace retirement plan, has tax-deductible contributions, and offer the opportunity to keep tax-deferred till the point after retirement when you start making your withdrawals. Roth IRAs, on the other hand, are more suitable for those with more phased-out income limits. Generally more flexible, they are funded by after-tax contributions, and have their qualified distributions (earnings included) enjoying a federal-tax-free (and sometimes even state-tax-free) status, provided you are at least 59½-years-olf, and meet the minimum holding period requirements.

Use catch-up contributions: Given the limited capacity of 401(k) plans and IRAs, beginning to save early in life is an absolute must. That said, if you’re among the many who are in the later stages of life and have save nothing-to-less, all is not lost. For those aged 50 and above – you can take advantage of being eligible to make “catch-up” contributions to IRAs and 401(k)s by contributing more than what is the monthly limit. This will play a great role in boosting your retirement savings.

Keep your expenses in check: Much as anyone would hate to admit it, expenses have a habit of expanding all the time. While some of this is natural (due to inflation, the economy, rising costs of essentials, etc.) not all of it may be justified. Making regular checks of your expenses can help you track lifestyle and spending habits, come up with better ideas and reasonably save wherever it is possible to do so. For instance, bringing home-cooked lunch to work is a better option (both in terms of health and money) than buying lunch at work. Having a reduced spending allows you to have extra money on your hands which you can then save or invest.

Keep an emergency fund: No matter what your age, marital status or cashflow, having, maintaining and growing an emergency fund should be a must for anyone. During times of crisis (which despite all efforts, can strike anyone at any time), emergency funds can help rescue you from having to fork out from your regular expenses and even your savings. One way you can actually maintain and grow your emergency fund is by regulating how you spend the money you get paid extra – for example, when you receive a raise. Tempting as it is to spend the extra cash on little-to-moderate luxuries, it will be far more rewarding to stash at least half of it in the emergency fund.

If/When you’re closer to retirement, try and delay Social Security: This is one of the best ways to save for anyone who is closer to retiring. By delaying Social Security payment every year before reaching the age of 70, you can increase the amount of money you will receive during retirement to a good extent. You can start delaying Social Security at the age of 62 (which is the age when you start receiving them), delay all the way till you are 70. That way, you can make a significant difference to the amount you receive every month post-retirement, as well as potentially increase the amount of survivor benefits for your partner or spouse.


Air Conditioning Compressor Nonperformance

A/C Compressor Concerns

If your compressor is short on Freon, it is not suggested to keep it running. When an A/C machine has a low charge, it puts an included pressure on the coil, which will restrict its absorption abilities. Low refrigerant can likewise increase the possibilities of getting too hot and trigger damage to the compressor
There is not often one component that can pollute a compressor. A system can stop working due since of contaminants from air, acids, and dirt, which are produced by the pressure and heat within a compressor. On the other hand, power nonperformances are usually an outcome of voltage imbalances.

Causes for A/C Compressor Breakdown

Here is a take a look at the most popular main reasons an Air Conditioning compressor end up stopping working:

    • – Blocked suction lines
    • – Unclean coils
    • – Refrigerant charge is inferior
    • – Electrical related concerns
    • – Existence of impurities
    • – Incorrect size suction lines
    • – Extreme amongst of refrigerant
    • – Insufficient oil lube

Compressors are likewise prone to burnout and this is typically a final result of motor winding temperature levels that are too high. The excess temperature levels break down the insulation in the motor winding and can cause a failure.

If you are experiencing any sort of problems with your Air Conditioner compressor, get in touch with the group of knowledgeable pros at City Compressors, . We have a huge choice of parts plus the very best remanufactured compressors across the country.

Mind Your Compressor

Many people are not knowledgeable about the appropriate methods to preserve an Air Conditioning compressor, although that is essential to keeping its anticipated life-span. Preventative upkeep offered by an expert compressor service is advised and can make sure that your Air Conditioner system will supply years of superior efficiency. The suggested service schedule for an Air Conditioning compressor is two times a year. More than 75 percent of compressor concerns are preventable and might be something as easy as a clogged up filter.

Air Conditioner compressor nonperformance is a popular complication and can be triggered by some extremely frequent concerns. The bright side is that these concerns do not call for a huge overhaul. Make sure to get in touch with City Compressor as they have a very large inventory of rebuilt compressors.

Initially, it is very important to comprehend the function of an Air Conditioner compressor. It is the part that makes the air conditioning unit function and without it, an A/C machine would not have the ability to work. A normal Air Conditioner compressor is anticipated to last 10 to 15 years and serves the function of pumping compressed refrigerant gas throughout the system. Its primary purpose is to guarantee the compressed air is devoid of humidity.



How Much Chlorine Is Too Much In Your Drinking Water?


Too much chlorine in drinking water is comprehended to be a typical issue. When chlorine is in its purest kind, it takes on the look of a green gas.

Chlorine has actually traditionally been utilized in little dosages in water treatment plants to rid water of pollutants and make it safe for drinking. When levels surpass a specific quantity, the damage in utilizing chlorine comes. When water screening is finished routinely, it is carried out in order to discover traces of chlorine that are above the accepted quantity as developed by the EPA (Epa). After high levels are found a series of water filtering services and processing occurs to remove it.

It’s not typical for many households to carry out everyday tests on the quantity of chlorine in their water. The appropriate quantity of chlorine in drinking water must not surpass 4 parts per million.

When there is too much chlorine in your drinking water, indications and reveal up rather rapidly. Queasiness, headaches, cramping and even throwing up can be an outcome taking in too much chlorine. It is akin to many types of symptoms we see when household air quality is in questions and local air purification services are required.

Exactly what is the response?
It is not practical to evaluate water every day. In the middle of a hectic way of life, lots of individuals might overlook to evaluate their drinking water on even a yearly basis. Now, one sip of water with a chlorine level simply above 4 parts per million is not going to eliminate you.

There are water supply that can be set up in a the home of guarantee correct purification and filtration of drinking water at all times. Check out dependable services for drinking water. The health of you and your household is too crucial to overlook.

For all your water options in Charlotte, NC, take a look at the experienced team at Carolina Water Products or view their website at





Any individual must make a will or a trust in order to make sure that his or her estates remain in safe hands and are best utilized by those near and dear to them. If you yourself have any loved one who has not created their will or trust yet, you must make an effort to help him or her get started. Depending on his personal requirements and/or the size of his estate, he may choose to create a will, a trust or even both.

Here’s how you can help your friend decide the estate-planning tools that are best for them.


Why opt for estate planning?

Estate planning refers to actively segregating assets and determining how they will be paid out upon your passing. Assets can include personal property as well as any investments or related accounts or capitol.

No matter what the size of their estate, your partner must create a well-drafted will (or trust, or both) to make sure that his assets get distributed to the people of his choosing. Without a valid will, the estate will be divided by the state according to local laws.


Creating a Will

A will is a legal document which contains the direction on how an individual’s assets will be distributed after their death. Your loved one is free to choose how he or she will divide his or her assets – i.e. whether it will be handed over to a single individual or divided among several, or even donated to an organization or charity.

By law, your loved will be required to appoint an executor, who will take on the task of distribution of assets according to the wishes of the deceased. This individual will be responsible for paying dues, filing taxes, and distributing assets. In case your loved one fails to appoint an executor, one will be appointed by the state.

Your loved one is also free to change or even revoke his or her will, provided he is not mentally incapacitated at the time.

Will go through probate, which is a legal process that determines the will’s validity sees to asset distribution – even when a valid will is absent.


Establishing a Trust

While a trust contains the details of how an individual’s assets will distributed upon his or her death (like a will), it enables the granter (i.e. the person creating the trust) to have someone of his manage his assets if he is alive but incapacitated.

Establishing a trust requires the granter to write a trust document and transfer the ownership of his property to the trust. The granter is also responsible for naming a trustee who will manage the trust.

The main point where is trust is different from is will is that a trust comes into effect while you are still living. You can choose to appoint yourself as the primary individual to manage your property on your own, and then designate a successor to manage transactions and distribution of assets once the granter dies or becomes incapacitated.

While irrevocable trusts cannot be amended, revocable ones can be amended at any time so long as the granter is able to do so.





If you want to assure the safety of your assets after your death and want your survivors to get a financial support system it, you must have a written legal document which mentions the directions to distributing your assets post-mortem. Which is where the fundamental question arises: What should you go with? A will, or a living trust? Most of the American population (around 80%) have wills, and a much smaller percentage have living trusts.

Often called as a “revocable” or an “inter vivos” trust, a living trust is a legal document which allows you to place your assets in a “trust.” This trust will first offer you benefits while you are alive and will be transferred to your designated beneficiaries after your death. The transfer itself will be done by a “successor trustee,” who will be a representative of your choosing.

A will, on the other hand, is a legal document that has the directions on how your wealth must be distributed after your demise. The process itself is carried out by an “executor” (who will be named in the will), who will be able to carry out his or her duties only after you die.

Who should you join? The 80% or the much lesser 20%? Here are three compelling reasons why you should opt for a living trust:


You won’t need Probate

This is arguably the best advantage of having a living trust. Having a valid will for your estate will subject it to go through probate i.e. a series of court proceedings whose purpose will be to distribute your assets according to your directions by the executor. A living trust, however, does not have any such requirement, and therefore can allow you to distribute your assets to your heirs much faster – weeks as opposed to months (or even years) in case of a will. The successor trustee will be responsible for paying your debts and distributing your assets according to your wishes.


A living trust may help save money

While this is true for the most part, how much you will save depends on your particular financial situation. Initially, drafting a living trust will cost more than a will, since the former is a more complex document. Further expense will be required in transferring your assets (like certificates, stocks, bank accounts, and bond accounts) to the trust, which will be done through separate paperwork – creating and funding a trust requires more than simply “writing it up.” The living trust, however, will save money during the time of its execution (especially after your death), as there will be no need for it to go through probate (which is a costly procedure that is carried out in case of wills).


A living trust offers privacy

If you prioritize privacy in matters of your estate and assets, this can be a crucial factor. While a will is (by law) a public record and has all of its transactions made public as well, a living trust is private, and has your estate distributed in private upon your death. A living trust also includes your out-of-state property (if you have any), and avoids it going through probate.





Benjamin Franklin once famously said that nothing in this world is certain – bar death and taxes. While many tend to laugh on this, it is something that is inevitably true. More ironically so in this case, where tax law has combined both these “certainties” into a unique experience called the inheritance tax.

Basically, the property you leave behind when you die goes down to your children, family and friends, or even to charity. And also to the government in the form of taxes. Said property may be deceased to any one of inheritance, estate, or state and federal tax statutes, or in some cases a few or all of them.

One chief area of concern is the inheritance and estate tax, which are often mistaken as one and the same. In this article, we’ll what inheritance taxes are and how they differ from estate tax.


Estate Tax and Inheritance Tax – the Key Difference

The first thing you should know about these two taxes is that while they are used in context of a deceased person’s property and assets (and are often famously called “death tax”), they are in fact two very different kinds of taxes. The exact definition of these two taxes, however, differs from one country to another and even from one state to another, as some states levy the inheritance tax while others don’t. In the context of this article, the definitions and standards mentioned are accurate with US law in general, with some state-wide variations.

Estate tax refers to the tax deducted by the federal government after the debts of your estates have been cleared, your property has been liquidated (if required), the funeral expenses have been made and the relevant officials (like the executor) have been paid their dues. It is only after the estate tax has been paid that the heirs receive their share (from the leftover worth). Needless to say, this is a tax that is paid by the estate itself.

Inheritance tax, on the other hand, is paid by the beneficiaries once they have received their share in the deceased’s property. In contrast to estate taxes, which are levied by the federal government, inheritances taxes are levied by the state governments, and that too by only a few states in the country. This often puts residents in some states at a double disadvantage of having to pay both taxes.

That said, there are exemptions to payment, which tend to reduce the amount that you will have to pay as taxes.





Practically everyone has heard of the terms “will” and “trust,” and knows the context in which they are used. However, most people assume that they are one and the same – which is far from truth. In reality, these two documents and their functions are very different. While they are both estate planning devices and are very useful, they serve different kinds of purposes, to the extent that they can be used in conjunction to make a wholesome estate plan.

To start with, let’s take a look at the basic definitions of the two documents – while a will is a document that consists of directions in which your wealth and/or assets should be distributed after your demise, a trust can be used to distribute them before death or during the period of death (or even afterwards – but that’s up to you). While the will becomes active after only after your death, the trust will come into effect the moment you create it. By law, a will requires the presence of a legal representative who will see to the implementation of your wishes after your death. A trust, on the other hand, requires no such thing. A trust is generally arranged between a person (or institution, like a law firm or a bank) – known as the “trustee,” and the person who stand to receive the property – called the “beneficiary.” Trusts generally have 2 types of beneficiaries – those who receive income from the trust when they are alive, and those who receive the leftover amount after the death of the first set of beneficiaries.

Another key difference between a will and a trust is the kind of property that they cover. While a will covers only that property which is in your name at the time of your death, it does not include any property that is held in a trust or even in a joint tenancy. On the flip side, a trust can only cover property which has been transferred to it; therefore, the property must be put in the name of the trust in order to be included in it.

By rule of law, a will is supposed to pass through probate, which means that it’s administration will be overseen by a court of law, which will make sure that the will remains valid and the all the directions on it are followed according to the wishes of the deceased wanted. A trust, on the other hand, passes outside probate, and therefore does not need the supervision of a court (or the extra time and money that goes along with it. It is also for this reason that a trust can stay private unlike a will, which will ultimately become a part of public record.

Deciding which is the best option for you can be tough, since each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages and their usefulness (or lack thereof) is dependent upon your unique situation. To get the best of yours and your survivors’ interest, you must make a proper consultation with your lawyer and financial advisor.





When the question is of Estate and Inheritance Taxes, the best news is that in most cases, you will be exempted – only those with big estates will be feeling the heat of taxes. That being said, there are some exceptions to this rule, and your unique inheritance situation (be it in terms of the size of the estate, your relation to the deceased, or anything else) may change your tax bill dramatically.


Estate tax vs. inheritance tax:

While many people consider estate and inheritance taxes to be the same, they are in fact two very different kinds of taxes. They have certain very vital differences, chief among them being the fact that estate taxes are deducted from deceased’s estate, whereas inheritance taxes are paid by the beneficiary. Depending on the size and location of the estate and the relationship between the deceased and the beneficiary, both, neither or either one could work as an active factor.



The Estate tax is levied on the property that gets transferred from the deceased. As already mentioned, most people are exempted from paying the estate tax, Thanks to the IRS exempting estates of less than $5.49 million from it. Added to that is the fact that the exemption is applied per individual, which means that if a married couple can enjoy an exemption of $10.98 million (double of the original).

Estates which exceed the aforementioned threshold have up to 40% of tax rate levied on them by the IRS. In this case, however, the IRS taxes the assets at the current fair market value of the estate, and not on the amount that the owner has originally paid to buy the estate.

According to Tax Foundation, a Washington DC-based think tank, estate taxes are collected by the District of Columbia and 14 other states. These states may have an exemption threshold that is lower than the IRS. For instance, the threshold in Massachusetts is around $1 million. That said, the estate tax that the owner will pay will be to the state government, and not to the IRS.



Contrary to the Estate tax, the Inheritance Tax is levied on the beneficiary. According to a Tax Foundation analysis, this tax is currently levied by the states of New Jersey, Nebraska, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Maryland currently levy this tax on those who receive inheritances.

Much like the estate tax, the Inheritance tax too has several exemptions. For instance, in most cases, the deceased’s partner and children are exempted from paying it.

That said, some people may be doubly disadvantaged as well. Some states such as New Jersey and Maryland levy both estate and inheritance taxes. In such cases, both the owner and the beneficiary and will have to pay taxes, and taxes will be paid to the state government as well as the IRS. The chances of this happening, however, still remain very slim. Estate taxes are generally paid only when the value of the estate is very high and/or the beneficiary is not directly related to the deceased.





While most families are open about all kinds of topics, they are reluctant to talk about some subjects, such as being death and money. For all adults – parents and children, death is a sensitive matter and is not discussed until it is visibly unavoidable. Another issue of concern is privacy around financial matters.

That being said, families must strive to overcome this discomfort and converse about possible deaths and transfer of assets. Here are some tips on how families can get started without any awkwardness creeping in the way.


Why converse?

When it comes to estate planning, a sensitive and transparent conversation between family members can go a long way. For instance, the parent may wish to have a specific survivor to manage their assets, but in reality, has no idea whether the person would be comfortable doing so. Having a heart-to-heart conversation in this regard will help the parents’ perspective.

Furthermore, survivors also may have a desire to know what plans you have for your assets and estate and will appreciate knowing them from parents directly – while they are still living. Additionally, the scope of misunderstanding and conflict will reduce if there are multiple beneficiaries.

When estate plans have not been adequately drafted and/or communicated, it may also lead to a possibly dramatic reduction in the amount that the beneficiaries.

Last but not the least, survivors may take drastic actions based on the deceased’s wishes, if the latter is not communicated to them in time. Not only does this cause a waste of vital money, it is also an inconvenience in terms of time and energy on the part of the survivor – not to mention missed growth opportunities and outdated portfolio.


The benefits of dialogue:

Having an open dialogue on estate planning brings several benefits to both the adult parents and the adult children. These include the following (among many others):

– Conversations can prove to be very effective if the beneficiaries extend beyond the main household

– Adult children can know what the intention of parents are about their estate, and will know what to do should they pass away or become incapacitated

– In case the children are minors, the appointed interim guardians will have a clear picture of the parents’ plan (as will the children themselves)

– Parents will have the piece of knowing that their descendants (which may sometimes span their nieces, nephews, grandchildren or any extended family members) know about their plans, and any of them who will face responsibility of managing the same will be comfortable doing so.

– The family as a whole will gain a sense of empowerment, armed with sound knowledge and good control over their collective future.


Starting the conversation:

While this conversation is important, it is admittedly difficult to begin. While there is no one specific way or “format” to starting the discussion, one parents try any one of the following ways:

– Start the conversation during a peaceful time in life. It is best to not wait to speak till a crisis occurs, or worse, when the parents are deceased or incapacitated

– Let your survivors know that you mean well, and are sincere about your intentions, and that they understand your intentions fully.

– Encourage an open conversion – let your survivors speak-up if they feel that something is incorrect. Not only will this will make them comfortable, it will help parents update their plans, if needed.





Several people think that estate planning is an activity that is required only by the wealthy. This could not be farther from the truth. Everybody requires a solid estate plan, no matter what their income or net worth is. Having an estate reduces any scope of confusion, cuts all unnecessary costs, and lifts off any financial or estate-related stress from survivors.

According to a recent piece on Yahoo! Finance, which featured WealthCounsel, estate planning tends to be a difficult issue for several families. They, should, nonetheless make sure to do it. When families fail to prepare and document their assets properly – such as houses, savings accounts and retirement plans, they may be left hanging for years in settling matters, and in some cases may have to hire expensive legal professionals to resolve issues.

In order to avoid future troubles, all families must have the following estate planning tools:

An up-to-date trust or will

While wills can be easily created, they need distribution of assets to go through probate. Probate is a legal process which involves the following actions:

– Validating the will of the deceased person

– Identification, inventory and appraisal of the property of the deceased

– Payment of debts & taxes; and

– Distribution of the property in accordance to the directives of the will

Trusts are generally more expensive and need the assistance of a professional, but offer several benefits which wills cannot. When structured properly, trusts can be instrumental in avoiding conservatorship or guardianship should you become incapacitated. Furthermore, wills become active after your death, whereas a trust works all the time, including the time when you may be incapacitated.


A well-drafted power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document which authorizes assigned individual to instantiate legal and/or financial decisions on the owner’s behalf should they become disabled, hospitalized, or incapacitated.

There are several different kinds of powers of attorney – for instance, some become valid immediately after they are signed while other come into effect at a specified date. While some power of attorneys are made to stay active for only short periods of time (such as when the owner is vacationing overseas and needs someone to deal with legal matters at home), others are fairly long-term. Regardless of the type, the power of attorney must be durable and well-drafted and should make all intentions and directives very clear.


Updated beneficiary designation forms

Beneficiary designation forms on life 401(k) accounts, insurance policies, and other forms of assets usually override any and all conflicting provisions within a trust or a will. The estate owner must make sure to check and update all forms regularly – at least every year.


While it may seem complicated, these tools are fairly simple and will go a long way in making sure that your estate remains protected and goes to your loved ones after your demise. You can also enlist the help of an estate planning professional, who will help you create and/or update these tools and offer suggestions if needed.




There are far more single people today than there were in the past – according to data obtained from the US Census, over 50 percent of the American population aged 15 and older today consists of single people – a huge jump from one-third in 1970.

No matter what the reason of their single-hood is (i.e. whether they are divorced, widowed or have never married in their life), singles must pay as much attention to their estate and its planning as their married counterparts – an issue that has been highlighted in great detail in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Contrary to popular belief, those who are single also face issues related to estate planning, which require lots of time, careful planning, and the timely assistance of a professional.

Here are some of the more involved estate planning issues that singles face:


Heirs: For married people who die but have no will, the assets get automatically get transferred to their partner. However, that cannot be the case with single people. When a single person dies without a will, their assets are distributed along their bloodlines – first to the children (if they have any), then to parents, and finally to siblings and/or other relatives. Single people who have no surviving relatives at all might have their transfers end up becoming property of the state.

In order to make sure that their assets end up with their relatives, descendants (if any) and charitable organizations of their choosing, single people must make a will – or at least create an irrevocable trust which states exactly how they would want their assets to be transferred after their death.


Decision making: Many situations, such as an accident or a health event can leave us incapacitated and unable to make decisions. For married people, it is the spouse that makes the necessary decisions. Single people don’t have this convenience. This makes it all the more essential for them to designate a family member, friend or any other trusted or loved one who will make decisions and manage assets when they themselves are unable to do so. If the person fails to make proper directives, the decision-making task mat go to distant relatives or even to otherwise strangers who are appointed by the state.

In order to avoid this from happening, single people must an HIPAA authorization, a general power of attorney, and an advance health care directive. All of these allow them to choose a particular individual who will be entrusted to make medical and financial decisions on behalf of the person if and/or when they are incapacitated.


Beneficiaries: Some accounts, such as retirement plans, need the holders to list a beneficiary during the time of enrollment. This assignment is normally upheld upon the passing of the originating entity, regardless of whether it was given to another person in a will. Widowed singles and those who were previously married must reevaluate their designations for recipients in order to ensure that their transferable accounts are not given to those whom they don’t want to give (such as former spouses).



As of late 2007, Baby Boomers began collecting their Social Security payments, marking the beginning of an interesting time when there will be a long list of them in the retirement age. Due to their size alone, they form a demographic category that has more total spending power than anyone else on the globe, which in turn makes their investing and spending power very impactful on the U.S. investment landscape and the economy overall.

Those approaching retirement must keep in mind that the choices they you make today will affect what their financial status will be 20 years (or more) down the line. This is the minimum one can expect, given that the average life expectancy for the baby boomer has been calculated as 83 years.

Here are 5 best investment strategies that you must consider:

Variable Annuity (VA)

Believe it or not, the value of insurance become more important as you approach your retirement age. While traditional whole life policies still remain, there now exist some newer, more updated theories and products which have garnered enough attention to make their own place. One such product is the variable annuity, which permits investors to sign up for what is very much like an insurance policy, the only difference being that the balances can be invested into bonds and stock holdings.

Variable Annuities allow holder to gain on cash balances above inflation, which is a key factor in keeping your insurance’s value. That being said, it is always better to be safe, and select a variable annuity with restraint, given that fees for each type tends to be very different. Also make sure that you understand every fee that you are paying, from annual fees and underlying investment fees to front- and back-end sales fees.

U.S. Treasuries

U.S. Treasuries actually make up for the sole investment for many retirement-aged individuals. With yields that are regarded as a benchmark of safety (the risk-free rate of return), treasuries make for a very safe and reliable investment, especially when the odds are risky. All treasury bonds are controlled by the U.S. government, which has so far not defaulted on a single Treasury bond. No matter how you access exposure to Treasuries, from individual bonds and mutual funds to exchange-traded funds, and others, they lend a lot of weight to your overall portfolio.

For those above 60 years of age, capital preservation is much more essential than capital appreciation. Not only do treasuries offer this, they also offer a steady stream of income and a chance for you to preserve your assets during inflation. While municipal and corporate bonds are sold in the same manner, they tend to have higher default rates and require more research to be done by the investor for evaluation of merits.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

CDs stand only second to Treasuries thanks to their high yield (which often goes higher than that of Treasuries of the same maturity), as well as the feel-good factor of giving your hard-earned money to an established financial institution like a bank. Plus, there is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance. The only thing there is to remember here is that there is a threshold of $250,000 per bank, since the FDIC insures a specific limit to individual account holders. If your amount is greater than this, you will have to spread your money over several different banks.

Real Estate

As with any demographic, real estate is an investment that pays well if done wisely. As someone approaching retirement, there are many avenues you can explore: from buying a second property and/or rental property, to converting from a paid-off mortgage to a smaller but more efficient home. Many people actually enjoy moving to a smaller home and/or a new location. These options will help provide asset diversification and help you save on taxes, as well a offer you a place where you can spend that much-deserved extended vacation-time.

You must keep in mind to not take such decisions lightly though, and must consider consulting a certified advisor before you actually decide to embark on a decision. After all, there is a lot that needs to be considered here, from your net-worth diversification and liquidity needs to your finances and personal tax situation. Plus, if you opt to keep a rental property, you will yourself have to put some work and effort behind it.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

It is virtually impossible to make a best investment strategies list that does not have this option, and for good reason. In fact, if you’re one of those who has been investing for years, you probably have a well-funded IRA already. Once you retire, your 401(k) assets will roll over to either a Roth or a Traditional IRA. And in case you’ve crossed the age of 50, you can add more than your standard annual contribution limits to your account. IRAs make a particularly good strategy, since they have the ability eliminate capital gains taxes and reduce your future tax bills significantly.

Both the Roth and the traditional IRA have their own advantages. While asset transfers to a Roth IRA are not tax-deductible (meaning you still have to pay income taxes), the income that you will go on to receive will be completely tax-free. Furthermore, the assets in your IRA must reflect your overall asset allocation.

Special Mention: The Wild Card

Yes, we mentioned five investment strategies. But we decided to include this spot for those who apprehensive of spending 20+ years sitting around having nothing to do. While good investment ideas do involve careful financial planning, they also sometimes (if not always) involve (being creative and following your passion). In fact, any one of your hobbies can function well as an investment opportunity. This includes several activities such as:

  • Starting your own business
  • Classic cars
  • Paintings and fine arts
  • Coins and collectibles
  • Sports memorabilia

That being said, you must be well aware that these too have their boundaries. After all, there is no point in starting a business which will keep you so busy that you finally get in way over your head. However, if there is something you are truly interested in – and preferably have good knowledge about it, you must not hesitate to take it further, now that you will enter a phase in your life when you actually will get the time to do so. We do live in a world that is brimming with possibilities and age is really just a number. So long as you stick to putting a fixed percentage of your net worth (a maximum of 10%), you will be completely fine.

To Conclude:

Now that you are approaching retirement, the choices you make can and will affect how you will be leading your lifestyle for decades to come. You must, therefore, make sure to properly think about what you need, set your goals, and then set about selecting the best strategy (with the help of a professional) to achieve said goals.

Roth or Traditional IRA: Which one should you go for?

Roth or Traditional IRA: Which one should you go for?

If you’re one of the many approaching retirement, you will need a source of money that will sustain you for 20 years where you will not be actively working. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA in short) form a great option in this regard.

That being said, IRAs bring forth the dilemma of having to choose between two types – a conventional IRA and a Roth IRA. Both have their owns sets of advantages and disadvantages. While the Roth IRA is a better choice for those who anticipate the tax rates to be higher, the traditional IRA is a better option for those expecting a lower tax bracket in the future.

One can also consider splitting between Roth and traditional IRA if they feel that it is rather impossible to predict where the tax bracket will go in the future.

Is choosing between IRAs simple?

The various details explaining the differences between Roth and traditional IRA are based upon endless analysis done with accordance to detailed IRS doctrine. How one chooses depends on the properties of each type and how they fit with the prospective holder’s particular situation. This includes two main factors:

Eligibility: Eligibility for Roth and/or traditional IRA is dependent upon the individual’s income. This entails being within certain income parameters (in case of Roth IRA) and the ability to make tax-deductions (in case of traditional IRA).

Picking a place: With many customers becoming eligible for both varieties of IRA, and even for those eligible for a single type, there can be various choices which can make things overwhelming. The best way to pick up a place for IRA is to go on the basis of the temperament of the holder, i.e. whether they prefer to have their finances managed or are comfortable doing so themselves.

Roth vs. Traditional IRA – 4 Key Differences

Roth and traditional IRAs are similar in the sense that they both act as a great tax-advantaged option for retirement saving. That being said, they also have some key differences:

Taxes: The how and when of getting a tax break is perhaps the biggest difference between the Roth and traditional IRA. While traditional IRAs have the advantage of having tax-deductible contributions, Roth IRAs have the tax advantage of getting withdrawals that are not taxed. In other words, a traditional IRA requires you to pay taxes when you withdraw your earnings during retirement (or even before it), the Roth IRA requires you to pay taxes upfront, but withdraw tax-free.

Contribution limits: Both the Roth and the traditional IRAs have their own sets of eligibility rules and restrictions which determine the extent to which you can contribute. While traditional IRAs have no income restrictions, Roth IRAs require contributors to stay within a certain income threshold.

In case you find yourself eligible for both, you can split your contribution to both accounts in the same year. Just make sure that that your total amount does not exceed the threshold of $5,500 (or $6,500 in the event that you are of 50 years of age and above.

Apart from paycheck size, traditional IRA deductibility considers other factors such as your account tax filing status and if you and/or your partner are covered by any employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Early withdrawals: Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to draw money from an IRA prematurely. In fact, there are rules to prevent just that, chief among them being that you must be at least age 59½ of age or pay taxes and penalties for early withdrawals.

That said, sometimes one must go to that pool of money to fulfill their requirements.

Withdrawing money from a traditional IRA pre-mature levies a 10% early-withdrawal penalty, and also makes the money you withdraw taxable at the current tax rate. Roth IRAs, however, are more lenient and offers better terms to those who withdraw pre-retirement. However, in order to take advantages of said terms, the first Roth IRA contribution needs to be at least 5 years older than the date of the first withdrawal.

Required minimum distributions: Long after all is done, you will be subjected to paying required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your traditional IRA. This often motivates many to make further contributions to make their IRA funds bigger.

This is, however, impossible in case of a traditional IRA, which does not allow for additional contributions once you are 70½. Moreover, you are required to withdraw once you reach that age. Roth IRA, however, is much less stringent, and allows you to keep your savings in the account for as long as you live, while contributing past the age of 70½. If you’re among the many who feel that they don’t need to use their IRA assets straightaway, and can wait for a while, Roth is a great option for them.

Baby Boomers and their Unique Challenges

Baby Boomers and their Unique Challenges

Simply put, baby boomers are those who were born between the 1940s and early 1960s. With about 78 million of these today, they have a considerable impact on U.S. retirement social structures. The biggest concern for most baby boomers is whether they can afford to retire and live how they want, followed by the concern of running out of assets or income during their lifetime as a retiree?”

Here are the common challenges faced by the Boomers, which their earlier generations did not have to deal with:


With advancement in medical science and healthy lifestyle trends, boomers have much better odds of living longer than their parents. According to a study, a healthy 65-year-old spouse held a 75% probability of living up to the age of 95.

There is another reason for this, though. Most boomers spend their 30 years of work sitting behind a desk, as opposed to their parents, who held jobs that were more physically demanding. For most boomers, the most demanding work that required their physical prowess was the weekend golf game.

Investment Horizon:

With an increased life expectancy, baby boomers have almost 30 years of post-retirement life to live off their savings. Even with the largest and most stable of savings, one cannot say that it will be enough, given the fact that anything and everything can happen in a span of 30 years. Things like war, recessions, inflation and deflation, stock market crashes, and other events can have a profound effect on the boomers’ financial well-being.

Low Savings:

Over 60% of baby boomers don’t have enough assets to allow them to retire when they would like to, live how they would want to, yet be financially secure till they pass away. This makes them much more dependent on performance to accumulate their assets.

The frenzy of financial advisors:

To see a feeding frenzy, all you need to do is let a Wall Street advisor know that you’ve retired from your company with a $1 million IRA rollover. You won’t even need to wait till you actually retire to see the frenzy going! With news like this, advisors get interested, and make their best efforts to provide their offers, advice and products. This includes meeting the soon-to-be retirees to offer free retirement seminars. For the baby boomers themselves, this can get pretty tiresome.


With limited savings and requirement for more assets, you need better performance to help produce the assets. And this need does not end with your retirement. Even after you retire, you might have to collect more assets or garner a rate of return which can counter all forms of erosion from your retirement assets.


With low saving and high asset and performance requirements, baby boomers will have to take an investment risk that is significantly higher than what their parents took. This will help them accumulate assets and make sure that they last for the entirety of their post retirement life. It is not profitable to invest in a low or zero investment risk strategy unless the investor is completely certain that they will not run out of assets or income post-retirement.

Investment Expense:

In order to get the best performance, baby boomers will need to take a higher degree of risk. To that end, they will need sound advice from the best financial advice. Getting this sound advice will surely cost them, and add to the growing list of baby boomers’ expenses.



With the time to pay taxes approaching soon, most taxpayers in the US are currently contemplating on what method they should use to save their money. One of these methods being funding IRAs, it is only natural for the ones contemplating those to wonder whether they should opt for a Roth IRA or a traditional one. Each have their own sets of benefits, and prove to be more efficient for certain situations than others.

Are you wondering which IRA you should use? Here are some guidelines to help you understand the difference between the two.

Contribution Limits

Both Roth and traditional IRAs have the same contribution limits. As of 2017, you can contribute up to $5,500 to your IRA. You can also contribute an extra $1,000 as catch-up if you are of age 50 or above by the end of the tax year.


The eligibility of an individual to deduct traditional supplements to an IRA (and therefore receive a tax credit for the year in which the contribution was made) makes for a major factor in deciding between a Roth and a traditional IRA. This eligibility is directly dependent on whether the taxpayers fulfills the minimum requirements.

According to Dan Stewart CFA®, president of Revere Asset Management, Inc., in Dallas, Texas, a traditional IRA can be fully tax deductible if the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s spouse are not participating in any work-based retirement plan (regardless of income), or if they participate in a work-based retirement plan but have an income of $62,000 (if they are filing individually) or $99,000 (if they are filing jointly). Any contributions made beyond those levels will not have any influence over deduction of taxes.

For Roth IRAs, however, contributions are not able to be deducted.

Age Limitations for Contributions

If making contribution supplements to your IRA it is your priority, you must take a close look on the age caps placed on IRA contributions for either types of IRA.

In case of traditional IRAs, contributions cannot be made once the taxpayer has reached the age of 70½. Roth IRAs, however, don’t have any limit of this sort.

Age is not the only factor here, though, the income also determines the ability and eligibility to fund a Roth or traditional IRA. For instance, it is not possible to make contributions to a Roth IRA if the income exceeds a certain threshold. Additionally, the Roth IRA can be lowered should the income ever fall to a certain range. It is thus, always best for taxpayers to consult with the tax advisor to find out the maximum amount they can contribute to a Roth IRA.

Traditional IRA contributions, on the other hand, do not have any such income caps.

Required Minimum Distributions

In order to prevent yourself from having to start distributing your retirement assets before time, taxpayers must heed to the IRA rules for required minimum distributions (RMDs).

Traditional IRA owners are required to take their RMDs by April 1 of the year following the year they reach the age 70½ (which is the contribution age limit). They must, therefore, gradually reduce their IRA balance and add the distributed amount to your income, regardless of whether they actually require the funds.

Roth IRA owners, on the other hand, are not required to follow any RMD rules.

Tax Treatment of Distributions

Yet another factor that determines the which of the two IRAs are beneficial is the tax treatment of distributions. Usually, traditional IRA distributions are regarded like regular income (which therefore can be subject to taxes for your income). Additionally, the amount distributed may be subtracted by the penalties in case the withdrawals have been made before the taxpayer has reached the age of just over 59.

A Qualified Roth IRA distribution, however, is fully exempt from tax and penalty. To get qualified, Roth IRA distributions must meet a few fundamental requirements:

– The allotments must be taken at least 5 yrs after the taxpayer has funded their primary Roth IRA

– The distribution was taken as a result of at least one of the following factors:

The taxpayer has reached the age of 59½

The taxpayer is disabled.

The assignee will receive the full distribution upon death of the taxpayer

The distribution has been used to make a sale on a primary residence ($10,000 lifetime limit)

Splitting Your Contributions:

It may so happen that the taxpayer finds themselves eligible to contribute to either types of IRAs. In that case, they can choose to divide their contributions between their traditional and Roth IRAs. That said, they must take care to not allow the total amount of contributions to both IRA’s to exceed the tax limit. This figure includes the catch-up contribution if the taxpayer is over the age of 50.

Additional fees should also be considered when splitting IRAs. This includes additional fees, like the maintenance fees charged by your IRA custodian/trustee who will maintain both IRAs.

Which one is better?

As expected, this is not a simple “Option A or Option B” answer. The detrimental factor for most taxpayers is their eligibility to deduct their IRA contributions, which often leads them to opting for traditional IRAs. That said, this eligibility does not imply that the traditional IRA is always the better choice.

Roth IRAs have some inherent benefits of their own. This includes things like penalty-free distributions and freedom from RMD rules and taxes, which generally outweigh the benefits of getting a tax deduction.

If you’re still confused, you can use a Roth vs traditional IRA calculator, which can help you logically decide the better account for you.

Here’s Why Now Is the Best Time to Buy Freedom Bonds

Here’s Why Now Is the Best Time to Buy Freedom Bonds

Judging by the looks of it, the BP oil disaster (aka Deepwater Oil Spill), despite causing the destruction it did, doesn’t really have anything special about it. After all, it is neither the first nor the last oil spill in the US, and neither is it the largest or the worst by any measure – that spot goes to the Greenpoint Oil Spill, in which over 250 million gallons of oil and refined product was leaked into aquifers under the streets of Los Angeles by Chevron refinery leaked for quite a few decades until its discovery in the late 1970s. It has been estimated that cleaning the mess made by this oil spill will take another half a century to clean up.

However, if we take a closer look, these oil spills collectively cause – and cost – much more than one can imagine. Not to mention the unhealthy “addiction” we have when it comes to keeping the commodity under our control – as the future generations in smog-filled cities as losing up to 1% of their vital lung function annually and weather patterns all over the planet are getting altered by leaps and bounds, we’re waging trillion dollar wars in Iraq as an “exercise” to control more oil, leaving tar sands exposed in Canada, consuming much more energy to extract than deliver in fuel to our tanks, and over and above everything – not being bothered about finding ways of generating energy other than burning the earth’s limited fossilized remains.

From the looks of it, it seems like an endless situation where there’s nothing we can really do. But then, WE CAN.

Believe it or not, we do possess the power of relegate all these “current” events right to the past and let them be a part of the history books. And we can do that by harnessing the power of an idea that was once very instrumental in saving the world.

Back in World War II, Patriotic Americans in thousands had bought war bonds in order to finance the path to victory and end the global tyranny that was the Axis. Why not re-use this marvelous tool again, rechristen them (as “Freedom Bonds” and put an end to this new form of global tyranny that currently exists in our lives?

The logic behind Freedom Bonds is to have the Treasury issue “revenue bonds” and subsequently use the funds collected to build a series of compressed natural gas (CNG) and Hydrogen fueling stations, and electric car charging stations, as well as support infrastructure for utilities and companies and utilities to provide those clean transportation fuels to consumers. That’s not all the bonds can do though – these bonds can help pay for those who are willing to convert their existing gas/diesel vehicle to hydrogen or CNG (just about any bus, truck or car that runs on the road these days can be converted to run on them) and fund American automakers who want to re-tool their assembly lines and make newer, more eco-friendly models which run on cleaner alternatives. They can even be used to finance a variety of fleets of widely-used vehicles such as school buses, government fleets, municipal bus lines, and trash trucks, which have been converted to a more eco-friendly version.

Note, however, that these are “revenue bonds” – marvelous as this plan is, we have no intention on spending even a single taxpayer’s hard-earned dollar directly on them. We plan to “repay as we go,” by repaying the bonds with generous interest, from normal fuel surcharges added to the cost of each fuel. In order to kickstart this system, however, we do need a bond financing mechanism, as the early revenues will be low in comparison to the upfront costs (which will initially be significantly higher). With time and progress, however, these bonds will be repaid in full (with interest) by the future users of vehicles which run on cleaner and greener fuels.

All said and done, we don’t consider using the special T-bills to curb our oil-obsession and tragic spills as the most patriotic part of our plan – that is yet to come.

In addition to the aforementioned, all, i.e. 100% of the billions of dollars that will be used to fund Freedom Bonds will be entirely spent on improving the American job sector. By using the bonds to pay mechanics to convert vehicles, build clean fueling infrastructure, help premier car manufacturers make 21st Century trucks and cars, we will set into motion a one-of-a-kind series of investments which will reap benefits for years to come. Freedom bonds will help create and maintain full-time, permanent and secure jobs which will help America help itself and the rest of the world create innovative technologies which will go on to (positively) change the world and the way we see it.

Believe it or not, every single one of us, at some point or the other, looks at the sordid picture of the Gulf and longs to do something that can change the situation, only to realize that we, as common people are powerless. We know that the available oil is bound to run out soon, despite all the efforts being put in by governments and oil companies to acquire the next barrel for themselves.

Not anymore. Buy buying Freedom Bonds, we can help those in need by making a sound investment that will make this problem the last of its kind. Which makes this – here and now – the best time to buy them.



Life for the baby boomers hasn’t been easy, at least as far as saving for retirements is concerned. They have indeed experienced quite a few hard knocks. However, they now have a sound retirement saving strategy in place – one that can actually be beneficial for the younger generations as well.

A lot has happened in the last 40 years which has pretty much spelt doom for common investment strategies – from sudden busts and booms, periods of deflation and inflation, to sharp rise and fall of interest rates and speculative ventures gone bad. bubbles that ended badly. To top it over, the S&P 500 in this period has stood at an average of 12% a year (a figure that includes both price range and dividends.

While one cannot say that boomers have been stable through all this time, one can definitely say that they have learnt well from their failures. And they are now keen to find ways that will help them save for the rest of their saving years.

According to an American Funds study, 65% boomers reported that they felt smart as investors when they stuck with their investment strategy. In the same study, 6 out of 10 reported that they remain quiet when the market gets volatile. Only a mere 2% say that they feel smart when they make a move that’s bold and risky but well-rewarding if it works.

The younger generations, however, don’t seem to share this sentiment. For instance, only 43% of millennials feel smart when sticking with their strategy, while the rest only feel smart when they attempt to pick a hot stock. The latter’s percentage, here, is almost 6 times more than the boomers.

Baby boomers, however, thanks to their experience, have learnt an entirely different lesson. They’ve understood that good times don’t last long – let alone forever. Thanks to the huge market upheavals following the financial crisis, a mere 16% of boomers believe that they will continue to get their benefits either at the same rate or at a better rate. This is of course a lesser figure that the 31% who believe the same.

All said and done, there is a perfect explanation why millennials are more optimistic. Given that they understood the importance of saving much before their boomers counterparts did, they have a bigger edge over them. According to the American Funds study, almost 60% of the millennials began to save for retirement before the age of 25, as compared to only 28% of boomers. That being said, they also tend to have a more pessimistic view of their later lives, thanks to the debt that most of them face, especially in the form of student loans. As opposed to the baby boomers, who believe that they will be happy throughout retirement, millennials do not believe that they will be that lucky.

The study also shows that despite their wise savings habits, baby boomers do tend to have their blind spots. While they do remain committed to low-cost index funds (which are known to produce good results in the long-term), they also leave them vulnerable to sharp short-term downward market moves, which, according to 81% of boomers, is a great matter of concern.

If your portfolio mainly consists of investments and bonds, with stock index funds forming a very low percentage, it is better to stick to index funds. However, half of all generations still fail to understand the problems short-term risk of an index fund – the fact that things can turn real ugly real fast in case the market turns sharply lower, especially during the initial period of retirement.

Traditional IRA or Roth IRA: Which is the right one for you?

Traditional IRA or Roth IRA: Which is the right one for you?

As many today already know, it is not a good practice to simply rely on workplace-sponsored retirement accounts. You must have alternate ways to save, such as stashing extra saving into a personal retirement account (IRAs in short).

IRAs are a good way to save since they make for a better compound and offer better tax benefits. The amount of benefits you get, however, depends on which type you select traditional or Roth.

When it comes to choosing ones, things can get confusing. After all, as of 2015-2016, yearly payments made to both are similar i.e. $5,500 per person for those under the age of 50, and $6,500 for those aged 50 and above. However, according to many experts, the Roth IRA stands as a better candidate since it is more flexible in terms of funding and withdrawing funds and offers bigger tax benefits.

According to Rick Meigs, president, Roth IRA is definitely the better option. He particularly finds it better on account of the fact that it does not have the mandatory requirement of taking withdrawals at seventy and one half, and allows people to keep forwarding payments there.

While payments to a Roth IRA are indeed funded with post-tax earnings, they go on to become tax-free and can be withdrawn as such as well, in the event that the account is at least years old, and that you are at least 59 1/2 old at the time of distribution.

Meigs finds the feature of being able to contribute to Roth as long as one earns money particularly helpful, especially for those who intend to work beyond their past traditional retirement years. On the flip side, savers stand to pay a 10% penalty if they withdraw earnings before they turn 59 1/2. After that age, however, they can withdraw the contributions at any time.

It does not come without its problems, however. Sometimes, you may find that you are in fact “earning too much” to fund a Roth IRA. Roth IRAs are generally available exclusively to with a modified A.G.I. that is below of $132,000 in 2016. For married couples filing a joint tax return, this figure stands at $194,000.

In case your income renders you ineligible to funding a Roth IRA, you should consider the traditional IRA. It does have its own set of advantages.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a traditional IRA is the fact that it allows you to claim a complete income-tax deduction for your contributions. To take that advantage, you must not have access to another work retirement plan, like a 401(k). The income cap for single filers who have access to any such plans is $61,000; they can get a partial deduction if their earning is above $61,000 but below $71,000. Income limits are trickier for married couples who file jointly, those with a plan have a limit that can be anywhere between $98,000 to $118,000. If you don’t have a plan but your spouse does, you can get a limit that stands anywhere between $184,000 and $194,000. Once again, if you don’t have another office-sponsored retirement plan, you can get the full tax deduction for your contributions no matter what your income is.

And in case you cannot claim tax breaks from traditional IRA altogether, you can still make nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA. Since 2010, you also have the option to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, regardless of your income and filing status.

Inheritance Taxes

Inheritance Taxes

What are inheritance taxes?

As the name itself implies, inheritance taxes are those taxes that an individual needs to pay on any property or money that they have inherited after the death of a loved one. Being a state tax (and not the same as the federal estate tax), payment of inheritance taxes is the responsibility of the beneficiary of the property, and not the former owner of the estate. As of 2017, only six states in the United States impose an inheritance tax. Even within those states, there are several rules and measures on the amount of inheritance tax that needs to be paid. In fact, some beneficiaries are even exempt from paying it.

Inheritance Tax vs. Estate Tax

While the two tax categories may sound similar, they are in fact very different. The basic difference between the estate and inheritance taxes is the fact that the party responsible for paying it is different. As mentioned already, the inheritance taxes are paid by the person who inherits the estate of the deceased. The estate tax, on the other hand, although levied on the total value of the money and property of a deceased person, is paid by the decedent’s prior to distributing it to the beneficiaries.

In case of estate tax, the total value of the assets need to exceed certain thresholds. While these thresholds change every year, they generally stand at around $1 million. Thanks to a threshold this high, very few i.e. less than 2 percent of all taxpayers actually have to encounter this tax.

How does inheritance tax work?

The inheritance tax is calculated the moment the estate’s executor divides the assets and distributes them to the beneficiaries. The tax amount, which is calculated separately for every listed beneficiary, subsequently requires every beneficiary to pay the tax. Every state has its own threshold and measurements. For instance, a state can charge a 5 percent tax on any inheritance which is larger than $2 million. Which means that if your family member or friend has left you $5 million in his or her will, you will be required to pay the tax for the additional $3 million, i.e. $150,000. Of course, you would be legally obliged to report this information on an inheritance tax form.

Which states have inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax is exclusively a state tax, and is currently levied by only six states. These are Kentucky, Iowa, New Jersey, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Maryland. As mentioned earlier, every state has separate laws as regards inheritance tax, from as low as 1 percent to as high as 25 percent of the total value of the money and property that you have inherited.

What are the exemptions on inheritance tax?

Certain reductions and/or exemptions are granted on the payable inheritance tax, which depends upon the relationship between the beneficiary and the decedent. For instance, money and property that is inherited from a spouse is generally tax-exempt. Often, children and other dependents also qualify for tax exemption. However, only a specific a part of the inherited property may qualify in their case. High rates of inheritance tax is paid by beneficiaries who have a distant, indirect or no familial relationship with the decedent.



Any bond’s instrumental characteristic – which authenticates it and distinguishes it from any other – is the entity that has issued it, since as an investor you’re counting on that issuer to have your hard-earned money returned to you.

The following are the most commonly-used types of bonds:

– Investment-grade corporate bonds (high quality)

– Higher yielding corporate bonds (poor), referred to as “junk bonds”

– Bonds that are backed by a mortgage

– Foreign bonds

– Municipal bonds

– Treasury bonds

– Other U.S. government bonds

Investment-grade corporate bonds

Carrying ratings that are at least triple-B from Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s – or both (For the ignorant: ratings go with triple-A being the highest, followed by Double-A, Single-A, Triple-B and so forth), investment-grade corporate bonds are issued by financing institutions or companies which have stronger balance sheets.

Although the risk of such bonds defaulting is considered very remote, their yields still score much higher than both agency and Treasury bonds, despite the fact that they are fully taxable – like most other agencies. These bonds, however, tend to underperform Treasuries and agencies during times of economic downturns.

High-yield bonds

Generally carrying ratings below triple-B, high-yield bonds are issued by financing institutions or companies which have weaker balance sheets. The prices of these bonds are directly related to the health of corporate balance sheets. These bonds tend to track stock prices more closely than their investment-grade counterparts. According to Steve Ward, Chief Investment Officer of Charles Schwab Corporation, high-yield bonds do not provide the kind of asset-allocation benefits that come with mixing high-grade stocks and bonds.

Mortgage-backed bonds

These bonds have a higher face value as opposed to other bonds ($25,000 for such as opposed to $1,000-$5,000 for others). They do, however, suffer from what is called “prepayment risk.” The value of such bonds drop as mortgage prepayments rise to a higher rate – which is why they do not reap rewards from declining interest the way other bonds do.

Foreign bonds

A rather complicated kind of bond, foreign bonds are of different types. While there are some which are dollar-denominated, most foreign bond funds have approximately 1/3rd of their assets in foreign-currency-denominated debt (Source: Lipper).
For foreign bonds that are denominated by foreign currency, the issuing party makes a promise to pay in fixed interest — and thereafter return the principal amount in a different currency. The size of said payments once they get converted into dollars depends on the prevalent rates of exchange. For instance, if the dollar proves to be stronger than the foreign currency, foreign interest payments get converted into smaller dollar amounts (and vice versa).

The performance of a foreign bond fund depends more on exchange rates than on interest rates.

Municipal bonds

Popularly known as “munis,” municipal bonds are issued by U.S. states and local governments and their sub-agencies. They are available in investment-grade as well as in high-yield varieties. Although interest for such bonds is indeed tax-free, it does not automatically translate to be being beneficial for everyone. This is due to the fact that taxable yields end up being higher as compared to muni yields in order to compensate investors for the taxes.

Treasury bonds

Backed fully by taxing authorities, treasury bonds are issued by the federal government in order to finance the budget deficits. Due to having Uncle Sam’s full and official approval, such bonds are regarded as credit-risk free. They do have a critical downside, however, which is the fact that their yields tend to be the second lowest – just above tax-free munis.

However, they tend to outperform higher-yielding bonds during economic downturns, not to mention the fact that the interest on them is exempt from certain state income taxes.

Other U.S. government bonds

Alternatively known as agency bonds, these are normally supplied by federal agencies such as mainly Ginnie Mae (the Government National Mortgage Association) and Fannie Mae (FNM) (the Federal National Mortgage Association). Differing significantly from the mortgage-backed securities that are issued by the same agencies, as well as by Freddie Mac (FRE) (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.), the yield coming from such bonds are significantly higher than their Treasury counterparts. While they don’t have the full approval of the U.S. government at large, the credit risk for these bonds is considered minimal-to-none. Interest on such bonds is taxable at state as well as federal levels.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Muni Bonds

Advantages and Disadvantages of Muni Bonds

Generally speaking, bonds which don’t require too much investment (such as municipal bonds) are ideal for investors. That said, every investor and their portfolio have different kinds and combination of requirements. As an investor, you must consider all the advantages and disadvantages of municipal bonds in order to judge their appropriateness for your portfolio.

The following are the key advantages of municipal bonds:

Interest gained from Municipal bonds is mostly exempt from federal, state and even local income taxes:

Generally, an investor’s marginal tax bracket is the instrumental factor in deciding whether or not to invest in municipal bonds.

As an investor, it is always a good practice to first compare the yield of a muni bond with any comparable taxable bond’s after-tax yield. In order to do so, you must calculate the taxable equivalent yield of the muni bond. And in the event that the municipal bond you plan to invest in is not issued in the state of your residence, you should make the requisite calculation by equaling the taxable equivalent yield with the tax-exempt interest rate divided by one minus the marginal tax bracket. For example, if you are planning to invest in a municipal bond that has a yield of 4.5%, and your tax bracket is 25%, the taxable equivalent yield will end up being 6.0% (obtained by dividing 4.5% with 1 and then subtracting 25% from the same).

Municipal Bonds are available in a variety of choices:

Given that there are over 1.5 million outstanding issues of municipal bonds, one can easily determine the fact that bonds with all sorts of characteristics and combinations are available for investors to choose from.

Municipal bonds have high credit ratings in general:

While there are very few cases of municipal bonds defaulting, it is not entirely unheard of. As an investor, therefore, you must take the time to carefully review the credit quality before you go ahead and invest. In such situations, sticking with investment grade ratings is a good idea, since it indicates that the issuer is financially stable and therefore is unlikely to default.

As is the case with every type of bond, muni bonds too have some key disadvantages:

They cannot work with every portfolio-type:

Generally speaking, munis are not ideal for tax-advantaged plans such as 401(k) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). This is due to the fact that municipal bond interest is exempt from federal income taxes, which means that you as an investor won’t gain anything by placing the bond in a tax-advantaged medium. On the contrary, the interest income, when withdrawn will be subjected to normal income taxes.

Municipal bonds can be redeemed even before they mature:

Having call provisions gives the issuer the power to redeem muni bonds before they mature. That said, the precise provisions vary from one type of muni bond to the other.

As an investor, you should review the provisions very thoroughly before you purchase a bond. Although doing so won’t allow you to stop an issuer if and/or when they make a call provision, it does allow you to purchase bonds with call provisions that are the best for you.

Usually, early redemptions occur when the market interest rates are lower than the interest rate of the bond. While you will the principal and maybe even a premium, the money will have to be reinvested later during a time when the interest rates are lower than what is paid on the original bonds.

Muni bonds remain subject to select taxes:

Although muni bonds are usually exempt from federal (and sometimes even state and local) income taxes, selling the bond prematurely can – and does often result in taxable gains. Furthermore, some bonds pay interest income that is subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT).

Additionally, one should also consider local and State taxes in the event that the muni bond has not been issued in the state of your residence.



While retirement does mean no work, you still must pay your taxes. Unsurprisingly, paying taxes can get tricky during a time when you’re not actually working, and instead are relying upon savings (which no matter how large, is still limited). It is therefore essential for you to estimate the taxes that you must pay, and plan your budget accordingly to avoid any inconvenience later.

Taxes during retirement work the same way as they would when you work, i.e. calculated on the basis of your annual income. Every source of income is taxed differently, which is why it is a good practice to have sound knowledge of the various nuances of tax rules.

The following are the most common types of retirement income and the various tax rules for them:

Social Security Income

If Social Security as your sole retirement income source, you will probably not have to pay taxes in retirement. If you have income sources other than this, however, then at least a part of your Social Security income will probably be taxed. The amount of tax determined is based upon a formula, can vary from zero to 85%, depending on your additional sources of income. Other income sources are termed as “combined income” by the IRS, and this combined income is plugged into a formula in your tax worksheet which will determine the percentage of your benefits which will be taxed annually.

Usually, retirees with large amounts of monthly pension will pay up to 85% from their Social Security benefits, and will pay their total taxes at a rate of 15-45%. Retirees relying only Social Security mostly get their benefits tax-free.

IRA and 401(k) Withdrawals

Generally, retirement accounts withdrawals are during retirement. This includes both IRA withdrawals and withdrawals from plans like 401(k), 403(b), and 457, among others, all of which are reported as taxable income on your tax return. The percentage of benefits that you must pay as tax will depend upon a combination of your total income, your deductions and the particular year’s tax bracket. For instance, if your year has more deductions than income (say, for instance, if you spent a lot on medical expenses), you might be exempted from paying any tax on withdrawals for that particular year.

Roth IRA withdrawals, if done properly will be tax-free.


Pension income is generally taxable. The best way to determine the tax on your pension is to use a simple guideline – if the withdrawal goes in before tax at the time of withdrawal, then it will be taxed. Since most pension accounts are funded with pre-taxed income, all of the amount will be written-off as taxable income each year on your tax return. In such cases, you can ask for your to be deducted from your pension check.

Annuity Distributions:

IRA or retirement account-owned annuities are taxed on the basis on tax rules in the section on IRA withdrawals. If the annuity was purchased with the help of money that was not within an IRA (or any another retirement account), then the tax will apply based on the kind of annuity purchased.

In case of immediate annuity, only a certain portion will be considered interest, and only this portion will be included in the taxable income section of your return. The annuity company will inform you of your “exclusion ratio” i.e. is, the amount of annuity income which will be excluded from the taxable income.

As for withdrawals variable or fixed annuities, the earnings need to be withdrawn first. This implies that if the account is worth more than your contributions, you will initially withdraw earnings or investment gain, which will be taxable. Upon withdrawing all your earnings, you will be withdrawing the original contributions, i.e. cost basis, which are tax-free.

Investment Income

Investment income works the same way as dividends, capital gains and interest income, by being reported on a 1099 tax annually. It is sent directly from the financial institution where your accounts are held. If you are systematically selling investments to generate income during retirement, every sale you make will generate a long/short term capital gain (or loss), which will subsequently be reported on your tax return. Taxes are nullified only when the other sources of income are not very high.

Selling your home

If the home you are selling has been lived-in for a minimum of two years, you have a high chance of not having your home taxed unless your gains are more than $250,000 (in case of a single person) or $500,000 (in case of a married couple). Renting homes have more complex rules, and tax calculations for the same require the expertise of a tax professional, who will help you determine the amount of gains which need to be reported.



Believe it or not, planning your ahead in time can helps you manage them efficiently once you have retired. In order to do so, you must have a thorough understanding of the various options that are available to you. Once you gain this understanding, you will be able to choose the right strategies which will help you keep your tax bill as less as possible. With the right decision, retirees can gain some control over their taxes thanks to the ability to being able to decide the amount that they need or want to withdraw from their retirement plans.

Here are a few tips to help you get started with planning your tax strategy:

  • Exemptions and Deductions: Make sure to take complete advantage of all personal exemptions and/or itemized or standard deductions. These will help you determine the amount of your income that should be tax-free. For retirees, taxable distributions can be coordinated with their medical expenses, property taxes and mortgage payments.
  • Increase your Retirement Contributions: This can be particularly useful if you have multiple available deductions. You can try withdrawing more retirement funds than when is necessary in a given year once your deductions exceed the taxable income. This will help you avoid paying extra taxes in the next year(s) which could have a low or even zero tax rate.
  • Defer retirement plan distributions: By deferring your retirement plan distributions until they are required by tax law or until you need them, you can keep your taxable distributions to a minimum, and therefore push your income to subsequent tax years. Taxpayers who wish to go with this plan should start withdrawing funds from their traditional IRA plans and 401(k)s once they reach the age of 70 1/2. Distributions should start by April 1 of the year next to the year in which the taxpayer turns 70.5 years; this is known as the “required beginning date.” You can calculate the minimum amount to be distributed by dividing your account balance by the life expectancy figures published by the IRS in Publication 590. To make things easier, you can try web-based calculators to estimate the minimum required distributions.
  • Elderly-specific tax credits: While taxpayers of and above the age of 65 are eligible for the special tax credit, actually qualifying for the same requires some careful planning, for the adjusted gross income (AGI) must be within certain limits.
  • Maximize your tax-free income: By selling their main home, taxpayers can have up to $250,000 exempted from their capital gains. If you are married, this figure will increase two-fold to $500,000. Interest that is earned from municipal bonds is also tax-exempt.

How is Retirement Income Taxed?

Retirees have a range of sources from which they earn their income, from pensions and annuities to Social Security benefits. Each of these sources are subject to a separate set of tax rules.

Social Security: Depending on your income profile, your Social Security can stand to partially or fully tax-free. While finding out where you stand does require some careful and complicated calculation, it is worth the benefits you will get in terms of less taxes and better planning.

Pension or Annuity Income: These can partially or fully taxable. Distributions will be fully taxed in the event that all contributions to your pension were made with tax-deferred dollars. However, if you have contributed any after-tax dollars for funding your plan, you can get some cost basis in the plan contract.

IRA Distributions: Depending upon the kind of IRA you have, your individual retirement account’s distributions can be fully or partially taxable, or even completely tax-free. Distributions get fully taxed when the taxpayer has a deductible traditional IRA. However, if you have any basis in a non-deductible traditional IRA, your distributions will be partially tax-exempt. Roth IRAs are mostly totally tax-free so long as you full two basic requirements, namely, your first Roth IRA should have been made at least 5 years before any distribution, and the funds should be distributed after you have reached the age of 59 1/2.

401(k) Plans: 401(k) plan distributions are fully taxable on account of the fact that these contributions were not included in your taxes when they were made. These get the same treatment as Roth IRA distributions.



With the end of the year approaching, many of you are probably already thinking about the applicable documents required to prepare your federal income-tax returns. Although most tax law provisions continue to be the same, certain key changes have been made.

It is always better for taxpayers to have a basic knowledge of individual taxation so that they can easily comprehend as well as implement tax-minimization and planning strategies. Such strategies are based upon the time in which the transactions have been made, which is why even a basic level of awareness of these can go a long way in taking advantage of available taxes. Furthermore, a well-informed taxpayer also stands a chance to ask relevant questions to his/her certified public accountant.

Above-the-Line Deductions:

Reported on Form 1040’s first page, these deductions are taken away from the gross income – the resultant calculation being the very-essential “adjusted gross income,” or AGI figure. These deductions are generally very helpful since they are calculated on the basis of the extent to which they cross the AGI percentage. Additionally, some other tax benefits phase-out at specified AGI levels. It is therefore only natural for taxpayers to want to take absolute advantage of any above-the-line deduction that they can get. Such deductions include (but are not limited to) tuition, interest for student loans, penalty on early withdrawal of savings, moving expenses, expenses for educators and deductions for retirement contributions.

Contributions to Retirement Plans

Generally, taxpayers experience a circumstance or event which makes them eligible to get an above-the-line deduction. For instance, he/she might have withdrawn or moved funds from a certificate of deposit before it matured. That said, deductions related to the funding of retirement accounts are controlled by working taxpayers.

Furthermore, mutual funds’ investments in which the fund manager gets a charge of making decisions regardless of tax implications should ideally be held in a tax-deferred retirement account like an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) or a 401(k).

Last but not the least, some taxpayers with low income figures may be eligible to reduce their taxes by getting a retirement contribution credit.

There are other ways to reduce taxes as well. The applicability and effectiveness of these strategies depend upon the income, resources and know-how of the taxpayer.

Some of these methods are as follows:

-If you have an appreciated asset you should consider donating the property over selling it. Doing the former will allow you to deduct the fair market value of the property as a charitable contribution, and will help you avoid any tax that you would have to pay on any capital gain you would receive from a sale. Generally beneficial for high-income taxpayers. these contributions also help them avoid the new Medicare surtax on the investment income an asset.

– Another strategy that helps in minimizing taxes is holding municipal bonds which yield interest that are exempt from federal taxation. You can also try investing in municipals if it offers a percentage yield that is more than what you would earn on a taxable investment that is multiplied by one minus your effective tax rate. Before you invest, however, you must make sure to consult your tax adviser and determine whether the alternative minimum tax works well with your investment decision(s).

– In case you are planning to sell securities which will ultimately generate a loss, try to execute those sales in the financial year in which you stand a better chance of getting long-term capital gains from other items. Long-term capital gains, here refer to the gains that result from sale of capital assets which have been held for longer than a year. It is possible to reduce your capital gain (and by extension, your AGI) by applying up to $3,000 from any loss. Any unused capital loss can be brought forward to the next tax years and thereafter applied to the offset capital gains.

– Beware of “wash-sales” when you plan to hold a security for a year or less than that. A wash-sale takes place when you sell a security at a loss, only to buy similar securities within a month before/after the sale. Not only will the loss be disallowed during the sale, the disallowed amount will be added to the cost of the second purchase. All said and done, a wash sale can prove to be beneficial strategy if the loss can be deferred to another year.

A caveat:

For the next year, certain tax benefits for taxpayers with high AGIs have been reduced. This reduction is 2% for every $2,500, or fraction thereof, of AGI that exceeds $250,000 for single filers and $300,000 for taxpayers who are married.
Additionally, certain itemized deductions will be subjected to a maximum of 80% reduction for taxpayers with high income rates. The reductions stand at 3% for AGIs above $250,000 for single taxpayers and $300,000 for married couples.
Certain expenses such as theft and casualty losses and medical expenses are barred from the reductions. Medical expenses which exceed 10% of the taxpayers AGI, however, will be deducted.

To conclude:

Planning your taxes is an activity that requires consistent involvement on the taxpayer’s part all year-round. The simple-sounding act of maintaining organized records can go a long way in making an effective tax strategy.

When is the best time to cash-in those old savings bonds?

When is the best time to cash-in those old savings bonds?

Are you one of the many people who are still holding on to their old Savings Notes (Freedom Shares), H or HH bonds, or E bonds? Maybe now is the time when you can actually do something with those. After all, those bonds no longer earn interest and perhaps are (or are on their way to) causing you tax problems. In fact, you’d be surprised to know that the United States Treasury Dept. says that there are current outstanding U.S. savings bonds that don’t earn interest are collectively worth over $12 billion!

Which brings us to the most important question – how can one know if their bonds belong to this category – and if it does, then what can be done about it?

The best way to find out is to check your old bonds. Originally known as E Bonds, these were issued by the federal government began since the mid-1930s. Issued in a variety of denominations, they were mostly bought by citizens at a 75 percent of face value discount. In simpler terms, an individual paid $75 to buy a $100 bond.

The federal government ceased issuance of E Bonds from June 1980 and replaced them with EE bonds. These bonds calculate the earned interest a bit differently from E bonds, with investors buying then at half of their face value and receiving interest from them bonds once they redeem the bonds.

The bonds keep earning interest till their ‘original maturity’ (i.e. the point when the original price paid for a particular bond and the accumulated interest equal the bond’s face value. Interest payments, however, can – and are extended automatically beyond that point (generally for a ten-year-period), till the time the bond reaches its ultimate maturity, after which it is unable to earn any interest.

This is often where things get difficult. Since actual final maturity dates often vary from bond-to-bond, so it can be confusing. Take as an example, the E bonds which were issued from May 1941. Originally matured as of November 1965, these bonds had 40 years till they reached final maturity. Today, almost all of them are no longer earning interest. Contrastingly, E bonds which were issued from December 1965 and reached original maturity by June 1980, have just 30 years till they reach final maturity. As of today, all E bonds that were issued until April 1975 no longer earn interest. As for EE Bonds – they too reach final maturity in 30 years from their original maturity. Given that none of them are older than July 1980, it is only a matter of a couple of years before they cease earning interest.

Savings Notes, also known as Freedom Shares, were all issued between May 1967 and October 1970, when the Vietnam War was at its height. Much like their Like E/EE counterparts, they were sold at a discount and the interest was deferred until redemption. They too had 30 years to reach final maturity do not earn interest any more.

H and HH bonds, however, are a bit different from the aforementioned. Bought by investors at face value, these bonds pay out interest semiannually and in cash. H Bonds were first issued by the government from June 1952 through January 1957. These reached final maturity in 29 years and 8 months. H bonds issued from January 1957 till the introduction of HH bonds in January reach final maturity in 30 years. As of today, H bonds issued till April 1975 no longer earn interest. That said, HH bonds, which were stopped by the government since August 2004, reach final maturity in just 20 years. Additionally, all HH bonds which are more than 20 years old must be cashed in order to retrieve the face value i.e. the original investment.


While there are no state and local taxes levied on savings bonds, one does have to pay federal taxes at the rate of ordinary income taxes.

H or HH bondholders, on the other hand, have to pay taxes on the interest that they receive annually; buyers need not pay when they redeem the last payment (which is actually a return of the principal amount).

With E and EE bonds and Savings Notes, however, bondholders will have to pay taxes on the accumulated interest either when they redeem them, or when the bonds reach final maturity (and have not been redeemed). Said interest income is taxable for the year of final maturity or redemption – whichever is applicable.

In case the bondholder ends up missing this particular time period, and have only recently realized that the E Bonds that they have at home matured years back, they will need to file an amended tax return and might also be subject paying interest and a late penalty. It is always advisable for people in this situation to speak to their financial or tax advisor first.

The Investor’s Guide for Bond Investment

The Investor’s Guide for Bond Investment

Any bond investor must have any and all of their investments well-suited to the objectives of the investment, degree of risk tolerance, as well as other personal circumstances. By referring to the following guide and keeping all factors in check, investors can determine the role their bonds have in their portfolio:

#1: Overall objectives of investment

Investors who value growth and have little to no concern for income are looking for better appreciation of capital. Bonds which fulfill such criteria won’t have a major role in their portfolios.

Total return investors, on the other hand need both capital appreciation and income generation in well-balanced proportions. Bonds, therefore, will have a more important place in their portfolios.

Income investors, who prioritize dividend or interest income over capital appreciation, will have bonds playing a very important role in their portfolios.

#2: Time Frame of Investment

The time period in which an investor needs the principal should be instrumental in the process of selecting bonds. Usually the yield increases with the lengthening of the maturity date. In fact, it is this reason why investors tend to purchase bonds that have long maturity dates – so that they can get higher yields.

The investor, however, must be very careful when using that strategy. In the event that they do purchase a long-term bond – and thereafter sell it before it matures, the market value of the bond can get severely affected by changes in interest rate. While it is impossible to control changes interest rate changes, it is certainly possible for investors to curb the effects of said changes by choosing bonds whose maturity dates lie closest to when the principal is required.

#3: Risk tolerance

Usually, the risk is greater when the return on the bond is high. This is exactly the reason why U.S. Treasury securities (considered to be some of the most stable and risk-proof bonds) carry lower rates of interest than their corporate or municipal counterparts. Before purchasing a bond, investors must be absolutely sure to have completely understood all risks involved.

#4: Desire to minimize income taxes

While income generated from U.S. Treasury securities is exempt from local and state income taxes, it is still subject to federal income taxes. Income generated from municipal bonds is totally exempt from federal income taxes and exempt from state and local income taxes – if the investor is a resident of the issuing state. Income from corporate bonds, however, is subject to both state and federal income taxes.

Investors who invest in bigger bonds generally tend to find ways to have their interest tax-exempted. Investors should, however, know that income tax exemption is exclusively applicable to interest income; any capital gained by selling a bond will still be subjected to income taxes.

#5: Personal Factors

The following personal variables should be taken into consideration when purchasing a bond. Any investor must make sure that the bond they are investing in fulfills these basic criteria by adeqautely answering the following questions:

  • What is the price of the bond?
  • Is the bond insured?
  • What is the credit rating of the bond?
  • What is the yield-to-maturity?
  • What is the maturity of the bond?
  • Does the bond have call provisions?
  • What is the coupon rate?
  • How is the bond’s interest income taxed?

The role that the bond will play in an investor’s portfolio will be totally dependent on the answers to the above questions.

Your Guide to Earning Well after Retirement

Your Guide to Earning Well after Retirement

So, you’ve been working hard and saving well for all of your professional life and are now on the threshold of retirement. Needless to say, the time for you now is to actually enjoy all that you’ve wanted to do so far.

Before you jump on the retirement bandwagon, however, you must ensure that your savings and post-retirement earnings are enough to last for the rest of your life – all while factoring the ups and downs of the market, unprecedented expenses, inflation, and of course, longevity.

However, it’s not as daunting as it may sound at the moment. By remembering the following key factors when making your post-retirement income strategy, you can make your life a smooth and easy one – with no worries of having to come out of retirement to earn. Ever.

#1: Longevity

Thanks to advancement in science and technology, the mortality rates have down a lot. This makes it quite likely for healthy 65-year-olds today to live until their 90s – or at least their 80s. And if one goes by currently available data, longevity expectations will only serve to increase in the coming future.

This implies that the possibility of people living for 30 years or more after retirement is pretty commonplace. And that needs an equal amount of income to boot. If you do not plan out your strategy thoughtfully, you may just end up outliving your savings and having to come out of retirement, or worse, living on Social Security as a source of income (Given that the average Social Security benefit is around $1,296 a month, one can say that it isn’t enough to cover all needs).

#2: Inflation

Just because the current rate of inflation is low, doesn’t mean that it won’t fluctuate. Even if it doesn’t, it will surely have a powerful impact over a long time – say, 20-30 years. This can – and does – have a profound effect on retirees, who unlike their younger, working counterparts do not have the option of relying on raises and incentives.

A lower rate of inflation too can have a profound impact on the purchasing power of a retiree. For instance, an inflation rate of 2% would turn what is $50,000 today into $30,477 25 years from now. Looking at this in another way, if you bought something by spending $50,000 today, you would have to shell out $82,030 to purchase the same thing 25 years from now. It is therefore important that you make your plans early and put into factor the effects of inflation in order to be able to maintain your current lifestyle.

#3: Market volatility

Ups and downs of the market can be extremely unsettling when a retiree who is banking upon living comfortably on a fixed amount for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances you will need stocks for growth potential, both when you’re saving for retirement and when you have actually retired. By default, the assets you have should be able to last you a minimum of 30 years.

#4: The Amount of Money Withdrawn

Now this one is a no-brainer – no matter how inflation- or market-proof your savings are, they won’t last long if you draw too much. On the other hand drawing too little (mostly out of fear of your savings diminishing) will have an adverse effect on your lifestyle and psychology.

A sound retirement income plan includes recommendations on the amount of money that you can safely withdraw from your savings and still have the confidence in the fact that you won’t run out of money. Believe it or not, planning in this area (or lack thereof) can have a dramatic effect on how long your assets will last.

Elements of a Sound Retirement Income Plan

Now that you know the factors you must consider when preparing a retirement income plan, you should know the various important elements that make a good one.

The following are the basics of a sound income plan for retirement:

#1: Guaranteed income that will take care of daily expenses

The first thing your plan should fully cover is your daily expenses. This covers all the non-negotiable requirements that you have as a human being housing, clothes, food, health care and utilities. Not only should this income be able to last for the rest of your lifetime (30 years or more), it should have sources of income that are stable and do not easily get swayed by external factors.

Generally, there are 3 main sources of guaranteed income:

– Social Security: For most, this acts as a base of income post-retirement. When and how you take money from here has a profound impact on your retirement. While it may be tempting to start taking the money the moment you are eligible (generally at 62 years of age), it can prove to be costly later. Starting at 62 instead of waiting till you reach full retirement age (FRA) will lead to reduced monthly benefits.

– Pensions: While pensions were very common in the past, that is no longer the case. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor says that only 14% workers today have a proper pension plan to speak of. In the event that you fall among them, you must decide on how you would like to draw the money – as a monthly payment or as a lump sum. In case you are not among the 14%, you can follow certain paths that will allow you to make a pension-like stream of income.

– Annuities: Basically, an annuity is a contract made with an insurance company that pays you a set income in return for an up-front investment that you made. This payment can either be made over the rest of your life or over a set period of time, and is unaffected by market upheavals. Fixed income annuities are of several types, such as a deferred income annuity, immediate income annuity, and fixed deferred annuity with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB).

#2: Growth potential that can fulfill long-term requirements

Aside from the daily, non-negotiable expenses, you will also have other expenses that will cater to your hobbies and dreams (for which you will have time) – such as pursuing a new hobby or going on a vacation or buying a boat. When you construct your income plan, you must make sure that it includes investments that have a potential to grow and try to keep up with the rates of inflation and meet these demands. A good practice in this regard is to use your investment portfolio and pay for these discretionary expenses. That way, you could easily cut back in case the market suffered a sudden downfall.

Having a mixed bag of cash, bonds and stocks, that work according to your frame of time, financial position, and market tolerance is a very good place to start. You must execute your strategy carefully though, because while a conservative strategy will lead you to miss out on the growth potential of stocks in the long-term, a plan that is too aggressive may lead to you taking far too many undue risks – which could prove very costly when the market becomes volatile.

#3: Flexibility that can help you refine your plan with the passage of time as much as possible

Quite obviously, the more flexible your plan is, the better it will perform. As a rule of thumb, your plan must be able to adapt to any curveballs it may get. Plenty of things in can happen after you retire – both good and bad – while you may get an inheritance, you may also experience a sudden medical emergency or have your parents move in. If and when such things happen, you must have a plan in place that can cushion you against the financial hardships that you will have to suffer otherwise.

One good practice that helps in this regard is to have income from different sources. Not only will this create a more diversified stream of income during retirement, it will also help you protect yourself against some very important risks like longevity, emergencies, inflation, and fluctuations.

Take for instance, a plan that includes a combination of taking withdrawals and income annuities. While the former is not guaranteed to stay for life, it does offer the chance to control how much money you can withdraw each month. The downside to this is that the money might just run out if you draw too much, live a long life or if the market hits a sudden low. Income annuities, on the other hands are not flexible and have very little potential to grow, but act as a guaranteed source income that will stay for life


To Conclude…

It’s a given fact that everyone’s situation – both financial and social is unique, and there is no “one foolproof income strategy” that will suit the requirements of all investors. You must therefore, identify your own situation and requirements, determine the need of growth potential, and then plan a strategy that will best suit your life as a retiree.

To make things easier, you can try following these six easy steps to create a basic yet strong income plan that will serve you well once your retire – and will last as long as you live:

Step #1: Study your lifestyle and situation and make financial as well as personal goals

Step #2: Plan a basic retirement income strategy in order to determine how long your current savings will last, and how you can successfully extend this period while maintaining your lifestyle

Step #3: Determine the following factors

– When you should take the help of Social Security
– The portion of your investment portfolio that you want allocated to a contingency fund, protection, and growth potential
– How your investment portfolio will be managed and who will do the managing

Step #4: Execute your strategy with the right combination of savings and income-producing investments, which will serve to balance your investment priorities and financial requirements

Step #5: Review your savings and investments regularly with an investment professional and always make an effort to refine your portfolio so that to suit your personal and financial requirements.

Step #6: Don’t forget to enjoy your retirement and live your dreams!

Top 5 Retirement Plan Options

Top 5 Retirement Plan Options

In today’s day and age, there is no dearth of good retirement plans. That said, there are some caveats if you really want to benefit from them, the chief among them being the fact that there is no one way to achieve your goals and gain maximum profits.

According to Jennifer Landon, founder and president of Journey Financial Services, there is no such thing as a “silver bullet” when it comes to finding an ideal retirement plan. This is due to the basic reason that any retirement plan which qualifies as “good” is comprised of a combination of income sources that have specifically been structured for the set goals.

While there are more retirement plan options than one can count, here are five options that work best with almost all sorts of requirements:


Quite unsurprisingly, pensions work as the best retirement plans on account of the fact that they ask very little from you. When it comes to pensions, the money is contributed by the employer and funds are managed professionally. All that is left for you to do, therefore, is to keep working till you qualify for it.

That said, it is not a suitable option for everyone. According to Marc Labadie, vice president of CR Myers & Associates of Southfield, Mich, pension plans today are very different than what they used to be. While they are standard for people working for the government and municipal corporations, they are getting decreasingly popular in the corporate sector. Even the pension plans that still stand have become less generous. In fact, many don’t even offer a cost-of-living adjustment, which means that the first payment and the payment of say, 30-35 years later (when you’ll be 90 or 95) will be the same.

Labadie further added that in order to live comfortably future retirees who do have pension plans should make it a point to save additional funds – or move down to a lesser lifestyle.


Defined contribution plans like 401k or 403b allow you to give your future the kind of direction you desire by allowing you to choose your plan, change the options, make contributions, and over and above all – choose to participate (or not) in the first place. According to several financial, defined contribution plans serves as the best retirement plans – right next to pensions – since the employers who offer them usually match a specific portion of your contributions. Tim Swanson, executive vice president and U.S. head of Citizens Private Bank & Trust, says that in most cases, this turns out to be a dollar-for-dollar match, making an immediate 100% return on the employees’ money.

Needless to say, the biggest upside to such plans is having your contributions automatically deducted from the paycheck – thereby saving you the hassle of making an extra effort to save and/or invest. The downside, however, is that there is a limit to how much you can contribute. For instance, the limit for people under the age 50 (as of 2015) was $18,000, whereas the same limit was increased by $6,000 for people over 50 (and only in terms of catch-up contributions).

While some employers do offer a Roth 401k option, which tax the funds you contribute upfront, most 401ks are conventional and require you to pay taxes when you make withdrawals.


Funded with taxed money, Roth IRA refers to an individual retirement account which will give you the opportunity to grow and make withdrawals – without paying taxes. According to Swanson, one of the best retirement plans (that he himself usually recommends) is to sign up for a 401k and then do a Roth IRA – in the event that they can afford it. Doing so will allow them to get a plan that is well-balanced and permits them to pre-tax contributions to the employer plan as well as after-tax contributions to the Roth plan – both at the same time.

Roth IRAs also come recommended for the younger savers, regardless of whether their plans are sponsored by their employer. Labadie says that it is very advantageous for the young saver (who literally is several decades away from retirement) to pay taxes today at a known rate today, see it grow tax-deferred, and finally pay out as tax-free – when the tax rate is unknown.

All said and done, Roth IRA too is not a viable option for all. Whether or not you’re eligible and how much you can contribute depends upon your modified adjusted gross income and tax filing status.


Annuity refers to an insurance product which permits you to invest in the present day, and receive a guaranteed income stream in return from the time of your retirement. You get the option of receiving your payments per month, quarter, or year, or even as a lump sum.

Annuities are of several different kinds. There is the single-premium immediate annuity (SPIA), which allows you to invest and then trigger the income immediately (though it is currently not a popular option due to the low rates of interest). Also available is the deferred-income annuity (DIA) that has a cash-refund option. This is a much more popular option due to that fact that it allows you to control the time when you can trigger the income stream and gives you the options to not annuitize at all – if you don’t need and/or want it.


If you’re close to retirement with no substantial savings in place, you should consider real estate as a viable retirement-planning option. According to Landon, while anyone can choose to opt for real estate as a retirement plan, it serves best for the 50-60 age bracket since they are the ones who need to prioritize their income-producing options.

Landon says that it is best to opt for the investment that will give them the most of their money. Real estate, for more reasons can one can – and does give this opportunity by creating a decent – yet constant income stream.

When it comes to making real estate your retirement plan, it is always recommended to purchase the property with a lump sum in order to avoid the complications and hassles of debt during retirement. You should also set apart some money for taxes and repairs.

The only downside of real estate is the fact that property management is an active process that requires constant working and involves ongoing and real risks. And that may turn out to be bothersome for some people. That said, once you weigh the pros and cons of real estate together you will realize that it might just prove to be a better option than most.



Putting a plan in place that can generate enough money to support you after retirement can be tricky at best. Not following the right plan…or rushing into something may just sound the death knell for all of your hard-earned savings.

Here are five great ways in which you can generate good income during your retirement. They’re no “get-rich-quick” schemes, and will need quite a bit of involvement; however, the rewards will be worth it in the end.


Constructing a portfolio of bond and stock index funds (or working with a financial advisor who does this work) is a fantastic way to create a stable source of income post-retirement. The portfolio, which is created to help you achieve a respectable long-term rate of return, allows you to additionally follow a specific set of withdrawal rate rules which will typically permit you to draw 4-7 percent a year. It will also allow you to increase your withdrawal in relation to inflation.

The logic that underlies “total return” is that you, the investor, are able to target a 10-20-year average annual return which exceeds – or at least equals your rate of withdrawal. While you may be targeting a long-term average, your returns can – and does deviate from said average every year. Therefore, in order to follow the investment approach successfully, you should maintain a diversified allocation that is independent of the yearly portfolio fluctuations.

This approach is best-suited to experienced investors, who are well-versed with the art and science of managing money and making timed, disciplined and logical decisions. It can also be taken by people who can – and are willing to invest by hiring an advisor who is experienced in using the approach.


This is a special type of mutual fund, which automatically distributes your hard-earned money across a diverse portfolio of bonds and stocks by owning an assortment of other mutual funds. Specially constructed to provide a single package that can accomplish all needs and fulfill all objectives, these funds are managed with the sole aim of producing a stable monthly income, which is then distributed to you, the investor.

Funds vary in type on the basis of their objective – while some produce high monthly income use principal to fulfill their payout targets, others produce a low monthly income amount but have a more balanced approach as regards preserving principal.

The greatest advantage of a retirement income fund is for you to have the ability to control your principal amount and be able to access your money anytime you want. However, you must know that this comes with a catch – withdrawing amount from your principal will lead to a proportionate decrease in your future monthly income.


Quite unsurprisingly, rental property can – and does act as a stable source of income. Make no mistake, though – it is neither a get-rich-quick scheme nor a passive involvement where you can sit and earn while doing nothing. Owning and managing real estate is a proper business in itself, and will never generate proper income if it is not treated as such.

Rental real estate will include several different kinds of requirements – both intended and unintended – in terms of money, time and most importantly, involvement on your part. Therefore, you must factor-in any and all expenses and other things that may be required to maintain the rental property. You should also consider a definite time-frame for which you will own and maintain the property, and consider the vacancy rates (given that no property can remain occupied 100% of the time).

Unsure where to start? Try reading books on investing in real estate, talk to retirees who work as experienced investors, or join a club that specializes in real estate investing.


Simply put, a bond is made when you loan your hard-earned money to a municipality, corporation or government. The bond, which is set to mature at a specific date, will earn the lender a specific amount of money (paid by the borrower) for a specific period of time until the bond matures, which is when the principal is returned to the lender. For many retirees, this interest income (called “yield”) which received from a bond (or a bond fund) can act as a stable source of income.

Bonds are of several types, each of which indicates the time-period before maturity and the level of financial strength of the bond’s issuer. Besides short-term, mid-term, and long-term bonds, there are floating rate bonds (which have adjustable interest rates), and high-yield bonds (which have low ratings but pay high coupon rates). Bonds are also available individually and in packages.

A bond’s principal value fluctuates with change in the rate of interest. For instance, a rising interest rate environment leads to decrease of existing bond values. While this principal fluctuation won’t matter if you plan on holding the bond to maturity, it will if you own a bond mutual fund and wish to sell it and use the funds for living expenses.

You should definitely buy bonds if you’re looking for small but stable income – and a guaranteed principal after a certain amount of time (i.e. once they mature). But if you’re trying to get high returns, or making gain on capital appreciation, you should consider other options.

Nonperformance In Air Conditioning Compressors


Compressor malfunctions are a popular issue and can be triggered by regular problems. The bright side is that these concerns do not need a significant overhaul. We spoke to the pro team at City Compressor, and here is a consideration of the implications of A/C compressor malfunctions.

Initially, it is essential to comprehend the function of an Air Conditioner compressor. It is the element that makes the a/c unit function and without it, an A/C system would not have the ability to work. A normal A/C compressor is anticipated to last 10 to 15 years and serves the function of pumping compressed refrigerant gas throughout the system. Its principal task is to make sure the compressed air is devoid of humidity.

Compressor Issues To Be Aware Of

If your compressor is short on Freon, it is not a good idea to keep it running. When an Air Conditioner system has a low charge, it puts an included stress on the coil, which will restrict its absorption abilities. Low refrigerant can likewise increase the possibilities of getting too hot and trigger damage to the compressor

Compressors are likewise prone to burnout and this is frequently a final result of motor winding temperature levels that are too excessive. The excess temperature levels break down the insulation in the motor winding and can cause a failure.

There is not often one aspect that can infect a compressor. A system can stop working due since of pollution from air, acids, and dirt, which are developed by the pressure and heat within a compressor. On the other hand, power malfunctions are typically a consequence of voltage imbalances. Please see our website to learn more about our large inventory of rebuilt compressors.

Regular Maintenance & Upkeep

The majority of people are not familiar with the correct methods to keep an Air Conditioner compressor, although that is essential to preserving its anticipated life expectancy. Preventative upkeep supplied by an expert compressor service is advised and can make sure that your Air Conditioner machine will supply years of superior efficiency. The suggested service schedule for an Air Conditioning compressor is two times a year. More than 75 percent of compressor complications are preventable and might be something as basic as a blocked filter.

If you are experiencing any type of problems with your A/C compressor, get in touch with the group of skilled pros at City Compressors. We have a large choice of parts plus the very best remanufactured compressors across the country.



Just recently Engaged? 5 Reasons that You Must Think about a Prenup


A prenup can secure an individual that has an expert practice or other service business. For all the business owners out there, this is an excellent method to secure your effort, while still having the ability to attend to your brand-new household.

Here are my leading 5 factors for signing a prenup.


  • A prenup can figure out the rights and commitments of each celebration with regard to the right to purchase, offer, utilize, move, exchange, desert, lease, or otherwise get rid of, control, or handle particular residential or commercial property. In North Carolina and South Carolina, home gotten throughout the marital relationship is usually dealt with as marital or joint home, however a prenup can alter the basic guideline for home gotten throughout the marital relationship.


  • Prenups can get a bad credibility due to the fact that lots of individuals presume signing a prenup implies you are preparing for divorce in the future. There are lots of factors (other than divorce) that future partners might desire to sign a prenup prior to getting wed.


  • A prenup promotes interaction in between future partners so they are totally knowledgeable about the other’s monetary circumstance and other problems prior to marital relationship. In North Carolina and South Carolina, each celebration should willingly supply a complete and reasonable monetary disclosure about his/her residential or commercial property and monetary responsibilities (unless waived in composing); make sure to check out to learn more.


  • A prenup can develop how residential or commercial property matters will be dealt with in the future. If you are an individual who has considerable person or household properties, a prenuptial agreement might be a fantastic method to define how financial obligation and other monetary problems will be dealt with throughout the marital relationship.


  • A prenup can be deemed a proactive conflict resolution system, as it can streamline the divorce procedure. A prenup might minimize the possibility of lawsuits upon divorce and, in addition, minimize those lawsuits expenses. This might be useful for a celebration that is participating in a 2nd marital relationship or those who have kids from previous relationships.


Contact us at  today to begin on your prenuptial agreements.




Know How to Report Your Staff on Business Taxes

Worker or Freelance Contractor?

From a business accounting service perspective: In order for a company owner to understand the best ways to deal with payments made to employees for work, she or he need to initially understand business relationship that exists in between the individual and the organization carrying out the works. An employee’s status identifies exactly what taxes are paid and who is accountable for reporting and paying those taxes. An employee carrying out works for a service is typically a worker or a free-lance professional. The Internal Revenue Service might evaluate charges on the company for nonpayment of specific taxes if an employee is categorized improperly.

Charges and Interest

In the event that the Internal Revenue Service identifies that an employee is really a staff member instead of a free-lance specialist, the company undergoes charges for failure to remit and keep earnings, FICA (Social Security and Medicare) and FUTA (federal joblessness tax) taxes, interest on the underpaid quantities, and charges for failure to submit details returns. The state will likewise look for to gather employees’ settlement and joblessness settlement premiums for unreported incomes.

Free-lance Contractor

A free-lance specialist is self-employed and is typically accountable for paying his/her own taxes through approximated tax payments. A company problems Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, to any one free-lance professional, subcontractor, freelancer, and so on, to whom business made $600 or more in payments during the tax year. Business is not typically accountable for keeping earnings tax or FICA. Make sure to consult a professional payroll services provider in your area to learn more.


An employee dealt with as a staff member will be provided Form W-2 for incomes paid. Business working with the employee is accountable for keeping earnings tax and FICA. The company is likewise accountable for FUTA and different state work taxes. The worker might be qualified for specific fringe advantages provided by the company, such as health care.

Elements to Determine Worker Status

The basic guidelines for categorizing employees as free-lance specialists or common-law workers center on who deserves to manage the information of how works are to be carried out. The aspects can be organized into 3 classifications.

1) Behavioral control. Aspects that show a company deserves to manage an employee’s habits consist of the following.
– Instructions that business provides to the employee. Companies usually manage when and where work is to be done, what tools or devices to utilize, what employees to work with or to help with the work, where to acquire works and products, what work needs to be carried out by a defined person, and exactly what order or series to follow.
– Training that business offers to the employee. Staff members might be trained to carry out a work in a specific way. Free-lance specialists normally utilize their own approaches.

2) Financial control. Elements that show a company deserves to manage business elements of an employee’s task consist of the following.
– Extent of the employee’s unreimbursed overhead. Free-lance specialists are most likely to sustain expenditures that are not compensated, such as repaired overhead expenses that the employee sustains despite whether work is presently being carried out.
– Extent of the employee’s financial investment. Free-lance professionals frequently have substantial financial investment in centers utilized to carry out works for somebody else, such as preserving a different workplace or other company area.
Extent to which the employee makes his/her works offered to the general public. Free-lance professionals are normally totally free to provide their works to other organizations or customers. They frequently market and keep a noticeable company area.
– Method of payment for works carried out. Workers usually are ensured a routine wage and work for a per hourly cost or a wage. Freelance specialists are usually paid a flat cost for a particular task. Exceptions use to some occupations, such as attorneys and accounting professionals who charge per hour costs for their works.
– Extent to which the employee can earn a profit. Free-lance professionals can make a loss or a revenue.

3) Type of relationship in between the celebrations. Aspects that show the kind of relationship consist of the following.
– Written agreements that explain the relationship and intent in between the service and the employee working with the employee.
– Employee-type advantages supplied to employee. Companies frequently offer additional benefit to staff members, such as medical insurance, pensions, and holiday pay.
– Permanency of the relationship. Employer-employee relationships usually continue forever.
– Extent works carried out by the employee are a crucial element of business employing the employee. An employee who is essential to the success of a company is most likely to be managed by the company, which suggests worker status. An accounting company works with an accounting professional to offer accounting works for customers. It is most likely that the accounting company will provide the accounting professional’s work as its own and would can direct that work or manage.

Inaccurate Treatment of Employees as Free-lance Contractors

An employee who gets a 1099-MISC rather of a W-2 has 2 choices.
1) Agree with the method business has actually categorized the employee, file Schedules C and SE, and pay self-employment tax on the incomes, or
2) File Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding. The Internal Revenue Service will then choose if the employee needs to have been dealt with as a staff member, based on earnings and FICA tax withholding. The company will be accountable for work taxes if the Internal Revenue Service concurs that the employee actually is a worker. If the Internal Revenue Service identifies that the employee is actually a free-lance professional, the employee will be accountable for paying SE tax.

An example: Harold works with and owns a dining establishment Jim, a garden enthusiast, to cut the yard and weed the landscaping as soon as a week. The agreement mentions that Jim will reach the dining establishment on Monday early mornings, cut the yard, pull weeds, and have the tendency to the landscaping. In exchange, Harold accepts pay Jim $50 for this work every week. Jim provides his own lawnmower, weed eater, and hedge clippers. Jim chooses what time he gets here and the length of time the task will take him. Harold does not monitor Jim in his jobs or determine to him how they are to be done. Jim is a free-lance professional.
An example: Jeffrey owns Jeffrey’s Gardening Work and utilizes 3 garden enthusiasts to carry out works for his service. Jeffrey pays his garden enthusiasts a set wage and keeps taxes, FICA, and different advantages and remits those withholdings to the proper federal government firms. In addition, Jeffrey offers his staff members with the tools and devices they have to perform their work, advises his workers which tasks to go to, and monitors these people when they’re carrying out their job. Jeffrey’s workforce are staff members.

Contact a Professional

Get in touch with Franklin P Sparkman CPA There are numerous occasions that take place throughout the year that can impact your tax scenario. Preparation of your income tax return includes summing up deals and occasions that happened throughout the previous year. In many circumstances, treatment is securely developed at the time the deal takes place. Unfavorable tax impacts can be prevented by appropriate preparation. Please call us beforehand if you have concerns about the tax results of a deal or occasion, consisting of the following:

  • Pension or IRA circulations.
  • Significant modification in earnings or reductions.
  • Job modification.
  • Marriage.
  • Attainment of age 59 1/2 or 70 1/2.
  • Sale or purchase of a company.
  • Sale or purchase of a home or other property.
  • Retirement.
  • Notice from Internal Revenue Service or other earnings department.
  • Divorce or separation.
  • Self-employment.
  • Charitable contributions of residential or commercial property in excess of $5,000.

This sales brochure consists of basic info for taxpayers and need to not be trusted as the only source of authority. Taxpayers must look for expert tax suggestions for additional details. Learn more by visiting


Why your production should have an expert studio master


Is your recording or production lacking that unique “something” to assist it to take on your preferred artists? Are you having a problem reaching a competitive volume for your category without losing your initial sound? Tired of moving from one studio engineer to the next?

We comprehend your difficulty and our expert online audio mastering service can assist. You have striven on every second of your recording. Offer yourself a break, take the concern and stress of the remainder of the procedure while receiving a fresh set of skilled ears to get every subtle expression provided properly and with a high quality and competitive balance.

Mastering is the procedure of taking a finished audio mix and processing it so that it attains the general balance and volume of similar recordings and publications in the specific niche. There several tools that are utilized to finish this last step prior to publication and the history of exactly what is called “the black art” of mastering has actually come from many intriguing starts to become exactly what it is referred to as widely today.

We pride ourselves on our capability to be versatile and deal with customers on their spending plan and on their time … we will not settle unless our customers are pleased with the outcomes and take every readily available action to both satisfy and go beyond expectations in any place possible. If you are not pleased we will re-perform your mix or master up until you are completely pleased or offer a complete and total refund instantly.


We’re tired of seeing high ticket studios putting out lack-luster product and charging tough working, independent artists far more than they can manage. Cb Media has years of experience dealing with and producing in all kinds of popular categories, especially in dance/electronic music. We pride ourselves in our capability to pay attention to our customers and by providing our clients precisely what they want to hear. Contact Cb Media,, Online Music Studio Solutions today and make the most of our existing promo to secure your rates for life.


Answer These Question before Purchasing Your Next Vehicle

Thinking about buying used cars, Nissan Used Trucks or even a SUV? Before settling on that automobile deal, one needs to ask themselves the ideal questions. Finding the right responses will reveal your true concerns as well as your preferences. The question provided below are to help vehicle shoppers make the ideal choice on the car or truck to buy.

1. Exactly what is the Function of the Car or truck?

The vehicle could be used for cruising top down on sunny days or other special events and celebrations. It might also be a family car for taking kids to school, activities and shopping. The automobile could also be for travelling to work if it proves to save money by having efficient gas mileage. Having a concept of the main function of the car and truck helps narrow the options.

2. Which Kind of Tranny does one Prefer?

Automobiles with automatic transmissions have more options available and benefits unlike a few decades earlier when manual dominated. Although there are still manual transmissions in some car and truck models, the options are limited. This is mainly to the convenience and huge breakthroughs in automatic trans. Over the last few years, automatics have enhanced to the level of offering gas mileage equivalent to those of manuals. However, all of it depends upon the driving abilities of the chauffeur.

3. How Much Space Is Desired?

Space pertains to the amount of seating as well as wiggle room one requires in the vehicle. For a broadening family, a vehicle with an additional carrying and seat area is needed to accommodate all the relative. Whereas a person who travels cross countries with the trunk filled with baggage or brings things from work regularly would need a large freight area when looking for new Nissan cars for sale. Those needing to use the vehicle for shipment work or entertainment purposes may do best with a truck. A vehicle needs to be picked depending on one’s lifestyle.

4. Does the Car Need to Carry a Family Pet Regularly?

Animals are very important to the families that own them. Some say they even form part of the family. Having stated that, the car, SUV or truck to buy ought to permit simple and comfy transport of the animal together with the family. An SUV or a hatchback with an open freight location would be much better compared to a four-door sedan or 2-seat truck. Before devoting to purchase the vehicle, it is essential to think about the requirements of the animal.

5. Does the Car or Truck Model Give any Enhancements that Benefit You?

There are many vehicles, especially now-a-days, that come standard with plenty of wonderful features. But keep in mind the standard features of a luxury edition with not be the same as the basic version. Nevertheless, some upgrades can be gotten separately. Purchasing a classy automobile design without leather seats the rather of a lower model with leather seats would be smart if considering leather seats. This is simply because leather seats can be acquired independently. Luxury is an important consideration before sealing the offer.

6. What is the Desired Color?

Although not all colors will be available at the time of purchase, selecting a vehicle with the color that fits one’s taste and desire is very important. A dark color soaks up heat. On the other hand, a light color gets filthy quickly. It is worth keeping in mind that the interior colors can be and should be themed with the exterior. For a good outside color, the interior will need to be forfeited. Before purchasing the vehicle, a previous color decision is required.

Hopefully after thinking about the alternatives, checking out and getting the responses ideal to above concerns you will have a better idea of what to shop for. This will help it not be a scary one but an enjoyable deal and life experience.


The Four Top Honda Automobiles Built for Your Families

Nothing needs to be more crucial than the security of your family when it comes to buying an automobile or used honda truck. As a result to the outstanding security score of Honda’s variety of vehicles, there is no need to stress-out. With Top Safety Pick Rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2016, you can quickly pick an appropriate method of transportation to utilize between these 4 Hondas.

2016 Honda Odyssey

An iconic family household vehicle, the sleek minivan was named by Kelly Blue Book as one of the Sixteen Best Family Cars of 2016. Some common features include a large amount of cargo space, seating area for up to eight and an integrated vacuum that makes it possible for simple cleansing. More state of the art features in the Odyssey include the security functions. To name a few, the LaneWatch cams that boost the field of view and Lane Departure Precaution that detects lane departures that have been left un-indicated. Not to mention a Forward Collision Warning, which will alert you when you’re at danger to have an accident. In addition to all this, the car has five vehicle seat placement options to keep kids their safest. And, in case of an accident, Honda has added head drape air bags for all three seat rows.

2016 Honda CR-V

We spoke to and they suggested that if your criteria for seating space isn’t all that high, the 2016 Honda CR-V is simply the model for you. With a seating capacity, this Honda is perfect for smaller families. But don’t be fooled because it even has adequate freight area to accommodate the active lifestyle of you and your family. The motor vehicle comes with the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and the Car Stability Assist. This is offered as standard on all models. The Touring model is even more equipped with the Honda Sensing functions.

2016 Honda Pilot

A perfect family car, the Pilot is ideal for those who desire the comfort of family seating with a stylish shape. The Honda Pilot has seating space for eight and high-tech safety package. Like the Honda Odyssey, the Pilot also utilizes the innovative Safety Sensing System.

2016 Honda Accord

As Honda’s patent household automobile, the Accord is one design that constantly works. The Honda Safety Sensing package is also available for all 2016 Accord models.

All-in-all, the 2016 line of Honda Cars For Sale ensures that your precious cargo is kept safe while on the road.


Maintaining the Appearance of Your Toyota as This Fall Approaches

Are you a proud Toyota Used Trucks driver? Do you wish to maintain it in good shape throughout the Fall? If so, here are a number of beneficial tips that will guarantee that your Toyota SUV, car or truck looks excellent and expectation for performance are met.

1. Routine Wash

Depending upon the climate conditions, a traveling vehicle will generally have a build-up of either dust or mud. With regular washing, your automobile will be spotlessly clean from the outdoors which will make it rather appealing. Likewise, routine wash helps you to stumble throughout minor issues that you had actually ruled out to be an issue before. You will be able to keep your car in terrific condition while likewise maintaining the paint leaving it shiny and tidy.

2. Detailed Inside Cleaning.

The insides of the vehicle can also benefit from having an extensive cleansing which will get rid of all the dirt and dust areas stuck onto seats and other areas. Using a cleansing agent for this purpose can boost the work and make it even easier for you to breathe. Those with a history of allergies can go without risking a sneeze fest while you are on the road when the car is dust-free.
The interior of the car has to be cleared out thoroughly to guarantee that it is both clean from the outside along with the inside. In case of tough spots, using good old rag and buckle of water can assist remove the dust spots on the interior of your automobile.

3. Smell Elimination.

Another equally important element of keeping your brand new Toyota car fresh, excellent and clean looking this season is the elimination of bad odors. Using a simple spray can help with the elimination of bad smells. However, there is such a thing as too much. A balance must be found so the concentration do not reach a nauseous levels.

Odor control can also be done by hanging an absorbent material within the car, truck, or S.U.V. which guarantees that it is always smelling tidy and fresh no matter for how long you may be taking a trip for.

4. Storing a Garbage Container in Easy Reach.

Last, however, not least, a tidy car has to have a way of preserving this cleanliness. This indicates avoiding dropping things onto seats such as crumbles because they may get stuck in between the seats. Therefore resulting into much more work to get the vehicle’s interior cleaned up out. With a quickly accessible garbage container, you will have the ability to guarantee that your vehicle is tidy at all times and likewise provides a convenient means of waste disposal.

Preserving the state of your Toyota by applying the important suggestions provided above can go a long way to a clean, stylish vehicle zooming down the road as you go on tour to difference places. As an automobile owner, you are exclusively accountable for the upkeep of your vehicle and how you clean it figures out how other will look at you when you drive into a place. With a clean, fresh and dynamic looking Toyota, there will be no reason that you should go checking out locations in design. You can learn more by visiting


Custom Homes and Upgrades

A custom home upgrade can be your ticket towards the top in custom home remodeling additions and luxuries. You’ll be able to decide each piece that is certainly added to your home, understanding that your house will likely be unique plus your style. Those days are gone of purchasing a preoccupied home, and welcome the periods of unlimited options, customization and upgrades galore! It is possible to achieve all of this by selecting to find a person that builds custom homes.

The Best Master Bathroom

Your master bathroom should be fitting for you together with those near to you. It ought to be a basic and comfy escape that provides relaxation and full amenities. Deciding to upgrade the proprietor bathroom at your residence can take you from a colorless environment, to a single that gives peace and solidarity. A sizable tub, his and hers sinks, and custom shelving can make the difference.

Quality Flooring

The flooring in your house can be an instant eye sore if done improperly. Glenn Wise, the expert General Contractor in Charlotte NC at Carolina Construction & Investments can advise you on prime quality flooring, and complete installation, that best suits your particular home. When individuals enter your house, the flooring is one thing they naturally have a look at. Should you take time to examine samples, or create for you own, you have the option to completely customize the look and feel of your living space.

Perfect Cabinetry

The cabinetry in your house will make a huge difference within your daily lifestyle. Your ultimate goal is always to have beautiful made to order cabinets that are useful. The aesthetics are vital but we want to actually are getting the most reap the benefits of your custom home upgrade. What are you finding to be useful about cabinetry? What are your day-to-day needs? These are all thoughts which should go into the planning way to build the cabinetry you’ve always dreamed of. The cabinetry has to be considered during your entire home. Your home bathroom and kitchen remodeling need versatile options to guarantee the comfort of your family.

Money Savers

With your property custom made, you have the ability to save a ton of money. You can have new editions be energy-efficient, which you will save hundreds to 1000s of dollars yearly. Every bit in your home is at your discretion, filter systems lower your expenses at the same time?

Updating Fixtures

An enjoyable way to update your house is to switch out your fixtures. You may earn a more modern as well as efficient space by looking into making this small, but attention grabbing change.

Carolina Construction & Investments proudly serves NC & SC. They are skilled professionals, but nevertheless value small town feel. They understand the main advantages of large scale updates, and also the smallest upgrades to fully enhance your home. They’ve got a keen awareness of detail and may always make sure your satisfaction. If you choose to get some new home it is possible to instantly move from plain and inefficient to spectacular and efficient. You will improve your home’s worth, and still have custom experts there to help all over the country process. If you want more information on custom homes and some great benefits of upgrades, please contact Carolina Construction & Investments at!


Maintaining Your Boat

The posh of a boat is heavily hinged upon the achievements maintained and the standard of its upkeep. All year round, taking proper your boat is vital. Discussed right here tips about how to do this:

Leave the drain unplugged

When leaving your boat out at the landing you will need to make sure that you pull the drain plug by leaving it removed. This will be significant since when it rains, water is not going to collect and accumulate within the bilge. This really is dangerous mainly because it could ruin the boat mechanical parts such as the starter danger is compounded through the undeniable fact that the bilge pump only works for a short while and it may not be as helpful in clearing accumulated water.

Outboard motor care

An outboard motor, perhaps the most common feature in fishing boats for sale near me, limits one from leaving it unattended for long spans of energy. For the reason that in the event the fuel-oil mixture stays to take a seat within the carburetor, the fuel evaporates leaving the oil to clog the carburetor causing unwanted and expensive damage. To stop this, it really is advised that particular should add stabilizer on the fuel and run the engine for approximately 10 minutes, this keeps the carburetor fit and prevents an overhaul.

Inspect the boat for leaks across the water line

A leak over the conduit seriously isn’t lethal jointly below but that doesn’t mean it’s not problematic. To identify these you must inspect those times hardware, the windows and portals for almost any leaks or possible cracks. Tighten the bolts and screws or perhaps tighten them anew just to be sure.

Use recommended spares

It is extremely inevitable for boats to age in addition to being they are doing some parts will degrade and require replacement. When producing boats for sale especially, it is advisable to replace exhausted parts. Use parts approved by the manufacturer and get away from using cheaper substitutes.

Regular maintenance

You should improve your oil every now and then, wash the boat after and eliminate the engine after every use. On a nice windy day, open the windows and air the boat in order to avoid accumulated moisture and corrosion. New Hope Marine is where to go to for the boating needs boating parts or boating sales. Not only equipped using a huge surplus of boating supplies but additionally an efficient friendly staff New Hope Marine is where to boat, in Charlotte and beyond.


What to Anticipate In an Injury Lawsuit Process

Most auto accidents lead to injuries that should be compensated. Compensation happens in 2 ways. The victim may accept an out-of-court settlement, or opt to pursue a civil lawsuit to be able to collect damages incurred.

The whole process could be lengthy and vigorous, especially when a legal professional is just not involved. For this reason, it will always be a good idea to find out knowledge on what such cases are conducted and solved, whether in the court or beyond court.

Knowing the Settlement Process

When an insurer or defendant is really a settlement offer towards the injured victim, it would lead to an out-of-court settlement.

This settlement might be offered quickly before a possible lawsuit can arise. It’s also made every time a case has reached trial but no final judgment may be passed. Finally, other settlements tend to occur along the way when a jury is deliberating and both sides are anxious on the jury group and judge are going to decide. In such cases, the parties involved may decide to settle the situation away from court.

Recognizing the Full Value of Your Case

Charlotte NC Personal injury attorney William Harding states that damages are classified under ‘’compensatory’’. For the reason that they are meant to compensate the injured plaintiff when they were involved in an accident and suffered damages. This kind of compensation is made to make the injured plaintiff whole again after they’ve suffered damages. This implies they need to somehow be capable of restore their original lifestyle, at the very least through the financial standpoint of things. This too means wanting to assign $ 1 figure on all losses incurred because of the accident. Nevertheless, it needs to be noted that some compensatory damages usually are relatively simple to figure out.

This consists of determining the total amount that will probably be paid in reimbursement of medical bills or damage to property. However, it’s much harder to try putting a dollar value on suffering and pain due to lingering injuries that have been suffered with the accident. The inability to be involved in a hobby the injured person once took part in is merely at damages that could influence the payout amount.

Medical – If the case is moved in court, the injured plaintiff will be able to recover the complete, estimated tariff of damages to deal with their medical-related bills presently and in the future.

Income – This compensation was created to replace money a victim has lost currently in addition that they can might have made later on. In the event the injury leads to loss of income, this compensation is distributed under decrease of earning capacity.

Property loss – Property loss is going to influence the quantity of payout a target recovers. The plaintiff in question could be entitled for reimbursement of repairs or compensation around the fair monetary amount with the damaged item.

Pain & suffering – The pain and suffering that the victim experiences a direct consequence of the accident will even influence just how much the injured plaintiff shall receive. Other forms of compensation that could emerge due to the damage include lack of enjoyment, emotional distress and lack of consortium.


Other Points Worth Noting

Charlotte NC Accident Lawyer Mr. Harding states that after a settlement has been agreed on, the injured plaintiff won’t receive so much money because an integral part of it really is considered taxable income. Medical bills are not taxable, although settlement which provides coverage for pain and suffering falls under punitive damages, for it to be taxed. Also, a sufferer may end up dealing directly with the individual that caused them damage as an alternative to their insurers. This follow-up process is rarely easy. Lastly, an accident claim is only going to bring about full compensation when the person in charge of the damage has enough assets to do this.

Due to the tough challenges accessible when filing an injury lawsuit, it’s often in your best interest to talk with the Law Office of William H. Harding. You’ll increase your chances of an excellent outcome:


Paintless Automotive Dent Services

From the course or driving your car or truck around or perhaps when parked, there’s always the prospect that the vehicle will receive a dent. A dent is a slight disfiguring of your vehicle body that could be either localized to at least one area or spread to various parts your body in the car. A dent lowers the appeal of your automobile. Repairing dents then turned into a priority. There are two main ways to repair a gap in your car conventional auto body repair or paintless dent repair in Charlotte NC. Paintless dent repair is clearly the better of two options and then for very practical and value effective reasons. Let us perform a comparative analysis present in forms of dent repair.

Conventional dent repair generally takes a few days or weeks depending on the severity of damages and the accessibility to the right manufacture’s paint. This will add inconvenienced without a means of transport or force you to incur the excess price of finding a temporary vehicle. Again, conventional dent repairs involves several processes which can be time-consuming and tedious.

This procedure begins with sanding the dented area and filling it with filler or panel beating into a near perfect symmetry using the area close to the dent. Panel beating will most likely leave the dent area structurally weak especially if it’s near some pot. The next step is to attempt to match precisely the cars paint this is a very hard move to make. Every car was made uniquely with its paint color a defining much of this uniqueness. Drying the paint is a hard action to take because there can’t ever be a conducive environment to dry the paint correctly. Many mobile dent repair service choose to bake the paint afterward. The objective of conventional dent repairs would be to repair the dent to as nearby the factory finish as possible. Which is rarely achieved.

Paintless dent repair, conversely, retains the factory finish intact because there is no painting or repainting involved at all. This dent repair work cuts off most of the processes involved with repairing a gap in your car. When the mechanic is striving to retain the factory finish and smooth look, paintless dent repair leaves your car looking smooth with apparently no evidence of any repairs done. Paintless dent repair is not practically feasible for dents which are deep or wide.

Paintless dent repair is now an accepted kind of vehicle dent repair that’s recognized and accepted by a lot of insurance firms which include hail damage dent repair and dent repair a result of other natural calamities. We have been the premier paintless dent repair shop providers. We also offer mobile dent repair services to our customers. This holds quite a distance in reducing the inconvenience brought on by driving your automobile to the repair center for auto dent fixes and picking it later. Paintless dent repair is fast, economical and safe. Speak to us today to enjoy the advantages of our experienced and trained group of dent repair technicians.


DIY Caregiving May Take a Toll on Your Health

Being chosen or volunteering to be a senior caregiver or attendant to a sick family member looks like best if you save the costs and in addition post you to family. However, this role soon got its toll about the caregiver. Many caregivers often develop health conditions while doing their duties.

Several studies have found that a huge quantity of people who provide home care for elderly members of or their loved ones will probably develop certain medical conditions. These conditions most likely are not life-threatening. However, they negatively affect quality of life and can eventually cause other sorts of serious conditions. Common medical issues that people who look after elderly family members are more likely to develop include stress and depression, anxiety as well as other psychological conditions.

rose-140446_1920One good reason why caregivers are afflicted by these conditions will be the natural bond that develops between the caregiver along with the person being covered. Humans will first meant to react emotionally to specific states occurring in other people. If your condition affecting the individual being covered worsens or creates anguish, the caregiver will instinctively feel it. Frequent experience such conditions will lead to physical and psychological strain. In the rising installments of caregivers being informed they have medical issues related to caregiving, this role has being best known as an open health concern.

Medical effects are not just felt by the caregivers. It is going to reflect from case to case being covered. This then starts a cycle that spreads gradually with the family. In the long run everyone will be affected. So while selecting a member of family as a caregiver might seem very inexpensive, it might turn expensive if your entire family’s health is defined vulnerable.

Doctors and Researchers offer a better way to prevent this through the home care profession. Professional elderly care nursing services undergo training which allows them to be able to handle the strains that come with the part. Their role really helps to provide relief to both family members and also the elderly person being looked after. They may be trained to be effective while also avoiding the Caregiver Stress Syndrome. This problem usually affects home caregivers who give an excessive amount of in making certain an elderly person lives comfortably which they neglect their own well being.

For families which might be facing the process of taking care of their elderly, getting the help of home care professionals is mandatory. Many families often disassociate with making use of this service because they think that it shows neglect on their part. This really is cannot be entirely true. Homecare services have evolved in the last decade to ensure that senior members being looked after live comfortably in a environment where believe that loved and appreciated. Moreover, these services have helped entire families cope with having to keep up or their loved ones.

If your folks are searching for professional an elderly care facility services, Helping Hands Nursing Service is for you. The institution houses trained senior care pros who love working together with the elderly. Call or click today and keep your family members (and yourself) well covered. It’s a little peace of mind for everyone.


Picking Your Perfect Wedding Venue

Have you taken on the challenge of organizing a big gathering or event? If so, you well know that planning a celebration entails much more than setting up a basic schedule for guests to follow. Professional event planners are comfortable with this and understand there are several vital considerations that contribute greatly to the success of this most special occasion. One of many perhaps most obviously allies will be the event venue.

Akron Civic Theater


Choice of venue contributes greatly to the achievements of any event. But would you get the best choice when it comes to venue? Well, the following overview on some of the things to consider when selecting a celebration venue might prove invaluable.


The venue for an event contributes significantly towards the mood from the event. For instance, for marriage ceremonies, a banquet hall or garden is best eliminate because venue associated with preference. The reason being marriage ceremonies entail activities including dancing that want lots of movement and thus, a venue with plenty of room will suffice this kind of purpose. Formal events on the other instrument hand require an internal setting with plenty room so as to present an ambient atmosphere for speeches and presentations to get carried out yet still time providing room for that cocktail hour.

Number of Guests

You collection of venue should come together with the amount of guests attending the big event. Typically, ensure that there are enough space for your attendees attending case and as a further safeguard, take into account a little extra space for virtually any eventualities.


Accessibility is another important factor that you should considered in terms of your selection of a venue. Professional wedding planners are very aware with this therefore, factor this when planning a meeting. Like a guideline, you should not burden you and your guests using the task of finding a location or driving a huge selection of miles to gain access to this venue. As a result, the wedding should be in a location that is easy to get to by the guests. The venue also needs to have plenty of automobile parking space for the guests. At Catering Services Charlotte NC, we have over 8 acres of event available space and a lot of parking space.

Additional Services

Additional services that accompany renting a wedding venue form an integral part of the choices process. As a rule, you must opt for an event venue package that encompasses additional services including event catering. At catering services Charlotte NC, we not only offer you a great venue but in addition offer superb catering facilities that is guaranteed to help make your event a success.

Arranging a wedding or event in or around Charlotte NC:  Best Carolina Caterers

Planning a celebration or wedding can be a nerve-wrecking, time consuming activity that may easily drive you on the edge. But a professional team of caterers and event planners, planning a wedding is usually a walk-in-the-park.

SMS Catering is a full service company that offers excellent facilities that include a magnificent banquet hall, a long lawn for outdoor events, a water feature and huge patio area. Most importantly they can cook well. They will have your guest full of good food and satisfied, that includes drinks too. This company truly knows, customers come first and thus, offers a personalized catering menu based on your needs.

Would like event to become a success? Learn more by visiting


Smart Website Design

Since the mobile internet user base in increasing within an unimaginable pace, it has now become important to accommodate and enhance the website user’s experience for the internet users on the move. To handle situation, Google has recently made a significant update this will likely containing brought the responsive or smart websites in the forefront and has shifted the main focus to value of mobile website designs.

Converting a pre-existing website in a responsive design or creating a whole new one takes precise coding as well as skills. The organization owners can’t spending some time understanding the complex coding languages. Therefore, finding an authority or employing a professional web marketing firm is the easiest method to keep your website up-to-date much like Google’s tips. After all, the failure or success of your business also is dependent upon your website.

Good reasons to pick a responsive web design:

Enhanced Consumer Experience:

An individual certainly cannot have the identical experience using a desktop sort of the web site on the mobile phone. It can also be frustrating to see images going haywire and finding no synchronization of text in any respect. No, your mobile handset just isn’t to be blamed for this. The web site is just not meant to cater to mobile internet surfers, hence you cannot see the website properly. And generally, such tiresome and frustrating user experiences result in a loss of the potential customer. Fortunately, which has a responsive design, websites can now accommodate all devices it could be a Desktop, Mobile or Tablet. Responsive websites can also be compatible with all major browsers for example Microsoft Int. Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Along with the flexibility to watch content on several devices, additionally, it offers a great buyer on several screen sizes and resolutions with not much effort.

Better Conversion Rate:

Various studies depending on Google Analytics show that responsive designs yield better conversion rate because of lesser bounce rate. Users tend to stay longer with a responsive site, therefore, the prospect of conversion increase. Additionally it is a cost effective option as its not necessary to get multiple SEO techniques and separate designs for various devices.

Improved Google Ranking:

The major search engines emperor Google has recently started rewarding the mobile-friendly websites with a higher ranking when compared to the sites using the non-responsive design. Implemented since April 21 of 2015, Google has started penalizing sites with no responsive web site design. Google promotes your website when it finds matching URLs and the same HTML across all platforms. Google dominates the internet search market, therefore, it’s a good idea to take serious notice when Google makes any alterations in its ranking system.

Easy Manageability:

Responsive websites possess a perk in the form of easy manageability. Both the different versions for desktop and cell phones require different approaches for Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, at the same time. Cell phones need to have a very different SEO tactics as compared to the ones utilized for desktop versions. If the website can accommodate all devices, the same content and keywords can be used a single site and domain.

If you’re still asking why should you go with a responsive website design, the harder critical real question is why haven’t to chosen it yet? It’s better late than never. Leads Internet Marketing gets the expertise and experience to rework your website in to a completely new and updated kind of marketing with the aid of a responsive website design according to Google’s tips.


Roll Off Container Tips

Though it seems that renting a dumpster can be as easy as just lifting increase phone and contacting a dumpster rentals company in your area, you will realize that there’s more when compared with meets the eye. There are several important tips that can make dumpsters process simple, secure and more worthwhile.

Be Ready for a Secure Delivery

There could be some prevalent technical hitches which could make the delivery insecure. This could include things such as lowly suspended wires or trees. Irrespective of the occasion for your dumpsters, a 25 feet free space must be left from the dumpster. In the event you want a rental company into the future and relocate the dumpster to a different point, be ready to incur more charges. Ascertain that the particular point of delivery is entirely sufficient.

Consider What Can and Can’t Be Dumped

The dumpster containers are not bins for disposing everything there are some items which need an additional charge for these phones be placed during these containers. Things like tires and electronics demand additional fees as the landfills where they are permanently disposed demand more charges for this type of things. The landfills levy fees which might be in other terms known as tipping costs. Besides, hazardous materials, liquids and batteries are collectively prohibited in typical dumpsters service.

Evaluate the Size

There’s no reason to spend extra money on a 3o-yd dumpster when single fold dumpster is enough. Regardless of one’s social status, saving cash is not always an option but an alternative. Make your best calculation of the amount of litter or trash you want to dispose and subsequently select apt dumpster dimensions. In the event you are uncertain, consult your rental company on the matter.

Plan the Drop Off

Dumpsters are relatively bulky, and this calls for great caution when preparing for a dumpster arrival. The perfect position to set a dumpster is on soft grass. Setting a dumpster rental on asphalt or a driveway poses high risks in the dumpster cracking or just being damaged around the surface. One of many ways of avoiding this risk is placing plywood around the point where the dumpster will probably be located.

Be Economical

Within the industry, there are several competing companies whether local or national that offers affordable services. When looking for a dumpsters, compare the prices of various companies and select the one with the most affordable rate. Local dumpster rentals are generally affordable. Information from the public domain indicates that larger companies tend to charge higher prices. Various local businesses are family-owned and are always striving to keep up a fantastic reputation among the local communities by charging a lower price.

Obtain Permits Where Necessary

If the street seems like the ideal point to set your dumpster rental, first consult your township to discover if you need a permit. Several municipalities have instituted severe rules on roll off container services. Any local company must provide insights on whether a permit is necessary.

In case you are in search of the dumpster rentals in Charlotte, a single-stop place that will help you in every single step from the whole process is Charlotte Dumpster Service. The company has continually helped company owners and homeowner in securing the perfect dumpster for their respective jobs. They take pride of their team of experts who provide you with fast, efficient and affordable dumpsters quotes.



How to Personalize Your Golf Car

You might think that when you have obtained a golf cart, it is going to stay forever. But, the fact remains there are several features you can contribute so that you can possess a custom golf cart. Have a look at many of these add-on features that produce your pre-owned golf cart turn some heads and look great.

golf car, golf cart

Have you ever thought of utilizing your utility vehicle for hunting? Well, you are able to achieve this by incorporating camouflage. Rather than walking miles round the forest, just bring your utility vehicle and explore those places you thought you may not reach walking. Tires, the controls, the seat, and much more, can be covered with camouflage for any better hunting experience.

Dislike hunting, or for that matter, camouflage? You have plenty of options for your golf cart color theme. White and black is common but can be just as boring. You can get whatever color or design you would like to have. Also, you can add alloy wheels to face out even more in the crowd.

Safety comes first. If your utility vehicle still doesn’t have headlights, taillights, or turn signals, there is a chance to do this. Apart from giving the cart a fancier look, lights are necessary to avoid accidents. Because these are smaller compared to other cars, they are often unnoticed by other drivers which, in turn, might cause an accident. As well, they’re important to get a better vision in fog, on cloudy days, at dawn, and more.

Furthermore, in terms of safety, windshields are very important too. Some random flying baseballs comes directly to your golf car and windshields can lower the effect from the ball. Also, windshields are wonderful to experience a peaceful course during days with cool weather, if the wind may bring bad consequences to you. If visibility is an issue, these windshields include a horizontal latch that you can regulate for the best vision possible.

Just because it is a golf car doesn’t mean you have to travel in silence. To have best of all experience, contain your overhead speakers, which can permit you to play your selected songs. It is possible to tune in to them through radio, a CD player, or Ipod. Customize your golf cart with various golf cart accessories

All those features are great for the outside and interior of the utility vehicle however, it’s also advisable to think about the motor. As a safety standard, golf carts include a speed regulator driving them to slow but, in the event you drive your golf cart in other places aside a golf field, a better motor is very important. Outside the golf course, you may want to move quicker and still have more torque which may be achieved by changing the motor in accordance with the specifications you need or want.

In order to transform your utility vehicle or have a dream golf car you want to buy, we can help you. The golf car parts and accessories are available to bring that custom touch you’ve always wanted. Just visit or come by our store today.


When Cosmetic Surgery Is Essential For Correcting Breast Asymmetry

So many people are surprised to find out that many women have some kind of breast asymmetry. With asymmetry, one breast is slightly greater than one other plus much more usually the not, the dimensions difference just isn’t easily recognized. There are, however, instances through which breast asymmetry warrants surgical treatment.

Candidates For Cosmetic Surgery For Breast Asymmetry

Most of the time, differences of an half cup size or more are noticeable and qualify women as candidates for differential breast implant surgery in which different sized implants are utilized. Candidates for Cosmetic Surgery have to be 18 years or older while girls under 18 are might be thought to be acceptable candidates if their circumstance are extreme.

Common Reasons For Breast Asymmetry

Breast asymmetry features a broad range of possible causes. The most typical is likely to be an improvement in breast size which includes existed because the developmental stage. Changes that occur after breastfeeding and pregnancy can even be to blame for size differences, particularly when infants choose to nurse on a single breast over the opposite. Breast asymmetry also can have medical causes. Scoliosis as well as other conditions relating to alignment can make a transfer of the rib cage that leaves either side more projected compared to other. You can even find health concerns that create the chest area to bow. These issues are seen as outward pointing nipples, wider cleavage or breasts that are susceptible to migrating towards the the medial side.

You will need to note that asymmetrical breasts do not really mean that one breast is greater compared to other. Varying levels of ptosis (sagging) or having one breast that is more narrow compared to other can additionally create differences in the shape and look of each one breast. Breasts can actually be equivalent in proportions, however, these and also other factors can lend to the appearance of asymmetry. There are also occasions when the nipples and areolas have different shapes, sizes and positions. The reasons of these differences are entirely natural.

Breast Augmentation, Plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic Solutions

There are several methods breast asymmetry may be corrected. Women can opt to get their breasts evened out through breast augmentation or breast reduction procedures can be used to reduce the size of the bigger breast. When breast volume is equal just one side droops or sags lower than the other, a breast lift will be the the most appropriate options. Augmentation and lift procedures can be performed together, and this can be true every time a woman has tuberous breasts.

Other ways of this issue include fat grafting and liposuction, however, these measures tend to be limited of their effectiveness. Additional options include nipple augmentation and nipple reduction surgeries. There are often times when multiple procedures are important for creating symmetrical breasts.

On this modern time, select longer essential for women to handle negative psychological effects or low self-confidence that asymmetrical breasts often create. There is a wealth of solutions which are currently being supplied by Ballantyne Plastic Surgery, one of several foremost names in Charlotte cosmetic surgery. The beautiful, balanced and proportionate breasts that you have always wanted may be yours with noteworthy, same-day treatments.



Savings Notes/Freedom Shares were a kind of promotion which were issued between May 1967 and October 1970. Introduced by President Lyndon B. Johnson in February 21, 1967, SN/FS were offered to help serve the dual purpose of funding the rising costs of the Vietnam War (by increasing sales of U.S. Treasury) and helping citizens save their money and secure their future.

Issued on a discount of 81% of the face amount (for instance, a SN/FS with $100 face value was purchased for $81.00), Savings Notes/Freedom Shares were sold exclusively with Series E bonds and had an original maturity term of 4½ years. They were available in denominations from $25 all the way up to a $10,000 maximum size. These non-transferable, definitive security bonds reach their ultimate maturity after thirty years from the date issued.

Interest earned on savings note should be reported for Federal income tax purposes for the year in which the note gets redeemed, is disposed of, or reaches final maturity – whichever comes first. The note owner too can choose to report earned interest as it accrues annually; however, this decision must apply to all the accrual-type securities of the owner.

When the savings note is redeemed, interest on the same is paid as part of the current redemption value. Those savings notes which are unredeemed and/or un-matured accrue interest at the guaranteed minimum investment yield or a variable, market-based rate (like Series E and EE bonds) – whichever is higher. A savings note could be redeemable with a financial institution or The Federal Reserve Bank during any time.