Tax Cut and Jobs Act – Impact on Nonprofits giving

Tax Cut and Jobs Act Impact on Nonprofits It’s been 18 months since the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) became law. At the time of passage many pundits predicted dire consequences for the nonprofit sector, largely due to the near doubling of the standard deduction, meaning the high threshold for deducting charitable gifts (and other items such as state/local taxes and mortgage interest) would be difficult to achieve for many taxpayers. Here are some observations of the impact and result: Did giving increase in 2018? Preliminary examination of available data appears to indicate a slight (1-2 percent) increase in ...
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The Power of Exercise

The Power of Exercise Here’s a stunning observation from the book and multimedia project, Brain Rules: According to researchers, one of the greatest predictors of a person’s successful aging is their avoidance of a sedentary lifestyle. That’s right: the more active you are, the more likely you are to age successfully. The difference between being wheelchair/walker bound and thriving physically and mentally as you age is directly related to exercise. In cognitive tests measuring long-term memory, reasoning, attention, problem-solving skill and “fluid intelligence tasks,” which test the ability to reason quickly and improvise, seniors who exercised outperformed couch potatoes in ...
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Savings – A New Year Resolution

2019 Update on Different Retirement Plan Types The New Year has begun. Are you keeping your resolutions? One good resolution is increasing or beginning to save. Savings in any form is wise, but retirement account savings, in particular, have some extra tax advantages, and here is the great news: the IRS has increased allowable contribution limits to many retirement account options. Here are the new year 2019 limits: 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 – Annual employee contributions up to $19,000, and if you’re 50+, you can make additional catch-up contributions of $6,000 IRAs – Annual contributions up to $6,000, and ...
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RMDs_IRAs_QCDs and other Tax Planning Opportunities

IRA Required Minimum Distributions and Charitable Contributions If you’ve been contributing to a traditional IRA or other defined contribution plan, you will want to pay close attention to the rules regarding distributions. While you can withdraw money from your IRA anytime, you need to be under age 59 ½ to do so without the 10% tax penalty. But how about required minimum distributions? When do those begin and what do you need to know? At age 70 ½, you must start taking annual distributions. You need to do this by April 1 following the year that you turn 70 ½ ...
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END of LIFE Care

Excerpt from the Hammond Law Group newsletter Barbara Bush, who died on April 17, 2018, at the age of 92, led a rich, fascinating life. She was known for her compassion and wit. Historian Jon Meacham said that during her final days in the hospital, Bush jokingly asked a nurse if she wanted to know “why George W. turned out the way he had.” Her reply: “I smoked and drank while I was pregnant.” The story most often used to illustrate her kindheartedness is when she encouraged her husband to visit an AIDS clinic during his 1988 campaign for the ...
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5 Ways to Help Elderly Parents Manage their Finances

As parents age, money can be a sensitive issue. But if you notice your parent struggling to keep up with their financial affairs like paying bills and keeping track of money in the checking account—or worse, making unwise financial decisions due to worsening memory issues or dementia—it’s probably time to step in. Here are a few easy ways to help: Get copies of statements. It’s a good idea for you to have copies of recent statements, and if possible, login and password information for your parent’s bank and other investment accounts. Monitor these accounts periodically for any abnormal purchases or ...
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Trust, Plan, and Verify – Lessons on Estate planning

Trust, Plan, and Verify By Sharon R. Majetich, MA in Reading & Literacy, MS in Information and Learning Technology. Note - Ms. Majetich’s husband died suddenly without a will or any planning in place in 2017. Her experiences have inspired her to share her information in the hope of helping others avoid a difficult experience. She is a middle school teacher and cross country/track coach. Along with religion and politics, finances and death are often topics that people just don’t want to talk about. Ignoring the possibility of one’s own mortality is not realistic. It also doesn’t value or take ...
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Money planning – Custodian vs Guardian (Estate planning terms)

Custodian vs. Guardian: What’s the Difference? When developing your will and estate plan, you’ll need to designate various fiduciary roles including guardian, custodian, executor, trustee, and agent. Here’s a quick overview of these different designations (thanks to the American Bar Association glossary): Guardians are most commonly referenced in a person’s will when they name the person(s) who will care for the financial and physical well-being of their minor-age children when they die. However, a guardian could also be appointed by court order when a person becomes incapacitated, or a considered a “protected person” who has demonstrated behavioral deficits regarding their ...
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Where there’s a will, there’s a …..

Why You Need a Will and Other Estate Documents You've probably heard you should have a will, but what else do you need as part of your estate plan? As the American Bar Association explains, the risk of not having a will is that your state's laws will determine who receives your property if you pass away without a will. State Law may not reflect what you truly want. Also, unintended family strife often results if you die without a will. Having a will in place accomplishes the following: Provides for the distribution of your assets. Your will tells your ...
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4 Tips to Retirement Budget Planning – the Essentials

4 Tips for Creating Your Retirement Budget About 3-5 years before retirement, you should get a good handle on your available assets and create a monthly/yearly estimate of expenses for your retirement years. You've probably heard from financial advisors before that you'll need 80% of your current gross income to retire, but the more accurate approach is to develop a retirement budget. Here are a few tips to do so: List out all personal expenses. The first part of your budget should include everything you pay for on a monthly basis. This will be the largest section of your budget ...
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5 Ways to Maintain an Active Mind in Retirement

5 Ways to Maintain an Active Mind in Retirement Staying active as you age is beneficial in lots of ways. Here are five fun ideas on how to use your time during your golden years: 1. Mentor. Pass on your skills and knowledge to a younger generation. Explore formal mentorship programs at local colleges and universities and call local elementary, middle, and high schools too. 2. Volunteer. Look within your community for places in need. Check out volunteermatch.org, reach out to your local United Way chapter, or visit the library, which might have a list of local nonprofit organizations that ...
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Money & Retirement_Now is the Time

New experiences, give it a try! After 40 years on the job what is holding you back from working or experiencing dream level opportunities including travel, volunteering, or just venturing out? It is best to begin 5 years out from an agreed upon established age to begin that new experience, or at least retirement from past work. At 5 years before retirement Establish a budget for the first year or two of retirement, develop a written/digital bucket list. Identify which job related expenses (commuting, clothing, tools, computer equipment) may not be necessary. Identify possible income sources (social security, retirement plan ...
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Tax Tips 2017_2016

Tax filing season begins January 23, 2017 (for year 2016 tax returns) The regular due date is April 18, 2017 (individuals) and March 15, 2017 (most business returns including partnerships) Extensions of time (for filing forms only, no payment delays are allowed) are granted for six months, There are not many substantive tax law changes but the penalty for non compliance with health care law is $695 for each adult and $347.50 for each child subject to some calculations on household income and changes in marital status during the year. Items extended through year 2016 by the 2015 Tax Act ...
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CALLING THEIR BLUFF – SUZANNE BLANKENSHIP (THE ELDERCARE NAVIGATOR)

Calling Their Bluff Author Suzanne Blankenship, http://theeldercarenavigator.com There is a time when we will need to become more involved in our parent’s lives, to assist them in either a minor or major way. It is the start of a journey called eldercare. Sometimes, we leap from the high dive into the deep end and sometimes we just put a toe into the pool by the steps. Each personal journey is different. But, how do we tell what they need help with and when we need to step in? Well, like your second grade teacher always told you, you have to ...
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MONEY_AGING_WHO IS THERE?

Confronting the limits of our own mortality... it is painful - Thomas Mierswa, Executive Director at Morgan Stanley The aging of America is creating a societal issue not present in large numbers of prior generations and that problem is diminished mental capacity making it impossible to manage financial affairs effectively. Financial advisors have significant limitations when attempting to advise clients exhibiting diminished mental capacity. The legal and compliance departments within many investment advisory firms now provide increased oversight on advisors working with older clients. You can act now to address this inevitable consequence of growing older. Rose Watson, JD, MSEL, ...
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MONEY TIPS ON ANNUITIES

Annuities (information supplied by Jackie Johnson at RBC Capital Markets, the Johnson Host Investment Group in Denver, 303.595.1102) Annuities are contracts. There is much fine print on these contracts and it is appropriate to take an extra moment or two before signing. Here are some money tips: First - most earnings on an annuity are tax deferred. Purchasing an annuity inside a retirement plan provides no additional tax deferral savings. Other annuity contract features available for purchase - lifetime income, death benefits may warrant consideration when purchasing within a retirement account, but generally annuity contracts are not attractive retirement plan ...
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SOCIAL SECURITY CHANGES

Thank you to Randy Anderson - AXA Advisors and Jim Loquai - Excel Financial for the following Social Security retirement benefit changes. Key Social Security Claiming Strategies Are Going Away! President Obama signed into legislation yesterday morning the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 which will essentially eliminate two key Social Security claiming strategies over the next 6 months to 4 years. Two key claiming strategies – File and Suspend, and Filing a Restricted Application – will be a thing of the past. Millions of Americans will be affected by these changes. These strategies are complicated and I will try to ...
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MEDICARE/MEDICAID – becoming a paid family member caregiver

Special thanks to Liz Tredennick (lizknowsmedicare.com, 303-359-1136) for the following information-- When a person applies and is accepted for Long Term Care - Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) they will receive a list of Medicaid approved agencies that can come to the home and provide care. If they want to choose their own self, not on the approved agency list, than can do one of two things: Apply to one of the approved agencies to become employed with the agreement that they will be assigned to only their family member's case. PASCO is a good agency to contact. PASCO ...
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MONEY SAVING OPPORTUNITY – Reduce your Health insurance with income tax credits

By John Moran, CPA, Moran & Long CPAs, 5990 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Ste 330, Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111, www.moranlong.com, 720-635-3180. No charge for the initial consultation. Tax credits are not new having been a part of tax law for 50 years or more. A tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction of your tax liability (as opposed to a tax deduction which reduces your income in arriving at taxable income, the amount upon which the tax rate is applied and tax computed). Using tax credits to pay for health insurance is new, and has not been part of any ...
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Medicare – Observation Status – Beware

Contact Susan Jaffe at Jaffe.KHN@gmail.com Some seniors think Medicare made a mistake. Others are stunned when they find out that being in a hospital for days doesn't always mean they were actually admitted. Instead, they received observation care, considered by Medicare to be an outpatient service. The observation designation means they can have higher out-of-pocket expenses and fewer Medicare benefits. Yet, a government investigation found that observation patients often have the same health problems as those who are admitted. More Medicare beneficiaries are entering hospitals as observation patients every year. The number rose 88 percent over the past six years, ...
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