Posts Tagged "investment portfolio"

Study reveals retirement concerns

Posted on Apr 23, 2014

A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive of 1,000 middle class individuals aged 25 to 75 revealed some interesting statistics about retirement attitudes. Among the survey’s findings: * 37% of respondents say they don’t expect to retire; instead they expect to work until they are too sick or die. * 59% said retirement is not their top priority; their priority is paying day-to-day bills. * 34% felt they would have to continue working until age 80 or beyond because they won’t have saved enough to retire. * 31% in the 40 to 59 age category say they have a retirement plan; 69% say they have no plan. * Those who say they have a written plan say they have saved a median of $63,000 for retirement, which represents 32% of their retirement savings goal of $200,000. Those without a written plan say they have saved $20,000 or 10% of their goal. * A third of those surveyed said that social security would be their primary source of income in retirement. * 40% said a large unexpected health care expense was their greatest retirement fear; 37% said lower or no social security benefits was their biggest fear. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in the McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates specializes known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws, we help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+ <https://plus.google.com/108764776146415485651/posts> , LinkedIn <http://www.linkedin.com/in/gillilandcpa> , Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/gillilandcpa> , and Twitter...

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Guide your children to financial maturity

Posted on Oct 1, 2013

Teaching your children about money and finances is easiest when you start early. Here’s a quick review of what you should teach your children at each age if you want them to become financially competent adults. Preschool – Skills to Teach * Identify coins and bills; learn what each is worth. * Understand that you can’t buy everything; choices are necessary. * Save money in a piggy bank. Grade School – Skills to Teach * Read price tags; learn comparison shopping. * Do money arithmetic; make change. * Manage an allowance; use it to pay for some of child’s own purchases. * Open a savings account and learn about interest. * Participate in family financial discussions about major purchases, vacation choices, etc. Teens – Skills to Teach * Work to earn money. * Budget for larger purchases. * Learn to use a checking account. * Learn about investing – stocks, mutual funds, CDs, IRAs, etc. * Share in financial planning (and saving) for college. College/Young Adult – Skills to Teach * Learn about borrowing money (interest, default, etc.). * Use credit card judiciously. * Participate in family estate planning discussions. Knowing about money – how to earn it, use it, invest it, and share it – is a critical life skill. It’s never too early to start teaching your children about financial matters. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in the McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates specializes known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws, we help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+ , LinkedIn , Facebook, and Twitter.  ...

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Savings bonds are tax-smart for college savings

Posted on Sep 3, 2013

Amid the evolving assortment of education tax breaks is a benefit that has survived with few changes over the years: the education savings bond program. When you qualify for this federal income tax exclusion, the interest you receive from bonds redeemed to pay for certain college expenses may be tax-free. Are bonds you bought years ago eligible? It depends on when you bought them and how they’re titled. Eligible bonds include Series EE or Series I savings bonds you purchased after 1989, as long as you were at least 24 years old when they were issued. The age restriction rules out bonds you put in the names of your kids or grandkids, though the children can be named as beneficiaries. Once you’re sure your bonds qualify for the exclusion, the next step is to find out if you meet the income limitation. In 2013, you can exclude all the interest income you receive from eligible savings bonds when you file a joint return and your modified adjusted gross income is less than $112,050 ($74,700 for singles). A partial exclusion is available until your income reaches $142,050 ($89,700 for singles), at which point the exclusion is no longer available. Finally, the bonds must be redeemed in the same year you pay qualifying educational expenses for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent child. What expenses qualify? The definition includes tuition and fees that you pay out-of-pocket and for which you claim no other deduction or credit. You can also claim the exclusion when you use the bond proceeds to fund a 529 college savings plan or a Coverdell education savings account. Savings bonds offer additional, less restrictive opportunities for education and tax planning. For instance, it may make sense to put the bonds in your child’s name and report the interest on an annual basis. Depending on your child’s income, the interest could remain tax-free. Alternatively, you may choose to defer recognizing interest on bonds issued in your child’s name until the bonds are redeemed. Please call us to discuss these strategies and others that can help ease the burden of college...

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Early investment planning can save taxes

Posted on Mar 8, 2011

Capital gain rates will remain at a maximum of 15% (and a minimum of 0%) through December 31, 2012. The rates apply to qualified dividends and long-term gains from investments you sell. That makes 2011 a good time to implement strategies for potential tax savings. One example: You may be able to manage your income to stay within the 10% or 15% income tax brackets, which would allow you to take advantage of the 0% capital gain rate. Alternatively, you could gift appreciated stock to family members in those brackets. For 2011, the cutoff for the 15% bracket is $69,000 of taxable income when you’re married filing jointly ($34,500 for singles). It might be time to “harvest” some of your investment gains in case tax rates rise again in the future. Also a tax-savvy way to completely eliminate your capital gains tax might be to donate appreciated stock to charity and receive a deduction equal to the security’s current market value. Special rules apply to noncash donations, so check with us before you move forward on this...

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New reporting rules may apply to your stock sales

Posted on Jan 7, 2011

Effective this year, new reporting rules could make it easier for you to report the tax consequences of selling a stock. Thanks to a 2008 law, responsibility for establishing your “basis” is being shifted to brokers and other financial institutions. But don’t discard your records just yet; the new rules are being phased in gradually and don’t apply to any securities acquired before 2011. Form 1099-B (Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions) will be expanded to include the cost or other basis of stock sold during 2011. The form must also report whether the gain or loss on the stock sale is short-term or long-term. The expanded Form 1099-B will be used to report calendar-year 2011 sales and must be filed with the IRS and furnished to investors in early 2012. The new reporting rules were passed by Congress not only to make it easier for investors to calculate capital gains taxes, but also to make it harder for investors to underreport capital gains. For details or assistance with the new reporting rules, contact our...

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