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October 11, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 11, 2013
 

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PAGE 2B By David J. Cooper, CFP financial advisor Evershore Financial Group Effective Sept. 16, 2013, legally married same-sex couples are entitled to the same U.S. Federal tax ben- efits as married heterosexual couples regardless of their state of residence. This drastic change in policy has several immediate effects on thousands of couples. HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 11, 2013 DOMA ruling changes the financial landscape for same-sex couples Federal Tax--For tax year 2013 and beyond, same- sex spouses must generally file using a "married filing separately" or "married filing jointly" filing status. All fed- eral tax provisions where mar- riage is a factor apply to legally married same-sex couples, including the personal and dependency exemptions, the standard deduction, employee benefits and claiming certain tax credits. Traditional and Roth IRAs--A same-sex spouse can make a traditional or Roth IRA contribution on behalf of a non-working spouse provided the couple files a joint return. These couples now also face limits on contributions for the "non-participant" spouse. Same-sex spouses named as beneficiary of an IRA now have access to spousal beneficiary options, includ- ing treating the IRA as his or her own, choosing to establish an "inherited IRA," and potential access to the joint-life table for RMDs. The Social Security Ad- ministration recently issued guidance regarding eligibil- ity of same-sex couples for benefits. Other issues that have been addressed are some rules and procedures for the division of assets following a divorce. Interest- ingly, the IRS ruling does not apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions or similar formal relationships that are not marriages under State law. Clearly, same-sex couples should seek the advice of their tax and legal .advisers to discuss how the ruling will affect them. Evershore Financial Group is located at 1900 Summit Tower Blvd., Suite 450, Orlando FL 32810. Financial advisors do not provide specific tax and/ or legal advice. You should consult your tax andor le- gal advisor regarding your specific situation. Evershore Financial Group offers se- curities and investment advisory services through Securian Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Evershore Financial Group is independently owned and operated. (StatePoint) For many Americans, reaching their financial goals seems like a near impossible task. If you are looking to retire younger or are seeking a fresh approach to achieving financial freedom, you may need to change your attitude towards money and make changes in how you spend, save and invest. "So many of us are on a hamster wheel of earn and spend that doesn't allow for growth," says entrepreneur Jack Bosch, author of "For- ever Cash: Break the Earn- Changing your attitude about money can help you make more Spend Cycle, Take Charge of Your Life; Build Everlasting Wealth." "Regardless of how much you earn, if you spend all of it, you are no better off than you were if you never had made that money at all." Bosch offers some tips to help make and save money: Spend on investments After necessary expenses, spend your money on things that will make money. A typical pile of savings can disappear in a market crash. Look for investments that produce a stream of revenue, such as a business, rental property or_ intellec- tual properties, so that the income from these invest- ments helps pay for your reglJiar expenses. Break the spend cycle Break the cycle of earning to spend. The truly wealthy use their investments to pay for their lifestyle, not their active income. Think about how much money you would need to pull in each to live the way you want. Then consider how you can use the money that yod currently make, whether from a job or other income sources, to connect it into additional cash-flow streams. Avoid destructive patterns Many people don't think about what spending money now means for the future. Just because you are bring- ing in a certain amount of money doesn't mean you need to spend it. "A new luxury car today could mean the difference between having a quarter- million dollars or even half- million dollars in the bank 30 years from now," says Bosch. "Most people would think twice about buying that item if they knew the future ramifications." Don't restrict too much There still is room in a budget for things you enjoy. If you really like to buy a cup of coffee every morn- ing, don't stop. Cutting out everything you enjoy from your budget is usually not sustainable. The best way to save is to sensibly cut back on the things that don't make a huge difference in your life and then use that excess money to invest in some- thing that brings in more cash and ideally cash flow. Do that again and again, and the cash flow from your in- vestments can quickly make a substantial difference in your life, even potentially allowing you to retire earlier than you thought possible. For more tips on breaking the spend cycle and building wealth, visit www.Forever- Cash.com. The first step to saving more money is to change your attitude Making smart choices today will pay off tomorrow. Are you incorrectly insured? Three things everyone shouM know about life insurance serving your needs in 2013? Ted Bernstein is guessing there aren't many--and that's the way you should view life insurance bought so many years ago. "Think of all the tools most of us use every day-- By GinnyGrimsley What things did you buy in 2003 that are still optimally Glickstein Laval Carris P A CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS PROFESSIONAL SERVICES PROVIDED IN THE AREA OF: TAX PLANNING AND PREPARATION FOR US AND FOREIGN INDIVIDUALS, PARTN ERSHIPS, CORPORATIONS, TRUSTS AND ESTATES ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING SERVICES MANAGEMENT CONSULTING SERVICES QUICKBOOKS CONSULTING Serving Central Florida Since 1975 555 WlNDERLEY PLACE, STE 400, MAITLAND, FL 32751 PHONE: 407-645-4775 FAX: 407-629-1606 www glccpa com computers; mobile devices, telephones. If yours is even just a few years old, it's prob- ably slow compared to what's available now and certainly much more limited in its functionality. And you prob- ably paid more for it several years ago than you would for a new one today," said Bernstein, a leading voice for innovation in the industry and founder of Life Insur- ance Concepts, Inc. (www. lifeinsuranceconcepts.com). "It's the same with life insurance. Most people don't understand that the insurance they bought years ago could be either obsolete today or it just may not be serving them as much as it should be," Bernstein said. "There is a crisis in the life insurance industry today," he added, "and it's leaving people uninsured, underin- sured and most importantly, incorrectly insured." It is the incorrectly insured that Bernstein is most concerned about as it is the fastest grow- ing class of insured's in the United States. "Life insurance makes a tremendous difference in the quality of a business or the lives' of loved ones should something happen to a pri- mary breadwinner or key business person," he said. "It should be easy to purchase, easy to understand and it should be affordable--but unfortunately, that is usually not the case. I think there are too many people who should be adequately covered who are not. Bernstein reviews some of the things everyone should know about life insurance: How do you know if you are incorrectly insured? Are you aware of the following, which are some things ev- eryone should know about life insurance today: 1. Life Insurance can be purchased without sales commissions. Many insur- ance policies have commis- sions for the agent built into the policy by the insurance company. These are non-ne- gotiable, even by the agent, "It should be easy to purchase, easy to understand and it should be affordable" and are usually not disclosed to the buyer. Without those built-in commissions, the performance of a life in- surance policy is superior; creating an option every life insurance buyer must be aware of today. These "no- load" policies are purchased from experienced agents. No load does not mean "no agent." Instead of built-in commissions, consulting fees are paid to agents who charge fees that are disclosed and transparent. The fees do not increase the premiums or affect the cash value per- formance. 2. For the first time since Ben Franklin introduced life insurance more than 200 years ago.., life insurance buyers can now choose an installment option to deter- mine.how the proceeds of their life insurance policies are paid to their benefi- ciaries. Until the deferred insta!lment optionwas avail- able, the only payout choice was a lump-sum, which some policyholders worriedwould be more than their loved ones could handle. An even bigger benefit, however, is that deferred payout gives insurance companies more time to hold the funds, which reduces premiums as much as 50 percent for the same amount of insurance with a lump-sum death benefit. This gives Policyholders the option to purchase an amount that will better cover the needs of their beneficiaries. 3. Deferred payouts pro- vide a guaranteed source of income that's not affected by market fluctuations. The Installment Life Option, which we have created and introduced to the market, allows policy owners to create a protected, ongoing source of income for their beneficiaries that is not af- fected by market or economic conditions. Options include proceeds paid in guaranteed, pre-determined amounts over a period of years. The structure is a "win-win," because the provider is guar- anteed more time to pay out proceeds, and the savings are passed to the consumer in the form of lower premiums, or more benefits.