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

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PAGE 6B HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 11, 2013 Estate Planning: What every family needs to know porating their bank accounts into their estate planning strategy," says Diane Morais, a deposits and business integra- • tionexecutivewithAllyBank. If you have questions about whether or not a trust is right for you, you may want to con- sult an attorney or financial advisor. An attorney can also help you obtain a legal trust agreement and name the trustee, who is the person who will manage the trust once it has been established. If you're considering estab- lishing an account for trust, consider these benefits: • A trust helps ensure your assets are protected and that your beneficiaries a;e cared for in the future. • It can potentially reduce estate tax liability. • It may help to avoid pro- bate, which is the sometimes " long and complicated process of settling an estate, saving time and court fees. • Accounts for trusts are insured up to at least $250,000 per depositor at Member FDIC banks. When evaluating bank accounts for trusts, consum- ers should look for accounts that offer competitive inter- est rates, stable growth and a straightforward approach to banking--such as no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum deposit and daily compound interest. For example, Ally Bank has an array of products well-suited for trust ac- counts, such as high yield CDs, no penalty CDs, raise your rate CDs, money market accounts, online savings and checking accounts with 24/7 live customer service. You can learn more about the process by using a new re- source guide on establishing accounts for trusts at www. It's not always pleasant to think about the very distant future, but estate planning can help your family when you're no longer able to ensure their security. Take steps now to protect your nest egg for your loved ones and benefi- ciaries. (StatePoint)--As the econ- omy stabilizes, you may be thinking about putting more of your money away for the future. But no matter how much money you have, as your wealth grows, it becomes more important to think about what will happen to your assets after you're gone. Regardless of the size of your assets, estate planning is important. Establishing a trust ensures your intentions are granted and simplifies the estate settlement process for your beneficiaries. Experts say that accounts for trusts can be a useful tool in the process. "Many people often over- look the importance of incor- Yuri Arcurs - ThinkStock  How to lighten your tax burden at end of year is to pay the lowest amount of taxes possible. As the end of the year looms, there's still time to talk to a licensed tax specialist about adjusting withholding, as well as other possibilities for easing your tax burden for this coming season. Read some tips for last-minute tax savings from America's tax experts, the Na- tional Association of Enrolled Agents--a group of licensed tax practitioners who focus (NewsUSA)--Imagine if Goldilocks had to file taxes-- forking out a hefty amount in April one year, then get- ting a huge refund the next. For many adults, finding a withholding amount that's "just right" seems nearly impossible. But, if you owed taxes last year or received a refund that was a great deal larger than expected, it may be a good idea to adjust your withholding. The bottom line solely on taxation year-round. • If you're in the top tax bracket of 35 percent, you may want to accelerate income into 2012, if possible. Depending on Congress, the highest tax rate may rise to 39.6 percent in 2013. • Along with the possibility of higher ordinary income tax rates, there's the possibility of higher capital gains rates on investment income in 2013. The top capital gains rate for investments held for more than a year is 15 percent for most taxpayers through 2012, and zero capital gains tax for investors in the 10 percent and 15 percent tax brackets. If your crystal ball says capital gains taxes are going up next year, you may want to consider locking in profits on long- term investments before the end of this year. • Giving to charity can help reduce your tax bill if you are able to itemize deductions. In addition to contributions made by cash, check or credit card, the crisp fall air may pro- vide the energy to clean house looking for items in good condition that can be donated to a qualified charitable orga- nization. Remember to make a list of the items and determine their fair market value. Clip the list to the receipt from the organization and keep it with your tax documents for your records. • Sometimes, a major life change is thrown your way, and you might not think of it as a tax deduction. If you found yourself looking for a new job, then agency fees, resume expenses, career  counseling costs and travel related to the job search may be deductible even if the job search was unsuccessful. Get more tips and find an enrolled agent at Why financial literacy counts in high school dent attitudes and behaviors on which educators and policy makers must focus and ad- dress. This report sounds the alarm that institutions must augment current financial literacy education," Johnson added. According to the sur- vey of 40,000 first-year college students, 28.2 percent have a credit card, and 23.7 percent have more than $1,000 in debt. While it's not surprising that more than 79 percent of stu- dents surveyed worry about debt, some other spending behaviors are alarming. Such as, 60 percent find it okay to incur an overdraft fee if they can pay it off later. To cor- rect these bad money habits, Higher One has partnered with educational technology company Ever Fi--who also sponsored the survey--to as- sess financial literacy in high school students. In 50 select schools across several states, the Higher One Financial Academy offers a web-based learning platform that will teach principles about saving, credit cards, interest rates, credit scores, taxes, insur- ance, investing and beyond. Higher One provides refund disbursement, payment and dataanalytics services to more than 1,600 colleges nation- wide. For incoming freshmen and other students attending these schools who are look- ing to open their first bank account, Higher One offers the perfect starter account via its bank partners that is tailored to students. As a re- sult, accounts are transparent regarding fees and charges, and they use an educational approach that allows students to learn the ropes. Learn more about the accounts at www. Young adults should start learning how to manage their finances in high school. (NewsUSA)--Alongside English and math, high school students need more classes in financial literacy and managing their money. It's never too early to start learning how to manage finances. Otherwise, teens embark on the college jour- ney without knowing how to avoid debt, opt out of high interest rates or dodge exor- bitant fees. Some students actually expect to face these types of financial hurdles because they don't know any other way. "We need to ensure stu- dents entering college are giv- en the right financial literacy education, tools and support to make sound financial de- cisions while in college and beyond," said Mary Johnson, director, Financial Literacy and Student Aid Policy at Higher One. Higher One is a financial resource that offers banking options designed exclusively for college stu- dents. Since the company works solely with students, aid experts like Johnson have firsthand knowledge of student finances. Higher One has an even deeper level of insight as a result of their recently sponsored study called "Money Matters On CampuS," which details com- mon behaviors and attitudes about students and money management. "Money Matters is unique because it offers specific stu- How to avoid debt (StatePoint)--From going to school to going on a date to getting married, life has hidden price tags that have been sending many Ameri- cans down a path to major debt and bankruptcy. Some of life's most exciting events also bring with them the possibility to build major debts and harm our credit, financial experts are warning. To help, the experts at Lexington Law, a provider of consumer credit correction services, are pointing out the financial traps in everyday life that easily ensnare the aver- age American family. Here are just a few financial pitfalls they are highlighting: • Getting a credit card is ex- citing, but the average credit card debt is $7,093. • 'The average date costs $130. • In 2012, the average en- gagement ring cost $9,431, and the typical wedding weighed-in at $28,400. • Mortgage debt cur- rently is averaging $148,818 and the typical car loan is $26,700. • 35-44 year-olds have the highest bankruptcy rate More information on the financial pitfalls of life, as well as free financial education services, are available at www. Remember, the first step to better money management is being savvier about financial pitfalls to avoid. New ways to pay for college BEING COST CONSCIOUS The average family is spending less on college (StatePoint)--The majority of American families have an unwavering belief in thevalue of college--85 percent of parents believe that college is an investment in their child's future, according to a new national study by Sallie Mae. With tuition costs on the rise, families are finding resourceful ways to help ease college costs, from eliminat- ing schools based on price, to forgoing the costly dormitory experience. According to the same study, the use of grants and scholarships are on the rise, and more parents are turning to such tools as 529 "college savings plans to fund their children's education. While parents are becom- ing more realistic about funding college, experts say that advanced planning is still not the norm. "The majority of families do not have a financial plan to pay for college. Having one however, increases the likelihood of success, says Jack Remondi, president and CEO of Sallie Mae. To learn more about how Americans are paying for college, visit www.Colleg- In this post-recession envi- ronment, the dream of college is not dead. But finding new ways to fund it is becoming more important.