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‘Dollars And Sense’ Category

  1. Daddy Warbucks Makes a Gift ​

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    December 10, 2011 by Milton Jones

    Over my 40-something-year career, I recall several instances where a parent or grandparent made a gift of insurance. Perhaps it was a gift of life insurance on a young child, designed to encourage college money accumulation. Perhaps the bride’s father gave a gift of the first annual premium for life insurance on his new son-in-law.

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  2. Open Season for Medicare

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    October 30, 2011 by Milton Jones

    Open Season is just around the corner, and I’m not talking about hunting season. With Medicare coverage, it’s a time when we may change our Part “D” Prescription plan, or Medicare Advantage plan for the coming year. Actually, the correct language is “Annual Election Period,” or AEP for short. In the past, the AEP began Nov. 15 and ended Dec. 31. This year, the season opens Oct. 15 and closes Dec. 7. Any changes made will then take effect on Jan. 1, 2012. This time lag allows more time for processing your changed enrollment and getting your new cards out to you in the U.S. Mail.

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  3. A Fair Tax or a Simple Code?

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    October 15, 2011 by Milton Jones

    “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesars, and to God the things which are God’s,” said the Master about 2 millennia ago. From this we can see that the present generation’s concern about fair taxation is nothing new. People hated taxes then and still hate them now. Many are saying things like “change the tax code,” or “abolish the IRS.” A popular sentiment is that the Income Tax should be fair and simple. My response is “do you want FAIR, or do you want SIMPLE? You probably can’t have both!”

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  4. Universal Life: A Revolutionary Idea (Part 1)

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    September 27, 2011 by wcobserver

    The Carter administration era was a revolutionary time. The political revolution was in Iran, but a financial revolution was occurring in the USA. It was a time of high inflation, and high interest.

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  5. Downside Risk

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    August 25, 2011 by wcobserver

    Anybody else recall a corny song by the Statler Brothers with the line “you can’t have your
    Kate and Edith too, you rascal you..?” Of course, this is a take-off from the proverb that you can’t have you cake and eat it too (I always hate it when I have to explain jokes).

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  6. The Bear and the Elk

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    August 12, 2011 by wcobserver

    The story is told of a bow hunter out in the Rocky Mountains who shot an elk, but the arrow merely wounded it. The elk, having identified the source of his trouble, set about to eliminate it.

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  7. Taxes on your Retirement Savings

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    July 31, 2011 by wcobserver

    We typically think retirement savings should be tax free. After all, the charm to that 401-K or IRA account is the tax break. You get to put the money in “before-tax” and the growth is also free of tax, right? Actually, it might be more correct to say it’s “tax-deferred.” Retirement accounts and other Tax-Qualified pensions are not really tax-free. You’ll have to take the money out some day, and when you do that you’ll pay tax on the amounts withdrawn. In fact, the tax rules generally require you to begin withdrawing your money at the tender age of 70 ½. There are strict rules about “Required Minimum Distributions” (RMD). After that age, if you neglect to make the stipulated minimum withdrawals, you’ll get hit a tax penalties equal to 50 percent of any shortfall. So just what are the rules for RMD’s? Let’s say you’ve recently retired, and you have a fat IRA in addition to your Social Security and pension. Or maybe you’re a teacher and you have a 403B “teacher annuity.” It works like this; the government has a Uniform Distribution table (Google “RMD table”) which you must use to calculate your RMD, unless you have chosen …

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