Planning For Multiple IRA Beneficiaries In 5 Steps

Planning for Multiple BeneficiariesWhen do multiple beneficiaries exist?
The need to plan for multiple IRA beneficiaries exists when an individual names more than one beneficiary for their IRA.

When should you name more than one beneficiary?
When you want your IRA assets to go to more than one person or entity without having to incur additional fees or paperwork by maintaining separate accounts for each beneficiary.

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The Drawbacks to Investing with the Group

This blog post by Carl Richards highlights the dangers of “groupthink” as it relates to investing. Independent-minded investors that focus on facts and weigh those facts properly in context to long-term horizons are rare these days. Too many investors are looking over their shoulder to see what everyone else is doing, drawing conclusions from third party opinions versus facts, judging performance in relative terms versus absolute terms, and justifying an investment simply due to its recent performance while simultaneously ignoring risk. It’s sometimes hard to absolve oneself from the noise and “groupthink”, but it’s a prerequisite if investors are to achieve long-term success. As Warren Buffett said:  “The market is there to serve you, not to instruct you.”

Scott Smith
C&J Wealth Advisors
Article Credits: This article originally appeared at the New York Times | by: Carl Richards | June 16, 2014.

The Drawbacks to Investing with the GroupGroup of Investors

In February 2012, a group of experienced skiers headed into the backcountry near the Stevens Pass resort in Washington State to look for untracked powder. It was a beautiful day, and everyone expected to have a great time skiing the popular Tunnel Creek section.

Minutes after the first skiers began heading down the hill, the snow cracked, setting off an avalanche. Several skiers were caught in the wall of snow, and after it came to a stop, rescuers discovered that three had been killed.

In an article that one of the surviving skiers, Megan Michelson, wrote for Outside magazine, she noted that “all of the warning signs had been there, glaring and obvious: heaps of new snow, terrain that would funnel a slide into a gully, a large and confident group with a herd mentality, and a forecast that warned of dangerous avalanche conditions.”

So what happened?

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Rethink Your Retirement Income

Are you saving too much? Here’s how to look beyond the formulas.

Article credits: The Wall Street Journal by Kelly Greene 12/21/13

Retirement SavingsThe only hard-and-fast rule for how much retirement income you will need is that there is no hard-and-fast rule.

The financial industry’s typical rule of thumb—which states that retirees need to save enough to be able to replace 75% to 85% of their preretirement income every year after they stop working—isn’t really useful for many people.

New research shows that many retirees can live well on less than that but others rack up higher expenses through travel, expensive hobbies or medical costs that can’t be avoided.

The 75%-to-85% ratio may work for younger workers who have no way of knowing precisely what their incomes or expenses will be as they head into retirement.

But if you’re closer to the finish line, it’s crucial that you figure out for yourself how much you personally will need in “replacement income”—or the percentage of your working income you’ll need in retirement—so you can get a better idea of whether your savings, any pensions and Social Security can provide it.

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Falling Mortgage Rates Aren’t Enticing Home Buyers, Latest Data Show

Although housing prices have rebounded since the recession and are generally good for existing homeowners, affordability has become a serious headwind and is slowing purchase activity as mentioned in the article.  As I like to tell my kids, too much of a good thing can be bad, and we’re seeing that dynamic play out in the housing market.  Hopefully, recent decreases in borrowing rates coupled with new home supply can begin to relieve price pressure so that affordability improves and entices buyers back into the market.

Scott Smith
C&J Wealth Advisors
Article Credits: The Wall Street Journal Market Watch | June 4, 2014

Mortgage RatesFalling Mortgage Rates Aren’t Enticing Home Buyers, Latest Data Show

Upsetting expectations from a Nobel Prize winner, as well as the world’s No. 1 central banker, it looks like borrowers aren’t clamoring to buy homes in the face of low and falling mortgage rates.

In late May, Nobel Prize-winning economist and home-price expert Robert Shiller said drops in mortgage rates could stimulate the housing market. “These declines matter. People are watching mortgage rates,” he said.

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A New Reason to Hoard Assets

Article credits | The Wall Street Journal | March 28, 2014 | By Arden Dale

The wealthy may be putting the brakes on the gifting bonanza of the past few years.

State of Estate TaxThe wealthy are gifting less to their families these days.

Large gifts that shrink an estate for tax purposes no longer make sense for many people now that the federal government taxes only estates larger than $5.34 million, or $10.68 million for couples.

With that threshold—which adjusts for inflation and which Congress has called permanent—so high, many financial advisers recommend that their clients wait until they die to give their assets away.

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