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"I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how very much I appreciated you taking the time to call on me today and review how my investment, made with you last year, turned out.
I have invested with others before and no one has ever gone over and above the way you have. I consider you a friend as well as a financial adviser." - Art Genest
"One week before retirement, I received an invitation to attend Steve's financial seminar. I had invested with another financial adviser; turned out the annuity fees cost more than the interest earned. We decided to go with Steve...and I have not lost a single penny due to market declines, have paid no fees and have preserved my hard-eard retirement money." - Ed and Laurace Farmer
"Allowing your money to grow without taxes gets you true wealth. My goal is to help retirees enjoy true wealth and feel financially secure during their retirement." - Stephen Davis
An interim calculation in the computation of income tax liability. It is computed by subtracting certain allowable adjustments from gross income.
An insurance-based contract that provides future payments at regular intervals in exchange for current premiums. Annuity contracts are usually purchased from banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, or insurance companies. Any guarantees are contingent on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.
The process of repositioning assets in a portfolio to maximize potential return for a particular level of risk. This process is usually done using the historical performance of the asset classes within sophisticated mathematical models. Asset allocation does not guarantee against loss; it is a method used to help manage investment risk.
A person named in a life insurance policy, annuity, will, trust, or other agreement to receive a financial benefit upon the death of the owner. A beneficiary can be an individual, company, organization, and so on.
The difference between the sales price and the purchase price of a capital asset. When that difference is positive, the difference is referred to as a capital gain. When the difference is negative, it is a capital loss.
Cash Surrender Value
The amount that an insurance policyholder is entitled to receive when he or she discontinues coverage. Policyholders are usually able to borrow against the surrender value of a policy from the insurance company. Policy loans that are not repaid will reduce the policy's death benefit and cash value by the amount of any outstanding loan balance plus interest.
Charitable Remainder Trust
A trust established for the benefit of a charitable organization. A grantor who places money, securities, property, and other assets in a charitable remainder trust can designate an income beneficiary, even if it is the grantor herself, to receive payment of a specified amount (at least annually) from the trust. You may also qualify for an income tax deduction on the estimated present value of the remainder interest that will eventually go to charity.
Interest that is computed on the principal and on the accrued interest. Compound interest may be computed continuously, daily, monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually.
Consumer Price Index
The U.S. Department of Labor's main indicator of inflation. The Consumer Price Index is calculated each month from the cost of some 400 retail items in urban areas throughout the United States.
An amount that can be subtracted from gross income, from a gross estate, or from a gift, thereby lowering the amount on which tax is assessed.
Defined Benefit Plan
A qualified retirement plan under which a retiring employee will receive a guaranteed retirement fund, usually payable in installments. Annual contributions may be made to the plan by the employer at the level needed to fund the benefit. The annual contributions are limited to a specified amount, indexed to inflation.
Defined Contribution Plan
A retirement plan under which the annual contributions made by the employer or employee are generally stated as a fixed percentage of the employee's compensation or company profits. The amount of retirement benefits is not guaranteed; rather, it depends upon the investment performance of the employee's account.
A tax-favored retirement plan that is sponsored by an employer. Among the more common employer-sponsored retirement plans are 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, simplified employee pension plans, and profit-sharing plans.
The value of a person's ownership in real property or securities; the market value of a property or business, less all claims and liens against it.
Activities coordinated to provide for the orderly and cost-effective distribution of an individual's assets at the time of his or her death. Estate conservation often includes the use of wills and trusts.
Upon the death of a decedent, federal and state governments impose taxes on the value of the estate left to others (with limitations).
A defined contribution plan that may be established by a company for retirement. Employees may allocate a portion of their salaries into this plan, and contributions are excluded from their income for tax purposes (with limitations). Contributions and earnings will compound tax deferred. Withdrawals from a 401(k) plan are taxed as ordinary income, and may be subject to an additional 10 percent federal tax penalty if withdrawn prior to age 59½.
A defined contribution plan that may be established by a nonprofit organization or school for retirement. Employees may allocate a portion of their salaries into this plan, and contributions are excluded from their income for tax purposes (with limitations). Contributions and earnings will compound tax deferred. Withdrawals from a 403(b) plan are taxed as ordinary income, and may be subject to an additional 10 percent federal tax penalty if withdrawn prior to age 59½.
A federal tax levied on the transfer of property as a gift. This tax is paid by the donor.Currently, the first $13,000 a year from a donor to each recipient is exempt from tax. Most states also impose a gift tax. The gift tax exemption is indexed for inflation.
Contributions to a traditional IRA are deductible from earned income in the calculation of federal and state income taxes if the taxpayer meets certain requirements. The earnings accumulate tax deferred until withdrawn, and then the entire withdrawal is taxed as ordinary income. Individuals not eligible to make deductible contributions may make nondeductible contributions, the earnings on which would be tax deferred.
Most pension plans must offer this form of pension plan payout that pays over the life of the retiree and his or her spouse after the retiree dies. The retiree and his or her spouse must specifically choose not to accept this payment form.
The disbursement of the entire value of an employer-sponsored retirement plan, pension plan, annuity, or similar account to the account owner or beneficiary. Lump-sum distributions may be rolled over into another tax-deferred account.
The court-supervised process in which a decedent's estate is settled and distributed.
An agreement under which employees share in the profits of their employer. The company makes annual contributions to the employees' accounts. These funds usually accumulate tax deferred until the employee retires or leaves the company.
At the time of divorce, this order would be issued by a state domestic relations court and would require that an employee's ERISA retirement plan accrued benefits be divided between the employee and the spouse.
Qualified Retirement Plan
A pension, profit-sharing, or qualified savings plan that is established by an employer for the benefit of the employees. These plans must be established in conformity with IRS rules. Contributions accumulate tax deferred until withdrawn and are deductible to the employer as a current business expense.
A method by which an individual can transfer the assets from one retirement program to another without the recognition of income for tax purposes. The requirements for a rollover depend on the type of program from which the distribution is made and the type of program receiving the distribution.
A nondeductible IRA that allows tax-free withdrawals when certain conditions are met. Income and contribution limits apply.
In the past, the terms “Keogh plan” and “H.R. 10 plan” were used to distinguish a retirement plan established by a self-employed individual from a plan established by a corporation or other entity. However, self-employed retirement plans are now generally referred to by the name of the particular type of plan used, such as SEP IRA, SIMPLE 401(k), or self-employed 401(k). The contribution amount is indexed annually for inflation.
Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP)
A type of plan under which the employer contributes to an employee's IRA. Contributions may be made up to a certain limit and are immediately vested.<
An insurance-based contract that provides future payments at regular intervals in exchange for current premiums. Generally used as a supplement to retirement income and pays over the life of one individual, usually the retiree, with no rights of payment to any survivor.
An IRA designed for a couple when one spouse has no earned income. The maximum combined contribution that can be made each year to an IRA and a spousal IRA currently is $10,000 or 100 percent of earned income, whichever is less, for the 2011 tax year. The total may be split between the two IRAs as the couple wishes, provided that the contribution to either IRA does not exceed the maximum annual contribution limit ($5,000 for 2011).
Tax credits, the most appealing type of tax deductions, are subtracted directly, dollar for dollar, from your income tax bill.
Interest, dividends, or capital gains that grow untaxed in certain accounts or plans until they are withdrawn.
The amount of income used to compute tax liability. It is determined by subtracting adjustments, itemized deductions or the standard deduction, and personal exemptions from gross income.
Term life insurance provides a death benefit if the insured dies. Term insurance does not accumulate cash value and ends after a certain number of years or at a certain age.
A legal entity created by an individual in which one person or institution holds the right to manage property or assets for the benefit of someone else. Types of trusts include: Testamentary Trust – A trust established by a will that takes effect upon death; Living Trust – A trust created by a person during his or her lifetime; Revocable Trust – A trust in which the creator reserves the right to modify or terminate the trust; Irrevocable Trust – A trust that may not be modified or terminated by the trustor after its creation.
An individual or institution appointed to administer a trust for its beneficiaries.
A method of transferring retirement plan assets from one employer's plan to another employer plan or to an IRA. One benefit of this method is that no federal income tax will be withheld by the trustee of the first plan.
A type of life insurance that combines a death benefit with a savings element that accumulates tax deferred at current interest rates, subject to change, but with a guaranteed minimum. Under a universal life insurance policy, the policyholder can increase or decrease his or her coverage, with limitations, without purchasing a new policy.Universal life is also referred to as "flexible premium" life insurance. Access to cash values through borrowing or partial surrenders can reduce the policy's cash value and death benefit, increase the chance that the policy will lapse, and may result in a tax liability if the policy terminates before the death of the insured. Policy loans or withdrawals will reduce the policy's cash value and death benefit. Additional out-of-pocket payments may be needed if actual dividends or investment returns decrease, if you withdraw policy values, if you take out a loan, or if current charges increase. There may be surrender charges at the time of surrender or withdrawal and are taxable if you withdraw more than your basis in the policy. Any guarantees are contingent on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. The cost and availability of life insurance depend on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased.
A type of life insurance that combines a death benefit with an investment element that accumulates tax deferred. The account value can be allocated into a variety of investment subaccounts. The investment return and principal value of the variable subaccounts will fluctuate; thus, the policy's account value, and possibly the death benefit, will be determined by the performance of the chosen subaccounts and is not guaranteed. Withdrawals may be subject to surrender charges and are taxable if the account owner withdraws more than his or her basis in the policy. Policy loans or withdrawals will reduce the policy's cash value and death benefit and may require additional premium payments to keep the policy in force. There may also be additional fees and charges associated with a VUL policy. Any guarantees are contingent on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Variable universal life is sold by prospectus. Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and your need for death-benefit coverage carefully before investing. The prospectuses, which contains this and other information about the variable universal life policy and the underlying investment options, can be obtained from your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest.
A type of life insurance that offers a death benefit and also accumulates cash value tax deferred at fixed interest rates. Whole life insurance policies generally have a fixed annual premium that does not rise over the duration of the policy. Whole life insurance is also referred to as "ordinary" or "straight" life insurance. Access to cash values through borrowing or partial surrenders can reduce the policy's cash value and death benefit, increase the chance that the policy will lapse, and may result in a tax liability if the policy terminates before the death of the insured. Policy loans or withdrawals will reduce the policy's cash value and death benefit. Additional out-of-pocket payments may be needed if actual dividends or investment returns decrease, if you withdraw policy values, if you take out a loan, or if current charges increase. There may be surrender charges at the time of surrender or withdrawal and are taxable if you withdraw more than your basis in the policy. Any guarantees are contingent on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. The cost and availability of life insurance depend on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased.
A legal document that declares a person's wishes concerning the disposition of property, the guardianship of his or her children, and the administration of the estate after his or her death
Generally, the yield is the amount of current income provided by an investment. For stocks, the yield is calculated by dividing the total of the annual dividends by the current price. For bonds, the yield is calculated by dividing the annual interest by the current price. The yield is distinguished from the return, which includes price appreciation or depreciation.