The 2012 election is over, and Americans find themselves in an unsure financial environment. The country is heading toward a “fiscal cliff” — a series of significant tax increases and automatic spending cuts that will be triggered at the end of the year. Congress and the President are negotiating a compromise solution to prevent that, but no one knows what it will involve, or if they’ll be successful at all.
The almost annual decision regarding the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is back. In December 2010, Congress and the current Administration gave us a two year extension on the “AMT Patch,” but that only included tax years 2010 and 2011. The Tax Policy Center estimates that without intervention, the number of American households impacted by the Alternative Minimum Tax will leap from 5 million in 2011 to nearly 30 million in 2012.
Our primary mission at Pinnacle Advisory Group is to give our clients the peace of mind to enjoy the things in life they find most fulfilling, including not only relationships, activities, and hobbies, but also philanthropic endeavors. Contrary to popular belief, support for charities and causes isn’t a one-way financial street – there are several charitable giving instruments that will actually help you streamline your cash flow and reduce your taxes. By using them, you can experience the joy of giving while also receiving a financial benefit.
Florida is one of the most desirable retirement destinations in the world, and with good reason. It boasts a wonderful climate, miles of beautiful beaches, and many tourist attractions. But probably the greatest motivation for obtaining Florida residency is the range of tax advantages that it brings.
Martha’s husband of almost 60 years passed away shortly before I started working with her. There were a number of financial issues to address after his death, and I was able to help take those off her shoulders so she could focus on coming to terms with her great personal loss.
For years, the Social Security Administration has mailed out annual statements to inform you of the benefits you or your loved ones will receive upon your retirement, disability, or death. It has been a great service to have this mailed regularly so that you can stay up to date on what to expect under the three different benefit formulas.
I just returned from the Financial Planning Association’s Retreat Conference where I was an invited speaker on the topic of “Investing Outside the Box: Modern Insights Into Portfolio Management.” Now that I’m back in the office, it’s time to catch up on my reading. Here is a review of today’s homework.
With Tax Day arriving tomorrow and national elections on the horizon, the controversy over tax rates is again in the news. Last year, the issue was highlighted by Warren Buffett discussing his own rates. Much was made at the time of the non-partisan Tax Policy Center’s research in publishing average effective tax rates for individuals at different income levels.
Meet Michael Kitces, financial planning wunderkind, Partner, and Director of Planning Research at Pinnacle Advisory Group.
Financial stocks have been a controversial sector since suffering massive losses in 2007-08, much like Tech stocks were following the bursting of that bubble in 2000. Financials have also generally been out of favor during the recovery of the last few years. In 2011, they were the worst performing sector in the S&P 500, and apart from a vicious two-month bounce off the bottom in 2009, they’ve been underperforming for years. In addition, they’ve been battling increasingly negative public opinion in regards to business practices (most of which is probably deserved, and largely self-inflicted).