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Financial Planning Newsletter• May 3 2010 




PLAN. INVEST. RELAX.


Financial Planning Newsletter
May 2010

Kinder Questions, Equity Estates, a new twist on LTC & ALL ABOUT IRA'S - part 3

This months newsletter covers some interesting items that I have come across over the past couple of weeks along with continuing our series on IRA's:

Kinder Life Planning:

I was reading a little this month regarding a planner / teacher named George Kinder. He developed a program that is called Kinder Life Planning. These 3 questions form the basis of his program and I felt they were thought provoking enough to share them with you:

1. Imagine you have all the money you need, how would you live your life?

2. You just found out you have 5 to 10 years to live. How will you live it?

3. You just found out you have 24 hours to live, what regrets do you have?

Equity Estates:

(disclaimer: this is not an endorsement, just wanted to share this with you). Let's say perhaps you started working with a really good financial planner and followed all his advice over the years, what would you do with the mountain of money you had accumulated? :)

Well, I happened to be talking with a realestate attorney in my building the other day and he told me about a group that he is legal counsel for, Equity Estate Fund. The idea struck me as very interesting. The closest comparison would be a time share, however it is actually nothing like a time share. You become an equity partner in a group that buys luxury residences around the world with the end goal of eventually selling them and returning principal and profits to the members. By becoming a member you get to use any of the multi-million dollar properties for up to 30 days per year.

So if you have more money than you can spend maybe it is something for you. (note: personally this is above my pay grade and as mentioned above just sharing because it was unique - do your own due diligence!)

Variation on LTC (long term care) insurance:

When discussing Long Term Care insurance with clients the inevitable pushback is that it is expensive and you may die without ever using it. Fair enough I say, although that excuse can be applied to any type of insurance policy. Nevertheless, I am always interested in finding out what the creative folks in the insurance world develop for these issues. One product was recently presented to me from an agent that I know. It is a hybrid whole life / LTC policy. The way it works is that you purchase this whole life policy that is designed to pay a monthly benefit to you if you need long term care, if you then use up the benefit amount a supplemental LTC rider then continues the monthly LTC benefit. Furthermore this is a shared type policy so either spouse can use it for LTC and finally..... If you never use the LTC benefits it acts just like an original life insurance policy and provides a death benefit on the second to die. That was a mouthful, but hopefully you get the idea.

All about IRA's Part 3:

IRA's

Last month we discussed taking early distributions from 401k's and IRA's. This month is very simply understanding what to do with old 401k's and the rules of the "rollover IRA".

By now you have a good understanding that a "rollover IRA" is basically an account created to hold money from an old employers retirement plan. Proceeds from old 401k's, 403b's and even Pension Plan's are eligible to be rolled into your "rollover IRA". Taking money out of an old employers retirement plan and transferring it into a rollover IRA is very simple if you follow these basic rules. And remember, this is a non-taxable event if you follow the IRS guidelines.

Step 1: First step is to establish your new "rollover IRA" account. You have to pick an investment custodian that will hold the account and then fill out an application to complete the account opening process.

Step 2: Phone your 401k plan custodian and tell them you have left your employer and would like a "rollover" distribution of your 401k account. Most cases this can be done over the phone and all they will need is the name of the custodian, account number of the IRA and address for where to send the check. (you want to make sure the rollover check is made payable to your custodian like this: TD Ameritrade Institutional FBO John Doe IRA) Never let the custodian put your name directly as payable to and do not let them withhold taxes (this is a rollover not a taxable distribution).

Step 3: Generally your 401k provider will want to mail you the check and let you forward it to your IRA custodian. Just remember that the 60 day clock starts when they mail the check - make sure you get it deposited into your IRA account within that time frame.

Lastly, some plans such as 403b's and Pension Plans that allow rollovers require paperwork to be submitted so the process is just a little more involved, but still easily doable.

 



James A. Daniel,
CFP®

This newsletter if for informational purposes only. The information contained within should not be considered as financial advice nor soliciation for financial services. Consult with your financial professional if you have any questions.

The Advisory Firm, LLC is a fee-only financial planning company and registered investment advisor.


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