Life Insurance Isn’t Just for the Young

BY PHIL BOUVIER DECEMBER 19, 2011 Many people believe that when they reach retirement age, the need for life insurance diminishes. After all, once the kids have left home, the mortgage is paid off and Social Security and pension plans start kicking in, why pay for a life insurance benefit that’s not needed? The fact is, life insurance isn’t just for …

BUDGETING FOR RETIREMENT

It only makes sense – yet many retirees live without one.  Presented by Reeve Conover  You won’t be able to withdraw an unlimited amount of money in retirement. So a retirement budget is a necessity. Some retirees forego one, only to regret it later.  Run the numbers before you retire. Often people need about 70-80% of their end salaries in …

Overcoming Negativity: Mankind’s Deadliest (Self-Inflicted) Disease

By Jonathan Farrington December 13, 2011 I don’t really remember a time in my life when I had negative thoughts. I am sure there must have been some occasions, but not being able to remember them suggests they have been rare. In fact, thinking about it, one of the words most often used to describe me by friends, colleagues and …

Sun Life to Discontinue VA and Individual Life Sales in U.S.

A Canada-based life insurer is exiting the variable annuities and individual life products markets in the U.S. Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto, (NYSE: SLF), disclosed its decision on Monday to halt sales of its domestic U.S. variable annuity and individual life products effective December 30.  The decision follows completion of a strategic review of the company’s businesses. In a press …

Dozens Of Tax Breaks Set To Expire On Dec. 31

By now, you’re probably aware that if Democrats and Republicans  can’t reach a compromise in the next few weeks, your first paycheck of 2012 will be smaller as a temporary cut in the Social Security payroll tax expires.  But the payroll tax break is just one of an extraordinary 67 tax provisions that will run out on Dec. 31, including …

Monthly Economic Update- December 2011

MONTHLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     MONTHLY QUOTE “If you command wisely, you’ll be obeyed cheerfully.”  – Thomas Fuller     MONTHLY TIP If you are in line for a bonus (or you are considering taking one from your own business), weigh the tax implications of receiving it in December versus January.     MONTHLY RIDDLE I am the center of gravity, and …

The pain of paying for health insurance grows…

In 2011, the average cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance increased to $15,073, according to BenefitsPro.com.  Wow.   And surprisingly, employers are still paying, on average, 73% of the cost. How are employers dealing with this?  The number of High Deductible Health Plans has more than doubled since 2009, with 17% of employees now covered.  Almost a third of those have …

CHANGES IN IRA & 401(K)s for 2012

A recap of contribution limit and phase-out adjustments. The IRS has announced cost-of-living adjustments to IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans for 2012, so here is what you need to know about the newly altered contribution limits and phase-outs for these plans. 401(k) & IRA yearly contribution limits. In 2012, these are the annual contribution limits for some popular retirement savings …

Supreme Court Will Hear Challenges to Health Care Reform

The constitutionality of the individual mandate and whether health care reform can survive if one of its key components, such as the individual mandate, is found unconstitutional. Issues surrounding the ability of federal courts to stay proceedings brought in state courts (the Anti-Injunction Act) and the expansion of Medicaid under health care reform. We expect that arguments could begin by …

Medicare Cost-Sharing May Result in Higher Costs

 “the seniors who will be hurt the most by the actions currently under consideration for Medicare supplement insurance are those who can least afford it – the sick, chronically ill, and those with modest incomes who need predictability in their out-of-pocket Medicare costs through Medigap. Medigap policyholders affected by the proposed changes have already expended substantial premium for coverage that …