Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last Day of Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Today is May 31st, the last day of "Disability Insurance Awareness Month"...Let's end the month off with one final...PAYCHECK POP QUIZ: What are the odds that you'll suffer a long-term disability during your career? Check out the video below for the answer—is it higher than you expected?

Upcoming NFS Events

First Time Homebuyer Seminar
HarborOne U, Mansfield MA
Thursday, June 7th, 2012
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Make a well-informed decision when you buy your first home. This seminar provides you the opportunity to get answers to your many questions from the professionals involved in the home buying process. Professionals include Mortgage Originator, Buyers Agent & Realtor, Real Estate Attorney, Insurance Agent, Tax Advisor and Home Inspector. A light dinner will be served.

Register today as seating is limited.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Is a Trust?

What Is a Trust?

The word "trust" is applied to all types of relationships, both personal and business, to indicate that one person has confidence in another person.

For our purposes, a trust is a legal device for the management of property. Through a trust, one person (the "grantor" or “trustor”) transfers the legal title to property to another person (the "trustee"), who then manages the property in a specified manner for the benefit of a third person (the "trust beneficiary"). A separation of the legal and beneficial interests in the property is a common denominator of all trusts.

In other words, the legal rights of property ownership and control rest with the trustee, who then has the responsibility of managing the property as directed by the grantor in the trust document for the ultimate benefit of the trust beneficiary.

A trust can be a living trust, which takes effect during the lifetime of the grantor, or it can be a testamentary trust, which is created by the will and does not become operative until death.
In addition, a trust can be a revocable trust, meaning that the grantor retains the right to terminate the trust during lifetime and recover the trust assets, or it can be an irrevocable trust, meaning that the grantor cannot change or terminate the trust or recover assets transferred to the trust.

Trusts can be used:
  • To provide management of assets for the benefit of minor children.
  • To assure the grantor that children will benefit from trust assets, but will not have control of those assets until the child is older.
  • To manage assets for the benefit of a disabled child, without disqualifying the child from receiving government benefits.
  • To provide for the grantor’s children from a previous marriage.
  • As an alternative to a will (a “revocable living trust”).
  • To reduce estate taxes and, possibly, income taxes.
  • To provide for a surviving spouse during his/her lifetime, with the remaining trust assets passing to the grantor’s other named beneficiaries at the surviving spouse’s death.
Trusts are complex legal documents and are not appropriate in all situations. Before establishing a trust, you should seek qualified legal advice.

To view the complete NFS Retirement Readings Newsletter for May 2012, click here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Celebrate College Savings Day - What is a 529 plan?

529 Plan History

A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. It is named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code which created these types of savings plans in 1996.

State plans are OK for out of state colleges

529 Plans can be used to meet costs of qualified colleges nationwide. In most plans, your choice of school is not affected by the state your 529 savings plan is from. You can be a CA resident, invest in a VT plan and send your student to college in NC. Check to see if your institution is eligible under 529 rules.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What's In Your Wallet?

So there I was, hanging out at the bar having dinner last Tuesday. Next to me was this guy with a flight of wine glasses. Out of curiosity, I had to ask, “What’s your favorite? He gave a long look at the three glasses and then said, “the pinot from Washington State. It’s light, smooth and silky.” We traded names and continued to chat for a while as we passed the night away. A while later, Monica, our server, asked if we were finished and we both said it was time to call it a night. Monica tallied up our bills and presented us our respective bills.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Is a Charitable Gift?

What Is a Charitable Gift?

A charitable gift is a donation of cash or other property to, or for theinterest of, a charitable organization. The gift is freely given withthe primary intention of benefiting the charity.

Whether given during lifetime or after death, charitable gifts are eligible for a tax deduction, but only if made to a qualified charitable organization.For example, you may have a relative who has fallen on hard times,someone you choose to help with gifts of cash. While you may bemotivated by charitable intentions in making these gifts, you cannotdeduct them for either income tax or estate tax purposes.

In general, qualified charitable organizationsinclude churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other religious organizations, colleges and other nonprofit educational organizations,museums, nonprofit hospitals, and public parks and recreation areas.Gifts to these types of organizations qualify for a federal income taxdeduction if made during your lifetime or, if made after your death,can be deducted from the value of your estate for federal estate taxpurposes.
Why Consider a Charitable Gift?

People give to charities for a variety of reasons. They give:
  • Because they have compassion for the less fortunate.
  • From a belief that they owe something back to society.
  • To support a favored institution or cause.
  • For the recognition attained by making substantial charitable donations.
  • To benefit from the financial incentives our tax system provides for charitable gifts.

To view the complete NFS Estate Ideas Newsletter for May 2012, click here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

"All My Paychecks"

Why are soap operas so riveting? Is it because the characters are larger than life and always, always live in a really big, fancy house, regardless of their profession or income? Or, maybe it’s due to the fact that despite everything being over the top—from the plot to hairdos—there is a kernel of truth in these stories … something that resonates with us. That’s why I think “All My Paychecks” will resonate with you. Indulge in a few minutes of guilty pleasure and watch (all three episodes!). Then let us know what you think.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Safeguarding Your Income From the Impact of a Disability

Decades ago, the traditional family unit consisted of a husband and wife with 2.5 children. Most women were stay-at-home mothers, able to call on extended family members in case illness or injury affected their abilities to care for their children.

But these days, there is no longer a “traditional” family unit (and by extension, an extended support network), as the following figures attest:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Could You Live on $1125 a Month? If Not, Read This

You’ve just become disabled, but you’re not worried. Why? Because you think Social Security disability payments will “take care of you.” Really? According to statistics from the Social Security Administration, the average person who has qualified for Social Security benefits receives $1,125.10 a month.

If you’re making $50,000 per year, how long could you (and your family) survive on a disability payment of $1,125.10 per month? That’s only $13,501 per year, or 27% of your income. This assumes you qualify for benefits, and not everybody does. And if you do, it may still be more than two years—yes, years— before you start to receive any payments. What will you do in the meantime?

It’s time for you to protect your paycheck.

What am I talking about? You protect your home by insuring it against loss. You do the same for your car, boat, motorcycle, RV and personal property, but have you insured your paycheck?

Yes, I am talking about disability insurance. You protect your worldly goods with insurance, and you also need to protect your income against loss. If you become ill or injured and are unable to work, disability insurance pays you a percentage of your income until you can return to work.

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, the perfect time to talk to us and learn how to protect your paycheck.

-Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, President and CEO of the LIFE Foundation

Thursday, May 3, 2012

NFS will be giving away $15,000 for a Hole In One Winner!!

NFS will be giving away $15,000 for a Hole In One Winner @ this year's WYBSA Golf Tournament.

On Friday, May 4th 2012, the 3rd Annual Wrentham Youth Baseball & Softball Association Charity Fundraiser Golf Tournament is taking place at the Easton Country Club in Easton MA. NFS will award $15,000 to anyone who sinks a HOLE IN ONE on a Par 3 Hole #6 during the tournament.

In addition to the $15,000 give away on Hole 6, we will be awarding auxiliary prizes for a HOLE IN ONE on one of the other Par 3 holes. These prizes may include a Flat Screen Television, Visa Gift Cards or Golf Equipment.

Lastly, every participant will receive a certificate for a FREE GOLF CLUB of their choice.

Following the tournament, we will be available during the Dinner, Award Ceremony and Raffle where we have donated a gift certificate for FREE INCOME TAX PREPARATION.

Please join us for this great event!!

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Don’t Let These Myths Stop You From Getting the Proper Coverage

Figuring out if you need disability insurance is pretty easy.  If you have a job, you need it.  Why then do the majority of American workers lack this basic protection?  Common misconceptions are largely to blame.  Here I will debunk four of the big myths surrounding this essential insurance coverage.

1.    Myth:  “I’d rely on my savings until I could get back to work.”

Reality:  Most people overestimate the resources they have to cover their expenses if a disabling illness or injury kept them from earning a paycheck.  According to a LIFE Foundation survey, half of working Americans say they couldn't make it a month before financial difficulties would set in, and more than one in four would have problems immediately.  Keep in mind that disabling illnesses or injuries often last for months or even year.

2.    Myth: “I don’t need it – I don’t work in a dangerous profession.”

Reality:  You actually have a three in 10 chance of suffering a disabling illness or injury during your career that would keep you out of work for three months or more.  While it’s true that people in professions like farming, law enforcement, and construction face greater risks, the odd of suffering a long-term disability are high for all workers because illness – not accidents – account for 90 percent of disabilities that keep people out of work.

3.    Myth:  "The government provides assistance when people get disabled."

Reality:  According to the National Safety Council, 73 percent of long-term disabilities are a result of an injury or illness that is not work-related and therefore wouldn’t qualify for state-based Workers’ Compensation programs.  If you were hoping for Social Security disability benefits, know that about 45 percent of those who apply are initially denied, and those who are approved receive an average monthly benefit of just $1063, which would leave you with an income barely above the poverty online.  Government programs are a good back-up plan, but shouldn't be your main line of defense.

4.    Myth:  “I have disability coverage at work.”

Reality:  Disability insurance through work is a great benefit, but you need to find out exactly what coverage you have.  According to the U. S. Department of Labor, more than 70 percent of employers don’t offer long-term disability coverage.  And short-term or partial coverage wouldn’t be enough to allow you to meet your current and future financial obligations if you were unable to work for an extended period of time.