Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Safety Tips from NFS

October 2012

Halloween Safety Tips from NFS

Halloween Safety Tips to Have a safe and fun Halloween!


1. Instruct your older children to TAKE FRIENDS when “Trick or Treating.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

Odds of Living to Retirement at Age 65

Of 1,000 Men...

Of 1,000 Men at AgeNumber Who Die Before Age 65Their Odds of Living to Retirement at Age 65

Of 1,000 Women...

Of 1,000 Women at AgeNumber Who Die Before Age 65Their Odds of Living to Retirement at Age 65
Inadequate retirement savings can keep you from realizing your retirement dreams!

Are you making effective use of your business to achieve your retirement planning goals?
To read the Full NFS October '12 Business Briefs, please click here

Protecting Your Financial Records From Disaster

Hurricane Sandy is on the way and it is important that we are prepared for an emergency disaster. Take this time to educate yourself and your whole family on what to do in any type of disaster. Get a plan ready and have needed supplies handy if you ever need them.

Identification. If you suddenly find yourself standing in a pile of rubble that was once your home and your worldly possessions, establishing your identity will be of paramount importance. Access to personal identification documents such as your Social Security card, driver's license, marriage license, birth certificate, passport and any citizenship papers will help you quickly establish your identity and speed up the co-ordination of your efforts with insurance companies, construction contractors, bankers and other entities involved in rebuilding and recovery.

Create a Backup Set of Records Electronically. Individuals and businesses should keep a set of backup records in a safe place. The backup should be stored away from the original set. Keeping a backup set of records - including, for example, bank statements, tax returns, insurance policies, etc. - is easier now that many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically, and much financial information is available on the Internet. Even if the original records are provided only on paper, they can be scanned, which converts them to a digital format. Once documents are in electronic form, taxpayers can download them to a backup storage device, like an external hard drive, or burn them onto a CD or DVD.

You should also consider online backup, which is the only way to ensure data is fully protected. With online backup, files are stored in another region of the country - so if a hurricane or other natural disaster occurs in your area, documents remain safe.

Document Valuables.  Another step you can take to prepare for disaster is to photograph or videotape the contents of your home, especially items of higher value. A photographic record can help prove the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. Photos should be stored with a friend or family member who lives outside the area, or in the above mentioned online backup solution. Such proof can include photographs or videos of personal possessions; remember, digital cameras and camcorders make it possible to quickly and easily create a complete home inventory record.

Update Emergency Plans. Emergency plans should be reviewed annually. Personal and business situations change over time, as do preparedness needs. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, plans should be updated accordingly and employees should be informed of the changes.

Make sure you have a means of receiving severe weather information; if you have a NOAA Weather Radio, put fresh batteries in it. Make sure you know what you should do if threatening weather approaches.

We're Here to Help. Rebuilding your life in the wake of a disaster is a daunting task. However, advanced preparation can go a long way toward making recovery easier. If you don't have your documents in order, there's no time like the present to get started. Once you have everything in its proper place, remember to update it. If you lack the time or energy to keep your files updated on an ongoing basis, schedule a yearly checkup and use it as an opportunity to put the latest version of everything into your files. Even the most well-organized disaster recovery materials will be of no use to you if they are out-of-date. Please contact my office for your free “Emergency Planning Guide” today. This detailed guide will provide more in depth plans to help you protect your financial records from disaster.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Importance of Planning for Retirement

Some people think that retirement planning isn’t important because they won’t live until retirement. Consider...

Of 100 Men at AgeTheir Odds of Living to Retirement at Age 65

Of 100 Women at AgeTheir Odds of Living to Retirement at Age 65
Source: 2001 Commissioners' Standard Ordinary (CSO) Mortality Table; based on composite date (combination of smokers, nonsmokers and smoking status unknown); age nearest birthday

Not only will the vast majority of us live to reach retirement at age 65, but with advances in medical technology, we can also expect to live a substantial number of years after retirement. Consider...

A Man Who Is Currently Age:Has a Life Expectancy of Age:

A Woman Who Is Currently Age:Has a Life Expectancy of Age:
Source: 2001 Commissioners' Standard Ordinary (CSO) Mortality Table; based on composite date (combination of smokers, nonsmokers and smoking status unknown); age nearest birthday
The biggest financial risk that anyone faces during retirement is the risk that income will be outlived.

Don't let a lack of planning keep you from realizing your retirement dreams!

To Read the entire NFS October '12 Financial Facts, click here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The High Cost of Dying

There may be a mistaken impression that, at death, your assets will automatically be distributed to your loved ones. Instead, several "unwanted heirs" may step forward FIRST for their share of your estate.
These "unwanted heirs" can include:
  • Federal Estate Tax
  • State Inheritance Tax
  • Estate Administrative Costs (funeral expenses, probate costs, professional fees, final expenses and debts)
The problem is that these "unwanted heirs" can siphon off a significant portion of an estate's total value.

The high cost of dying:

Gross EstateAdministrative Costs at 5% (1)Taxable Estate2012 Federal Estate Tax (2)
(1) Actual costs may be higher or lower.
(2) Based on the 2012 maximum 35% estate tax rate and $5,120,000 exemption equivalent.
What might the "high cost of dying" mean to you and your family?

To view the entire NFS October '12 Estate Ideas, click here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Understanding Medicare

A survey from Extend Health reveals 75% of seniors on Medicare say the government health program is difficult to understand. Understanding Medicare and various coverage options can be confusing. In addition to signing up for original Medicare, seniors can purchase private Medicare Advantage or Medigap plans to fill gaps in what original Medicare covers. This adds another layer of complexity to their choices.

The takeaway for seniors turning 65 this year — or for seniors already on Medicare making decisions to change or renew their coverage options during the upcoming annual enrollment period — is that it's important to have the right information to make sure you have the right coverage based on your health needs and desires.

Our Medicare seminars are very informative and usually filled up. We still have some spots left for the upcoming seminar...

Medicare - Healthcare Options for Retirees
HarborOne U, Mansfield MA
Thursday, November 1st, 2012 
1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Medicare Overview:
Eligibility / Enrollment / Coverage Options/cost
Prescription Drug Coverage:
Medicare Prescription Drug Program (Part D) / Employer Retiree Coverage / Other Options for Prescription Coverage / Help with Health Care Costs

Discussion & Questions on Medicare Planning & Retirement Strategies

Presented by James Schweitzer and Jeffrey Schweitzer of Northeast Financial Strategies Inc. and Peggy McDonough, Regional Director of the SHINE Program at HESSCO Elder Services.

Register today as seating is limited.

Friday, October 12, 2012

IRS Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for Same-Sex Couples

The following questions and answers provide information to same-sex domestic partners, same-sex individuals in civil unions and same-sex couples whose marriage is recognized by state law (for convenience, these individuals are referred to as “same-sex couples” and each individual is referred to as a “same-sex partner” in these questions and answers). Below this information are questions and answers for same-sex couples who reside in community property states and are subject to their state’s community property laws:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Financial Tidbits

Summer has come to an end. Now that the hottest days, family vacations and back-to-school rush are behind us, it’s a great time to give some attention to your personal finances. Prepare for the coming months – and the holidays on the horizon – with these fall tips:

  • Pay quarterly estimated taxes. If you’re self-employed or you have extra income you haven’t reported on your W-2, now’s the time to make sure you’re paying both state and federal quarterly estimated income taxes so you don’t get stuck with a big bill from