Author - jim@blankenshipfinancial.com (Jim Blankenship)

1
The Only Thing Permanent is Uncertainty
2
Taxpayer Bill of Rights – Do You Know Your Rights?
3
Divorced with Children? Social Security Benefits for You
4
529 vs. Life Insurance
5
Where To Establish Your IRA Account

The Only Thing Permanent is Uncertainty

For the last few months we’ve experienced some uncertain and unnerving events across the US and the globe. Presidential elections, threats of war, terrorism, and political arguing can make weathering your portfolio and financial plan uneasy, if not difficult at times.

Add that to the daily responsibilities of your occupation, family, and finances, and we can potentially lose sight of our long-term goals and be susceptible to short-term thinking that may derail our goals and take us off-track from our financial well-being.

Financial planners, wealth managers, advisors, are not immune to this uncertainty and the impact it has on our …

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Taxpayer Bill of Rights – Do You Know Your Rights?

bill of rightsThere is a set of Rights that are available to all of us as taxpayers – the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. This group of basic rights is available to us so that the government (and specifically the Treasury Department and the IRS) don’t over-step their boundaries when dealing with taxpayers.

It’s important to know your rights, and those set forth in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights can be very helpful if you’re having trouble working with the government. The rights scattered throughout the Internal Revenue Code, but are published in total in IRS Publication 1, readily available on the …

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Divorced with Children? Social Security Benefits for You

There are special rules that apply for Social Security benefits when you are divorced with children. While the ex-spouse is living, there is a discriminatory effect on benefits, but after the ex-spouse dies, a surviving ex-spouse with children under age 16 has one advantage over a surviving ex-spouse with no children. (The age of the child is not a factor if the child is permanently disabled and the disability began before age 22.)

During the life of your ex-spouse

Beth and Steve are divorced with children, three kids under age 16. Steve, age 62, started receiving Social Security benefits this …

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529 vs. Life Insurance

Over the past few weeks I have been asked (and pitched) the idea of whether cash-value life insurance makes sense as a vehicle for saving and paying for college. By cash-value life insurance, I am including whole life, variable life, universal life and variable universal life policies.

First, in almost all cases, it does not. The very few cases where it may make sense will be covered shortly.

Here are some reasons why a 529 college savings plan is better than cash-value life insurance.

  1. 529 plans have very high contribution amounts. Depending on your state, the total amount you can
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Where To Establish Your IRA Account

Establishing and contributing to an IRA (Traditional or Roth) is pretty simple and straightforward. There are many institutions where you can establish your IRA accounts:  banks, savings and loans, credit unions, insurance companies, mutual fund companies, and brokerages.  There are pros and cons to each type of institution, as we’ll list below.  These alternatives represent the major options for opening your IRA, in no particular order.

where to establish your IRA

Institution

Pros

Cons

Banks, Savings and Loans & Credit Unions

Banks are well-known as some of the most stable and conservative institutions in our financial industry.  For many folks, this is an assurance that
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