Author - Sam Fawaz, CPA, CFP®

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Providing for Pets
2
Massive withdrawals from 401(k)s thwart Americans’ retirement planning efforts
3
Cheap Oil Gets Cheaper
4
I’m Self-Employed. How Can I Get Health Insurance?
5
Rollover Rules

Providing for Pets

This past summer, the entertainment world lost one of its most prominent and popular figures: Joan Rivers. When her estate planning documents were unveiled, it became clear that she was a careful planner of her legacy–and also a devoted pet owner. One of the most interesting details of her estate plan was the careful provisions Rivers made for her pets.

Rivers left the bulk of her estate to her daughter Melissa and her grandson Cooper–an estimated $150 million in total value. The two rescue dogs who shared her New York residence, and two other dogs who lived at her home …

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Massive withdrawals from 401(k)s thwart Americans’ retirement planning efforts

As the IRS released the 401(k) contribution limits for 2015, attention turned, as it has in prior years, to the large number of plan participants who come nowhere close to contributing these amounts. In contrast, many individuals use their 401(k) accounts as a means to pay off loans and other current expenses.

The amounts withdrawn are not negligible. According to a recent study by Vanguard, the average withdrawal represents one-third of the participant’s account balance. Additionally, most withdrawals are not for hardship — non-hardship withdrawals outnumber hardship withdrawals 2-to-1, and the rate of new non-hardship withdrawals doubled between 2004 and …

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Cheap Oil Gets Cheaper

Dear Clients, Prospects & Friends:

The economic news that everybody is talking about lately is the sudden unexpected drop in oil prices.  One type of oil, West Texas Intermediate crude, has fallen from over $140 a barrel in the summer of 2008, and $115 a barrel as recently as June, down to $91, and there is no sign that the decline will stop there.

The price drop seems to be the result of a perfect storm of factors, both on the supply and demand side.  On the supply side, U.S. production has risen to the point where only Saudi Arabia …

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I’m Self-Employed. How Can I Get Health Insurance?

Self-employment is an important career choice for many people, and it is an option elected by many seniors and baby boomers. But with this choice comes the need to provide your own health insurance, which can be a formidable expense. And, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, a necessary one starting in 2014. If you are self employed and are seeking health care coverage, here are your major options.

Piggyback on a Partner’s Plan

If you have a spouse or partner who is or can be enrolled in an employer-sponsored plan, joining this plan is usually the simplest and least …

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Rollover Rules

One of the oddest things about tax law is the fact that often the rules and regulations are decided by the many court cases that are brought by taxpayers who didn’t follow the rulebook. This happened once again in a recent tax court case, where the Tax Court decided that people can only do one IRA rollover in any one-year period, no matter how many other IRA accounts they happen to have. Never mind that the decision directly contradicted the IRS’s own guidance in its Publication 590 and a number of private-letter rulings issued by the IRS.

Since the so-called …

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