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To My Heirs: A Book of Final Wishes and Instructions
My Two-in-One Workbook
You Can Lock in the Forgotten Feature of Most Retirement and Estate Plans
All plans need it. Few plans have it. Yours can have it now.
Change can be an opportunity. Or it can lead to hardship. The difference often depends on how well you and your loved ones adapt and adjust. You know big changes are on the way for your retirement plan, your estate, and the investment markets.
You must be prepared to seize new opportunities or overcome adversity. With financial matters, you have an advantage when critical information is at your fingertips. Many people fail to make decisions, or make them late, because it takes too long to assemble the information they need. Often, they simply procrastinate because the information-gathering process takes too long.
It is especially important for heirs to have your financial information readily available. Many decisions need to be made when processing an estate. Delay often costs money. Decisions made without all the facts can be wrong – and expensive.
It’s the best gift you can leave to your heirs
I’ve said many times the best gift you can leave your heirs is a book of key financial and personal data. Your executor needs to know all the details about your finances – which accounts you own, key facts about them, and where to find the paperwork. Loved ones also need to know about your debts and other assets you own, such as real estate, businesses, even hobbies and collections.
Yet, few estate planners encourage providing this information as part of the plan.
That’s why I created what’s become my most popular report, To My Heirs: A Book of Financial Wishes and Instructions. This workbook helps you gather all the facts in one place. It begins with suggestions and instructions. As you read through the workbook, the pages prompt you to complete all the information you and your heirs need.
The workbook also has additional tools. I include a “My Survivors’ Checklist” and “Estate Processing Checklist” to guide heirs when you aren’t around. I also explain how you can maximize the benefits of the workbook, such as by supplementing it with copies of key documents.
A guide for your heirs is a key and necessary element of every estate plan.
Most people think that a will or living trust does the job. But those documents, while essential, only do part of the job. To wind up an estate, a number of people must be contacted. An inventory of assets must be assembled. Debts have to be listed and paid. Someone has to decide how to manage the assets. You might know exactly what there is and what to do, but you won’t be around to tell anyone. That’s why you should leave a clear record with all the details.
It’s also the best way to organize your financial life today
You, too, gain immediately from having this and other information in one place. No more trying to remember or find details such as account numbers, phone numbers, web addresses, or looking for other key information.
When you don’t have an estate plan yet or need to update one, this workbook saves time and money. You and your estate planner will develop a better plan at a far lower cost when you complete the workbook first and gather the suggested documents. Give the package to your estate planner, and you’ll be farther along than most people, saving a lot of fees.
The workbook also helps in your daily financial decisions. All the basic information about your accounts, assets, and other financial matters is in one place. You won’t spend time hunting through files or papers for account numbers and contact information. Your time will be spent making decisions and managing your finances.
Make the road smoother for you and your heirs
With my workbook, To My Heirs, your heirs will know exactly where to find everything they’ll need, and then some. They’ll know whom to contact and what to ask. All that will save a lot of time and anguish plus legal and accounting fees.
Download a copy of To My Heirs, a 22 page PDF file, now for only $24.99.
IRA Investment Guide: A Road Map for Avoiding the Traps and Penalties for IRA Investments
Investing Your IRA in Gold, Real Estate, and More
Which assets are allowed, and which aren’t
You’re supposed to diversify your investment portfolio. You want to protect it from bear markets, inflation, deflation, and more.
What many IRA investors don’t know is Congress and the IRS built obstacles on the road to diversification.
- Your IRA is supposed to be tax-exempt, but some investments cause your IRA to be taxed.
- Your IRA can’t own certain assets without paying a penalty.
- Some transactions can trigger penalties, even causing your IRA to lose its tax-exempt status.
Traditional investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds won’t cause problems. But venture into hard assets or nontraditional assets and strategies, and you’ll need to pull out the rule book.
Often, your IRA custodian won’t warn that you’re heading into dangerous waters. It’s not the custodian’s job to give you investment or legal advice. Most tax and financial advisors also aren’t aware of the all the rules and restrictions in the tax code. You need to learn the rules on your own and have them handy before making new investments.
My report provides the roadmap you need to avoid the many dangers for IRA investors. You’ll learn:
- The three major ways investors trigger catastrophes for their IRAs.
- You can’t own gold in your IRA, or can you? There are loopholes in the prohibition of owning gold and other collectibles.
- When exchanged-traded funds (ETFs) can be dangerous investments.
- How ETFs or different from ETNs (exchange-traded notes).
- When you can use IRA funds to invest with or provide financial help to a loved one, and when you can’t.
- How to buy real estate, small businesses, and other non-traditional investments with your IRA.
- When Roth IRAs aren’t tax free.
- Ways you can avoid penalties on prohibited transactions.
- The facts about buying Master Limited Partnerships in your IRA. Hint: They’re not prohibited, but they can cause problems.
- The little-known rules the IRS can use when it doesn’t like your investments.
Investors who used traditional assets and strategies have been burned the last 10 years. You’re right to seek alternatives for your money. But the IRS and the tax code don’t always cooperate. With the IRA Investment Guide you’ll have a handy guide around the twists, turns, detours, and potholes the tax code places in the way of those who want to invest in something other than simple stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
You can download the IRA Investment Guide, a 19 page PDF file, in a few minutes for only $29.99. Take advantage of this opportunity to expand your investment opportunities without receiving bills from the IRS.
Secrets to Boosting Social Security Benefits
Don’t Leave Money on the Table
Find hidden cash in the most neglected and misunderstood retirement asset
Americans are more concerned than ever about their retirement income.
Fortunately, you already have a guaranteed, inflation-protected asset that can be managed to increase your retirement income – if you know a few shrewd moves.
This asset is the most neglected and misunderstood aspect of retirement planning. Many people – even financial advisors – don’t know the latest strategies and laws. Married couples, especially, do not manage this asset in the most effective way possible. Often, people make decisions that unintentionally and unknowingly reduce their retirement income from this asset.
The Foundation of Retirement Income
Social Security retirement benefits are the foundation of retirement income. They are guaranteed and inflation-protected. There is no investment risk.
Social Security retirement benefits are widely misunderstood and neglected. Few people realize, for example, they can be inexpensive, high-payoff life insurance for married couples.
You can maximize Social Security benefits with unusual, but perfectly legal, strategies. Few people or advisors poke around the Social Security law. If they did, they would get the most out of Social Security and increase peace of mind in retirement.
Maximize Retirement Income
In Secrets to Boosting Social Security Benefits you will learn the following;
- When does it make sense to delay benefits? What factors should you consider?
- Why do people often time their benefit claims so their lifetime cash flow is reduced?
- Where are the best free calculators for estimating Social Security benefits?
- What is the file-and-postpone strategy, and how does it enhance benefits for a couple?
- What is the 62/70 split and why is it the best option for many couples?
- Social Security’s best-kept secret: the do over. How does it work, and when should you use it?
- How are Social Security’s financial problems likely to change your benefits and income?
Shrewd Planning for Couples
You need this report even if you already are receiving Social Security benefits. You probably have been told that the decision of when to take Social Security benefits is irreversible. That is not true.
There are at least two ways to change your benefits decision. You will learn them in this report. You also will learn how you or your spouse might be able to take retirement benefits under one formula, and then later switch to another formula that pays far higher benefits.
Can you answer the following questions? You will after reading this report.
- How can the benefits of spouses be coordinated for maximum income and protection?
- How much income can you earn from working after age 62 without having benefits reduced?
- True or false: If a person is receiving retirement benefits under her former spouse’s earnings record and remarries, she can choose which spouse’s earnings record is the base for her future benefits.
- Does the age at which you begin benefits affect the retirement and survivor benefits available to your spouse?
- Is there a way for you to receive the maximum payout from your earnings record by delaying benefits until age 70 but also collect benefits at an earlier age?
You don’t go to the IRS to learn the best tax reduction strategies. Why do most people rely on the Social Security Administration for advice on their retirement benefits?
You can download the Secrets to Boosting Social Security Benefits, a 17 page PDF file, in a few minutes for only $24.99. Take advantage of this opportunity to increase retirement income and provide a more secure, comfortable retirement. Make the smartest and most-informed decisions about Social Security benefits that you can. Be sure you don’t leave money on the table for others to take.
Personal Finance for Seniors for Dummies
Here’s the latest and most comprehensive retirement financial planning guide. All the key financial issues of retirement are answered:
Bob (with co-author Eric Tyson) explains all the factors to consider to answer these and many other questions in his usual plain English style. It’s a hands-on, practical guide that includes the latest changes in the investment markets, medical care, and the law. If you want easy access to the latest issues in retirement planning, this is the book for you.
Invest Like a Fox…Not Like a Hedgehog
Why has there been a series of bubbles in technology stocks, home prices, financial stocks, and commodities?
How can investors spot such bubbles and invest to avoid large losses and even profit from them?
What causes long-term bull and bear markets?
Why do successful investment strategies and signals suddenly stop working?
Why do most investors earn lower returns than they should?
Bob answers these and other important questions. Readers learn to distinguish a bubble from a bull market. They know that these cycles are inevitable and repeated and why. This knowledge equips them to reduce exposure to risk when investors are extremely optimistic and pushing prices to unsustainable highs. They also learn to spot periods of extreme pessimism when prices are pushed too low.
A popular saying among investors is, “The most dangerous sentence in investing is: ‘This time it is different.’” But things always are different. Cycles and circumstances never repeat exactly. The informed, successful investor learns to distinguish between things and relationships that do not change and those that do.
This volume explains the investment philosophy that underlies the strategies and recommendations in Retirement Watch. Readers will learn how Bob was able to warn investors away from the technology stock bubble in the late 1990s, recommend reducing exposure to real estate investment trusts in January 2005, hold only the safest fixed income investments and hedge stock market exposure as early as 2006. Readers also will understand why Bob will recommend a return to riskier investments when the time arrives.
One key to investing success is to think like a fox, not like a hedgehog. Bob explains why investment legends such as Warren Buffett and Steven Cohen are more like foxes and why the managers of failed hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management thought like hedgehogs. One of Bob’s key points is that popular investment strategies have the characteristics of hedgehogs and do not serve investors well. Bob explains how individual investors can use the fox-like strategies used for decades by sophisticated and wealthy investors.
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The New Rules of Retirement
Retirement and retirement planning are changing.
They were changing before the bear market of 2000-2002, the recession of 2001, and before Sept. 11, 2001. Significant trends were already afoot that changed many aspects of retirement and retirement planning: the cost of retirement, pensions, health care, housing, the financial markets, estate planning, tax planning, and many more facets of the years after middle age. In coming years, there will be more changes to retirement, and the changes will occur much more rapidly.
Virtually everyone’s future safety and comfort will be affected. Whether you are 40 or 80, you will feel the effects on the Age Wave. Even those who already are retired have felt the forces f The Wave and will feel them in the future. Many of the changes will be positive. Yet, not everyone will enjoy riding The Wave. To take advantage of the coming retirement opportunity, you have to adapt. You must plan and prepare for the consequences of the new trends.
A force that is bigger than anything that has tested retirement plans so far is causing these changes. This force is coming. You cannot stop it. Neither can the government.
This force is known as the Age Wave. Three key, unstoppable trends that already are in place combine to make up The Wave: the historically large generation of Baby Boomers is entering middle age; life expectancies are longer; and smaller generations follow the Boomers.
The Age Wave already has changed retirement. Social Security and Medicare are in precarious shape. Employers are reducing or eliminating pensions and retiree medical coverage. Retirees more and more are on their own for financial security. Retirement lasts longer and costs more. The structures of the economy and financial markets are changing. Retirement is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to do things you never could find the time for. It is a chance to plan how to spend your next 50 years. But to take advantage of the retirement opportunity, you have to plan and prepare. Most of all, you need to know the new rules of retirement planning.
We stand at the threshold of a transformation. The population is aging, and that is going to force us to reinvent retirement. We’ve seen the beginnings of this new retirement, but the real changes are coming in the next few years.
You should be prepared to save more than past retirees did and to take investing more seriously. You might not receive as much help from Social Security, Medicare, and your former employers as prior retirees did.
“Retirees” might not even retire, at least not until well past age 65. Retirement might come gradually. First might come a reduction in hours worked or in the difficulty of the work done. This could be followed by gradual reductions until full retirement.
To take advantage of the new retirement opportunity, you have to adapt to the changes. Study the new face of retirement, plan, and prepare.
In The New Rules of Retirement Bob shows you how to incorporate the Age Wave into your planning.
You will explore the financial concerns of retirees and pre-retirees and how they are affected by the trends. We’ll look at the right way to estimate retirement spending and how much money should be accumulated for retirement. Bob explains the health care options and how to pay for long-term care. You’ll learn how to invest before and in retirement. You will see how to plan an estate, cut taxes, provide for loved ones, and handle all the other financial aspects of retirement. Bob covers these topics and much more without giving give the obvious advice, such as start early, invest the maximum in a 401(k) account, invest for the long-term, and so on. Think of this book as your instruction manual for the new world of retirement.
You can have the retirement you desire. But you must act now to stay ahead of the dramatic, rapid changes that are taking place. Even those who already are retired will be affected and must act. The time you lose may be your own.
© 2003 – 2010 Retirement Watch, L.L.C.