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Tax Planning 2008... and the Next Four Years

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Purpose: What I think what will happen to high income taxpayers in the near future
and what you need to do now.


Executive Summary
See More Detailed Actions and Explanations Below

Capital Gains:  The current federal maximum rate for long term capital gains of 15% will increase to 20% or higher. This will occur as soon as 1/1/09 but not later than 12/31/2010. Actions: Sell or transfer in 2008 so as to incur capital gains at lower rates.

Real World, or Dream World?

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Making a realistic plan for your future is the best thing you can do right now, says Jon Graft. Here he explains the steps you can take to make things work out the way you want:

As we live longer and our families become more fragmented, planning for our own
care has become critically important. Many of us have been in the position of caring for a relative or friend who can’t handle his or her financial affairs anymore. Planning for this sort of situation is often overlooked – and no wonder, when it can seem such a frightening, far-off prospect. Do it properly, however, and you can be well cared for in the way that you want, by the people you have chosen, for the rest of your life. So what are your options? There are four basic choices open to you:

Is It Gone? The Non-Repeal of the Estate Tax

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I. Introduction


So, it’s finally happened. After years of fighting opposition in Congress and a Presidential veto, the estate tax has been repealed. On June 7, 2001, President Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, called EGTRRA (pronounced “Egg Tray”). The bill makes major changes to the United States’ tax system, changing the income tax, gift tax, capital gains tax, and repealing the estate tax. So, now, or at least soon, we won’t have to worry about estate planning, right? Let’s talk about the current estate tax system, and the changes EGTRRA will bring.

 

Is Your Money Safe?

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Benefiting from New Rules for Revocable Trusts and the Temporary Increase of FDIC Insurance to $250,000


Many people are concerned about the safety of the funds deposited with banks and other financial institutions. Several large banks and brokerage houses have failed. There are stories and worries about getting funds out of your accounts and mutual funds when you need them.  

Because of the run on banks during the Great Depression, the federal government established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to provide insurance to depositors in FDIC insured accounts. If your bank goes bankrupt and the bankrupt bank does not have the funds to pay you back for what you had on deposit with the closed bank, then the FDIC will reimburse you for what you had in the bank-but only up to the insurance limits.