Advanced Charitable Giving using Life Insurance

As we get into the holiday season people start to feel charitably inclined, and yes you could just drop some coins with the unenthusiastic guy with a bell, give a $20 spot at church, or write a check…but what if there was a bigger bang for your proverbial buck?   Over the next couple weeks I willContinue Reading

The House Passes Estate Tax Bill to Freeze Current Exemptions and Rates

In a vote closer than I expected the house passed, an Estate Tax Bill!  For all intents and purposes the bill freezes the Federal Estate Tax (Remember State Estate tax is different) so that every U.S. Citizen has a $3,500,000 exemption and anything above that amount is effectively taxed at 45%. The Bill passed 225 toContinue Reading

Fun Conservative Posters and Bumper Stickers

While, I don’t usually pass around political forwards, I loved this one!

How do the Morningstar Star Ratings Work? Are Morningstar Ratings Accurate?

I have discussed how I use the Free Morningstar Instant X-Ray tool, but Morningstar is more known for its mutual fund rating system.  Who hasn’t heard the terms, “5 Star Fund, 4 Star Fund, etc.” but what does that actually mean? How does Morningstar calculate the Star Rating System? Russel Kinnel, Morningstar’s Director of MutualContinue Reading

There were Never Good Ole Days When it Comes to Personal Finance

After speaking to The Wife’s grandmother for hours this past weekend, I have come to a conclusion about money management, the past and all those that say the world is different today.   The conclusion is best said by one of the best song writers around (10 points for all those that can tell me whatContinue Reading

Gift Laws and Taxes Made Simple

Most people just assume they can give away whatever they want in any situation; that is just not true. Ignoring gifting laws and taxes can cost you and your family a lot of money!  When gifting large sums of money there are federal tax implications one should keep in mind. Gift Tax Introduction What is aContinue Reading