If you're a pre-retiree who needs to catch up on retirement saving, or if you don't need the income from some of your IRA or 401(k) accounts and want to leave them for your children, here are the limits on contributions to federally qualified defined contribution retirement plans for 2022.
Facing the prospect of a difficult tax filing season, the Internal Revenue Service says it will begin processing 2021 income tax returns on January 24 -- 17 days earlier than last year's filing season began.
The U.S. stock market’s 133% five-year return dominated this diverse group of 13 securities investments. None of the other asset classes came even close to the total return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index.
The stock market is surprising everyone with its pandemic-defying performance in 2021. With just two trading days left until the end of the year, the Standard & Poor's 500 stock market index, with dividends reinvested, has returned a spectacular 27.4% in 2021!
Consumer sentiment is depressed, and business owner optimism declined by 18 points in the four months between August and November. Amid the Covid-weary, inflation-battered economy, here are 10 signs the economy is doing much better than most consumers and businesses think.
This is not a prediction but, if you do the math, earnings could drive the stock market higher in the months ahead. Predicting the market is risky business but professional prudence requires a realistic set of expectations about the future supported by math. Professional prudence requires realistic expectations supported by math. The current math indicates the market is at risk of melting up.
The stock market has been more volatile in recent weeks, amid a rising tide of bad news on inflation, the Omicron variant, and job creation. Yet key economic fundamentals are booming, and a hidden treasure of capitalism may slowly be making its way to the surface.
Since the Omicron variant was cited last Friday by the World Health Organization as a "virus of concern," stock prices for the last three stock-trading days have gyrated.
Population trends of the United States versus other countries rarely make headlines in the financial press, but a population bust has been in the news this week.
Since 1957, a 64-year span of modern history, 21 financial crises are shown here. Charting them against the performance of the Standard & Poor's 500 index, the key benchmark of the strength of the United States, puts current investment conditions in perspective.
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Foreign Intrigue In Estate Planning
Published Monday, September 18, 2017 at: 7:00 AM EDT
Are you married to someone who isn't a U.S. citizen? If you are, special estate planning considerations may come into play.
Whether your spouse is a citizen or not, you can use the same basic estate planning documents without any reservations. You can create a will bequeathing assets to your spouse, name him or her as a beneficiary of retirement accounts, and designate your spouse as the agent under a power of attorney. No problems there.
But things get trickier when your spouse inherits assets. Normally, property transferred from one spouse to another, during your lifetimes or when one of you dies, is completely exempt from gift or estate tax thanks to an unlimited marital deduction. But that doesn't apply to non-citizen spouses.
Instead, you can make use of a $5.49 million unified gift and estate tax exemption that covers transfers to any beneficiaries, including a non-citizen spouse.
In addition, you can give a non-citizen spouse as much as $149,000 (in 2017; the amount is indexed for inflation) in gifts during your lifetimes.
Other ways to avoid being subject to the rules for non-citizen spouses may include:
1. Have your spouse become a U.S. citizen. This can be an obvious solution. It allows your spouse to qualify for the unlimited marital deduction by the time your federal estate tax return is due. That's generally nine months after death, but the IRS may grant a six-month extension.
Because it takes time to obtain citizenship—there is a waiting period before you can even apply—it's important to start sooner than later.
2. Rely on a QDOT trust. With a qualified domestic trust (QDOT), you can leave property to the trust, rather than directly to your spouse. Then your spouse can receive income from the QDOT that is exempt from estate tax.
But there are a couple of extra wrinkles. If your non-citizen spouse withdraws principal from the QDOT, it will be taxed like a distribution from your taxable estate, which can increase estate tax liability. There are also limitations on investments made by QDOTs. In some cases, it could make sense to complement a QDOT with other kinds of transfers to your spouse. Finally, a QDOT can be structured to end if your spouse becomes a U.S. citizen.
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