We are on the cusp of an extraordinary transition in medicine made possible by high-speed Internet, artificial intelligence (AI), and wearables. Medical experts are calling this new frontier precision medicine because advancing technologies are going to make it possible to consider each patient’s unique lifestyle, environment, and gene variations in ways that will make health care as individualized as a tailor-made suit.
In a perfect world, both halves of a couple share the same investment goals and agree on the best way to try to reach them. It doesn’t always work that way, though; disagreements about money are often a source of friction between couples. You may be risk averse, while your spouse may be comfortable investing more aggressively—or vice versa. How can you bridge that gap?
Q: I have inherited jewelry and collectibles from family members over the years. Are they covered under my homeowner’s policy?
The American healthcare system is, in a word, complicated. It also can be extremely expensive. And that’s before we even reach retirement age.
Health expenses are rising faster than inflation, and even insured workers are finding it harder to pay their portion from year to year (premiums, copays, coinsurance, and deductibles), much less plan for the future. The stakes are even higher for early retirees (younger than 65) and self-employed individuals who must purchase their own health insurance and bear the entire cost themselves.
If you give away money or property during your life, those transfers may be subject to federal gift and estate tax and perhaps state gift tax. The money and property you own when you die (i.e., your estate) may also be subject to federal gift and estate tax, and some form of state death tax. These property transfers may also be subject to generation-skipping transfer taxes. You should understand all of these taxes, especially since the passage of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (the 2001 Tax Act); the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Act); the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the 2012 Tax Act); and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The recent Tax Acts contain several changes that make estate planning much easier.
Charitable giving can play an important role in many estate plans. Philanthropy can not only give you great personal satisfaction, it can also give you a current income tax deduction, let you avoid capital gains tax, and reduce the amount of taxes your estate may owe when you die.
Throughout your career, retirement planning will likely be one of the most important components of your overall financial plan. Whether you have just graduated and taken your first job, are starting a family, are enjoying your peak earning years, or are preparing to retire, your employer-sponsored retirement plan can play a key role in your financial strategies.