Evans Retirement Advisors
Volume 9, #6 November 2010
Get Ready for 2011
Year-End Checklist You can meet those increased obligations while lower-
ing your taxable income by contributing to a flexible
Here is a list of issues you may want to address before spending account (FSA). You can use FSAs to pay for
December 31st: deductibles, uncovered medical expenses, or over-the-
counter medicine or medical supplies. Most employers
Portfolio Tuning: Harvest losses to lower your tax bur- will allow you to set aside up to $5,000 in your FSA ac-
den or capture gains at this year’s low capital gains rate. count. Starting in 2013, however, the recent health care
This may be an ideal time to also diversify overweight reform legislation will limit contributions to $2,500.
holdings. Consider rebalancing your portfolio so it’s in
line with its “target” allocation. Make Home Improvements Now: The tax credit offered
for energy-efficient home improvements will end this
Increase 401(k) Contributions: If you are not realizing year. So, if you were thinking of replacing a few win-
the full extent of your employer’s match, you are leav- dows, upgrading your furnace, or replacing that clunky
ing money on the table. Remedy this situation now. water heater, now is the time!
The maximum contribution you can make this year if
you are under age 50 is $16,500. If you are 50 or older, Donate Unwanted or Unused Items: If you itemize your
your limit is $22,000. By taking full advantage of em- tax return and take your items to an organization like
ployer sponsored plans, you are building for a successful Salvation Army, Goodwill, or other charity, you can
retirement, and at the same time, lowering your tax obli- claim a deduction on your taxes.
gation to Uncle Sam.
Education Planning: Consider a 529 Plan as you plan
Roll old 401(k)s to an IRA: You generally have better your gift giving to children or grandchildren this holiday
investment choices in an IRA, and consolidation makes season. This is a gift that will truly last a lifetime!
it easier to track your investments and establish a proper
allocation strategy. Please call us with your year-end planning needs. We’re
here to help!
Roth IRAs: 2010 is the year to consider converting your
IRA to a Roth IRA. Though you are taxed on the full Seek Protection
amount of the conversion, for a conversion done in 2010
(only), you can split the tax bill over two years. You You’ve purchased automobile insurance to protect your-
should seriously consider Roth conversion if you believe self from the financial consequences of a car wreck and
your marginal tax rate will increase in the future. homeowners insurance to guard against the significant
cost of rebuilding after a fire or natural disaster. Have
Maximize Flexible Spending Account: Health care you, however, protected your hard-earned retirement
costs continue to spiral out of control and even with in- savings from the effects of requiring long-term care?
surance, your share of the costs will likely increase.
M. Griffith Investment Services, Inc.
555 French Road, Building 2 · New Hartford, NY 13413 · 315-797-0130 · www.mgriffithinc.com
Evans Retirement Advisors Retirement Bulletin
Here are the odds… Long term care insurance avoids leaving your loved
…of having a house fire…1 in 200 ones the burden of being your care givers.
…of having an automobile accident…1 in 14
…of being 65 today and needing some form of long- Don’t delay investigating this very important source of
term care assistance…7 in 10 protection for your economic well being. We can assist
you in determining the appropriate coverage for you.
Now, consider the cost. Of the 7.3 million people need-
ing long-term care services in 1994, their average cost What’s On Your Mind?
amounted to $43,800. In 2000, over 9 million needed
care with an average cost of $55,750. That figure stands While investment consultation is at the core of what we
at $75,000 today. do, we take a comprehensive approach to your overall
financial wellbeing. We want to know your areas of
Long-Term Care Insurance can help protect you from concern so that we can proactively address them. Please
the adverse consequences of needing these services. use the checklist enclosed to help us better understand
The following points will help you better understand how we can assist you. Then call for a meeting to dis-
long term care insurance: cuss those issues with us.
Your health insurance or long term disability insurance Also:
likely do not cover long term care
assistance. Take a look at the latest Nick Murray article. It’s an ex-
cellent and timely read!
Government programs like Medicare and Medicaid only
cover skilled care or step in if you’re impoverished. Holiday Wishes
Neither is likely to cover in-home care.
As the holidays approach and another year comes to a
Long term care insurance is not nursing home insurance. close, we want to extend our thanks to all of you for be-
In fact, it’s “stay at home insurance.” While long term ing wonderful clients. Our success would not be possi-
care insurance can help cover the significant cost of ble without all of you. “Happy Holidays” from all of us
nursing home care, 80% of those claiming benefits use to you and your loved ones!
them to receive in-home care.
“We help people enjoy a comfortable
To claim your long term care insurance benefits, a phy- and fulfilling retirement.”
sician must certify that you cannot meet two of the six
activities of daily living (ADL) or that you suffer from Tele: 315-738-4579
cognitive impairment. The six ADLs are: Bathing,
Dressing, Toileting, Transferring, Continence and Eat-
Your age greatly impacts the cost of insurance. Many
people wait too long to shop around for long term care
insurance. While insurance costs prior to age 65 remain
very reasonable, most wait until much later and encoun-
ter prohibitive rates.
Tax-qualified long-term care premiums are considered a
medical expense. For those who itemize tax deductions,
medical expenses are deductible to the extent that they
exceed 7.5% of the individual’s Adjusted Gross Income.
Tax payers can treat premiums paid for themselves, their
spouse, or any tax dependents (such as parents) as a per-
sonal medical expense.