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Category Archives: Wealth Management

Health Care Planning

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One of the foremost challenges faced by health care professionals is to formulate a well-devised, well-thought out plan for assisting both the patients as well as the health care givers. Care planning is an essential part of health care, but is often misunderstood or regarded as a waste of time. Without a specific document delineating the plan of care, important issues are likely to be neglected. Care planning provides a sort of ‘road map’, to guide all who are involved with the patient’s/resident’s care. The health care plan has long been associated with nursing; however, all health care professionals need to be assisted in the care giving process. In today’s world, highly expensive Health Insurance policies are not viable for most individuals. Therefore, the government needs to play a crucial part in ensuring that ‘health care’ is impartially and effectively provided to all citizens.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a new concept, the concept of ‘health promotion’ began to take shape. It was realized that public health had neglected the citizen as an individual and that the state had a direct responsibility for the health of the individual. Consequently, in addition to.disease control activities, one more goal was added to health-care planning- health promotion of individuals. It was initiated as personal health services such as mother and child health services, mental health and rehabilitation services. C.E.A.Winslow, one of the leading figures in the history of public health in 1920, defined public health care planning as: ‘the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health and efficiency through organized community effort.’

The first step in the health care planning program is accurate and comprehensive assessment. Once the initial assessment is completed, a problem list should be generated. This may be as simple as a list of medical diagnosis. The problem list may include family/relationship problems,which are affecting the parent’s overall well-being.

Following the problem list, the health-care professional must ask,’ will I be able to solve this problem?If yes, then the goal of the health-care professional must be to solve that particular problem. Moreover, this goal should be specific, measurable and attainable. The approaches towards achieving that goal should also be measurable and realistic. An example of a problem that could improve, would be health-care deficit related to hip fracture. With rehab, this problem is likely to resolve.

In case a medical problem is irreversible- such as diabetes- the next step would be to eliminate further complications or possible health deterioration. In the case of such health problems, the goal should be to retain the level of health at an optimum level.

In case of an illness, where further health complications are inevitable, the goal should be to improve the quality of life. It is note-worthy that for all medical problems, approaches must be ordered by the physician. The health care planning process is never completed until the patient is discharged from the current care setting. Periodic schedule re-evaluation is also necessary once the patient is discharged.

In the final analysis, the ultimate purpose of the health care plan is to guide all who are involved in the care of the patient and to provide appropriate treatment.

[ad_2] Source by Nancy E Fraser

Retirement Activities – Ten Cool Things to Do

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Ever hear anyone say I’ll never retire. I wouldn’t know what to do? Here are ten ideas for fun and fulfilling activities that will entice anyone to consider retirement.

Become a wine connoisseur and share your favorites.

Try a new wine every few days and keep track of your finds. Prepare unique wine gift baskets for family and friends. Consider creating personalized wine labels to make the gift even more special. Invite friends over for blind wine tastings and send them home with unique wine gifts. Set up your own wine cellars in an unused nook in hour house.

Flip a house.

Look for a house foreclosure or house for sale by owner. Take out a home improvement loan and add value by painting, adding molding, updating the kitchen, adding a bath or opening the floor plan to contemporize it. Spruce up the landscaping and sell it for profit or lease it until the market picks up.

Set up a home gym.

Keep your fitness resolutions by dedicating 30 minutes a day to your health and fitness routine. It doesn’t take expensive fitness equipment to have your own home gym. You can start with as little as a yoga mat, fitness ball and weights to get started. Fitness DVDs or cable programs are an easy way to get started on a daily regimen, and listening to catchy music makes a workout much more enjoyable.

Plan a luxury vacation

-when tourism is lightest and rates are lowest. Half the fun of travel is the planning, and it’s easy to plan the trip of your dreams online. Whether you prefer to charter a motor yacht, tour London, go on an Africa safari, cruise Hawaii or live it up in Las Vegas, you’ll find luxury travel options at bargain rates during the off season and school year, the perfect time to travel in retirement.

Mentor a student.

Help an underprivileged high school student plan for a college education. Help arrange college loans, investigate scholarship opportunities, prepare applications and enjoy the gratification of making a difference in someone’s life.

Take a class. You’re never too old to learn, and retirement offers a great opportunity to expand your horizons. You don’t have to be near a college or university to do it since online college programs are plentiful these days. Whether it’s interior design classes, retirement planning classes or an online law degree, online college courses are a convenient solution.

Manage your investments. Learn about your investment options by taking a course or visiting online advisories, and become an expert at managing your own finances. Stock trading online is a breeze today; utilize your investing skills by managing a portion of your nest egg.

Go fishing.

If you aren’t a skilled fisherman, sign up for a trip with a fishing guide and learn how to fly fish. It’s relaxing and challenging at the same time, and you’ll enjoy nature while you enjoy the sport. If you’re up for an adventure, try fishing Alaska.

Try antiquing.

Start in your attic or basement, and take any found treasures to an appraiser to determine their value. If the value is minimal, consider refinishing or painting in a fresh, fun color. Try selling them on eBay if you don’t want to display them in your home

Write an article and publish your work online.

Many content-based websites will pay you for your work.

[ad_2] Source by Aj Yeakel

IRS Penalty Abatement – What You Should Know About Removal of IRS Penalties

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Penalty abatement is forgiveness of penalties associated with tax debt that have been added over the course of the debt. Sometimes the IRS will agree to remove such penalties when a tax payer has shown a desire to resolve the debt and has sound reasoning for the request.                                                         How do I ask the IRS to Abate Penalties?

Form 843 is used to request an abatement of penalties. This form will ask for details such as name, address, SSN, tax years in question and reason for the abatement request. You can also send a penalty abatement letter along with the form, which acts as a cover letter for the form and outlines your reasons for the request.

It is wise, as a show of good faith, to pay the tax or set up a payment plan to resolve the debt prior to asking for abatement of penalties. This way it won’t be taken as an attempt to dodge the debt, and anything you overpay by being proactive will be credited to you upon approval.

More on mailing the form in and certain limits can be found on the IRS website.

Submitting a Penalty Abatement Request

Submitting a request for abatement of tax penalties is telling the IRS you had a good reason for what led to said penalty being added in the first place. Claiming ignorance does little with the IRS, as it is the tax payer’s responsibility to be aware of his or her tax situation.

If you had a serious hardship that precluded you from filing or paying on time you have a decent shot. Being hospitalized for a good portion of that tax year – particularly during tax season – would work as a reason for penalty abatement if you could prove it. Enduring a disaster or personal duress, being in prison that year, or receiving advice from a professional that resulted in IRS trouble may also work for abatement. 

Unfortunately, getting bad advice from a tax preparer or CPA is not unheard of. Former clients of mine shared some of their stories with me of past mishaps from time to time. Some reported being assured further extensions to file would be sent, or even that they didn’t need to worry about paying the tax due right away. Months went by before the late return was filed, and they were shocked to receive a balance due letter noting late filing as well as failure to pay penalties.

Note that the IRS will expect you to back up your reasons for the penalty abatement request; the more documentation you can produce the better.

Each Penalty Abatement Year Is Separate

If you’ve got a few years that carry balances and want to pursue abatement on more than one, note that each year is independent of the others. You’ll need a new form 843 for each tax period, meaning the merits of your reasoning may differ year by year. As such, don’t be alarmed if some years are accepted and some are not.

Additional Resources:

Form 843: Request Abatement of Penalties

Official IRS Website

[ad_2] Source by B. Watkins

What the Heck is an IRA Custodian?

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It never fails to amaze me when I talk to people about investing and IRA custodians. Many don’t even know what an IRA Custodian is. All they know is that their money is invested somewhere, hoping that it will grow into something substantial over the years, until they are able to retire.

Basically, an IRA custodian is a fancy but correct term for a bank, savings and loan association or other financial institution that does its best to put money into your IRA (Individual Retirement Account)by investing your money for you. A custodian is another word for a guardian or caretaker. So, when you think about an IRA custodian for you, you want a financial institution that will tenderly and efficiently take care of your IRA, including real estate investments using your IRA money.

Don’t Do It Yourself

In America, if you have an IRA, you are required by law to have an IRA custodian. One of the reasons for this is that the government wants control over when you can use this money to supplement your retirement income. An IRA should ideally multiply like coat hangers in a closet. Your IRA custodian watches over your funds and directs where and when your money is invested.

You are not completely at the mercy of your IRA custodian. IRS law does allow you to make the decisions about where you are going to invest the money, whether it is stocks or real estate. You can still have a self-directed IRA and have an IRA custodian that will help you direct your funds. You can even have your IRA custodian direct funds for the purchase of Real Estate.

This means that even if you are not a banker or broker, but know the real estate market of the area in which you long to buy property to invest in, you can still get the property you want without having to get the approval of your IRA custodian.

There are a lot of details involved with any IRA real estate investment, and this is where your IRA custodian can save you a lot of headaches. It has been my experience that buying real estate with my IRA was the easiest and fastest way that I have ever purchased a property.

Your Role Is Vital

One of the reasons some people prefer to use their IRA to invest in real estate is that they feel more in control of their money. Often, it seems that decisions about your money are made in some ivory tower up in the clouds where mere mortals like you are not allowed to reach.

But with a good IRA custodian and your own knowledge and research of the property you want, you can make a sound investment decision and watch your money grow at a pre-calculated rate of return. With the right techniques and knowledge, you can even force gains on your investment dollars.

Your IRA custodian will be able to help you stay within IRS guidelines with your IRA real estate investment. It is up to you to do your homework and choose good properties to invest in.

Do Comparison Shopping

In conclusion, choosing an IRA custodian is similar to shopping for any major purchase or a bank loan. You don’t just go with the first one you come across. You want to take the time to compare benefits, backgrounds, any advantages the IRA custodian offers and how quickly they respond to your questions.

Self Directed IRAs are becoming popular today in that it gives you more control over your investments.

[ad_2] Source by Mark Nenneman

5 Questions to Ask About Your 401k

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If you are counting on your 401k plan for retirement – beware! The current financial crisis and stock market collapse are troubling enough, but what many retirement savers don’t know is that their 401k plans may not be up to the task.

401k’s have become the predominant retirement funding tool in the U.S. Twenty-five years ago. traditional defined benefit pensions were the primary type of retirement plan covering more than 60% of the workforce that had pension plan coverage. Today, defined contribution plans (mostly 401k) are the primary retirement plan for 63% of the covered workforce. Only about 17% of the covered workforce remains in traditional pension programs.

For the worker, this has meant a seismic shift in responsibility: where once the employer was responsible for seeing that workers contributed to the pension and that pension investments performed well enough to provide promised benefits, in the DC world, 401k planning responsibilities fall on squarely the worker. The best 401k plan sponsors provide generous matches, strong retirement/investment education support and other plan features to help out. Workers who take full advantage of these plans stand a good chance of accumulating adequate retirement savings.

But for many others, their 401k is a minimal retirement plan that offers only a weak chance of providing a decent stream of income to workers when they retire.

How do you know how your 401k plan compares? Here are five benchmark questions to guide you.

  1. Does Your 401k Have an Employer Match? Employers are not required to match employee contributions. But the best 401k plans do match. Employer matching features are key to assessing the quality of a 401k plan. It is much more difficult for workers to accumulate adequate retirement savings with a 401k plan that lacks an employer match. For example, a 30 year-old earning $50,000, contributing 8% (with a 50% employer match-up to 6%) and earning an 8% annual return will have 38% more in retirement savings at age 65 than the same employee with no employer match.
  2. What is the level of your 401k plan’s employer match? The most common matching level, according to Hewitt Associates, is $0.50 employer for each $1.00 employee contribution, up to a maximum of 6% of pay. Think of the employer match as an immediate, risk-free return on your investment (ROI). Regardless of the level of your plan’s match, you should always contribute enough to get the maximum possible match. The higher the maximum employer matching contribution, the greater the opportunity you have to leverage contributions and build a retirement nest egg. According to the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America, the average employer match is 3%. Less than 5% of plans match more than 6% of compensation.
  3. Does your 401k investment menu include low-cost, broad-market index funds for stocks, bonds and international investments options from one or more large and reputable mutual fund firms (e.g. Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, T. Rowe Price, etc.). Prudent investing in index funds is almost always the most cost-effective long-term strategy for 401k participants. Large, well-run index funds from reputable mutual fund firms have very low expenses so that the money you and your employer contribute goes to work for your retirement instead of going to pay fees and costs associated with so-called “actively managed” funds. Mounds of academic research show that over the long-run, index funds outperform actively managed funds. If your 401k plan doesn’t offer quality index fund options, it is a serious shortcoming.
  4. Do any of the investment options under your plan include sales charges (such as front or backend loads, deferred sales charges or redemption fees)? There are plenty of excellent no-load funds available in every category of investments. If you plan includes investment funds with sales charges or loads, you’re likely paying that are higher than they should be.
  5. Check if your plan automatically enrolls new employees in the 401k plan (unless they specifically opt not to enroll)? Automatic enrollment is a relatively new 401k feature intended to increase 401k participation particularly among younger workers and other groups who may not recognize the importance of retirement savings. Research shows that for participants with incomes under $30,000, 401k participation increases from 44% to 86% with automatic enrollment. For participants age 25-34, participation increases from 56% to 86%. Presence of an automatic enrollment feature is a good indicator that your employer is serious about helping workers save for retirement.

There are, of course, many other questions and issues that can be raised with regard to the overall quality of a 401k plan. These five questions are a basic guide. For a more thorough assessment, you can use this 401k plan assessment tool. Don’t be afraid to ask your company’s human resource department for help in getting answers. It is your future retirement at stake and letting the company know the quality of the 401k plan is a priority is a message worth sending.

[ad_2] Source by Tim Paul