Strange Bedfellows: Trusts as IRA beneficiaries

Strange Bedfellows: Trusts as IRA beneficiaries

Question: I recently created a living trust as part of my estate plan. Should I name my living trust as the beneficiary of my IRA?

Answer: There are several good reasons why you might consider naming a trust as the beneficiary of your IRA. For example, if your heir is a minor or is disabled or a spend thrift or is vulnerable to financial predators, then naming your trust as the beneficiary of your IRA can help protect your heir and your assets.

However, IRAs and trusts make strange bedfellows.

Getting past the budget battle

Getting past the budget battle

Question: My husband and I agree that we need to spend less, but when we try to budget we just argue. How can we control our spending without all the drama?

Answer: Controlling your spending is the single most important thing you can do to establish a solid financial foundation. Since budgeting doesn’t work for you, try to think in terms of planning. Budgets sometimes evoke strong negative emotions. Budgets are about making do with less or doing without. Nobody gets excited about budgets, except maybe accountants.

Plans are different. Plans help people accomplish goals that really matter to them. A plan is rooted in purpose. The more clearly people understand the purpose, the more they are motivated to follow the plan.

Should I lease my next car ?

Should I lease my next car ?

Question: I am looking for a new car. The salesman suggested I think about leasing because the payments would be a lot less. I don’t know anything about leasing. Do you think it makes sense?

Answer: Monthly lease payments are often a lot less than the monthly payments you would make on a typical car loan. However, there is a lot more to leasing than reducing your payment. I generally steer people away from leasing because, when you crunch the numbers, leasing is usually a lot more expensive per mile driven than buying.

Are your Investments too Risky?

Are your Investments too Risky?

Question: I am glad the stock market has been doing so well, but with all the political problems in Washington, I worry that we might see another collapse. How do I know if my investments are too risky and how can I protect myself?

Answer: The amount of portfolio risk that is appropriate for you depends on your personal circumstances, including your age, income level, and investment experience. In addition, a number of tools are available that can help you better understand your tolerance for risk.

Who Manages your Wealth ?

Who Manages your Wealth ?

Question: I recently came into my inheritance and I suddenly I find myself with more money than I have ever had to deal with before. I am stressed and overwhelmed. Where do I even start with this? Help!

Answer: Some people imagine that inheriting a large amount of money would be a gateway to bliss—and then it happens to them. Suddenly they discover that having wealth can be very complex. Estate planning, tax planning and investments are each highly technical fields of expertise. You can’t master all of them yourself, so surround yourself with a team of professionals who can help you carry the load.