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77 Water Street, 8th floor New York, NY 10005

Address

Phone: 212 390 8918
Fax: 212 390 8913

Contact

info@larreawealth.com

E-mail

ARTICLES

79% of Americans agree they would benefit from having basic financial education and information.
Source: The 2018 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, The National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Welcome to our research center! We’ve put together a library of information on important financial topics that we believe you’ll find helpful.

Simply click on one of the general financial topics below and you’ll find a selection of easy-to-understand information sheets about related financial concepts and strategies. This information is updated regularly to reflect the latest facts, figures, legislation, and economic trends.

Estates & Trusts

Estate Planning

Wills and trusts allow you to spell out how you would like your property distributed, but they also go beyond that.

Living Trusts

A living trust can help control the distribution of your estate upon death.

Avoiding Probate

The probate process can be lengthy and complex. There are strategies you can use to help avoid the probate process.

Charitable Giving

To retain the tax advantages associated with charitable giving, your gift must be made to a qualified organization.

Controlling the Distribution

If you haven’t taken steps already, consider planning now for the distribution of your estate’s assets.

Paying Estate Taxes

If you believe your estate will be subject to estate taxes, consider how your heirs will pay the bill.

Benefits of A-B Trusts

An A-B trust can be an effective way to help reduce estate taxes and preserve family assets for heirs.

Gifting Strategies

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of different gifting strategies available for planned giving.

Charitable Lead Trusts

Charitable lead trusts are designed for people who would like to benefit a charity now rather than later.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A designated income beneficiary could receive payment of a specified amount from a charitable remainder trust.

Wealth Replacement Trusts

A wealth replacement trust could be used to gift appreciated assets to a charity as well as provide for heirs.

Family Limited Partnerships

One estate planning strategy that families with closely held businesses could consider is the family limited partnership.

Property Ownership

Sole ownership, joint tenancy, tenancy in common, and community property have special benefits for property owners.

History of the Federal Estate Tax

Careful estate planning is still one of the most important ways to manage and protect your assets for your heirs.

Investing

Common Stock vs. Preferred Stock

It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of common stock versus preferred stock.

Dividends

It is important to understand how dividends (taxable payments to shareholders) fit with your long-term goals.

Growth Stocks vs. Value Stocks

The labels “growth” and “value” reflect different approaches that can be used when making investment decisions.

Stock

Before investing in stocks, it is important to understand some of the basics and the risks involved in owning stocks.

Diversification

An important element to successful investing is to manage investment risk while maintaining the potential for growth.

Types of Bonds

Bonds are issued by many entities and share many characteristics, each type of bond has certain benefits and risks.

Bonds

A bond is simply evidence of a debt from a government entity or a corporation and represents a long-term IOU.

Bond Ratings

Bond ratings gauge a bond issuer’s financial ability to repay its promised principal and interest payments.

Stock Indexes

Stock market indexes can be useful benchmarks for gauging the performance of an investment portfolio over time.

Mutual Funds vs. Stocks

The difference between purchasing an individual stock versus shares in a mutual fund to potentially earn dividends.

Closed-End Funds

With closed-end funds, investors pool their money together to purchase a professionally managed portfolio of stocks and/or bonds.

Mutual Fund Loads

It’s important to understand mutual fund loads, or sales charges, and exactly what they entail so you can make informed investing decisions.

Annuities

An annuity is a flexible financial vehicle that can help protect against the risk of living a long time because it provides an option for a lifetime income.

Fixed vs. Variable Annuities

Both fixed and variable annuities could be appropriate options for an individual interested in purchasing an annuity.

Investment Risks

Understanding different types of investment risk can help investors manage their money more effectively.

Asset Classes

There are five broad asset classes that you should take into consideration when constructing your investment portfolio.

Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is a method used to help manage investment risk; it does not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss.

College Savings Plans

There are several funding methods for a child’s college education including mutual funds and Section 529 plans.

College Investment Options

Starting to invest early for college and remaining consistent can help investors reach their goals.

Stock and Bond Investing Alternatives

There are other ways to invest in stocks and bonds besides owning individual shares or bonds.

Dollar-Cost Averaging

Dollar-cost averaging involves investing a set amount of money on a regular basis, regardless of market conditions.

Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is a collection of stocks, bonds, and other securities with certain benefits and risks.

529 Plans

529 plans are tax-advantaged college savings plans that generally allow people of any income level to contribute.

Cash Management

Cash Management Basics

A sound cash management program uses a disciplined approach: accounting, analysis, allocation, and adjustment.

Doubling Your Money

Before making investment decisions, it is helpful to determine the real rate of return on the investment.

Cash Management Tools

Short-term cash management instruments can help you establish a sound cash management program.

Money Market Funds

Money market funds can be a highly liquid and effective cash management tool.

Managing Cash

There are numerous investment alternatives available to help provide liquidity.

Biweekly Mortgages

Biweekly mortgage payments can have a dramatic effect on the amount of interest homeowners have to pay.

Reverse Mortgages

There are techniques that can enable older homeowners to use their property to finance their lifestyle.

Smart Financing Ideas

Here are some smart ways to refinance your home.

College Financial Aid

It’s important to understand the options, such as financial aid grant programs, when having to pay for college.

Savings Alternatives

There are a number of savings alternatives that could help you earn a reasonable rate of return.

Effects of Inflation

Historically, one of the best ways to fight the effects of inflation has been to utilize growth-oriented investments.

Home Equity Loans

Shifting some debt to a home equity loan, which typically allows interest payments to be tax deductible, could have its advantages.

Retirement

SEP IRAs

A SEP IRA is a type of plan under which the employer contributes (up to a certain limit) to an employee’s IRA.

SIMPLE IRAs

The SIMPLE plan may appeal to small business owners as it is easy to set up, administer, and allows for a tax deduction.

Stretch IRAs

A “stretch” or “multigenerational” IRA may be a useful approach to extend tax-deferred savings that can benefit your heirs for generations.

IRA Rollover

If you leave a job or retire, you should consider your options regarding your employer retirement plan assets.

Roth 401(k)

A Roth 401(k) is funded with after-tax money, and allows for tax- and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings if requirements are met.

Profit-Sharing Plans

Profit-sharing plans give employees a share in the profits of a company and can help to fund their retirements.

403(b) Plans

A 403(b) plan is a tax-deferred retirement savings plan that can only be offered by a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity.

How Much Do I Need to Save?

Many realize it’s important to save for retirement, but knowing exactly how much to save is another issue altogether.

A New Chapter for Retirement

With the changing pension landscape, it is important to take charge of your own retirement security.

Unforgettable Birthdays

There are key dates after you turn 59 that can impact your taxes, Medicare eligibility, and retirement benefits.

Your Business and Retirement

Allocating too much of your retirement investments to one company, even your own, can be a risky proposition.

Planning Options

There are a variety of retirement planning options that could help meet your needs. Here are some of the most popular.

Future of Social Security

Greater demand is being placed on the Social Security system as the baby boom generation has begun to retire.

Social Security Income

The Social Security Administration’s retirement estimator gives estimates of your future benefits based on your actual Social Security earnings record.

Self-Employed Retirement Plans

Tax-deferred retirement plans for self-employed individuals have higher contribution limits than IRAs.

Indexed Annuities

An indexed annuity may provide some upside potential and downside protection.

Retirement Plan Distributions

When receiving money accumulated in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, you have two options: lump sum or annuity.

Traditional IRAs

If you do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you might consider a traditional IRA.

401(k) Plans

401(k) employer-sponsored retirement plans have many benefits, including that the funds accumulate tax-deferred.

Managing Retirement Plans

Employer-sponsored retirement plans are more important than ever, but managing the assets can be confusing.

Save Now or Save Later

If you start saving for retirement sooner, the more money you are likely to accumulate and possibly retire sooner.

Roth IRAs

Qualified Roth IRA distributions in retirement are free of federal income tax and aren’t included in gross income.

Risk Management

Why Purchase Life Insurance

If you have a family who relies on your income, it is important to have life insurance protection.

Annuities as an Insurance Product

An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company to pay you future income in exchange for premiums you pay.

Property and Casualty Insurance

Property and casualty insurance can help protect a variety of assets. Find out what it does and doesn’t cover.

Business Owner Policies

A business owner policy is an insurance package that assembles the basic coverages required by a business owner in one bundle.

Life Insurance for Business Owners

Company-owned life insurance is one way to help protect a business from financial problems caused by the death of a key employee.

Split-Dollar Life Insurance

Split-dollar life insurance is an arrangement to purchase and fund life insurance between two parties.

Last-Survivor Life Insurance

Couples who want to help protect their legacy from estate taxes could consider last-survivor life insurance.

Disability Income Insurance for Business Owners

As a business owner, a disability can create an economic hardship putting both your personal finances and business at risk.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance differs from permanent forms of life insurance in that it offers temporary protection.

Whole Life Insurance

Some of the pros and cons of whole life insurance.

Universal Life Insurance

Consider a universal life insurance policy if you want the flexibility to change your premium or death benefit.

Auto Insurance

Even if your state doesn’t require certain types of auto insurance, it may be wise to purchase multiple types to ensure you are covered for a variety of situations.

Insurance Claims

When it is time to make an insurance claim, it helps if you are familiar with your policies and the steps you should take to file a claim.

Maximizing Your Insurance Benefits

Several factors could undermine the financial security provided by the proceeds of your life insurance policy.

Insuring Your Future

To help you choose insurance wisely, determine how much coverage and what kind of policy is best for your situation.

Protecting Your Home

Since your home is one of your greatest assets, you should make sure it is adequately protected. That’s where homeowners insurance enters the picture.

Assessing Disability Income Insurance

Knowing the basics of a disability income insurance policy is a good first step toward protecting your family.

Types of Health Coverage

There are three basic types of medical insurance plans: fee-for-service, managed care, and high-deductible health plan.

Additional Liability Coverage

Consider additional liability insurance to help protect you from the potentially devastating effects of liability lawsuits.

HMOs and PPOs

Selecting health insurance is often one of the most important decisions you will make. Do you know the different types?

Evaluating Insurance Companies

Using a financially sound insurance company is an important part of ensuring your family’s financial security.

Long-Term Care Costs

The odds of needing long-term care increase as you age. Prior planning can help protect you from financial ruin.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for those persons age 65 and over. But what does it cover?

Types of Life Insurance

When selecting a life insurance policy, examine all your options, as well as the positives and negatives of each type.

Tax Planning

Capital Gain Tax

Capital gains are profits realized from the sale of assets; a tax is triggered only when an asset is sold, not held.

Estate Tax

Everything you own, whatever the form of ownership, is subject to federal, and possibly state, estate taxes.

Gift Tax

The federal gift tax applies to gifts of property or money while the donor is living.

Retirement Plan Limits

IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans are subject to annual contribution limits set by the federal government.

Required Minimum Distributions

Required minimum distribution is the annual amount that must be withdrawn from a qualified retirement plan/account.

Charitable Trust Tax Benefits

For the grantor, there are a few potential tax benefits that can come with setting up a charitable trust.

Retirement Plan Taxes

With traditional IRAs and most employer-sponsored retirement plans, taxes are not payable until funds are withdrawn.

Withdrawing Before Age 59.5

Tax-deferred retirement account withdrawals before age 59½ generally triggers a 10% federal income tax penalty.

Tax Deferral

There can be a substantial benefit to deferring taxes as long as possible.

Tax-Advantaged Investments

Many traditional tax-advantaged investment strategies have gone away, but there are still some alternatives.

Tax Deductions

Changes to the tax code have left a few key deductions for itemizers, like medical, dental and some business expenses.

Tax-Advantaged Alternatives

While stable, CDs can create quite an income tax bill. Fixed annuities and municipal bonds can offer tax advantages.

Tax Strategies for Retirement Plans

Consider a trustee-to-trustee transfer to an IRA versus a lump-sum distribution from a workplace retirement plan.

Tax-Free Investments

It’s important to understand tax-exempt vehicles when establishing a comprehensive tax planning strategy.

Mutual Fund Profits

Want to keep more of your mutual fund profits? You may be interested in strategies to help lower your tax liability.

Tax-Free Insurance Upgrades

A 1035 exchange allows you to exchange your life insurance policy for one from another company without tax liability.