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IRAs and Financial Advisers

Q: Can you explain how our various IRA and other retirement accounts fit into our overall estate planning setup? Recently, my husband and I created a joint trust and we want to make sure all of our investment accounts work within our plan.

A: Typically, for each of your tax-deferred accounts, such as your IRAs and retirement plan accounts, you should have on file separate beneficiary instructions with your account’s custodian. More »

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Knowing What You Know When it Comes to Investments

In the spirit of celebrating the movies, I recently watched a fascinating documentary, entitled “The Unknown Knowns” featuring controversial former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

The film’s title was inspired by a press conference Rumsfeld held during the building drumbeat of war with Iraq. In response to a reporter’s question about the lack of evidence of Saddam’s affiliations with terrorists, Rumsfeld’s coy and philosophical answer immediately became a hallmark of his own personal brand of risk management in a world of uncertainty. More »

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The Rope Swing

By Micki Durocher GeeOne of my favorite things in life is when a simple day’s event turns into a metaphorical moment. This weekend I wanted to take my boys to the rope swing at a local river. I knew there was one around somewhere so I did a quick poll on Facebook to see if any of my cyber friends knew of the place. One friend mentioned a spot that I’d never been, so I thought we’d check it out. The weather was perfect and everyone was sufficiently fed, rested & hydrated — all key components for a successful and happy day. We brought their dad along and hit the road. More »

Posted in The Bright Side | 1 Comment

PROPOSITION 1: or, How to Swindle the Middle Class

Cathy Stripe LesterOn August 5, Michigan taxpayers will be asked to vote on Proposition 1, which is being presented in commercials as a way to “help small businesses and create 15,000 new jobs …  without raising taxes!”

If that sounds like a conjuring trick, it is – smoke’n’mirrors, my friends. And if you try to look behind the curtain, it becomes very, very confusing, as if the proponents of Prop 1 don’t want anyone to notice what it actually does. More »

Posted in The Grayling Gadfly | 16 Comments

Training for Success

By James PalmerWith much of the setting up of our new business underway it was time to further explore training in my new line of work. The IICRC is the cleaning industry’s educational and certification body. They offer training from basics like carpet and upholstery cleaning to specialized cleaning scenarios such as trauma or meth lab clean up. After looking at their upcoming offerings I was excited to see a familiar name. More »

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What Kind of ‘Security’ Makes YOU Feel Secure?

Cathy Stripe LesterFor the past couple weeks, Crawford County folk have been treated to booms and bangs, as the National Guard and the Army held their massive war games. It’s good to know they’re training to keep America safe, but we know there are different types of “safe.” More »

Posted in The Grayling Gadfly | 2 Comments

IRA Investors: Be Careful When Cleaning House

IRA holders interested in consolidating their various accounts into one IRA account need to be very careful in how they intend to do it, especially starting in 2015. If they don’t, they may be paying an unwanted tax bill.

This article helps to explain that the IRS doesn’t like anybody doing a “rollover” of their IRA accounts more than one time per 12 month period. More »

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Abandoned TC beach still waiting – Part 3a

Team Mike, Ask The RealtorsHello again Record-Eagle readers,

Three years ago, I wrote 2/3 of a blog “trilogy” about area residents’ efforts to restore some of the beachfront park land along Traverse City’s westernmost shoreline. Strong community support, coupled with near unanimous city government approval for the project, appeared to bode well for reclamation of this beautiful, but abandoned, beach. More »

Posted in Ask the Realtor® | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A little something to stir the pot!

Jon Voight, a rich, aging, white, minor movie star, has, on FOX News relieved himself of the opinion that President Obama is guilty of pulling our troops out of Iraq. Voight finds this unsurprising, for Voight said years ago that the president would do exactly that. Of course that’s exactly what the President promised he would do if he was elected … and that’s just what he did. (Reminds me of the little song in “My Fair Lady” when Professor Higgins successfully passes off Eliza as a “lady.” The lyric is “He did it; he did it; he said that he would do it and indeed he did!”)

I am left to wonder why Voight is so outraged that we have left Iraq, thus stopping them from killing our troops and stopping our troops from killing them. Of course if they wish to kill each other, as they obviously do, I fail to see why we should risk the lives of our troops to stop them.

Voight clearly thinks otherwise, as does the governor of Texas. Gov. Perry has clashed with Sen. Rand Paul, claiming Paul is an isolationist because Paul says, “If the Iraqis won’t fight for themselves why should we fight for them.” This is one of the very few sensible things I’ve heard this man say.

Dick Cheney and some of his relatives also accuse Sen. Paul of being an isolationist. Very few people outside Cheney’s family and the Wolfowitz etc. sub-species of chicken hawk agree that we should police the world. I remember some years ago when the question was: “What if we gave a war and nobody came?”

One thing more: Glenn Beck is sending truckloads of warm meals and toys to the thousands of children who are refugees in Texas. Good for him! Naturally he is getting flack from his right-wing colleagues because clearly a teddy bear and a hot supper will just encourage more children to travel up from Honduras.

(Have fun boys!)

Posted in Variations on a Theme | 3 Comments

Bigger Fish to Fry

This blog could be summed up in 3 sentences: My kid caught a fish. I cooked it. We ate it. But the funny thing about a blog is, we get to spread it out over several paragraphs. More »

Posted in The Bright Side | Leave a comment

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