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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

3 Tips for Retiring Out of State

January 28, 2015 1:00 am

Retirees flock to Florida and Arizona for year-round sunshine and golf, but all things considered, they’re not the best states for happy golden years, according to a new survey.

Along with average number of sunny days, factor in cost of living, residents’ sense of well-being, quality of health-care, crime and, yes, humidity, and the best destination is (surprise!) South Dakota, according to a 2014 Bankrate report.

“As this report correctly suggests, pre-retirees need to consider a lot more than snow days and tradition,” says Rodger Friedman, founding partner and wealth manager at Steward Partners Global Advisory and author of “Forging Bonds of Steel,” a guide to developing an excellent working relationship with your financial advisor.

“Different states have different tax laws and other regulations that can have a major impact on your retirement funds. You need to be aware of these as you plan for where you want to live and how you want to live.”

Whether you’re considering one of the other top four “best states to retire” – Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming, in that order – here are five tips for planning ahead:
  • New state – new income tax rules. Get to know them! Familiarize yourself with the tax laws of the state you’re considering for your new home. Two of the top five on Bankrate’s list – South Dakota and Wyoming -- have no state income tax, along with five others: Nevada (No. 18 on the list), Texas (19), Washington (22), Florida (39), and Alaska (48.).
Also, an itemized deduction in one state may not be an itemized deduction in another. If you use the long form (1040) to file federal income taxes, hire a reputable, experienced CPA for guidance.

Look into how your new state taxes retirement income. States differ on taxing interest income from tax-free municipal bonds. Some states give tax credits; treat public and private pensions differently; or offer federal, military or blanket exclusions.

The following states are community property states: Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada, Louisiana, and Washington. Speaking with an estate planning attorney regarding how this issue may affect you may be money very well spent.
  • If you’re married, are you moving to a community property state? There are nine community property states – those that divide all martially-acquired assets and debt 50:50 in the event of divorce. (Exceptions include an inheritance or gift received by one spouse and maintained separately in that spouse’s name.) Community property states are Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada, Louisiana, and Washington. Speaking with an estate planning attorney regarding how this issue may affect you may be money very well spent.
  • Have a lawyer review your estate planning documents. Your existing estate planning documents should be reviewed by a lawyer in your new state of residence because statutes differ on the types of documents required and the powers bestowed upon each. For example, states are all over the map regarding the validity of a power of attorney document and the powers that may or may not be conveyed.
“During their careers, their acquiring wealth years, many people live in places that have lots of jobs – and the higher cost of living that goes along with that,” Friedman says. “In retirement, many they want to move to a state where they can enjoy the same or an even better lifestyle with less money.

“For that, it’s essential to consider not only the cost of living but the state laws that affect your accumulated wealth and income.”

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Keep Winter Pests Out of Your Home

January 27, 2015 12:57 am

As temperatures across the country drop, winter pests, particularly rodents, search for warmer areas to set up shop – and your home may be vulnerable. Aside from being a nuisance, winter pests can chew through dry wall, insulation, wood and electrical wiring, effectively eating a hole in your wallet.

Keep your home pest-free this winter with these tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent pests from getting inside. Be sure to check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home – a mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home. Pests often take up residence in wood piles and can easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.
  • Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well-organized and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leakage pipes and clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms, as these areas are particularly vulnerable to infestation.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
  • Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well-ventilated and dry.
Source: My Pest Pros

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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