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Special Report
Retirement Lifestyles

When most business owners develop a plan and look into the crystal ball, they see a future of sustained success and profitability for their venture. What they often fail to see and plan for is the byproduct of that success — that someday they will either want or need to move beyond what they’ve worked so hard to build.

I have always advised my clients that there is a difference between “succession planning” and an “exit strategy.” Succession planning is simply who is going to take over your position and replace your name on the door. An exit strategy is much more involved and is your detailed plan to exit that business with the financial resources to live the rest of your life in the manner to which you have grown accustomed. read more »

 
Retirement Lifestyles
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~ George Bernard Shaw

My wife Barb and I went to see Paul McCartney perform live at Safeco Field last year. I can honestly say it was one of the highlights of my life. I knew that this was probably the last time I would have a chance to watch a former Beatles member perform live. McCartney was 71 years old at the time and I doubted Seattle was going to be a destination spot for future events. Barb and I enjoyed watching Sir Paul regale a packed house on a beautiful summer night for nearly three hours without a break. Three hours! This included three encore performances alongside former members of Nirvana, all easily half his age. Just a few weeks ago, I watched the CBS special of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. McCartney was there with the other living member of the band, Ringo Starr (who is older than him.) They put on an amazing show. At 72, McCartney probably can’t even spell “retirement,” nor does he want to. read more »

 
Retirement Lifestyles

You need to save and invest as much as possible to pay for the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned. But your retirement income also depends, to a certain degree, on how your retirement funds are taxed. And that’s why you may be interested in tax diversification.

To understand the concept of tax diversification, you’ll need to be familiar with how two of the most important retirement-savings vehicles — an IRA and a 401(k) — are taxed. Essentially, these accounts can be classified as either “traditional” or “Roth.”

When you invest in a traditional IRA or 401(k), your contributions may be tax-deductible and your earnings can grow tax-deferred. With a Roth IRA or 401(k), your contributions are not deductible, but your distributions can potentially be tax-free, provided you meet certain conditions. (Keep in mind, though, that to contribute to a Roth IRA, you can’t exceed designated income limits. Also, not all employers offer the Roth option for 401(k) plans.) read more »

 
Retirement Lifestyles

When it comes to finding a state to which to retire, there are plenty of factors to consider. There’s the weather, proximity to family and friends, access to health care, quality of life, and the list goes on, according to CCH, Wolters Kluwer. But one factor that you might want to weigh more heavily than others when deciding where to live in retirement is the degree to which your precious income and assets will be taxed.

“Retirees should really do their homework on the types of taxes they’d be responsible for paying and the rates they’d be taxed at when comparing different locations,” Sandy Weiner, a state tax analyst for Wolters Kluwer, said in a release. Specifically, you should consider, according to Weiner and others, state taxes on retirement benefits, state income tax rates, state and local sales tax rates, state and local property taxes, state estate taxes, state inheritance taxes, and the overall tax burden. read more »

 
Retirement Lifestyles

Double Your Retirement DollarsDownsizing has become the desire of many Baby Boomers and mature Americans. They have raised their children in the family home, worked hard to pay off or pay down their mortgage and are ready to sell and move to their retirement dream home. Unfortunately for many, it can be difficult to make the finances work. Do they sell the home and pay cash for the new one, get a small mortgage, or just stay? According to the Demand Institute and American Housing Survey, 64.5 percent of homeowners age 62 and older own their homes free and clear and over 40 percent of them have a desire to move and purchase another home. The truth is it’s much easier than ever to make the move. read more »

 
Legal Issues for Business

PR Newswire - US Newswire

The Washington State Hospital Association has filed a petition in Thurston County Superior Court asking the court to invalidate recently adopted Certificate of Need rules. The hospital association’s lawsuit asserts that the new rules do not have a basis in the Certificate of Need law, as all agency rules are required to have.

“State agencies can’t redefine what the law means after 20 years of interpreting the law the same way,” said WSHA president and CEO Scott Bond. “We know the new rules go too far because the Department of Health has consistently said the law doesn’t apply to mergers or affiliations. Reversing that position now is arbitrary and is beyond the authority granted to the department by the Certificate of Need law.” read more »

 
Legal Issues for Business

The 2014 state legislative session ends March 13 and lawmakers are running out of time to pass bills from the opposite house. Here’s a look at a few of the discussed issues that have a potential impact on businesses:

House Bill 1313 would require employers with five or more employees to provide a minimum number of sick leave days (five, seven or nine, depending on workforce size.) The bill passed in the House and at press time was scheduled for a hearing Feb. 26 in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. Washington Policy Center, which opposes the bill, estimates that the mandate will cost employers in the state $442 million.

A similar bill, HB-2238, would have required employers with 24 or more employees to provide up to three weeks of paid vacations to employees working 20 or more hours a week. The bill died in committee. Both HB-1313 and HB-2238 were co-sponsored by Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo), who represents the 23rd Legislative District. read more »

 
Retirement Lifestyles

When the phone rang in the early hours of morning, the elderly woman could hardly believe her luck. The caller, identifying himself as Gabriel Evans from the Justice Department, had wonderful news — she had won $400,000. All she had to do to claim the prize was send in $2,000 for insurance.

It sounded legit, even to a skeptic. The caller had the person’s correct name. The call was coming from a Washington, D.C., phone number and when called back, someone answered as the “Justice Department.”

The woman, being on fixed income, didn’t have the funds to send in — but plenty others have, not realizing, until too late, that “Gabriel Evans” is a fake. And such scammers are becoming so sophisticated that even the most street-smart and savvy people can fall prey to their fast, convincing words. read more »

 
Retirement Lifestyles

Peninsula Umpires Association member Chuck Sacrison, second from right, and other umpires join in when "YMCA" is played between innings during the championship game at the 2013 Little League Senior Softball (age 15-16) World Series, held in Roxanna, Delaware last August. (Courtesy Photo)What’s a good way to keep physically active and mentally sharp as you reach retirement age and beyond?

Stay in the game, literally.

That’s what works for veteran members of the Peninsula Umpires Association (PUA) who are still calling balls and strikes at local baseball and softball games.

None have been doing it longer than Dick Brakefield of Bremerton, who started umpiring in 1971, back when Lou Piniella was a rising star outfielder for the Kansas City Royals. read more »

 
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