Common Life Insurance Traps And How To Avoid Them

Beware these common traps made with life insurance that can reduce its value to your family … or leave you paying a bundle to the IRS.Trap: Owning too much life insurance, too long. During the years you are working and raising a family, you probably need a substantial amount of life insurance to protect your family against the possible loss of your income.But as your senior years approach – with your children grown, the mortgage paid off and retirement accounts funded – your insurance needs may be sharply reduced.For many, the justification for owning life insurance is to finance estate taxes. But this need has been reduced by recent tax law changes that increase the estate and gift tax exemption amount for individuals to $1 million.By paying for unneeded insurance protection, you pass up the opportunity to acquire higher yield investments.STRATEGYReview your insurance needs in light of changes in your personal circumstances and in your estate tax exposure. If you find that you own too much insurance, consider..*Swapping your life insurance for a tax-deferred annuity issued by an insurance company to obtain an increased investment return. This can be arranged through a tax-free exchange, which enables you to avoid any taxable gain on the disposition of the insurance policy.*Donating your insurance policy to charity. You’ll get a tax deduction for the cost basis in the policy-generally, the amount of premiums you’ve paid into it.*Making a gift of the policy to your child or grandchild. The policy benefit will be tax free to the recipient, giving the child a valuable head start on financial security. The gift also will remove the policy from your taxable estate, assuming you survive three years after the gift.You can avoid paying gift tax on the transfer by utilizing your annual gift tax exclusion (currently $10,000 per recipient, or $20,000 when gifts are made by a married couple) and, if necessary, using part of your estate and gift tax exempt amount.*Cashing in the policy. This will put cash in your pocket, but you will realize taxable income to the extent that the amount received for the policy exceeds what you paid into it through premiums.Estate tax planning: If you find you still need some life insurance to finance potential estate taxes, consider using a second-to-die policy that covers both you and your spouse and pays its benefit on the death of the survivor.The estate tax marital deduction lets all of one spouse’s assets pass estate tax free to the surviving spouse, so it is on the death of the surviving spouse that a couple’s estate tax liability becomes due.A second-to-die policy can provide funds to finance such an estate tax bill at substantially less cost than that of buying two insurance policies to cover each spouse separately.TRAPS*Owning insurance on your own life. This can cause insurance proceeds to be subject to estate tax at rates of up to 55%, because when you die owning a policy on your own life the proceeds are included in your taxable estate.Avoid this trap by having the policy beneficiary own it, or by creating a life insurance trust to hold the policy and distribute the proceeds according to your instructions.You can still finance the premiums on the policy by making gifts to the policy owner (beneficiary or trust), using your annual gift tax exclusion to shelter the gifts from tax.Benefit: When insurance on your life is owned by the beneficiary, the insurance proceeds will be estate and income tax free.Related mistakes to avoid…*Owning insurance on your own life and naming your spouse as your beneficiary. The insurance proceeds will escape estate tax on your death due to the unlimited marital deduction – but if your spouse dies owning the proceeds, they will be taxable in his/her estate.*Owning insurance on one person’s life and naming a third person as beneficiary.Example: One spouse owns insurance on the other spouse’s life, and names a child as beneficiary.The trap here is that because the policy owner controls the designation of the beneficiary, the payment of the benefit to the beneficiary is deemed to be a taxable gift made by the policy owner.Again, avoid this trap by having the beneficiary own the life insurance policy, or by having a life insurance trust own the policy.Important: If you set up a life insurance trust to own insurance, be sure the trust is drafted by a specialist in the area. Trust documents drafted by nonspecialists can easily contain mistaken bad language that fails to comply with technical requirements, thus causing the trust to fail.*Borrowmg against life insurance. It can be tempting to borrow against life insurance, because policy loans can provide a tax-free source of cash and carry a low interest rate.But a couple of traps may result from borrowing against insurance…*When you borrow against insurance you reduce the insurance benefit for which you presumably bought the insurance, leaving your family more exposed to financial risk.Dangerous scenario: Typically, interest on a loan against insurance is not paid in cash but is charged against the policy. If the loan is not repaid and the interest compounds, the loan can grow until it equals the policy’s value. Then the policy will terminate, and you will realize taxable income in the amount of the unpaid loan (a “forgiven debt”) minus your basis in the policy even though you receive no cash income with which to pay the tax.*If you borrow against insurance and then transfer the policy to another person, the policy benefit may become subject to income tax.Why: When a policy that has been borrowed against is transferred by gift, the recipient is deemed to have purchased the policy by assuming the outstanding loan obligation, with the amount of the assumed loan being the purchase price.And, under the Tax Code, when an existing life insurance policy is purchased the policy benefit becomes taxable income to the purchaser if the purchase price exceeds the donor’s basis in the policy.Example: A parent owns a $500,000 insurance policy on his/her own life that has a $100,000 cash value. He has a cost basis of $60,000 in the policy. He borrows $90,000 from the policy to reduce its cash value to $10,000, then makes a gift of the policy to a child.The result is that the child is deemed to have purchased the policy by assuming the $90,000 loan obligation. Therefore $410,000 of the policy benefit will be taxable income to the child when paid out, instead of being tax free.Bottom line: Loans cause problems, so it’s best not to take out loans against life insurance.If you’ve already taken out loans against life insurance, review them with an expert for any unexpected problems they may cause.

How Leading-Edge Technologies Have Changed The Diners Business

Technology has a significant impact on every business. Competing with the market without opting for innovative technologies is difficult. Diners are also striving hard to meet market standards, and these standards are 80% based on technology. If you are new to this restaurant industry, then you will have to opt for all the possible techniques to seek the attention of foodies. Now a days, only those are successful that hit big with latest technologies. By reading this article, you will get to know how leading-edge technologies have revolutionized the restaurants. It doesn’t matter whether they are running big cafeterias or smaller ones, cutting-edge technology has mesmerized the diners across the globe.Moving on to Social mediaSocial media has wiped out all the traditional promotion techniques that were widely used a few years ago. Now diners don’t have to go door to door for pamphlet distribution or take help of TV advertisements. They just have to publish their upcoming deals or succulent food pictures for promotion. Social media has blessed all the restaurants with huge customer traffic, but the competent handling of social media profiles is another dilemma. You have to stay responsive for different customers’ inquiries. It helps Restaurateurs in improving their business.Online orderingDue to busy life, it’s difficult for everyone to visit your restaurant every day. Either customers have to postpone their plan till weekend or have to take out time from hectic routine just to visit your place. Now technology has made this option hassle-free for all the epicures. Online ordering has made all the foodies lives convenient through a click, and getting the desired meal in few minutes has become much easier than ever. Just hold a smart phone, download the relevant restaurant app and place your order by choosing anything from the menu to put an end to your craving. If you want to enjoy the ambiance then you have to pay the visit otherwise online reviews and other customers’ feedback help you know the whole story.Hassle-Free PaymentOnline payment method have brought tremendous change in the life style of foodies. In online ordering, you can pay on the spot pay form your bed room or even pay for your family or friends, regardless of their distance from you. Numerous diners have developed payment systems just to accelerate the speed or accuracy especially in rush hours. Chances of miscommunication at the counter will be greatly reduced. Pay your Meal bills without carrying cash.Advanced POS SystemsNow a days, different restaurants have their own advanced POS systems. These systems are helping restaurateurs to manage inventory, daily sales, staff’s performance measurement, sale insights, table reservation details and much more. Various softwares are available in the market that are intelligent enough to meet all the diners’ needs. This is imperative to achieve business standards by adding such systems into your business. Later on, you can integrate add-ons as per your business requirement.Quick Table ReservationTable reservation has expedited for both diners and epicures. They can quickly check the table reservation. Management can evaluate easily about how many tables have been reserved yet. Table booking system allows the manger and the customer to book or find vacant tables, without any communication gap. Now by sitting at home you can assess all the details or majority softwares have table selection option too.Restaurant Sale InsightsA few years ago, there was a time when sales insights were hard to check. It was impossible to track the sales that went beyond past three or four months. Now powerful online tools and softwares, such as POS has allowed us for rapid sale calculations. These softwares can even make projections of future sales and estimate the seasonal trends. Hasn’t this become easy? Detail insights help all the restaurateurs to figure out the failure reason as well. So we can say that these are the best gifts of technology where everyone in the restaurant industry can optimize their performance.Safe environmentDiners are not working only for ambiance, food and sales. They are also offering a safe environment to their valuable foodies. Numerous restaurants have installed the CCTV cameras and other monitoring systems to keep an eye on all the restaurant activities. Safer environment would give peace of mind to all the people for safe dining, which leads to a more delightful experience and the best customer’s reviews.An Entire new look of the restaurantCountless blessings of technologies have left us spellbound. You might have a complete idea now about multiple technological features of the restaurant. It doesn’t matter whether clients are reserving a table or placing the order, everything is designed to satisfy customers. Customer comments and reviews can give a hint to future clients about restaurant ambiance, taste and other aspects through these 3D videos. A perfect feature can be used for promotion of your place.

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Declaration of War and My Guide to Fighting Disease

As a victim of autoimmune disease myself, I can certainly tell you that trying to fight it or even remain in a general ”healthy” state is not an easy task. After being diagnosed with the ”Behcet’s Syndrome” my life quickly fell to pieces. At the very tender and wonderful age of 22 were my dreams for life and general expectations were huge, and my hunger for some nasty sexual experimentation as well, I suddenly felt like crap to say the least.So now what?Several years of some heavy drug medication followed in the general aim to fight off the disease and keep the worse from happening. This basically translated into 48mg of Prednisone and 50mg of Azathioprine a day, the one being a cortical-steroid and the latter an immune-suppressant drug. The game was on but the effects that these drugs had on my body and physiology were immense, My muscles were in atrophy, body fat went up due to severe water retention, bio-markers all messed up and in general any attempt on body re-composition was a failure. As these were not enough I had to undergo four different surgeries in my eyes because of the side effects from the heavy drug use. Interestingly enough, the drugs used to cure me, managed to create a serious mess in my body. So two cataract surgeries were performed as well as an additional glaucoma surgery for the installment of a valve in my right eye to prevent ocular tension.And that is just great..!It was obvious to me that something had to change if I wanted to get my life back eventually and that something was nothing more than my mentality.Human beings have an amazing amount of willpower that will come out in a time of need, after all we have survived some horrific shit through the ages. So the only thing holding me back from at least trying to fight my enemy was basically me.Knowing your enemy is a prerequisite if you want to win a war so I ventured off in a journey of education of the science of human physiology in general. Clinical Nutrition and Exercise Science showed me the way to gain back my general state of well-being and health. Experimenting with specific nutritional and training protocols ever since, I managed to stay healthy and put the disease to sleep. My doctors were happy as the disease gradually declined and the drugs used could now be minimized and then stopped. The one thing my Doctors still do not know is that I ceased all medication by myself a couple of years ago and my only drugs were nutrition, training and tons of determination.Let me now elaborate on my ”guide” on how to fight your disease and announce your personal declaration of war… at least this is how I chose to do it.

Education – Knowing your enemy is of paramount importance if you wish to come out victorious. After all we are talking about your own health so find the time to learn anything regarding your pathology, drugs, symptoms, effects, contradictions, holistic medicine or even nutrition and training and how it can help improve your condition. Let the doctors know that you mean business and their simple solutions of mere drug use are not enough… you want results.

Specificity – We are all unique beings so your approach in this fight must be unique. Any nutritional, protocol or drug related protocol you decide to use must be specifically designed on your own needs. What will work for others will most likely not work for you, so be specific. You are probably a patient of a particular disease so anything you utilize must be targeted to that particular case.

Experiment – There is no point in getting educated and specific if you are not willing to try out your new findings. This is quite enjoyable really as you become your own guinea pig and get to apply some real life science in your life. Moderation is always beneficial so do not go nuts on testing new feeding habits or training styles as you could end up fatigued or even more damaged. If something works use it and if not move on. Regular blood tests and other data here is required in order to assess your progress and keep everything in check. Regular visits to your physician and making him nuts on your new ideas is highly recommended. He will now see you mean business and hopefully will keep you in track.

Mental Focus – You now have all the tools needed to start your fight against disease but need to find the willpower for your battles. Look to find your motivation in any sort of way possible. You need to be extremely decisive and disciplined in your struggle, It is you against your own self at this point so you have to remain strong, disciplined and well motivated. Fighting disease is not easy and whatever the outcome you must keep on fighting it like there is no tomorrow. You will always fight and you will never quit… never… never… NEVER..!!

Declaration of War – Its time to command your army and allies to victory. You mean business and winning the war against disease is your life’s goal. There will be no deviations, you will always be motivated, disciplined and hungry for victory. Times of defeat might occur and distractions will appear, make no mistake, but it is your personal duty to your own self to remain focused on your goal of living a good and healthy life away from disease.
We live in a free world, or so we imagine, every human on this earth is entitled to freedom of speech and choice so it only logical for people to be allowed the option of fighting their disease with weapons that could be slightly against the mainstream medical industry. This article describes my journey in fighting my own syndrome and how it helped me regain my health. Relying on drugs may not always be the optimal solution and people will need to be aware of all possibilities that could aid them in their recovery.In ConclusionFighting disease is a painful experience and as the world’s rates of autoimmune disease and other medical conditions rise, the medical industry must become more effective and aid people in their struggle or it will find itself with a big surprise. People will get educated and will find the solution one way or another. It is time to stop thinking only about the profits generated but of our overall health.The war on disease is now on you are free to choose on how you fight it. Whatever your choice might be I only ask one thing of you…Be Strong and Never Quit