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Choosing a Retirement Community

Retirement Community

Perhaps you’ve seen ads for a new “over 55″ luxury condominium development in your town. Or another winter of shoveling has finally convinced you that it’s time to move to a warmer climate. You’re looking forward to life in a retirement community, but with so many options, how do you choose the right one?

 

Beginning the search

 

The first step is to think about where you want to live, how you want to spend your retirement years, and what type of home you can realistically afford. All retirement communities are designed with the needs of older adults in mind, but they provide different living arrangements, activities, and services.

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Mid-Year Planning: Accounting for New Tax Rules

Mid-Year Tax Planning

 

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), passed in early January, permanently extended a host of expiring tax provisions. It also largely set the rules for tax planning for 2013 and beyond. As you take stock of your tax situation this year, here are a few new wrinkles to keep in mind.

 

New top tax rate

 

The six tax brackets (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35%) that applied for the last several years have been made permanent for most individuals. That’s really good news, since it removes a great deal of uncertainty going forward (it’s always easier to plan when you know what the tax rates will be the following year).

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I just bought a vacation home. Do I need to purchase a specific type of insurance?

Vacation HomeInsuring a vacation home is different from insuring a primary residence. As a result, you’ll want to purchase insurance that is specifically geared to provide coverage for this type of property.

 

When insuring a vacation home, the type and cost of coverage will vary, depending upon the insurance company and the state in which your vacation home is located.

 

Most insurers offer at least some type of insurance that is specifically designed for second/vacation homes. Coverage under these types of policies can range from standard coverage that protects against certain named perils, to more comprehensive coverage that protects against all perils unless specifically excluded in a policy. Continue reading

Will my homeowners insurance policy cover hurricane damage?

HurricaneIt depends. While the types of coverage offered by standard homeowners insurance policies vary, windstorms are one of the basic perils that most standard homeowners insurance policies will cover. This means your policy should compensate you for loss/damage to your home that results from a hurricane or other windstorm (e.g., broken windows, torn roof, damage from fallen trees).

 

Keep in mind that if you live in an area of the country that is prone to hurricanes (e.g., the coastal region of Florida), an insurance company may exclude coverage for hurricane damage from a standard homeowners insurance policy. And even if an insurance company does provide coverage, homeowners insurance policies in states that are at a high risk for hurricanes often contain a separate, higher deductible for hurricane damage.

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