How Can Income Tax Returns Hurt Your Retirement?

personal income taxI recently read a Wall Street Journal article titled Income Tax Yo-Yo Hits States. After reading it, I wanted you to know what I learned. Let me tell you folks…it’s a mess out there. Technically we’re out of the recession, but in a real practical sense, we’re not. And you can lay the majority of the blame at the feet of governments.

Last year was the last year for the Bush Tax cuts. Those tax cuts included cuts on long term capital gains. Ok, before you get bored and tune out, listen to what I’m saying. If you buy a stock and keep it for at least a year before selling it, you pay 15%, maybe less, on the gain instead of what your regular tax bracket is. Since most high income earners are in a much higher tax bracket, the long term capital gains tax is a real benefit.

Last year that benefit came to an end and this year the long term capital gains tax went way up. So there was an incentive to liquidate holdings in 2013 to keep from paying a higher tax this year. This was further enhanced by the fact that the stock market did very well last year. Thus, when all the selling took place to liquidate these assets, a whole lot of personal income tax came flowing into the state governments. So being the irresponsible politicians that most of them are, they didn’t readjust their projections enough for this year. Tax revenues have fallen drastically for many states and now they’re in trouble.   (more…)

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My 401K Plan

I wanted to share a report that came out from Bloomberg February 14. It was titled, Companies from Facebook to JP Morgan squeeze 401K contributions. You can read the article HERE  if you want. It was written by Carol Hymowitz and Margaret Collins.

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I’ve been reading over the years about how the government has had its eyes on 401K plans and IRAs as a way to rescue social security and acquire (steal) more of our money. But it turns out that employers are the ones that are trying to increase profitability on the backs of 401K plans.

The article starts out like this: “Employers are squeezing their workers’ retirement savings, holding back on both the amount and the timing of 401(k) matching funds and dragging out vesting schedules. Taken together, these measures are making it more difficult to save for old age.

Major companies that have engaged in such practices in recent years include Whole Foods Market Inc., Facebook Inc., Oracle Corp., Caesars Entertainment Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.”

These aren’t just the little companies that are doing this. These are the big guys, the famous companies you wouldn’t think would do these kinds of things. Now…we can understand, in some ways, why this is happening. Obamacare is a major factor that has cut into profitability over the years. Corporate taxes, second highest in the world, have something to do with it. Onerous federal rules and regulations, especially since the financial meltdown, have also contributed to companies and corporations looking at cutting back on employee goodies, like 401K benefits.   (more…)

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We Celebrate the Most Important Moment in History

Easter wish for youI was searching for an Easter image on Google images. Probably 95% of them were bunnies and Easter eggs. Wow….that’s sad. For many people, that’s the meaning of Easter…that’s their Easter holiday event.

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection on the third day are the most important moments in the history of the world. All we know will pass away some day….and then eternity. What we do with Jesus Christ dictates what will happen for our eternity. What could be more important than that? The Bible ask us what good is it if we gain the whole world, but lose our soul.

I don’t mean to preach, and I won’t. I know what I believe and I’m confident in my decision to follow Jesus Christ now and for all eternity. There are others far more gifted than I who can share the passion of this season. So I will leave you with a treat. Take a few moments to listen to this incredible song. It’s awesome!

Now you’ve heard the message. He paid it all. What will you do with it? Have an absolutely wonderful Easter.

God is good all the time…and all the time God is good!

If you enjoyed this, please comment below, like, and share this page with others who can benefit.

Victor Cuevas

Skype: victorcue

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P.S. If you enjoyed this post about  My Easter Wish For You, please comment below.

 

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Are You Determined To Succeed?

be determined to succeedSuccess in business or in your personal life should be at the top of your list….always! That’s right, always. I’m not saying you should be obsessed with it. Nothing should be an obsession because then it’s unhealthy. But if you are not determined to succeed in all that you do, you will not accomplish much in life. So the question becomes, how can I be, and remain, determined to succeed?

I look back at my life. There were times I was doing well and didn’t have a care in the world. At other times I really had it rough. We’ve all been there. Some of my biggest successes were when I was really determined to succeed. Really focused for success.

I remember when I attended the Seattle Police Academy. I was 28 years old. Man I was focused and determined to succeed at the highest level possible. I graduated first in my class. I was in a zone functioning at a high level in every area…weapons, physical training, academics, high speed pursuit training, etc. It was intense for those four months or so that I was there. But I made it happen.

I realized what is possible when one becomes determined. That’s just one example in my life. Unfortunately, like so many other people, I wasn’t focused and determined consistently in my life to accomplish the things I wanted to in life. How about you?  (more…)

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Debt Elimination with The Infinite Banking Concept

Infinite Banking ConceptHow to become debt free is one of the highest priorities in the lives of the average family. Unfortunately, most families don’t have a great plan for getting out of debt. Part of the reason for that is the hopelessness they feel thinking about how they can possibly stay out of debt, once they’ve managed to become debt free. Consequently, debt elimination falls by the wayside even though it continues to be a priority.

I say, it’s not a priority but a flat out necessity in our lives if we are to experience any level of significant financial prosperity in our lives. But how can we do that? How to become debt free and not go back into debt again? That’s the million dollar question.

I have the solution for you….The Infinite Banking Concept. I filmed a video that explains the concept in a way that will make sense to you. Once you see it, you may not believe it. But I will guarantee you this… follow the plan, and you will get out of debt and stay out of debt. Not only that, you will create a substantial amount of tax free wealth along the way.   (more…)

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Interest vs Volume of Interest

Eliminate DebtWe have an epidemic of debt in this country. Not only is our country swimming in debt, but most families are as well. We should be learning how to become debt free and trying to eliminate debt in our lives. Instead we’re trying to find out what the current loan rates are. We’re asking what are the current interest rates for car loans, what are the mortgage rates, what about personal loan interest rates. Folks, those are the wrong questions. As you will soon see, you should not be concerned with current loan rates.

I’ve created a video about an extremely powerful financial concept that hardly anyone knows about. It’s a financial concept that we overlook in our everyday lives, and it’s causing us to becomes slaves to the lender. If you will learn this concept and apply it to your life, you will enjoy financial prosperity as never before.  (more…)

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How Can the Infinite Banking Concept Help My Business

infinite banking conceptIn my 20 years in financial services, I’ve met with and spoken to many small business owners and self-employed people. I don’t profess to be a small business expert. But I know a little about the lives small business owners live….just from talking with them for so many years. Being self-employed or owning a small business is not easy. Many small businesses have failed. In fact, most small business ventures fail. Money can be hard to come by, and it doesn’t always seem to get easier as you grow your business and add employees. Some small businesses don’t grow enough to add any employees, or maybe just one or two.

Other small businesses are very successful, support many employees, and reward their owners with a great income. But money for on going operations and expansion is still a challenge. How difficult is it to accumulate a healthy savings account, and how can you grow that account safely? What about loans and lines of credit for your business? That can be quite a challenge as well. And if business slows substantially, what kind of stress will you experience knowing you have loans and lines of credit to repay?

What about retirement? Do you have enough money left over from your cash flow and profit to fund a comfortable retirement? So many self-employed and small business owners don’t save very much for retirement, if anything. Between what you draw for living and lifestyle, and what you need for the daily operations of your business, there’s not much left over for retirement. (more…)

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Focus on Being Successful in 2014

being successfulWhat will 2014 bring to your life. Will it just be another year, or will great things happen for you. As you look back at 2013, how did it turn out for you? Most of the time my years don’t quite turn out the way I had anticipated. I, like so many others, don’t seem to focus enough on the things that really matter…focus on being successful.

Last year I reached that milestone of 60 years of life. That tends to be an event that will get you to focus a little. And the year brought many decisions and changes that made an impact on my future in some major ways. So for 2014, I need to be as focused as I’ve ever been.

Looking at the state of our country with politics and the economy, we all need to be focused on success as never before. Yesterday at church our pastor brought us a powerful teaching for the new year. I will share some thoughts with you that I believe can have an impact on your life this coming year.

Decide to Make This Year Count

It all starts with a conscious decision that this year will be the year. Right now you decide to make it happen…no matter what. Ephesians 5:15, 16 says “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days”. That verse could have been written today. Be smart with your decisions. Take more time with them.  Seek advice and council. Educate yourself. Hebrews 12:1 says “….let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up….”. What’s getting in your way? What is distracting you from being successful…in your work, your marriage, your health, your happiness…your life.   (more…)

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God Bless You on This Wonderful Day

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth lying in a manger.”   Luke 2:8-12 NLT

What an incredible sight that must have been! Right after that angel gave his message, a vast host of others appeared with the first angel. The Bible says “the armies of heaven”. I find it interesting that the angels, that army of angels, appeared to shepherds in the field. Why not to the kings of the earth? What Christmas is all about is the gift God gave to the whole world…to each and every one of us. He gave his only son, not just for the privileged of the world, but for all of us.

The Shepherds went to worship the King of Ages. When King Herod found out about the birth of Jesus from the wise men, he tried to kill Jesus. That’s the decision all of us must make regarding Jesus, who I believe is the Son of God. Will we worship him as “the Messiah, the Lord” or will we reject him?

That glorious day so long ago changed our world. And it can change each and every one of us, as it changed my life long ago. I pray God’s blessing on you and your family now and throughout the year. I hope you have an absolutely wonderful Christmas. So far it’s been great for me. Begin the New Year with a changed attitude. God has blessed you richly, but He has so much more in store for you.

Make it an awesome 2014! Get ‘er done! You can do it! 

 

Victor and Tina Cuevas

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Retirement…How Will That Look For Me?

when can I retireWHAT IF….BEFORE STARTING RETIREMENT….you first had to pass a test? You know, like a driver’s test. Something that would gauge how much you know about savings targets, medical bills, basic estate planning, when to start social security, how much to draw from your retirement, and other fundamental issues related to retirement.

How well would you do on that test? Do you think you would pass? Over the next few weeks I will write about some questions in the Wall Street Journal Retirement Quiz. So you’ll want to make sure you stay tuned, and share my blog post with others.

Let me give you some statistics. These are based on a study done in 2012 by Koski Research. They surveyed 1,000 employed adults 50-70 with investable assets of $100,000 or more…margin of error: +/- 3%. If you’re younger than 50, you better read this.

Only 46% of surveyed workers are confident about being able to afford essentials in retirement, but 78% expect to be extremely happy in later life. Only 38% are confident about being able to afford “extras” like travel in later life, but 72% say their dream retirement includes taking “really nice” vacations. Only 62% say they have done everything they can to prepare for retirement, but 68% expect to work for pay after they retire, and 58% say they could be saving more for retirement than they are now.  (more…)

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