William Madison Swayne
William M. Swayne II, WMS's CEO and founder, began his career in the financial services industry in 1972, after graduating from the University of Washington. Mr. Swayne received his honorable discharge in 1970 from the US Air Force after serving 4 years as a Romanian linguist during the Vietnam conflict. Following his service to his country, he completed his MBA in finance from City University and earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designations. Raised in Seattle, Mr. Swayne is active in many private and public organizations, serving on the national board member of Youth for Christ USA for the last 10+ years, ex-officio director of the TICA/REISA (formerly the TIC trade association) board and founding chair member of the Marketing Committee of TICA. Bill has been married for over 40 years to his wife, Candace Swayne, co-founder and President of WMS. Together they believe that their biggest accomplishment is the raising of their five children (one of which is with WMS) and now celebrate 14 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
What Tax-Advantaged Alternatives Do I Have? A strong savings program is essential for any sound financial strategy.
We take Benjamin Franklin’s saying to heart, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and we save our spare cash in savings accounts and certificates of deposit. Investors who’ve accumulated an adequate cash reserve are to be commended. But as strange as it sounds, it is possible to save too much. Although this may not sound like much of a problem, it can be if you save too much of what you should be investing. You see, many investors simply put their savings into the most convenient and stable financial instrument they can find. Unfortunately, placing all your savings in taxable instruments like certificates of deposit can create quite an income tax bill. In an effort to help provide stability, some investors inadvertently produce a liability. What is the most tax-efficient way to take a distribution from a retirement plan?
If you receive a distribution from a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k), you need to consider whether to pay taxes now or to roll over the account to another tax-deferred plan.
A correctly implemented rollover avoids current taxes and allows the funds to continue accumulating tax deferred. Paying current taxes with a lump-sum distribution If you decide to take a lump-sum distribution, income taxes are due on the total amount of the distribution (except for any after-tax contributions you've made) and are due in the year in which you cash out. Employers are required to withhold 20% automatically from the check and apply it toward federal income taxes, so you will receive only 80% of your total vested value in the plan. (Special rules apply to Roth accounts.) Is There Such a Thing as a Tax-Free Investment? The simple answer to this question is “yes.”
There are two main types: (1) municipal bonds and municipal bond mutual funds and (2) tax-free money market funds. Municipal bonds are issued by state and local governments in order to finance capital expenditures; typically, municipal bond funds invest in municipal bonds. Municipal bonds are generally free of federal tax because the interest from bonds issued by a state, municipality, or other local entity is exempt from federal taxation.
As an added benefit, most states will allow a state tax exemption if the owner of the bond resides in the state of issue. However, if you purchase a bond outside your area of residency, it may be subject to both state and local taxes. If you buy shares of a municipal bond fund that invests in bonds issued by other states, you will have to pay income tax. How Can I Keep More of My Mutual Fund Profits? Provisions in the tax code allow you to pay lower capital gains taxes on the sale of assets held more than one year.
The long-term capital gains tax rate is 15% for taxpayers in the 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35% tax brackets but increases to 20% for individuals in the 39.6% tax bracket. Lower-bracket taxpayers (0% and 15% brackets) pay zero tax on long-term capital gains.* Short-term gains — those resulting from the sale of assets held for one year or less — are still taxed at your highest marginal income tax rate. This means that if you’ve been buying shares in a stock or mutual fund over the years and are considering selling part of your holdings, your tax liability could be significantly affected by the timing of your sale.
The main pitfall for most investors is the IRS “first-in, first-out” policy. How Can I Upgrade My Insurance — Tax-Free? United States Tax History. American tax law is a constantly changing landscape.
The latest major piece of tax legislation is the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was signed into law on January 2, 2013, by President Barack Obama. It extended many of the provisions in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2010 and the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001. The 2012 tax law extended indefinitely the federal income tax rates that have been in effect since 2003 (10% to 35%) and added the 39.6% rate that was in effect prior to enactment of the 2001 tax law. The law also extended the 0% and 15% tax rates on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends, and added a 20% rate for taxpayers in the 39.6% bracket. The law also extended the federal estate tax provisions of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2010, with the exception that the top federal estate tax rate increased from 35% to 40%. EGTRRA was signed into law by President George W.
How Can I Benefit from a Charitable Remainder Trust? Sometimes it takes tough economic times and natural disasters to unite and bring out the best in people.
Natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes have served to bring communities together and impact the nation as a whole. Americans have given generously to rebuild communities and help local residents through these difficult situations. Many people have also responded to tragedies worldwide or have made donations to wildlife and environmental charities. And when we give, most of us simply give from the heart and do not always consider the financial implications. How can I benefit from a wealth replacement trust? Charitable giving can be a rewarding experience by allowing you to both give and receive.
How Can I Benefit from a Charitable Lead Trust? Charitable lead trusts are designed for people who would like to benefit a charity now rather than later.
You may have heard about some charitable trust strategies before but decided against them because you wanted to make an immediate gift to charity. With a charitable lead trust, your gift can have an immediate impact, and you’ll be entitled to other benefits as well. These trusts enable you to take advantage of tax benefits and still make a significant gift. If you are accustomed to making outright contributions to your favorite charity, or if you typically sell an investment and give all or a portion of the money to charity, you may be attracted to the special advantages of using a charitable trust. Avoiding capital gains taxes on an appreciated asset is a very appealing benefit for investors.
Could My Family Benefit from a Family Limited Partnership? Effective estate planning should address wealth transfer from a practical and cost-effective approach.
One estate planning strategy that families with closely held businesses should consider is the family limited partnership. What Is a Family Limited Partnership? A family limited partnership is a partnership agreement that exists between family members who are actively involved in a trade or business. The partnership divides rights to income, appreciation, and control among the family members, according to the family’s overall objectives. Under family partnership rules, the “family business” can include real estate or investments. What Is the Best Form of Property Ownership for Me? In planning your estate, it is customary to consider wills and trusts (as well as intestacy) as a means of property distribution.
As a matter of fact, the manner in which you hold title to your assets may supersede provisions contained in other transfer documents. Likewise, significant tax benefits can be gained (or lost) depending on the characterization of your property. Let’s take a look at the general classifications of ownership. Sole Ownership Sole ownership occurs when soneone owns a complete interest in property. History of the federal estate tax. The history of estate taxes in America has been a long and winding road. Careful estate planning is still one of the most important ways to manage and protect your assets for your heirs. The Stamp Act of 1797 was the first federal estate tax in the United States and was passed to help fund an undeclared war with France; it was repealed in 1802.
The Revenue Act of 1862 reinstated the estate tax in order to fund the Civil War; it was abolished in 1870. To finance the Spanish American War, the War Revenue Act of 1898 was passed, and subsequently abolished in 1902. Due to the costs of World War I, the Revenue Act of 1916 reinstated an estate tax that, in some form or other, has been in effect ever since. Can I Benefit from an A-B Trust? Married couples have several ways to potentially avoid any estate tax liability when they leave assets to each other. Because of the unlimited marital deduction, no estate taxes are due when one spouse dies and leaves his or her assets to the survivor (as long as the surviving spouse is a U.S. citizen).
However, this may merely postpone taxes that would be due until the death of the second spouse. Federal estate taxes would be owed on the portion of the estate that exceeds the applicable estate tax exemption ($5.49 million in 2017). One basic method to maximize the exemption for both spouses has been an A-B trust (also known as a bypass trust), which preserves the estate exemption of the first spouse to die and also enables the last-surviving spouse to utilize the exemption — essentially doubling the amount exempted from the estate tax. How Can I Benefit from a Charitable Lead Trust? How Can I Benefit from a Charitable Remainder Trust? What Is the Capital Gain Tax?
Capital gains are the profits realized from the sale of capital assets such as stocks, bonds, and property. The capital gains tax is triggered only when an asset is sold, not while the asset is held by an investor. However, mutual fund investors could be charged capital gains on investments in the fund that are sold by the fund during the year. There are two types of capital gains: long term and short term; each is subject to different tax rates. Long-term gains are profits on assets held longer than 12 months before they are sold. What Is the Gift Tax?
The federal gift tax applies to gifts of property or money while the donor is living. The federal estate tax, on the other hand, applies to property conveyed to others (with the exception of a spouse) after a person’s death. The gift tax applies to the donor. The recipient is under no obligation to pay the gift tax, although other taxes, such as income tax, may apply.
The federal estate tax affects the estate of the deceased and can reduce the amount available to heirs. In theory, any gift is taxable, but there are several notable exceptions. What Is the Federal Estate Tax? The federal estate tax is a tax on property that is transferred to others upon your death. Estate taxes are assessed on the total value of your estate — your home, stocks, bonds, life insurance, and other assets of value — that is over the applicable exemption amount. Everything you own, whatever the form of ownership and regardless of whether the assets have been through probate, is subject to estate taxes. What key estate planning tools should I know about? By taking steps in advance, you have a greater say in how these questions are answered. And isn’t that how it should be? Wills and trusts are two of the most popular estate planning tools. Both allow you to spell out how you would like your property to be distributed, but they also go far beyond that.
How can a living trust help me control my estate? Living trusts enable you to control the distribution of your estate, and certain trusts may enable you to reduce or avoid many of the taxes and fees that will be imposed upon your death. William M. Swayne II- Solid Investment Strategies for Brighter Financial Futures. When people get to a point into heir lives where they have some money to invest, there are a huge range of options on how they can go about doing this. For those without financial experience of expertise this can be an overwhelming choice. William M. Swayne II- The Value of Trust with WMS Financial Planning. WMS Financial Planning- Sound Investment Planning for Stable Financial Futures. WMS Financial- Sorting Your Finances Out for a More Comfortable Retirement Period.
Retirement in many ways is a bit of a double edged sword. Whilst many people work extremely hard through out their careers to be able to enjoy a pleasant retirement, many are also aware that they won;t be generating as much income as they once did when entering this period in their life. Whilst some people look forward to it, and being able to drop the daily stress of work life, it can scare others as the aging process often does. WMS Financial Planners, Inc - The Personal touch With a Family-Run Business. Family businesses may seem like quite an old fashioned approach in the modern age, but they have survived the test of time and constantly prove to be a success. William Madison Swayne- Understanding Our Social Security Rights. It is only natural that as we grow older, we begin to get more concerned for our retirements and how we will manage them financial.
There are many paths people choose to take when considering there options. savvy individuals often decide to begin slowly paying into pension funds from the beginning of their careers, only small amounts but what accumulates into a nice pot for retirement. Others choose to invest money in certain areas to try and maximize the value of their wealth, to help secure a more stable financial future for their families also. William M. Swayne- Wanting the Best for Our Children in Education and Finance. WMS Financial- Saving for Our Child's College Funds. WMS Financial Planners, Inc- Investment Strategy from Experienced Financial Advisers.
Being wise in the way one invests money can make all the difference when planning long term financial strategies. It can help elevate people from having an average amount of wealth for a comfortable life, to being able to have a an even more comfortable future with lots of disposable income. Investing can be done in many forms, and it is often difficult to choose which area to put one’s hard earned money. This is why people choose to consult financial planning services such as us, WMS Financial Planning Services Inc. Our family run company has built up a reputation for being assured and knowledgeable when it comes to investment strategies for clients, by educating and advising them on the best routes to take. Financial Planning- Sensible Estate Planning for Financial Futures. WMS Financial Planning- Keeping one eye on retirement planning. WMS Financial Planning- Family Values, Experience and Financial Knowledge. WMS Financial Planning- Experience and Expertise in Financial Planning Management.
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