June 30, 2010 NJ Pension System Near Collapse A new report from George Mason University studied public employee pension systems across the country. When private sector accounting methods are applied, New Jersey’s five defined benefit plans covering 770,000 public workers and more than 250,000 retirees is under funded by more than 170 billion, an amount equal to over 300% of the New Jersey State Debt. Officially, state officials maintain the under funding is only $44.7 billion and assume a return on investment of 8.25%. It is estimated if state pension assets average a return of 8%, New Jersey will run out of funds to meet its pension obligations in 2019. If assets returns are lower than 8%, they will run out of funds sooner. Some say as early as 2013. Asbury Park Press 6/27/10 p. B5. If you want to discuss how this will affect you and what steps you can take to help secure your retirement, please call us. Middle Class Tax Boost is Broached Steny Hoyer, the Democratic House Majority Leader signaled on June 22, 2010 that the Democrats might scale back plans to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, as deficit worries grow in Congress. This means that while candidate Barack Obama pledged to make these cuts permanent, now that he is elected and pushed the largest spending increases in US history, it will now be paid for by the middle class since the wealthy don’t have enough income to tax. Wall Street Journal 6/23/10. Scared To Death According to Allianz Life Insurance Company, 61% of Americans questioned between the ages of 44 to 75, admit they fear the prospect of depleting their accumulated assets during retirement more than they fear death. Expand Your Party Guest List Are you hosting a get-together and inviting a few top-echelon employees? Invite the entire workforce and you will be able to write off 100% of your cost instead of the usual 50% limit for entertainment deductions. Small Business Tax Strategies June 2010. Long Term Care: Mostly A Women’s Issue? Due to longer life spans, odds are they will be alone at the age when they most need care. Additionally, women are traditionally the primary caregivers for a family member or spouse needing care and, usually, provide between 60% and 75% of unpaid care. The stress of caregiving means that women are six times as likely to suffer symptoms of depression, and those who provide more than nine hours of care to a spouse “double their risk of coronary heart disease.” Women also stand to lose substantial amounts from Social Security benefits, total lifetime earnings, and pension benefits because of time lost from their careers in caregiving. The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance has issued a Women’s Guide to Long Term Care Insurance Protection. Information may be obtained at www.aaltci.org/tools. According to the Executive Director of the Association, women are the ones who generally start the conversations on LTC issues and also tend to be the decisions makers on the issue. Investment Advisor September 2009 p. 130. As always, if you have any questions about these or any other matters, do not hesitate to call me. Remember, We’re Here For You!!