Retirement can be financially difficult for many Americans. The median retirement account balance in the United States is below a level that will sustain a retiree until death. With Social Security benefits on the decline, this provides many Americans with a retirement problem.
If retiring Americans are looking to maximize their retirement, it’s a good strategy to retire to Southeast Asia, in one of many countries that offer a tropical lifestyle for a bargain. One of the most popular retirement destinations in Southeast Asia is Thailand, which offers a low cost of living and a relaxing lifestyle.
1. Low Cost of Living
The cost of living in Thailand is much lower than in the U.S. It’s possible to buy a one-bedroom home in the popular Chiang Mai area for around $50,000. A retiree can rent a similar home in the Chiang Mai area for around $500 per month.
Food, transportation and entertainment also cost comparatively less than they do in the U.S. For roughly $1,500 a month in total living expenses, a retiree can live a comfortable lifestyle in Thailand.
2. Delicious Food
Thai restaurants are some of the most popular international eateries in the
After each tax season, taxpayers will receive their refunds—or end up in dutch to Uncle Sam. And, although Americans can take advantage of numerous tax deductions, the number of options can be hard to parse, or process. Fortunately, property owners can take advantage of a benefit which grants a reduction in taxes they owe. This benefit (called a “depreciation deduction”) is an easy and legal way to minimize tax liability, and property owners should be prepared to take full advantage.
What is the Depreciation Deduction?
Depreciations are income tax deductions that permit property owners to recover the cost of assets over time. The IRS makes an annual allowance for a property’s deterioration, for wear and tear, and for obsolescence—one that applies to tangible property (buildings, machinery, equipment, and vehicles) as well as intangible property (computer software, patents, and copyrights).
As with all tax rules, there are requirements and limitations. The property must be owned by the taxpayer; the deduction can’t be used on a rented or borrowed assets. Properties that have depreciated must be have been used for business purposes, or for income-producing activities. Lastly, the property must have existed for more than
As the leading edge of the Baby-Boom generation moves well into retirement age, more and more empty nesters and retirees are putting additional thought and preparation into their vacation plans. For years, many vacationers with disposable income and wanderlust have chosen to invest in a timeshare, which can offer familiarity year in and year out.
But instead of resting their heads on the pillows of a four- or five-star resort, some are bedding down everywhere from catamarans to tree houses to ancient castles.
According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), more than seven million owners currently participate in vacation timeshares at more than 5,000 timeshare resorts in nearly 100 countries. And clearly a number of those millions have grown tired of the standard beach-and-golf destinations and are electing to explore more nontraditional venues. It’s a good time for quirky journeys.
Doing the Homework
Anyone opting for timesharing always needs to decide between purchasing a stake (“deeded ownership”) and leasing rights to the property (“right-to-use vacation interval option”). But when considering an exotic destination such as an African safari, this decision is even more critical. Put another way, do you really want to spend the next ten years returning to that tree house in
People buy life insurance for many reasons, and it offers some unique features that are not found in many other financial products. For example, leverage, especially in the early years of a policy, where you pay a small premium to lock in a large death benefit or the ability to time liquidity to an event (the death benefit).
An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is created to own and control a term or permanent life insurance policy or policies while the insured is alive, as well as to manage and distribute the proceeds that are paid out upon the insured’s death. An ILIT can own both individual and second to die life insurance policies. Second to die policies insure two lives and pay a death benefit only upon the second death.
An ILIT has several parties — the grantor, trustees and beneficiaries. The grantor typically creates and funds the ILIT. Gifts or transfers made to the ILIT are permanent, and the grantor is giving up control to the trustee. The trustee manages the ILIT, and the beneficiaries receive distributions. (See also: When is it a good idea to use an irrevocable life insurance trust?)
It is important for the grantor to avoid any
There are many benefits to being self-employed. Two key ones: You can set your hours and you don’t have a boss watching your every move. The problem is figuring out how to make money as an independent operator. If you don’t have your own product to sell, such as your grandmother’s amazing brownies, or a service (you’re a landscape gardener or PR expert), one common way to get into business is to sign up with a company that already has a product line, such as Avon or Mary Kay.
Avon, which sells cosmetics and other women’s products; nutrition-products supplier Herbalife; Mary Kay; fragrance-products company Scentsy; and Stella & Dot, a marketer of jewelry and fashion accessories are all multi-level, or network, marketing companies. These companies rely on independent entrepreneurs, many of them women working part-time from home, to market their products through parties, in-home shows, personal websites and other non-traditional retail settings that emphasize social selling. But what distinguishes multi-level marketing from other forms of so-called direct selling is that those independent salespeople can become distributors, earning income not only from their sales but also from the sales of people they recruit into the company.
Having two ways to obtain income from