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james daniel
James A. Daniel, CFP®
(678) 566-3711




Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in the U.S., which it
awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.



tafThe Advisory Firm Newsletter:  November 2011

2012 Retirement Savings Limits, Estate Planning & Budgeting Software.

This month I have a variety of items to share covering personal financial planning topics. The first being the newly released IRS contribution limits for 2012, a quick Estate Planning refresher and finally a list of popular budgeting software.


The IRS has published their retirement plan savings limits for 2012. The only big change is that 401k savers can now save another $500 pretax over last year:

2012 LIMITS:

  • 401k: $17,000 (+ over age 50 catchup $5500)
  • IRA: $5000 (+ over age 50 catchup $1000)
  • Simple IRA: $11,500 (+over age 50 catchup $2500)

2012 Roth AGI Limits:

  • Married modified Adjusted Gross Income Limits to be able to contribute to a Roth IRA in 2012: phase out starts at $173,000 and is fully phased out at $183,000. This simply means that if your joint household income falls below this level you can both make a Roth IRA contribution for 2012.
  • Single modified Adjusted Gross Income Limits to be able to contribute to a Roth IRA in 2012: phase out starts at $110,000 and is fully phased out at $125,000.

WILL: purpose of having a Will is to make sure your intentions are clear as to how you want your property distributed.

LIVING WILL / POWER OF ATTORNEY: (also called Advanced Directives) these legal documents describe your wishes if incapacitated or terminal.

WILL SUBSTITUTE: simply a name for ownership / beneficiary titling and a way to distribute property after death to the right people quickly and to reduce the size of probate estate. Items that pass via Will Substitute are outside the Will. Examples include anything with a beneficiary attached (life insurance, IRA's) and accounts titled Joint With Rights of Survivorship.


Budgeting Software:

I often get questions from planning clients on helpful ways to track their cashflow and spending. Recently this same topic was discussed on a financial planner's discussion board, so I thought I would share the results:



Bonus: a couple of year end tax tips......

As you begin planning for year end taxes here are a couple of items to ask your CPA about:

  • If a widower should you file as Head of Household or Qualifying Widower?
  • Should you consider lumping itemized deductions in this tax year to meet the thresholds?
  • If you have highly appreciated property would it be better to gift outright to a charity rather than sell it and gift cash?



Next week I participate in a local MDA event, so if you could spare a donation please click the link below:

Just click here to make a secure online donation before 11/09/11.

Even just a few dollars will help. Thanks!


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The Advisory Firm, LLC provides fee-only financial planning services for clients throughout metro Atlanta and North Georgia including the communities of Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, Dawsonville, Duluth, Dunwoody, Marietta, Midtown, Roswell, and Woodstock.

This newsletter if for informational purposes only. The information contained within should not be considered as financial advice nor soliciation for financial services. Consult with your financial professional if you have any questions. The Advisory Firm, LLC is a fee-only financial planning company and registered investment advisor.