Monday, April 03, 2000

YOUR MONEY


Seminars can help investors

BY AMY HIGGINS
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        If you're like most Americans, you are concerned about outliving your retirement savings.

        Maybe you haven't started saving at all because you have no idea about how to save. While you're sitting on the sidelines, almost half the country is enjoying a record bull market.

        A financial class might help you dive headlong into investing.

        Some opportunities to learn more:

        • 10th Annual Investors Fair: The OKI Tri-State Chapter of National Association of Investors Corp. (NAIC)is holding a daylong event April 15 at the Sharonville Convention Center.

        Sessions include Chris DeSimio's On the Money WVXU radio broadcast and a discussion of the dot.com boom, led by Christopher Smitherman of the Oxford Financial Group.

        NAIC provides information and education to investment clubs and individuals. The investor fair is 8 a.m. and costs $22 for NAIC members and $25 for non-members before April 7. Reservations postmarked after April 7 are $28.

        For more information, contact Don Bunnell at 779-0444 or dbunnell@cinci.rr.com.

        • Four-week UC class: A noncredit adult education class titled “Financial Strategies for Successful Retirement” will be available through the University of Cincinnati.

        The four-week class covers basic personal financial planning topics such as investments, lowering your taxes, IRAs and other retirement plans, Medicare and long-term health care, and estate planning.

        Two sessions are available: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays April 4, 11, 18 and 25; and Thursdays April 6, 13, 20 and 27. Both sessions will be at the UC Warren County Center.

        The $59 fee covers materials for an individual or a couple. To register or request more information, call UC at 556-6932, choose option 3.

        • Planning For Retirement: This one-day seminar is offered by the American Association of Individual Investors and teaches basic and advanced market concepts.

        Topics include setting objectives, figuring how much savings is needed, choosing a retirement plan, managing a portfolio and restructuring the plan.

        All registrants will receive AAII Jumpstart materials to prepare for the seminar, which will run 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 29 at the Holiday Inn Riverfront, 600 W. Third St., Covington. Registration fee for members is $149 a person, $119 for an accompanying family member, and $198 for non-members (includes a one-year AAII membership).

        Call 1-800-428-2244 to enroll.

        Tax tip o' the week: You pay taxes on income, so it would seem logical you pay taxes on gifts above the $10,000 limit, right? Wrong.

        The recipient of a gift hardly ever pays taxes on it, but the donor or his estate someday might. The IRS combines for tax purposes what you give away before and what you give away after your death, so you don't skirt estate taxes by giving it all away on your deathbed. For either before or after your death, you can give $675,000 federal estate tax-free (a figure rising to $1 million by 2006). But gifts of $10,000 a person don't count as part of that $675,000.

        Example: Your mother gave you $15,000 last year for the down payment on your first house. Your mother, not you, should file a gift tax return. Nothing is due until she dies and wants to pass on her $700,000 estate.

        Had her gift been $10,000, there would be federal estate taxes owed on $25,000 ($700,000 minus $675,000). But that extra $5,000 of the gift gets deducted from the $675,000 exemption, so federal estate taxes will be owed on $30,000.

        Besides creating a trust, she could limited taxes by planning ahead and gifting $10,000 a year for three years. That would not affect the exemption amount and lower her estate beyond $675,000.

        Amy Higgins writes about personal finance for The Enquirer. You can reach her at 768-8373; ahiggins@enquirer.com; or Your Money, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202.

       



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