Update to Social Security Post

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March 11th, 2013

Just a couple of items to add to our Social Security Post of yesterday. First, if the farmer’s spouse works outside of the farm and has made a substantial amount of money during their career, then it may not make sense for the farmer to pay any more into the system.  A retired person is […]


When It Pays to Increase Your Earnings

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March 10th, 2013

We get this question from farmers approaching retirement age a lot: “I have had very low income for most of my career and should I try to maximize my income as I approach retirement to increase my social security benefits” Chris Hesse, who is one of my partners at CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP had provided me with […]


Annual Exclusion Update

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December 19th, 2012

I was talking with a reader from North Carolina today about our post from yesterday.  He was not sure if the annual exclusion amount was or was not included in the lifetime.  So, I have decided to do one more update on this subject.  The first $13,000 ($14,000) of gifts that you give to everyone […]


Annual Exclusion Does Not Eat Into Lifetime Exclusion.

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December 18th, 2012

We had a reader ask the following question: “Am I correct in that this accumulation of gifts during lifetime does not include those under the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion ($13,000)?” It seems like most of my posts lately deal with estate and gift taxes, but this is a very important subject and with the end […]


What Does Unified Credit Mean?

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December 17th, 2012

We have gotten a few questions lately on how the lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion are tied together.  In brief, transfers made during your lifetime are called gifts and reported on a gift tax return while transfers made at death are also a “gift”, but reported on an estate tax return. The gifts made during […]


Another Nice Feature of a Living Trust

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December 16th, 2012

We have gotten some feedback on my previous post about revocable living trusts.  One of the features of a living trust versus a will is that the trust can be set up to provide for “guardianship” of your affairs during your lifetime should you suddenly become disabled, etc. You can create other forms of documents that […]


You Can Use an IRA Too – Maybe!

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June 4th, 2010

My post from yesterday resulted in several comments and questions that I would like to respond to. One comment is that code section 4975 deals with prohibited transactions regarding you and your pension plan or IRA.  There are severe penalties for not obeying the rules regarding these transactions.  However, if you obey the rules, the […]


Tap Your 401(k) to Start Your Farm Business

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June 3rd, 2010

      I know that many of our readers currently have jobs not related to farming, however, you would like to leave that job and start farming on a full-time basis.   One of the major drawbacks to doing this is the lack of capital.  However, many of you could have a substantial asset that […]


$70,000 of Taxable Income Equals Zero Tax

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March 16th, 2010

There is about a month left before the April 15 tax filing deadline (except for those people who file extensions) and one of the nice tax benefits still available this year is the long-term capital gains rates for those taxpayers in the normal 15% tax bracket and lower.  For those taxpayers, the net capital gains […]


The 3 P’s of Succession Planning

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March 4th, 2010

    As advisors, we are actively involved in succession planning for farmers and other businesses.  This is usually a long process and will change over time and as the generations involved grow and mature, their goals will usually change. There are three main goals related to this planning: Protect – The primary goal of […]


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