Gifts of appreciated assets help donor at tax time


DO YOU wish to be generous and also save taxes? "Stocks and mutual funds are increasingly finding their way into collection plates as the stock market's multi-rise has blessed donors with large paper profits," says Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. "Giving away assets that soared in value lets you shed your tax bill and play benefactor. If you have owned the asset for over a year, you can deduct its full market value without reporting any appreciation as taxable income."

Want to lay your hands on some money? "Apply for a home-equity line of credit," says Jonathan Pond, financial planner. "You may need to borrow if your income suddenly drops. Apply now but don't tap into it unless you need it. Banks are the best places to start for a home equity credit line."

"Regardless of how or when the Social Security debate is resolved, people must save for their own retirements. Social Security replaces about 60 percent of $20,000 in pre-retirement income and 10 percent of $200,000. Yet for one in five retirees, Social Security provides their entire income." (Financial Perspectives.)

QUICKIES: "In the first nine months of 1998, total return on Treasury bonds was more than 10 percent -- but high-yield (junk) bonds actually had a loss." (Morningstar Reports.)

"In investing, the return you want should depend on whether you want to eat well or sleep well." (1999 Stock Trader's Almanac.)

Pub Date: 2/03/99

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