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Last minute gift ideas for Valentine’s Day

[ 0 ] February 12, 2014
Spectrum Financial Solutions, LLC, NJ, FL, Valentine's DayValentine’s Day is creeping closer and if your significant other deserves more than just a standard drug store chocolate heart, than you came to the right place. We have a complete list of last minute Valentine’s Day gift for both him and her, and the best thing about these 6 gifts is that they are fast and cheap, while still being incredibly thoughtful. So whether you are looking forward to spending the loving day with Mr. Right, or your special lady, these last minute presents will ensure your celebration goes off with out a hitch!

For Him

DIY projects are easy and affordable, but while women normally cry at the sight of anything handmade, men are not so enthralled with the process. However, this gift combines the simplistic nature of DIY projects with an actual gift your significant other will want. 12-months of preplanned dates is such a fun and exciting way to spend the year together. The dates planned can range from stay-at-home movie nights, to meals out, attending sporting events, and maybe even his favorite band’s concert. Use multi-colored envelopes, secured close with ribbon in order to prevent any wandering eyes, label each envelope with the corresponding month for your dates. Not only is it multiple gifts in one, but also your man will love to know that you planned well into the future with him!

Breakfast in bed, who ever said that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach was so right. A way to create a special breakfast for the two of you is to have sweet breakfast in bed, of course you want it to be delicious but you should also make it simple, because the best part about breakfast in bed is having you still tucked in beside him. Try a baked French Toast Casserole, which you can set the day before and then easily bake in the morning before your loved one wakes. Pair with frozen/ pre cooked sausages and of course his favorite juice and coffee. Simple and sweet, the best part is while baking the casserole your whole house will start to smell like cinnamon and sugar goodness, the perfect way to wake up!

While men attempt to pretend they are touch and not so sensitive, they can be big teddy bears. So what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day then telling them all the reason you love them. Combining the two best parts of tis annual sappy holiday, your man will love to know that he is loved each and every time he reaches for a sweet candy treat. Make your man the 50 Reasons Why I Love You Jar, using miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, circle labels, and a mason jar. Check out The Dating Diva’s for full instructions!

For Her

Luckily when it comes to Valentine’s Day most women will be over the moon of their significant other just puts in a bit of extra effort. So with these easy to do DIY gifts, you will be getting serious brownie points for a while after Valentine’s Day is over.

A carved initial candle is not only beautiful but romantic as well. This is the perfect gift for your girlfriend that not only loves candles, but also loves personalization. Throwing it back middle school when you and your boyfriend would crave your name into the local kissing tree, the craved candle is the perfect declaration of love without going over the top. Check out for full instructions on how to make this gift, and what supplies you’ll need!

Now this DIY project is most certainly a bit more ambitious then the candle but hey anything you worked on your girlfriend will love, right? Well that’s what they say so give it a shot! Give your favorite girl her new favorite accessory- a leather heart coin purse. A sweet reminder of our shared love each time she looks into her purse, luckily no sewing is involved and the directions seem simple enough. Check out for a full tutorial and our advice would be to grab a few extra yards of leather, just in case your first heather cut out isn’t perfect.

Our last gift idea for a fast and cheap Valentine’s Day extravaganza is to cook your sweetie something sweet. Now maybe a full dinner is too ambitious and can become costly quick, we understand that. But after you guys have enjoyed a nice Valentine’s Day meal, handled by professionals, head on home for something more romantic made fresh by you! Dessert is easy to make, and hard to mess up, especially if there is chocolate involved. A classic Valentine’s Day dessert are chocolate covered strawberries and luckily for you, you can make them ahead of time, and have your treats ready to serve when you both arrive home from dinner. Check out an easy step-by-step recipe to make these sexy and delicious desserts for Valentine’s Day.

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Privately Financed Graded Premium Universal Life

[ 0 ] February 5, 2014

Spectrum Financial Solutions, NJ, Life InsuranceCurrently, an arbitrage opportunity presents itself to sophisticated investors whereby interest bearing loans (interest paid currently and loans retired in less than ten years) made to a trust for the benefit of family members can create guaranteed Internal Rates of Return (IRR) that far exceed those available from most portfolio assets.  As the accompanying study illustrates, if trust assets grow at a modest 6% annual rate, the underlying trust will have grown terminal value to in excess of $16,145,000 in year 27 (the joint life expectancy of the hypothetical couple used in the study).

That equates to a 12.5% tax-free IRR for the trust assets (19.3% pre-tax).

This program is not a risk-less arbitrage.  Risk may be associated only with the trust’s ability to achieve annual growth of 6% during the loan period and longevity of the investors.  To the degree that growth rates fall below 6%, loans may be extended beyond 9 years and, correspondingly, IRR’s will not be as high as illustrated.  Additionally, because the trust matures upon the death of the investors, if the trust outlasts actuarial assumptions, IRR’s may be less than indicated above (see accompanying schedules).

This program is Internal Revenue Code (IRC) compliant.  Rates of interest charged to and paid by trusts using program are based on the Applicable Federal Rate (AFR) for mid-term loans and are published monthly.  Once established, loans will bear that AFR for the term of the loan.

Perhaps a successful individual is not interested in further estate planning. This approach understands that position and posits that the Privately Financed Guaranteed UL Program, aside from offering a superior investment experience, may enable investors’ unique opportunities to expand both charitable and non-charitable goals that previously weren’t possible or were deferred.

To Summarize:

Privately Financed Graded Premium Universal Life may be a solution to issues facing many successful investors and families today.  Through the use of a minimal risk arbitrage technique, estates can be secured, charitable gifts accelerated and a variety of other planning and/or investment goals satisfied very efficiently.

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Business Protection Help

[ 0 ] December 11, 2013

Spectrum Financial Solutions, New Jersey, Florida, business protectionDear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

Larry and Harold, best friends and business partners for the past 20 years, operate their successful company as an S corporation. They started with nothing and built their business from the ground up, working hard to increase profits through the economy’s ups and downs. Their partnership is truly an American Success Story.


Four years ago, Larry’s younger brother announced he was getting married. Larry was ecstatic with his brother’s new wife and asked what he could give the happy couple for their wedding gift. When his brother asked if Larry would be willing to co-sign a loan for a house, Larry didn’t hesitate. That’s what a good big brother does, right?

Unfortunately, four years of recession left Larry’s little brother unemployed and struggling to pay his bills. Larry had no idea how dire his brother’s situation had become until he received a notice in the mail that the bank was foreclosing on his brother’s house, which was now only worth half its mortgage.


Because of the personal guarantee Larry gave the lender, the bank comes after Larry for the remaining debt. After all, Larry willingly co-signed for the loan, leaving him responsible if his brother defaulted.   Unfortunately, the bad economy also hit Larry’s pocketbook, and he doesn’t have the cash or personal assets to pay off the debt.

Luckily for the bank, Larry owns a successful business. Larry believes his business assets and cash flow are protected from his personal creditors. Unfortunately, that is not the case.   Larry’s attorney chose the wrong entity when he formed the corporation, not realizing that corporate stock can quite easily be seized by a personal judgment creditor.

How does that happen?

Once the bank gets a judgment against Larry and his brother, the bank then receives a Writ of Attachment, allowing it to attach the debtor’s personal property.  Under a Writ of Attachment, the bank can take over Larry’s shares of the corporation and force the company to liquidate its assets, which then go to the creditor as the new shareholder. The bank can also vote to remove the current management and run the business itself until it can find a buyer, all while keeping the operating profits.

In short, Larry will lose everything he worked so hard to build. It’s not good for Larry, his brother, Harold, or the business.


Paul and Steve’s lawyer established their company as an LLC, rather than an S or C corporation. Paul also co-signed for a relative’s loan, and the relative later defaulted.

Luckily, because his business was organized as an LLC, Paul’s judgment creditor’s right to seize the LLC interest is quite limited. In fact, state law only allows the creditor to obtain a Charging Order (CO) after securing the judgment, rather than a Writ of Attachment, because no Writ of Attachment is allowed for a LLC membership interest.

A Charging Order restricts judgment creditors to receiving future distributions from the debtor’s interest if and when such distributions are made by the manager. The judgment creditor is expressly prohibited from interfering with the business while it waits for the distributions to be made or the judgment to be paid. In fact, under state law, a judgment creditor that obtains a Charging Order is deemed to be an “assignee partner/member”. This allows the business to operate normally, without impeding the partners’ business decisions or personal relationships.

It is also important to note that under federal income tax law, the “assignee partner/member” is required to report all of the LLC’s income (whether or not actually distributed by the LLC to the member). This is known as “phantom income”.   Because of phantom income, a judgment creditor will want to think twice before seeking to get the Charging Order registered against the LLC interest of the judgment debtor, as illustrated below.

Years ago, one of our clients was sued by a creditor and the creditor secured a Charging Order against our client’s LLC interest.  Under Rev. Rul. 77-137, we advised our client to send the judgment creditor his K-1 each year.  The creditor would not settle for less than the full amount of the judgment plus its fees and expenses of collection.  By the 3rd year under the Charging Order, the LLC sold a property that produced a capital gain of $2.4M.  The debtor’s LLC interest represented 90% of the total LLC, so pursuant to the IRS Ruling, the holder of the Charging Order was sent the K-1 representing 90% of the taxable capital gain, or $2.1M of taxable income.  Shortly thereafter, the creditor settled the outstanding debt for 10% of the original amount of the debt.

As I have been known to say:  The judgment creditor got KO’s with the CO.


The take-away from this lesson is that if one has the choice between operating their business as a Corporation (C or S) or an LLC, the LLC provides many more important options to consider. If you already own a C or S corporation, you can convert it to an LLC and elect to be taxed as a C or S corporation, as the case may be.

Despite the additional paperwork and costs, had Larry known about this choice, he would have gladly opted for this kind of business entity.

Don’t let a good deed punish what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. If you would like to know whether your corporation might qualify for this important benefit, contact us and we will gladly evaluate your situation for you.

We hope this helps.


The Intersection of Blind Faith and Unvarnished Truth

[ 0 ] December 4, 2013

Spectrum Financial Group, NJ, FL, TruthI don’t claim to be the most well read person despite the fact that I read a great deal.  I also don’t claim to be the definitive source on all things economic and financial although I have worked my entire career counseling wealthy families on financial, estate and philanthropic planning matters.

What I do claim is that I am confused about the current state of our economy, the path of our country’s future and the blindness of both the right and left sides of our political and economic spectrum.  It strikes me that we may be near the intersection of blind faith and the unvarnished truth and that there will be a reckoning in the not-too-distant future.

As cathartic as writing thoughts and feelings may be, nothing mitigates the very real concern that I hold for our futures, not to mention our children’s and our grandchildren’s futures.  While Washington, Wall Street and the press “spin” a new reality almost daily, we as individuals, who have labored long and hard to reach where we are today, see a different reality…dare I say a true reality.

Truth…our national debt is somewhere in the area of $17 trillion (to get a grasp of its true enormity, that is $17,000,000,000,000…kind of feels different when all the zeros are added!).  When you add state and local debt (estimated to be in excess of $4 trillion), it becomes an even more significant number.  Even if the Affordable Care Act works perfectly and doesn’t cost the estimated $2 to $3 trillion as projected by various sources, folks, we have a national financial planning problem.

Just our basic national debt is in excess of $54,000 for every man, woman and child in our country…another truth!  And, the national debt is growing by over $2.7 billion every day (that’s $3,000 more each year for U.S. citizen).

It’s inevitable that our country will always have some element of debt.  Frankly, it would be virtually impossible not to have national debt.  And, to be equally frank, some national debt is desirable and necessary.  But, is this level of debt, not to mention the specter of increasing national debt, sustainable?

The problem is that, when and if national debt ever shrinks, it will only be done through tax collections.  This leads to the next set of truths which are equally as disturbing as those shared above.

Truth…the national unemployment rate is 7.3%.  The broader U-6 unemployment rate, which includes the unemployed, marginally attached workers, part-time workers who want full-time work and those who have dropped out of the workforce, is currently 14.3%.  These are not people who can pay taxes to reduce national debt.

Truth…47 million Americans are on food stamp programs.  It is estimated that over 100 million Americans receive some form of living subsidy or welfare. In several states (Massachusetts and Hawaii), the maximum welfare package available to families provide pre-tax wage equivalent benefits in excess of $50,000 per year (33 states provide welfare packages in excess of $30,000 pre-tax equivalents).  This group also isn’t capable of helping to reduce debt…or likely to find paying jobs at over $24 per hour to equal their welfare packages.

Truth…47% of all Americans pay no taxes.  As politically incorrect as his pre-election comments were, Mitt Romney was right.  The top 10% of taxpayers pay 70% of all tax collections.  The middle class in our country is stretched to its limits but is honestly trying to keep their jobs, save for retirement, support their communities and contribute to the Treasury.

So it appears glaringly obvious to this writer that reducing our national debt relies on either substantial economic growth in our country and/or higher taxation.  My sense is that our economy is faced with the task of untying a Gordian knot.

Where will good paying job opportunities be created?  What is the incentive for those unemployed to seek taxable jobs in light of various welfare subsidies?  What skills will be required to enter the new workforce?

When manufacturing represents only 17% of our GDP and with over 50% provided by finance, insurance, leasing, health care, social assistance, professional, business and educational services and government, where will the opportunities for modestly educated Americans be created?   And with government accounting for 13% of GDP, one wonders how it may expand the workforce in a meaningful way.

Quantitative Easing hasn’t made great inroads in spurring new job creation, although it certainly has helped the financial markets and banking industry.  Cheap money comes at a great cost though.  The trillions of dollars spent in this program haven’t percolated down equally to most Americans but it may enhance the already burgeoning national deficit in the future.

Thankfully, it has helped keep interest rates at historically low levels.  I can’t imagine the cost of carrying our national debt if natural market forces were allowed to prevail or, in another vein, how equity markets would perform in a more organic environment.

My guess is that, over time, equilibrium will be struck but it is likely to be very painful getting there.  In light of anemic job creation and the strong possibility of continued lackluster future growth, taxation is almost certainly to rise to not only support various entitlements but also to fund the national debt.  Additionally, because of the makeup of tax receipts in our country, the burden will fall squarely on the shoulders of our wealthiest citizens.  And, with the increasingly expanding pool of entitlement recipients coupled with spin on the wealthy embraced by the press and current political factions, tax based economic expansion (easing) has significant opposition in, at least, our near future.

How that affects job creation, capital development and philanthropic programs is sure to be an ongoing debate.  The prospect of higher marginal tax rates, elimination of deductions, “millionaire taxes” and estate taxation appear to be very real and logical future developments.  And, the question of morphing into a more European tax model is also a possibility.

While this column may give one a “sky is falling” impression, that is not its intent.  This is still the greatest country in the world and opportunities abound.  The closing thought is that it is time to understand the playing field ahead of us and to be proactive in our planning.  There are many programs available to address the emerging economy that wealthy clients, families and organizations should be aware of to make the best planning decisions for the future.  We are here to help eliminate blind faith and address the unvarnished truths of our future.  Give us a call.

Content provide by George Klahre.


Creating assets for your grandchildren

[ 0 ] December 4, 2013

Spectrum Financial Solutions, New Jersey, Florida, Assets for grandchildren

Did you know that when you leave your children an inheritance the federal government taxes them?  And then the same thing happens when your children leave your grandchildren an inheritance.

If you were thinking about leaving your grandchildren the inheritance, the Generation Skipping Transfer (GST) tax has closed any tax loopholes for that.

With a couple of exceptions.

Gift Tax Exclusions

This exclusion allows you to gift up to $13,000 a year ($26,000 for married couples) to each grandchild, or another individual, without incurring a gift tax.

This path reduces the amount of your taxable estate and gives you the joy you create when giving these gifts to your loved ones.

Pay for Education and Healthcare

You can also pay all or part of your grandchild’s tuition or medical expenses.  There is no GST when opting for this route.

GST Gift Trust

You can create a GST gift trust for each of your grandchildren.   When  your grandchildren receive the trusts; the value may have grown dramatically thanks to the accumulation of interest and dividends. Your grandchildren will inherit the assets entirely free of estate tax and GST tax.

Dynasty life insurance trusts

This option is a much more sophisticated strategy involving insuring the lives of you and your spouse, placing the insurance policy in a trust, listing your grandkids as the beneficiaries and contributing money to the trust to pay the premium.

Contact us today to determine which way will work best for you.

Spectrum Financial Solutions, New Jersey, Florida

Spectrum Financial Solutions, LLC located in New Jersey and Spectrum Financial Solutions, LLC located in FL have been assisting individuals and businesses with their financial challenges for over 30 years.  Do you need to know about Privately Financed Universal Life Insurance located in FL? Call us today. Family Legacy Unitrust Edge located in NJ has been created to help families establish lifetime legacies in a unique manner that simultaneously addresses social and family needs. Applicable Federal Rates located in FL affect many of your planning tools.

George Klahre
10110 SE Osprey Pointe Dr.
Hobe Sound, FL 33455
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Small businesses and Obamacare do not mix

[ 0 ] November 20, 2013

Spectrum Financial Solutions, FL New Jersey, ACA

President Obama promised that small businesses would be able to afford healthcare for their employees at reasonable rates.   According to the White House website, “the health law “makes it easier for businesses to find better coverage options” and “stops insurance companies from taking advantage of you, giving the consumer and business owner more control and making health-care coverage more affordable.”

Small businesses are disagreeing with him.

Many small businesses under 50 employees are choosing not to offer healthcare to their employees since they have that option. 64% of businesses that are between 40-500 employees believe that Obamacare will have a negative impact on their business.

In fact, many small businesses have changed their full time employees to part time.  Obamacare has defined a full time employee as someone who works 30+ hours a week.

Many companies are even capping their full time employees at 49 employees.  Businesses that have between 40-70 employees will  “make personnel decisions to keep” their “workforce below the threshold of 50 full-time employees and avoid the requirements and penalties associated with the new health care law.”

Read the entire article here.

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Spectrum Financial Solutions, New Jersey, Florida

Spectrum Financial Solutions, LLC located in New Jersey and Spectrum Financial Solutions, LLC located in FL have been assisting individuals and businesses with their financial challenges for over 30 years.  Do you need to know about Privately Financed Universal Life Insurance located in FL? Call us today. Family Legacy Unitrust Edge located in NJ has been created to help families establish lifetime legacies in a unique manner that simultaneously addresses social and family needs. Applicable Federal Rates located in FL affect many of your planning tools.

George Klahre
10110 SE Osprey Pointe Dr.
Hobe Sound, FL 33455
Facebook | LinkedIn | Blog | Email



[ 0 ] October 23, 2013

Spectrum Financial Solutions, LLC Family LegacyWhat is a legacy?  To many people, it is the estate that they leave their heirs after their deaths.  It is the culmination of prudence, wisdom and intelligent financial planning and may provide one a great feeling of satisfaction.  However, a legacy does not necessarily need to start after our deaths nor does it need to be confined solely to providing assets and income for our heirs.


The Family Legacy Unitrust Edge is a straightforward combination of three time tested financial planning tools joined together into one program in order to achieve optimum success for our clients who are concerned about charitable giving and income tax and estate planning issues. The designers of theFLUTE program have combined three basic, IRS codified concepts to avoid potential pitfalls associated with risky, “over the top” planning techniques that may be offered to wealthy individuals today.  Our opinion letter from PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP bears testimony to this.  The cornerstones of theFLUTE are:  substantial ongoing gifts to charity, Internal Revenue Code based income tax deductions, traditional estate transfer techniques and organizations like Spectrum Financial Solutions, LLC to make them a reality.

Spectrum Financial LLC, Florida

Spectrum Financial Solutions, LLC located in New Jersey and Spectrum Financial Solutions, LLC located in FL have been assisting individuals and businesses with their financial challenges for over 30 years.  With an emphasis on partnering with the right professional, we offer technical help and  specializations to meet your every need. Retirement Planning in FL, Tax Planning in NJ and Estate Planning in NJ are our successful hallmarks.

Need to know about Privately Financed Universal Life Insurance in FL? Call us today. Family Legacy Unitrust Edge in NJ has been created to help families establish lifetime legacies in a unique manner that simultaneously addresses social and family needs. We’d like to make sure you know more. Applicable Federal Rates in FL affect many of your planning tools.


George Klahre

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