President Obama focused on middle class economics in his State of the Union address, but from my vantage point what was missing from a financial planning point of view was any discussion of retirement and, beyond a reference to “closing loopholes for wealthier folks,” specifics of his tax plan.

Nonetheless, administration officials did say the plan would increase the marginal capital gains rate to 28% (including the 3.8% surtax) and, perhaps more importantly, eliminate stepped-up basis of capital gains assets at death. It is an idea that has low rumblings of bipartisan support, making it worth the time to analyze the potential effects of capital gain changes.

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