On June 14, 2017 the Fed announced its fourth increase in their interest rate targets in the past 18 months. Are the interest rate increases we’ve been threatened with for the past 5+ years finally here? If so, this this begs the...Read More
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The older you get, the more you realize that celebrities are just like us, only rich and famous. They make mistakes like anyone else, and those mistakes are often magnified by the money involved and the attention afforded their...Read More
One of the key tax initiatives rumored to be part of the new administration’s tax overhaul is a repeal of the federal estate tax. Even if this were to take place, it seems likely that estate planning will remain an integral part in...Read More
If I asked you: “What is the maximum amount you are allowed to contribute to your 401(k) this year?” you would most likely answer either $18,000 or $24,000 depending on your age (50+) and ability to contribute an additional $6,000 as a...Read More
There’s a bit of administrative business that can have impactful consequences if not dealt with in a timely manner: naming and/or updating beneficiaries and the various types of beneficiary designations. Let’s take a look at a...Read More
Along with a hiring freeze, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will mail fewer paper statements in an attempt to cut costs. You may recall that the most recent change to statements was that those not registered for an online...Read More
Last month I outlined the upcoming cost of living increase in Social Security benefits for 2017. Another recent announcement for 2017 was in regards to estate taxes. While the annual gift tax exclusion ($14,000 per donee) and the top...Read More
The Social Security Administration recently announced that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent beginning in 2017. There was no Cost-of-Living...Read More
Grandparents looking to help their grandchildren defray college costs have a variety of options. But no good deed goes unpunished! Let’s look at a couple of options and some of their pros and cons. Make Payment Direct to SchoolBecause...Read More
With the most recent estate tax changes, the majority of investors will not have an issue with the federal estate tax due to the high current level of exemption ($5.45 Million in 2016). Unfortunately, in addition to the federal estate...Read More
Inherited IRA rules may seem straight forward, when a loved one passes away and you are the named beneficiary, you take over the IRA and have to begin taking distributions. But when the death of a beneficiary occurs or a trust gets...Read More
The key to saving for an anticipated expense or season of life (i.e. retirement) is starting early. The benefits of the concept of compound interest is well-documented, with the main difference-maker being time. Hypothetical Example:...Read More
When helping clients plan, one aspect that is becoming more and more important is planning for health care costs. One question I get asked often is: “How much should I plan to spend on Medicare and other health care costs in...Read More
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was recently passed and signed into law as a way to avoid a government shut-down due to previously-imposed debt ceiling limits. Part of this bill results in closing so-called “unintended...Read More
When preparing to send a child to college, there are a lot of things to think about. First, there is finding the right school. But then you have the application process, the aid application process, the supplies, the classes, and the...Read More
Tax-deferral can be a powerful tool. It’s generally recommended to maintain tax-deferral as long as possible. If, however, there is a need to access money saved in a tax-deferred IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan before you...Read More
From 1982 to 2012, costs of tuition, room, and board for 4-year institutions increased at an average rate of over 14% per year. This increase has been more modest recently (4.65% per year between 2007 and 2012), but still outpacing...Read More
Higher-income Medicare beneficiaries have been paying more for their Parts B and D coverage for several years now in the form of income-related monthly adjustment amounts (IRMAA). A new bill signed into law by President Obama in April...Read More
The Social Security Administration recently announced that their mySocialSecurity online accounts now offer the capability to regenerate misplaced 1099 or SSA-1042S forms for tax purposes. In order to access, go to www.socialsecurity...Read More
In general to establish an IRA (Traditional or Roth) an individual: 1. Must have compensation (either earned income of an employee or self-employed, or alimony). AND 2. Must meet the following income guidelines: Traditional IRA – Fully...Read More
Your digital assets can include email accounts, social media accounts, music, ebooks, and movie accounts, among others. Unfortunately, problems often arise upon the owner’s death due to fine print in the user agreement for a website or...Read More