Under the CARES Act, payments for federal student loans are suspended through September, and interest rates are temporarily set to 0%. Read more for details on how this relief works.Read More
Since the passage of the Revenue Act of 1913, Congress has rejiggered our income tax rates an astonishing 40+ times. This includes the remarkable period from 1976 through 1993, when tax rates shifted 10 times in 18 years.
We have recently been on pace to break that record.Read More
If you have a son or daughter who is a high school junior or senior, chances are you have been guiding them through quite a bit of paperwork lately. From college applications and scholarship essays to requests for transcripts and recommendation letters, it seems that there is a never-ending stream of forms to be completed in the college application process.Read More
Do you have a loved one who is disabled or who has special needs? Many times individuals with special needs rely on public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and other programs to help with living expenses. In order to retain eligibility for such benefits, the individual’s cash and investment assets may not exceed $2,000. This restriction often makes it difficult for special needs individuals to achieve a greater quality of life and financial independence.Read More
Recently I encouraged a female family member, a new college graduate, to take advantage of her employer’s retirement plan at her first “real” job. She responded that her future husband would take care of that. Note that she was single at the time of our conversation!Read More
As the old saying goes, “there are only two things certain in life – death and taxes.” Because everyone has to face these realities sooner or later, taking time to implement certain tax planning strategies and create or review your estate plan, can save you money and provide peace of mind, both now and in the future.
First, let’s talk taxes.
While we all have to pay our dues to Uncle Sam each year, there are several planning strategies that can helpRead More
Becoming a first-time parent is both exhilarating and exhausting. For new mothers especially, it can be frightening. Caring for a newborn adds so many new things to worry about. As a new mom myself, I’ve experienced this firsthand. From the moment we brought our son home, I worried about whether he was eating enough, sleeping enough, and, dare I say it, pooping enough.
In addition to new worries, I oftenRead More
Planning a wedding takes quite a bit of time and effort. It involves a good deal of coordination and communication to make sure everything goes smoothly on the big day. Don’t let the organization skills you developed while planning your wedding go to waste after tying the knot. Instead, re-direct them to an important part of your new life together: creating a financial plan for your future.Read More
Young adulthood often marks the passage of several major life events including beginning a career, getting married, starting a family, and buying a first home. As young adults ourselves, my husband and I welcomed our first child, moved states for a new career, and bought our first home, all in the past year.
While settling into being first-time parents and exploring our new neighborhood, another important item lingered on our to-do list: ensuring our son would be taken care of, ifRead More
The new year brings with it an update to Social Security benefit payments and premiums for Medicare beneficiaries. Understanding these adjustments allows you to plan for your cash flow needs and helps you determine how any changes may impact various planning strategies (such as realizing capital gains or doing Roth conversions).
First, let’s look at Social Security benefits. Each year Social Security increases by an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The increase occursRead More
When you hear the term tax planning, what comes to mind? Do you think of the proverbial shoebox that holds all your receipts? Is tax planning just a matter of keeping track of your expenses and income? Or is it much more than that? The answer is yes! Tax planning is much more than just keeping a record of your income and expenses. It is the practice of effectively using available strategies to avoid or postpone taxes. It is theRead More
Retiring or changing employers is a big transition for most people. One way to maximize this time of change is to utilize a unique opportunity to roll your 401(k) monies from your old employer’s plan into an IRA. Doing so provides you with more flexibility and control over your retirement savings.
When leaving an employer you generally have three options for your 401(k) monies:
Leave your funds in the 401(k) plan
Take a direct distribution of the funds (penalties may apply if you
Our journey through life involves setting goals such as graduating from college, buying home, starting a new business, or traveling the world, and working to accomplish those goals. It’s invigorating to identify a dream and set plan in place to achieve it. The feeling of pride that comes from reaching a new milestone and realizing the fruit of our efforts is one of a kind.
Saving for retirement is a very important life goal but it canRead More
When developing an estate plan it’s important to select the right person as trustee or executor (fiduciary). Unfortunately there are many stories of things going awry, and family relationships being damaged, when the person responsible for managing your estate doesn’t see eye to eye with the beneficiaries.
These unintended situations can be minimized by remembering a few important points in designating a fiduciary.
Below are four “C’s” to keep in mind:
Consider your familyA family member or child is often the first personRead More
At face value giving your home to your children may seem like an ideal way to pass on wealth, reduce the size your estate, and improve your chances of being eligible for Medicaid’s long-term care benefits.
However, gifting your home may not be the best way to accomplish these goals and could also trigger unintended tax consequences.
When passing on wealth, the goal is to avoid or minimize taxes. Gifts are taxed differently than an inheritance. When gifting your home, your child’sRead More