Free Online Class – How to Election-Proof Your Retirement

Our next online retirement planning class, How to Election-Proof Your Retirement, will be on Thursday, September 17, 2020. About the Class The impact of election results on our country’s future weighs heavily on everyone’s minds. The stakes have rarely felt higher. Debates rage across Twitter among strangers; across Facebook, among family and friends.  To what degree do you let your politics impact your relationships, or your financial decisions? Should you adjust your retirement date? Rearrange your investment portfolio? Based on what you think will happen? Or just to be cautious?   In this webinar, we’ll look at how the market has

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IRA and Roth IRA Basics: Rules and Contributions Limits

An Individual Retirement Account, most often called an IRA, is a type of retirement savings account that offers special tax treatment when you contribute funds to save for your retirement. Can anyone contribute to an IRA? Not exactly. A set of IRS rules determine if you can make an IRA contribution, the type of IRA you can contribute to, and how much you can contribute. Knowing the regulations can help you save thousands in taxes while growing your nest egg. Can I Make an IRA Contribution? The Earned Income and Age Rules The first qualification for being eligibility to contribute to an IRA of

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How Do You Rebalance Accounts in Retirement?

Smart investors follow a plan, specifically an asset allocation plan. An asset allocation plan tells you how much of your total investments should be in stocks versus bonds. From there, you drill down into additional details such as how much should be in large-company U.S. stocks (or index funds) vs. international vs. small cap. You maintain investment ratios by rebalancing on a predetermined basis, perhaps once a year. In a 401(k) plan, rebalancing frequency is often accomplished automatically by checking a box that says something like “rebalance my portfolio every x months to this allocation.” In general, while you are saving, rebalancing can

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An Introduction to Medicare Part B Premiums

Everyone knows (or should know) they can sign up for Medicare at age 65. In fact, given the uncertainties regarding health insurance over the past few years or so, many are chomping at the bit to get there faster. What many don’t know, though, is that there are several parts to Medicare. Part A is the more commonly known feature of Medicare. That’s the part most people are thinking about when they refer to Medicare. What is the difference between Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B? For the vast majority, there are no premiums for Medicare Part A. There are premiums for

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7 Basic Things You Should Know About Your 401k Plan

I recently spoke with a good friend from college who had the misfortune to lose his job. Did you have a 401(k)?” I asked him. “I think so,” he responded. “I see money coming out of my check going somewhere.” I continued to inquire. “Do you know how it’s invested? What about a company matching contribution?” My friend paused a moment before answering, “No idea. I think the company does contribute something, but I don’t know how it works. We had some guy come and talk to us and show us the investments. I picked one he said was good.” “Are you going to rollover

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How Much Should I Withhold for Taxes in Retirement?

Many upcoming retirees aren’t quite sure how to estimate taxes in retirement. It’s similar to the way you calculate taxes while working. What is different is the way you withhold and pay those taxes. You need to have an estimate of the amount of taxes you are required to pay so you know what amount to have withheld from pensions, Social Security, or other types of income. In this article, we’ll look at a series of sample calculations so you can see how to calculate your tax withholding in retirement. We look at scenarios using the 2020 tax rates and rules. The

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When to Start Social Security for Singles, Marrieds, and Survivors

What would you guess your Social Security benefits are worth; a few hundred thousand dollars, maybe? Would it surprise you to know that over 25 years the average single person could receive $500,000 or more in total Social Security benefits? Many married couples will get over a million dollars. According to the Social Security office, in 2020, the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit is about $1500. That’s $18,000 a year. If you were a high-wage earner, the maximum monthly benefit for someone who had reached Full Retirement Age (or FRA) is $3000 – or $36,000 per year. And, you can get

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Inheritance Tax Checklist: Know Before You Sell

Inheritance taxes are complicated. Many people don’t realize that inherited assets—property, stocks, investment accounts, etc.—may be subject to taxes and that there are specific tax rules for each type of asset or account. So before you start selling off assets, make sure you know the rules. We are not talking here about estate taxes. Estate taxes apply to the total value of everything you own; real estate, stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, defferred annuities, businesses, farms, and even the death benefit values of any life insurance policies owned by you. With current 2020 estate tax rules, federal estate taxes will only impact singles with

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Hidden Estate Planning Mistakes That Have Horrible Consequences

Imagine your spouse is ill, and you meet with an estate planning attorney to get your family affairs in order. Your attorney drafts a trust document and a will. You and your spouse sign it. You think everything is fine. Your spouse passes, and shortly after that, you find that the accounts are not set up to transfer the way you both intended. Everything is not fine. Can this happen? Yes, and it happens all the time. The situation described above happened to a client couple that I’ll call Ralph and Sue. It was a second marriage, they had no children in common,

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