Don’t Get Pinged by the Social Security Earnings Limit

Don’t Get Pinged by the Social Security Earnings Limit

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Published: February 13, 2020

I’d like to introduce you to Peggy. Born in 1957, Peggy reached age 62 in 2019. She has worked in retail her whole life, with the past twenty-five years spent in management. Peggy divorced from her husband 14 years ago, is still single, and has no children. According to the Social Security Administration, Peggy’s Full Retirement Age (FRA) will be age 66 and six months which is when she will be entitled to full Social Security retirement benefits. FRA is a government set limit that varies based on your year, month and day of birth. FRA is gradually rising, and for

Required Minimum Distributions – Here’s How They Work

Required Minimum Distributions – Here’s How They Work

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Published: January 31, 2020

You’ve been putting money away in your IRA for much of your life. And through some mixture of discipline, good fortune and wits you find that you don’t have to use your IRA savings the moment they become available to you at age 59½. Good for you. Now, upon reaching age 72, (previously age 70 ½ prior to the passing of the SECURE Act in December 2019) you must completely change your mindset because the U.S. Government requires you to start withdrawing money at that point. It’s called Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). At first, it may feel like a tax on getting

How to Find a Fiduciary Financial Advisor

How to Find a Fiduciary Financial Advisor

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Published: January 24, 2020

Not all financial planners or advisors have to consider what is in your best interest when they make investment recommendations. A large number of them make recommendations that they think are appropriate, but they don’t have to have supporting documentation or research to show why this recommendation is in your best interest. In many cases, these advisors are trained salespeople and are unaware of other options that may be a better fit for your financial circumstances. However, new rules are beginning to change this.  A “fiduciary” is someone who legally and ethically must act in their client’s best interest. Attorneys, for

10 Tips on How to Find the Best Financial Advisor

10 Tips on How to Find the Best Financial Advisor

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Published: January 24, 2020

The last thing you want to find is a cheap financial advisor. The most important thing you want to look for is competency. Competency is different than trust. Yes, trust is important, but it is a feeling. It is entirely possible to trust someone that is not trustworthy. Competency, meaning someone who knows what they are doing, should be the number one criteria you look for. How do you find a great, competent financial advisor at a price that is reasonable? The ten factors below should help you out. 1. Understand the Difference in Service Offerings The term doctor is pretty broad, right? Yet,

My 2020 Market Predictions

My 2020 Market Predictions

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Published: December 12, 2019

As a financial planner, my life is about projecting unknowns. I often tell clients the only thing I can guarantee is once we put the numbers on paper, they’re wrong. Life doesn’t work in a nice linear fashion the way projections do. But by using projections, we can establish a range of possible outcomes, and plan based on that range. As many unknowns as there are, I realize when it comes to the financial markets and human behavior, there are some things that are quite certain. Human beings want to believe someone out there knows the future. Normally, I shy away

Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

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Published: December 12, 2019

At some point you will transition from your prime earning and saving years to a period of time where you get to enjoy the “fruits of your labor,” a.k.a retirement. We call this segueing from accumulation to decumulation, the period when you will be drawing from your accumulated nest egg. Before you enter the decumulation phase, you’ll need to find the best retirement investments; ones that generate regular income. Here’s an overview of the most popular income-producing retirement investments. 1) Immediate Annuities Immediate annuities provide guaranteed income immediately (hence the name). They are a form of insurance rather than an investment (but

2019 Arizona Tax Credit Limits

2019 Arizona Tax Credit Limits

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Published: December 3, 2019

The Arizona State Tax Credit program allows you to make a donation to an eligible organization and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit against Arizona state taxes owed. Donating to tax credit eligible organizations will most likely leave you in a tax neutral situation – meaning you’ll pay about the same total amount whether you use the tax credits or just pay the tax. But by donating you get a say in how the money is spent by choosing which of the tax credit eligible organizations you contribute to. You can contribute up to the amount of your expected Arizona tax liability. If you

5 Smart Year-End Tax-Saving Money Moves

5 Smart Year-End Tax-Saving Money Moves

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Published: October 28, 2019

Why is it, every year as fall approaches, we are shocked to find that we are hurtling towards December 31? As busy as it may get at year-end, make a promise to yourself. Find a way to steal two hours from your day to focus on something that will help you save money before heading into 2020. Sit down and estimate your 2019 taxes. Once December 31 passes, there is almost nothing you can do about your tax bill. A little planning now goes a long way. When you project what your tax return will look like BEFORE the year ends, you can

Free Online Class – Best Retirement Investments

Free Online Class – Best Retirement Investments

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Published: October 18, 2019

Our next online retirement planning class, Best Retirement Investments, will be Thursday, March 12, 2020. About the Class Author, MarketWatch contributor and retirement expert Dana Anspach will be looking at the best investments to use when investing for retirement. We’ll cover: •Dividend-paying stocks and other high-income producing investments•Four types of annuities – and who should buy them•Mutual funds – and how to spot the best ones•Bonds vs. bond funds, and why at times, one can perform better than the other•Rental real estate – and what to watch out for Once we take a look at how various retirement investments work, we’ll look at popular approaches to

Your Pension – Take the Lump Sum or the Annuity?

Your Pension – Take the Lump Sum or the Annuity?

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Published: August 25, 2019

If your company offers a pension, consider yourself lucky! Pensions are going the way of home phones. When you retire, you’ll have several important and irreversible decision to make on how you want to take your pension. There are three key decisions the most pension earners are faced with. They are: Lump Sum or Annuity? Should you take your pension as a lump sum (you get cash up front that you can rollover to an IRA account) or as an annuity (you get monthly payments for life)? What Age to Start. When should you start your pension? Should you begin at age 55