How to Retire Without the Burden of a Mortgage

More Americans are retiring with a mortgage.house made of money A study by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies concluded that 46% of homeowners from ages 65 to 79 are still making mortgage payments. In contrast, three decades ago only 24% of this subset of Americans hadn’t paid off their house. Retiring without a mortgage can provide more financial security for retirees – and for many Americans, it’s a goal worth...
Read more...

2020 Tax Brackets and How Much You Can Save for Retirement

If you want to stash away more money for retirement in 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that the contribution limits for some popular retirement accounts have increased.april 15 tax day calendar Also experiencing a change for 2020 are the IRS tax rate tables and standard deductions. Let’s take a look at the retirement account changes first. Workplace Retirement Accounts The maximum contribution for...
Read more...

Biggest Take-Aways from The SECURE Act and How It Could Affect Retirees

Formally named the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, the SECURE Act was passed by Congress and could be signed into law very soon. When passed, it will make substantial changes to both retirement plan contribution and distribution requirements in certain situations.United States Congress The legislation was initially passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 23, 2019 with overwhelming bi-partisan...
Read more...

Ten Last-Minute Tax Tips for Your 2019 Tax Return

It’s getting late, but there is still a little time left for some year-end tax planning.belt tightening on dollar bill Here are 10 last-minute tax tips to consider: 1. Sink more into a retirement account. You can shelter more of your income from taxes by contributing to a workplace plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) or through a traditional Individual Retirement Account. If you are self-employed, you can pitch in up to 25%...
Read more...

Four Things You Need to Know About Filing Estimated Taxes

The gig economy continues to expand. Workers, who are freelancers or independent contractors, now number roughly 57 million, which is about half of the entire working population.woman worried about money Gig workers need to understand their responsibility to the Internal Revenue Service. Without employers to withhold taxes from their paychecks, gig workers must calculate their own payments to the IRS. Here are four things to know about...
Read more...

Five Things To Know If You Inherit an IRA

Inheriting an IRA from a loved one can be confusing and costly if you make a mistake.piggy bank balancing on rope Here are five things to keep in mind if you inherit IRA assets: 1. Decide whether you need the money now. If you inherit an IRA, you may be tempted to spend the balance. If you cash out an inherited IRA, however, you will pay ordinary income taxes on the full amount of the inheritance. If you don’t need the money...
Read more...

Six Ways to Start the Money Talk with Your Parents

One of the most difficult conversations that grown children can have with their parents is a discussion about mom and dad’s finances. daughter talking to elderly mother Having the talk is critical for many reasons including these three; Grown children should know about parental estate plans. Children need to know if they will have to support their parents in the future. It’s better to have a plan laid out among parents and...
Read more...

How You Spend Your Money Can Make You Happier

What will make you happier?piggy-bank-at-the-beach Buying stuff or spending money on experiences? It’s become conventional wisdom that consumers are happier when they spend their money on experiences rather than material things. For instance, many people will feel better about eating at a restaurant rather than buying a new teapot from Amazon. A study back in 2003 first revealed how gratifying it can be spending money on experiences as...
Read more...

Widow’s Penalty Pitfall

Compared to past joint tax return filing with their deceased spouse, a surviving spouse may land in a higher marginal tax bracket – referred to as the “widow’s penalty.” Unfortunately, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has made the widow’s penalty more severe in many instances. With this in mind, clients, even in their 70s or 80s, may consider greater traditional IRA withdrawals or Roth IRA conversions as a means to take advantage of preferable marginal tax rates. It is important to act while both spouses are alive. For example, let’s say a 75-year-old couple has Required Minimum Distributions...
Read more...

Getting a State Tax Break with 529 Contributions

Saving for college through contributions into a 529 college savings plan is an excellent way to ultimately cover at least part of the price of a college degree.roll of money with graduation cap One reason why a 529 makes sense as a college-savings vehicle is because of its built-in federal tax treatment. The money inside a 529 grows without being hit with federal taxes and when money is withdrawn for eligible educational expenses, it...
Read more...