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Hello, and welcome to my blog! Here, I will be posting articles and thoughts relevant to the financial industry, retirement, investments, and financial planning, as well as other related topics. I am also willing to answer questions and respond to any concerns you may have. If you'd like to contact me with a question you want me to address, please email me, and I can either answer directly or in this forum. 

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Thank you for reading!

 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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...

 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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...

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

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...

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

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...

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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...

 

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

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...

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

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...

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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...

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

For the first time, the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) is available prior to January 1st. Starting in 2016 and going forward, the FAFSA will be made available on October 1st for the following year. How the FAFSA and Data...

 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

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...

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

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...

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Whether you have a graduating senior going off to college in a few months or you are planning college visits this summer, you may have begun to consider what you need to do in order to realize the full benefit of your 529 College...

 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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...

 

Monday, March 21, 2016

We are down to a month remaining until your tax returns are due. If you haven’t yet taken action in the following areas, you have up until at least the tax filing deadline to do so: Contribute to a Traditional or Roth IRA for...

 

Friday, February 26, 2016

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:...

 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

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...

 

Friday, December 11, 2015

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...

 

Monday, November 23, 2015

As expected, the Social Security Administration recently announced that there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits in 2016. For those under the income limits ($85,000 single/$170,000 joint) and...

 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Where has 2015 gone? We are already in the last quarter of the year and with that comes some end-of-year planning that’s important to do now before the holidays take over. Here are some key things to take a look at today:IRA...

 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

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...

 

Monday, August 10, 2015

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...

 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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...

 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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...

 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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...

 

Monday, March 16, 2015

With the cost of long-term care insurance rising – 8.6% in 2014(1), we want to review some helpful tips for the time when you may be considering coverage for the more common and costly need of long term care for a loved one. 1. Put the...

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In October of this year, the IRS announced upcoming changes for 2015 in the area of retirement contributions, income phase-out ranges and Social Security. Below is an overview of the highlights, and if you are interested in learning...

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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...

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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...