Ah, mid-February- that time of year when my postman provides a daily barrage of tax documents, and scolds me for not retrieving them quickly enough. When it finally becomes apparent that he can no longer jam another rumpled envelope into my overflowing mail slot I know it’s time to file my taxes. While this annual ritual often yields a financial reward in the form of a tax refund, there is clearly a higher purpose for the enormous pile of paper. Note to self: my inner guilt will be quelled; this year I will make better use of tax time, and so can you. Continue reading
The Roth IRA has become a popular planning tool since it was established by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. Originally envisioned as a way for Americans of more modest means to efficiently transfer wealth to the next generation, the Roth IRA offers a number of potential advantages over a Traditional IRA that are particularly attractive to those that are more affluent. While there are many variables to consider when determining which type of IRA is best suited to an individual’s needs, the removal of income limits on Roth IRA conversions has made this tool available to wealthier individuals that would otherwise not qualify to make a Roth IRA contribution because of income-based restrictions. Continue reading
Ask a financial planner whether to save for retirement using a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA and you may receive an unsatisfying answer: it depends. While the Roth IRA is a much-loved planning tool, whether it’s the best option for you will depend on several factors, but math is not one of them. Continue reading
The end of the year is quickly approaching and it goes without saying that most of us are starved for time. December may be a hectic month, but it is also a great time to get your financial house in order before the New Year. Here are some quick and easy year-end financial fixes that will help you start 2017 off right.
Lost among presidential politics and the potential impact of President Elect Trump’s legislative agenda was news of more immediate impact to millions of America’s seniors: a large increase in Medicare costs.
While not unexpected, the magnitude of these increases is noteworthy, as is the fact that they will not be shared equally. Rising premiums and the cost sharing formula found in Original Medicare (the fee-for-service programs offered through the federal government consisting of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) will fall most heavily on new enrollees and higher income seniors. The final impact of these increases will depend on a variety of additional factors including geographic location, health care utilization, prescription drug regime, and whether you collect Social Security benefits.
It’s that time of year again. If you’re one of the roughly 50 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, get ready for some year-end shopping. Medicare open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage runs from October 15th until December 7th, and presents a great opportunity for seniors to manage their health care costs for the coming year. On offer are prescription-drug and Medicare Advantage plans, as well as the opportunity to switch plan types.
The 2004 cult hit movie Mean Girls provides a surprising number of useful and life-affirming lessons. Perhaps the most notable is how NOT to manage credit.
Embroiled in a wide array of truly deplorable and self-destructive behaviors, members of “The Plastics” reach for their credit cards when it’s time to unwind and enjoy the necessary comforts of teen life in suburban Chicago. This most agreeable arrangement works so long as someone else pays the bill; the girls are eventually chastened, disband, and learn a slew of valuable life lessons. What can we learn from The Plastics? Read on to find out!
Well-educated, collaborative, technology savvy and socially conscious are just a few terms that are often associated with Millennials. Their comfort with technology and the incessant pace of change makes them prized employees in many organizations.
Less comforting, however, are the numerous challenges that Millennials face as they become card-carrying adults: crushing student loan debt, the ongoing economic hangover from The Great Recession, and housing prices that are quickly approaching pre-recession levels. Add in an uncertain labor market, and slow economic growth and it’s no wonder many Millennials feel anxious about life and money.
Congratulations to the class of 2016, your hard work and perseverance has paid off. You are newly minted graduates and may be facing a variety of decisions surrounding your life and career that you feel totally unprepared to make. Should I take that crazy job teaching English in Tibet, or the stuffy office gig with a 401 (k)? Mom and dad said I could move back home, but living with my friends in a sixth-floor walk- up apartment just seems like more fun. Do I need to start saving for retirement already, oh, and what about my student loans? Continue reading
As the end of the year draws to a close, it is a great time to consider some planning strategies that can help lower your tax bill. While good tax planning may help save you money, it can also you achieve a variety of other financial goals.
Here are a just a few benefits that year-end tax planning may provide: Continue reading