Understand Your Social Security Retirement Benefits

For years, people have questioned the viability of the Social Security system going forward. In July, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. What's My FRA? Your full retirement age (FRA) depends on the year in which you were born. Year of Birth Full Retirement Age 1937 or Continue Reading

It’s Time to Review Your Financial Planning Options

Fall is a good time to pause and review your financial planning strategy. A lot can happen in a year. If your personal life, market conditions or tax laws have changed, you may need to revise your long-term financial plans. Here are some retirement and estate planning considerations that may be worthwhile. IRS Proposal Threatens Discounts on Transfers of Family-Owned Business For Continue Reading

Work Out a Plan for Retirement Payouts

It takes a lot of years and hard work to arrive at retirement. Hopefully, you've been able to set aside enough funds in a company retirement plan to enable you to spend your golden years in relative comfort and security. Exceptions to the Early Withdrawal Penalty     The tax law imposes an additional 10 percent tax on certain distributions from retirement plans to discourage Continue Reading

Tackle Key Financial Issues as You Face Retirement

The Baby Boomer generation reached its peak in 1957 at an annual birth rate of about 4.3 million people. It's hard to believe that these Baby Boomers will turn 59 years old in 2016. An important rite of passage that comes with this age is that they'll soon be eligible to withdraw funds from their qualified retirement funds without incurring the 10% early withdrawal penalty. But this is just the Continue Reading

Important Tax Figures for 2016

The following table provides some important federal tax information for 2016, as compared with 2015. Many of the dollar amounts are unchanged or have changed only slightly due to low inflation. Other amounts are changing due to legislation. Social Security/ Medicare 2016 2015 Social Security Tax Wage Base $118,500 $118,500 Medicare Tax Wage Base No limit No Continue Reading

Rollover Waiver in a War Zone

The tax law permits you to make a withdrawal from a qualified retirement plan and "rollover" the funds to a traditional IRA without any current tax, provided the rollover is completed within 60 days. Otherwise, the distribution is taxable as ordinary income in the year it is received. In addition, if the taxpayer is under age 59 and 1/2 at the time of the distribution, any taxable portion not Continue Reading

What Are You Trying to Accomplish with Your Money?

With the financial media bombarding us with investment ideas, we are flooded with tips on how to accumulate wealth. However, you should first decide what your money means to you. Do you know why you are investing, or are you using a haphazard strategy to try to achieve an unclear set of goals? We have found there are five financial goals common to most people:   To retire Continue Reading

Is Your 401(k) Plan Up to Snuff? Watch Out for These Audit Red Flags

Four emerging potential 401(k) trouble spots are becoming a greater focus at the Department of Labor (DOL). One involves self-directed brokerage accounts, or "brokerage windows," that allow participants to purchase individual securities. The DOL worries that participants with limited investing experience will jump on the hottest stock or market sector at its high-water mark, watch it tank, then Continue Reading