Blog

A Parent-Child Conversation About College Costs

July 30, 2018

If you’re the parent of a high school student who’s looking ahead to college, it’s important to have a grown-up conversation with your child about college costs. A frank discussion can help both of you get on the same page, optimize the college search process, and avoid getting blindsided by large college bills. An initial…

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Building Confidence in Your Strategy for Retirement

July 30, 2018

Each year, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) conducts its Retirement Confidence Survey to assess both worker and retiree confidence in financial aspects of retirement. In 2018, as in years past, retirees expressed a higher level of confidence than today’s workers (perhaps because “retirement” is less of an abstract concept to those actually living it)….

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Tax Benefits of Homeownership After Tax Reform

July 30, 2018

Buying a home can be a major expenditure. Fortunately, federal tax benefits are still available, even after recent tax reform legislation, to help make homeownership more affordable. There may also be tax benefits under state law. Mortgage interest deduction One of the most important tax benefits of owning a home is that you may be…

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What are some tips for creating a budget and sticking to it?

June 27, 2018

It’s a common problem for many individuals — wondering exactly where your paycheck goes each month. After paying expenses, such as your mortgage, utilities, and credit card bills, you may find little left to put toward anything else. Creating a budget is the first key to successfully manage your finances. Knowing exactly how you are…

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Protect Your Heirs by Naming a Trust as IRA Beneficiary

June 27, 2018

Often, tax-qualified retirement accounts such as IRAs make up a significant part of one’s estate. Naming beneficiaries of an IRA can be an important part of an estate plan. One option is designating a trust as the IRA beneficiary. This discussion applies to traditional IRAs, not to Roth IRAs. Special considerations apply to beneficiary designations…

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Four Points to Consider When Setting a Retirement Income Goal

June 27, 2018

No matter what your age or stage of life, targeting a goal for monthly retirement income can seem like a daunting task. Following are four considerations to help you get started. 1. When do you plan to retire? The first question to ponder is your anticipated retirement age. Many people base their target retirement date…

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Marriage and Money: Taking a Team Approach to Retirement

May 30, 2018

Now that it’s fairly common for families to have two wage earners, many husbands and wives are accumulating assets in separate employer-sponsored retirement accounts. In 2018, the maximum employee contribution to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan is $18,500 ($24,500 for those age 50 and older), and employers often match contributions up to a set percentage…

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Mid-Year Planning: Tax Changes to Factor In

May 30, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December of last year, fundamentally changes the federal tax landscape for both individuals and businesses. Many of the provisions in the legislation are permanent, others (including most of the tax cuts that apply to individuals) expire at the end of 2025. Here are some of the significant…

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How has tax reform affected the generation-skipping transfer tax?

May 30, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017, doubled the federal generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption to $11.18 million in 2018 (adjusted for inflation in later years). After 2025, the exemption is scheduled to revert to its pre-2018 level and be cut approximately in half. Otherwise, the federal GST tax remains…

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College Saving: How Does a 529 Plan Compare to a Roth IRA?

May 10, 2018

529 plans were created 22 years ago, in 1996, to give people a tax-advantaged way to save for college. Roth IRAs were created a year later, in 1997, to give people a tax-advantaged way to save for retirement. But a funny thing happened along the way — some parents adapted the Roth IRA as a…

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