• Avoid These Five Retirement Planning Mistakes

    Avoid These Five Retirement Planning Mistakes

    Avoid These Five Retirement Planning Mistakes Retirement planning and tax planning go hand in hand. Here are five common retirement planning mistakes and ideas on how to ensure they do not happen to you. Here are five common retirement planning mistakes and steps you can take to avoid them. 1. Not having a plan Surprisingly most of us do not know how much money is needed for our retirement years. A retirement plan should consider how long you expect to live, create an estimate of the amount of money you will need, and consider your desired lifestyle during retirement. Your

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  • Planning 2016 Taxes: New Income Levels for Tax Brackets

    Planning 2016 Taxes: New Income Levels for Tax Brackets

    Planning 2016 Taxes: New Income Levels for Tax Brackets Here is a quick look at 2016 tax rates and their associated income levels. Using your past tax information, you can plan for your tax obligation next year starting now. Don’t forget that tax payers in the higher income levels are also subject to an additional .9% Medicare Tax introduced to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. This will impact those with incomes over: $200,000 Single filing $250,000 Married filing joint 2016 TAX RATES & RELATED INCOME LEVELS Action Steps Review your Adjusted Gross Income and use the chart above

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  • Social Security tax problems

    Social Security tax problems

    Beware the Tax Torpedo – Large retirement account balances can cause Social Security tax problems A big surprise can occur when you see your Social Security Retirement Benefits being subject to income tax. This “tax torpedo” is often triggered by Retirement Account distributions. Are you prepared for this?

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  • Plan Your 2014 Retirement Contributions

    Plan Your 2014 Retirement Contributions

    With the setting of contribution limits to qualified retirement plans for 2014, now is a good time to plan for your 2014 retirement contributions. As part of your planning for next year, now is the time to review funding your retirement accounts. By establishing your contribution amounts at the beginning of each year, the financial impact of saving for your future should be more manageable. Here are annual contribution limits for the more popular programs: Retirement Program 2014 2013 Change Age 50 or over to catch up IRA: Traditional $5,500 $5,500 none add: $1,000 IRA: Roth $5,500 $5,500 none add:

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  • Fund Your Retirement or Your Child's College?

    Fund Your Retirement or Your Child's College?

    With rapidly increasing costs in both health care and in college tuition, deciding which is more important can be a real dilemma. Here are some thoughts. As our students prepare to head back to school, many families face the difficult decision to save for retirement or use those funds to pay for their children’s college education. The dilemma With student loan amounts in the trillions of dollars, our kids are exiting college with debt the size of small home mortgages. Given that both education and health care costs continue rising dramatically from year to year, it is hard for you

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  • Is a Roth IRA Right for You?

    Is a Roth IRA Right for You?

    Roth IRA or Traditional IRA? The answer is never easy, but perhaps asking the right questions can make your decision easier. Here are some thoughts: For most taxpayers, you have until April 15th of the following year to contribute up to $5,500 ($6,500 if age 50 or over) into a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Is an IRA an option worth considering for you? If so, which is better? Traditional IRA A Traditional IRA is an individual savings account that allows you to contribute money for your retirement. Depending on your income level, you may deduct the contributions from

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  • Still Time to Make IRA Contributions for 2012

    Still Time to Make IRA Contributions for 2012

    Remember you have until April 15th to fund last year’s IRA contributions. Here is what you need to know. Remember you have until you file your tax return to make a contribution to a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA for the 2012 tax year.  The annual contribution limit is $5,000 or $6,000 (if you are age 50 or over).  Prior to making the contribution, if you (or your spouse) are an active participant in an employer’s qualified retirement plan, you will want to make sure your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) does not exceed certain income thresholds.  There are also

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