No Emergency Fund? What Are You Waiting For?
Even if you and your family weathered the crises of the past couple years, you probably know people who have not fared as well. Health problems, business shutdowns, lost jobs and inflation have all exerted extreme financial pressure on Americans, but an emergency savings fund has kept some people afloat. A stash of cash can […]
SECURE Act 2.0: New Law Makes Saving for Retirement Easier
Legislation enacted at the end of 2022 included the long-awaited SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0), which expands on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019. Many of the changes made by SECURE 2.0 make it easier to save for retirement in a tax-advantaged manner. Here are some of […]
Should You Sell—or Even Refuse—Inherited Assets?
An inheritance can provide a welcome financial windfall, especially if you are planning for retirement. However, holding on to valuable assets that you inherit may not always be the best decision. In many cases, disposing of them or even turning down an inheritance altogether may make more financial sense. Essential questions If you receive an […]
Dividend Growth Investing as a Long-Term Strategy
There is no one best way to invest. Every investment strategy offers potential rewards and poses certain risks. The appropriate strategy or strategies for you depends on your personal goals, financial circumstances and risk tolerance. However, one strategy worth considering is dividend growth investing — or investing in companies with a solid record of paying […]
What is Your Required Minimum Distribution Age?
Is it, or will it be age 70½, 72, 73 or 75? Let’s explore these possibilities. Required minimum distributions (RMDs) from qualified retirement accounts started with the passage of The Tax Reform Act of 1986. That law established the date when RMDs were required to begin as the year in which an individual reached age […]
401(K) Plan Early Access: How to Avoid Penalties
Jeffrey R. Green
If you have money in a traditional employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), you are probably aware that withdrawals before age 59½ generally are not advised. Early withdrawals are allowed under certain circumstances, but in most cases they are subject to a 10% penalty — on top of ordinary income taxes. However, […]
Spouses Benefit From Social Security Too
Jacqueline N. Janczewski
If you are or were married, do not overlook spousal benefits when you estimate your Social Security income and determine when to start receiving it. Qualifying individuals can receive up to 50% of their spouse’s full retirement benefit or their own Social Security benefit, whichever is greater. Here is a quick overview of the process. […]
Teaching Your Kids the Basics of Money Management
Justin L. Sylvan
Kids are never too young to learn about money and how to manage it responsibly. This blog advocates customizing money messages to children’s ages and interests and will give you some suggestions for teaching young children, grade schoolers, tweens and adolescents about managing money. For example, four-year-olds usually can understand the difference between needs and […]
Approaching 65? Get Up to Speed on Medicare
Managing health insurance costs is a key component of retirement planning. Medicare eligibility generally starts at age 65. But, given the number of decisions that you will need to make about the timing and scope of coverage, it is a good idea to start preparing well in advance. Medicare is complex and navigating the many […]
Working Remotely? Watch Out for Double Taxation
More people are working remotely these days and that trend seems unlikely to change even after the pandemic is over. Remote work can be convenient. However, it raises the risk of double taxation if employees work in different states from their employers. Here is what you need to know — and what you can do […]