Substantiating Charitable Gifts: Do You Know the Rules?
Jeffrey R. Green
Recently, the IRS issued final substantiation regulations for charitable contributions. To avoid costly mistakes, it is important to familiarize yourself with these rules.
Section 529 versus Roth IRA Plans: Choosing a College Savings Tool
Many people assume that a Section 529 plan is the ideal college savings tool. But the Roth IRA can also help parents save for college expenses. This article reviews the strengths of each. For example, Sec. 529 plans allow participants to make substantial non-deductible contributions. Owners of Roth IRAs can withdraw contributions anytime, tax and penalty-free, for any purpose.
How Tax-Advantaged Health Plans Contribute to Your Financial Well-Being
Jacqueline N. Janczewski
You have likely heard of these common tax-advantaged health care plans: Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). But do you know what they offer and, given your specific health and financial concerns, which one might be the best fit for you?
Planning for Required Minimum Distributions from IRAs: Why You Should Consider Making/Taking ROTH IRA Conversions in Low Income Years
Frank L. Washelesky
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) often account for a large portion of an individual’s overall wealth as the person reaches retirement. With few exceptions, IRAs are taxable income at the time they are withdrawn. In addition, a 10% penalty may apply if distributions are made prior to reaching age 59-½.
Divorcing? Don’t Let Your Estate Plan Fall Through the Cracks
If you are going through a divorce, you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed by all the legal and financial items you must attend to before the marriage termination is final. These tasks can be difficult, but revising your estate plan does not have to be. An estate planning professional can help you update documents and ensure that your children benefit according to your wishes — not your ex-spouse’s.
Retirement Plan Changes Under the SECURE Act
Frank L. Washelesky
For many people, qualified retirement plans make up a large part of their overall savings. There are many complex rules surrounding qualified plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), but there have not been significant modifications for quite some time. That may all change this year as the House of Representatives has passed the Setting Every […]
Spousal Lifetime Access Trust: A Tool for Creditor Protection and Estate Planning
Frank L. Washelesky
Many wealthy professionals are looking for ways to protect assets from potential lawsuits or other unknown creditors without giving up substantial control. Estate tax considerations are also still important as the current large estate tax exemption ($11.4 million for individuals, or $22.8 million for married couples) is set to drop at the end of 2025, […]
How to Make Market Volatility Your Friend
Recent market gyrations have made even strong-stomached investors a little queasy. In general, maintaining your positions in a well-diversified portfolio is the best response to such volatility. But there may be something else you can do: Use falling prices as an investment opportunity. Think long term Although overall stock prices have historically risen over time, […]
Eight Tips for Protecting Your Money From Cyberattacks
More and more banking and financial transactions are conducted online, which means that cyberattacks pose a significant threat to the wealth of many Americans. How can you mitigate this risk? Consider these eight tips. Use Strong, Unique Passwords This may seem obvious, but according to a recent survey, the most common password is “123456.” “Password” […]
A Trust Can Be A Mighty Financial Fortress
You may think of trusts as estate planning tools. While trusts can certainly fill that role, they are also useful for protecting assets, both now and later. Creditors, former business partners, ex-spouses, “spendthrift” children and taxes can all pose risks. Here is how trusts defend against asset protection challenges. To protect assets, your trust must […]