Current Conditions are Favorable for Cost-Effective Wealth Transfers
The ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taken a terrible toll on the economy. But the current low-interest-rate environment, coupled with depressed asset values, means that now may be a good time to transfer wealth to your children and grandchildren. Consider making gifts For 2020, the federal gift and estate tax exemption is an inflation-adjusted […]
Wait! Do Not Leave Your Job Without Your Retirement Account
When you leave a job, voluntarily or due to a layoff, you are likely to have a lot on your mind. It is all too easy to set aside decisions about your employer-sponsored retirement plan account for another day. But it is usually important to act quickly. Whether you have a 401(k), 403(b) or 457(a) […]
New Tax Strategies for Charitable Donors
The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changed or eliminated some tax benefits for many taxpayers who frequently itemize deductions. However, tax-saving strategies may still be available. One solution is “bunching,” or donating twice as much in alternate tax years, to take advantage of itemizing in one year and then claiming the […]
Donor-Advised Funds Offer a Low-Cost Alternative to Private Foundations
Adam J. Pechin
Charitable givers sometimes establish private foundations to manage their philanthropic activities. But foundations are costly to set up and subject to excise taxes, minimum distribution requirements and other regulatory requirements. If you are looking for a more cost-efficient vehicle for leaving a charitable legacy, consider a donor-advised fund (DAF). Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides […]
Capital Gains Planning: When Timing is Everything
Adam M. Levine
The timing of capital gains and losses may have a significant impact on your tax bill. So it pays to consider the tax implications before you sell investments, particularly as the end of the year approaches. The Long and short of it Generally, the longer you hold an appreciated investment, the better. It allows you […]
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.