Fund college education

Should I Use My 401(k) to Fund My Child’s College Education?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER You can, but it isn’t your best option. Your 401(k) plan should be dedicated primarily to your retirement. There are two primary drawbacks to using your 401(k) for college funding. First, if you withdraw funds from your 401(k) before you are 59½, you will owe a 10% premature distribution penalty on… Read more »

CARES Act

American Rescue Plan Act Provides Relief to Individuals and Businesses

On Thursday, March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA 2021) was signed into law. This is a $1.9 trillion emergency relief package that includes payments to individuals and funding for federal programs, vaccines and testing, state and local governments, and schools. It is intended to assist individuals and businesses during the… Read more »

Get a Fresh Start on Finances

Get a Fresh Start on Your Finances in 2021

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER There’s no doubt about it — last year was tumultuous. The coronavirus pandemic, a contentious election, and widespread protests were just some of the events that impacted our nation in 2020. Fortunately, the arrival of new vaccines has brought hope for a brighter 2021. If you are looking forward to a… Read more »

W-4

Am I Withholding Enough?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER If you fail to estimate your federal income tax withholding properly, it may cost you in a variety of ways. If you receive an income tax refund, it essentially means that you provided the IRS with an interest-free loan during the year. By comparison, if you owe taxes when you file… Read more »

CARES Act

Consolidated Appropriations Act Provides Relief to Individuals and Businesses

On Sunday, December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021) was signed into law. A $900 billion emergency relief package is included as part of this omnibus spending bill. It is intended to assist individuals and businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic crisis. Major relief provisions are summarized here, as… Read more »

Retirement Focus

5 Tips to Regain Your Retirement Savings Focus in 2021

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER In early 2020, 61% of U.S. workers surveyed said that retirement planning makes them feel stressed.1 Investor confidence was continually tested as the year wore on, and it’s likely that this percentage rose — perhaps even substantially. If you find yourself among those feeling stressed heading into the new year, these tips… Read more »

Year-End Tax Moves

2020 Year-End Tax Tips

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER Here are some things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves between now and the end of the year. 1. Defer Income to Next Year Consider opportunities to defer income to 2021, particularly if you think you may be in a lower tax bracket then. For example, you may be… Read more »

Retirement Limits for 2021

IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2021

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER Many IRA and retirement plan limits are indexed for inflation each year. While some of the limits remain unchanged for 2021, other key numbers have increased. IRA Contribution Limits The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2021 is $6,000 (or 100% of your… Read more »

New Tax Rules

The New Estate Tax Rules and Your Estate Plan

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Act) included new gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax provisions. The 2010 Tax Act provided that in 2011 and 2012, the gift and estate tax basic exclusion amount was $5 million (indexed for inflation in… Read more »

Can I pull funds from my IRA?

I Need Money: Can I Take Funds From my IRA?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER Yes, but the taxable portion of your distribution may be subject to a 10% penalty for early withdrawal if you’re not yet age 59½. If you are 59½ or older and take money from your traditional IRA, you will not be assessed a penalty, though you may still have to pay… Read more »