Tag: Ask A Financial Planner

Employer Insurance

I’m Looking for a Job. How Can I Tell if an Employer is Offering a Good Insurance Benefit Package?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER Ultimately, an employer is offering a good insurance benefit package if it’s one that appeals to you and meets your needs. But here are some specific things you might look for. Perhaps the most important piece is the health insurance offered. You’ll want coverage that adequately meets your medical needs. Hopefully,… 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 »

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 »

Windfall

What Are Some Tips for Handling a Financial Windfall?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER First, consider putting the money into a safe, liquid account such as a savings or money market account until you have time to take stock of your situation. Don’t spend or invest your windfall until you have a chance to: See a tax professional and analyze the tax-consequences — you may… Read more »

Payroll Tax Deferral

Temporary Payroll Tax Deferral: What You Need to Know

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER On August 8, 2020, the president issued an executive order to allow the deferral of certain payroll taxes during the last four months of 2020, and the IRS recently provided related guidance. This has implications for both employers and employees. Here’s a brief summary of the issues. Already-existing Payroll Tax Deferral… Read more »

The Bull is Back

The Bull Is Back… Will It Keep Charging?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER On August 18, 2020, the S&P 500 set a record high for the first time since COVID-19 ushered in a bear market on February 19. The cycle from peak to peak was just 126 trading days, the fastest recovery in the history of the index, erasing losses from an equally historic… Read more »