Category Archives: Financial

Is your financial advisor scuttling your investment gains

A 2012 study by Cerulli Associates found that 60 percent of investors either did not know how their advisors got paid or thought that the service they offered was free. In fact, there are at least six ways a financial advisor will charge you fees. They are: As a percentage of your account’s value. One…

Using your Health Savings Account as a retirement vehicle

If you have a high deductible health plan, you can receive tax-preferred treatment of any money you set aside in a Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to pay for medical costs. HSAs differ from Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). (For more on these three types of health spending accounts please see this…

Nieces, nephews, cousins, parents and others you can claim as dependents on your tax return

Do you wonder about whether you can claim your dog as a dependent? Well you can’t but you might be able to claim your parents or other relatives. If you support your mom or dad, some other relative or even people not related to you by paying some or all of their expenses, you may…

Your retirement plan could move your heirs into a higher tax bracket

Federal estate tax exclusion prevents most Americans from having to worry about estate taxes at the federal level. But estate taxes levied by many states will still affect an estate, largely due to the income tax the estate will owe on inherited retirement accounts when the heirs begin drawing them down. When inheriting assets, most assets will…

How much can you contribute towards your 401(k) in 2015?

The 401(k) plan has become the single largest source of retirement savings for American workers. The program became popular in 1986 when Congress acted to replace the defined benefit plan for federal civilian workers with a less generous defined benefit plan and a generous 401(k)-type plan. The move was generally seen as an endorsement by…

Will you be able to retire when you want to?

Both financial and nonfinancial factors play a role in determining whether Americans want to work after retirement age or not. For many, choosing to work longer provides them with health or other benefits but often it also provides a sense of purpose. Many financial planners recommend working even part time for as long as possible…

As Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid reach milestone anniversaries this year, what roles will they play in securing your retirement?

Social Security announced several weeks ago a countdown to its 80th Anniversary celebration. Beginning yesterday and for the next 50 days, Medicaid too will countdown the days until its 50th Anniversary. This year is a big year for many programs including the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act, the 25th Anniversary of the Americans…

Financial gifts to help new grads prepare for tomorrow

If you have a new college graduate in your life, you may be wondering what gift you can give them that is more meaningful than a Macy’s gift card or a stack of linens. One thing that most American graduates lack is financial understanding. One study conducted by Arkansas State University found that college students…

For some, reaching 62 isn’t necessary to receive Social Security benefits

Most articles talk about survivor’s benefits from the standpoint of a widow or widower but spouses are not the only people who benefit from survivor’s benefits. Losing a family’s breadwinner can take an economic toll on a family’s finances. That loss can pull an older person into poverty, but it can be equally devastating for…

A reverse mortgage can provide a more secure retirement

Homeownership represents stability in a housing market with vastly fluctuating rent payments. Thanks to the Recession, fewer Americans own homes but amongst the older generations, home ownership remains significantly higher than renting as a housing option. Even if a homeowner’s retirement plan does not include remaining in the same home over time, ownership provides options…