Category Archives: Financial

Financial planning for the end of the year and beyond

It’s nearly the end of the year but you still have a few days to make some last minute financial moves.  Here’s a few moves suggested by a US News Money article: Workers under age 50, can contribute $17,500 to their 401(k) plans that will count toward their 2014 tax returns.  Workers 50 and over…

Avoid holiday scams by staying in the know

The holidays are a great time for scammers.  We’re all feeling a little more generous and we want to spread some cheer, plus and I hate to say it, but it at least seems like more bad things happen at this time of the year.  Mudslides, earthquakes, floods…all those things that rob people of the…

Talking to your parents about money

My mom is a math whiz.  Or at least in my family of math-phobic or at least uninterested she seems like a math whiz.  She got her degree in math, worked for a bank for years and, despite three kids and a husband who don’t appreciate the bottom line like we ought to, managed the…

Will tax-free disability savings accounts become law in December?

Next month the House of Representatives will hold a floor vote on the ABLE Act.  Under ABLE, people with disabilities would be able to establish special accounts at financial institutions to deposit up to $14,000 a year and accrue up to $100,000 in savings without risking losing government benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid. …

Widowhood and poverty shouldn’t go hand in hand but they often do

If you’re a financial advisor, take heed.  New York Life found that nearly 20 percent of widows who dropped a couple’s financial advisor after their spouse died, did so because they didn’t have a relationship with him or her.  The study didn’t say how many women stayed with the financial advisor despite being unhappy with…

A phased retirement may offer the best of both worlds

If you’re thinking you’re not ready yet to retire but you’d like more time to spend with your hobbies or your family, you may be in luck.  That’s because older federal workers will soon be able to take advantage of a new federal-employee phased retirement program.   While many schools of higher education have long offered…

Tax exclusion rate rises

Due to inflation adjustments, the IRS announced dozens of tax provision adjustments, one of which was the basic estate tax exclusion amount for the estates of decedents dying during calendar year 2015. The rate will change from $5.34 million to $5.43 million. The annual gift tax exclusion remains at $14,000. The end of the year…

Thanks Veterans!

  Veterans Day is Tuesday, Nov 11 this year.  Congrats to the U.S. Marine Corp-239 years of service. Thanks to all of you for your service. Our many thanks to all those families, men and women who have sacrificed for their country.  Between 52 percent and 80 percent of men 65 and older served their country…

Gray divorce hurts retirement plans of both individuals

The United States has one of the highest divorce rates in the world but it’s been going through a change in the past three decades. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of divorce for most Americans is falling since its all-time high in the 1980s, except when you look at Baby Boomers. The…

How to know if you’ve hired a good financial advisor

A good financial advisor may mean the difference between a good retirement and something…less. Here are some tips for deciding whether the financial advisor you’ve picked is a good choice. He or she talks equally well with both spouses.  Women control the majority of American household income, but the cultural expectation is that investment choices…