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Retirement-Planning Tips for Women

Tuesday, April 19, 2021

Women often face special challenges when planning for retirement. For example, if they are the primary caregivers in their families, their careers may be interrupted to care for children or elderly parents, which means they may spend less time in the workforce and earn less money than men in the same age group. And even if they remain in the workforce, women still tend to earn less than men, on average.1 As a result, their retirement plan balances, Social Security benefits, and pension benefits are often lower.

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<b>Common Factors Affecting </b><b></b><b>Retirement Income</b>

Common Factors Affecting Retirement Income

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

When it comes to planning for your retirement income, it's easy to overlook some of the common factors that can affect how much you'll have available to spend. If you don't consider how your retirement income can be impacted by investment risk, inflation risk, catastrophic illness or long-term care, and taxes, you may not be able to enjoy the retirement you envision.

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There's Still Time to Contribute to an IRA for 2020!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Though tax filing season is well under way, there's still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2020. You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $6,000 for 2020 ($7,000 if you were age 50 or older on or before December 31, 2020). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2020 is April 15, 2021.

You can contribute to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or both, as long as your total contributions don't exceed the annual limit (or, if less, 100% of your earned income). You may also be able to contribute to an IRA for your spouse for 2020, even if your spouse didn't have any 2020 income.

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* The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service has announced that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. 

Per a recent press release from the IRS, even with the new federal deadline, consider filing as soon as possible. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.

American Rescue Plan Act Provides Relief to Individuals and Businesses

Thursday, March 18, 2021

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 ongoing coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic crisis. Major relief provisions are summarized here, including some tax provisions. 

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Get a Fresh Start on Your Finances in 2021!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

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 fresh start this year, why not begin with your personal finances? Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Pandemic Relief Measures and Your Tax Return

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Two emergency relief bills passed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will make this an unusual tax season for many taxpayers. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in March, and a second relief package was attached to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, in December.

The federal government relied on the tax system to deliver financial lifelines to struggling households, boost consumer spending, and help speed the economic recovery.

The following provisions may affect many households when they file their personal tax returns for 2020. You might consult a tax professional who can further explain the relevant changes and recommend strategies to help reduce your tax liability for 2021.

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Financial Aid Changes on the Horizon

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The U.S. Department of Education has designated February as Financial Aid Awareness Month, and this year there's a lot to talk about. On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, another relief package in response to the pandemic. Included in the bill were several provisions related to education, including many changes to financial aid.

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Federal Tax Filing Season Starts Soon!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Expecting a Form 1099? Be aware the IRS allows investment sponsors to request extensions to compile information, so 1099s may not even arrive until mid-March or later. You may want to wait until closer to the April 15th deadline to file. For fastest access, we recommend signing up for online access to the individual company's website, if offered. For tips to make filing easier click here

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Fiscal Stimulus Update

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Recently, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill that provides greater unemployment benefits and additional stimulus payments to individuals and families, as well as more than $300 billion in aid for small businesses.

Please see the attached Fiscal Stimulus Update from Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management outlining the details of the most recent stimulus package.

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Financial Planning: Helping You See the Big Picture

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Do you picture yourself owning a new home, starting a business, or retiring comfortably? These are a few of the financial goals that may be important to you, and each comes with a price tag attached.

That's where financial planning comes in. Financial planning is a process that can help you target your goals by evaluating your whole financial picture, then outlining strategies that are tailored to your individual needs and available resources.

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Why Everyone Needs an Estate Strategy

Tuesday, October 19, 2020

It's National Estate Planning Awareness Week! Estate planning is an essential element of every financial plan and goes much further than a will. It is the process of developing and implementing a master plan that directs the distribution of your property after your death according to your goals and objectives. The need for estate planning is generally overlooked, so please read Why Everyone Needs an Estate Strategy for more information.

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College Disrupted: Students Face High Costs and Pandemic Impact

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Even in normal times, it can be challenging for families to cover college expenses without borrowing money and/or risking their own retirement security. With the financial futures of students and supportive parents at stake, it is more important than ever for families to make informed college decisions.

For the 2021/2022 academic year (July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022), families will be able to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, on October 1, 2020. Keep in mind that since some financial aid is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis; you should submit a FAFSA form as early as possible after October 1, 2020 to maximize your potential aid. Also, don't forget that the income information for your 2021/2022 FAFSA should be taken from your 2019 federal tax returns. For more information, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

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September is Life Insurance Awareness Month!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

In recognition of Life Insurance Awareness Month, we wanted to share Assess Life Insurance Needs, an informational article found on our website, along with many other articles and resources. If your family relies on your income, it’s critical to consider having enough life insurance to provide for them if you pass away unexpectedly. But too often, life insurance is an overlooked aspect of personal finances. Realizing the role life insurance can play in your family’s finances is an important first step. 

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IRS Clarifies COVID-19 Relief Measures for Retirement Savers

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March 2020 ushered in several measures designed to help IRA and retirement plan account holders cope with financial fallout from the virus. The rules were welcome relief to many people, but left questions about the details unanswered. In late June, the IRS released Notices 2020-50 and 2020-51, which shed light on these outstanding issues.

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IRS Outlines Changes to Health-Care Spending Rules Under CARES Act

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The IRS provided COVID-19 guidance for health Flexible Spending Arrangements and section 125 cafeteria plans related to high-deductible health plans through Notice 2020-29. The amended rules under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provide flexibility for health-care spending related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the CARES Act, a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) can temporarily cover telehealth and other remote care services without a deductible, or with a deductible below the minimum annual deductible otherwise required by law. The CARES Act also modifies the rules for "qualified medical expenses" that are reimbursable in various tax-advantaged accounts. 

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2019 IRA Contribution Deadline Has Been Extended

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Due to the coronavirus tax filing extension, there's still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2019. You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $6,000 for 2019 ($7,000 if you were age 50 or older on December 31, 2019). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2019 is July 15, 2020.

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Small Businesses Eligible for Numerous Relief Programs During COVID-19 Crisis

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Throughout March 2020, as it became increasingly evident that the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic would be both profound and prolonged, Congress passed several pieces of legislation with provisions to help small businesses shore up their coffers and keep employees on the payroll. Within a few weeks, initial funding for the two cornerstone programs, the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, ran dry. Many of the nation's small businesses discovered they were shut out after submitting applications. On April 24, the president signed additional legislation, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, to increase the amount of aid available to small businesses during the crisis. However, industry insiders expect the funding to be depleted quickly once again.

Regardless of the status of these programs, business owners should familiarize themselves with all available aid to help ensure they are taking maximum advantage of the new laws, as well as other potential resources

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Option to Skip Your RMDs in 2020

Monday, April 20, 2020

As you know, we (both as individuals and as a country) have gone through many changes lately due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus and federal lawmakers’ response to it via the CARES Act. One of those changes is really important to retirees, and it has to do with Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Historically, anyone older than 70.5 was required to withdraw a certain amount each year from their retirement accounts, or be subject to a penalty from the IRS. The RMDs were an absolute requirement, regardless of whether you actually needed the money in-hand or not. In 2019, the rules changed slightly, and raised the age for beginning RMDs to 72.

Now, though, and at least for the remainder of 2020, you do NOT have to take those RMDs. And if you were required to start taking your first year of RMDs in 2019, but still hadn’t taken them by April 1, 2020, you can skip the 2019 withdrawal too. This way, the money can stay in your tax-advantaged retirement accounts and continue to grow or recover with the market. No deadlines to miss, no penalties to pay, and one less thing to think about during this very unusual time.

If you have questions about the new RMD rules, or are concerned in any way about your specific requirements for RMDs, we’re here to help. Please reach out!

Federal Student Loan Borrowers Get Expanded Relief in CARES Act

Friday, April 10, 2020

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, the largest economic stimulus bill in the history of the United States, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.1 Included in the legislation are new rules for student loan relief that supersede the rules that were announced only a week earlier by the Department of Education. For more information on both sets of rules, visit the federal student aid website.

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Breaking Down the CARES Act 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

As you know, the coronavirus pandemic has created both a health crisis and an economic crisis. To help address both, Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It’s a massive, $2 trillion stimulus package designed to help everything from hospitals, to individuals, to businesses large and small. This is major legislation. So, to help you understand what the CARES Act does, and how it will impact you, We are providing a special breakdown.

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Four Things Others Will Wish They Had Done…

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

When this is all over, what will I wish I had done?” This question really got us thinking. Investors are bombarded every day with opinions (informed or otherwise), data (informative or misleading), and news (real or fake). As a result, many investors have panicked. When the coronavirus pandemic resolves and the markets rebound, what will they wish they had done?

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