Your Money & Future
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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?