Minimizing Danger to Your IRA

Last week’s topic was potential danger to IRAs contained in new legislation lingering in the Senate. Those affected would be most IRA beneficiaries including you or your kids or grand kids. The scenario would affect the lives of more than just the wealthy. Therefore, it makes sense to present a handful of ways to minimize the possible negative consequences.  Although, if the SECURE Act legislation is passed in its current form, these strategies will be even harder to come by.

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Several current solutions have been discussed in prior editions of TGIF 2 Minutes, namely using the Roth IRA, Roth 401k or 403b, or Roth IRA conversions (see the link below for quick details of various Roth strategies). Most important is to have this issue on your radar – to create a balance by using both traditional and Roth strategies TODAY side by side for diversification. Continue reading “Minimizing Danger to Your IRA”

Potential Danger to Your IRA

In the heart of this already HOT summer of 2019, the heat may only be beginning for your IRA. Under the seemingly friendly title of the “SECURE Act” Congress is considering plans to over-reach in the form of future taxes on IRA accounts.

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There are several positive and constructive elements of the bill recently passed by the House of Representatives and currently in review in the Senate. These include provisions to lower the threshold for small employers to offer 401k plans to their employees. However, a key part of the bill would do away with one of the most popular and widely used aspects of current IRA rules: the “Stretch IRA” for beneficiaries.

Currently, and dating back to the 1990’s, the Stretch IRA favors longevity by allowing a beneficiary to stretch inherited IRA monies over a lifetime, or until the IRA (or rolled over 401k) monies are depleted. This feature has come to be a popular and inexpensive long-term planning tool. The “Stretch” also aids in managing the tax consequences of becoming an inheritor of IRA monies. Continue reading “Potential Danger to Your IRA”

New Tax Law Changes

As we roll full steam into the New Year 2019 it helps to be aware of a handful of changes related to taxes and tax-deductible contributions to 401k plans, IRAs and the like.

Important to recognize (when in a calm state of mind) is that with last year’s introduction of one of the most sweeping tax law changes in decades, filing for tax year 2018 may contain both pain, in terms of lost SALT deductions, and valuable lessons for how to proceed in tax year 2019. In the meantime, consider the following.*

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Continue reading “New Tax Law Changes”

Thankful vs. Grateful

Bottom Line: Being Thankful and Grateful are both positive things.

Simply saying “Thank you” out loud is hard without somehow smiling either inwardly or outwardly. Try it! But say, “I am grateful for X” whether it is for a person, place or thing,and it likely brings an even deeper feeling.Perhaps that is why in the science of happiness (yes, there is a whole branch of science around happiness) the concept of gratitude is central.

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Simply saying “Thank you” out loud is hard without somehow smiling either inwardly or outwardly. Try it!

Continue reading “Thankful vs. Grateful”

The “T” in TGIF

T = THANKS. TGIF stands for “Thank God It’s Friday.” I cannot proceed without saying a truly heartfelt THANKS to all of my clients, friends and readers who inquired as to mine and my husband’s well-being prior to and amidst Hurricane Florence. It blew me away (no pun intended) to know that so many people were thinking enough of me to call, email or text all weekend long to know that we were OK!

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Continue reading “The “T” in TGIF”

One Way To Be Unselfish

This edition is dedicated to the loving memory of my father-in-law, Mickey Debbs.

Lots of things in life are learned or really hammered home only during or after a sad event. While there are still lots of lessons learned amidst happy times.

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Recently I experienced the tremendously sad and sudden passing of my father-in-law. Note the word “sudden.”  Most of us say out loud regarding death, “I want to go fast!” Or, “I don’t want a long and drawn out death.” But really, we have no idea. What if it is sudden?

Continue reading “One Way To Be Unselfish”

Caring for Aging Parents – Pt. 3

Last in a 3-part series from the archives of January 2017.

In earlier editions of TGIF 2 Minutes I delved into the topic of “Caring for Aging Parents.” It may seem like overkill to read a “Part 3,” but ask anyone who is in the midst of coordinating care for a parent or spouse if they wish they had gotten advice sooner. Heck, these days even neighbors and friends are enlisted to check in on a 93-year old down the street. Experts in long-term care insurance cite the emotional strain on family members – that can leave a family member or friend in need of serious or costly medical care for themselves after years of caring for others.

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The final topic in this series (excerpted from the archives) is the emotions involved in caring for aging parents, friends and others: Continue reading “Caring for Aging Parents – Pt. 3”