A fresh look at RMDs

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Financial Planning, Retirement, Tax Planning

Background Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are a common topic of focus in personal financial planning. This is nothing new. I first published this blog post titled “IRAs and the Retirement Income Myth” based on 2005 and 2006 data. The underlying big picture issue is the split in needs between the “haves” and “have-nots”: Relatively few […]

Who benefits the most from tax planning?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Law firm, Retirement, self-employed, Tax Planning

Our tax laws provide more opportunity to some people than others. I find that some people can save tens of thousands of dollars with little effort through active tax planning while others might save only a thousand dollars or so. Obviously these high impact people are the ones that tax planners like me want to […]

Impact of Tax Reform on the Finances of Seniors

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Retirement, Taxes

Most of the changes included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are already effective for 2018. These are mostly good news for seniors. Retirees will be less affected by the tax law changes than other Americans since the changes do not affect the way Social Security and investment income are taxed.However, changes that become effective […]

What the heck is a 501(k) plan?

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Financial Planning, Retirement, Tax Planning

The financial services industry has a long history of creating new marketing terms to help sell its products. Certainly this is a productive and useful part of consumer financial service communications. The latest term gathering attention is a “501(k) plan”. The increased use of this term coincides with marketing of an already existing alternate tool […]

Taxation of home health care benefits and family caregivers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Financial Planning, Retirement, Tax Planning

When it comes to providing care in the home for a parent or relative, the tax implications can quickly become complicated. The IRS issued some guidance last year when payments come from Medicaid or similar programs under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act. In short, these payments are not subject to self-employment tax but […]

Retirement saving basics for small businesses

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Employee Benefits, Retirement

Most working people today say that they expect to continue working past age 65. Yet the real world statistics tell a different story. At least half of us end our working career sooner than we expected, usually for medical reasons. My two related comments to small business owners are: It is simple and inexpensive to […]

Vanguard makes investment decisions easy

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Financial Planning, Investment, Retirement

I used to make a living as a Registered Investment Adviser and worked with Vanguard Group and other investment management firms. Now I provide generic standardized advice on investments when appropriate in the course of other accounting and financial planning services. My work now does not require a separate government registration as an investment adviser. Why […]