1. Articles in category: Financial

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    1. Liz Weston: Who should consider a Roth conversion now?

      Liz Weston: Who should consider a Roth conversion now?

      If you’ve saved a lot for retirement, or your parents have, you could be affected by recent changes in the rules about retirement distributions.

      The recently enacted Secure Act eliminated the “stretch IRA,” a strategy used by affluent investors to pass tax-advantaged money to their heirs. The stretch IRA allowed nonspouse beneficiaries — typically children and grandchildren — to take money out of an inherited IRA gradually over their lifetimes. The new law requires most IRAs inherited by people other than spouses to be drained within 10 years, which can lead to much higher tax bills for heirs. (Spouses still have the option of treating an inherited IRA as their own and taking money out over their lifetimes.)

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    2. Preparing an exit strategy for retirement

      Preparing an exit strategy for retirement

      Whether it’s when you turn 65 or 70 or beyond, your career will eventually come to an end. More often than not, that comes as a shock. Let’s say your standing among peers has slipped slightly and your phone doesn’t ring as much, not many people ask you for your opinion anymore, the tech swirl has passed you by and darn those crazy millennials anyway. Retirement planning is too often just focused on the money.

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    3. Competition is needed to improve health insurance options for Americans

      Competition is needed to improve health insurance options for Americans

      With all the talk of “free” everything by the far-left political candidates, it’s about time those of us back here on Planet Earth embrace what makes America so great: the competitive spirit.

      Health insurance options have been limited by arcane state-line rules for far too long, and made worse by Obamacare.

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    4. Will My Wife’s Social Security Widow's Benefit Be Higher If I Wait Past FRA To File?

      Will My Wife’s Social Security Widow's Benefit Be Higher If I Wait Past FRA To File?

      If I pass away before her, would my wife receive a higher Social Security's widow's benefit if I wait past my FRA of 66 to collect or are the benefits capped at my FRA. Thanks, James

      Hi James, Yes, assuming that your benefit rate is higher than your wife's own benefit rate. If you wait past full retirement age (FRA) to start drawing your Social Security retirement benefits, your wife's widow's benefit rate would be based on your full benefit rate including any delayed retirement credits (DRC)s you earn by waiting. So for example, if you wait until 70 to start drawing your Social Security retirement benefits and you then die prior to your wife, as a widow she would get the higher of a) her own benefit rate or b) your full age 70 rate assuming that she's at least FRA when ...

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    5. Chose the Wrong Medicare Plan for 2020? Relief May Be Available

      Chose the Wrong Medicare Plan for 2020? Relief May Be Available

      While you'd normally need to wait until this fall's open enrollment period to change your coverage, and wait until 2021 for your new plan to take effect, because of widespread problems with the plan finder, Medicare is making exceptions this year. Specifically, it's giving seniors who show that they were misled by the plan finder a special enrollment period to change their coverage.

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      Mentions: Medicare
    6. Medicare rules and costs for people age 65 who are still working

      Medicare rules and costs for people age 65 who are still working

      It's becoming a common scenario: You're creeping closer to your 65th birthday, which means you'll be eligible for Medicare, yet you already have health insurance through work. Sound familiar? If so, you might have options. While workers at businesses with fewer than 20 employees generally must sign up for Medicare at age 65, people working for larger companies typically have a choice: They can stick with their group plan and delay signing up for Medicare without facing penalties down the road, or drop the company option and go with Medicare. 

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    7. Employees Should Know These Three 2020 Tax Numbers

      Employees Should Know These Three 2020 Tax Numbers

      We’re all super busy in January, but don’t forget basic tax planning for 2020. At the start of each year, key numbers in many tax-law provisions are adjusted for inflation. While the IRS and Social Security Administration announce these figures in the fall, January is really when you need to pay attention to them. Many of the adjustments are important for employees, their paychecks, and their basic tax planning for 2020.

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    8. Does Medicare Pay For Long-term Care? Don’t Make A Big Mistake!

      Does Medicare Pay For Long-term Care? Don’t Make A Big Mistake!

      Who needs long-term care and why?

      Maybe, eventually, every one of us will need this care. Consider these statistics. 

      • A person turning 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and support in their remaining years. 
      • 20% of those turning 65 will need care for longer than five years. 
      • About 35% of people who reach age 65 are expected to enter a nursing home at least once in their lifetime.
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    9. Social Security Changes for 2020: Raises, COLA, Taxes, Benefits

      Social Security Changes for 2020: Raises, COLA, Taxes, Benefits

      Each year, those saving for and living in retirement should check up on their Social Security accounts and be aware of what changes are coming in the new year.

      This year, a set of scheduled annual changes are set to go into effect, following on the heels of the Securing Every Community for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law in late December.

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    10. Downside of California’s decade of boom

      Downside of California’s decade of boom

      Right now, politicians and media alike are juxtaposing the hallmarks of California’s current boom with our deep problems — as if they represented a contradiction, and a puzzle. How can a place be so wealthy and innovative and progressive, they ask, and yet so poor and calamitous and ungenerous at the same time?

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    11. How to Save for Retirement While Running a Business

      How to Save for Retirement While Running a Business

      Entrepreneurs who put all their eggs in a single savings basket put themselves at risk.

      Freelancers, solopreneurs and small-business owners take huge risks by choosing self-employment over traditional careers. Not only do they give up the security of steady paychecks, but they must also give up the perks that come with the cash.

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    12. A New Year's Checkup for Financial Success in 2020 and Beyond

      A New Year's Checkup for Financial Success in 2020 and Beyond

      As 2020 kicks off, it’s a great time to make sure your savings and investments are aligned with your goals and not creating unnecessary taxes. Here are some key steps. Figure out how much income you’ll need in retirement. You can do it at any age, but it’s especially important in your 50s and 60s. Many people can calculate it themselves using a retirement calculator on the web. Searching for “retirement income calculator” will give you a number of choices.

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    13. Important Tax Due Dates & Deadlines – 2020 IRS Tax Calendar

      Important Tax Due Dates & Deadlines – 2020 IRS Tax Calendar

      Email Do tax deadlines seem to sneak up on you? April 15 isn’t the only important day on the tax calendar. There are a number of important tax deadlines throughout the year that may or may not impact you depending on factors such as whether you own a business , make estimated tax payments , or contribute to a retirement account . This tax deadline calendar should help you stay on top of those deadlines in 2020 and avoid penalties and interest.

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    14. Help! I’m A Freelancer Who Maxed Out My Roth IRA. Where Do I Go Next With Retirement Savings?

      Help! I’m A Freelancer Who Maxed Out My Roth IRA. Where Do I Go Next With Retirement Savings?

      I write about banking, finance, and consumer issues. Share to facebook Share to linkedin Getty More than 7,000 media workers lost their jobs in 2019 , pushing many of the laid-off reporters and editors into the unstable world of freelance journalism. Building a freelance career comes with some freedom, but with a lot of complexity. Although you may not always think of freelancing in these terms, becoming a freelancer means you’ve put yourself in charge of running your own small business.

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    15. California projected to have nation’s weakest housing markets in 2020

      California projected to have nation’s weakest housing markets in 2020

      California housing markets were voted “most likely to underperform” in a poll of market analysts.

      Zillow and Pulsenomics LLC asked more than 100 real estate gurus to predict what would occur in 2020 housing markets. Collectively, this group saw U.S. home values up 2.8%.

      As for 25 major local markets, those folks polled did not like what they saw in California, with the state home to five of the six U.S. metro areas with the poll’s worst outlooks. Here’s what was revealed …

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    16. How to Use Gift Planning in an Estate Plan

      How to Use Gift Planning in an Estate Plan

      Gift planning can be a key element in an estate plan. Done properly, an estate plan – including gift planning – ensures that ;your assets are given to the people and organizations you care about and also minimizes the impact of taxes and other costs on your estate. Here’s an overview of the essentials of planned giving. " data-reactid="20">Gift planning can be a key element in an estate plan.

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      Mentions: retirement
    17. Will California’s ‘Temporary’ Tax on Wealth Ever Fade Away?

      Will California’s ‘Temporary’ Tax on Wealth Ever Fade Away?

      When Californians voted to “temporarily” raise taxes to fund education on Nov. 6, 2012, they probably never expected the hikes would linger in one form or another until 2030, but that’s exactly what happened.

      Prop. 30, officially tagged as “Temporary Taxes to Fund Education,” was billed as a ballot measure to increase taxes to prevent $6 billion in education budget cuts to public schools. It hiked the personal income taxes of Californian residents with annual earnings of over $250,000 for seven years, and was implemented retroactively from Jan. 1, 2012 until the end of 2018. California voters approved the initiative by a margin of 55 to 45 percent.

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    18. Tom Purcell: Don’t take cyber scammers’ bait in 2020

      Tom Purcell: Don’t take cyber scammers’ bait in 2020

      One of 2019’s biggest stories will be bigger in 2020: Cyber scams are on the rise.

      “As people increasingly conduct business and live their lives online, more and more criminals are leveraging the internet to steal,” reports Forbes’ Stu Sjouwerman.

      The dirty rotten scammers continue to evolve, too, targeting businesses, government organizations and individuals alike with increasingly sophisticated schemes.

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    19. 5 Financial New Year's Resolutions You Can Actually Stick To

      5 Financial New Year's Resolutions You Can Actually Stick To

      5 Financial New Year's Resolutions You Can Actually Stick To Kerri Anne Renzulli Reblog More than two thirds of Americans want to start 2020 on a better financial footing — but picking a smart money-related New Year’s resolution can make all the difference. Topping the list for those vowing to make financial changes were: saving more (53% of people), paying down debt (51%) and spending less (35%), according to an annual study conducted by Fidelity Investments .

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    20. How to protect yourself from possible 'Taxmageddon' if tax rates go up in 2020

      How to protect yourself from possible 'Taxmageddon' if tax rates go up in 2020

      How to protect yourself from possible 'Taxmageddon' if tax rates go up in 2020 MarketWatch 23 hrs ago Bill Bischoff Taking steps to defer your federal income bill is usually a good idea, especially if you expect to be in the same or lower tax bracket in future years. If that assumption pans out, making moves that lower your current-year income will, at a minimum, put off the tax day of reckoning and leave you with more cash until the bill comes due.

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    21. 3 Major Penalty Taxes That Could Diminish Your Retirement Savings

      3 Major Penalty Taxes That Could Diminish Your Retirement Savings

      Many of the best retirement saving strategies use employer-sponsored retirement plans like a 401(k), or individual plans like an IRA or Roth IRA. These retirement savings vehicles provide credit protections, preferential tax treatment to the investments, and in some cases, sizable tax deductions for contributions. 

      For instance, when you save in a 401(k), you can do so pre-tax, and allow for up to $19,000 of salary deferral into the plan in 2019 and $19,500 in 2020. This amount is fully deductible and not included in your taxable income. Additionally, employer contributions to your 401(k) aren’t included in your taxable income. 

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    22. 9 Types of Real Estate Investments Compared

      9 Types of Real Estate Investments Compared

      Any new investment is intimidating at first when you’re still struggling to learn the vocabulary, challenges, risks, and rewards. But real estate offers some compelling benefits for investors willing to learn the ropes, from asset diversification to passive income to real estate investing tax benefits.

      And you have plenty of real estate investment options to choose from. From a fast one-time payout to ongoing income, hands-on work to complete passivity, you can pick the right investment option based on your personal goals.

      Here are nine popular options to help you start building your real estate empire – or at least add real estate to your portfolio.

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    23. Social Security a lifeline: If you need to file a disability claim, here's what to know.

      Social Security a lifeline: If you need to file a disability claim, here's what to know.

      I decided who could return to work or would qualify for disability payments from Social Security. Then, I ended up needing them. Here's my advice. Post to Facebook Social Security a lifeline: If you need to file a disability claim, here's what to know. I decided who could return to work or would qualify for disability payments from Social Security. Then, I ended up needing them. Here's my advice.

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