Financial Planning

Congress has been hard at work on their budget to keep the government from shutting down. As a part of the legislation, the so-called “tax extenders” were up for renewal yet again.
Social security has been hammered with bad news of late. First we heard that there was going to be no cost of living adjustment (COLA) for social security benefits going into 2016 because “inflation” was zero.
As many people watch our leaders hammer out a budget deal, it is important to note that there are more changes to the current laws than simply raising the debt ceiling (again) and agreeing to spend more money.
Each year Social Security retirement benefits are adjusted for inflation and Medicare premiums are adjusted for cost increases in the program. The adjustments for Social Security are based on the CPI-W and, in the event the CPI-W is negative, will never be less than
Roth accounts have been around since the late 1990’s as the brainchild of Senators Bob Packwood and William Roth, Jr. While most people understand the basic tenets of a Roth account, the rules, like anything concocted in Washington DC, are much more complicated than first blush.
The Pease limitation is named after Congressman Donald Pease who originally introduced the legislation in 1991, and it was added to the Internal Revenue Code under section 68. This provision limits the amount of itemized deductions allowed by reducing certain
In tax planning the most common rate is the table rate and not necessarily the actual marginal rate. Any additional income you can earn or receive—be in wages, interest, dividends, or capital gains—is going to be taxed at the marginal rate. Likewise, any deductions you take for mortgage interest
The passage of 1983 Amendments to the Social Security Act altered the tax-free nature of Social Security benefits. Beginning in 1984 Social Security benefits, above a certain threshold, are subject to federal income taxes. In an effort to make things as difficult as possible, 50% of the benefits received could be subject to taxation based on a
In our previous article Social Security Spousal Benefits, we discussed what benefits are allowed for a spouse of a retired worker. Along the same lines, if you were married and your spouse predeceases you, the benefit you receive from Social Security may change. Unfortunately
At the beginning of 2008, I wrote this piece and was surprised at the positive responses that I received from clients. As usual, I have added a few new items for 2015 but have kept the fundamental framework the same because the basics really never change. So here we go again for our 8th straight year!

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