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Highlights of House Tax Proposal

Yesterday members of the House of Representatives announced their version of income tax reform.  The Senate is expected to offer its own version as early as next week. Assuming each passes without changes (and that’s a big assumption) there will still likely be changes as the legislation moves through the reconciliation process before being presented [...]

Tell Them What They Want To Hear

Should a financial relationship be about doing what’s right or feeling good?  The former, right?  Not so fast. A survey by index zealots DFA found the #1 thing valued in receiving financial guidance is a “sense of security / peace of mind.”  Not that that’s a bad thing of course but at 35% of respondents [...]

End of the Stretch IRA?

The powerful tax-deferral tool is likely nearing its end. WHAT IS STRETCHING: Sustaining and maximizing the tax-deferred status of an IRA when the beneficiary is a non-spouse such as a child. WHO LIKES IT: Beneficiaries who accrue years of compounded, tax-deferred growth while minimizing the Present Value of the liability (i.e. $1 in the future [...]

If You Don’t Have a Plan the Government Has One for You

According to a recent study by just 40% of U.S. adults have a will (including only 36% of U.S. adults who have children under the age of 18). What’s more only 53% of U.S. adults have a healthcare power of attorney (“POA”). What’s the big deal? Without a will or similar trust agreement decisions [...]

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Becomes Law

Special Needs Trusts (“SNTs”) are a common estate planning tool used to improve the quality of life of individuals with special needs. When properly drafted they integrate with governmental benefits ensuring assets are used to supplement (rather than disqualify an individual for) governmental benefits. On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures [...]

Retirement Age to Rise to 69?

Legislation has been introduced to the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee that among other things would: increase full retirement age at which workers could claim benefits after 12/31/29 raise for workers the “early retirement age” to 69 change how benefits are calculated to increase benefits for lower-income workers while slowing the growth of [...]

Common IRA RMD Mistakes

Retirement savers in Required Minimum Distribution status likely (or at least should) know some of the basics. Some retirement savers will have reached age 70 ½ this year and begin taking their first RMDs. A popular strategy involves aggregation. IRS rules state that an RMD should be calculated for each account separately. Then, where aggregation [...]