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Archive by category: BlogReturn
How the SECURE Act is Changing Retirement
On December 20th, 2019 the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act – was signed into law, representing the most extensive changes to retirement legislation in over a decade. One of the primary objectives of the SECURE Act is to help Americans save for retirement – and many of the new rules and provisions reflect that including: * Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) will now start at age 72 (instead of 70½) * IRA contributions can be made after age 70½ as long as there is earned income * Part-time employees may now be eligible to participate in their company-sponsored retirement plan
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2019 Year End Tax Planning
As the year draws to a close, now is a good time to both reflect and to plan for the future. Much like the prior year, the 2019 calendar year has continued to be a year of significant change and uncertainty. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Treasury have continued to issue interpretative guidance on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and other legislative changes at a rapid pace. In some instances, guidance issued is entirely new and not yet finalized. In other instances, the new guidance replaces prior guidance issued in the form of proposed regulations and notices. The result is a myriad of effective dates and choices for taxpayers to navigate.Dixon Hughes Goodman (our parent company) has put together the attached letter which highlights a few tax planning areas for you to consider before year end. This letter does not address the nuances and variations in existing guidance that must be carefully evaluated before implementing any provision highlighted herein. We anticipa...
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Financial Topics Millennials and Boomers Need to Discuss  this Holiday Season
Given the current state of politics in America, the holidays will no doubt result in some uncomfortable, if not downright contentious conversations between millennials and their boomer parents at the holiday dinner table. Over the coming weeks, you will likely see countless articles about how to talk with family members who disagree with you politically.While millennials and boomers can agree to disagree on uncomfortable topics like politics and religion, there is one important topic which should not be ignored, despite how uncomfortable it is, money.It’s tempting to avoid financial conversations altogether, because, let’s face it, nobody wants to feel like they are prying into their parents’ business, and most parents don’t want to take financial advice from someone whose diapers they’ve changed countless times. But as uncomfortable as it is, the consequences of avoiding this topic can be costly.Here are 5 important financial conversations that you would ...
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College Financial Aid Explained
College admissions has always been an important topic for American families. More recently it has been front page news as individuals have sought to game the system through connections, false narratives, or bribery.  While not as sensational as this spring’s scandal, we hope to provide interesting, concise, and timely insight into the college financial aid process. 
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Protecting What’s Yours (While You’re Alive)
Whether due to disability, dementia, or simply enjoying an exotic vacation, there are many ways you can end up unavailable to make critical financial or health care choices for yourself or your loved ones. If you’ve not documented your desires in advance, it can add extra stress for everyone, plus the outcomes may not be what anyone had in mind! In this article learn about three key planning tools you can use today to protect yourself and your assets.
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Dollar Cost Averaging:  A Measured Approach to Investing
There are 2 ways to enter a swimming pool.  You can walk yourself in slowly.  Step by step. Inch by inch. Gradually edging yourself into the water so as not to be shocked by the cold. Or? You can dive right in without hesitation.  Putting money to work in the capital markets is no different, leaving investors faced with the decision: is it better to wade or plunge? 
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"Your Retirement Choices:" A Guide to Making Decisions Regarding Your Pension Benefits
One of the most important letters you may receive is a letter titled “Your Retirement Choices.”   This cheery title sits atop a letter that companies send when it’s time for you to make a decision regarding your accrued pension benefits and is usually sent close to your expected retirement date – although sometimes there is an opportunity to claim benefits early.
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Tax Diversification - Proactive Steps to Reduce Taxation in Retirement
If you’ve worked with us for any length of time, you’ve certainly heard the term diversification once or twice as it relates to investments.  You may not be as familiar with the term “tax diversification” but know that it is a relevant concern that we consider when recommending your savings options.
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IRS increases qualified retirement plan limits for 2019
As you prepare for the new calendar year, one resolution that we often make it to is to take steps towards enhancing our financial future.  As we work with clients towards putting plans in place, we are often asked what are the biggest influencers on reaching retirement goals.  The number one influencer on achieving long term goals  is making regular savings a priority.  Achieving market-like returns along with regular savings is what helps achieve long term financial goals.  Regular savings, versus ad-hoc lump sum contributions to savings also helps smooth out the influence that timing has on the achievement of goals.Additionally, tax-deferred savings (IRA, 401k, 403b etc.) and tax free savings (Roth IRA, Roth 401k) also have significant benefits and are often the first priority for dollars allocated towards savings.The IRS reviews qualified plan limits each year and increases them periodically to keep up inflation.  Generally, the IRS will increase ...
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Letter From the Heart
Too often, financial and especially estate planning focuses on the legal, tax and investment structure and forgets to address practical and personal issues.  Problems may then occur when a loved one passes away and in the midst of the heartache and grief, with little or no direction, the family is left to make difficult short term decisions about funeral arrangements, followed by the big issues of sorting out the longer term financial picture.  What would your family do in such an event?  Would they know the location of your most important documents?  Would they know who to call for help? A few years ago, as we worked through the planning process with a new client, the above thoughts really hit home and we were asked to develop a system that would organize and pass along valuable financial and personal information to her family.  The attached questionnaire became a guide for her and we believe it can prove to be equally as important to you.  We know t...
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