Tag: 2020

Five New Year’s Resolutions to Keep in 2020

At the start of a new year, many of us sit back and make resolutions about a number of different things.  It may be spending more time with your family, losing weight, traveling more, any number of things that are important to you.  These are probably things that you have resolved to do previously but many times as the year goes on, you find that your resolve has dissipated.

However, resolutions around financial goals can be different.  Many of these are things to consider and decide on.  At the end of the process, you can feel confident that you have considered what is important for your financial health and move forward to the end of the year resolving to do the same the next year.

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What is the SECURE Act and does it matter to me?

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (“SECURE”) Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019.  With all of the discussion in the news around the political uncertainty, impeachment, and the looming trade war, one of the largest changes to retirement savings laws in recent years was passed with very little fanfare.  However, some of the changes will be significant.  I have tried to highlight what may impact the majority of our clients and readers.

The Act has a lot of positives such as simplifying rules and making 401k plans potentially available to more workers, pushing back the RMD age, and allowing contributions to IRAs past age 70.  The negative impact I see is the elimination of the stretch IRA which is a clear move by the government to raise tax revenues by forcing money out of inherited IRAs sooner.  I will discuss in more detail below, but this should be a time to review beneficiaries and discuss whether any change in your legacy planning should be made in response to the new laws. What do you need to pay attention to?

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Remember in December: 8 Critical Ways to Organize your Finances Before Ringing in 2020

I’d like to believe that everyone understands the value in a year-end review of their personal finances. Statistics that I’ve seen indicate that over half of people who make resolutions indicate a change to household finances and saving money is a priority in the new year1. What is a bit of surprise to me is that so many put off (or neglect all together) actually reviewing their finances before year’s end. My conclusion: one of the biggest deterrents is the time it takes to get things organized.

When it comes to being successful with money, strong organization will empower you more than anything else you can do to take control of your finances moving forward. With my personal and professional understanding of the challenges of this process, I’ve put together an 8-step checklist to get your finances organized, take inventory of where you stand, and ultimately get you ready to close the books on 2019.

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Six Tax Strategies to Consider Before the End of the Year

The tax law changes that went into effect in 2018, changed many things but tax planning moves are still available that can be implemented before the end of the year that can reduce your taxes in 2019.  Whether you are self-employed or a W-2 employee, there are strategies available now that can reduce your tax bill if you act before the end of the year. 

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How Much Will Your Social Security Increase in 2020?

You may have heard that the Social Security Administration officially announced that Social Security recipients will receive a 1.6% cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment for 2020. Those increased payments will start in January 2020.  The purpose of the COLA is to help the purchasing power of Social Security benefits keep pace with inflation.  Congress first enacted the COLA provision as part of the 1972 Social Security Amendments, with automatic annual COLAs began in 1975.  Before that, benefits were increased only when Congress enacted special legislation. 

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