December 2018

Retirement Articles This Week

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We'll focus on websites and publications that help prepare and plan your retirement and personal finance decisions. Visit us each week. Send us suggestions.

 

70 1/2?...Dont Forget your RMD this year

December 31 is the last day to take these distributions from your 401k or IRA.  The IRS has a worksheet to help you calculate your RMD, an amount that will depend on your age and account balance.

Posted on Friday, December 7 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Our Financial Planning Tip...Set up a Roth IRA!

In 2019, the IRS will permit savers to put away up to $6,000 in a Roth IRA, plus $1,000 if you're 50 or older.
The exact amount of money you can save in this account will be based on your modified adjusted gross income or MAGI.

If you're single and with an MAGI of up to $122,000 (or married-filing-jointly with up to $193,000 in MAGI), you can contribute up to the annual limit.
Contribution levels drop off from that point. Single filers with at least $137,000 in MAGI ($203,000 if married and filing jointly) can't make any direct contributions to their Roth IRAs.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Ouch...Terrible day for stock markets

This really doesn't look like a Santa Claus rally. 

Dow Jones down almost 800 points today.

Posted on Tuesday, December 4 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Converting assets to a Roth IRA from a Traditional IRA

Sure- it is a taxable event so consult a tax professional.  There are several benefits to conversions:

  • Roth withdrawals will be tax and penalty free if you are at least 59 1/2 and the account is at least 5 years old.
  • Roth money can continue to grow longer.  You won't be required to started withdrawals at age 70 1/2.
  • Your heirs will have to take annual withdrawals, but they won't have to pay federal income tax on the money if the account's been open for at least five years.
Posted on Monday, December 3 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Receive a phone call from social security?... it's a Scam

The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a warning to ignore phone calls from official-sounding callers who tell you your Social Security number has been suspended due to fraudulent activity and then ask you for your personal information to reactivate your account.  This is a scam.  Your Social Security number is never suspended.

Posted on Monday, November 26 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Social Security to get 2.8% COLA

Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 2.8% increase in benefits next year, the largest cost-of-living adjustment since 2012.   A 2.8% increase would boost the average Social Security benefit by $39 to $1,461 per month next year. 

The earnings limit for individuals who claim Social Security before their full retirement age will increase to $17,640 in 2019, up from $17,040 this year.

Posted on Monday, November 26 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Many retirees stop working with a small nest egg

 According to the EBRI, 62% of retirees stop working with total retirement savings of $250,000 or less.

Using the 4% rule of thumb, in which you spend 4% of your savings each year (and adjust for inflation), that means that the vast majority of retirees are looking at $10,000 or less in income from their retirement savings. That's on top of the average Social Security benefit of $1,404 per month.

Posted on Monday, August 27 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Fidelity Offers Two Index Funds with Zero Expense Ratio

Generally most funds have a minimum investment to get started.  The two new Fidelity funds have no minimums-ideal way to get started.

Fidelity® ZERO Total Market Index Fund (FZROX)

Fidelity® ZERO International Index Fund (FZILX)

Fidelity Zero Minimum Funds

Posted on Sunday, August 26 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Commission free trades from Vanguard

Vanguard wil offer commission-free trades online trades for nearly 1800 ETF's, up from the current 77

The commission-free ETF's include most of Vanguard's offerings, as well as Blackrock, Schwab, and State Street Global Advisors.  Vanguard will continue to charge commissions on inverse and leveraged ETF's.  These should be available in several weeks!

Posted on Wednesday, July 25 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Spending some real money at the gas pump this summer

Relief is beginning to show up at pumps across the county: the national average gasoline price has fallen two cents per gallon in the last week to $2.94 per gallon today, according to GasBuddy’s survey of 135,000 gas stations. 40 states saw gas prices move lower in the last week, while 10 saw prices increase slightly.

Posted on Monday, June 4 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

Create a social security account online

Have you created an account on the Social Security Administration website to view your earnings history to ensure it is accurate, now that the administration no longer mails statements to people under the age of 60?

Social Security Link

Posted on Monday, June 4 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off

April 17 is your tax deadline this year

Why is Tax Day April 17?

The regular tax return filing deadline is April 15. However, due to April 15 being on a Sunday and the Washington D.C. Emancipation Day holiday being observed on April 16 instead of April 15, 2018, Tax Day is on the following Tuesday.

Posted on Saturday, April 14 by Registered CommenterWise Owl | Comments Off
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