How to Handle Debts in an Estate

Your Guide to Understanding How Estate Assets are Used to Pay Valid Claims

23 November 2020

How to Handle Debts in an Estate

The passing of a family member is always a painful time. Sometimes, however, the pain can be compounded by financial stress. This is especially true if your loved one died with outstanding debts that must now be paid. A complex process exists for handling debts of a decedent in estates, and it requires careful planning that we’ll discuss below.

5 Money Moves Single Parents Should Make

Work toward these financial markers to build a strong foundation for you and your family.

11 November 2020

5 Money Moves Single Parents Should Make

In a two-parent household, raising children can be quite the task. Raising children as a single parent brings additional challenges, stressors, and responsibilities - many of which are financial.

Though financially stressful, it’s important to remember that it’s possible to raise a child on your own and have a stable financial life. It merely requires discipline and planning. So, if you’re a single parent and feeling a bit overwhelmed, use these steps as a guide to help you achieve financial security.

What You Need to Know About Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

28 October 2020

What You Need to Know About Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Open enrollment season is quickly approaching, and I want to make sure you take full advantage of all that's available to you, especially a Health Savings Account (HSA). The HSA is a powerful tool to help you save and invest in paying for your qualified medical expenses (QMEs) now and into retirement. It's become popular as more employers move to high deductible health plans (HDHP) to reduce insurance premiums. A critical note about an HSA is that you must choose an HDHP instead of traditional (lower deductible) health insurance plans if you wish to make contributions to an HSA. 

Six Essential HSA Facts

I have used HSAs for 10+ years and find them to be very beneficial. Here are a few essential facts I'd like to share with you:

1.    The HSA provides triple tax benefits. Contributions are made with pre-tax dollars (free of federal, state, and FICA taxes) through payroll if your employer offers it. If you purchase an HDHP on your own in the insurance market, you can set up your own HSA online and make contributions before the tax return filing deadline. You can choose how to invest the balance, and the growth is tax-deferred. Distributions are income-tax-free if they are used to pay for qualified medical expenses (QME). "Typical" retiree expenses on health care are often as high as $500/month (or $1,000/month for a married couple), much of which is HSA-eligible QMEs, including Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs (although Medigap coverage doesn't count). 

Once enrolled in Medicare, you can no longer contribute to an HSA. But you can take distributions from your HSA for QME.

Five Things to Do If You Inherit a Roth IRA

These steps will help you make the most of the bittersweet situation you are in.

17 October 2020

Five Things to Do If You Inherit a Roth IRA

Once upon a time, if you inherited a Roth IRA, you would be able to stretch the inherited Roth IRA withdrawals out over your lifetime, letting the money grow over the years. Now though, the rules have changed. With the SECURE Act, which was signed into law in December of 2019, planning for an inherited IRA requires a little bit more effort and intention.

This is because the act imposes a new rule on inherited IRAs for any account whose owner died after December 31, 2019, requiring that beneficiaries must empty the account within 10 years of the owner’s death (unless they qualify for an exception).

While this new law definitely limits what you can do with an inherited IRA, there is still some flexibility in how you reap the benefits as long as you stay in the 10-year time limit. Here are five tips to guide you as you plan your strategy.


Retirement Savings Catch-Up Strategies

Seven Tactics to Help You Build a Bigger Nest Egg - Even if You're Way Behind

14 September 2020

Retirement Savings Catch-Up Strategies

In a perfect world, we would all start saving for retirement at age 25 and life would never throw any curveballs to send us off track. Of course, this is far from a perfect world, and that’s why so many Americans find themselves playing catch-up and carrying anxiety about never achieving their retirement savings goals.

If you find yourself in this boat, you’re certainly not alone. Luckily, there are many powerful techniques you can use to accelerate your savings right now – even if you’ve waited longer than you had hoped to begin saving. Below, we’ll look at seven strategies to help you get serious – and successful – about your retirement nest egg.

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