Archive for the ‘Personal Finance’ Category

How Can I Make The Most of My Retirement?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

During my 30 years of financial planning experience, I have come to find that there are four phases of a person’s life. If you’re a Baby Boomer, each phase is approximately 22 years in length. Phase 1 is our formal education and/or training. During Phase 2, we try to figure out what we are going to do for a living, and then focus on becoming as proficient at it as we can be. In Phase 3, we strive to be on top of our game and begin to accumulate wealth. It’s Phase 4 that should prove to be, as long as we enjoy good health, the most gratifying phase of our lives. For in Phase 4, we should be able to step back and enjoy our journey at a more relaxed pace. It is during this phase that we are oftentimes best positioned to positively impact the people and causes that are important to us, while hopefully leaving this world a little better than we found it.

Financial and Emotional Threats to Retirement

Certainly, there are financial challenges that you may face that you should address in order to live the lifestyle necessary to accomplish your mission. These financial challenges exist for many of us due to longer life spans, the decrease of defined benefit retirement plans, and the uncertainty surrounding programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Because of our longer life expectancies and the disappearance of guaranteed pensions, many Baby Boomers are choosing to cut back the hours that they work rather than retire. For some it becomes a phase-out period of their career, while others choose to commence an entirely new career.

I have had the privilege to work with financially successful people whose fourth phase of life is not threatened by financial insecurity. However, they may have confronted emotional challenges that surface due to their loss of identity. It’s common for a person in a management position of a large company to discover that many of the people they considered friends prove to have been what I refer to as “positional acquaintances.”

Once that person retires and no longer holds a position on the company’s organization chart, the remaining people on the chart begin to interact with the new leader and no longer interact with the retiree.

So regardless of whether the threat to your enjoyment of Phase 4 is financial and/or emotional, below is a list of potential remedies that should be helpful tools as you attempt to position yourself for an enjoyable victory lap of your life’s journey.

7 Remedies To Help You Enjoy Your Retirement

  1. Develop hobbies or participate in community service activities that will provide you with an outlet to use your time and talent.
  2. Diversify your group of friends to include individuals who are not from work.
  3. Be a disciplined contributor to your retirement plan. During Phase 2, always contribute at a minimum the amount that your employer will match. During Phase 3, consider contributing the maximum amount permitted.
  4. Consider phasing out of your career and/or commencing on a new career that is aligned with your time, talents and passions. Continuing to earn an income can afford you the option of delaying access to your retirement funds and Social Security benefits.
  5. Become familiar with your Social Security options. Waiting to access your monthly benefits until you’re 70 years of age can generate a 75 percent increase of your monthly benefit at age 62. With today’s life expectancies, doing so could provide significantly more retirement benefits to you or your spouse during your lifetimes.
  6. Examine your current lifestyle and determine what is important to you. Where possible, trim unnecessary activities and related expenses and begin shaping your desired retirement lifestyle.
  7. Leverage tax law to subsidize the cost of your chosen lifestyle. The American Taxpayer Relief Tax Act of 2012 added a complexity of additional tax brackets and disappearing tax deductions that are tied to income levels. As a result, tax bracket management, where you accelerate or defer income into low tax bracket year and deductible expenses into high tax bracket year has become more important. Proactive tax bracket management, coupled with disciplined investment of realized tax savings, can significantly enhance the cash flow available to you during your victory lap.

By applying the strategies above, the increased amount of cash you could realize during retirement could be the difference between enjoying your retirement or not enjoying it. Consider taking some of these steps today in order to enhance your chances of living your dream in the future.

Retirement Planning Help

If you’re unsure of what your future retirement holds, contact Rea & Associates. Our team of Ohio personal tax professionals can help you evaluate where you’re at currently and can help you map out where you want to go on your retirement journey.

Author: Frank Festi, CPA, CFP (Medina office)

 

Want to gain more tips for retirement planning? Check these blog posts out:

Retirement Is Knocking … Are You Ready To Answer The Door?

Will You Be Ready for Retirement?

What Are The Rules For Taking A Distribution from My 401(k) Plan?

 

How Can You Build And Develop Your Organization?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

If you run a manufacturing business, then you know it’s no easy task. You may often find that the day-to-day activities become your focus. It can be hectic, time-consuming and physically and emotionally draining. These issues can take away from your ability to focus on actually growing your business. It can be a “Catch 22″ because if you aren’t building the right organizational structure, then the day-to-day activities continue to consume your time and before you know it, you’ll become like a cat chasing your tail.

Going From ‘Good to Great’

In the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, he touches on this very issue. He says, “The executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it.”

Many closely-held business owners struggle to grasp this concept. In my experience, if you want to grow a successful company and have a reasonable quality of life, you must get your arms around your organizational structure. For individuals who don’t, your company probably won’t reach its potential and you may spend most of your time working in your business and not on it.

Building Your Organization May Require Tough Choices

In my career I have worked with many companies that have had a difficult time building their organization.  It’s not easy and you won’t always get it right. When you get it wrong you must move swiftly to make the necessary changes. Most of us know when we have the wrong person in the wrong position, but we just procrastinate in making a change. Making the right move is critical for building an organization, even when it’s a tough choice.

Maximize your time and talents – and the time and talents of your employees. But know that it can’t be done without the right people around you. Make sure you have a solid management team surrounding you that can help you move your business in the direction you want it to go.

Author: Mike Taylor, CPA (Millersburg office)

Are you interested in reading more blog posts about managing your business? Check these ones out:

What Are 6 Things You Can Do To Improve The Health Of Your Business in 2014?

What Are The Top 10 Signs Your Business’s Internal Controls Aren’t Strong?

What Are The Top 5 Challenges Business Owners Face in Today’s Economy?

What Should You Do After Tax Season?

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Now that most of you have either filed your 2013 tax return or at least gathered your tax information and sent it off to your CPA, I know what you’re thinking. Phew! I’m done with my taxes for yet another year! But guess what? No, you aren’t!

Now is the time to start planning for next year. The sooner you plan ahead and strategize for next year’s tax season, the better off you may be. Not happy with the amount of taxes that you had to pay this past year? Not happy that you seem to work harder and harder only to pay more in taxes and get further behind? Start planning now for future tax seasons!

Tax Planning For the Future

Here are a few things you can start working on now to help create a better tax experience for yourself next year:

  • Develop an investment strategy. Most people don’t understand the affect this can have on your tax return. You can control when and how to take gains from your investments. You should work on developing a long-term investment strategy with your investment advisor.
  • Create a plan to sell property. Are you considering selling property sometime in the future? Did you know that there are ways to minimize taxes that need to be paid on the sale of property? This isn’t done by calling your financial advisor and letting them know you just sold some property. Get them involved now and discuss that you plan to sell some property in three to five years. Your financial advisor can help you structure the property sale and ultimately help you control the tax effect.
  • Establish a business plan. If you’re thinking about starting a new business, work with your financial advisor now to determine what tax savings you may be able to realize. Depending on the type of entity there could be significant tax savings down the road. 

Tax Planning Help

While there’s no single quick fix to solving all of your business and tax woes, planning now will certainly help you when tax season rolls around next year – and the year after that and so on. If you need help with your tax planning, contact Rea & Associates. Our team of Ohio tax planning professionals can help you develop a tax strategy that best suits you for years to come.

Author: Dave McCarthy, CPA, CSEP (Medina office)

 

Want to read some more articles related to tax planning? Check these posts out?

What Is The Difference Between Fixed Asset Expensing And Capitalization?

So Is It a Tax Credit Or a Tax Deduction?

How Will A Tax Credits and Incentives Plan Benefit Your Business?

Retirement Is Knocking … Are You Ready To Answer The Door?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Traveling to exotic places. Spending hours on the links. Enjoying time with the grandkids. Supporting philanthropic efforts. While these all might be things you hope to do during retirement, do you have any idea the likelihood that you’ll actually get to do them? Sadly, more and more individuals are finding that they’re not adequately prepared for retirement. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI’s) March 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey, 49 percent of individuals surveyed are “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that they’ll have enough income when they hit retirement. That’s an astounding, yet insightful number. How would you answer the question, “How confident are you that you’re prepared for retirement?” If you find yourself in either of the categories mentioned above, all hope is not lost.

For many of you, retirement probably seems light years away. But there may be some of you who are fast approaching retirement age. Wherever you’re at on the retirement spectrum there are practices you can put in place now to move you toward your retirement goals.

Five Practical Tips for Retirement Readiness       

  1. Look at your ability to save and cut corners where you can to save money. Even if your savings goal seems beyond reach or too distant in the future to be of concern now, re-evaluate where you can save and strive for it. Some individuals won’t begin to save if they see the goal as unattainable and set themselves up for failure before they even begin. Just as a tiny grain of sand can form into a pearl within an oyster over time, small steps in saving for retirement can lead you to your goals. Take responsibility to make it happen, and get financial advice if you need some help.
  2. Determine what you expect your retirement lifestyle to look like. If you dream or envision traveling to those exotic places I mentioned earlier, or perhaps you want to buy a motor home and travel the United States, it’s critical that you have the funds to do it. In theory it sounds like a great idea, but what many people realize upon retirement is that they don’t have enough funds to support these kinds of adventurous or carefree lifestyles. The EBRI survey cited above also showed that seven out of 10 individuals haven’t talked with a financial advisor about their financial situation nor have they put together a plan for retirement. If you want to have a retirement that’s close to what you dream of, put a realistic plan together for what you expect retirement to look like and go after it to make it happen.
  3. Evaluate your debt. Have you purchased a new car? Is your mortgage paid off? Are you (or are you planning on) paying for your kids’ college education? As you prepare for retirement, it’s important you evaluate your debt situation. Ideally, you don’t want to go into retirement with any debt. Work hard now to pay off debt you may have. It’ll pay off (literally and figuratively) later on down the road!
  4. Consider what monetary resources you have to pull from. There’s a whole slew of ways you can fund your retirement. Make certain you are taking advantage of any retirement plan your employer offers. Not only does this give you the ability to save for retirement, but many employers will also contribute money for you – do your best to take full advantage of the contribution your employer will make for you. Personal savings and other avenues, such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or investment in property, could be considered. Social security benefits can also be factored in as part of your retirement benefits, but should not be viewed as the only or primary source of retirement income.
  5. Anticipate medical costs and needs. You may feel fit as a fiddle. But unfortunately for many of us, that feeling won’t last our entire lives. As we get older, our bodies age, and it’s important for us to prepare financially for any potential medical costs or needs we could encounter. Medical costs are one of the more commonly overlooked items when planning for retirement. Knowing your family’s medical history could be helpful when anticipating your future medical costs. 

Retirement Planning Help

While these five tips won’t completely solve all of your retirement woes, they’ll help you get in better shape for retirement. Don’t wait until it’s too late. To celebrate National Employee Benefits Day, which is today, start preparing for the retirement of your dreams today. If you need guidance or additional insight on how to best plan for your retirement, contact Rea & Associates. Our team of Ohio tax professionals can help you put together a plan to ensure you’re on a good path to retirement.

Author: Darlene Finzer, CPA, QKA, CSA (New Philadelphia office) 

 

Looking for more advice on retirement planning? Check out these posts:

What Are Ways You Can Ensure You’re Ready for Retirement?

Will You Be Ready for Retirement?

What Are The Rules For Taking A Distribution from My 401(k) Plan?

 

Where’s Your Tax Refund?

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Do you find yourself checking your mailbox every day? Or maybe you’re watching your bank account to see if your account balance went up? It’s the time of year that many Americans are waiting with bated breath for their coveted tax refund. If you haven’t already, you’re probably getting ready to file your tax returns in the next few weeks, and you may be wondering when you can expect to receive your refund or if there’s anything you can do to speed it up. Well, wonder no more and read on!

Speeding Up Your 2013 Tax Refund

The best way to receive your tax refund sooner than later is to file your tax return electronically and to select “direct deposit” as the delivery method for your refund. Electronic filing is faster, more accurate, and more secure than paper-filing your return. Likewise, direct deposit is faster and more secure than receiving a paper check refund. There’s no chance of your refund check being lost or stolen if it’s electronically deposited directly into your bank account. Please note that calling the IRS will not speed up your refund.

When Will You Receive Your Federal Tax Refund?

If you’ve already submitted your 2013 tax return and are curious where your refund is at, you can check the status of your federal tax refund using the IRS program, “Where’s My Refund?” This is available at http://www.irs.gov/Refunds, or you can use the mobile app, IRS2GO. If you file your return electronically, you can check the status 24 hours after your return was electronically submitted. If you file a paper return, you can check the status four weeks after your return is mailed.

In order to use “Where’s My Refund?”, you’ll need the primary taxpayer’s social security number, the filing status, and the exact amount of the refund. Your return will be in one of three stages:  Return Received, Refund Approved, or Refund Sent. While using “Where’s My Refund?” will not speed up the waiting time, it’s a convenient way to check the status of your refund.

Got Tax Questions?

If you have tax-related questions, contact Rea & Associates. Our team of Ohio tax professionals would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Author: Cathy Troyer, CPA (New Philadelphia office)

 

Looking for other tax-related articles? Check these out:

What Tax Benefits Exist When You Donate to Charity?

What Tax Liabilities Accompany Inherited Real Estate?

What’s The Relationship Between Side-Businesses And Tax Deductions?

 

What Tax Benefits Exist When You Donate to Charity?

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

We’re three months into 2014, and you may be thinking about what charitable donations you’d like to make this year. If you’re planning to make a donation to a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, make sure to look at your investment portfolio before you write a check.  (more…)

Which Life Insurance Policy Is Right For You?

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Back in January, I shared some insight about six common stages of life where you should review your life insurance policy. Today I want to provide some insight about how you can know what the right life insurance plan is for you.  (more…)

What Are Ways You Can Ensure You’re Ready for Retirement?

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Yes, yes. You have a million things going on, and retirement planning may be the furthest thing from your mind. But it really shouldn’t be. In order to be well-prepared for retirement, you need to start now regardless of where you’re at in your career. Here are five financial requirements you should focus on as you prepare for retirement: (more…)

What Tax Liabilities Accompany Inherited Real Estate?

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

So you just inherited some real estate. You’re probably now wondering – is this a blessing or a curse? From the tax perspective, of course. And that’s a good question to ask. Just because you inherit something doesn’t mean that you’re free and clear of any potential tax liabilities. Depending on how you use the property and if you sell it will determine if you have a taxable situation. So here’s what you should know about taxes and inherited real estate.  (more…)

What’s The Relationship Between Side-Businesses And Tax Deductions?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Do you or someone you know enjoy knitting or jewelry-making? Or perhaps you do résumé writing or other professional consulting work? If you do any of these as a side business and make a profit, did you know that you can deduct expenses that are ordinary and necessary to your business? If your side business expenses exceed the income for your business, then the loss can be deducted against other income. However, if your loss is from a business that’s not making a profit, then you’re not allowed to deduct your loss against other income.  (more…)

When Is The Best Time To Review My Life Insurance Policy?

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Cartoon characters and celebrities all tell you to get it – life insurance that is. Now that you have it (or are at least considering purchasing it), is that it? Do you just sit back and pay your monthly life insurance fee until your policy expires? No way!  (more…)

Will You Be Paying With Cash, Credit Or Bitcoins?

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Bitcoin has been all over the news lately, and you may be asking – what exactly is it? Bitcoin is a virtual currency. Only existing online, it’s powered by its users and not backed by any government agency. This new currency offers anonymity, convenience, helps facilitate international commerce and can fluctuate in value. Check out www.bitcoin.org for more information and frequently asked questions.  (more…)

What Should You Know About 2014 Standard Mileage Rates?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Do you use your personal vehicle for business purposes when you’re on the clock? Or do you use your vehicle medical, moving or charitable purposes? If so, did you know that you can claim a tax deduction on the mileage you rack up?  (more…)

Obamacare Exchange Enrollment Deadline Extended One Day

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Things are continually changing on the Obamacare front. I wanted to provide you with a brief update since my blog post from last Friday. In last Friday’s post, I explained that today (Dec. 23, 2013) was the last day for individuals to sign-up for insurance through the federal government (“the Exchange”) that would take effect on Jan. 1, 2014. However, the Obama administration announced today that it is extending the deadline by one day. If you’re interested in obtaining health insurance through the Exchange, you can now enroll through tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 24. For more information on the deadline extension, view this recent CNNMoney article(more…)

Do I Need To Have Health Care Coverage Before Jan. 1, 2014?

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Christmas is upon us, but you know what else is? The federal deadline to pay for exchange insurance that’s effective Jan. 1, 2014. Yes, that’s right. If you want health insurance through the federal government, you’ve got until Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, to apply and pay for it. Some insurance companies have delayed this deadline to Jan. 10, 2014 – but not all. So don’t wait – make sure you’re covered today.  (more…)

Where Can I Find Easy-To-Use Tools For Calculating Complex Data?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The holidays are upon us, and right now you’re probably looking forward to celebrating with family and friends. Your finances may be one of the furthest things from your mind, but once Jan. 1 hits, the holidays are over and we all go back to our “regular” lives. If you’re an individual who sets goals or resolutions for the New Year, you may find yourself hoping to get into better physical shape or get better organized. But in the craze of the holidays and in the midst of your New Year’s resolutions, have you considered your finances?  (more…)

Why Should Your Digital Assets Be Part of Your Estate Plan?

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Just when you think your estate plan is complete, is it really? Your will gives your personal property to your daughter, Suzie. Great, Suzie gets your laptop and your smartphone. But what happens to your online accounts, emails, Facebook account, iTunes account, that special digital crown won in an online game, and digital pictures stored in the “cloud”? Does Suzie know where to find your usernames or passwords? Even if she does, does she have a right to access the accounts?  (more…)

How Does DOMA Affect Me?

Friday, September 6th, 2013

This article discusses the changes to individual tax payers that are in a legal same-sex marriage.

Earlier this year the Supreme Court declared that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.  Section 3 of DOMA required that same-sex spouses are to be treated as unmarried for purpose of federal law.  It is now recognized that same-sex couples that were legally married in states that recognize same-sex marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, even if the state they are currently residing in does not allow same-sex marriages.  The same is true for couples married legally in a foreign jurisdiction.  This now allows for same-sex married couples to file with the status of “married filing jointly” (MFJ) or “married filing separately” (MFS). (more…)

What Are The Rules For Taking A Distribution from My 401(k) Plan?

Monday, August 12th, 2013

So maybe you’ve been storing up money in your 401(k) plan for years, possibly even decades. Or maybe you’ve just started paying into your 401(k), and have a little bit of money in your account. You suddenly find yourself in a situation where you need money… and you need it now. What do you do? (more…)

Need Some Cash Now?

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Are you in the market for a new home? Or maybe you’re looking to purchase a new car for your daughter or son? Don’t have enough cash for a down payment? No problem. There’s a nice workaround that can provide short-term relief for your immediate need.  (more…)

How Can Retirement Provisions in the President’s 2014 Budget Proposal Affect You?

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The past few weeks have been full of high visibility news stories ranging from the tragic Boston Marathon bombing to the devastating plant explosion in West, Texas. Amidst these stories and others, there was one important story you may have missed that could affect you and your retirement in a very significant way. President Obama recently unveiled his 2014 budget proposal that resulted in varied opinions over the retirement-related provisions that could greatly impact the retirement industry. (more…)

How Do You Protect Yourself from Identity Theft?

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

“Interested in credit card theft? There’s an app for that.”

Those were the recent words of Gunter Ollmann, a technology security consultant. To Mr. Ollmann’s point, identity theft is getting easier and easier to perpetrate. Identity thieves are using the internet to find victims and steal their private data.  But, the use of technology swings both ways; consumers are increasingly using it to protect themselves and their identities.  Here are some on- and offline steps you can take to protect yourself from those trying to gain access to your data: (more…)

How Does Getting Divorced Impact Your Taxes?

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Like so many Hollywood couples these days, maybe you are finding yourself a newly divorced person. With all the legal shenanigans that can happen during a divorce proceeding, have you taken the time to consider some of the more practical matters related to your finances? There are several tax-related items and helpful advice tidbits to be discovered after a change in your marital status. (more…)

Have You Reviewed Your Life Insurance Lately?

Monday, February 4th, 2013

You’re used to discussing your financial assets with your CPA. You talk to your accountant about your income, your business and your estate plan. But there’s one financial asset that doesn’t always come up in discussions of your financial situation: your life insurance policy. Insurance might seem more like a safeguard than an asset, but it’s an important part of your financial portfolio. And, it’s important to review it regularly with the same diligence that you devote to your income, your business and your estate.

Why review your life insurance? Three reasons: to save money, reduce risk and ensure policy suitability. (more…)

What Are 5 Things You Should Do Financially At the Beginning of the Year?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
As a small business owner, the beginning of the year is a busy time. It’s January and you’re trying to determine what the New Year will bring. One of the keys to being a successful business owner is taking a break from the day-to-day routine and spending some time doing valuable planning. This is sometimes referred to as working on your business, not just working in your business. To help you with this process, here are five things you should consider doing as a small business owner as you start the New Year.  (more…)

Will You Be Ready for Retirement?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

You may have heard the retirement terminology “three-legged stool” used to describe the three most common sources of retirement income: Social Security, employer sponsored retirement plan and personal savings. Many factors affect the strength of each “leg,” so you must continually evaluate what changes you need to make to keep the stool strong and upright. (more…)

How Do Your Avoid IRS Penalties on Your IRA?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

With our government requiring more cash each year, there is growing sentiment is the financial community that the IRS is becoming more vigilant in obtaining all revenue available related to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). According to a recent article, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration estimates that the IRS failed to collect as much as $286 million of revenue in 2006 and 2007 alone. From a political aspect, it is easier to raise revenue by simply enforcing the existing rules, than it is to cut spending or pass a new tax increase. (more…)

You Got a Tax Notice… Now What?!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

You know the feeling well… you’re just going about your business, walking out to the mailbox to pick up the daily mail. For some reason, the pile feels a bit heavier today. And as you sort through the junk and the magazines and the bills, you find that you’ve received a little love note in the form of a tax notice from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). No wonder the mail is so heavy today… the IRS is looking for more of your well-earned money. (more…)

How Do You Get Your Social Security Statement?

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

If you’re not yet nearing retirement age, Social Security probably means two things to you: the amount of money that disappears from your pay checks and the annual statements that you get in the mail. If you’ve ever taken the time to read these statements, you’ve probably learned some neat things about your finances – like your lifelong earning history and the amount of Social Security benefits that you’d receive if you were to need them right now. (more…)

How do you manage your personal cash flow?

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

There’s no such thing as a free lunch… but a little planning ahead can make it a lot cheaper.

Let’s say you go out for lunch, on average, twice a week. At $8 per meal, you’ll spend more than $800 in one year on those lunches. And if you add in a weekly dinner out ($20), you’ll spend upwards $1,800 per year in restaurants. These little indulgences – fast food here, a sit down dinner there – add up and wreak havoc on your checkbook – and possibly your credit. (more…)

If Something Happens to You, What Will Happen to Your Finances?

Friday, February 24th, 2012

One day, I received a call from a client whose husband had been hospitalized for a couple of weeks.  He had mentioned that he thought a tax payment was due that day.  She did not know how to make that payment, or if it needed to be paid.  We worked things through, but learned a valuable lesson: she realized she doesn’t know much about the family finances. (more…)

Did You Discuss Finances Before Saying “I Do?”

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

It may not be the most romantic Valentine’s Day conversation, but financial planning is an important part of starting your marriage on solid financial footing. After all, married couples fight over personal finances more than they fight over anything else. (more…)

Is Your Farm a Hobby or a Business?

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Farming is a pleasure activity for some individuals, and for others, it’s how they support themselves. If you farm for profit, how do you prove it to the IRS? (more…)

Thinking of Gifting Money to Relatives? Late 2011 and Early 2012 May Be Best Timing

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

If you’ve been considering making a monetary gift to your children or other relatives, you may want to make your gift well before December 31. And better yet, if you haven’t made any previous gifts in 2011, you can gift up to $13,000 in 2011 and follow up with a gift of up to $13,000 in early 2012. (more…)

Is 2011 the Year to Give? IRA Contributions to Charity

Friday, December 9th, 2011

If you’re thinking about donating a portion of your IRA to charity, you’ll receive a greater tax benefit if you do so before December 31. A popular provision is set to expire at the end of the year, and there is no guarantee the provision will appear in an extender bill in Congress anytime soon. (more…)

Are You Ready for the Next Phase of InvestOhio?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Recently we’ve been telling you about Ohio’s new nonrefundable tax credit program called InvestOhio. Through it, Ohio taxpayers who invest in qualifying Ohio small businesses can qualify for a 10 percent credit against their personal Ohio income tax if they meet certain requirements. In less than two weeks, taxpayers can begin the second step in the application process for this tax credit. (more…)

Do you know the 2012 Retirement Limits?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Employees and individual retirement plan owners can contribute more toward their retirement benefits next year. (more…)

Are You Ready for the InvestOhio Tax Credit? Register for Tax Credit This Week

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Ohio taxpayers who invest in a qualifying Ohio small business can qualify for a 10 percent credit against their Ohio income tax if they meet certain requirements  – and they can now apply for the credit. (more…)

Have You Determined a Beneficiary for Your Retirement Plan?

Friday, November 11th, 2011

A single dad wanted to designate his two children as beneficiaries of his retirement benefits. He mailed his beneficiary designation form to his employer with a cover letter explaining his wishes. When he died, the benefits administrator noticed the designation form wasn’t signed. Should the plan assets pass to the estate or the children? (more…)

Investors: Have You Learned the Lessons of 2008?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

What are the lessons investors and advisors have learned from the Great Recession? Investment Partners’ Doug Bambeck shares these four tips. (more…)

Are You Secure? Cyber Security Targets Employee Benefit Accounts

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

In July 2011, federal solutions group RSA’s Anti-Fraud Command Center detected more than 25,000 phishing attacks, the most recorded in a one-month period.  A part of the reason: Employees are increasingly being deceived into providing personal information through their employee benefit accounts. (more…)

Can Medical Concierge Fees Be Applied to Health Savings Accounts?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

“Medical concierge” physician practices are growing in popularity with both physicians and patients. In this type of practice, patients pay a set fee that entitles them to much quicker access and more dedicated time with their physician as well as the opportunity to participate in additional diagnostics, wellness services and preventive care programs. (more…)

Going, Gone? Tax Provisions that Could End in 2012

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Late in the year last year, Congress extended several tax law provisions but only for a short period of time. Below are items that may expire at the end of this year if no action is taken by Congress. (more…)

Will I Be Penalized for a Hardship 401K Withdrawl?

Monday, October 17th, 2011

A reader asked: I wanted to do a hardship with my 401k and was wondering if would be penalized 10 percent of the balance? I borrowed from my 401k and haven’t paid all of it back yet. Will I be able to do a hardship with remaining balance left? (more…)

Have You Received an IRS Notice? Nine Things to Know

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service sends millions of letters and notices to taxpayers for a variety of reasons each year. Here are some things to know if you receive one. (more…)

So the Grass Wasn’t Greener? Time to Reverse Your Roth IRA Conversion

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

If you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA account last year, you may be facing an account that is worth much less than when you converted it. But you might also be facing a tax bill on value you no longer have. You do have an option, but only if you act quickly – reverse your 2010 Roth conversion.

If you converted your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA last year, the transaction triggered a taxable distribution from the traditional IRA, followed by a contribution to your Roth account. That tax will be based on the value of the traditional IRA on its conversion date. That means if your account is worth less now, you will owe taxes on money that no longer exists.

How to Reverse Your Roth IRA

Thankfully, the Roth conversion regulations allowed for the ability to reverse the conversion – but only if you do so before October 17. This involves completing the proper paperwork with your IRA custodian or trustee. When properly filed, the IRS considers your account as being “recharacterized” from a Roth account back to traditional IRA status. It’s as if the conversion never happened, and your tax liability disappears.

You’ll need to amend your 2010 tax return to allow for the reversal, or adjust your 2010 return if you have filed for an extension. Your reversal of the Roth conversion this year will also trigger some additional documentation requirements for your 2011 tax return.

Reconverting to Roth

Now that you’ve lessened your tax liability on phantom income that vanished due to the market’s versatility, you might consider using the down market to your advantage. You can reconvert your now traditional IRA back to a Roth – and pay less tax on it than you would have paid last year. You must wait 30 days after the reversal to reconvert it. Reconverting your traditional IRA account to a Roth can make sense if you expect your assets to appreciate quickly.

Your tax professional can assist you in amending your 2010 tax return or adjusting your extended 2010 return. He or she can also walk you through the reporting process that will be required should you decide to reconvert your IRA.

How Can I Apply for Ohio’s Use Tax Amnesty Program?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

By now you may have heard that the Ohio Department of Taxation has changed the process for businesses and individuals to voluntarily come forward to declare use tax they owe. A voluntary disclosure program that started earlier this year was suspended when the Ohio legislature approved a new Use Tax Amnesty Program as part of the biennial budget bill. (more…)

What to Do? Uncertainty Continues to Make Tax Planning Difficult

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Ohio business and individual taxpayers, as well as their tax professionals, faced a great amount of uncertainty in 2010 as they waited to see what tax rules would apply to them for 2011 and 2012, until the 2010 Tax Relief Act was signed into law in December. Now, the recently approved debt ceiling legislation averted another immediate crisis, but continued this guessing game as Americans wait to see if comprehensive tax reform will be accomplished. (more…)

Have Offshore Income? Time is Running Out for Voluntary Disclosure

Friday, August 26th, 2011

If you have undisclosed income through offshore accounts, time is running out to voluntarily disclose it and bring your taxes current. The IRS is winding down a voluntary disclosure program that began February 8 and will end on August 31. (more…)

Waiting on the Airline Refund? Now It’s Not on the Way

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

So much for the airline tax refund you may have been expecting.

If you traveled by air and purchased a plane ticket on or before July 22, 2011, for a trip leaving July 23 or later, you may have heard that you may be eligible for a refund on the air transportation excise tax you paid. Recent legislation means there will not be a refund. (more…)

Are You Eligible for an Airline Tax Refund?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

If you traveled by air and purchased a plane ticket on or before July 22, 2011, for a trip leaving July 23 or later, you may be entitled to a refund on the air transportation excise tax you paid. (more…)

Starting a Business? Tips to Managing Your Credit

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Developing a credit record for your business that is separate from your personal credit record is important as your business grows. It can lead to lower rates on loans and leases as well as protect your personal credit record. The Better Business Bureau offers these tips to establishing business credit. (more…)

Less Ohio Tax Centers, No Tax Booklets, But Still Many Resources

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

With more Ohio taxpayers now filing state returns electronically, the Ohio Department of Taxation has closed seven regional taxpayer centers and will no longer mail its income tax booklets to taxpayers. (more…)

Determining a Retirement Beneficiary? It Isn’t Always Simple

Monday, June 20th, 2011

A single dad wanted to designate his two children as beneficiaries of his retirement benefits. He mailed his beneficiary designation form to his employer with a cover letter explaining his wishes. When he later died, the benefits administrator noticed the designation form wasn’t signed. Should the plan assets pass to the estate or the children? (more…)

Live or Do Business in Michigan? Tax Amnesty Ends Soon

Monday, June 13th, 2011

The Michigan Department of Treasury is providing an opportunity for delinquent taxpayers to pay their taxes while avoiding penalty charges and criminal prosecution, but time is running out to participate in the program. (more…)

Employees on the Fence? Ten Reasons to Join Your Ohio 401(k)

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

In spite of recent history in the stock market, when you compare 401(k) plans to other savings plans available to employees, the 401(k) plan has many positive points. Here are ten reasons your employees should participate. (more…)

Live or Do Business in Michigan? Your Tax Laws Are Changing!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

In late May, the Michigan legislature voted to make dramatic changes to Michigan’s corporate and individual income tax laws. The measure repeals the Michigan Business Tax and eliminates numerous individual income tax credits, deductions and exemptions as well as changes future income tax rates. (more…)

Saving for College? Use Sallie Mae’s New Mobile App

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

If you’re saving money for college through a tax-deferred 529 plan (or you know someone who is), a new mobile app from Sallie Mae could help you add even more to the till. (more…)

What If Will and Kate Married in the US? Financial Advice for Newlyweds

Friday, May 13th, 2011

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge settle into married life, they may manage many of the same financial issues that any other newlyweds face with a new union. So, what if William and Kate got married in the United States instead? What financial advice might they receive that soon-to-be brides and grooms might also heed? (more…)

Didn’t File Your Taxes or Can’t Pay Them Now? Here’s What To Do

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The federal tax deadline has come and gone. What if you haven’t filed your taxes? (more…)

Raiding Your 401K? It’ll Cost You

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

A recent study by Bankrate found that nearly one-fifth of full-time employed Americans have raided their retirement accounts in the past year to cover emergency expenses. These results match a Fidelity Investments study last year that reported the number of workers borrowing against their retirement accounts had reached a 10-year high. Given the financial stress that many workers face today, the numbers are not that surprising, but the long-term consequences can be. (more…)

Looking at Target Date Retirement Funds? Here Are Some Considerations

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Does your company provide target date funds as an option in its 401(k) plan?  Many 401(k) plans use them as the default investment for plan participants who do not select their investments under the plan. Target date funds do make investing much easier for participants by automating the asset allocation process, but they still require careful consideration both before and after the investment decision is made. (more…)

Did You Win at March Madness? Remember to Pay Uncle Sam

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

If your NCAA college basketball bracket brought you some winnings, remember that your earnings count as taxable income, and you’ll need to report it when you file your 2011 taxes. (more…)

Is This Really A Message From The IRS?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

It’s that time of year when unsuspecting taxpayers receive suspicious emails, phone calls, faxes or notices claiming to be from the IRS. Many of the scams use the IRS name or logo to appear more authentic. (more…)

Should I Pay Taxes Now or Later for My Roth IRA?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

If you took advantage of last year’s law change allowing you to convert your IRA to a Roth IRA, you face a big all-or-nothing tax payment decision on April 18: pay the taxes on your pretax contributions and gains in 2010, or split the tax bill between 2011 and 2012. (more…)

IRS Goes High Tech: Are You Connected?

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Taxpayers can now check the status of their IRS refund on their smart phone. The IRS has unveiled IRS2Go, a smart phone application, and also announced a news feed on the social media platform Twitter. The new communication channels are two of a growing list of ways the agency is working to communicate with taxpayers. (more…)

Add $1,000 to retirement account without sacrifice? Here’s how

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

A provision of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 decreased the employee portion of the Social Security tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for 2011. Now you have a rare opportunity for to increase your 401(k) contribution without any change in your net take-home pay in 2011 when compared to 2010. (more…)

How will selling a house from an estate impact my taxes?

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Dear Drebit:

My mother passed away October 30, 2009. She left my brother and me her house, which has just been released from probate court. We have someone wanting to buy it and we would split around $140,000. What kind of taxes do we face? The house is in SC. I would appreciate your help. (more…)

What Will You Do With Your Two Percent Salary Increase?

Monday, January 17th, 2011

When Congress passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Jobs Creation Act of 2010 during the lame duck session late last year, one element of the bill puts more money in the pockets of employees through a one-year cut in Social Security taxes. (more…)

Can I still do an IRA rollover to charity for my 2010 taxes?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

As part of the recently passed tax extensions, Congress extended, once again, the popular IRA rollover to charity provision – but with a twist. (more…)

Donating to Charity from Your IRA? Seniors Get 2010 Deadline Extension

Friday, January 7th, 2011

As part of the recently passed tax extensions, Congress extended, once again, the popular IRA rollover to charity provision – but with a twist. (more…)

Does the IRS Tax Filing Delay Mean A Delay For You?

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

You probably heard by now that the IRS won’t begin processing several types of tax returns, including tax returns with itemized deductions, until mid- to late February. Why? It needs time to reprogram its processing systems to accommodate the tax law changes that the lame duck session of Congress passed late last month. (more…)

What Tax Deductions and Credits Have Been Renewed for Individuals?

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Part of the recently passed Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 has extended many popular deductions and credits for individual taxpayers through 2012.  Many of these are part of the list of tax “extenders” that Congress has temporarily extended (usually at the last minute) for the last several years.  These provisions benefit taxpayers at various income levels. (more…)

How does the new estate tax work?

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Congress has finally gotten around to fixing the federal estate and gift tax, even if they are a full year late and have made only temporary rules for the next two years.  The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 revives the estate tax for 2010 and makes a number of other changes for 2011 and 2012. (more…)

What do the tax extensions mean to me?

Monday, December 20th, 2010

On Friday, December 17, 2010, President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (HR 4853) after the compromise bill worked its way through approval by both houses of Congress. The new law contains a number of extensions of popular tax provisions for individuals, businesses and estate/gift taxes. Below is a quick roundup of the provisions for individual taxpayers. We will outline business provisions in a separate post. Most of the provisions below are scheduled to sunset in some way on 12/31/20112. (more…)

Isn’t Extending the Bush Tax Cuts A Temporary Fix?

Friday, December 17th, 2010

While some may be breathing a sigh of relief now that the brokered tax package has passed through Congress and is being signed by President Obama, others among us are becoming increasingly alarmed at the “temporary” nature of our tax laws – and the impact these temporary fixes will have on our long-term planning. (more…)

Where does everyone stand in your business succession plan?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

When you own a family business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities. And it can be easy to put off having those important, strategic discussions with your family about the future of your business. However, communication between you and your family becomes an essential ingredient of a successful business transition. (more…)

How can you help your employees save for retirement?

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Although a higher percent of American workers are participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans, retirees may still not be saving enough for their retirement and may risk outliving their retirement assets. More individuals are also withdrawing retirement savings before they actually retire. Those are the findings in a report recently released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). (more…)

Are you ready for a year-end financial check-up for your business?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

As the year comes to an end, now is the perfect time to bring all of your business advisors together for a year-end financial check up. Make it a point to set up a meeting with your accounting, legal, estate planning, investment and retirement planning advisors at the end of each year to get a check up of your business and personal financial health. If you have partners in the business, they should also be included in this meeting. (more…)

Succession Planning: Do You Know Your Options?

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Are you actively planning a transition for the business you worked so hard to build? The majority of North American businesses are family-owned, yet just about 30 percent make it to the second generation. Even fewer reach the third generation. As more and more business owners prepare to retire, more and more businesses will face the issue of succession – whether they are prepared or not. This article discusses the third in a series of tips to help family-owned businesses begin the succession planning process. (more…)

What are the 2011 Pension Plan Contribution Limits?

Friday, November 12th, 2010

The IRS recently announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits for pension plans and other retirement-related items for 2011. The limits generally remain unchanged or reflect small inflation adjustments. Here are the highlights: (more…)

Have you included a business valuation in your succession plan?

Friday, November 5th, 2010

In an earlier post we discussed the important step of making the decision to begin the succession planning process. Once you have made the decision to begin the process, knowing the value of your business is the second crucial step in the transition plan. (more…)

How does the Small Business Jobs Bill Impact 401(k) Plans?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The Small Business Jobs Bill, which was recently signed into law by President Obama, includes a provision that will add some additional planning opportunities for participants of 401(k) plans with Roth provisions.  Roth IRA accounts are after-tax monies that grow tax-free.  Distributions from the accounts can be made without any tax consequence.  This provides additional flexibility to taxpayers when planning for retirement or death transfers.  One of the main estate planning benefits of Roth IRA accounts is that the minimum required distribution provisions do not apply to them. (more…)

Why can’t federal agencies communicate with us more clearly?

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Actually, federal agencies will soon be required to communicate more clearly with us. Earlier this month, President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act, which will require federal government agencies, including the IRS, to write public documents in easy-to-understand language. This means items such as tax forms, federal student aid applications, Veteran’s Administration forms and even form letters from the IRS will receive a makeover. (more…)

What are the long-term changes in the healthcare legislation?

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Looking into the Future: A Summary of Healthcare Law Changes for 2013 and Beyond

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the related Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (which are collectively referred to as the healthcare legislation) were signed into law in March. The new laws contain a large number of tax changes. Some have nothing to do with healthcare, some won’t kick in for several years, some are effective right now, and some are even retroactively effective. (more…)

What are the Healthcare Law Changes by Year?

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the related Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (which are collectively referred to as the healthcare legislation) were signed into law in March, and they include lots of tax changes. Some have nothing to do with healthcare, some won’t kick in for several years, some are effective right now and some are even effective retroactively.

(more…)

How ready are you to transition your business?

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Step 1 – Making the Decision

How will you transition your business to the next generation when it’s time to leave? If you are like more than 70 percent of family business owners, you’ve put off making this important decision. And without preparation, most family-owned businesses are not successful in making the ownership change when the time comes. This post is the first of six tips we will provide to help family-owned businesses begin the succession planning process. (more…)

Are you ready for National Save for Retirement Week?

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Urgent Message from Your Future: Save Today for Tomorrow

When it comes to saving for retirement, there is never a better time than today to assess your prospects toward meeting your goals. And with our nation’s leaders declaring Oct. 17 through Oct. 23 as National Save for Retirement Week, you have a great opportunity. (more…)

How will you manage nevertirees?

Friday, October 8th, 2010

The economy impacted a lot of Americans, and many of them are staying on the job longer as a result. Some love what they do too much to walk away, others want to stay mentally active and the rest simply can’t afford to stop working. (more…)

The Rea Legislative Crystal Ball: What Taxes Await in 2011?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Everyone wants to know what tax legislation Congress will approve in the coming months. In reality, Congress has little incentive to act on anything ahead of the November mid-term elections other than what to do with the expiring Bush tax cuts. At the risk of quickly being outdated, here are my predictions on some of the most commonly discussed tax legislation provisions. (more…)

How Can Raiding Their 401(k) Hurt Employees?

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Fidelity Investments recently announced that the number of workers borrowing against their retirement accounts has reached a 10-year high. Given the financial stress that many workers face today, the numbers are not that surprising, but the long-term consequences can be. (more…)

Can medical residents and their employers get FICA refunds?

Friday, August 20th, 2010

If you were a medical resident between the late 1990s and 2005, the IRS may owe you a FICA tax refund. The same is true for medical colleges and teaching hospitals that employed residents during this time.

(more…)

How Does the Wall Street Reform Act Impact Me and My Business?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

When President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law last month, the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government enacted the most sweeping changes in financial reform legislation since the 1930s. The new law will impact both businesses and individuals. Below are a few of the highlights. (more…)

Is it time for your six month financial check-up?

Friday, August 6th, 2010

It’s hard to believe, but 2010 is already half-way over.  How are you doing at hitting your financial goals for the year, and are you taking advantage of the tax benefits this year is bringing? It’s time to consider a six-month financial check-up. Here are some items to consider for the remainder of the year. (more…)

Can my summer day care expenses earn a tax credit?

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Arranging summer day care for your children can be challenging, but knowing those expenses may be tax deductible may help. The IRS recently shared some tips regarding the tax credit available for child care of children under age 13. (more…)

Recently Married, Divorced or Adopted? Remember to Notify Social Security

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Since we’ve just completed the month known for weddings in June, it’s a good time to make sure the name on your tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration. Here’s what to do. (more…)

How does the new extension to the homebuyer credit work?

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

On June 30, Congress passed H.R. 5623, the Homebuyer Assistance Improvement Act of 2010, and President Obama has now signed it. The new law provides the first-time homebuyer credit to taxpayers who were in contract before May 1 but couldn’t meet the June 30, 2010, closing date as required in the prior law. (more…)

Does the new DB(k) retirement plan make sense for my business?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Beginning January 1, 2010, businesses with 500 or fewer employees could offer a new plan called a DB(k). The DB(k) was authorized by Congress as part of the 2006 Pension Protection Act. The DB(k) melds a 401(k) savings plan with a small guaranteed income stream.  The key elements of the plan: (more…)

Can a vacation improve your health?

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The vacation season is officially upon us. And while you might be thinking that you can’t afford the time off, consider this: taking a vacation is important for your health. (more…)

What rules have changed regarding credit reports?

Friday, June 11th, 2010

On April 2, the Federal Trade Commission implemented new rules that require websites advertising free reports to direct consumers to the government-approved www.annualcreditreport.com. On September 1, television and radio ads must do the same. (more…)

How will flexible spending accounts change due to healthcare reform?

Monday, June 7th, 2010

As part of the recently passed healthcare reform legislation, flexible spending accounts face two changes that will require employers’ attention. (more…)

If something happens to me, what will happen with my financial matters?

Monday, May 24th, 2010

This past New Year’s Eve, I received a call from a client whose husband had been hospitalized for a couple of weeks.  He had mentioned to her that he thought a tax payment was due that day.  She did not know how to make that payment, or if it needed to be paid that day.  We worked things through, but a valuable lesson was learned that day that we are now following up on.  She realized she doesn’t know much about the family finances. (more…)

What’s wrong with loaning money to family and friends?

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Dear Cousin Lauren is in a tough spot and she asked you for money. Again. Granted, she’s family and you want to help, but maybe she hasn’t made the best financial decisions in the past. What should you do?

It’s tempting to loan money to a friend or family member when times are tough. But whether Cousin Lauren asks you to float some cash “just this once,” or needs ongoing help that may impact your comprehensive estate plan, consider the following before you commit to an intra-family loan. (more…)

Should I Convert to a Roth IRA?

Friday, May 14th, 2010

We’ve heard a lot about the benefits of converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA over the past several months, and you probably already know the decision has many considerations. Here are three more to consider: (more…)

Can I take a loan against my company retirement plan?

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

The short answer is – it depends on your plan. Retirement plan participant loans are an optional feature of qualified plans.

The IRS and Department of Labor dictate the loan limits and manner by which retirement plan loans and repayments can be made. The plan must contain a written loan policy explaining the requirements and terms; loans must be available to all participants. Here’s a summary: (more…)

How does coffee affect your credit?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Little purchases – a coffee here, a movie ticket there, a new magazine subscription because, hey, you deserve it – add up and can wreak havoc on your checkbook – and possibly your credit. (more…)