New Year Financial Resolutions

To say that 2017 was an eventful year is an understatement. The decade long financial crisis officially came to an end. Unemployment fell .6% and 2 million jobs were added. The GDP growth rate finally climbed past 3%. The stock…

The Equifax Security Breach

Equifax data breach

The recent news that Equifax’s database has been hacked has prompted phone calls and emails from concerned clients. We are writing to share some information with you about the Equifax security breach, Equifax’s current course of action, and, most important,…

401k Withdrawals: Beware the Penalty Tax

You’ve probably heard that if you withdraw taxable amounts from your 401k or 403b plan before age 59½, you may be socked with a 10% early distribution penalty tax on top of the federal income taxes you’ll be required to…

Spring Cleaning Your Finances

The arrival of spring often signifies a time of renewal, a reminder to dust off the cobwebs and get rid of the dirt and grime that have built up throughout the winter season. And while most spring cleaning projects are…

Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?

roth IRA conversion

The decision to take some or all of your IRA assets and convert to a a Roth IRA can be difficult to make.The answer may depend on the amount of time you plan to leave the assets invested, your estate…

Trump Wins – What Now?

Trump wins

It is the morning after the US Presidential election and Donald Trump sealed an historic and surprising victory. As I watched the news last night, the moment Ohio was called for Trump, I just knew Clinton’s presidential aspirations were over.…

The US Election

US election

Despite the recent volatility, returns were very positive for this quarter. Almost every major asset class is in positive territory and economic fundamentals are improving in most of the major world economies. After a number of quarters where the S&P…

Transferring Assets to 529 Plans

529 plans

By now most Americans who are saving and investing to pay for college costs have probably heard that so-called 529 college savings plans allow tax-free distributions for qualified education expenses, potentially making them even more attractive and effective than in…

Inheriting IRAs (and other Retirement Accounts)

When inheriting IRAs and other retirement accounts from a deceased loved one, it is important to pay attention to IRS rules that govern this type of bequest. Your options in managing this money typically depend on your relationship to the…

What is a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)?

Traditional IRAs and employer retirement plans such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s offer several tax advantages, including the ability to defer income taxes on both contributions and earnings until they’re distributed from the plan. But, unfortunately, you can’t keep your money in…

Estate Planning After Remarriage

Approximately six million couples got engaged this weekend, based on buying patterns and an American Express consumer survey. Some of these engagements will result in second marriages. Estate planning after remarriage can be complicated, especially when there are children from…

Economic Update for February 2016

Janet Yellen of the Federal Reserve spoke to Congress today about the state of the US economy and its growth prospects. Her tone was more cautious than it had been in December, when the Fed finally decided to raise short-term…

New Directions in Long Term Care Insurance

2015 saw a distinct shift in new long term care insurance policies being sold, including lower compound inflation riders to 3.5%, shorter benefit periods of typically 2-3 years and a shift to the 2/4/50 total asset protection for the NYS…

Helping to Care for Aging Parents

Many adults are finding that their aging parents are in need of health care assistance. Luckily, there are many options available today to help your parents grow old gracefully, either in their own home or in a facility, and several…

Volatility and Recession in 2016?

The US stock market is off to the worst start of the year…ever…and has lost more than $1 trillion in the first three weeks of January. It has been a very difficult start to the new year for investors. According…

Give Your Retirement Plan an Annual Checkup

Financial professionals typically recommend that you review your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan annually and when major life changes occur. If you haven’t revisited your plan yet in 2015, the end of the year may be an ideal time to do…

Trends in Long Term Care Insurance

Long term care insurance is a relatively new idea that offers medical and non-medical support to people who cannot take care of themselves for long periods of time. Long term care insurance or LTCI, is constantly evolving, and whether you have…

Social Security and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

equifax data breach

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was passed last week. Section 831 of this act aims to put an end to Social Security claiming strategies that Congress perceives as abusive. It was reached behind closed doors with no public discussion…

Rising Interest Rates and Your Portfolio

Ambiguity is the signature of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve, which controls the nation’s interest rates, was expected to announce changes to short-term interest rates last week. The Federal Reserve, or the Fed, did indeed make an announcement, though…