How to Be Generous…

...With Your Family and Yourself

We frequently work with clients who are inter­ested in financially assisting the younger gen­erations in their family. This may mean offering to help children or grandchildren with specific expenses like buying a house, paying college or graduate school expenses, or assisting with new business start-up costs. It may also mean making annual financial gifts to family members or taking your extended family on an annual vacation. Sometimes, a client will find them­selves financially assisting an adult child through a period of unemployment, a divorce, or a medical crisis.

Health Savings Accounts

... Another Valuable Retirement Savings Plan Tool

Are you eligible to open a health savings account (“HSA”)? If yes, and you have not already opened one, you should consider doing so as this type of account is another tax-advan­taged way to save for any medical expenses you will likely have in retirement.

An HSA is a tax exempt account that can be used to pay for medical expenses you or your family may incur. There are three key tax benefits to having an HSA. First, the money going into an HSA is pre-tax (if coming directly from your em­ployer) or tax-deductible (if coming directly from you). Second, any interest, dividends, or other earnings inside your HSA are tax free.

 

Indirect IRA Rollovers

Only One Per 12-month Period

Beginning in 2015, the IRS implemented a new rule regarding IRA rollovers. This rule changes how IRA rollovers are treated for tax purposes in certain instances. According to this new rule, “you can make only one rollover from an IRA to another (or the same) IRA in any 12-month period, regardless of the number of IRAs you own (Announcement 2014-15 and Announce­ment 2014-32). The limit will apply by aggregat­ing all of an individual’s IRAs, including SEP and SIMPLE IRAs as well as traditional and Roth IRAs, effectively treating them as one IRA for purposes of the limit.” (www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ira-one-rollover-per-year-rule). For example, if you have 3 separate IRA accounts and decide to take some money out of each of these accounts and then “roll” this money into a new 4th IRA ac­count within 60 days, you will have accomplished 3 different rollovers within a 12-month period and thus run afoul of the new rule.

 

Travel Medical Insurance

...Should You Purchase It Before You Head Overseas?

It’s that time of year. Many families are heading off around the country and the globe for vacation. Perhaps you are off to a new or exotic destination or are in the midst of planning a fall or winter getaway? If you have a trip on the horizon — particularly an international trip — you should consider whether or not to purchase travel medical insurance prior to your departure. Many travelers assume their regular health insur­ance will cover them should they need medical care outside the U.S. However, most times this is not the case. Moreover, in those relatively rare instanc­es when traditional health insurance offers coverage to a policyholder outside the U.S., the coverage is often extremely lim­ited in its scope and may not cover big ticket items like medi­cal evacuation costs.

College Tuition Anxiety

Get schooled on financial aid – whatever your income level

Did you know that during the 2013-2014 aca­demic year more than $238.3 billion in financial aid (grants, federal loans, federal work-study, and federal tax credits and deductions) was awarded to undergraduate and graduate students? Did you realize that the recipients of all this financial aid came from households spanning a wide range of household incomes? During that same academic year, the average amount of aid for a full-time college student was $14,180, including $8,080 in grants (money that does not have to be repaid) and $4,840 in federal loans.

 

 

Aging Parents: It’s Time to Talk

Does the thought of asking your aging parents about the way they handle their household finances — or how they would feel about moving to a retirement community or assisted living facility — fill you with anxiety? You are not alone.

Investing vs. Paying Off Debt

What Should You Do?

We frequently get questions from clients asking us whether or not they should use any extra money they may have to reduce debt, or, whether they should invest this money instead. This question is particularly common from our younger clients who frequently face student loan debt, brand new mortgages, and the costs of starting a family. This is a difficult question and not one that many people see eye-to eye on.

 

Market Timing – Don’t Be Tempted!

After a multi-year period of relatively low volatility, U.S. equity markets recently experienced a spate of heightened volatility. In part, this volatility was brought on by worrisome economic data from China suggesting even slower economic growth may be coming and by growing concerns over the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and when interest rates will begin to rise. As you would expect, higher equity market volatility often causes angst and concern amongst investors. Sometimes, individual investors are tempted to “sell everything” and exit equity markets until the volatility subsides and it appears “safe” to return to equities.