Examining the 2018 Social Security COLA

It will help retirees out, but it will not help them get ahead. Seniors got a little good news this fall. Next year, monthly Social Security income payments to retirees will increase by 2.0%. That will mean an extra $326 – roughly $27.40 a month – for the average Social Security recipient in 2018.1 This… Read More

The A, B, C, & D of Medicare

Breaking down the basics & what each part covers. Whether your 65th birthday is on the horizon or decades away, you should understand the parts of Medicare – what they cover, and where they come from. Parts A & B: Original Medicare. America created a national health insurance program for seniors in 1965 with two… Read More

The Many Benefits of a Roth IRA

Why do so many people choose it rather than a traditional IRA? The Roth IRA changed the whole retirement savings perspective. Since its introduction, it has become a fixture in many retirement planning strategies. The key argument for going Roth can be summed up in a sentence: Paying taxes on retirement contributions today is better… Read More

When Is Social Security Income Taxable?

The answer depends on your income. Your Social Security income could be taxed. That may seem unfair, or unfathomable. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is a possibility. Seniors have had to contend with this possibility since 1984. Social Security benefits became taxable above certain yearly income thresholds in that year. Frustratingly for… Read More

Are There Really Tax-Free Retirement Plan Distributions?

A look at some popular & obscure options for receiving money with little or no tax. Will you receive tax-free money in retirement? Some retirees do. You should know about some of your options for tax-free retirement distributions, some of which are less publicized than others. Qualified distributions from Roth accounts are tax-free. If you… Read More

Managing Drug Costs

How can households meet the challenge? Are prescription drug costs burdening your finances? This problem is far too common today. Consider the price tag of some of the drugs used to treat arthritis, hepatitis C, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. A Kaiser Family Foundation study notes that the cost of medications such as Zytiga, Humira, Gleevec,… Read More

The Trump & Clinton Tax Plans

How do they differ? Seemingly every presidential candidate offers a plan for tax reform. You can add Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to that long list. Here is a look at their plans, and the key reforms to federal tax law that might result if they were enacted. Donald Trump revised his tax plan this… Read More

Women & Retirement Perceptions

Will the reality of retirement live up to expectations? After 55, do women think more about retirement than men? One recent survey found that to be true. Fidelity Investments polled 12,000 retirement savers 55 and older and found that, within the past 24 months, 59% of women had seriously thought about when they would retire,… Read More

How Millennials Can Get Off to a Good Financial Start

  Doing the right things at the right time may leave you wealthier later. What can you do to start building wealth before age 35? You know time is your friend and that the earlier you begin saving and investing for the future, the better your financial prospects may become. So what steps should you… Read More

What Are Catch-Up Contributions Really Worth?

  What degree of difference could they make for you in retirement? At a certain age, you are allowed to boost your yearly retirement account contributions. For example, you can direct an extra $1,000 per year into a Roth or traditional IRA starting in the year you turn 50.1 Your initial reaction to that may… Read More