Viewing posts categorised under: Retirement Planning
27Oct
Retirement savings opportunity for the self-employed
Business Ownership

Did you know that if you’re self-employed you may be able to set up a retirement plan that allows you to contribute much more than you can contribute to an IRA or even an employer-sponsored 401(k)? There’s still time to set up such a plan for 2017, and it generally isn’t hard to do. So whether you’re a “full-time” independent contractor or you’re employed but earn some self-employment income on the side, consider setting up one of the following types of retirement plans this year.  

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11Oct
Why you should boost your 401(k) contribution rate between now and year end
Retirement Planning

One important step to both reducing taxes and saving for retirement is to contribute to a tax-advantaged retirement plan. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, contributing to that is likely your best first step.

If you’re not already contributing the maximum allowed, consider increasing your contribution rate between now and year end. Because of tax-deferred compounding (tax-free in the case of Roth accounts), boosting contributions sooner rather than later can have a significant impact on the size of your nest egg at retirement.

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25Aug
Yes, you can undo a Roth IRA conversion
IRA

Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can provide tax-free growth and the ability to withdraw funds tax-free in retirement. But what if you convert a traditional IRA — subject to income taxes on all earnings and deductible contributions — and then discover that you would have been better off if you hadn’t converted it? Fortunately, it’s possible to undo a Roth IRA conversion, using a “recharacterization.”

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15Aug
Rev up retirement offerings with an NQDC plan
Business Ownership

 

Many business owners and executives would like to save more money for retirement than they’re allowed to sock away in their 401(k) plan. For 2017, the annual elective deferral contribution limit for a 401(k) is just $18,000, or $24,000 if you’re 50 years of age or older.

This represents a significantly lower percentage of the typical owner-employee’s or executive’s salary than the percentage of the average employee’s salary. Therefore, it can be difficult for these highly compensated employees to save enough money to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement. That’s where a nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan comes in.

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31Jul
The stretch IRA: A simple yet powerful estate planning tool
Estate Planning

The IRA’s value as a retirement planning tool is well known: IRA assets compound on a tax-deferred (or, in the case of a Roth IRA, tax-free) basis, which can help build a more substantial nest egg. But if you don’t need an IRA to fund your retirement, you can use it as an estate planning tool to benefit your children or other beneficiaries on a tax-advantaged basis by turning it into a “stretch” IRA.

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30May
A “back door” Roth IRA can benefit higher-income taxpayers
Retirement Planning

 

A potential downside of tax-deferred saving through a traditional retirement plan is that you’ll have to pay taxes when you make withdrawals at retirement. Roth plans, on the other hand, allow tax-free distributions; the tradeoff is that contributions to these plans don’t reduce your current-year taxable income.

Unfortunately, your employer might not offer a Roth 401(k) or another Roth option, and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)-based phaseouts may reduce or eliminate your ability to contribute to a Roth IRA. Fortunately, there is a solution: the “back door” Roth IRA.

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23Feb
SEPs: A powerful retroactive tax planning tool
Business Ownership

 

Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs) are sometimes regarded as the “no-brainer” first choice for high-income small-business owners who don’t currently have tax-advantaged retirement plans set up for themselves. Why? Unlike other types of retirement plans, a SEP is easy to establish and a powerful retroactive tax planning tool: The deadline for setting up a SEP is favorable and contribution limits are generous.

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29Dec
Workers age 50 and up: Boost retirement savings before year end with catch-up contributions
Retirement Planning

Whether you didn’t save as much for retirement as you would have wished earlier in your career or you’d simply like to make the most of tax-advantaged savings opportunities, if you’ll be age 50 or older on December 31, consider making “catch-up” contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan by that date. These are additional contributions beyond the regular annual limits that can be made to certain retirement accounts.

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09Nov
Using Roth IRAs to Help Your Kids Save
Personal Finance

Franklin eyes and coin ridgesRoth IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) turned eighteen years old this year. Established in 1998 by Public Law 105-34, the Roth IRA differs from a traditional individual retirement account in two crucial ways. First, funds invested in a Roth IRA are not tax deductible from current income; any money invested comes in the form of after-tax dollars. However, these investments will grow tax free once in the Roth IRA, and can be withdrawn tax-free after age 59 ½ (if the Roth IRA has been owned for more than five years).

While many taxpayers think of Roth IRAs (and IRAs in general) as accounts for adults, Roth IRAs for minors can be startlingly lucrative, and are generally underutilized. Not only does saving in an IRA help to teach kids valuable saving habits, but decades of compounded returns may be one of the best gifts parents can ever give their children.

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12Oct
3 mutual fund tax hazards to watch out for
Personal Finance

 

Investing in mutual funds is an easy way to diversify a portfolio, which is one reason why they’re commonly found in retirement plans such as IRAs and 401(k)s. But if you hold such funds in taxable accounts, or are considering such investments, beware of these three tax hazards:

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