Archive for 'January 2015'

    Roth IRAs: It's Never Too Late to Save

    January 29, 2015 2:20 PM by Brian Dobbis

    Roth IRAs can be funded at virtually any age. That means individuals can fund accounts with the intention of passing them on to heirs. Beneficiaries inherit the potential to withdraw the funds tax-free. 

    It has been well established that people generally can expect to live considerably longer than previous generations—and they should plan accordingly. With that in mind, individuals who are approaching or already in retirement shouldn’t be discouraged from establishing retirement savings accounts later in life. On the contrary; advisors whose clients are mindful of their legacies might want to encourage them to establish Roth IRA accounts with the intention of leaving the assets to their heirs.

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    The Fed's Waiting Game

    January 28, 2015 5:03 PM by Zane Brown

    The central bank acknowledged a strengthening U.S. economy in its policy statement on January 28, but reiterated that it will "be patient" in making policy moves. 

    Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would change its language regarding the timing and amount of potential interest-rate hikes at its first policy meeting of 2015 were almost nonexistent. And with the statement released at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on January 28, 2015, the Fed did not disappoint. 

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    SEP IRAs: Helping Small-Business Employees Save for Retirement

    January 22, 2015 4:10 PM by Brian Dobbis

    Simplified Employee Pension IRAs offer a tax-advantaged way to save, but workers are responsible for managing their own accounts.


    Last week I introduced the idea of establishing SEP IRAs for small business owners and self-proprietors who want to set up a savings plan and who missed the 2014 deadline for qualified plans. As I noted, businesses have until the 2014 tax deadline—with applicable extensions—to set up and claim their contributions to SEP IRAs.

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    SEP IRAs: Simplifying Savings for Small-Business Owners and Workers

    January 16, 2015 10:30 AM by Brian Dobbis

    There is still time to establish and fund a SEP IRA for the 2014 tax year. Small-business owners can reduce their tax bills, while helping their employees save for retirement.


    For sole proprietors and small-business owners who missed the December 31st deadline to set up a qualified retirement plan for 2014, there is still time to establish a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA and claim the tax deduction for the 2014 tax season. There’s additional good news: You’ll be helping yourself and your employees save for retirement at the same time.

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    Saving for Retirement Can Save Taxes

    January 8, 2015 5:45 PM by Brian Dobbis

    The saver's credit is intended to encourage moderate-income workers to contribute to employer retirement plans. 


    Individuals with moderate incomes may be eligible to receive a tax credit for funding certain retirement accounts. The saver’s credit is a nonrefundable federal income-tax credit available to certain taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $61,000 (for married couples), who make contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA, 401(k), 457(b), SEP, or SIMPLE IRA plan. The maximum annual contribution eligible for the credit is $2,000, and the maximum credit is 50%, making the maximum credit $1,000. Since the benefit is a credit, as opposed to a deduction, the credit could reduce investors’ federal income-tax bill on a dollar-for-dollar basis. (See 2014 and 2015 Saver’s Credit table below for complete list of filer’s AGI limits.)   

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    IRA Season 2015: Almost Anyone Can Participate

    January 2, 2015 12:45 PM by Brian Dobbis

    The three months leading up to the April 15 federal tax filing deadline are considered peak IRA season, when investors still can make contributions for the year just ended, as well as for the new year.


    In 2014, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) celebrated two milestones: turning 40 and surpassing $7 trillion in assets. And they show no signs of slowing down. IRA assets are due to increase to more than $9 trillion by 2018. A significant portion of this growth is being fueled by rollovers from 401(k) and other workplace retirement plans.

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