Posts by Gregory DuPont

Make Room for Rising Healthcare Costs as Part of Your Retirement Planning

Does your retirement plan include strategies to plan for, manage, and even reduce healthcare costs in retirement? It is projected that an average healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year will incur total lifetime healthcare costs of $387,644 in today’s dollars, according to research by HealthView Services, a provider of retirement healthcare, long-term care and Social Security optimization tools for the financial services industry. The figures were released in early July. To no surprise, as the couple ages, costs will be significantly higher later in retirement than at the beginning. In the first year of retirement, the couple’s total annual premium
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Categories: Health Care and Retirement.

Congress Looks to Provide More Options for Retirement Savers

While changes to traditional IRAs, RMDs offer some benefits, there are tradeoffs.   Broad proposals are in the works in the retirement savings arena to ease rules on tax-deferred savings vehicles, make it easier for employers to offer 401(k)-type savings plans and also convert balances into annuities for lifetime income. In late May, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE). Key provisions within the SECURE Act offer more flexibility for when distributions would have to be taken out of tax-deferred accounts. On the flip side, the Act takes direct
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Categories: Retirement and Tax Planning.

Women and Social Security: Do you really know your benefits?

Social Security guidelines for retirement benefits were established all the way back in the 1930’s and were founded on a traditional family situation1. With marriage patterns and caregiving needs constantly evolving, the modern woman could be at a disadvantage if strategic retirement planning is not properly implemented. While Social Security is gender-neutral and individuals with identical earnings histories are treated equally in terms of benefits, the reality of the matter is that women face greater economic challenges than men do when it comes to retirement for a number of reasons2. For example, women tend to live longer than men, but
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Categories: Retirement and Social Security.

What’s the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA?

Common financial wisdom tells us that as a paid member of the American workforce, you should contribute the maximum to your 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) or similar retirement plan, especially if your organization matches a percentage of your contributions. But not every company has one of these plans. As an individual taxpayer with earned income, you have other options available to you in order to save for retirement, including the IRA or “Individual Retirement Account.”   An IRA is a type of account which acts as a shell or holder. Within the IRA, you can invest in many different types of
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Categories: Financial Literacy and Retirement.

Are your Social Security benefits taxable?

The answer is: Yes, sometimes. If you don’t have significant income in retirement besides Social Security benefits, then you probably won’t owe taxes on your benefits. But if you have large amounts saved up in tax-deferred vehicles like 401(k)s, you could be in for a surprise later. AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) versus Combined Income. You are probably familiar with what AGI, or adjusted gross income, means. To find it, you take your gross income from wages, self-employed earnings, interest, dividends, required minimum distributions from qualified retirement accounts and other taxable income, like unearned income, that must be reported on tax returns. (Unearned, taxable income can
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Categories: Social Security and Tax Planning.

It’s Tax Season for Your 2018 Returns – Will You Owe More?

This year, the deadline to file your income tax returns is April 15, 2019. As of early February of 2019, Time Magazine1 reported that many Americans who had already filed their 2018 taxes were shocked by their lower refunds this year likely stemming from the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” law that passed in December 2017, which significantly overhauled the tax code in the U.S. “The initial batch of tax refunds in the first two weeks of the season declined an average of 8.7% from last year as of Feb. 8, according to a report from the Internal Revenue Service.
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Categories: Tax Planning.

Financial Vows for Money-Savvy Couples

February is a good time to celebrate your relationship with your significant other—and renew your commitment to your mutual financial success. Here are some ideas to say “I do” to this month. Vow to protect yourselves from emergencies During the government shutdown early this year we learned that 40% of Americans don’t have enough money set aside to handle even a $400 emergency. Whether you determine you want an amount equal to six months’ or 12 months’ worth of living expenses, vow to set aside an emergency fund in liquid, readily-accessible accounts so that you have adequate cash on hand
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Categories: Financial Planning and Lifestyle.

Managing Your Finances

We work with dozens of people to help them create retirement plans. But in order to get to a successful retirement, there are thousands of small decisions along the way. Like, should you drive through your local coffee place and grab a latte this morning? Go with the office gang for lunch at that little bistro across the street, which usually costs you around $15? Should you order pizza delivered for dinner tonight because you didn’t go to the grocery store yesterday? Grab that new shirt because it’s 50% off? Sticking to a budget is the beginning of mastering your
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Categories: Financial Planning and Lifestyle.

5 Tips for Setting Better New Year’s Resolutions

If you typically give up on your goals by March, you’re not alone. Try these tips for 2019.  Go ahead and set them again. Even if you’re one of the majority of people who have set New Year’s Resolutions in the past but gave up on them within a few weeks, try again. Because there is good news about setting goals, even if you haven’t quite mastered the follow-through. According to one study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, people who set New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to actually change their behavior than people who don’t
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Categories: Lifestyle.

5 Things to Know About Long-Term Care

November is long-term care (LTC) awareness month. Here are five things you should know.   There are different types of facilities providing increasing levels of care.1 If you hear the words “long-term care” and automatically think “nursing home,” you should know that long-term care encompasses a wide range of options and a progression of choices. The most self-sufficient seniors might live in independent retirement living facilities, while assisted living often adds medication management, daily personal care, meals and housekeeping. Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) offer a tiered approach so that seniors can transition on site as they require more services.
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Categories: Long Term Care.