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Wouldn't it be nice to pay fewer income taxes in retirement? A tax-advantaged strategy called a Roth IRA conversion may lower your taxable income later in retirement. A Roth IRA conversion involves repositioning a traditional IRA or qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan assets into a Roth IRA. There are a few reasons why investors may pursue a Roth IRA conversion strategy:
· A Roth provides the flexibility to withdraw money when needed.
· There is no Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
· A Roth IRA conversion as part of estate planning may help lessen the impact of estate taxes on an estate.
Before initiating a Roth IRA conversation strategy, here are things to consider before making your decision:
The financial decisions you make between now and the end of the year can significantly impact how much you may pay once tax day arrives. If you take action before December 31st, you may reduce your tax burden and keep more of your hard-earned money. Here are some smart tax-saving strategies to consider:
1. Max out your retirement savings contributions- Tax-advantaged retirement accounts such as 401(K)s and IRAs fund with pre-tax dollars. Any additional contributions you make now can help lower your 2023 taxable income. Therefore, max out your retirement account contributions if you before the end of the year. If you receive an end-of-year bonus from your employer, request to contribute it to your pre-tax retirement savings account.
As the end of the year approaches, taking time for an end-of-the-year financial check-up is critical. It involves a comprehensive review of your financial position. Assessment can help you understand how you spent your money throughout the year and guide you to make better financial decisions in the forthcoming year. Prepare by using this checklist as you work toward your financial objectives.
1. Review your budget. By revisiting your budget, you can compare and contrast your actual spending with the past budget entries for the year. Reviewing is a great way to help you understand where your money went, gauge if your spending habits have been healthy or not, and decide the areas where you need to cut back. Your budget can also provide insight into investing more...more
One challenge Sustainable Finance aims to solve is the advancement of women's health. Sustainable finance and women's health have profound implications in fostering global health equity, empowering women, and advancing socio-economic development. It's important to understand the connection between sustainable finance and women's health;
· Sustainable finance is any form of financial service that integrates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria into its business or investment decisions. Its underlying objective is to promote long-term environmental sustainability and social welfare.
· Women's health encompasses various issues, from reproductive health to non-communicable diseases such as cancer and...more
In the U.S., women control a third of household assets. But by 2030, U.S. women are expected to control much of the assets that the baby boomer generation will pass to heirs, roughly 30 trillion in assets. High-earning women have become the newest face of wealth and will increase their net worth even more.
High-earning women are becoming the primary ‘breadwinners’ in many families and are increasingly the financial decision-makers. Women have unique needs that often differ from their male counterparts:
· Women have an additional life expectancy of 5 years longer than men.
· Women earn seventy-nine cents to every dollar a man earns.
· Women often take time off from work to care for other family members.
· Women, on average,...more
For 2023, Social Security Retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits increased due to inflation. The increase was 8.7%, resulting in an average monthly benefit increase of $146 per month for a yearly increase of $1,827 in 2023.
Social Security benefits are adjusted yearly for inflation as a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). The CPI-W index measures the monthly price change in a market basket of goods and services, including food, energy, and medical care.
With the inflationary prices Americans experienced in 2022, the 2023 Social Security COLA adjustment helped increase monthly benefits. While we can’t predict what inflation will do in 2023, the Consumer Price Index may...more
Gender lens investing is a type of impact investing that aims to create a beneficial social or environmental impact and an expected financial return. What differentiates gender lens investing is that it is an investment that, from its inception, is intended to benefit women and girls.
Gender lens investing considers gender-based factors in investment decision-making to advance gender equality. Gender lens investing may benefit women and girls in two distinct ways:
#1- Investing with the intent to address gender issues or promote gender equality by:
- Investing in women-owned or women-led enterprises
- Investing in enterprises that promote workplace equity (in staffing, management, boardroom representation, and along their supply chains);...
Understanding the difference between taxable, tax-deferred, and tax-exempt accounts may improve portfolio diversification and how much return you earn over time. But often, investors may not fully understand how a strategy called asset location may help improve returns and lower their overall tax bill using these different types of accounts. Each account type has different tax rules and treatments, and understanding each may help you determine which accounts suit your situation. Here, we outline what you need to know about each account type:
Taxable accounts- A taxable account is an account for which the IRS default rules apply, meaning there are no tax benefits. However, taxable accounts often have fewer restrictions and more flexibility when investing and...more
Without a doubt, losing your job or being laid off can be an incredibly difficult experience. But it can also be an opportunity to start fresh and take control of your career. Starting your own business is one way to do this. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider starting your own business after a career setback, courtesy of J. Martin Wealth Management.
Become the Boss
When you start your own business, you become the boss. You have the freedom to make decisions about how you want to run things and what direction you want to take the company in....more
Having enough retirement income is a top concern for many Americans nearing or in retirement. Even though they may have saved consistently throughout the working years, they may be concerned that their retirement plans will succeed. A successful retirement plan provides the ability to maintain your lifestyle for the duration of your life.
Having enough retirement income for what you need and want is essential and must be planned for, even in the best economic conditions. A way to provide income safety is by using annuities as an asset class in your retirement portfolio.
Annuities Provide Safety and Income- Annuities help retirees address a specific retirement planning risk- Longevity Risk. Longevity Risk is the risk that a retiree outlives their financial...more
Life insurance is a great addition to your portfolio that help can protect your loved ones and beneficiaries if you unexpectedly pass away. While no amount of money can ease the grief of losing someone, life insurance may help reduce the financial burden they may face. It's important to know how life insurance works and what to consider when purchasing life insurance so you can make an informed decision before you buy.
What Does Life Insurance Cover?
Life insurance can be used to help your beneficiaries pay for your funeral costs and a variety of other expenses, including:
- Everyday bills
- Wage loss
- Child care
- College tuition
- Business debts
It’s important to note that life...more
Helping your child save for retirement starts with financial education and discussing the importance of saving for their future. Besides financial education, there are strategies to help them get a head start their retirement savings. Here are three ways to start saving for your child's retirement now:
#1 Life Insurance- Whole life insurance, also called cash-value life insurance, doesn’t expire, meaning your child can’t outlive it. Whole life insurance features a death benefit and a cash value, which accrues interest at a fixed rate. If one continues to pay the premiums, your child can tap into the cash value by taking a policy loan or a cash withdrawal later to help fund retirement. Here are some reasons why investing in a life insurance policy for your child...more
If you love to travel, summer is a great time to do so and have new experiences near home or far away. As you plan, remember to budget for travel expenses and look for ways to save during the peak summer travel season. Here are some tips to help you save on summer travel:
#1- Create a travel bucket list. You may want to travel to a few different places this summer. Create your travel itinerary with the understanding that plans may change and be flexible. Remember to leave time in your itinerary to rest, relax, and disconnect- and not spend money. Enjoy the sunrise, sunset, parks, and places that are free too!
#2- Do your research. Once you decide where you want to travel, create an estimated budget. Conduct your...more
Achieving financial wellness can seem like an impossible task. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the intricacies of personal finance, but with the right money mindset, you can be successful. By following these simple tips, you can start to make positive changes in your financial outlook.
The Benefits of Prioritizing Long-Term Goals
It's easy to get caught up in short-term desires for things that aren't necessary for long-term success or stability. When it comes to managing your finances, make sure you prioritize long-term goals over instant gratification. This means...more
529 plans are tax-advantaged savings vehicles designed to accumulate contributions and help pay for the beneficiary's qualifying education expenses. Sometimes, 529 plans have unused funds after the beneficiary graduates or decides to discontinue their education. Whatever the reason for having unused 529 plan funds, you have options of what you can do with the monies. Here are five options to consider:more
As our population ages, discussions about long-term care (LTC) and who pays for it are essential for many families and state governments. LTC is ongoing care in a care facility, nursing home, or at home for those unable to perform a certain number of activities of daily living (ADL) without assistance. ADLs include eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring in and out of bed, continence, or when physical, mental, or cognitive function is impaired, or when a doctor has ordered specific care.
For those with LTC insurance (LTCI), ADLs determine when the policy will start paying for their care. Paying for LTC can be costly until the policy begins to pay after a set time, such as 60 or 90 days. During that time, it is up to the individual to pay depending on their level of...more
For bank customers and investors, the news may have left them wondering what they would do if this was their financial institution. Bank customers and investors have some protection through FDIC insurance or SIPC, but understanding what each cover can help them plan for failure risk.more
Every small business needs a safety net. A safety net is a buffer that can help you weather the storms of running a business. It can take many forms but typically includes cash reserves, lines of credit, and insurance. In this blog post, financial advisor Jeff Martin explores how to create a safety net for your small Arizona business.
Increase Your Cash Reserves
One of the most important parts of a safety net is cash reserves. These are funds that you set aside specifically for tough times. That way, when unexpected expenses arise or revenue dips, you have the money on hand to cover them. We recommend setting aside enough cash to...more
Who should have a 529?
A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to help families save for education expenses. It can be used to save for qualified expenses at any eligible educational institution, including colleges, universities, and vocational schools. Here are some guidelines on who should consider opening a 529 plan:
Parents and grandparents: Parents and grandparents who want to save for a child's education should consider a 529 plan. By starting early and contributing regularly, they can help to ensure that the child has the financial resources necessary to pursue their education goals.
High-income earners: High-income earners may benefit from the tax advantages of a 529 plan. Contributions to a 529 plan are made with after-tax dollars, but earnings...more
The key to increasing net worth throughout different stages of life is to start early and be consistent. In the 20s, financial goals should be set to prioritize spending, reduce debt, and start saving early. Investing in education, increasing income, and living below means can also contribute to net worth growth. In the 30s, investment in a diversified portfolio and saving for retirement, buying a home, and increasing income are some ways to increase net worth. In the 40s, increasing retirement savings, paying off high-interest debt, and investing in real estate are recommended. As you approach retirement in your 50s, it's important to maximize retirement account contributions, diversify investments, re-evaluate insurance needs, and reduce debt. Rental property investments and...more
You may assume that you must rollover your 401(k) when leaving your employer into another retirement savings plan. However, depending on the 401(k) plan document and if a rollover is appropriate for your situation, it may be optional.more
The SECURE 2.0 and RILA Acts were signed into law on December 29, 2022 as part of the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations Act, signed by President Biden. The SECURE 2.0 Act has 92 provisions and affects most employers and employees participating in workplace retirement plans. Clarifications are expected from regulatory agencies in the coming months.
Some of the 2023 provisions include:
- The required minimum distribution age will be raised to 73 (effective January 1, 2023) and 75 (effective January 1, 2033).
- The individual tax penalty for failing to take the required minimum distribution will be reduced to 25% (possibly 10% if corrected within 2 years).
- The limit for purchasing qualified longevity annuity contracts is increased to $200,000 (adjustable for...
Financial wellness is essential for many reasons since it can impact your mental and physical health and overall quality of life. By improving your financial wellness, you can build wealth for a more financially secure future.more
If you're still working and nearing retirement, planning the subsequent decades of your life is crucial. It starts with a healthy mindset, body, and financial wellness.more
Marriages can end for many reasons; infidelity, stress, personality changes, and finances. Divorce can be difficult for children and extended family and devastating to your finances and assets that you've accumulated together. Couples participate in financial planning, personal budgets, and savings and spending plans when marriages are going well. It is vital to continue financial planning for yourself now while starting the divorce process and after your marriage ends.more
During an economic slowdown, times can be challenging for many, often leading to layoffs, inflation, and rising interest rates. Economists suggest that the U.S. economy is not in the clear and may be approaching another recession in 2023, according to an Associated Press article. Knowing the signs of a recession is essential to help you determine when to cut spending. You can also look for extra cash by using these tips to help you survive tough economic times:more
Social Security Retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase by 8.7 percent in 2023, the most significant increase since the 1980s. The last time the cost-of-living adjustment was higher was in 1981 when the increase was 11.2%. The increase, due to inflation, will result in a Social Security benefits increase of an extra $146 per month, or $1,827 for 2023, up from $1,681 in 2022.more
Understanding the critical ages for taking Social Security retirement benefits can be the difference in thousands of dollars over time. Therefore, it is important for you to determine the best age to start taking Social Security for your situation. Here are the important ages on the Social Security retirement benefits timeline to consider that may impact your monthly payout:more
If it seem overwhelming to keep you finances on track and implement multiple financial actions at once, a month-by-month approach may help. Tackling financial tasks helps ensure you're working towards reaching your financial goals and checking tasks off of your to-do list each month. While some financial tasks are time-sensitive, others can be completed throughout the year. Here is a month-by-month checklist list to help keep your finances on track throughout the year:more