Gray Divorce and Social Security

photo credit: Question of money via photopin (license)
photo credit: Question of money via photopin (license)

 

Gray divorce is a term that describes couples who split up later in life.  It is not uncommon and it presents some challenging questions for financial planning professionals.

This article from Investment News answers some very common questions like “How much are spousal benefits worth?” and “Can divorced spouses who remarry collect survivor benefits if their ex spouse dies?”

Take a look and, as always, let us know if you have any questions about your situation.

Fiduciary Standard

photo credit: Fiduciary via photopin (license)
photo credit: Fiduciary via photopin (license)

 

Today, the White House is encouraging the brokerage world to “act in the best interest of the client.” Which brings us to point out the difference between a brokerage firm and an advisory firm.

As investment advisors, we have an ongoing duty to act in our clients’ best interest, so this development from the White House is not news to our world. The investment advisor is always held to this fiduciary standard.

The big deal is to brokerage firms. They would have to disclose conflicts of interest and compensation, etc. Wall Street is expected to push back on this. Not sure why.

We invite you to look at the RIA stands for you website. This website does a good job in explaining the benefits of using a registered investment advisor.

You will also find a great reprint from the Wall Street Journal that outlines how to select a Registered Investment Advisory firm.

As always, ask us if we can help in any way.

IRS Increases Retirement Plan Contribution limits for 2015!

This is something to get excited about. The IRS is increasing the amounts that we can put away in many our favorite retirement plans!

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Photo Credit: www.aag.com

 

Elective deferral maximum contributions have been increased from $17,500 to $18,000 in 401(k), 403(b)s, most 457 plans and the federal Thrift Saving Plan. The “catch up” limit for participants in these same plans who are over the age of 50 has been increased from $5,500 to $6,000. This is especially exciting for all of our 401(k) sponsors and participants!

Unfortunately, IRA annual contributions remain unchanged at $5,500 and the catch up remains at $1,000 for those over 50. But this is still way better than $2,000 just a few years ago! (Ask us how to maximize your IRA/ROTH contributions).

Also, regarding IRA deductions: if you are single or a “head of household” taxpayer, who is also covered by an employee workplace retirement plan, your phase-out range moved to a modified AGI between $61,000 and $71,000 from $60,000 to $70,000 in 2014. For couples filing jointly, the phase-out range moved up $2,000 and is now $98,000 to $118,000.

These adjustments, while seemingly minor, can really boost your retirement savings. Please ask us for a free consultation to determine if you are doing everything you can to maximize savings for your future.