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Tax-Free Insurance Upgrades

How Can I Upgrade My Insurance — Tax-Free? Responding to the changing needs of consumers, the life insurance industry has developed some alternatives that go much further in satisfying a variety of financial needs and objectives than some of the more traditional types of insurance and annuities. Advancements Modern contracts offer much more financial flexibility […]


Tax Strategies for Retirement Plans

What is the most tax-efficient way to take a distribution from a retirement plan? If you receive a distribution from a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k), you need to consider whether to pay taxes now or to roll over the account to another tax-deferred plan. A correctly implemented rollover avoids current taxes and […]


Tax-Advantaged Alternatives

What Tax-Advantaged Alternatives Do I Have? A strong savings program is essential for any sound financial strategy. We take Benjamin Franklin’s saying to heart, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and we save our spare cash in savings accounts and certificates of deposit. Investors who’ve accumulated an adequate cash reserve are to be commended. […]


Tax Deductions

What tax deductions are still available to me? Tax reform measures are enacted frequently by Congress, which makes it hard for U.S. taxpayers to know which deductions are currently available to help lower their tax liability. In fact, a former head of the IRS once said that millions of taxpayers overpay their taxes every year […]


Tax Deferral

What Is Tax Deferral? “Tax deferral” is a method of postponing the payment of income tax on currently earned investment income until the investor withdraws funds from the account. Tax deferral is encouraged by the government to stimulate long-term saving and investment, especially for retirement. Only investment vehicles designated as “tax deferred,” such as IRAs, […]


Withdrawing Before Age 59.5

What Happens If I Withdraw Money from My Tax-Deferred Investments Before Age 59½? Withdrawing taxable funds from a tax-deferred retirement account before age 59½ generally triggers a 10% federal income tax penalty, on top of any federal income taxes due. (Distributions from Section 457(b) plans are generally not subject to an early distribution penalty; and the […]


Retirement Plan Taxes

When Must Taxes Be Paid on IRA and Employer-Sponsored Retirement Funds? Traditional IRAs and most employer-sponsored retirement plans are tax-deferred accounts, which means they are typically funded with pre-tax or tax-deductible dollars. As a result, taxes are not payable until funds are withdrawn, generally in retirement. Withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts are subject to income tax […]


Charitable Trust Tax Benefits

What are the tax benefits of charitable trusts? Americans give freely to support the causes they value, from churches, education, and the arts to medical research. Fortunately, current tax laws encourage and even reward philanthropy. Beyond the basic tax deductions for charitable giving, setting up one or both of the following types of trusts could […]


Required Minimum Distributions

What Is a Required Minimum Distribution? A required minimum distribution (RMD) is the annual amount that must be withdrawn from a traditional IRA or a qualified retirement plan (such as a 401(k), 403(b), and self-employed plans) after the account owner reaches the age of 70½. The last date allowed for the first withdrawal is April […]


Retirement Plan Limits

How much money can I put into my IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan? IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans are subject to annual contribution limits set by the federal government. The limits are adjusted periodically to compensate for inflation and increases in the cost of living. IRAs For the 2017 and 2018 tax years, you can contribute up […]


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