Monthly Archives: November 2015

Preventing Holiday Overspending

Most of us follow some type of budget during our day-to-day lives. Fewer of us create a well-thought-out plan for our holiday spending. But with Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up this weekend, it’s important to have a strategy to prevent a spending whirlwind and post-holiday remorse.   First, make a list of the people you intend to buy gifts for. Consider trimming this list by dropping out of gift exchanges with co-workers or… Read More »

Required Minimum Distribution Strategies

If you’re one of those investors who still needs to take this year’s required minimum distributions (RMDs) or someone looking ahead to taking them in upcoming years, the following tips may help you develop a practical strategy.   The first distribution for tax-advantaged retirement accounts is required the year you turn 70 ½. (There are no RMDs on Roth IRAs during the owner’s life.) The actual deadline is April 1 of the following year. But… Read More »

Budget Deal Kills Popular Social Security Strategies

Last week, President Obama signed a two-year federal budget deal into law that included an amendment containing the most significant Social Security reform since 1983. The provision, which abolished two popular strategies used to maximize retirement benefits, could cost some Americans up to $50,000 in reduced lifetime accumulation.   Prior to the legislation, claimants could file for Social Security before their full retirement age, suspend payments and retain the option to retroactively unsuspend benefits. With… Read More »

Secure Holiday Shopping

According to the National Retail Foundation, almost half of this year’s holiday shopping (both browsing and buying) will be done online. With all this extra cyber activity, it’s a good time to review good online shopping practices to help protect your assets and safeguard your identity. When shopping online, use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have spending limits, and they make it easier to dispute fraudulent charges. You may even… Read More »

National Family Caregivers Month

The president has proclaimed November Family Caregivers Month to recognize the nearly 44 million Americans who are providing personal assistance for family members with disabilities or health challenges. According to “Caregiving in the U.S.,” a summary from the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute, more than 34 million of these individuals care for frail elders.   The study highlights the emotional, physical and financial toll upon caregivers.  The average caregiver spends… Read More »