Not All Recharacterizations Have Gone Away

You may recall that the ability to recharacterize a Roth IRA conversion went away as part of the tax cut that passed in 2017. It wasn’t a major sticking point of the legislation, but it did create some concern about how it could affect those saving for retirement. However, I want to remind you that only recharacterization of Roth IRA conversions went away and that the ability to recharacterize other types of transactions still remains a possibility. For example, if you made a Roth IRA contribution but did not realize that you were above the income threshold to do so, Continue reading Not All Recharacterizations Have Gone Away

Take Advantage of That Delayed IRA Contribution Deadline

Have you made an IRA contribution for 2019 yet? Are you worried that you might not get the chance to? Well, there is good news. While you probably heard that the IRS extended the deadline for filing taxes to July 31, you probably did not know that the deadline for making a prior year contribution was pushed back to July 15. That’s three extra months! That might not seem like a big deal, but it could be for many Americans who didn’t get to make a contribution for 2019. If you didn’t get to make a contribution–and of course have Continue reading Take Advantage of That Delayed IRA Contribution Deadline

Are You an Active Participant in Your Employer’s Retirement Plan?

If you aren’t participating in your company’s retirement plan (i.e. a 401(k)), then you are really missing out. Not only is it a great way to save for retirement, there may be numerous perks and benefits that you may be giving up. For one, if your company offers contributing matching, you could be leaving extra money on the table. Even if the match is only a small amount–such as 3%–that’s still better than nothing and can go a long way over a long period. Being an active participant in an employer retirement plan can also potentially allow you to deduct Continue reading Are You an Active Participant in Your Employer’s Retirement Plan?

Got a Side Gig? Get Yourself a SEP IRA!

Life–let alone, retirement–can be expensive. Thus, it’s not uncommon for many Americans to hold down a side hustle to earn a few extra dollars. For some, that may mean getting a legitimate second job, while others may look to turn a hobby into a source of extra income. If you decide to go the way of turning a hobby or interest into a business, be sure that you take advantage of the retirement savings benefits. Yes, you can use a small business, side gig to help bolster your nest egg, thanks for SEP IRAs. A SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) IRA Continue reading Got a Side Gig? Get Yourself a SEP IRA!

The Cautions of Backdoor Roth IRA Conversions

A backdoor Roth IRA conversion can be tempting if you are considering retiring early and are currently over the income limits for a Roth IRA contribution. In case you are unfamiliar, a backdoor Roth IRA conversion is where you contribute money to a traditional IRA and then convert that money into a Roth IRA. This is a useful transaction for those who earn too much income to contribute to a Roth IRA as Traditional IRAs have no income limits. It’s also a perfectly legal transaction. However, when doing a backdoor conversion, keep in mind that the taxman will get his Continue reading The Cautions of Backdoor Roth IRA Conversions

You Don’t Need Income to Make an IRA Contribution

Contrary to what you may think, you don’t need to earn income to be able to make contributions to an IRA. You’re probably familiar with spousal contributions, but did you know that you can make contributions from when you exercise non-qualified stock options? The taxable portion is considered taxable income for IRA purposes. If you receive alimony, that too is taxable as ordinary income and is eligible for IRA contribution. Some scholarships and fellowships may be considered taxable income, depending on reported on the W-2 form. This last one can be valuable to young savers, such as your children or Continue reading You Don’t Need Income to Make an IRA Contribution

How to Prepare for Retirement as a Sole Proprietor

Owning your own small business or sole proprietorship can be a lot of work. Depending on what industry you operate in and what your overhead costs are, it can be tough to eek out a profit or pay yourself what you really think you’re worth. Thus, planning for retirement as a small business owner can seem like a fruitless endeavor, especially if you are struggling to keep your business afloat. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t save for retirement. You can open an IRA and will have options regarding what type of IRA you open regardless of how much you Continue reading How to Prepare for Retirement as a Sole Proprietor

Don’t Miss Out on a 2018 IRA Contribution

You may not realize it, but you still have time to make a contribution to your IRA and still have it count for 2018. Whether it’s a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, you have until tax day to make a contribution for the previous year. Thus, you can make a contribution anytime before April 15, 2019, and have it count as though it was made in 2018. Many people don’t realize that such an opportunity exists. However, keep in mind that the April 15 deadline is a hard deadline, which means there is no ability to extend it, unlike Continue reading Don’t Miss Out on a 2018 IRA Contribution

Do You Know the Difference Between Retirement Planning and Financial Planning?

Many Americans don’t really put much thought into the difference between “financial” planning and “retirement” planning. After all, they both focus on retirement and saving enough to enjoy that period in your life. However, if you talk to a certified financial planner, they’ll probably tell you that there is a difference.¬†Financial planning focuses on investments and saving strategies that will help you meet your retirement goals. Simply put, it’s the work and effort you put in as you save for retirement. Whereas,¬†retirement planning tends to zero in on your spending once you enter into retirement and your paychecks stop. Financial Continue reading Do You Know the Difference Between Retirement Planning and Financial Planning?