Probate is the process of proving the validity of a will and supervising the administration of an estate usually in the probate court. State law governs the proceedings in the probate court, so the process can vary from state to state. Supervising the administration of an estate can result in additional expense, unwanted publicity, and delays in the distribution of estate assets for a year or longer, which is why planning to avoid the probate process may be beneficial. Continue reading “Avoiding Probate”
In March 2022, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the most common measure of inflation, rose at an annual rate of 8.5%, the highest level since December 1981.1 It’s not surprising that a Gallup poll at the end of March found that one out of six Americans considers inflation to be the most important problem facing the United States.2
Continue reading “High Inflation: How Long Will It Last?”
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 changed the rules for taking distributions from retirement accounts inherited after 2019. The so-called 10-year rule generally requires inherited accounts to be emptied within 10 years of the original owner’s death, with some exceptions. Where an exception applies, the entire account must generally be emptied within 10 years of the beneficiary’s death, or within 10 years after a minor child beneficiary reaches age 21. This reduces the ability of most beneficiaries to spread out, or “stretch,” distributions from an inherited defined contribution plan or an IRA.
In February 2022, the IRS issued proposed regulations (generally applicable starting in 2022) that interpret the revised required minimum distribution (RMD) rules. Unless these proposals are amended, some beneficiaries could be subject to annual required distributions as well as a full distribution at the end of a 10-year period. Account owners and their beneficiaries may want to familiarize themselves with these new interpretations and how they might be affected by them.
Continue reading “Required Distributions: Changes You Need to Know”
The COVID-19 recession and the continuing pandemic pushed many older workers into retirement earlier than they had anticipated. A little more than 50% of Americans age 55 and older said they were retired in Q3 2021, up from about 48% two years earlier, before the pandemic.1
For people age 62 and older, retiring from the workforce often means claiming Social Security benefits. But what happens if you decide to go back to work? With the job market heating up, there are opportunities for people of all ages to return to the workforce. Or to look at it another way: What happens if you are working and want to claim Social Security benefits while staying on your job? Continue reading “Working While Receiving Social Security Benefits”
On March 16, 2022, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark federal funds rate by 0.25% to a target range of 0.25% to 0.50%. This is the beginning of a series of increases that the FOMC expects to carry out over the next two years to combat high inflation.1
Along with announcing the current increase, the FOMC released economic projections that suggest the equivalent of six additional 0.25% increases in 2022, followed by three or four more increases in 2023.2 Keep in mind that these are only projections, based on current conditions, and may not come to pass. However, they provide a helpful picture of the potential direction of U.S. interest rates.
Continue reading “What Do Rising Interest Rates Mean for Your Money?”
After being largely dormant for the last decade, inflation roared back in 2021 due to various factors related to the pandemic and economic recovery. For perspective, it may be helpful to look at inflation over a longer period of time. During the 20-year period ending September 2021, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), often called headline inflation, rose a total of 53.8%. While the prices of some items tracked the broad index, others increased or decreased at much different rates.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021 (data through September 2021)
Continue reading “Two Decades of Inflation”
Even though tax filing season is well under way, there’s still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2021. You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $6,000 for 2021 ($7,000 if you were age 50 or older on or before December 31, 2021). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2021 is Monday, April 18, 2022.
You can contribute to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or both, as long as your total contributions don’t exceed the annual limit (or, if less, 100% of your earned income). You may also be able to contribute to an IRA for your spouse for 2021, even if your spouse didn’t have any 2021 income.
Continue reading “There’s Still Time to Contribute to an IRA for 2021”
Last week was pretty schizophrenic, where a highly volatile equity market churned alongside a surge higher in interest rates, a strong USD, and
weaker commodity markets (with the exception of spot nickel +44%). For the week, U.S. equity markets were down nearly 3% while developed
international markets, particularly Europe (+4.5%), held up better. U.S. Treasuries took a notable step down as interest rates moved sharply
higher across the curve while broad based weakness across the commodity spectrum was paired with a strong USD. Click the link below to read more.
Any disruption of Russian oil exports would have a significant effect on global supplies and drive prices higher.
Colliding Forces: Russia, Oil, Inflation, and Market Volatility Continue reading “”
HENRY is a catchy acronym for “high earner, not rich yet.” It describes a demographic made up of young and often highly educated professionals with substantial incomes but little or no savings. HENRYs generally have enviable career prospects, but many of them feel financially stretched or may even live paycheck to paycheck for years, especially if they are working in cities with high living costs and/or facing large student loan payments. Continue reading “Are You a HENRY? Consider These Wealth-Building Strategies”