Weekly Published Article

5-16-2024 – Question of the Month

“Hi Brian. I have heard our current tax code expires soon, and then tax rates and brackets will go up for everyone. Is this true, and if so, what can I do to help protect myself and my retirement plan from higher taxes in the future? Thank you.” -Ronald

5-10-2024 – Mother’s and Women Face Challenges

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and let us say Happy Mother’s Day to all.  In fact, let’s just say next week is Mother’s Day week as they deserve a whole week of recognition and attention.   To honor Mother’s Day from a financial perspective, we are going to help them by giving some information and advice for a secure future. 

5-1-2024 – It’s Not How You Look; Just That You Win

In today’s day and age, many people are more about style and looking good than winning and being successful. Unfortunately, that objective can really hurt you. This is especially true when it comes to investing, as it can really make a big difference in the ultimate value of your retirement plan.
4-22-2024 – Common Misconceptions About Taxes in Retirement

One of the biggest factors in a successful retirement plan (if not the biggest), is tax efficiency.  Unfortunately though, most pre-retirees or retirees do not give any thought to taxation in retirement or have a plan in place to become as tax efficient in retirement as possible.  If fact, when faced with taxation questions, most retirees have no idea of the correct answer.  

4-12-2024 – Do You Hear a Ticking Sound Inside of Your Traditional 401(k), 403(b) Or IRA?
The continual ‘tick’ sound is the typical sound of a bomb about to go off.  Fortunately, for most of us, that sound is only heard in the movies. However, this sound may now be a very realistic reality in real life concerning your traditional IRA, 401(k) and 403(b) retirement savings plans. So, what are you going to do?

3-28-2024 – How To Evaluate An Early Buy-Out Opportunity of Voluntary Retirement Offer

Many companies across America are reducing their workforce to save money. One of the ways they do this is by offering early buy-out opportunities or voluntary retirement to select employees. If you are offered one of these packages, how do you determine whether you should take it?

3-24-2024 – Question of the Month

“I have heard a lot about the benefits of doing Roth conversions to become more tax efficient. However, someone told me it is not a good idea because of the lost opportunity cost. What does that mean specifically, and is this a reason not to do Roth conversions? Thank you.” LeAnn

3-14-2024 – Will Your Retirement Plan Survive and Advance?

The month of March is basketball tournament time, and the theme for this time in the season is ‘Survive and Advance.’  In order to continue playing and prevent the season from being over, you have to win to move on to the next round.  In today’s ever-changing and volatile financial world, your retirement plan has to be set up to survive and advance as well.   

3-3-2024 – Have You Forgot Anout These Factors In Your Retirement Plan?

You know, many people think that they have thought of everything when it comes to their retirement plan.  Unfortunately, that is not the case in most circumstances.  Join me this weekend as we bring to your attention the many factors of retirement planning that are most often overlooked in the planning process, which very well could lead to a ruined retirement plan.  

3-3-2024 – What You Don’t Know About Your IRA Can Hurt You

The IRA is one of the main staples of retirement planning. In fact, millions of people use IRAs to save for and provide an income in retirement. However, many people are not getting as much out of these plans as possible because they don’t know as much as they should about IRAs.

2-22-2024 – Tax Savings Moves You Can Still Make For The Year 2023

It is February, and that means we are in the heart of tax filing season. People everywhere are gathering documents, organizing their information and preparing their tax returns. Of course, everyone wants to pay as little in taxes as possible. So are there still ways to save taxes and/or become more tax efficient for the 2023 tax year?

2-15-2024 – Key Retirement Planning Moves For Today’s New Financial World

Every worker’s ultimate goal is to be able to retire someday. To do that, you have to have a retirement plan. A successful retirement plan is a two part process; building that retirement plan and then maintaining the plan. The problem is – building and maintaining a successful retirement plan has never been more difficult.

2-4-2024 – How Does a Layoff or Potential Layoff Affect Your Retirement Plan?

With the U.S. economy predicted by many experts to slow down in the near future, many people’s thoughts have turned to the prospect of a recession. And along with those expectations may come concerns for those still in the workforce about the possibility of layoffs, and needing to get by without earned income for an unknown period of time. Of course, this can cause anxiety, worry and stress. However, these issues can be minimized by preparing your retirement plan for this ahead of time and having the proper game plan in place if it happens.

1-24-2024 – Key Retirement Planning Moves For Today’s New Financial World

Every worker’s ultimate goal is to be able to retire someday. To do that, you have to have a retirement plan. A successful retirement plan is a two part process; building that retirement plan and then maintaining the plan. The problem is – building and maintaining a successful retirement plan has never been more difficult.

1-19-2024 – Question of the Month

“Hello Brian. I am 80 years old and took a $10,000 distribution from my IRA last year.  When I did this, I asked my IRA custodian to send $5,000 to my church as a tax-free qualified charitable distribution and to send me a check for the remaining $5,000.  I just received my 1099-R from my IRA custodian for this transaction, and it shows total distributions of $10,000.  How do I report the $5,000 I sent to the charity so that money isn’t included in my adjusted gross income?  Thank you.”  Tom

1-12-2024 – Are You Ready For More Change?

Congress approved the Secure Act law, which took effect at the end of 2019 which brought many changes to the financial and retirement planning arena. And now they have done it again by recently adopting the new Secure Act 2.0 law which brings even more new and changing financial and retirement planning rule, law, planning guidelines and procedures. So, are you ready for more change?

1-4-2024 – New Year Brings New Rules 

We are into a new year, and as always, a new year brings new rules, laws, retirement contribution guidelines, etc. This year is no exception, especially with the new acts that were passed the last couple of years, and the new Secure Act 2 law that just went into effect last year. To keep your retirement and estate planning up to date, accurate and fine-tuned, you must be informed about and become educated on all these changes.

12-31-2023 – New Year’s Resolutions for Your Retirement Plan

At the beginning of every year, people tend to evaluate their lives and determine what needs to be improved in the upcoming year.  This is a good idea, and it needs to be done with your retirement plan as well.  Simply put, our financial world has severely changed over the last decade and continues to change.  There are a lot of issues, concerns and changes going into 2024. With all these issues and more on the forefront of people’s minds this year, it is no surprise that there will be a lot of New Year’s resolutions in 2024 that are financially related. 

12-14-2023 – Question Of The Month

“Hello Brian. Over the last several weeks, you have mentioned the different deadlines coming up for the end of the year to minimize taxes, avoid penalties, and maximize retirement.  Can you please summarize these moves again?  Since we are now really close to the end of the year, I want to make sure I don’t miss anything. Thank you.”  Keith

12-7-2023 – December Question Of The Month

“Hello, Brian. My husband and I have saved a good amount of money for retirement.  Most of it is in our pre-taxed IRAs and 401(k) retirement plans.  We are concerned about tax increases in the future, so we are considering doing a Roth conversion this year.  However, we are not sure we should do this.  Can you provide some factors we should consider to help us in making our decision before the end-of-the-year deadline comes to make this move?  Thanks so much.”  Karen

11-30-2023 – To Give and Receive

It is December, and with all the holiday decorations out at the stores and Christmas music on the radio, we are now in the holiday gift giving season. Over the next several weeks many gifts will be given and received. The problem with this, however, is that each year many gifts are given, received and forgotten about soon after with no real meaning or lifetime value for both the giver and the recipient.  This is truly a shame.  

11-23-2023 – How Do You Find The Right One?

As most people know the financial, economic and investment world has changed dramatically over the last several years. Of course, that is expected to continue into the future. All of these changes have caused questions, concerns and uncertainties for many people.

11-17-2023 – November 2023 Question Of The Month

“Hi Brian. I have been listening to your show for a while and have learned a lot. I realize now that I need to do some things to get my retirement plan much more tax efficient. You have mentioned several ways to do this, including tax loss harvesting. Can you please explain more about this? Thank you.” Ronald

11-9-2023 – Time is Running Out

Can you believe we are in mid November already! This of course means there are only a few weeks left in the year. Obviously it is one of the busiest times of the year and people everywhere will be scrambling trying to get things done. You probably do not need anything else added to your plate right now, but unfortunately the clock is also ticking on a few retirement planning moves that you have to and/or may need to make before time expires at the end of the year. So, it is crunch time.

11-2-2023 – Retirement Traps to Avoid

There is no denying that retirement planning is sophisticated, complicated, and an on-going process. You simply must keep up to date and educated on the ever-changing tax laws, rule changes, plan provisions, and constant market fluctuations in order to make adjustments and changes to your plan on a regular basis. Due to all of the complexities of retirement planning, everyone is going to make some mistakes. The good news is that small mistakes won’t destroy a retirement plan, however, some major traps might.

10-26-2023 – Don’t Get Tricked

It is Halloween week, and that means time for tricks and treats. Of course, Halloween is a made up theme, but tricks and treats in the real world are not made up. Currently, and unfortunately, there are many tricks being played on innocent people trying to help out for a good cause. My heart and prayers go out to the innocent victims of the tragic events in Israel. When tragic events like this happen, there are a lot of different messages out there about donating money to help out victims. Of course, we all want to help, but you have to be very careful before you do this to ensure your donation actually gets to the victims.

10-22-2023 – Are You Scared?

Next weekend is Halloween weekend. This is the time of year for scary stories, costumes, haunts, etc. Of course, all of these things are just make-believe for just a short period of time each year. Unfortunately though, there are many scary issues going on in the financial, economic, tax and political world right now and they are not make-believe. Many people are fearing the worst, and they are downright worried. Are you scared?

10-16-2023 – Question of the Month

“Hi Brian. There has been a lot of talk and press about the benefits of saving in a Roth IRA. However, for my case, I am just not seeing it. My husband and I make a good living and are in a higher tax bracket than we will be in at retirement. So for us, isn’t it best for us to save in a traditional IRA and 401k and take the tax deduction now and pay taxes later when our taxes are lower in retirement? Thank you.” Melissa

10-6-2023 – How Retirement Savvy are you?

Recently we did our ‘Back to School for Your Retirement Show’. Students across the country have been getting back to school over the last several weeks. However, “back to school” is not just for students anymore. You have to make sure to continue your retirement education each and every year due to all the many changes that take place in the financial arena.

9-28-2023 – The Original ‘Inherited Stretch IRA’ has been Eliminated. Now What Do You Do?

The SECURE ACT (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act) became law at the beginning of 2020. The legislation was mainly intended to expand opportunities for people to increase their retirement savings, which obviously is a good thing. However, the act also included one big tax law change that will cost most inheritors additional taxes, and that was the elimination of the ‘Inherited Stretch IRA’. So, now what do you do?

9-15-2023 – Question of the Month
“Hello Brian. I am 65 and planning on retirement in a few years. I am trying to do everything I can to maximize my retirement savings contributions over the next few years. I just heard about a Mega Roth IRA. What is this and how does it work? Can it help me save even more for retirement? Thank you.” -Daniel

9-10-2023 – Do You Know all of the Different Factors that Affects your Social Security Benefits?

Most people pay a lot of money into the Social Security system during their working years. But do you know how much you will get out of the system? A recent survey says that most people do not know what exactly affects their Social Security Benefits.

8-20-2023 – Question of the Month

“Hello Brian. I turned age 72 this year and was not at the age where I had to start taking required minimum distributions from my IRA accounts. I went ahead and took my RMD in January, before knowing that the Secure 2.0 Act changed the rule now to age 73. If I had known this, I would have not taken my required minimum distribution this year. Am I allowed to put it back into my IRA? Thank you.”  -Jean

8-13-2023 – Key Dates and Ages Related to Your Retirement

When you think of certain important dates or ages, you generally think of birthdays, anniversaries, special moments, etc. However, as you get older and get into your pre-retirement and retirement years, some other dates and ages become very important. In fact, these dates may even become more important than birthdays and anniversaries because missing them or not understanding what happens at these times can have a severe impact on your retirement.

8-11-2023 – It is Back-To-School Time For Your Retirement Plan

It is August, and that means it is back-to-school time. But back-to-school time is not just for kids in school anymore. There are so many changes in the financial and economic arena each and every year, especially this year and in the coming years. In order to keep your retirement plan updated, accurate and maximized at all times, you simply have to make sure you go ‘back to school’ to stay educated and informed. So it is back-to-school time for your retirement plan.

7-30-2023 – You Cannot Retire Until You Consider These Factors

Many people are considering early retirement or being offered early retirement packages from companies and employers that are cutting back or reducing their workforce.  However, you cannot make this decision based solely on the amount of money you have accumulated and saved.  In fact, you absolutely cannot retire until you consider many often-overlooked factors.   

7-13-2023 – Question of the Month

“Hi Brian. I have heard a lot about the benefits of the tax-free Roth IRA. However, the Roth IRA was not around when I was saving for retirement, and so all of my savings is in traditional IRAs where taxes are owed by me and my beneficiaries. I am 81 now. Am I too old to convert this to a Roth IRA, and if not, should I? Thank you.” Roger

7-9-2023 – It’s Time for Your Retirement Checkup

2023 is half over, and this is the time of the year that many people have a medical checkup with their doctor to make sure everything is ok and to make health improvements. This is also a good time of year to visit with your ‘retirement doctor’ to evaluate your retirement plan and make sure it is up-to-date and accurate as well. In other words, it’s time for your retirement checkup.

6-30-23 – Will You Achieve Financial Independence in Retirement?

All of this week people will be celebrating Independence Day. Independence Day honors the birthday of the United States of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence is the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty, and this is a special time for many Americans.

6-16-23 – June 2023 Question Of The Month
“I recently completed my tax return for last year. I pay for a service to file my tax return. However, they do not offer any advice on strategies to save tax dollars in the future or how to get my retirement plan at tax efficient as possible. They simply just take my documents and file my return. If my tax preparer does not do this, them where can I find that type of tax savings planning expertise?” Thank you. Don

6-9-23 – How to Save Your Retirement Plan from Inflation?

There is a word that starts with the letter ‘I’ and that describes a key element in retirement planning very well that also starts with the letter ‘I’. Unfortunately, most people don’t factor in or consider this key element when it comes to their retirement planning. The first word is ‘invisible’ and the second word is ‘inflation’.
4-29-23 – Common Misconceptions About Taxes In Retirement
One of the biggest factors in a successful retirement plan, if not the biggest, is tax efficiency. Unfortunately though, most pre-retirees or retirees do not give any thought to taxation in retirement or have a plan in place to become as tax efficient in retirement as possible. In fact, when faced with taxation questions, most retirees have no idea of the correct answer.
4-22-23 – April 2023 Question Of The Month
“Hi, Brian. Per your advice a couple years ago, we purchased I-Bonds. That was great advice, and we continue to receive a great safe rate of return. However, we heard the renewal rate is expected to go down, and since CD and money market rates have come up, should we now sell the I-Bonds and redirect that money elsewhere? Thank you.” Tim and Rita.
4-15-23 – Do You Hear A Ticking Sound Inside Your Traditional 401(k), 403(b), Or IRA?
The continual ‘tick’ sound is the typical sound of a bomb about to go off. Fortunately, for most of us, that sound is only heard in the movies. However, this sound may now be a very realistic reality in real life concerning your traditional IRA, 401(k), and 403(b) retirement savings plans. So, what are you going to do?
4-8-23 – It’s Not About How You Look; It’s Just That You Win
In today’s day and age, many people care more about style and looking good than winning and being successful. Unfortunately, that objective can really hurt you. This is especially true when it comes to investing because it can really make a big difference in the ultimate value of your retirement plan.