Archive - February 2017

1
IRS Warns of Phishing Scam
2
5 Tips to Enjoy Financial News With a Grain of Salt
3
Giving Money to Adult Children May Derail Retirement Planning
4
Retirement Accounts: keeping the advice sane and safe
5
Tax Refund Myths Debunked

IRS Warns of Phishing Scam

This tax season the IRS has been tracking a scam that targets certain employers. It’s a particularly nasty one, hitting where the email targets clerical employees, impersonating someone higher in the organization, asking for W-2 information. With this information the scammer can steal identities.

The scam started out targeting corporations, but now it has evolved to start hitting schools, restaurants, and other organizations. It’s possible that some of these organizations’ less formal management structure may introduce gaps in the process which might provide exploitation opportunities for the scammers.

The complete text of the IRS’s most recent notice about this scam …

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5 Tips to Enjoy Financial News With a Grain of Salt

At Halpern Financial, we often provide quotes to journalists who are writing about personal finance and investing topics. Not only do we enjoy sharing a fee-only fiduciary perspective with the world, but connecting with journalists allows us to keep a finger on the pulse of what our clients and friends will be reading and talking about in the near future. It’s fascinating to get this backstage look—but over and over again, we have noticed a wide gap between what is entertaining to read and what you should actually do as an investor.

Sometimes the results are unintentionally funny. In a …

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Giving Money to Adult Children May Derail Retirement Planning

In “Reopening the Bank of Mom and Dad, to Help Adult Children,” The New York Times offers cautionary tales and advice for parents who help adult children that don’t earn enough or have some kind of financial emergency. Even Baby Boomers who have done retirement planning may not have seen the needs of their adult children on the horizon. The desire to help adult children can derail the financial planning they have put in place. Many parents say they would not want to be a financial burden on their children but that is what can happen when parents …

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Retirement Accounts: keeping the advice sane and safe

When my daughter and I were at the Women’s March, I saw a number of signs saying I can’t believe I’m still protesting this sh*t (and they didn’t have an asterisk). I feel that way too, and I also feel that way concerning the fiduciary rule for retirement accounts. In fact, I can’t believe we’ve EVER needed to discuss this. The fiduciary rule was set to go into effect on April 10th of this year, but the so-called current administration has issued an executive order on February 3 delaying the order until—who knows?

What’s fiduciary?

The fiduciary rule is …

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Tax Refund Myths Debunked

Recently the IRS published a Special Edition Tax Tip which debunks some very common myths about your income tax refund. You may find some of these surprising. These myths are pervasive and can lead you astray if you believe them. In my experience the information in the Tip below is great advice for finding information about your tax refund.

The complete text of the Tip (IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2017-02) follows below:

IRS Debunks Myths Surrounding Your Tax Refund

As millions of people begin filing their tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers about some basic …

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