It’s interesting. It is always the right time to do estate planning, but we never get around to doing it. But, it is especially important to think about estate planning when you go through a life transition, such as retiring or moving to a new state. And suprisingly enough, many of us have more complicated probate estates than we think (owning property in two states would be one example). A simple thing anyone can do to reduce probate costs and hassles is to reconfigure their non-retirement accounts as PODs or TODs. What are PODs and TODs? Let me explain. I’ll …Read More
It is the second week of April, so all minds naturally turn to taxes. And one of the things that often comes up is Roth (both IRA and 401(k)). The decision on whether to use a Roth versus a Traditional retirement account is never as straight-forward as it seems. So here are some thoughts that I have when I do the comparison, either for contributions or conversions.
Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later
The IRS will eventually get its money from you. You will either pay taxes when you put the money in (Roth) or when you take the …Read More
Most military members that have served in a combat zone know that they have an extension for filing their income tax. The barracks lawyers and finance folks on base will let you know about that. But what a lot of military members don’t know is that essentially all deadlines with the IRS are extended when you serve in a combat zone. (By the way, these rules also apply to Red Cross personnel, accredited correspondents and civilian personnel acting under the direction of the Armed Forces in support of forces in a combat zone…these folks need to be in the combat …Read More
I was at a meeting of the local chapter of a professional organization I belong to last night and one of the other EA’s in tha audience held up a document that looked very much like every IRS document I’ve ever seen. Her client had received an email from the “IRS” with the form attached. The instructions in the email said to fill out the form and fax it back to a 1-800 number. The form asked for identifying information about the taxpayer, including Social Security Number and Date of Birth and information about investment and bank accounts.
It was …Read More
Ah, January. A fresh start and a time to start thinking about filing your taxes. What could be better? If you are a recently retired military veteran you have some extra things to think about when it comes to your taxes. It involves retro-active VA Disability Compensation, your retired pay and something called the Strickland Decision. Let me explain.
First of all, based on current case loads at the VA you won’t (or didn’t) receive your VA Disability Compensation immediately after your retirement. So you will receive retro-active VA Compensation (at least I haven’t found anyone who didn’t in the …Read More