Author - jim@blankenshipfinancial.com (Jim Blankenship)

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Roth Recharacterization is No Longer Allowed
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How to Build Wealth
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Divorcee Social Security Benefits
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Creditor Protection for Retirement Plan Assets
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A SIMPLE Kind of Plan

Roth Recharacterization is No Longer Allowed

With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, recharacterization of a Roth Conversion is no longer allowed. This begins with tax year 2018.

Briefly, recharacterization of a Roth conversion is (used to be) useful if you wanted to undo a Roth conversion sometime before your tax return is filed for the year in question. If you’d like more information on recharacterization and why you might want (or have wanted) to do this, you can check out the article on Recharacterizing.

So now, if you convert funds from an IRA or 401k into a Roth …

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How to Build Wealth

How you choose to spend or invest your money can have an impact on your net worth. Many of you are familiar with the net worth equation which is Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth. In other words, what you own, minus what you owe, equals what’s yours.

However, what is conventional wisdom isn’t always what’s best. What I mean is, just because something is generally known as an “asset” doesn’t mean it’s going to help your wealth. Here are a few examples.

  1. Your house. While generally considered an asset, and to some, an investment, your home can also drain
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Divorcee Social Security Benefits

The below article is an excerpt from my new book Social Security for the Suddenly Single. This focused book is all about divorcee Social Security retirement and survivor benefits, and it’s available on Amazon. The book was written to address the lack of information about divorcee Social Security. You’ll find everything you need to know about divorcee Social Security retirement and survivor benefits within.

Divorcee Benefits Matrix

Below you will find a matrix that describes the various divorcee Social Security benefits you may have available to you.

To use this matrix, start at 1, choosing your birth …

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Creditor Protection for Retirement Plan Assets

In this day and age with bankruptcies on the rise, quite often this question comes up:  are my retirement plan assets protected from a creditor? And of course, there are two ways you can take this – are the assets protected from a creditor of my employer; and are the assets protected from my personal creditors?

Employer Creditors

Your vested qualified retirement plans (401(k), 403(b), etc.) are always protected from creditors, in the event that your company should declare bankruptcy. Vested retirement plans are your property (*upon distribution), not the property of the employer.  The same is true for vested …

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A SIMPLE Kind of Plan

The SIMPLE Plan is a type of retirement account for small businesses that is simpler (ah hah!) to administer and more portable than the 401(k) plans that are more appopriate for larger businesses.  SIMPLE is an acronym (probably a backronym, more likely) which stands for Savings Incentive Match PLan for Employees.

A SIMPLE typically is based on an IRA-type account, but could be based on a 401(k) plan. What we’ll cover here is the IRA-type of SIMPLE plan.  The difference (with the 401(k)-type) is that there are more restrictions on employer activities, and less room for error (as can be …

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