Author - jim@blankenshipfinancial.com (Jim Blankenship)

1
Designated Roth Accounts ( Roth 401k or Roth 403b )
2
Mid-year estimated payments checkup
3
Early Withdrawal from Retirement Plans
4
The Family Maximum Benefit (Retirement)
5
Volatility is a Two-Way Street

Designated Roth Accounts ( Roth 401k or Roth 403b )

hymen rothDesignated Roth Accounts or Roth 401k are simply 401k plans that allow employees to designate all or part of their elective deferrals as qualified Roth 401k contributions. Qualified Roth 401k contributions are made on an after-tax basis, just like Roth IRA contributions. This means that employee contributions and earnings are entirely free from federal income tax when distributed from the plan, subject to qualifications. Contributions are not deducted from income (as regular 401k or deductible IRA contributions are). This article discusses qualified Roth 401k contributions.

Caution: 401k sponsors are not required to allow Roth contributions to their plans. But if …

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Mid-year estimated payments checkup

estimated payments checkup calculatorAs a retiree, you may have a bit more difficulty determining if your withheld tax throughout the year is going to be enough. This is especially true in 2018, with the new tax tables and rules associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. For this reason, you may want to do a mid-year estimated payments checkup, to help ensure you’re having enough (but not too much) tax withheld.

If you’re not retired or are retired and still working part-time, you may want to check out the Mid-year withholding checkup article to help make sure you have enough

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Early Withdrawal from Retirement Plans

Six-twenty is an early withdrawal time.If you are retiring before the “normal” retirement age of 59½ or older, or if you find yourself in need of money, you may need to make an early withdrawal from your retirement plan. An early withdrawal from your retirement plan is not without consequences – there will be taxes for sure, and quite possibly (likely?) penalties (referred to as “additional tax on early withdrawals” below). For exceptions to the early withdrawal penalty for IRAs, see this article. Otherwise, for exceptions to the early withdrawal penalty for a 401k, see this article.

Recently the IRS published …

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The Family Maximum Benefit (Retirement)

When a worker is receiving retirement benefits and/or members of his family are also receiving benefits based upon the retirement benefits, such as via spousal benefits, benefits for children, or other family members benefits, there is a maximum amount of benefit that can be distributed in total.  (There is a separate maximum benefit computation for disability benefits, which we’ll cover in another article.)

How the Family Maximum Benefit is Computed

When computing the Family Maximum Benefit (FMB), the Social Security Administration falls back to its old habits of using a very convoluted formula, similar to the formula for computing …

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Volatility is a Two-Way Street

In many cases, whenever we think of volatility we think negatively. Try it yourself. Think of the word volatility and say it out loud. What thoughts, words, or images pop into your head? Bad news? Market losses? Losing money? The color red?

The point is that we tend to give volatility a bad rap – and rightfully so. Generally, the word is thrown at us during periods of when the market, and our investments, lose value. Volatility, however, works both ways. It’s also present when the market and our investments are doing well. We just don’t call it volatility. We …

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