Archive - November 2019

1
Which Comes First: Student Loans or Retirement?
2
529 Plan Beneficiaries
3
Married? Get into Retirement Planning Before Losing a Spouse
4
Are Social Security Benefits Changing in 2021?
5
Don’t Let Identity Theft Ruin the Holidays

Which Comes First: Student Loans or Retirement?

People go back and forth debating whether or not to save for retirement or pay down debt. Both are financial priorities and while it is possible to put some money towards both, some people want to know whether or not to concentrate on one or the other.

In “Here’s why you should make paying off your student loans a priority over saving for retirement,” Washington Post finance columnist Michelle Singletary writes:

 “If you’re struggling under the weight of student loans — human behavior being what it is — pay off the debt as soon as you can …

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529 Plan Beneficiaries

Owners (usually parents) of 529 plans set them up for the purpose of funding future college education expenses for beneficiaries (usually their children). However, 529 plans allow for beneficiaries other than the owner’s children. Beneficiaries may be changed on 529 plans at the owner’s discretion.

Who qualifies as a beneficiary for a 529 plan? According to IRS Publication 970, the following may be beneficiaries of 529 plans:

  • The account owner.
  • Son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, adopted child, or a descendant of any of them.
  • Brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister.
  • Father or mother or ancestor of either.
  • Stepfather or stepmother.
  • Son
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Married? Get into Retirement Planning Before Losing a Spouse

Kiplinger.com offered advice for married women who may need to do some retirement planning, mentioning this “sobering reality” – “Most widows feel unprepared to make key financial decisions in their live-alone years.” While it isn’t pleasant to think about death, married people do have to consider they may need to continue without a spouse: not simply emotionally but financially as well. “Thus, it’s extremely important for women to empower themselves with the tools they’ll need to take ownership of their financial future.”

If your spouse is in charge of finances, you need to make sure that you know where …

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Are Social Security Benefits Changing in 2021?

Chances are you’ve seen an advertisement or some sort of article talking about how Social Security benefits will be changing in 2021. Usually these articles have a very dramatic headline, such as “After 2021, you’ll never be able to get as much benefits from Social Security! Act Now!” – followed by information to attend a seminar or contact a firm to help you out.

I understand a lot of folks are concerned about this, but I believe it’s misguided concern brought about by sensationalists who have something to sell. The truth is that the much ballyhoo’d changes in 2021 have …

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Don’t Let Identity Theft Ruin the Holidays

As you gear up for the busiest shopping time of the year, managing your money involves more than just setting and sticking to a budget. 

Thieves, knowing that the holidays make us distracted shoppers, are just waiting for you to make the slightest slip-up that allows them to access your finances. That explains the 22 percent spike in holiday ID theft from 2016 to 2017.

Couple this with the fact that 53 percent of all holiday shopping now happens online (a hacker’s paradise!) and the odds are pretty good that even the wisest of us might make our wallets a …

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