Author - jim@blankenshipfinancial.com (Jim Blankenship)

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IRA Contributions after the SECURE Act
2
The SECURE Act and Student Loans
3
IRS warns of gift card scam
4
529 Plan Beneficiaries
5
Are Social Security Benefits Changing in 2021?

IRA Contributions after the SECURE Act

Following our articles last week – SECURE Act RMD Rules and The SECURE Act and Student Loans – today we’ll cover IRA contributions after the SECURE Act. A big change in store here for folks who are still working later in life, but not really earth-shattering.

With the passage of the SECURE Act, the prohibition for IRA contributions after age 70½ is lifted. Previously, once you hit that magical age, you were no longer allowed to make contributions to an IRA.

Employer plans, such as the 401(k) have always allowed contributions to continue as long as the employee was still …

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The SECURE Act and Student Loans

The recent passing of the SECURE Act brought about some changes that have impacted savers and retirees alike. Required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement account have now been raised to age 72. Also, gone is the ability to “stretch” required distributions from retirement accounts to non-spouse beneficiaries (with few exceptions).

One potentially beneficial change comes from the broadening of the expenses 529 college savings plans can cover. 529 plans are tax-advantaged savings plans that allow parent, grandparents, and other relatives to save money for education. Contributions grow tax-deferred and withdrawals for qualified expenses are tax-free. In the past, qualified expenses …

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IRS warns of gift card scam

 

Recently there has been a new scam going around, with a twist – the caller, impersonating an IRS agent, requests payment in the form of gift cards. The IRS recently released a Tax Tip (2019-167) regarding this scam and what you should do about it. The complete Tip is listed below.

Taxpayers should watch out for gift card scam

Taxpayers should always be on the lookout for scams. Thieves want to trick people in order to steal their personal information, scam them out of money, or talk them into engaging in questionable behavior with their taxes. Scam …

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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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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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