Author - jim@blankenshipfinancial.com (Jim Blankenship)

1
Avoiding Taxation of 401(k) Loan
2
Level payment pension plan option
3
Restoring Social Security benefit level after early filing
4
What income is used for the Annual Earnings Test?
5
How to Build Good Money Habits

Avoiding Taxation of 401(k) Loan

Hopefully you already know this – if you have a loan from your 401(k) plan and you leave employment, either on your own or if you’re terminated, the loan is considered a distribution from your plan, and therefore taxable. It’s important to note – this only applies when you leave employment.

Here’s an example:  you have a 401(k) plan with a balance of $200,000. You wish to take a loan from the plan in order to pay for your child’s college tuition – and so you take a total of $20,000 from the plan. It’s your intent to pay …

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Level payment pension plan option

When you approach retirement, if you’re fortunate enough to have worked in a job that provides a pension plan, you are faced with a decision: what type of payout should you choose? There are generally several – the first choice is between a lump sum versus an annuitized payout

The lump sum works just like it sounds – you get the equivalent of your account in the pension system in one big lump – and you can rollover this lump sum into an IRA or other tax-deferred vehicle, taking distributions as you see fit over your lifetime. At some …

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Restoring Social Security benefit level after early filing

There’s at least one circumstance in the Social Security retirement benefits world where it seems you can have your cake and eat it too. For whatever reason, this one has completely slipped past me up to this point, but I assure you, it’s legitimate and a very real part of Social Security’s rules. 

Not long ago, I was looking over some information on Social Security audits (Hey, some people collect stamps, I read audits. Sue me!), when I came across an audit that caught my eye. This particular audit, done by the Office of the Inspector General of the …

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What income is used for the Annual Earnings Test?

If you’re receiving Social Security retirement benefits and you’re under Full Retirement Age (FRA), you may be subject to the Annual Earnings Test. This is a test to see if you’re actually retired enough (per the Social Security Administration’s rules) to receive your Social Security retirement benefit.

You can read up on the rules about the Annual Earnings Test by clicking the link. Effectively, if you earn more than $18,960 (for 2021), then for each $2 over that amount in earnings, your Social Security retirement benefit is reduced by $1. If this is the year that you’ll reach …

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How to Build Good Money Habits

Dealing with personal finances can be daunting. They could be a new venture for you or your current way of dealing with them is less than ideal. Here are some tips that can aid you in developing good personal finance habits.

  1. Use technology. Whether developing a budget, savings plan, etc. the use of technology can make life easier. App such as Mint.com or spreadsheet software like Excel can assist you in getting organized and making clutter more organized.

For example, an app like Mint consolidates all your finances, accounts, and can give you a snapshot of what you’re spending, saving, …

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