Fund your IRA by April to cut your taxes

By: Sandra Block
Posted on: January 14, 2021

Make sure you haven’t overlooked one of the best ways to cut your 2020 tax bill (even in the new year) and secure your future: funding a traditional IRA. (Note: There is no upfront tax break for funding a Roth IRA.) You can make an IRA contribution for the 2020 tax year up until the time you file your tax return, which is due April 15, 2021, and still be able to deduct your IRA... READ MORE

Ways to pay for long-term care if needed

By: Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on: January 05, 2021

Many retirees and prospective retirees don’t realize that Medicare does not cover expenses associated with long-term care, which is unfortunate because statistics show that approximately 70% of them will eventually need it in some form. Long-term care (LTC) is the care, both medical and non-medical, required by people for an extended period of time because of medical, physical and... READ MORE

When life blows up your well-laid plans

By: Liz Weston
Posted on: December 17, 2020

Job loss, business failure, involuntary retirement, divorce, disability or the death of a breadwinner — these are just some of the ways our finances can force us to come up with a Plan B. But the biggest task after financial loss may be dealing with your emotions after the future you had envisioned disappears. People who lose a loved one expect to grieve. People who lose their... READ MORE

Don’t bank on bonds being safe right now

By: Randy Kurtz
Posted on: December 15, 2020

Today’s market environment requires that we talk candidly about bonds. While investors over the years have turned to bonds for safety, unfortunately bonds have never been riskier than they are right now. Over long periods of time, bonds have generated lower returns and lower risk than equities. Bonds also have had low correlation with equities, which generates diversification... READ MORE

Which purchases are worth the splurge?

By: Andrew Rosen
Posted on: December 14, 2020

Boats, name-brand clothing, iPhones — the list of luxury products available to consumers is endless. But which ones are worth their salt? Defining “worth” is a deeply personal exercise. Some items deliver great performance and are unarguably worth their price tag. Others are more about feelings, connection and experience. While it’s not always necessary to splurge, there are... READ MORE

Watch out for scams via text 

By: Kiplinger Consumer News Service
Posted on: December 11, 2020

According to the IRS, there’s a new stimulus check scam that you need to know about. Thieves are sending text messages saying, “You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment.” The text then has a link to a fake website that looks like... READ MORE

How to reduce tax bite on Social Security

By: Rocky Mengle
Posted on: November 30, 2020

After a lifetime of paying taxes on wages and other income, many people enter retirement expecting their Social Security benefits to be tax-free. But that’s often not the case. For some retirees, Uncle Sam takes a hefty bite of those benefits. Fortunately, there are ways to lower the percentage of Social Security payments that are subject to federal tax. Start with calculating... READ MORE

A guide to giving for the greatest impact

By: Katherine Reynolds Lewis
Posted on: November 27, 2020

The recession and global pandemic are hitting charities where it hurts the most: in the wallet. Most fundraising professionals expect donations to decline in 2020 compared with previous years, a situation likely to continue through 2021, according to the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Meanwhile, the need for charity is climbing, particularly to combat rising poverty, hunger... READ MORE

Three steps to higher retirement income

By: Michael Aloi
Posted on: November 27, 2020

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, retirees could live off the interest from their CDs and bonds. A lot has changed since then. With interest rates now at historical lows, retirees are feeling the pinch. This doesn’t mean retirement is out of reach. It means we need to plan a little smarter and harder. Here are three ways to boost retirement income: Reduce your... READ MORE

Opening career opportunities

By: Ivey Noojin
Posted on: November 19, 2020

Baltimore resident Emma Smith, 61, was looking for her big break last year. She had been working hard as a security guard, but still wasn’t making enough money to comfortably pay the bills. “They took pride in saying that they paid people 60 cents over minimum wage. Wow,” Smith said sarcastically. She had recently received a commercial driver’s license from a local training... READ MORE