The financial effects of losing a spouse

By Rocky Mengle
Posted on August 16, 2021

The death of a spouse is one of the most difficult things imaginable. Besides the emotional toll, though, surviving spouses typically confront financial issues, which often trigger tax-related questions and consequences. Some of them are fairly straightforward, while others can be tricky. That’s why Letha McDowell, president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, advises... READ MORE

Become a better long-distance caregiver

By Liz Weston
Posted on August 12, 2021

Long pandemic lockdowns forced many older adults to become comfortable with video calls to stay connected with family. That in turn meant that long-distance caregivers had a better way to see how their loved ones were faring. “You can’t tell on the phone that they’re wearing the same clothes every day, or they’re not bathing because they’re afraid they’ll fall in the... READ MORE

Use a trust to protect child’s inheritance

By Lisa Brown
Posted on August 05, 2021

I recently met with a client to update her will, and her big question was whether she still needs a trust for her daughter. Her child has graduated college, is on her second well-paying job, got married and is now a new mom. Her daughter has been maturing into a responsible young adult. But there’s another factor that weighs heavily on my client’s mind: her son-in-law and the... READ MORE

Five ideas can shape your retirement plan

By Anthony Landi
Posted on July 27, 2021

Stashing away money for retirement is both smart and necessary to increase the odds that you will be financially secure once your working career comes to an end. But the act of saving money is not in itself a retirement plan. You also need to be intentional in establishing how much money you will need, when and how you will spend it, how taxes might affect you and a host of other... READ MORE

New Medicare con: ‘free’ genetic test kits

By Better Business Bureau of Virginia
Posted on July 23, 2021

If you are on Medicare, watch out for a resurgence of this scam. Scammers are claiming to offer “free” genetic testing kits that allegedly screen for heart conditions or cancer. It’s really a ruse to steal your Medicare information for fraudulent billing and/or identity theft. How the scam works You get a call from someone claiming to be from Medicare or an official-sounding... READ MORE

Nine important money numbers to know

By Liz Weston
Posted on July 21, 2021

Your doctor needs to know certain numbers to judge your physical health, such as your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Similarly, you need to know certain numbers to monitor your own financial health, including these: After-tax income and ‘must-have’ expenses Your after-tax income is your gross income minus the taxes you pay (federal, state and local income taxes,... READ MORE

Dominion Energy program helps pay bills

By Catherine Brown
Posted on July 14, 2021

Many people — particularly older adults — have struggled financially during the pandemic. For that reason, Dominion Energy suspended all disconnections for nonpayment beginning in March 2020. It’s also providing assistance to those in need. The pandemic wasn’t the first time the company offered assistance to Virginia residents. Almost 40 years ago, Dominion Energy created... READ MORE

Reasons to convert IRAs to Roths in 2021

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on July 12, 2021

Recently, IRA expert Ed Slott (irahelp.com) pointed out the advantages of Roth conversions in light of President Biden’s tax proposals. I’ll discuss some reasons you should consider such a conversion. For high income tax-payers, it is likely that marginal tax rates will not be reduced, and it is likely that marginal tax rates will increase in the future. The SECURE Act eliminated... READ MORE

For better customer service, phone it in

By Laura McMullen
Posted on June 18, 2021

When the pandemic began, Sean McAuliffe’s New York-based distribution company suffered financially. So, he set out to cut operating costs. He canceled a few services, and for more important ones, he contacted the providers to request deferred or lowered bills. First, he emailed, only to receive unhelpful replies. Then, he called — and every one of those same companies he had... READ MORE

What is the Social Security earnings test?

By Austin Powell
Posted on June 17, 2021

More than half of Americans surveyed by Voya Financial plan to work in retirement. If you share that plan, you may assume that you can easily combine paid employment with other sources of retirement income, such as your retirement savings and Social Security. However, if you claim Social Security before your full retirement age — which is based on your year of birth — your... READ MORE