This time of year as you prepare for taxes, you might glance at documents and see some capital gains taxes you may have overlooked.
Many mutual funds in December pay shareholders capital gains distributions that they have accumulated throughout the year.1
Typically, mutual fund companies start making estimates about distributions as early as November and most finalize the payment by mid-December. Unfortunately for us, this can cause undesirable tax consequences. (more…)
Understanding the importance of life insurance is one thing. Understanding the tax rules is quite another. As insurance products have evolved and become more sophisticated, the line separating insurance vehicles from investment vehicles has grown blurry. To differentiate between the two, a mix of complex rules and exceptions now governs the taxation of insurance products. If you have neither the time nor the inclination to decipher the IRS regulations, here are some life insurance tax tips and background information to help you make sense of it all.
As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to consider strategies that could help you reduce your tax bill. But most tax tips, suggestions, and strategies are of little practical help without a good understanding of your current tax situation. This is particularly true for year-end planning. You can’t know where to go next if you don’t know where you are now. (more…)
Selecting a filing status is one of the first decisions you’ll make when you fill out your federal income tax return, so it’s important to know the rules. And because you may have more than one option, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of each. Making the right decision about your filing status can save money and prevent problems with the IRS down the road.
Will you pay higher taxes in retirement? Do you have a 401(k) or a traditional IRA? If so, you will receive income from both after age 73. However, if you have saved and invested much of your life, you may also end up retiring at a higher marginal tax rate than your current one. Tax efficiency in retirement is paramount and many people forget it. In fact, the income alone resulting from a Required Minimum Distribution could push you into a higher tax bracket. (more…)
You don’t want to pay more in federal income tax than you have to. With that in mind, here are five things to consider when it comes to keeping more of your income.
Investors are routinely warned about allowing emotion to influence their decisions. However, they are less routinely cautioned about their preconceptions and biases that may color their financial choices. In a battle between the facts & biases, our biases may win. If we acknowledge this tendency, we may be able to avoid some unexamined choices when … Continue reading “Do Our Emotion or Biases Affect Our Financial Choice”
Financial generalizations are as old as time. Some have been around for decades, while others have only recently joined their ranks. Let’s examine a few common retirement assumptions. Retirement means I can stop investing. In the past, retirement was viewed as an “end” in many ways. These days though, retirement is often seen as an opportunity … Continue reading “Debunking Common Retirement Assumptions”
Byron Wien recently passed away. He was a true Wall Street icon. I had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Wien once when I was seated behind him at an investment conference during the depths of the Great Financial Crisis (GFC). Mr. Wien was probably best known for his annual top ten list of surprises … Continue reading “How Could the Markets Surprise Us in 2024?”
Stocks are off to a solid start in 2024. January gains are particularly enjoyable because of the old adage from the Stock Trader’s Almanac, “As goes January, so goes the year.” Nearly 75 years of historical data shows that when the S&P 500 has risen in January, the average gain for the remainder of the … Continue reading “Market Update – Solid Start to 2024”
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