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Financial Planning

The Gift of Education

 August 4 2016     Anna Pfaehler
The National Center for Education Statistics lists the average tuition, fees, room and board costs of in-state public, 4-year colleges at $18,632 and private, 4-year colleges at $37,990 for the 2014-2015 school year.  Because this is an average, half of schools in the U.S. are more expensive. For example, my alma mater estimates total cost of attendance at $65,490. A quality college education...

Longevity Illustrator

 July 22 2016     Anna Pfaehler
The two certainties of life - death and taxes – are rife with uncertainties. The tax code tends to be as clear as mud to those who are not in the tax profession. On more than one occasion I’ve told a colleague if it makes sense, you are reading it wrong. But death is also full of uncertainty, namely in the timing.  When projecting a client’s retirement, I typically use ...

Social Security Trustees' Report

 July 8 2016     Anna Pfaehler
The 2016 annual report from Social Security’s Board of Trustees was recently released. A few highlights:  In 2015, 60 million people received checks and $886 billion was paid out for both retirement and disability benefits.   Social Security receipts, including interest income, exceeded expenditures by $23 billion in 2015. The projected 2016 surplus is $16 billion. ...

Navigating Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) with Multiple Accounts

 June 22 2016     Anna Pfaehler
Over a long career, you may rack up several different retirement accounts from various employers. You might have a handful of IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc. Each of these accounts will have Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) when you turn 70 ½. The more accounts you have, the trickier keeping track of these RMDs can be. One of the main benefits of traditional (i.e. non-Roth) retirement ...

Forget Your Password…Think P@ssPhrase

 June 1 2016     Anna Pfaehler
The following article was written by a colleague of mine, Christopher Cook, CFP®, Vice President, for the spring issue of the HORAN magazine. The article discusses the role that passwords play in mitigating the risk of an online security breach. I am sharing this article to underscore the importance of safe online consumer practices and how this correlates to your overall financial w...

How to Calculate Social Security Spousal Benefits

 May 10 2016     Anna Pfaehler
Part of my role is to serve as a resource for our clients and advisors by answering their financial planning questions. Today’s post highlights a question I’ve received several times in various forms. Q: A wife started taking Social Security at age 62 and is now 70. The husband now wants to file for benefits at age 70. Will the wife’s benefit increase? A: In general, spousal b...

Last Call for File and Suspend

 April 22 2016     Anna Pfaehler
Late last year we wrote about the end of two Social Security claiming strategies: (1) file and suspend and (2) restricted application. As a reminder, the April 29 deadline for file and suspend is fast approaching. File and suspend allows a person to open their file with the Social Security Administration and voluntarily suspend payment of benefits. Doing so has three major benefits: ·&n...

Financially Preparing for a New Baby

 April 15 2016     Anna Pfaehler
If you’ve seen me in person lately, you know the Pfaehler household is growing this year. We are expecting our second child in September. Many of my friends, relatives, and coworkers have expanding families, too. In between painting the nursery and picking a name, here are a few items to add to your already long to-do list to prepare financially for a new baby: 1.    &n...

Non-Deductible IRA Contributions and Form 8606

 April 4 2016     Anna Pfaehler
We often work with clients that want to make non-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA. Usually they have fully utilized all retirement savings vehicles provided by their employer but want to save more in a tax-efficient way. 

Using a Health Savings Account as a Savings Vehicle

 March 3 2016     Anna Pfaehler
The health care industry changes so rapidly that it’s hard to predict what the cost of health care will be 10, 20 or 30 years from now. Being prepared for the costs is challenging, but a Health Savings Account (HSA) can help.
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