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Financial Planning

Attention: Big Changes for Flexible Spending Accounts

 December 19 2013     Michael Napier
Finally, the IRS has loosened up its rules on Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).  A flexible spending account (FSA), also known as a flexible spending arrangement, is a tax-advantaged financial account that can be set up through a “cafeteria plan” of an employer.  An FSA allows an employee to set aside a portion of earnings to pay for qualified expenses, most commonly for medical expense...

IRS Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriages for Federal Taxes

 August 30 2013     Michael Napier
On August 29, 2013, the IRS and the US Department of Treasury released memorandums stating that for federal tax purposes legally married same sex couples may file, married filing jointly or married filing separate.   As long as the same sex couple marries in a state that permits gay marriage, they will be treated married for federal tax purposes.  The ruling applies regardless of whether the co...

Does 401(k) Auto-Enrollment Help or Hinder Retirement Savings?

 July 11 2013     Michael Napier
A study by Aon Hewitt recently caught my attention.  The article indicates that 401(k) automatic enrollment helps with the overall participation rate in the plan, but causes employees to save less than they normally would if they chose to enroll on their own. The trend holds true for employees across all salary ranges. Below are the statistics on savings rates as a percentage of an individual’s sa...

Working Into the Golden Years? You’re Not Alone

 July 1 2013     Michael Napier
Among those aged 65 and older, labor-force participation has increased for both males and females. This upward trend is not surprising and is likely to continue because of workers’ need for continued access to employment-based health insurance and for more earning years to accumulate savings in defined contribution (401(k)-type) plans.   Older Americans, particularly those in the private sector,...

Kentucky Taxpayers Get Tax Credit by Giving to Charity

 May 7 2013     Michael Napier
If you think this sounds too good to be true, you’re wrong. The Endow Kentucky Tax Credit enables any Kentucky taxpayer (business or individual) to receive a state tax credit of up to 20% of their charitable gift to a permanent endowment fund approved by the program (up to $10,000 per taxpayer). This limited-time opportunity is available for fiscal year 2014 which begins in July 2013. (2013 credi...

A Retirement Crisis: Sound the Alarm

 March 28 2013     Michael Napier
The Employee Benefit Research Institute recently released their 2013 “Retirement Confidence Survey.” The results are not positive – Americans are not doing a good job preparing for their future. The percentage of workers confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement is essentially unchanged from the record low numbers of 2011.  13% Are very confident 38% Are somew...

Financial Planning - The “Secrets” and “Gotchas” of Social Security

 March 19 2013     Michael Napier
I recently attended a social security training seminar and the presenters recommended an article by PBS News titled “34 Social Security 'Secrets' All Baby Boomers and Millions of Current Recipients Need to Know”.   I’ve read many of these types of articles, but this one may be the most comprehensive I’ve seen.  For example, below is the type of “secret” you will learn: Secret #16 “If you take ...

Are You Saving Enough? How Much Should You Have by Now??

 January 22 2013     Michael Napier
To replace 85% of pre-retirement income, Fidelity Investments has recommended obtaining the following savings targets in your retirement accounts (401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s):  By Age                                  You Should Have  30                                           .5 times Salary 35                                           1 times Salary 40                                           ...

Disability Income Protection: The Forgotten Insurance

 December 27 2012     Michael Napier
Most small business owners and highly compensated employees do not realize they are in danger of falling into a gap between the disability protection they have and what they actually need. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have a 30% chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age, and yet only a third of employees in the private sector have long term disability insur...

“Information is Power”: Keeping Current on Tax and Health Care Law

 December 18 2012     Michael Napier
“Uncertainty” is a major concern for America’s small business owners according to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Uncertainty in tax and health care law, in particular, are two of the biggest worries.  So what can the time-starved small business owner do to keep abreast of major changes in these areas? Understand where to go for timely unbiased and non-pa...
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