Hot Topics

Retirement Plan Contribution Limits for 2015

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 in 401Ks, IRA, Plan Retirement, Roth IRA

video-investmentsThe IRS announced the 2015 cost of living adjustments for retirement plans which are detailed below:

The following increases will be effective January 1st, 2015.


Salary Deferrals for 401K/403b/TSP/457 Plans
Catch-up Contribution for 401k/403b/TSP/457 Plans- age 50 and older
Simple Plan
Contribution Limits
Simple Plan Catch-up
Age 50 and older
Annual Contribution
limits to Defined
Contribution Plans
IRA and Roth IRA contribution limits
$5,500 (unchanged)
IRA/Roth IRA Catch-up
for age 50 and older
$1,000 (unchanged)
IRA Phase out for investors with workplace plans
Individuals $60K-$70K
Couples $96K-$116K
Individuals $61K-$71K
Couples $98K-$118K
Roth IRA Phase out for contributions
Individuals $114K-$129K
Couples $181K-$191K
Individuals $116K-$131K
Couples $183K-$193K

Social Security News

Posted on Oct 27, 2014 in Recent News, Social Security

thumb_militaryThe Social Security Administration has announced the cost of living adjustments for benefits as well as the wage base subject to the annual taxes for 2015.  The increase, which is based on the current Consumer Price Index (CPI), is 1.7%. This increase would reflect the sixth consecutive year of record low cost of living adjustments and would raise the average benefit by $20. The wage amount subject to payroll taxes will increase roughly $117,000, a $2,000 increase.
The monthly premium for Medicare Part B (outpatient services) will stay at $104.90 in 2015 for the third consecutive year. Read More

Critical Turning Point- Market Losing Its “Breadth”

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 in Economy, Investment

Stock Market volatility has returned along with fears of a meltdown.  If you look at the chart below, the VIX, which is a measure of volatility, is breaking to the upside while the S&P 500 index appears to breaking down. Read More

IRS Allows Tax Free Conversions of After Tax Contributions from Retirement Plans

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 in Tax

Tax Form 1040There are now new rules for taking after tax money from qualified retirement plans (such as a 401K, 403b, or 457b accounts.) If you have any after tax contributions within your plan, they can now be rolled directly into a Roth IRA upon separation from service. In the past, most people either rolled all of their funds into an IRA and paid taxes pro-rata, based on the ratio of pretax to post tax contributions, or they had the option to take a separate check for the after tax funds and roll the balance of the funds into an IRA. Now the IRS has ruled that the after tax funds can be transferred into a Roth IRA where they can grow tax free (think of this like a tax free Roth conversion). Read More

Building the Crystal Ball Portfolio

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 in Investment, Plan Retirement

video-economyClients will often review their quarterly investment statements and ask the following questions:

“I noticed that this particular fund or asset class was down.  Why should I be invested in it if it just keeps going down?”

“Large cap stocks have done so well recently, why don’t I just invest all of my money allocated to equities in large cap funds?”

The recent love affair with US large caps is understandable.  This asset class had spectacular performance in 2013, as well as the past 5 years.  However, 10 and 15 year performance lagged other asset classes.  See the chart below. Read More

When it Comes to Finances, as Rodney Dangerfield Would Say, Women Still “Don’t Get No Respect”.

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 in Women and Money

thumb_lauraFor years I have been the “CFO” of my household.   Over twenty plus years of marriage, I have paid the bills, done all of the investing, monitored the family budget  and net worth, negotiated mortgages,  and even have power of attorney for my husband, so that I can execute trades on behalf of him.  We both have charities that are near and dear to our hearts, but we normally write a check for all of our donations from our joint account.   Often, the thank you card we receive from the charity is addressed only to my husband.   Ouch! Read More